Looking to upgrade my balance, suggestions?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by montana_native, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. montana_native

    montana_native Well-Known Member

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    I have them cheapy RCBS that comes in that rockchuck kit. I've been using it for 8-9 years. Last night, I weighed what I thought was a 75.7 gr charge ten times and got anywhere from 75.1 - 75.8 grains. I am thinking it's time to upgrade. Any suggestions on a non-digital balance?

    Thanks.
     
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Not sure which beam scale you have,(I know they made a cheep one at one time but
    RCBS makes a good balance beam scale and it is a copy of the ohaus 1010 if you can find one.

    I have the original 1010 and it is dead nuts on.

    I also use a digital because its fast , and occasionally check it with the 1010 for accuracy.

    J E CUSTOM
     

  3. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    The driving force for a balance beam is gravity and it doesn't vary. Inconsistancy comes from friction at the pivot pivots, nothing else.

    Clean the V bearings, alcohol and a toothpick work well. Clean the knife edges with a lighly oiled Que-tip and check the sharp edges for nicks or burrs which can occur from rough handling. Replace the bean and center the knife bar in the V bearings, don't allow the pivot ends to rub against the bearing block holders.
     
  4. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Boom, for the tips. I have the 'cheap' 5-0-5 balance that came with the Rockchucker kit as well and thought I had some problems with it until I purchased calibration weights. It was right on after a little adjustment. I also was looking at replacing it some time ago until I realized how much it cost by itself! More than most other balances by other reputable manufactures. Mine packs away back in the box when i'm done, every moving part separated by soft cloth to 'treat it right'.
     
  5. azsugarbear

    azsugarbear Well-Known Member

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    I found out by accident that sometimes there is more at work than just gravity with a balance beam scale. Blowing or moving air of any kind can throw off an accurate measurement. Down in AZ, we use ceiling fans to help move air in the summer months. If the fan is anywhere above you, or if your reloading bench sits near a cooling or heating register, the directed air flow can throw off the measurement. Probably not your problem, but something to watch for in the future.
     
  6. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    There is one more thing to look at.

    Some beam scales use a magnetic dampening system and the plate between the two
    magnets is made of copper alloy.and may become magnetized (You heard right) I had always
    though that copper could not be magnetic.

    Anyway if you test it and it is then anneal it and this corrects it.

    Spectweldtom had this occur and fixed it. Maybe he will chime in on how to test and fix.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  7. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    +1 on the 1010. Mine is 40 years old and accurate as ever.

    Watch ebay for a used RCBS 1010.

    Also do a search on 6mmbr.com under the articles section or email the moderator for an article on balance beam tuning. they did an article about a guy who for $20 works over balance beam scales to make them faster and dead nuts on.

    BH
     
  8. Winchester 69

    Winchester 69 Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried cleaning the pivots and bearings with alcohol? At the same time, wipe the copper vane to neutralize any charge build-up there. If the pivots/bearings are worn, contact RCBS and they will have you send the scale to Ohaus (the builder) for maintenance.

    Another approach is to contact Scott Parker through 6mmBR.com (sparker). He does tune-ups on some of these scales and can probably help with yours. I doubt that your scale has any fatal problems. I am assuming your scale is the 505 that RCBS supplies in its RockChucker kit.
    .
     
  9. Mr Humble

    Mr Humble Active Member

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    Get a Redding scale and an RCBS Electronic dispenser scale. Both are great and the RCBS is ALWAYS born out by the Redding.
     
  10. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "I found out by accident that sometimes there is more at work than just gravity with a balance beam scale. Blowing or moving air of any kind can throw off an accurate measurement. "

    There are several external things that can easily affect a scale of any kind, but the things I listed are all that apply to the scale itself.

    Unless I missed something in a life time of electonics work in the space and defence industries, copper cannot be magnatised at all. Nor can any other non-ferrous metal, ie, aluminum, brass, zinc, etc.

    I agree the RCBS (Ohaus actually) 1010 beam scale is as reliable as they get. Mine is as dead on today as when I pulled it out of the box some 40+ years ago. But, so is my inexpensive Herters of the same period. And the Redddings and Lymans and ECBS 505s I've used. Meaning, they all work quite well and seem to last forever if we don't abuse them.

