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Old July 21, 2006, 12:34 AM   #1
goose2w1
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Best kind of scale?

I'm looking at getting my dad a reloading setup for christmas. I'm a huge Lee fan and was looking at thier reloading kits. The problem is the scale, which i hate , and I know my dad would have a very difficult time reading. I'll buy a Lee kit and choke the scale as a loss, but whats a reasonable alternitve? I would like to go digitial for him. Any inputs will help.
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Old July 21, 2006, 09:14 AM   #2
crazylegs
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Hi Goose. I'm with you on the Lee scale. IMHO, the most worthless piece of crap I ever bought for reloading. Difficult to use and inconsistent as all get out. I've never used a digital. Many folks really like them and they seem (for the most part) to work well. I'm using a Dillon beam scale and It's been very accurate and easy to use. Any of the big re-loading names have very good beam scales and they're usually made by Ohause (a big name in scales). If you do settle on a beam scale, or digital for that matter, spring the few extra bucks and get check weights to compliment it. I think the beam scales are the best bang for the buck and a good one can be had for around 50 bucks. Hopefully, some of the gang will be around to tell you about the digital scales.
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Old July 21, 2006, 09:19 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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Digitals are easy to read but a decent beam balance is actually more accurate if you know how to use it. I got my old Lyman D7 out of storage when I started loading weighed charges for match rifle ammo. You can watch the beam swing as it approaches the set weight instead of a digital "clicking" over from tenth to tenth... and maybe beyond if you twist the trickler too hard.
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Old July 21, 2006, 09:37 AM   #4
rwilson452
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Scale stuff

I have a Lee safety scale and concur accurate but tough to read. I also have an older Dillon electronic scale accurate and fast. All electonic scales are not equal. Where a MFG offers two I would suggest the higher priced model. THe major advantage of an electonic scale is speed and ease of setup. The down side is you lose a little accuracy and they cost more. under normal useage it good enough. Yes, get a set of check weights. I think Lyman offers a set for around $25. This will allow you to check your scale near the weight you wish to measure. I have made my own check weights by cutting and fileing down used up brass. I checked these using three different scales including the Lee scale which is very accurate. IF you peruse the web sites of the major MFG you may note that some scales differ only in name in color in appearance. I suspect they are the same scale inside. My investigations tend to make me think RCBS and PACT are the best buys. Reloaders around here who have bought Lyman electonic scales have been uninpressed. For the most part in electronic scales you get what you pay for. If I were to get another Balance beam scale it would most likely be the RCBS 505.
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Old July 21, 2006, 10:28 AM   #5
Tuf Toy
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Has anyone tested any of the digital scales that can be found on ebay? It would be interesting to see how accurate a $19 digital scale can be.
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Old July 21, 2006, 10:33 AM   #6
bdarin
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I got a digital scale on ebay last year. The bidding was up to $11 and I lost it. The seller contacted me and offered to sell me a new one for $7.99! Anyway, I checked it's calibration with some weights and it's dead on. Easy to read, can zero out the tare so you're only weighing the powder, good to 1/10 grain. I recommend the digital over that impossible to use Lee any day.
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Old July 21, 2006, 12:17 PM   #7
Ruger4570
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I have both beam and digital, but, if I could have only one that I trusted it would be a beam. I use my digital a lot, but I check it against my beam scale to be 100% sure I am getting good readings.
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Old July 21, 2006, 01:33 PM   #8
amamnn
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scales

