Lee Volume Density Measure (VDM)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Although we don't get many calls for customers about reloading, I did have an interesting one the other day. Gentleman called and said he had a Lee hand pistol loader and was loading Titegroup into his 357 using a .7cc dipper. He said he was concerned as it appeared that the amount of powder in the case didn't look like enough.

Apparently he had called a few other places and no one was really sure what a Lee dipper was or how it was used. Now I don't want to date myself, but I too had one of those kits back in the early '70s and I used it for years. If you have the time, they are a fun (but slow) way to reload. We talked a few minutes and I looked up the bullets we sold him the previous week, then checked the Titegroup data loads and asked him how many grains he was using. He wasn't sure how many grains, he said he was just using the .7 cc dipper. So I started hunting around the internet and found an old Lee conversion for Titegroup that indicated the Volume Density Measure for gunpowder (VDM) was 0.0848 (for 1 grain) conversion.

The Hodgdon site indicated that for 125 grain XTP, 6.8 grains would be a good starting load and not to exceed 7.5 grains. Well, when we converted that to the cc (6.8 grains x .0848 VDM) it was .57 min to .63 max. So the .7 cc dipper was just a tad to much. I suggested that if he had loaded any with this dipper to break the loads back down and reload with a smaller dipper. Also, if he had a scale, he should check weight several loads to avoid overcharging. We are not providing reloading advice or suggesting any particular load. Always start at the low end of the data scale and only after extensive testing should the charges be increased.

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