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Recommend me a good scale?

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by tRidiot, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. tRidiot

    tRidiot Sharpshooter

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    I want a digital scale, I don't think I want a balance scale. Looking at reviews on Amazon, lots of them have 800-900 reviews, but even though they show 4-4.5 stars, there are a number of horror stories in the comments. Maybe a balance scale is the way to go, even though it seems like a PITA?

    I really can't spend $200-300 on a scale at the moment, honestly, but I was looking in the $50-75 range? Honestly, I've just used the Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure for the few rounds I've loaded at this point. I assumed that it would be pretty accurate, but I haven't been able to actually measure/weigh any rounds to be sure. Is this something I need to do when using this device, or is it really more something you need when you start working up custom loads and such?
     
  2. IronMLS72

    IronMLS72 Sharpshooter

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    I have heard many people complain about Hornady digital scales not being accurate but I've been using one for over a year. It works fine for me and does what I need it to.
     
  3. gl89aw

    gl89aw Sharpshooter

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    I have been using a Pacific balance/beam scale for over 40 years and it is still dead on. Normally unless you are long range bench shooting or a complete fanatic weighing every load is way overkill. I use my scale to work up loads and set the powder measure and then to check it from time to time.
     
  4. osupoke

    osupoke Sharpshooter

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    I've used the Pro Auto-Disk for a lot of pistol ammo (and some .223), and I find it's very consistent with ball powders.

    HOWEVER: I also found when I checked my charge weights that the disk cavities did not yield the charges that Lee's manual would suggest. Powder densities vary. I don't remember how much the variances were, but I remember feeling like it was fairly significant.

    I supposed you might be safe if your loads stay toward the bottom end of the range, but I personally would not be comfortable loading with any volume measure without verifying the charge weights during setup.
     
  5. Sanford

    Sanford Sharpshooter

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    Good is relative, but I've been using a little Frankford Arsenal scale for a while and it's worked well for me. Think they're about $30 from Midway, Amazon, etc.



    I haven't had the problem with trickling that the person in this video did, but most of the time I'm not looking for that level of precision. When I am I go back to the Lee balance beam scale. I like the idea of having two so I can use one as an occasional sanity check for the other.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2016
  6. tRidiot

    tRidiot Sharpshooter

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    That's one of the ones I was looking at Sanford... it's affordable, for sure. I'm not doing anything but the lowest-power loads for now, and don't expect to be titrating much for a while. Still learning the basics before I leap into the deep end.
     
  7. swampratt

    swampratt Sharpshooter

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    I have weighed and measured over 10 different powders and Not one comes close to the volume measured density that lee prints on their load paperwork.

    One big reason is lot numbers.. different lot numbers will usually have different weight to volume ratio.

    Now it is nice to get a scale to reference what your disc will be throwing.
    I started with the Lee safety powder scale and it was replaced by the 505 i now use.

    Both scales are very accurate and weigh the same load within .1gr.
    I weighed thousands of rounds on both scales. When i started i did not have a powder dispenser of any kind. So all loads got weighed.

    If you get accurate enough for you ammo with what you have now then all is good.. If you just need a scale for reference then a beam will always work .

    I do not trust a digital and some of my friends that have digital like the RCBS charge master still check the calibration against a beam scale.

    I did tweak my lee scale and my 505 to make it easier to read.
    I extended the beam reference with a long needle.. very accurate and you can now measure and see .05gr or less.
    Not that it makes a hoot.

    Here is the extended with a needle 505 beam.
    I read my loads on the shadow line on the paper. Between dots is .1gr.. My Old eyes need this to make it easier to read.

    505 001.jpg
     
  8. tRidiot

    tRidiot Sharpshooter

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    That's a nice idea. My eyes aren't bad (with contacts), but I don't think they're what they used to be, either.


    My Amazon shopping cart is getting heavy at this point. lol
     
  9. NikatKimber

    NikatKimber Moderator Staff Member

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    I use a beam AND a digital. The beam is good for trickling charges, the digital is nice once you have a powder load and are checking the throws from a meter. I don't like trickling on the digital scale.
     
  10. spddemon

    spddemon New to the site!

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    it sounds like for what you are doing a balance beam or the frankford would be fine. you mainly need one to get your powder measure dialed in and then for occasional sanity checks... I used the frankford for a while to weigh bullets. it seemed pretty accurate. it always registered calibration weights within +-.1gr

    Just remember the auto disk is really only consistent when used with ball or flake powder and it is only as consistent as you are... my auto disk would shift .4-.5gr heavy when i rotated the turret on my lee press vs just dumping powder and never moving the turret... so whatever process you use to dial it in, repeat that process every time.
     

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