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Old September 8, 2012, 06:17 PM   #51
603Country
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And I'm with 4runnerman in thanking the TinMan for causing me to think new thoughts. I'm going to mentally chew on all this for a while and maybe my plan to test the beam versus the digital is a worthless exercise. Shucks.
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Old September 9, 2012, 07:43 PM   #52
jolly roger
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I am a 35 year reloader with an Android and computer savvy...but my scales are analog...two RCBS 10-10s. See no reason to mess with what is KNOWN to work ALL the time, especially when weighing charges. Oh and I do still have a couple nice film cameras lying around
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Old September 9, 2012, 08:24 PM   #53
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Digital scales can suffer from drift; my RCBS Chargemaster does drift from time to time. More lately, Chinese electronic components have been plagued by counterfeit parts. If the Wheatstone Bridge that is the heart of the digital scale is compromised by counterfeit or substandard parts, you will suffer more than the +/- .2 gr. inaccuracy attributed to electronic scales in general. In the last two years, there has been an ever increasing complaint of inaccuracy in regards to electronic scales.
This coincides with the increase in counterfeit electronics provided by the Chinese. It has gotten so bad that even main line distributors like Newark In One have counterfeit parts in their inventory. Our Aerospace Companies are constantly dealing with this issue also. There is a standing set of regulations promulgated by the government on their suppliers to try to minimize the effect of counterfeit parts on materials supplied.
Now guess how stringent the QC for the consumer sector is compared to the government contractor sector is?
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Old September 9, 2012, 09:26 PM   #54
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I see a lot of hostility toward digital scales here. But you get what you pay for. Frankly if you attempt to weigh charges with a $30 digital scale from eBay, I'll be hiding on the other side of the berm when you try out your loads.

There is no "+/- .2 gr. inaccuracy attributed to electronic scales in general". Sorry, but that's just silly. Electronic scales are as accurate as you're willing to pay for them, just like everything else. For example, a Sartorius microbalance is guaranteed accurate to within .0001 mg. That's one millionth of a gram, or about 0.0000015 of a grain. It's very quick too. It does cost a bit more than $30.

For the purposes of reloading however, I wouldn't go any cheaper than the RCBS Rangemaster 750 or similar model for occasional checks. According to my check weights, it's as accurate as my manual balance scales... nailing pretty much to within .1 gr and consistent to that degree of accuracy as well.

People are often a little apprehensive about things that don't work in an obvious and understandable way. But digital scales have been used to make accurate weight measurements in the lab for over 30 years. Manual balance scales have the advantage of cost for lower end requirements, but once you get into precision measuring, the analogs don't even exist anymore (digital balance scales excepted!).
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Old September 9, 2012, 10:52 PM   #55
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Being as they use digital scales to weigh gold and medicine they have to be pretty accurate. Unless they're just gussing at the value of the necklace or your meds, ya right!
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Old September 10, 2012, 01:54 AM   #56
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For me, consistency is everything, whether beam or digital scale.

Try this test with your scale
:

Make sure your scale is on flat surface and A/C vents are not blowing (if you need to, close the door/windows).

After you calibrate/zero your scale, place a cut 1/4"x1/4" piece of paper and see if your scale consistently registers the same reading.

If your scale won't detect/read the 1/4"x1/4" piece of paper, use 1/2"x1/2" piece of paper. If your scale won't detect/read 1/2"x1/2" piece of paper consistently, you may want a better scale.

For me, I prefer to use scales that will consistently detect/read 1/4"x1/4" piece of paper.

To me, I don't care what "specs" are on the scale box nor how much they cost as long as it accurately and consistently measures to .1 grain.
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Old September 10, 2012, 09:13 AM   #57
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Using examples of digital scales costing up from several hundred dollars to a few thousand to support the premise that reloaders must also be well served by our digitals is apples vs. pumpkins; there just isn't any valid comparision.

No one weighs medicines on digital reloading scales so that analogy is meaningless. The digital scales med people use are routinely checked and certified by professional technicians; none of ours get that TLC.

If a reloader wants a powder scale he is best served with a beam type. They are simple technology, the scales are well perfected, they never change unless they're abused.

Beam scales are fully as "fast" in actual use as digitals. They are quite easy to see if they're properly placed for a smooth work flow but most scales don't get that kind of help. Plopping a beam scale flat down on the bench top (and placing powder measures on the front edge of the bench or in a press) could hardly make things more slow and difficult for their users unless they were placed under the bench top!
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Old September 10, 2012, 11:34 AM   #58
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I have both and use both to cross check. Both work well alone and together.
When working up loads I double check loads, when loading hunting loads all loads are double checked. When loading range bangers or general shooting rounds I spot check loads every 7 or 8 loads.
Digitals are much more tempermental then the beams from what I've found.
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Old September 10, 2012, 06:04 PM   #59
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We have digital analytic and micro balances at work aka super accurate digital scales. I also have Omega S type load cells that are very accurate and are used for weighing items up to 5k lbs. while hanging off my crane. But that doesn't translate to a consumer grade digital powder dispensing scale. The RCBS Chargemaster 1500 (which I have) is NOT a $30 dollar scale; they cost over 10X that. It still does not change the fact that they are made in CHINA for that matter so are the others.

