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Old August 17, 2012, 01:43 PM   #26
ROGER4314
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The digitals are very fussy. I had a heck of a time with my last load getting the correct powder drop. I turned the ceiling fan "off" but it still acted weird and varied a lot. I had a lamp placed near my press and the heat from that lamp zonked the scale. They are great to use but don't trust them 100%. Check, recheck and when you are finally satisfied that the scale is telling the truth, you have your charge.

I know of no digital scale that is rated better than +- .1 grain. Look at the accuracy figures and it's about the same on cheap and expensive scales, too.
That's expressed +.1 grain to -.1 grain so the charge can actually vary .2 grain and be within the scale accuracy.

I agree that the beam scales are as good as it gets. I had an original Ohaus 10-10 scale and it was state of the art and also RCBS 505 and 510 scales. I have cataracts in both eyes so it's tough for me to see the lines on the drum well enough so I stay with digital. The only one that I have left is an RCBS 5-10 about 35 years old that was made by Ohaus.

Incidentally, you'll see the term "Magnetic" used with beam scales. Magnets attract ferrous metals and materials like copper are considered non magnetic.
There is a SMALL amount of magnetic attraction to copper so they use a paddle of copper attached to the beam. That paddle passes through a magnetic field and the field dampens movement of the beam. That's "magnetically dampened."

You really need to get a system set up for your beam scale. My hands are huge and I used to wrestle with trying to find the correct charge weight for my powder on the beam scale. Instead, I set my desired charge weight on the scale, throw a charge then see if it's above or below the line. I dodn't need to know exactly what the charge is as I adjust the powder measure.....only if it is high or low of my desired charge. That is so much easier!

If you want the charge exact, throw a charge from your measure and make it below the desired weight. Bring it up to weight with a powder trickler. I don't believe that it's necessary to weigh each charge but you can if you want to.

Flash
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Old August 17, 2012, 04:02 PM   #27
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What I have not done, but might do the next time I set up for reloading, is to weigh charges on the RCBS 1010 and then check the weight on the digital. Since with the 1010 we are looking for two lines to come into alignment to be the correct weight, and that can be subjective as to when you think they are aligned (due mostly to angle and lighting), I've always wondered just what range of powder weight I was getting. With the digital, if I want 59 grains I'm going to get exactly 59 grains. With the 1010, I wonder if there is any variance. With the 1010 or anything like it, is 59 grains exactly the same each time or is there a range of 58.8 to 59.2? If someone already knows the answer, tell us. Regardless, I'm going to check it out. With a balance beam scale, I'm expecting some degree of variance - not that it matters to accuracy, or maybe it does.
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Old August 17, 2012, 04:41 PM   #28
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not that it matters to accuracy, or maybe it does

It Matters-Some will tell you it don't,but do the test your self and you will see it does matter.

The main thing is. When you use ( YOUR ) scale,it don't matter if it weights 25.0 gns at 300 gns, As long as it is consistant and you use your scale all the time. My load for my 223- is 25.5 gns Varget. I don't care if it weights 25.9 on someone else's scale as long as it weight 25.5 on mine i know that all my loads are consistant and weight the same. If you switch to a new scale it is always best to have one loaded cartridge laying around as a test dummy. If your scale breaks or something.When you get a new one you can break it down and see what it weights on the new one and go from there
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Old August 17, 2012, 05:16 PM   #29
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A little off topic, but how and where do you guys store your scales?
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Old August 17, 2012, 08:24 PM   #30
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I keep the two I do not use in thier respective boxes, and the Hornady dispenser stays on the bench all the time.
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Old August 17, 2012, 08:28 PM   #31
603Country
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4Runnerman, I think maybe I wasn't being clear enough on the thing that I question. I'm in full agreement that if I was loading 59 grains on the 1010, and was happy with that load, then if it weighed a bit more or less on the digital, it wouldn't really matter as to accuracy. If I stick with the 1010 and the 59 grains all is good. But...

