Powder scale or e-scale? that is the question

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by RustyRick, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. RustyRick

    RustyRick Well-Known Member

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    I'm new to the idea of long range shooting but it fits my hips and knees. :)

    After around a 10 yr absence to reloading I just re-equipped myself and am excited at the new advancements in technology.

    Questions: You loaders that take this seriously are you content and confident in the electronic powder scales and their inherent +/- load variations?

    How many grains between load sizes is significant? 1/2 grain increments when fine tuning your tack drives, or less?
     
  2. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    The electronic scales are the way to go. Tied into your powder dispenser better yet.
     

  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I like and use both for different reasons.

    The beam scales are very accurate but they are slower than the electronic scales. I use the beam scale
    when I an loading precision ammo or working up loads to make sure the loads are identical.

    The Electronic scales are very fast and work well for weighing brass, bullets and loading for bulk
    shooting at the range and distance is under 300 yards.

    I also use the beam scales to check the electronic scales (They never match exactly) so after I have a charge that Is perfect on the beam scale I place it on the electronic scale to transfer the weight so
    I can duplicate the load on the electronic scales.

    Just the way I re-load.

    So I would recommend buying a "GOOD" beam scale first and then later buy an electronic scale.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  4. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    It occurs to me maybe my problem is never having used a "GOOD" beam scale. Which ones do you like, and what if any features do you feel are essential?
     
  5. stvnbrg

    stvnbrg Active Member

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    there is no doubt that high end electronic scaled are very very accurate. Personally I use both a beam, and an electronic together. I weigh to a close weight with the electronic, then transfer to the beam, which I KNOW is always 100% accurate. The electronic scale cuts a ton of time off. I can throw one complete charge in around 15-20 seconds maybe. Perhaps im just old school but I just cant seem to trust electronics completely.
     
  6. newmexkid

    newmexkid Well-Known Member

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    I don't care about speed,(when reloading)) so my RCBS 505 has been a long partner. I tried the electronic scale maybe 15 years ago and just couldn't trust it. I'm sure they are probably much better nowadays. but, reloading is my, "me time" and I'm in no hurry.
     
  7. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    +1, exactly what I do/use
     
  8. Daveinjax

    Daveinjax Well-Known Member

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    I started with a beam scale then went through 3 electronic scales and now I'm back to a beam scale. I bought an old lyman m5 and sent it to scott parker for tuning. I know that my loads are consistent now. No more scale drift due to my neighbors dryer kicking on or whatever makes it drift. My electronic rcbs picked up a whole grain one night. I had to break down everything I loaded . That combined with them going bad cured me. I live in an old section of town and we get power surges and all sorts of electrical problems. It has killed several freezers over the years also.
    An older pre Mexican rcbs 10 10 , lyman m5 , ohaus 1005 is your best bet. Gavity always works.
     
  9. RustyRick

    RustyRick Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the response ya'll. I used the RCBS 1010 for a lot of years and loved it.

    However, I think that unless your disciplined to make sure the beam is bouncing equally above and below the center or zero line it will have as much spread as any e-scale. Just cause it's off bottom doesn't mean your on target.

    My second question was how much tolerance might you allow in powder weight when working up load recipes? Is say .2 acceptable? Is that a significant difference to through MV hence accuracy out?
     
  10. lloydsmale

    lloydsmale Well-Known Member

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    I agree with rusty rick. Lots can effect the accuracy of beam scales too. How many check the accuracy of there beam scales with check weights? If you calibrate your electronic scale EVERY time before you load you will about eliminate any drift problems. Look at your instructions. I dont think any electronic scale instructions dont tell you to calibrate before use. I also agree that a .1 or two means nothing in a rlfle case when it comes to accuracy. Bench rest shooters for years measure there charge by volume not by weight and they shot pretty darned good. Ive been loading for near 40 years. A bit better then half of that with beam scales. I bought my first electronic which was a pact close to twenty years ago and its still working great and my beam scales have been given away except for one lonely scale collecting dust just waiting for a day when theres a power outage and i just have to load. People said auto transmitions in cars would never catch on and even that electricity and telephones were gimmics. Im for any quality product that can save me time loading. I load to shoot, i dont shoot to load.
     
  11. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    First. All scales can be off and you should check them with the weights furnished as often as you can.

    Some beam scales can drift off due to the dampening system and should be checked.

    When I first bought an electronic scale it was off of my beam scale buy over one grain so I made a set of weights for the exact load on my beam scale for the rifle I shot a lot. it varied to dead own to .3 or
    .4/10 of a grain so I just thought I Had a bum scale and bought another. It was very consistent but
    it also read different than my beam scale so that is why after three or fore E scales I work up the load on my
    beam scale and sometimes zero the E scale and dump the beam scale charge on the E scale
    to see what it says. this new weight is entered in my loading notes as the E scale weight and it works
    the same just a different weight number.

    The reason I do this is that in some circumstances a 1 grain difference can totally change the consistency of a load.

    Both scales work good, as load as you except the fact that they normally wont agree with each other.

    I have some pet loads that are over 50 years old and when they change it is normally the powder batch
    number and adjustments have to be made so I use the beam scale as the bench Mark.

    And to answer your other question-I trickle each load that has to be accurate to zero 10ths. and measuring
    by volume if done right is very accurate but when I try to make every component as
    close to the same as possible it gives me confidence (It probably doesn't make that much difference
    but I do it anyway).

    J E CUSTOM
     
  12. lloydsmale

    lloydsmale Well-Known Member

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    You bring up a good point about beam scales and there dampening systems. I hear people all the time badmouth an electronic scale and find out there using a low priced beam scale and in some cases even the plastic lee junk and somehow got it in there mind that there scale is more reliable then a 100 dollar electronic. There is some real nice top end scales from rcbs and others but a good beam scale will set you back as much or more then a digital will and like anything you get what you pay for and theres good reason the 150 dollar rcbs scale cost 3 times what there entry level scale cost or 5 times more then a lee. I wont argue that when it comes to true precision a quality beam scale probably has it over a electronic but for loading, at least at my house, a good digital scale gets it done.
     
  13. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

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    I'm on my 2nd e-scale and I'm glad had the RCBS 10-10 as back up when the first e-scale was replaced. I'm pretty much back to using the 10-10 full time and I'll use the e-scale to check weight of powder from the 10-10 and it's real close with in 1/10 gr. Weighting bullets/cases the e-scale is faster or fully loaded rd.
     
  14. lloydsmale

    lloydsmale Well-Known Member

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    the real time saver is when is when a electronic is used with a dispensor. Id probably still use a beam scale if i wasnt using a dispensor but id hate to have load again without a dispensor scale combo. Im so hooked i bought two so if one is down i have another. To be honest though ive only used the backup once when my transformer on the pact went bad.