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Old April 26, 2005, 03:21 AM   #1
xmastree
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Digital scales

Are they more accurate than the beam type? Or just easier to read?
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Old April 26, 2005, 06:49 AM   #2
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Just easier to read.
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Old April 26, 2005, 07:31 AM   #3
Ruger4570
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Thirties is right. I do find that my scale is also somewhat faster than my balance beam, but it is no more accurate. I have checked it against my 2 other balance beams and get the same weights every time. I wrote in another thread that I bought mine from a place called "Old Will Knot" on the net for about $70.00. I did a lot of research and this was the cheapest one I have found and I beleive ?? it is made in Germany. I am very happy with its performance and especially the price.
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Old April 26, 2005, 09:56 AM   #4
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Here's a good article on the subject:

Recreational Software Inc. - You might think digital reloading scales are all about the same...

I believe at this time, in the sub $150 category, you get about the same accuracy between both types. The best digital scales in this price range (and there's only a couple at present) can truly, time after time, register the exact same weight accurately - has everything to do with the quality of the pressure pad/transducer involved. It may seem cut & dry in that frame alone, but it really goes onto more in our field of using these scales for our reloading purposes. For instance, probably the next most important factor in finding a decent digital scale is how well and how accurately it registers changes of MINUTE proportions, such as when using a trickler to drop individual grains of powder into the tray. Some digital scales do a MUCH better job in this regard than others. They are NOT all built the same. Be choosy, and don't just go grab the cheapest special at MidwayUSA.com "just because". You'll be happy you didn't...

P.S. - Personally I own the old style of Dillon D-Terminator as referenced in the above article, and it works just as great as the article describes. If I had to go with a new scale I'd seriously consider Dillons's new D-Terminator which is also sold under the Competitive Edge Dynamics name as well. A little info here:

Dillon's new D-Terminator digital scale

Competitive Edge Dynamics - Professional Electronic Scale

Again, this is sub $150 stuff - you can certainly spend more and get into lab and professional stuff that would put these items to shame, but do we need really need to?
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Old April 26, 2005, 02:55 PM   #5
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The digital scales really come in handy for sorting shells or bullets. While many poise scales have approximate lines for a few tenths of a grain, the digital just shows a number.
I sort brass by weight for accuracy and going through a few hundred shells to get them into like weight groups used to be a long job. With a digital scale it is very quick.
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Old April 26, 2005, 03:14 PM   #6
Smokey Joe
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The best use differs, digital vs. beam

As Brickeyee pointed out, the digital is great for sorting things by weight, if this is what you need to do. A lot of brass, or bullets, for example. And for this purpose a difference of 0.1 grain is plenty accurate enough.

IMHO, the balance beam scale is better for weighing a powder charge, and dribbling the last few grains into the pan to get it exact. I can eyeball differences of 0.05 grain easily with the beam moving up and down past a scale, wheras the digital will not register a difference of less than 0.1 grain.

Then there's the nuisance factor of having to have fresh batteries in the digital, or a steady power source to plug in to.

If/when they come up with a reasonably priced digital that will register 0.05 grain differences, I will seriously consider getting one.
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Old April 26, 2005, 03:34 PM   #7
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I use the Lyman 1200 swcale/meausre and have found it is amazingly consistent.

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Old April 29, 2005, 06:41 AM   #8
xmastree
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Ok, thanks guys. I'll just stick with my beam for now.
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Old April 29, 2005, 08:54 AM   #9
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Hey Smokey, if you ever find a reason to weigh powder to .05 gr., how about posting that here??
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Old April 29, 2005, 07:51 PM   #10
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Weighing powder

Zekewolf--My point about weighing powder is not that you need to do so to 0.05 grains for a charge, but rather that--used carefully--the beam scale is more accurate than the common reloader's digital. The digital goes from 0.051 to 0.149 with no difference in the reading, just the reading of 0.1. Then at 0.15 it abruptly changes to 0.2 grains. In other words the digital is not really more accurate than (roughly) a tenth-and-a-half grains, even though advertised as accurate to 0.1 grains. Wheras with a beam I can see that same increase or decrease, and I can see when the precise 0.1 is reached.