My question is more on whether or not you get digital-type repeatability with a balance scale. On the digital, 59 grains is 59 grains and will always be. On a balance beam, and I guess they are mostly like the 1010, since you have to eyeball the matching lines to be sure you are at the proper powder weight, and since room light and angle of view of the lines can vary, is a measured and trickled weight (whatever that weight is) going to be exactly the same every time. Will a balance beam type scale give us exact repeatability each and every time, or will it just be close - say a 0.1 plus/minus range. Probably, if there is minor variance, it won't impact accuracy that much. It'll still have a higher level of repeatability than a dipper will.

So what I'm going to do soon is to throw and trickle a bunch of loads with the balance beam and try my best to get them right. Then I'm going to weigh them on the digital scales. I won't be looking for exactly the same weight, say 59 grains on the beam versus 59 grains on the digital, but more for variance in the balance beam thrown and trickled charges.

Whew...that's a lot of typing. I hope I'm making sense.
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Old August 17, 2012, 10:55 PM   #32
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Let's also consider that we zero the beam scales by using a leveling screw. The zero can vary some if you aren't careful in zeroing the unit. Looking at the zero line from above also throws parallax error into the zero. You need to get down to the correct level and look directly at the zero line for best accuracy.

A little off topic, but how and where do you guys store your scales?

I've had my 5-10 scale in the same beat up cardboard box for at least 20 years. I think I'll give it a place on my reloading bench now that I have it set up again. Hurricane IKE hit us directly and I had to put the reloading gear into storage so the house could be fixed. It was stored for about 4 years.

Flash

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Old August 18, 2012, 05:58 PM   #33
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Lots of testimony here

I started a poll here

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=448410

You might find some good thoughts in the comments of the respondents.

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Old August 19, 2012, 09:46 AM   #34
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603= As you stated with a beam scale ( while being accurate ) you do need a good eyeball. Lean to the left and it's 59.1, lean to the right and it's 58.9.
Point well taken. My first point was off trck ( yes ) . I was just stateing that no matter what you choose,once you find your load it don't matter what it weights on someone elses scale. A digital scale,no matter how much you spend will always have accuracy + or - .00625. At that point i guess you can't split grains. I go with digital simple because of the time issue and accuracy.

Beam scales are accurate but man,What a cumbersome,slow mickey mouse ordeal to deal with. To me it's what you used till digital came out. It's like VHS and DVD. Still works butttt You know. It;s something you put on the loading bench for looks ,not to use, Kinda like Hoppes.<- It still works but is outdated and so many better products out there.
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Old August 19, 2012, 04:21 PM   #35
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"There is a SMALL amount of magnetic attraction to copper so they use a paddle of copper attached to the beam."

That's the end effect but technically it's not true as stated. Moving a non-magnetic metal (copper/brass/aluminum) through a magnetic field produces 'eddy currents' inside the metal. Those currents produce an electrical field that opposes the magnetic field so they resist movement of the beam but the eddy field decreases and stops when the beam stops. Thus the magnet has absolutely no residual effect on the scale's final reading.

I suspect most people who have trouble reading a beam scale have the poor thing sitting flat on the bench top; the only worse place would be under the bench top! Put a scale on a shelf or sturdy box so it's up near chin or nose level and it will be quite easy to read. Then place the powder measure near the scale (and trickler) for a good work flow path and you can work just about as fast as a digital dumpster and do so with total reliability. And beams follow tricklers in real time, not a second later.

Last edited by wncchester; August 19, 2012 at 04:38 PM.
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Old August 19, 2012, 06:03 PM   #36
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Dillon Balance Beam Scale

Just wanted to give you one more option. I needed to repair my Lee scale several years ago because it developed a problem. In place of buying parts for the Lee I just choose to replace it. I also wanted a scale with more capacity than the Lee. I found that Dillon sells a nice balance beam scale. It is also made by Ohaus and has the Dillion life time warranty. The price was better than the other comparable scales so I went with it and have not regretted it. For the features and price it is a good value. You may want to take a look at it on their web site.
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Old August 19, 2012, 09:00 PM   #37
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I'm still trying to get a patent on gravity and when I do everybody everywhere will owe me a rolalty.
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