As Ruger said I have both but I use the digital (a PACT ac/dc) and used to check it with the balance beam. I no longer do that.
The PACT scale can weigh in grains and in grams, so I can easily check the density of powders I use. This is something we should all do, especially if you buy small quantities and/or from different lots. A useful by-product of this ability is that I can check the accuracy of my scale by checking the denisty of room temperature water, the standard for density measurements.
The PACT was not all that expensive, and works very well, if not allowed to stand idle for over 10 minutes and as long as I keep i on the anti-static mat--which is another safety tool we should all be using, especially now that you can get a good mat for about $10 online.
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Old July 21, 2006, 03:13 PM   #9
Tuf Toy
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I found these scales at what look like decent prices
http://www.rightonscales.com/web/reloading/
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Old July 21, 2006, 03:57 PM   #10
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I actually liked the lee, once I figured out there is a lock on the .10 gr. weight. Like any balance scale, you must zero it everytime. They are affected by temp and barametric pressure tremendously (due to metal contraction/expansion) on the micro level. They are hard to read, and if your dad has eyesight problems, I'd go w/ something else. If you are reloading pistol, digital is o.k. If you are reloading rifle, I'd stay with the balance scale. They are far more accurate. RCBS, Hornady, etc. not bad choices.
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Old July 21, 2006, 04:18 PM   #11
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If you are opting for the Lee reloading kit, you will likely find it is easier to use flake or ball powder in the Lee Perfect Powder Measure (the Perfect Powder Measure doesn't do rod powders very well). If you do decide to use flake or ball powder, you will likely only use the scale while you are setting up the load, then throw the charges and not weigh them. For most shooting, that will be sufficient. If you start shooting benchrest matches, worry about it then, you will have a lot more experience.
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Old July 21, 2006, 04:29 PM   #12
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I have a hand-me-down electronic scale (it's blue, so I think it's a Dillon - I can check later...).

It has 20 and 30 gram check weights in the box. Part of the power-on sequence is calibrating the scale (0, 20, 30, 50, 0). I check it occasionally in use and it doesnt drift much unless the temperature changes more than about 10 degrees.

I don't use the beam scale anymore.....



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Old July 21, 2006, 08:22 PM   #13
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The original Dillon Terminator is a good scale, but they switched scale makers and I don't know about their current scale? You can read something about this at RSI's web site, here. This is worth looking at if you are not familiar with digital scales as it discusses some of the issues like digit jump. RSI sells the CED Pocket Scale, which works extremely well. It's only limitation is its 500 grain capacity, which some large bullets exceed.

A little more serious (and twice as expensive) is the Acculab VIC123 scale sold by Sinclair International This is a stripped-down laboratory scale, but is a good notch above the usual shooter's scale. It resolves 0.02 grains instead of the usual 0.1 grains. It has 1850 grain (120 gram) capacity. Unlike the CED Pocket Scale, it is not intended to be portable, and indeed they recommend leaving it plugged in 24/7 so the load cell doesn't have to re-stabilize. I own both these scales and have been quite satisfied with them.

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Old July 21, 2006, 11:14 PM   #14
goose2w1
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Thanks everyone for all your replies! I think I'll throw in an RCBS scale with the Lee kit. I do own one of the "cheap" digital scales off EBAY and it works great. I was worried that I got a good one, I guess I'll throw one of those in too and let him choose. With all the posts about reloading equipment info, maybe we need to break this site down more?
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Old July 22, 2006, 12:00 AM   #15
JJB2
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i use a lee scale too and like castnblast said they MUST be zeroed every time... but all scales should be! i find mine very accurate and my lee measure is consistant too... i'm very careful about that because i use bullseye to reload .38 spl and .357magnums........ i have heard that the perfect powder measure does not work well with long extruded powders but it does just fine with the bullseye................
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Old July 22, 2006, 03:50 PM   #16
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Tiny--souds like you have the PACT scale too, although I heard somewhere that 75% of the digital scales are made in one factory............
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Old July 22, 2006, 05:13 PM   #17
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Goose, I've had a Dillon digital for years (the older model) and think it's just fine for most of my scale use - checking the output of a powder measure before running off hundreds of loads. But recently I've been doing some accuracy load workups for a 223, and find my (even older) RCBS 5-0-5 beam scale is more easily useful when making only 5 rounds at exactly 24.6g of some powder (for instance.) "Dialing up" the beam with a powder trickler becomes very fast, and I'm more confident of the consistency of the results than I was with the digital. (The pan on the beam scale is also at the right height for the RCBS powder trickler that I use, while the height digital scale's base requires some sort of booster chair for the trickler when I use it with that scale.)

If I could only have one, I'd go with the 505.
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Old July 22, 2006, 09:58 PM   #18
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My Sons gave me a RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 Powder Scale and Dispenser Combo. I love it.
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