Need some advice on picking a scale.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by SavageHunter11, Mar 15, 2019.


Help Support Long Range Hunting by donating:


  1. SavageHunter11

    SavageHunter11 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    193
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    I'm piecing together a reloading kit and I have everything I need except a scale. I don't participate in competitions of any sorts anymore and mainly shoot for hunting or leisure but the gun club I joined does do a summer league at 300 yards I might participate in this summer. I'm planning to purchase my scale from Cabela's as I have a $100 gift card that's been laying around for a year and they are only a 50 minute drive from me. I'd like to keep my cost at or around $100 so that gives me up to $200 for a scale. I've narrowed it down to:
    • Frankford Arsenal Intelli-Dropper ($200)
    • Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series scale ($95)
    • RCBS M500 beam scale ($100)
    • RCBS Rangemaster 2000 ($140)
    • Lyman Accu-Touch 2000 ($125)
    There are other scales they sell, most cheaper or more expensive than these but some like the Hornady digital scale had horrible reviews and decided to leave them off my list. Any of these scales worth buying and if they are what would serve me best? All thoughts and opinions welcomed. Thank you.
     
  2. SilverbulletMAG

    SilverbulletMAG Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    202
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2018
  3. SavageHunter11

    SavageHunter11 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    193
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    At $389 at Cabelas I might stray away from the ChargeMaster Lite unless I get told all the other options are junk. Also, the Frankford Arsenal Intellidropper is essentially the same as the ChargeMaster Lite but with a few extra features but it's new for 2019 with little information or reviews on it. Everything else from Frankford seems to be favorably reviewed though and so I added it to the list.
     
  4. SilverbulletMAG

    SilverbulletMAG Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    202
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2018
    $389!? Yeah that's ridiculous. Think I picked mine up on sale around $225 with a rebate and free shipping. I like it a lot but wouldn't pay that price either...
     
  5. SavageHunter11

    SavageHunter11 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    193
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    My fault, that was the regular Chargemaster, the lite is $289
     
    SMK1000plus likes this.
  6. Frog4aday

    Frog4aday Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    109
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Since you are just getting started, I'm going to suggest/recommend the RCBS M500 beam scale ($100). A MECHANICAL scale is a must. As you get 'deeper' into reloading, then a digital scale will be a nice addition, BUT you still want that mechanical scale. Why? Sometimes those electronic/digital products act flaky and it might just be a weak battery or a cat or dog hair on the platen or a slight breeze in the room because you left the ceiling fan on, but it can be a PIA. That's where having a MECHANICAL scale to double check things is a 'must'. So start with the RCBS M500. It will work great. Easy to 'trickle charge' into it. And RCBS has great customer service (in my experience) which is nice.

    If you want something to go with the scale, I suggest this:
    RCBS® Powder Trickler-2
     
  7. Aldon

    Aldon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    773
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    You should start with a beam scale in my opinion.

    I would watch eBay and you can eventually get an older one for 30-40 bucks or less. Use the gift card to buy primers and powder.

    Pick up a small weight to check the beam for accuracy occasionally.
     
  8. Bstick

    Bstick Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    183
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    You will be there for days trying to load 50 rounds on a beam scale.

    I would pony up the extra cash for a charge master lite. It will do everything you want it to do and do it quickly.
     
  9. dmj

    dmj Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    627
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    I agree a beam scales is the best to start with. Then pick up an electronic one. The electronic ones can be flakey at times. I know that I'm always checking things with my beam scales just to make sure everything is still alright. Besides having 2 scales is never a bad thing, helps keep everything on the up and up. Your scales and you. I know when I was younger all we had was a beam scales. But my Dad's rule was when you were set up and ready to charge your brass with powder, you had to have someone come and double check everything to help ensure that everything was correct.
     
    Black Hat likes this.
  10. SavageHunter11

    SavageHunter11 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    193
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    After reading how much stuff can affect a digital scale I was wondering if starting with a mechanical would be a good idea. Full disclosure I do have the cheaper Lee's Precision beam scale that comes in the 50th Anniversary kit I bought. Is that a sufficient back up or would you go with the M500 still?
     
  11. ar10ar15man

    ar10ar15man Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    575
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    i have three, a beam, a chargemaster lite, and a high end A&D fx120i
    the 120i is .02 with magnetic dampening...$500 to 750
    competition loads only, it is fed by the lite
    the chagremaster lite can be had for around $200 so pass on the azzes at cabelas and their phony 100 off bs. the lite is AWESOME for all but top end competition
    a beam scale use to be required, today not so much.
    beam scales are still plus or minus 0.1
    stay away from $100 electronic scales. step functions suck.
    buy a LITE, find someone with a .00 scale and calibrate your 2 50.00 gram cal weights to 50.00, total 100.00. then the lite cal works great.
    you will not regret spending just a little over your budget.
     
    SMK1000plus and barefoot1 like this.
  12. Bstick

    Bstick Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    183
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    If you don’t want a chargemaster lite, order a Gempro 250. Use your Lee powder drop and pick up a trickier.
     
    SMK1000plus, tbrice23 and Barrelnut like this.
  13. ar10ar15man

    ar10ar15man Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    575
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    i like my gempro250 BUT i see very few good reviews.
    mine works, appears to be an exception.
    lots of zeroing, but good weight in the end.
     
    SMK1000plus likes this.
  14. Bstick

    Bstick Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    183
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    It will drift when their is dirty electricity or winds.

    You can get a little reactor clamp thing to clean the electricity up going to the scale and it works flawless then. I don’t remember the exact name for them.
     
    SMK1000plus and barefoot1 like this.