The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 27, 2008, 06:51 PM   #1
murphjup
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2006
Location: Jupiter, Florida
Posts: 460
Frankford Arsenal Micro Scale???

Thinking of getting one of these... anyone have one?

http://www.midwayusa.com/Eproductpag...eitemid=713372

Just got into reloading, and I am getting budgeted out... so not wanting to spend alot right now... I bought a Lee Scale in a kit but it seems to be useless...

Thank you in advance...

murphjup is offline  
Old August 27, 2008, 07:03 PM   #2
Alleykat
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2007
Posts: 3,668
You'll be surprised at how small that scale is. You'll probably be pleasantly surprised, as was I, at how well it works. I recommend it highly! Got mine on sale, too. I've checked it several times, using a 20gr check weight. It's always right-on-the-money.
Alleykat is offline  
Old August 27, 2008, 07:17 PM   #3
murphjup
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2006
Location: Jupiter, Florida
Posts: 460
Quote:
You'll be surprised at how small that scale is. You'll probably be pleasantly surprised, as was I, at how well it works. I recommend it highly! Got mine on sale, too. I've checked it several times, using a 20gr check weight. It's always right-on-the-money.
Thank you for your reply, does the check weight come for it? It shows a weight in the descripton...

murphjup is offline  
Old August 27, 2008, 07:48 PM   #4
wingman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 20, 2002
Posts: 2,074
Just received mine today comes with the weight to calibrate, took only few minutes to set up. It is dead on with my Lyman standard scales which is what I wanted it for to double check and perhaps spot test loads. I expect the lee scale in your kit will work also if level and adjusted, if not contact Pat at Lee and he will help.
wingman is offline  
Old August 27, 2008, 08:13 PM   #5
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 8,711
I've got some tips and experience that might help. First, the search engine here at this site may find more threads on exactly this scale. The opinions will be a few months old, but still relevant.

Next, check the user reviews on Midway. You'll hear lots of opinions both ways.

For me, it's a fine deal IF you snag it on sale. They put it on sale all the damn time, and sell it for $30. When they have it at $50, skip it.

How well does it work? For sure, it's worth $30. But it can definitely be erratic. New batteries eliminate a lot of the early troubles. I always keep a 55-grain .224 bullet handy to check and make sure it's reading consistently.

You have to use the check weight that it comes with just to set it up and calibrate it for use. If you lose that check weight, the scale is worthless. Also, you must use the little plastic pan that comes with it. I tried using the aluminum pan that came with me Lee scale and the Frankford digital goes goofy with that much heavier pan on it.

If this unit cost a hundred bucks, I'd hate it and forever rue the day I bought it. For $30, it's a good, functional tool. If you are the kind of reloader who does rifle rounds single stage and weighs each and every powder charge you roll, it would likely be a better investment for something larger and more user-friendly. If you just need it to set up a repeatable powder measure, it works.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old August 27, 2008, 08:55 PM   #6
wingman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 20, 2002
Posts: 2,074
Quote:
You have to use the check weight that it comes with just to set it up and calibrate it for use. If you lose that check weight, the scale is worthless. Also, you must use the little plastic pan that comes with it. I tried using the aluminum pan that came with me Lee scale and the Frankford digital goes goofy with that much heavier pan on it.
It's on sale now for $29, it's best never to 'lose" any part with any tool.
I used the metal pan of my Lyman as tare pan works fine and I made several
runs today with it.
Remember no vibration, fans, etc with any scale.
wingman is offline  
Old August 27, 2008, 09:24 PM   #7
JayCee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 20, 2001
Posts: 431
I bought one on sale a few months ago, mainly for when I reload out on the range. Seems to work pretty well, although it's easily affected by even slight air movement. I've checked it against a balance beam scale and the much more expensive electronic scale I use for accurate weighing, and it seems to match their readings pretty closely.
__________________
“You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas.” – David Crockett

“If I owned Texas and hell, I'd rent out Texas and live in hell.” - General Phillip H. Sheridan
JayCee is offline  
Old August 28, 2008, 07:52 AM   #8
Alleykat
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2007
Posts: 3,668
I just happened to have some check weights from my RCBS Powder Pro electronic scale that crapped out on me. Yes, a check weight does come with the Frankford scale. Losing the check weight that came with it wouldn't make it worthless, any more than losing the check weight that came with a $200 scale would make that scale worthless.