The reason that we are seeing issues in the last few years with these products and the varied accounts of their having accuracy or wandering issues is Chinese QC coupled with their (Chinese Companies) propensity to foist counterfeit and / or substandard products on us. Just like a Turkish made shotgun, you might get a good one or you might get a screaming hunk of junk. If you think I am making this up, just do a simple search on the net for US Government Control of Counterfeit Electronics. You'll get a lot of reading material and much of it will be from the .gov or .mil sector.
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Old September 10, 2012, 06:19 PM   #60
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Hornady (probably rcbs as well) warranties their products for life.

"All Hornady reloading tools and accessories are warranted against material defects and workmanship for the life of the product. Simply stated – if it breaks, we’ll repair it or replace it at no charge."

I think there is a mix of topics here, combination powder dispenser/scale and digital scale. While the scales may be functional equivalent the benefit of an auto dispenser with the digital scale seems irrefutable to me. A digital scale vs a beam, arguable and probably no difference if equal quality. You can't compare a digital scale for $20 to an rcbs 10-10. As I have stated before, I have a 505, they are good but not perfect. The notion that they are 100% repeatable and consistent has not been my experience. Likewise a digital scale is not a 100% repeatable either, the difference here is the digital scale jumps out and says " I'm a different value" whereas the beam scale the Pointer may be slightly above or below the balance line and thereby the margin is deemed within tolerance. I think it's more perception then anything.
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Old September 10, 2012, 06:56 PM   #61
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Quote:
1stmar wrote: Hornady (probably rcbs as well) warranties their products for life.
Sorry but the electronic scales and scale dispenser combos from both have a ONE YEAR warranty.

Also, if you looks at the manual for the Hornady L-N-L AutoCharger dispenser scale combo, the tips to improve performance section outlines several things that can effect accuracy. Temp. fluctuation and nearby electronics are two biggies.

Hornady Manual
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Old September 10, 2012, 07:12 PM   #62
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Stand corrected...
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Old September 10, 2012, 08:52 PM   #63
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Keep in mind that if a person distrusts their scale (I distrust all consumer grade scales - digital and mechanical) you can always use check weights. It's $20 well spent for the piece of mind. So far so good for my digital RCBS 750 Range Master.
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Old September 11, 2012, 11:42 PM   #64
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I am a calibration technician and have been for several years calibrating among other things weights and scales. they both have advantages and disadvantages. namely over loading. Over load a balance scale and unless you bend or break something it doesn't really care. Over load a digital scale and you can be in for a real headache. The digital scales use load cells to measure the weight and they can be ruined very easily by over loading them beyond what the manufacturer says it can handle as an overload. I have seen small (low weight) scales ruin by just picking them up wrong, holding them by the base and pan rather than just the base. Also check weights are great to have but If you think they are all exactly what they say they are you would be making a mistake. If they were I wouldn't be verifying their weights every year. Even new sets can be off from the indicated value. If you want to know for sure, get your weights certified at an A2LA lab with a long form document. Then you will know what each weight in your set actually is exactly and can be traceable back to the NIST standard. It doesn't cost that much. Only needs to be done once. Will verify your check weights far better than most people are able to and you will KNOW what is what. Digital or beam. they are only as accurate as your reference and don't confuse accuracy with consistency. Both are important yet very different.

....... my 2 cents.......
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Old September 12, 2012, 06:52 AM   #65
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Beam scales are fully as "fast" in actual use as digitals

wncchester- I have to disagree with you on that big time. I was tought by a person that has been loading for over 30 years. He still uses a beam scale.( he is in no rush to do anything at is age )
( yes he is very coordinated and good ) There is no way you could stay up with me on speed for reloading. ( I'm sure ) i would have to see it to believe it.
I bet if we both sat down and loaded 100 rounds i would be done and you would be maybe at 80 or 85 rounds. I guess not to start a fit here,but i have seen beam scales in action by long time loaders and,, It is just something i would have to see to believe.
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Old September 12, 2012, 04:56 PM   #66
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XL650 Owner, I think we need to remind ourselves that we're just reloading here. We only need to measure to 1/10th of a grain resolution or a whopping 6.5 milligrams! My check weight system includes a bunch of 10 milligram weights. Easy to check one against the other, add 3 together and check against the 30 milligram weight, at 2 10's and 1 30 and check against the 50, etc. Sure they MAY all be off by the exact same fraction of a milligram, but we aren't building a piano here.

