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Recommended Digital Scales

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by wavo, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. wavo

    wavo Portland Member

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    Hello all.
    I'm starting in my reloading adventure and have nearly everything that I need to get going. The RCBS kit I bought came with a beam scale and I definitely plan on using it, but I was wondering if anyone could recommend a quality digital scale. I know how I operate and I know that will eventually want a digital scale alongside the balance beam.
    I've been looking at scales and they range in price and size. From all my reading it seems the cheaper ones are really not that great, but I also don't want to spend $300....Does anyone have an experience with a good digital scale? What do you like?
     
  2. Arkitek

    Arkitek Historic Downtown Roseburg Oregon Member

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    Hey Wavo...I started pushing bullets today...I'm liking it!
    I've been getting what I need by buying individual components looking for sales...I wanted to try out a digital scale, so I picked this one up...it was on sale back on the 20th for about $24.00
    http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...&parentType=index&indexId=cat20853&hasJS=true

    I like it, but what do I know...I'm new at it. ;)
    Its small and runs on batteries...comes with 20g zero weight, batteries and scoops. Figured since it was inexpensive I couldnt go wrong...for now I like it!
    Keep in touch...R
     
  3. JohnH

    JohnH Milwaukie Active Member

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    R, what a great deal!

    It's amazing how inexpensive certain items can get over time.
    That looks a lot like the little Lyman I bought awhile back for over $100.

    That should work just fine for the majority of what anyone is loading (punching holes in paper)

    I'm sure if you wanted a REALLY accurate scale for precision shooting you could spend a bit more but what a great way to get started!:thumbup:
     
  4. turq

    turq Molino,oregon Member

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    I have had my Pact for twenty years more or less.
    I think the RCBS dispendser/scale would be a great investment for someone that knows they will reload and like it for years to come.
     
  5. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I dunno. It says +/- .3 gr accuracy. That's a .6 grain variation. I wouldn't be satisfied with that. For $100 you can get one that's +/- .1, or 2 gr variation.

    Just for me, the whole point of a digital is accuracy. My Lee beam scale is accurate +/- .3, and that's why I bought the RCBS at .1.

    $.02 (+/-) :)
     
  6. RockKrawler

    RockKrawler Gresham Member

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    I have been using a PACT for several years,with little to no issues.
    Some of the things to be aware of are,they need to warm up,any breeze will effect them ( such as open door,window,fan,etc) and you need to calibrate them before use.
    I built a solid metal plate that has qa machined surface to keep the scale level on one of my benches,there is also the provision to insatll a make shift wind screen to deflect any breeze.
    Never solely rely on just a digital,keep you beam on hand to verify,as well as a good set of calibrated check weights.
    In my reloading room,i use the PACT,Dillion and a RCBS beam scale,along with several different types of powder measures,some of which i use to load by volume only.
     
  7. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I like the RCBS Chargemaster scale I have. It can be piggy-backed with their electronic powder measure, which I intend to do some day.
     
  8. elsie

    elsie Way over there on the left Well-Known Member

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    I use the RCBS 5-0-5 beam scale. I also have the RCBS digital scale. I find I prefer the beam scale because I can throw charges more quickly and accurately than on the digital scale. I think that is because I can watch the rate at which the indicator rises and slow down or stop trickling at the right time. The scale settles just in the right place almost every time and I rarely have to toss in extra (or toss back) to get it correct. The digital scale seems to take longer to settle as well.

    The procedure I use is to select a dipper that will give me an undercharge and then bring it up to the charge I want with a trickler. I've used the same procedure for both beam and digital scales. About every 10-15 charges I cross check on the other scale for consistency and to see if my scale has drifted.

