Has my scale gone whacko

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by BillR, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    I have always swore by my Pacific scale for reloading. It has always proven accurate for me. I used to have two of them so I could check one against the other but the brother needed a reloading set up and I had 3 complete setups at one time and I gave one too him so he could start reloading.
    Yesterday I was reloading for my .264 Win Mag so I could work up a load for it. I was loading in 1/2 grain increments from 65 to 68 grains and doing 5 loads each to see what the best group would be. I am planning on taking it Mule deer hunting this fall have some pretty long ranges, out to 800 yds and a couple places might run 900 yds.
    Thats a bit past my comfort range for my .25-06 AI. Not that it cannot do it but it just does not have the energy past 700 yds that I like.
    While weighing out the loads very carefully on the Pacific scale I would use a Lee scoop to scoop up the powder from a bowl and then drop it into the pan very slowly until it was about 3/10's grain low and then dribble it till it came up to zero. After about 15 rounds being weighed out I happened to bump the pan and when it settled down it came in higher than the scale would go to. In other words IF I am trying to get 66 grains the scale will show 1/2 grain higher and 1/2 grain lower and this maxed out higher than 66 1/2. So I carefully removed enough to take it down to 66.5. This kind of bothered me so about 6 rounds later when I was doing 67.5 the same thing happened again. Ok, I might be dumb but I am not stupid. This needed some figuring out. I also have a RCBS Charge master with a scale so I got it set up and turned on and warmed up and then started weighing each load. Here is where I could of been knocked over with a feather.
    When I weighed each load I found that none of them were right on by the RCBS scale. Some only 1/10th of a grain (maybe 3 out of 25) but the rest of them were as much as 1/2 to 1 full grain off and 3 of them 2 full grains off.
    I have always used this Pacific scale for small batches when I was working up a gun to get its best accuracy but it looks like I cannot trust it any more. I even used scale weights to check it prior to using it but somehow it has become inaccurate. I am going to have to take it apart and check everything to make sure something is not bent etc. before I ever trust it again.
    In 40+ years of reloading with this scale I have never had this happen.

    While writing this I got curious and went back and looked the Pacific over again and found that the balance beam had a slight bend in it so I straightened that and outside of that it looks perfect. I rechecked 5 loads that I did last night against my RCBS Chargemaster scale and found that the scale would weight a load 2/10 high against it and then weight the same load 2/10 low or even right on but never the same twice. Its never more than 3/10 different than the RCBS scale after straightening the beam but it never gives me the same twice in a row. The RCBS said the same thing every time. Maybe the Pacific after all these years and more moves than I can count has developed a grove at the bottom of the notch where the beam balances on.
    My instincts tell me to trust the RCBS but I have to have something to test it out against so looks like I am going to buy another balance beam scale as this one is driving me nuts.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011

  2. Reloader222

    Reloader222 Well-Known Member

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    I also had a Pacific Scale 20 years ago and had always trusted it. I have trusted it above the RCBS 10-10 and Layman. Then stopped reloading and sold it. I have started reloading again and today I regret selling it. But it seems yours got a bump which has thrown it totally out. The pitty is that those Pacific scales are no longer manifactured.
     

  3. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    I have been using a Lyman 1200 for years,,, and years. So I ecently purchased a RCBS chargemaster combo. I opened up the ne charge master and fired it up. I then would weigh a charge on one scale and dump it in the other scale to see if they were on the same page, To my surprise they were in complete compliance with each other, to the tenth of a grain. I also weighed a few bullets to see if they would agree, and they did, again to the tenth.

    So I get ready to load some rounds with the new RCBS charge master. The 3 buttons of the left side of the key pad that are labeled 1, 4, 7 are incorrect. When you push 1 you get a 2 when you push 4 you get a 5 and for 7 you get 8. the same as the center row of digets, but the center row is correct. In playing with it I found that what ever it gives you on the screen is what you get for a charge. I called RCBS and after a 30 minute hold they said send it in and they will send out a new one the next day. They were very polite and I asked them to function test before they sent the new one. Soooo, back in the box it went and I get to pay shipping and ins. to send it back to RCBS.

    Anyway, a bullet that is close to the needed charge is how I keep an eye on my scales. But I was happy to see they do agree.

    Jeff
     
  4. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    I've had absolutely no problems with the Chargemaster at all. Up until lately it and the Pacific agree on everything until this happened. Now the Pacific cannot even agree with itself. :)
     
  5. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you didn't get the pivot bar quite straight.

    How in the world did you bend it?
     
  6. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    BillR,
    Not trying to shanghai your post but my RCBS CM recently did the same thing that Broz's did.

    1,4,7 = 2, 5 & 8. I called RCBS and told them the keypad had gone out, I was a scale tech, and if they would let me purchase the keypad I would install it myself.
    After a few minutes (5), they came back on and said normally they require customers to send them in, but they agreed to send me a keypad and let me install it.
    It took about an hour and is running fine again. This keypad is not as "mushy" feeling as the first. JohnnyK.
     
  7. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    Boomtube, I just do not know. When I say the beam is bent I'm not talking very much. Far as I know it has set on my bench since I used it last and not been moved. Makes me kind of wonder about the last time I loaded for it for my .25-06AI. I did not have my Chargemaster at that time and everything was being loaded with the Pacific. Only thing I can think of was something got thrown on the bench after going out shooting and it was not noticed or maybe it was bent in the last move and I just found it finally. I would not of found it this time except that I bumped it after trickling in the final amount of powder and when bumped it went wild. When I tried to get it back to where it was it never would till I emptied out the pan and started over again. Its off somewhere and I will play with it till I find it. The bend in the balance beam might of been 1/16" but its there.
     
  8. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    Well, what I wonder about is the pivot bar/knife edges, not the beam itself. Seems any load or impact that could bend the beam could easily bend the pivot bar. If so, the knife edges are probably no longer in perfect alignment and that could easily cause the problem you describe.
     
  9. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

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    Makes sense.