I did buy mine on sale. Doubt that I'd have bought it @ $50, but it sure has worked well, so far. I could have bought two of the Frankford scales for less than PACT wanted to repair the "guaranteed for life" RCBS p.o.s.
Alleykat is offline  
Old August 28, 2008, 08:01 AM   #9
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 8,711
Let me rephrase a little more accurately to reflect the intention of my statement:
If you lose the check weight, you must replace it with another. This particular scale calibrates itself according to that check weight and you can't use it reliably without it in the event it needs to be recalibrated. Any time the batteries die or are removed, the scale needs to be recalibrated. Without that check weight, or another check weight, it won't work.

Better?
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old August 28, 2008, 08:39 AM   #10
HJ857
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 9, 2007
Location: haslett, mi
Posts: 343
I used one of those scales for a number of months and many, many rounds. I agree that it's a very good scale for the money, but with a couple caveats.

First, it won't last long, a year if you're really lucky.

Second, it eats batteries like candy, and you can't milk the batteries either, once they start to lose power the scale becomes very erratic. My experience showed that around 8 hours use is the maximum before replacing batteries. So the low initial cost of the scale is rapidly negated.

If you have no other choice, it's a good start, but I suggest upgrading as soon as possible to something like the RCBS 750, which I think is a far nicer scale. If you load a lot of rounds, you'll be financially further ahead with an AC powered scale, such as the 750, in no time.
HJ857 is offline  
Old August 28, 2008, 08:52 AM   #11
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 8,711
I would imagine that quality across the production run varies quite a bit. I don't think it's accurate to assume that they all work like yours did-- I've had mine in hard use now for 14 months and I'm on my second set of batteries. I used the ones it came with and one day when it acted erratically, I replaced them with new ones and I haven't had much trouble since.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old August 28, 2008, 10:41 AM   #12
HJ857
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 9, 2007
Location: haslett, mi
Posts: 343
Noted, and I'm amazed by that longevity!
HJ857 is offline  
Old August 28, 2008, 11:20 AM   #13
orionengnr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 9, 2004
Posts: 4,981
I've had one about a year now. Works fine, although I only use it occasionally (I tend to reload in batches).

If you have trouble, I would try calling Frankford Arsenal direct (Google Battenfeld Technology for their contact info).

I bought one of their tumblers used on eBay, and when the motor burned out a year later, I called them and asked if they'd sell me a motor. They offered to replace the tumbler under warranty. I said no, you don't understand, I bought it used. They said, let us replace it. I said, okay...

Now that's Customer Service.
orionengnr is offline  
Old August 28, 2008, 11:45 AM   #14
Don2
Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2008
Posts: 21
[Quote]=Sevens

You have to use the check weight that it comes with just to set it up and calibrate it for use. If you lose that check weight, the scale is worthless. Also, you must use the little plastic pan that comes with it. I tried using the aluminum pan that came with me Lee scale and the Frankford digital goes goofy with that much heavier pan on it.

=====================================================

Loosing a check weight.....
I read somewhere that a guy made copies of his check weights out of lead and kept the originals safe. Then if something happened to the old ones he still had the orginal ones.

Sounds like a good idea as long as he made them to the same weight exactly and checked it on the same scale.

I've been wanting to do that to all of mine...
But,,,You know how it goes..!!!