And I have evidence, produced just yesterday, that a clear difference of 0.1 grains, measured carefully on a bal. beam, does make a difference in group size. Can't show you the target though (sorry) my digital camera is on the fritz.
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Old April 29, 2005, 11:02 PM   #11
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Funny my groups have shrunk since I went digital.

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Old April 29, 2005, 11:10 PM   #12
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actually its cause you started taking the bench to my left instead of my right.
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Old April 29, 2005, 11:18 PM   #13
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Can't resist...

Well, Wildalaska, you put your thumb right on that one!
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Old April 30, 2005, 06:01 AM   #14
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One last comment on this subject. I have both digital and balance beam scales. I use the balance when developing my loads as it in fact will read a smaller weight increment. As stated you can actually guestimate much less than a 1/10 of a grain on a good balance beam.
I use the digital to "check" powder weights during reloading as it is fast and certainly accurate enough for this. I use the digital to sort bullets & cases into groups because of the speed it offers. I trust my digital to use for load development, I just prefer to use the balance instead. I doubt that most powder measures will dispense powder in any quantity that may not be off by a 1/10th grain or so one way or the other.
I have pulled many factory slugs and weighed the powder charges and have found MOST of the time I can find 1/10th grain error in most shells. I doubt that the sacred 1/10th gr. accuracy will make much of a difference in accuracy for 90% of your shooting needs. I have been guilty of weighing every component when making my "accuracy" loads. Bullets, cases, powder and yes, sometimes primers just to try to keep EVERYTHING uniform. Actually it doesn't seem to make all that much of a difference. In time we will have digital scales that will weigh to less than a 1/10th gr. as the technology is probably available. Then we will complain about the fact we can't see less than 1/100th gr. difference
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Old April 30, 2005, 04:35 PM   #15
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This all sounds good and if you do have both, what a great way to check one against the other. If it is a matter of getting a good reliable scale there are some that are surprisingly accurate without costing you much. REDDING's inexpensive scale is accurate to 1/20th of a grain and as Ruger4570 pointed out the benefit mostly comes when setting your powder measure and checking your charges periodically during reloading. The scale I use most is the RCBS RC 130 that was designed specifically for weighing powder charges and it's triple poise, which I think is a worthwile feature and it is very accurate. Think it cost me around $30, six or seven years ago. I have had many urges to get a digital, but don't know what I would really gain over the 2 balance beam scales I already have, other than convenience, which to me has never been a priority in reloading, or I wouldn't still be loading handgun rounds on my SS REDDING BOSS!
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Old July 17, 2005, 09:05 PM   #16
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I would like to jump in here and ask you guys who makes a good dribbler for hand gun loads? I see them from about 10 to 30 bucks. I have never seen one other than in the catalog. I assume they work really good when you want consistant loads.

I am also looking for a good inexpensive beam scale and check weight set. I have a Lyman D-7 scale, but the calibration weight fell out and I don't trust it. I was thinking maybe 40 - 50 bucks on sale would be ok for a new scale purchase. Lee has them at about 20 bucks and that does not appeal to me. Any of you using the Lee?

Any other suggestions would be great.

thanks
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Old July 17, 2005, 09:19 PM   #17
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I like the Redding trickler, it's nice and heavy so it doesn't have a tendency to tip.
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Old July 17, 2005, 10:37 PM   #18
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Does anyone use this unit?

Dillon Eliminator Scale $49.00 (Beam Scale)
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Old July 17, 2005, 10:46 PM   #19
rwilson452
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scales

For an electronic scale, my pick is the dillon. For a balance beam I would pick one from the RCBS line. pick one the has the range you need.

I have the lee safety scale. it's slow and difficult to read but very accurate.
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Old July 17, 2005, 11:14 PM   #20
Smokey Joe
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Powder dribbler

Dead-nuts-zero--I use the Bonanza powder dribbler. It was cheap, and light plastic, until I filled up the (otherwise just empty and useless) bottom half with lead shot, as suggested in the directions. Then reassembled the unit, and it is now as tip-over-proof as one made of cast iron.

IMHO, any brand that is either constructed heavily, (that is, made out of iron) or can be made heavy, will suit the purpose. It's not a question of one working better or worse; they all work the same.

So I'd buy any manual dribbler for price, provided that it has or can be given the needed heft.
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