Reloading scale

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Cordell, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Cordell

    Cordell Well-Known Member

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    Guys,

    I have been thinking about getting a new powder scale for some time now. I curently have a blance beam scale with a magnetic dampener. As of late its acuracy has come into question. I have not decided on a new scale yet, or if I want to stay with the blacne beam or try an electirc scale.

    I had an electirc scale 6-8 years ago and it would not keep its zero. I followed all the instructions on making sure it is out of the air flow, it had warmed up to room temp by letting it set out for 20-30 min before using it... anyway I am looking at getting a new powder scal and would like some advise on which one to get.

    I reload for hand guns and rifles (up to 100 grs of powder). Please feel free to post any informatoin you would like to pass onto me about powder scales.

    Thank you
    Cordell
     
  2. kc0pph

    kc0pph Well-Known Member

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    Never had a problem with an RCBS 10-10 scale. I heard on another post that RCBS scales are made by the same company that makes high end scales. My scale constantly gets checked with lab grade calibration weights and as long as you put the 1/10ths line in the exact right place there is never an issue.
     

  3. MTBULLET

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

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    I have used a lyman 1200 (2) for several years now, have 2 of them and have very good luck. like all scales, they have their "quirks" but very easy to work with and VERY accurate. I trimmed the drop tube on the lathe to let the extruded powders hit more in the center of the pan, and USE the little screw in button for the drop tube that comes with them now. I set my scale to drop .1 grain less than desired load then "bump" to actual weight desired. only time it "floats" is if (when!) a "kernel" of powder gets down beside scale plate, hence the little brush that comes with unit.
     
  4. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    All reloading beam scales are very fine instruments; very sensitive and accurate. Without a clue as to how much 'error' you may be seeing or what scale you're using we really don't have a lot to go on to make a serious suggestion.

    Thing is, beam scales just don't change all by themselves, that's their strong point, but they do get dirty and damaged and misadjusted. Do this:

    Gently clean the beam and its notches, the pan, pan hanger, bearings and pivot knives with a tooth brush and something like Windex.

    Use a magnifying glass to look at the pivot knives. You don't want to see burrs or nicks on the sharp edges. If you do see burrs they will have to be ground away.

    The pivot bar should be unbent - perfectly straight across and at 90 degrees to all sides of the beam.

    Place the empty pan on the hanger and adjust the left side screw foot so it's perfectly zeroed to the beam pointer. Lightly touch the pan and see if it returns to zero; repeat that several times to insure it doesnt stop on one side or the other of zero. If it does, you have damaged the pivot or bearings OR you don't have the beam properly centered between the bearings so end friction is making the beam bind.
     
  5. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    I have had a variety of scales and most have their place.

    I love my RCBS 1500 Chargemaster. It's fast, accurate, non-temperamental, and I can switch powder easily.

    -- richard
     
  6. Cordell

    Cordell Well-Known Member

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    Guys thanks for the posts they give me a good place to start.
     
  7. Loner

    Loner Well-Known Member

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    Electronic scales have problems around fluorescent lights for some reason, and balance beam scales should never be left with the beam on the scale. The vibrations in the ground, manmade and natural wear them out. It used to be included info in the instructions, don't know if it still is. Just some passing info.
     
  8. Mirage33

    Mirage33 Member

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    Well, I am probably going to take some flak but I switched to a -small and cheap- MTM electronic scale at the beginning of the year and have been extremely happy with it. The results are as advertised within .1gr. I was extremely cautious at the beginning -and still some now- and regularly check it against weights and balance scale. I reload both .45ACP and .308W and have yet to see it misbehave.
    I used my balances a lot, not always trusting (see a trend there?) my powder meter and an electronic scale really helps.
    Just my 2 cents
     
  9. Cordell

    Cordell Well-Known Member

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    Mirage33

    I have looked at that one and the Frankford Arsenal scale, more for bullests and loaded cases, had not thought about using them for a powder scale. Sounds like it is working for you.

    Maybe all i need is a second scale that will confirm my balance beam while loading to put my mind at rest.
     
  10. Mirage33

    Mirage33 Member

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    Cordell,
    Like I mentionned this morning, I have been extremely satisfied with that little scale. I don't know if I was just lucky to get a good one and at this time, I cannot find any justification (to my wife and even myself!) to get a more expensive model. It's accurate at +/- 0.1gr and never failed me to hold zero. The only "issue" I can find with it is that if I were to move the powder pan across the scale top, I would have variations. A -working- digital scale is a tremendous improvement over a balance-beam style for me as I weight my loads every 4 or 5 rounds (I know, it's probably OCD... ;-)
     
  11. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    For many years I used a Redding Master beam scale. I found frequent need to clean it up as mentioned above. But it was too slow to suite me. I bought a Hornady GS 350 electronic scale, and have never looked back. It is very fast, compact, and easily packs for transport to the range for load development. Comes with check weight and is very accurate. Runs on two AA batteries, so is not subject to florescent lights, static, etc. Hornady discontinued the GS 350 two years ago, replaced it with a similar scale identified as GS 1500. Quite a bargain at $34.95.

    PS - I often drop the same powder charge on both scales to compare them, and the Hornady is always within 1/10th grain of the Redding beam scale.
     
  12. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    don't even own a beam scale anymore. Have not owned one for a long time now. I own three PACTs, and use one under flouresent lights all the time. I just turn it on and let it acclimate to the room temp for about fifteen minutes. Then calibrate it and goto work. I have a battery powered BBK that I take to the range with me, and works well. I now have the older PACT electronic powder dispenser setting in the box waiting for me to have it upgraded. (got it for the right price, and already had the scale new in the box anyway). I like the made in USA sticker in it.
    gary
     
  13. Cordell

    Cordell Well-Known Member

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    I think I will have to look at more digital scales. It would be nice to have a second scale as a "check" while loading just to put my mind at ease. Just one more step to make accurate loads. I have a Hornady balance beam that was purchased 12 or 13 years back, I have taken great care of it. It does get cleaned with a tooth brush and the pan gets cleaned too. The pivot gets cleaned and maintained also. I have marked my bench so it goes in the same place every time so I remove as many variables as I can. I definitely have some OCD and paranoia ;).



    I will have to get serious after Christmas and make a decision about the digital scale. And in the mean time I will looking into all the ones you guys have mentioned. Thanks for the help and advise.
     
  14. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    make sure the spot you place the scale in is dead level! I had a 5/8" thick steel plate with three 1/4-28 setscrews in it to level the plate.
    gary