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I'm starting reloading again and once unpacked my boxes discovered that my scale was no longer usable. Reading all the comments on the various sites associated with each electronic scale seems like they all suffer from drift or break after a relatively short time. Curious what you would recommend or use? I would like to keep the cost around $100. Thanks
 

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I like the RCBS scales...Used the same 5-0-5 scale for 32 years. It's still accurate. Given the age I check it periodically with scale weights.

There are a number of good scales available...100 bucks?...If it were me I'd buy new and plan on spending a little more money.

I have an electronic scale and rarely use it for measuring powder...Instead I use it to check the weight of my cast bullets before sizing them. A perfect cast but light bullet gets set aside because it contains a bubble or void.
 

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My favorite scale is the RCBS RC 130. It's designed specifically for weighing powder charges. Magnetically dampened, triple poise with agate bearings and it's accurate. I'm not a fan of digitals. ;)
 

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Yeah, Electronical scales are not very accurate, compared to a balance beam.
IF I need to weigh, I use my Lee beam. Otherwise I'm all volume.
 

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I have had a Pacific scale for years.
It's simple and accurate. I don't know what model it is since I bought it around 1976.
It just says Pacific M.
Great scale. Good luck.
 

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I have used a Lyman beam scale for over 50 years .It's still is accurate and is what I like using .Electronic scales look nice but why change now.
 

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I just got a electric scale for double checking my ballance beam after having all sorts of fits from my 5-0-5, and near as i can tell it weighs just the same as the other scale. I have to say for comparing bullets it is priceless, as well as setting my powder measure. I still prefer to trickle rifle charges into the BB.

I have a Hornady 1000 (? I think?) that comes with check/calibration weight and pan for around $40, and it has done well for me so far. I also like that it takes AAA batteries, not some gosh-awful coin deal i have to replace.
 

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I have an RCBS electronic that I paid around $130 for.

I'm not sure if I'm expecting too much but it won't hold zero for more than a few minutes. You can just watch it as it slips off a .1 or .2.

But if you're measuring 25gn for rifle then that's 1% so not such a big deal. However if you're doing pistol at maybe 6gn it's a bit more significant.

I reload for practice ammo and not sub-moa so a little wobble is ok with me.

So what I do is: (and I know this may sound like folklore)

1) use the battery and not the 120V cord - I read this and found it true that floresent lights mess it up.
2) Let it warm up
3) Calilbrate it every time at startup
4) use it to get my powder measure setup
5) Re-check zero to make sure it hasn't wander off too far.

I called RCBS about the wandering when I first got it and the lady said to wipe it down with a dryer sheet.
 

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I guess I'm kind of a "scale freak" because I own 5 of them ... 3 balance beams and two digitals.

Here's the Fox News Report (fair and balanced) on scales:

Balance Beam type:

Lee scales work well but only have a 100 gr capacity so they are pretty much just a powder scale. Most current brands of balance beam scales are actually made by Ohaus ... just different colors and slightly different styles for different brands. This includes Hornady, Lyman, RCBS, Dillon, and a few others. They all work pretty much the same and are typically accurate to .1 grains at the low end of the scale (up to 10 grains) and have a 510 grain capacity. Accuracy at the high end can be as much as a couple grains off but the percent of error is still very low (worst case .4%). Because the "saw teeth" are never cut perfect, it is common for these scales to not track perfect across the usable range, however they are plenty accurate for reloading needs.

Modern balance beam scales are magnetically dampened so the beam will not keep see-sawing. This speeds up the weighing process but often times the pointer will resist staying at zero. This is very noticeable when the scale is zeroed and you touch the balance beam. Seems the pointer never returns to the same exact spot, making accuracy off a little at the low end. So ... a good feature countered by an undesirable side affect ... but it can be cured.

With all balance beam scales, you must add the poise weights to get the actual weight (100s, 10s, units, and tenths). Not that complicated but you can make mistakes ... putting the poise weight on 30 instead of 20, or just a math error can get you in big trouble.

Balance beam scales are not very fussy about air movement or vibrations. They do not react to outside interference such as fluorescent lights, wireless phones, etc. They also deal with trickle charging very well and are not very fragile. These scales can do "tare" weighing but it is very time consuming.

Digital Scales:

Probably the best feature of a digital scale is the display directly indicates the weight ... no math or opportunity for poise weight errors. These scales can be much more accurate than a balance beam, however they are way more sensitive to air movement and vibrations. They are very fragile ... one drop on the floor usually destroys the load cell. Most digital scales will track exceptionally well across the usable range. Those scales made specifically for reloading will be accurate to .1 grains from 0 to 700 grains or more. Most come with one or two calibration weights and are "user calibrated" plus you can use the calibration weights for a quick test.

Digital scales are very temperature sensitive. Before they will stabilize, they must be acclimated to the reloading room temperature for at least a half an hour. They are also sensitive to outside electrical interference ...fluorescent lights too close, a wireless phone, or an electric motor close by can drive them nuts. Even sound vibrations from a speaker can make them unstable. Some work with batteries ... some work with a power supply that plugs into house current. When used with batteries, a low battery will cause erratic operation ... often going into error. Some of the better models have a low battery indicator and an auto shutoff. Some brands/models do not respond well to trickling and will go into error frequently while other brands/models work exceptionally well with trickling. Nearly all digital scales will weigh in grams or grains and all will do "tare" weighing very easily, both being excellent features.

