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What to use for my powder scale?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by BillyDa59, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. BillyDa59

    BillyDa59 King County, WA Member

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    So I'm cobbling together a reloading setup for myself finally, and I have just about everything I need except for a powder scale.

    My first instinct was to go for an RCBS 502 or 505 but I've been reading around about them, and it seems that only older ones are worth a damn. I'm reading a lot of negative reviews about the newer RCBS scales and the quality of their manufacture.

    Back when I was doing school I remember the science scales that the schools had could measure out chemicals with amazing precision, and so I thought about maybe getting an electronic scale. However, I've also read lots of negative reviews about electronic reloading scales. Zeroing issues seem rampant, and a lot of customers seem to get totally unusable scales when they order through online retailers.

    Then I thought about just getting a high-end science scale that could measure in grains. I shuddered when I saw the prices. So that's a no-go.

    Anyways. The issue here is that everything seems to be an absolute crap shoot in terms of quality. So can anyone recommend a brand that they've recently bought that seems to do right?

    Any other recommendations as to what I should do to measure out powder reliably?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    If you go electronic don't go cheap.
     
  3. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    This scale is made of mostly US made components. This could be an important selling point to many. I have no idea of the quality of the product, though.
    http://www.berrysmfg.com/product-i14802-c107-g8-b0-p0-Winstead_Peters_ACC_2000_Electronic_Scale.aspx

    I got this one a couple of years ago. At $29 you'd think is is just cheap and pretty much useless, so when I started experiencing issues with it I wasn't too disappointed. Then I realized my gripes are not unique but actually common to electronic scales in general. After a long learning curve I just can't live w/o my temperamental electronic scale.
    Electronic Powder Scale $29 - Digital reloading scale for hand loaders and reloaders
     
  4. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Take a look at the Dillon Scales. A lot of precision and competition shooters use them and they DO work. There are others made for the various trades that require weighing small amounts but for reloading their ultra sensitivity can drive one nuts waiting for them to settle down.

    I'm using an RCBS that's integrated into a Powder Dispenser that is accurate to .1 grain. Checks on an older RCBS 5-0-5 as well as with test weights shows that it is consistently on the money and my resulting reloads are extremely accurate. As a stand alone the RCBS 750 is pricey. If I were to get a standalone electronic today I'd order the Dillon.
     
  5. Lunatic Carcass

    Lunatic Carcass Portland Metro New Member

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    The RCBS 502 scale works just fine. In fact most magnetic powder scales are highly accurate and easier to use then just about anything else. People who say the new RCBS scales aren't worth a crap are just comparing the build quality to the old ones. In order to still maintain high quality at a fair price against the cheaper brands they had to cut costs where it did not affect the performance of the product. Mine has fallen down, been kicked, dropped and it still centers out at zero and is as accurate as it was the first day I got it. If it says RCBS on it or Oehler (who makes the scales), you can trust it.
     
  6. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    If it says RCBS on it or Oehler (who makes the scales), you can trust it.

    He meant to say "Ohaus".

    First scale I ever used was my father's old "Herter's" with an oil reservoir/paddle dampener. It was always accurate when checked with test weights. (THESE ARE ESSENTIAL!!! for any scale)

    The RCBS/Ohaus balance beams (even the lowly 505) are very accurate. As you go up the "scale" in price, you gain convenience of adjustment, but really no accuracy. A recent disappointment was experienced by a buddy new to reloading who (against my advice) bought the Lee economical "everything you need to reload!" set up. The scale included there took us a half hour to figure out its readings. I guess with time, this cheap scale would do okay, but don't even sniff a beer before operating it.

    Then later I got for myself a good RCBS (Ohaus) 510. Served well for years. When I decided I had money burning a hole in my pocket, I went for the "Cadillac" 304 Dial beam balance. Made me feel like I was back in high school as a chemistry lab assistant.

    The current workhorse is the electronic RCBS scale, with the electronic measure (mine are the early version, seperate units, who "talk" to each other thru an electric eye). The PACT version is identical, save coloring and labeling. Newer versions are a combined unit, but I reguarly like to be able to use just the scale and trickler, partnered with my Uniflow measure: so the scale being seperate is nice. The absolute "judge" in the form of the dial beam balance 304 is still broken out for work of extreme precision where time is of no essence. (Plus, I kinda still like watching that needle settle at zero.) It also serves to periodically allay my (sometimes well-founded) fears as to electricity being witchcraft and not to be trusted.
     
  7. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    electricity is witchcraft? spit you are a twisted individual. i like that in a guy.
     
  8. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Call me a Luddite, but enough wiring jobs on cars grants me the certainty that nothing written in books about electricity is to be taken as hard infallible information.

    Oh, and this for Billy: If you don't have a good trickler (RCBS, Redding, or the like), you will find out you very definitely need one. (As a Luddite, I struggled with pointy teaspoons for years: Old Hands at reloading are laughing at themselves too right now.)
     
  9. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    :laugh::laugh::laugh:
     
  10. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    WAIT! I realize now my folly! I should have never invested in a trickler! Advanced age allows the pointy teaspoon to provide yeoman service combined with trembling of the extremities.
     
  11. ripcity

    ripcity Milwaukie Active Member

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    My rcbs 10 10 scale works great. I went to the store to buy a 505 but the 10 10 seemed better built (not saying the 505 isn't a quality scale) but I liked how heavy the 10 10 is. It also has a dial for tenths instead of a thin piece of metal that you move in different slots in the scale. Just my .02.
     
    HotRod61 and (deleted member) like this.
  12. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    It's not the electricity one should fear. It's the smoke. Electrical devices work just fine as long as you can keep the smoke contained inside them. Once the smoke leaks out it's all over.:wow::yes::rofl1:
     
  13. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever noticed that Automotive Manual Wiring Diagrams are made by people with twisted minds? When following a circuit, and you get to a note "Continued on next page", either it doesn't exist on the next page or there is no next page?
     
  14. HotRod61

    HotRod61 Happy Valley Active Member

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    I read the reviews on the 505 and 502, wasn't impressed with them, but did like the RCBS 1010. I do see a electronic powder dispenser in my future.

    HotRod
     
  15. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    No matter what scale you get invest in a good set of check-weights. That will tell you if your scale is accurate.
     
    deadshot2 and (deleted member) like this.
  16. Grand Poo Bah

    Grand Poo Bah Eugene, OR New Member

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    I just guess and use tweezers to count the grains
     
  17. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Be sure and use Varget then. The granules are large and heavy. I'd sure hate to do this with something like AA2230 or W-231;)
     
  18. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Sherwood Forest Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Just saw a $20 digital at MidwayUS.com..
     
  19. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Good luck. About all this type is good for is mixing epoxy for bedding jobs. Splurge and spend twice that. Then you'll get a scale that will be reasonably accurate.
     
  20. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    If you can't dip a case into a cut-off Dr. Pepper can full of powder and tell by looking if there's enough powder in there, you either need new glasses or more practice. :yes: :winner: :yes: :winner: