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RCBS 10-10 scale zeroing difficulties.

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Texfisher33, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Texfisher33

    Texfisher33 Tri-Cities, WA Active Member

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    First of all, you won't offend me if you tell me i'm an idiot and am doing something wrong. I want to learn. I finally got everything I need to reload and started my first rounds this weekend. I'm using a RCBS 10-10 beam scale and am running into some problems. I zeroed the scale and loaded 25 rounds. These are my test/work-up loads so I measured everyone of them. Today I started loading the next small batch with another powder and decided to make sure my zero was still good. When I re-zeroed it, it was off by around 0.7 grains. So, after each batch of 5 rounds I rechecked the zero and found that it changes on me. I checked and double checked to make sure everything was in order and i'm not sure what is going on. Any ideas would be appreciated.
     
  2. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills Cave Creek, Arizony Well-Known Member

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    First step for me was a set of small "check weights" but I will tell you, I gave up on the mechanical scale after I bought a replacement for my RCBS and now I use a $30 digital scale with grains in the 0.0 level
     
  3. pacific keeper

    pacific keeper North Coast New Member

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    The beam swivels on a set of crystals . Make sure that the crystals and the cups are clean and debris free . I use rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip . Repeatability is the name of the game for good reloaders and thats a good scale that should work . If nothing else call RCBS .
     
  4. Rammit

    Rammit Bothel Member

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    I gave up on the beam style as well, but I re-zero my digital rcbs about every couple weeks, and will always check it at the beginning of each session with a 100g and 20g check weight. If it is off by more then .2 grains it gets reset.
     
  5. Texfisher33

    Texfisher33 Tri-Cities, WA Active Member

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    I'll have to try cleaning it later. Really hope that helps. I'll be a little disappointed if I can't get it working better. Thanks.
     
  6. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Make sure that the surface you are working on is smooth and preferably as level as possible. The Beam Scales rely on "Level" for zeroing. The beam remains level when their is no weight on it but if the base of the scale changes position, the indicator line moves. I had this problem and finally found a piece of melamine coated particle board from an old cabinet. Used it for a scale work surface. Screwed it to my bench and shimmed it level. Scale stopped giving me fits.
     
  7. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Scales, of all varieties are very very sensitive to a number of things, beam scales must be kept clean, and free of dust, even the dust that settles in a day or two could put you off by a few tenths. Which sounds like a lot, however 1/10th of a grain is 1/70,000 of a pound. I like digital scales, but I always keep a balance around for when something seems off (even after zeroing) you should also be aware of stray air currents near your reloading bench as even a slight breeze can put your calibration off by up to several grains if you're not careful. Even moving the scale around on the bench can change the measurement, so when you're setting up to reload, put your scale down, zero it, and then don't move it until you're done, or rezero after movement. I'm hyper-anal about it, so I have a big 10x10"x1" chunk of steel that's surface ground I use to keep my scale on.
     
  8. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    There's a big discussion of this topic on another Forum.

    For some reason people seem to prefer another scale rather than just a simple set of check weights. As someone "over there" stated, "a man with two watches never knows which has the correct time".

    Check weight sets are $30. A good beam scale usually runs twice that and upward.

    The nice thing about check weights, like the RCBS set, one can create a check weight amount in increments of .5 gr all the way up to 65 grains.

    I like to check my scale, even after calibrating and zeroing, with a weight as close as possible to my desired load. For example, my "accuracy" load for .308 is 43.5 grains. I place 2) 20gr. weights, 1) 2 gr., 1) 1gr., and 1) .5 gr weight on the pan and if it doesn't read exactly 43.5 grains we start over by cleaning, calibrating, etc. Just using another scale, unless it's a lab grade balance beam scale using individual reference weights (like we used to use in Science Class) all you are proving is that the scales don't agree. Which one is right????

    Check Weights are the only accurate method without spending a small fortune for a lab grade scale that will still rely on check or reference weights.
     
  9. nrc

    nrc Oregon Member

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    +1 re: check weights.

    Digital Scales vary just as often as beam scales do; they are prone to a variety of interference.

    Nate
     
  10. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    My major gripe with beam scales is that they don't respond well to very small changes. Most consumer grade beam type scales tend to stick somewhat and in order to make sure they are registering that extra granule or two of powder you have to actually tap the pan to get the beam to swing. You then have to gauge whether the swing is equal above and below the center point or you have to wait until it stops moving. Either way it takes time. Time that a digital scale doesn't waste.
     
  11. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Where AMProd claims to be anal, I guess I'm "colon"-al. I use the digital scale mostly, but keep my fine OHAUS 304 Dial-Beam handy AND check weights. Too many times getting well into charging a batch of cases, and finding something a bit off, then trying to backtrack to find where the error began. Ditto on DeadShot's idea of a slab of surfaced countertop dedicated to scale placement. One other thing: I once had my scale placement near the edge of the bench. Scale kept fluctuating (this was the OHAUS 304). Took me most of a day to figure out the furnace vent was in that corner of the room: when the furnace would kick on, the air movement would dink with the scale. Texfisher, you can tell ME I'm an idiot.
     
  12. peter lam

    peter lam California New Member

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    I am using my digital scale for my shop it's doing work very well according to my experience now the mostly people using digital scales for there businesses and I think digital scale is easy for use and make no problem in weighing if you keep if maintain properly.
    Ntep Scale
     
  13. Lindy

    Lindy Central Ca. Member

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    Texfisher33
    The 10-10 scale has a magnetic damper system that may have attracted some metal shavings , Check this out and clean any shavings from the area where the damper
    blade moves up and down. If any shavings are in there it will possibly cause error readings.

    Good Shooting

    Lindy
     
  14. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    And if you need to check it quickly, one CC of distilled water weighs one gram, or 15.43 grains.

    If you happen to have a syringe that will measure 1cc, and some distilled water.
    Or, to reduce the chance for error, measure out 10ccs of DW, and it should weigh 154.3 grains.
    Don't use tap water. Dissolved solids have mass too.
     
  15. Janes

    Janes Enid, Oklahoma Member

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    Another way for a quick check is to weiga dollar bill. One dollar bill weighs 1 gram. I balance a lot of engines and we always show our customers how much a gram weighs. Once in a great awhile you will find a dollar bill will weigh just a little under one gram, so weight more than one.
     
  16. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    My check weights were dirt cheap. I have a 55 grain and 130 grain bullet I use as check weights. Got to use the same bullet though cause they can vary in weight by a few fractions of a grain. I agree you need check weights to use as a base line. If your scale is off by .7 grains from day to day or use to use, something is big time wrong with it.

    I've found cheap electronic scales drift way too much, so I stick with my RCBS balance beam. I am on the verge of buying a good digital scale though...getting harder to see with the balance beam.
     
  17. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Would that be a "Reagan Era" dollar bill or an "Obama Buck"? Last I looked, an Obama Buck was a lot "lighter" at the cash register. Wouldn't buy near as much:cool:

    Seriously, dollar bills make for poor weight standards. Can absorb all kinds of contaminants and if the edges wear off the weight can vary.

    If one is concerned about accuracy of the scale then invest in the real tool, test weights. Anything else is just guessing and involves a lot of assumptions.
     
  18. Janes

    Janes Enid, Oklahoma Member

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    Don't use the Obama Buck they will give you bad information. You are correct about the dollar, you need one that is pretty new and then they will very just a little, most of them will be the same. Like you said if you want very accuracy then you need to get some test weights.
     
  19. mtnman

    mtnman Wa, mtns New Member

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    I actually found this site while using google to find information on the RCBS 10-10. So props to the OP I got some questions answered and I found what looks like a pretty cool site!