Some examples .... my RCBS 750 does not work for trickling (identical to a Pact BBK II). It continuously goes into error when more powder is added. I have a Mack 20 that does respond exceptionally well to trickling. It is actually a "gem" scale and has all sorts of features not found on normal reloading scales, plus it cost less. The Mack 20 is accurate to .02 grains ... 5 times more accurate than reloading scales, however it is also way more sensitive to air movement and vibrations, in fact too much so. If I had it to do over again, I would buy the Mack 100 ... same features except it is accurate to .1 grains and will weigh up to 1500 grains. Click on this link: Jennings Mack 100

My oldest balance beam is an Ohaus 5-0-5. I bought this scale about 45 years ago and it is just as accurate as when new. The only thing I don't like about it is ... the main poise weight saw teeth are in 5 grain increments and the units/tenths only goes up to 5 grains. It has been retired for many years. About 25 years ago I bought a RCBS 1010 and really liked the single poise weight in 10 grain increments with a dial for units and tenths. I also acquired a RCBS 510 with the same units/tenths dial and single poise weight. All of these scales are made by Ohaus.

When I weigh a batch of bullets, I find the RCBS 750 digital is the fastest and easiest to use because I use the tare feature. I keep the RCBS 1010 by my Rockchucker and the 510 by my Dillon RL550. For trickling or precision weighing, I normally use the Mack 20 but the RCBS 510 or the RCBS 1010 also work very well ... just not quite as accurate. I modified the RCBS 510 scale by installing a small electric motor, one AA battery, and a switch. When I switch the motor on, it vibrates the beam just enough where the pointer zeros perfect ... no magnetic holding. If I was forced to have only one scale, it would probably be the RCBS 1010 because it has a nice case, and double the weight capacity. If I was forced to get rid of one of them, it would be the RCBS 750 digital because it won't trickle charge. Meanwhile, I enjoy using all of them for different things.
 

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I use the RCBS 1500, coupled with the dispenser; no complaints...
 

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Until model1911 posted, I forgot about my 6th scale ... a 1970s vintage "AMT Auto Scale". This is an automatic powder dispensing device ... an older mechanical version of the newer digital dispensers. It has an Ohaus 510 scale built in. Works perfect for rifle loads but not so well with light charges for handgun loads. Set the poise weight and dial for the desired charge weight, push the green button, and viola ... a precision charge is dispensed.

 

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Yeah, Electronical scales are not very accurate, compared to a balance beam.
IF I need to weigh, I use my Lee beam. Otherwise I'm all volume.
I disagree, get a decent quality digital and calibration weight to keep it accurate. There will be virtually no difference between it and a good quality balance, which you will need to calibrate also.
A digital may even be better at differentiating the difference between 30.037 and 30.041 than a beam. :)
 

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A digital may even be better at differentiating the difference between 30.037 and 30.041 than a beam. :)
I agree, for THAT it may. But will it also get your powder company to give you a written BD guarantee that tight?:D:D

It is to each his own indeed... As long as he isn't using a $19.99 scale:D
 

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Darkker, My RCBS 750 Digital came with two calibration weights .. a 20 gram and a 30 gram. When you calibrate the scale, you start at zero grams, then the 20 gram, next the 30 gram, and finally both the 20 & 30 (50 grams). This procedure calibrates the scale across the entire range from zero to 50 grams (0~771.75 grains). The display can be switched from grams to grains with the push of a button. I always test the RCBS 750 before each reloading session and calibrate it after changing batteries ... takes just a few minutes.

I bought a set of precision check weights that are guaranteed to be within +or- .001 grams (.0153 grains). The set includes 1ea 1 gram, 2ea 2 gram, 1ea 5 gram, 2ea 10 gram, 1ea 20 gram, and 1ea 50 gram. By using combinations, you can test any unit weight from 1 gram to 100 grams (15.43 grains to 1543.5 grains in 15.43 grain increments).

When I use the check weights on the RCBS 750 digital scale, I have never found a single reading that was more than .1 grains off. My Mack 20 is even more accurate by a factor of 5 .... .02 grain resolution and +or- .02 grain accuracy. It tracks from zero to 20 grams (0~308.69 grains) and is actually more accurate that the check weights when they are added together.

None of my four Ohaus made balance beam scales (3 RCBS and 1 AMT) can come close to tracking across the usable weight range compared to either of my digitals. All balanced beam scales have places in the poise weight saw tooth notches that aren't just perfect so on mid-range settings, the scale may measure as much as a full grain high or low. At the high end (500 grains) they can be off as much as two full grains. If you do the math, this is only an error rate of (2/500=.004) or .4% ... which is plenty accurate for any powder charge or bullet weight but not nearly as accurate as either of my digital scales.

So my conclusion is .... digitals are more accurate than balance beams as long as they are calibrated. Balance beams are plenty accurate for any reloading task. I do agree ... the $19.95 cheapies may not be as accurate, however I have never tested them.

???What's a "written BD guarantee that tight"????
 

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Lowegan,

My gripe with digitals is/was directed at the cheap pocket sized stuff.
"BD" is bulk density of a powder. It is now rare that a company will let slip, the specified tolerances. But if you kept your OLD Winchester manuals, or deal with Western Powders enough; 10% swings are more common than the powder companies would like you to believe.
Allowable variance of 5-10% energy(and corresponding Burning rate change), and we are supposed to think a few thousandths of a grain matter?

Part of the reason why I load by volume.
 

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I feel old and antiquated...Using a 5-0-5 scale and trickling up to the mark. I've used it for such a long time it's like a old friend. So it's not the best aye...suppose I could upgrade to an Ohaus. or at least something newer.
 

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Call me old fashioned but I just don't trust the idea of batteries having a say in my powder weight. Recently had a blood pressure gage tell me my BP was through the roof. Thought to put in fresh batteries in the gage and by gosh I was back to normal. Or at least to what I pass for normal these days. Wonder if I could somehow check my BP on a balance beam, hummmm! Charlie
 
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