    Think I'm safe in saying no digital scale of any kind will last as long and be as touble free as a beam scale of any reliable reloading brand if they are taken care of equally well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  11. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    boomtube,

    I agree with you about the copper itself not being magnetized... but having had a 10-10 or two over the years, they can and do get 'sticky' - and I don't mean in the area of the knives, but where the paddle gets pulled over to one side and rubs as it passes through the magnets. It may not be magnetic, but most materials (even air) have some degree of reluctance (magnetic resistance) to them - I imagine thats how its able to function as part of the dampening system in the first place. Been a while since I played with mag amps and reluctance motors :D, but the basic idea is similar.

    Monte
     
  12. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "where the paddle gets pulled over to one side and rubs as it passes through the magnets...."

    Milianuk, okay, I see what you mean...I think. But, allowing the dampening padddle (that little copper plate that moves between the magnet's poles) to RUB against anything is simple contact friction, if not blocking, and not a part of the magnetic effect at all. We shouldn't allow that contact to exist. Seems IF the paddle is rubbing it won't be because it was "pulled", it will be because we pushed it so far that it contacts the body. Which would be the user's fault, not the scale's!



    "It may not be magnetic, but most materials (even air) have some degree of reluctance (magnetic resistance)...thats how its able to function as part of the dampening system in the first place."

    I disagree. Reluctance effects rise from internal eddy currents that occur when a conductive object (that little copper plate on the beam again) passes through a magnetic field. And, that effect ONLY exists while the beam is moving, it has zero effect on the scale when the beam stops. No non-conductive material (that is, no insulator), including air, can develop such eddy counter currents, so no counter field can occur. Meaning no insulator of any kind can experience any reluctance effect when moving through a magnetic field. ???


    Nor is static a scale problem, as some have suggested. Our scales are made of materials that don't develop (significant) static charges. And the nature of the materials does make a difference; we can easily produce a static charge on a dry sheet of paper but we cannot produce a static charge on a sheet of damp paper because wet paper is a poor insulator. Nor can we produce any relivant static charge on the beam's components, including the pan.


    Not that all this may matter to anyone but you and me! I only take the time to discuss these things because I see on the net that some folks believe magnets have some strange and magic effects that detract from the accuracy or sensitivity of beam scales and choose to get a really quirky digital instead. That's bad choice, IMHO. :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  13. Mr Humble

    Mr Humble Active Member

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    My $.02 from age 67 is:
    This is just getting SILLY. Any good scale from a Lee on up will work fine if you RTFI.
    I've had my Redding for 40 years, loaded 10 of 1000s of rounds on it and it still tests (with test weights) 100% on. The whole anal thing about reloading is amusing. It's the "nut behind the bolt" that makes the difference. Spend your time shooting four position at unknown ranges and you'll be a lot more successful hunter than somebody who is weighing his primers, turning necks and generally exhibiting obsessive compulsive behavior.
    Go out and buy the new Gun Digest Collectors Guide and read the story by the late Col. Townsend Whelen. He was "America's Rifleman" and probably loaded 10 times the ammo any of us have and certainly killed far more game than most of us will ever see.
    Game is actually more plentiful today than when he hunted, yet he managed to be very successful because he knew how to shoot AND how to hunt. While he is often quoted as saying:"Only accurate rifles are interesting.", his standard of hunting accuracy was 1.5-3 MOA. "Minute of Elk" at any ethical hunting range is not the same as trying to win a benchrest shoot.
    Get out of the reloading room, off the benchrest and out on foot or horseback into the back country. It's a lot more rewarding!
    400 Whelen and a (gasp) slow lock time 03' with a (gasp 2) wood stock, only a 2.5X scope (gasp 3), two stage NM trigger (gasp 4) with a 350 gr "Old X" Barnes lumbering along at 2000 fps at 250 lasered yards. Took a few steps and fell over dead.
    1935 technology filled the freezer.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. montana_native

    montana_native Well-Known Member

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    If I wasn't anal retentive about reloading, I'd have to find a new hobby. :D

    I cleaned the balance and it's a little better now. I will have to see what happens.

    There is a reason I want exceptional accuracy out of my gun and it involves a huge mule deer that won't come onto our place. I will need to make a long shot to get him and I want to eliminate as many variables as I can.

    Thanks to all who replied.