    My dad has one of the automated RCBS trickler and scale combos. What I noticed is that it was considerably slower than I; had a greater variation in charges and was a pain in the butt to get adjusted. The way it worked was similar to the way I worked: it dropped powder rapidly initially until it hit a certain weight (which is adjustable) then started slowing down until it hit the stop point. We futzed around with those adjustments for the better part of two days and never really got it to a reliable point. And I could throw 2-3 charges (without using a dipper) more accurately in the time it took to throw a single. I will admit that this was quite a while ago and they may have improved the technology so it's not as variable and faster, and other folks may prefer the automatic dispensers so YMMV.

    elsie
     
  9. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I actually use the powder measure on the press for all but my hunting bullet loads. If I have 2k 5.56 rounds to load, there needs to be some automation. I stop and weigh every tenth charge, and expect them to hold +/- .1 or a .2 variation. I always use short chopped extruded or round powder for reloading now. Gives a lot more consistent drop.

    I also make sure the powder is well settled into the powder measure and throw a few and toss them back before starting. I never let the measure get low on powder.
     
  10. CrossHairs

    CrossHairs Tigard Active Member

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    Picked up a the RCBS 1500 digital scale last week and got to use it in earnest yesterday.

    It's pretty quick to settle and it looks like it and my 5-0-5 beam scale are pretty much on the same page.....although the beam reads about one line (the painted line on the pointer) thickness low (consistently) compared to the digital.

    Did not try trickling with it, but I suspect it might work fine for that, although a previous poster made a comment I like, about watching the beam rise and anticipating it.

    Where it was really useful was in weighing brass, really fast.....try that on a beam scale and it takes all day.
     
  11. blacktailsniper

    blacktailsniper Dallas,OR New Member

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    My group size shrunk considerably when I quit using my RCBS 1500 and just used my 10-10. The digitals allways seem to drift a little, especially under florescent lighting. IMHO you just can't beat a good beam scale for PRECISION HANDLOADING.;)
     
  12. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Northern Idaho Member

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    I have seldom heard a bad review about the Dillon D-Terminator scale. It is said that they are much less sensitive to the breeze effect. I will be purchasing one in the near future and will confirm or deny this claim.
     
  13. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to get back to this thread. It kinda died for a while. After this thread started a couple of friends and I got together will all of our combined scales of different brands and types.

    I found out that it's my RCBS digital scale that's most often off, and my cheapy Lee "Safety Powder Scale" beam scale that's consistent. I figured if they differed, the RCBS would be correct but that's not the case.

    All of the beam scales were in agreement no matter the brand, and all of the digital scales wandered no matter the brand.

    We all went home deciding to stick with the beam scales for powder.

    I agree that the digital would be good enough for weighing brass... Things like that.

    $.02
     
  14. colt44

    colt44 La pine Member

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    If you want to find out how accuate a scales are just take the same powder charge and weight it 10 seperate times.. I have been a commercial loader for about twenty five years and I wouldn't give you a dollar for almost every beam scale out there the one exception is the Ohas triple beam scale... I depend on Dillon digital scales and found them to be far better than almost any of the others..
     
  15. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    I quick question for any beam-scalers out there: my 5-0-5 scale's adjustment knob is dialed out as far as it can go, in order to zero my scale I actually need a shim. Is that fixable?
     
  16. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Weigh it 10 separate times on the same scale? I don't get that part. If the scale is off and you get the same wrong reading each time?

    I'm lost here.
     
  17. colt44

    colt44 La pine Member

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    No the same charge does not weigh the same amount 10 times..
     
  18. colt44

    colt44 La pine Member

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    inside under the powder pan is very small shot that balances your scales you need to add or subtract some of that shot. There is a screw under the powder pan that you remove CARFULLY and inside is the shot and that is what balances the 505 scales and allows you on a flat surface to read zero...
     
  19. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    So if you weigh the same powder charge ten times on the scales you'll get ten different readings, even though it still weighs the same?

    That's what actually happens to me with digital scales, and is why I don't use them, but I can't imagine that's what you're saying since you recommend them?
     
  20. wavo

    wavo Portland Member

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    Do you have the removable brass dish in the pan? You need this to balance it. I was having the same problem, look at my thread here:


    http://www.northwestfirearms.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21341