Don2
Don2 is offline  
Old August 28, 2008, 11:55 AM   #15
snuffy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2001
Location: Oshkosh wi.
Posts: 2,767
Quote:
I just happened to have some check weights from my RCBS Powder Pro electronic scale that crapped out on me. Yes, a check weight does come with the Frankford scale. Losing the check weight that came with it wouldn't make it worthless, any more than losing the check weight that came with a $200 scale would make that scale worthless.
There seems to be some misconceptions about terminology when it comes to digital/electronic scales. The weights supplied with a digital scale are not check weights, they are calibration weights. The load cell needs a set weight to set the parameters for measuring other weights. It's built into the circuitry in the scale. Loose that calibration weight, your scale is worthless. Unless you can re-program the circuitry to accept a new weight as a reference.

These are check weights.
http://http://www.midwayusa.com/epro...eitemid=212586

As for the FA micro scale, I bought one, also on sale, mine wanders constantly. Needs constant calibration. Interesting to hear others say the batteries don't last long, I may try replacing mine!

As for the RCBS powder pro, Mine is 10 years old, still works like it did on day one.
__________________
The more people I meet, the more I love my dog

They're going to get their butts kicked over there this election. How come people can't spell and use words correctly?
snuffy is offline  
Old August 28, 2008, 02:04 PM   #16
wingman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 20, 2002
Posts: 2,074
For the amount of $29 its a good tool as backup and cross reference, I find few things for $29 in today's poor quality control market that works. I was not trying to be a smart mouth but any tool purchased its a good idea to retain all parts on a work bench and also please understand most of today's products will withstand minimum abuse. In the short time I've used mine I see no problems, it shuts off after 60 seconds unless used so I don't see a lot of battery drain but I usually buy batteries in bulk as i have so many items that use them.
wingman is offline  
Old August 28, 2008, 03:17 PM   #17
Alleykat
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2007
Posts: 3,668
Quote:
There seems to be some misconceptions about terminology when it comes to digital/electronic scales. The weights supplied with a digital scale are not check weights, they are calibration weights. The load cell needs a set weight to set the parameters for measuring other weights. It's built into the circuitry in the scale. Loose that calibration weight, your scale is worthless. Unless you can re-program the circuitry to accept a new weight as a reference.
No misconception, as far as I'm concerned. The Powder Pro uses "check" weights for calibrating. One of the Powder Pro check weights just happens to be exactly the same weight as the Frankford Arsenal check weight, with which one calibrates the Frankford Arsenal digital scale. One doesn't have to do any reprograming, if one loses the check weight that came with the Frankford Arsenal scale. All one has to do is acquire another check weight of the same weight. (20grams.)
Alleykat is offline  
Old August 28, 2008, 08:55 PM   #18
PCJim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2008
Location: FL
Posts: 570
I'm glad to hear that others have had good success with the micro scale. I purchased one last year and used it for a while. I have since put it away and gone back to my Ohaus mechanical scale.

I periodically check the consistency of my batches. Depending upon whether using the 550b or the RCBS single stage, I will check one round out of every 10-20 or one of every 50 or so. I found the micro would cut off long before reaching the throw I wanted to weigh, requiring a wait for it to turn back on and to reset the tare weight. That became too much trouble for me.

I also replaced the batteries with new ones upon receipt of the unit as is mentioned by many reviewers on Midway's site. Even then, I found that the scale gave sporatic readings - not off by much but for an electronic scale, they should have been spot on.

My two cents for what they're worth, your luck may well be different.
PCJim is offline  
Old August 31, 2008, 02:10 PM   #19
btefft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 7, 2008
Posts: 181
I used that little scale for a while but found that it drifted off zero too often for me.

Then I bought an RCBS 750. Cost more, but it stays dead on, even if I cut it off and back on. I'm real happy with the 750.

Now and then I'll use my Dillon balance beam scale to make sure the 750 isn't lying to me. It never has been. Now, I use the 750 exclusively.

Hack
btefft is offline  
Old August 31, 2008, 02:15 PM   #20
murphjup
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2006
Location: Jupiter, Florida
Posts: 460
Well, I ended up using my Lee Beam Scale that came with my reloading kit.... it's not the easiest to use, but once you find a load that works, I won't be using it that often...

So I think I will hold off on getting a digital scale for a bit...

Thank you all for all your input...

murphjup is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10922 seconds with 9 queries