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I have an rcbs 502 scale. It is brand new. I was zeroing it in today. I would move the arm a little bit to see if it would hold the zero. To my dismay it would very about a tenth of a grain every other time I moved the arm just a little bit and I did not move the scale from its positionon the workbench. It would not be too big of a deal but I am loading 38 special where a tenth of a grain it a good sized percentage of the min to Max weight of the powder charge. Is this normal or should I get another scale?

Thankyou:)
 

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I do not have an RCBS 502, but I do have a similar Lyman.

The Lyman, as received, had beam contact (dragging) with the bracket etched with the balance mark. I had to carefully pry that bracket outward to allow free beam travel.

Both the RCBS 502 and the Lyman are magnetically damped. While this does assist with helping the beam to quickly "settle", it also resists minor weight fluctuations. Other posters have pointed out that these damped balances are problematic for trickling powder because of this.

If, in your testing, you're inducing a very minor upset and expecting a return to zero ... well, it may not be in the cards for you. Try zeroing with an empty pan, remove the pan, reinsert the pan and see if you return to zero.
 

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I always load down a couple of tenths from max to allow for the deviation. If its any consolation I once paid lotsa bucks for an electronic digital scale and it wasn't all that accurate either. These things are mostly crap, just allow yourself a little leeway on the hot side and you should be fine. Be thankfull you aren't in the Yukon weighing some prospector's gold dust with that scale, you could get shot.
 

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One of my RCBS 505 scales does the same thing, also about a tenth of a grain, sometimes a little less. could be + or it could be - sometimes it is right on.
When the scale is zeroed with the pan in place the beam should be straight across and parallel with a level bench top. This is accomplished with the weight that is in the bottom of the pan hanger.
Regardless the scale should give you the same weight every time.
If you weigh something and it's 10.3 grains and nothing is disturbed it should weigh the same 10.3 every time, end of that story. If it does not something is wrong.
My beam does not rub anyplace
The beam rides on two knife edge blades that sit into two V shaped Agate bearings.
Sometimes they need to be replaced on older scales. RCBS sent me new agates and it didn't help, the scale is going back.
You/We should not have to compensate for a scale that does not return to zero.
Yes they say accurate to .1 1/10 but that is to say it will be within 1/10 of actual
weight. So if you weigh a 10.3 grain test weight and it reads 10.2 that is 1/10 off
and allowable for many scales. BUT it should weigh 10.2 all the time.
Or said a different way it should return to zero.
Your choice, send it back or live with it. mine goes back.
If I am loading 32 ACP for the wife and want 1.9 grains of powder--
I don't want 1.8 or two grains.
 

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I have a Jem pro 250 also from old will knots. about $150, very accurate to about .01 grain
.001 GRAM. Zero drifts a little on the Jem pro, not much, less than a 1/10
Thing is with the better scales and more Decimal points you wind up chasing the decimal
and I would never be without a good beam scale to keep everything honest.
A beam scale that is working properly is a pleasure to use, I also have a RCBS charge master, the third one they sent me. There not bad but don't let anyone snow you,
Checked against a beam they are off a little, but not bad. Takes about 20-25 seconds to load a rifle charge, and about 15 seconds for small pistol charges.
I like my RCBS or Redding powder dropper. they are fast and can be used with a beam to trickle up charges up.
If you are new to this reloading game, get that 502 scale up and doing what it's posed to do. RCBS has one of, if not the best Customer service in the industry. Give them a call and they will replace your scale no questions asked. They used to be made by Ohaus and RCBS would have you send the scale to them for repair ( no charge )
But now you send it to them, I think they just junk the bad ones and send out new ones. Not sure on that but that's the way it seems. No loading bench should be without a good beam scale. The mach 20 is probly a good scale, but I won't depend on a set of blinking numbers without a way to confirm it, and that's what the beam scale does. Cause the scale comes with a check weight means nothing cept that is weighs the check weight properly and it's used to calibrate the scale. It's how a scale weighs everything else, and how well it repeats its self.
Talk to enough re- loaders and you will find a very large window of acceptance-- meaning what people will accept and what they will reject also what they will make excuses for rather than admit the product they bought is crap. I guess we all live by different standards. In my world things work--or they don't work. Unfortunately in to days times most of us have a bigger pile of don't works than do works.
 

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I actually use an affordable one. The RCBS RC 135 because it is designed for weighing powder charges with a limit of 135 grains. I don't have any need to weigh bullets or loaded cartridges. I'm more concerned about accurate weighing of the powder charge. The RC 135 is a triple poise magnetically dampened scale with agate bearings and is very accurate and at a very good price as well. ;)
 
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