If you measure the 3.5 grain equivalent worth of check weights and the scale consistently says 3.5 grains, you can reasonably expect that your scale is accurate enough for the purposes of reloading. (Yes there is the 1 in a million chance that they're both inaccurate to the same exact degree!) If there is a difference, either your check weights are off or your scale is. But at least you know you have a problem somewhere.

In other words, it's better to have a check weight kit and a scale, than just only a scale. You could alternatively use two scales for cross checking, but just less convenient and a bit more expensive.
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Old September 12, 2012, 08:08 PM   #67
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"There is no way you could stay up with me on speed for reloading. "

4, I'm sure you believe that and I'd be happy to prove you wrong if we both worked within .1 gr. per charge but Minn is a long way from the southern mountians of NC so I guess you'll never get corrected!

What I suspect you're missing is the way a scale, trickler, powder measure, the press and bullets should be positioned for smooth operation without wasted motion. Not that I care about speed when I'm reloading but I have a young friend, a mere lad of 35, who - against my suggestion - just had to buy a Charge Master so he could 'speed things up'. He recently timed me for charging and seating a box of twenty .243. He found me to be a bit faster than him and I wasn't even trying to go fast! (I am old but I used to be as young and green as you guys. I'm sure both of you will keep learning tho ... if yawl stick with it long enough! )

Good luck...
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Old September 12, 2012, 08:30 PM   #68
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The autocharge might not be faster at dispensing powder, I for one never said it was, but I guarantee a digital is faster for weighing any number of unknown items.
I use a digital for convenience. Same reason I use an autocharge. Maybe it's laziness, don't matter to me. I don't have to screw around. Tell it what I want and it appears, over and over. Might not be faster but sure is easy.
Weighing unknown weights, a digital is definitely faster though.
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:09 PM   #69
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I have a ppm and an auto charge, for powders that meter well the ppm will dispense faster, however for extruded powders and the like, that don't meter as well (some extruded do meter well), if you average 50 loads, the auto charge will win. By the time you weigh it, trickle in the difference, the auto charge will be long done. Now add in the time to change powder charges, readjust the scale and the powder measure.... Again, I'll take The auto charge. The ease, simplicity is really a step up when developing loads and changing powder charges. If you have an auto dispenser and don't like it, hold on to it, I'll buy it when mine breaks in a year from all the crappy Chinese electronics. :-) I assume these are the same chips in tvs, iPods, cell phones, computers, etc?? $170, basically the price of 6000 primers or 8lbs of powder or 500 bullets... When I was shooting pistol heavily, that was a 3 weeks of primers, 1/2 week of bullets and well a crap load of powder...

Last edited by 1stmar; September 13, 2012 at 02:01 AM.
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:28 PM   #70
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wncchester- I don't use a Mechanical digital scale so to say. I use a plain very accurate digital scale and dip each load one at a time. when im done charging 100 loads i go downstairs and seat bullets in a single stage press one at a time. I am not talking a compleate cartridge. I am talking 100 cases powdered and sitting in a tray. As for age, Im 51 yrs old,so i do have some time under my belt also. I timed myself tonight ( with in 1/10 gn ) it takes me about 8 seconds to dump powder into tray measure to with in 1/10 gn and dump into case and place pan back on scale. Yes you are along ways away. You live in the Mountians?. God what a dream that would be.
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Old September 12, 2012, 09:36 PM   #71
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this is a common problem with beam scales, it has happened to virtually everyone at some point (come on be honest). It's a lot more difficult to have this happen on a digital scale.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=500966
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Old September 12, 2012, 11:46 PM   #72
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I think everyone should have both, simply for safety. Reading the charge weight as an actual number on a screen will prevent a screw up. Also, on a beam scale, you need to be sure the pointer is really in the middle, or you can be off a few tenths of a grain and not realize it.
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Old September 13, 2012, 07:09 PM   #73
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I think actual "safety" is a non-issue. I check my digital with check weights, it would never be off enough to be a safety concern without me knowing it.

If your shooting demands .1 or less accuracy then maybe a beam is your best bet...

Me, I need to load 500 or so centerfire rounds in six different calibers for a day of long-range shooting with my sons.

If I didn't use a Progressive press and a digital scale for load checks, I'd be drooling in the corner....more likely, I'd quit the hobby- as reloading would be more of a chore, than an enjoyable hobby.

Is a variance of a couple tenths of a grain a compromise, in velocity, and accuracy at long range? You betcha.

Life's a compromise.
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Old September 13, 2012, 07:15 PM   #74
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Quote:
If I didn't use a Progressive press and a digital scale for load checks, I'd be drooling in the corner....more likely, I'd quit the hobby- as reloading would be more of a chore, than an enjoyable hobby.

Is a variance of a couple tenths of a grain a compromise, in velocity, and accuracy at long range? You betcha.

Life's a compromise.
Well said, and that compromise is a LOT less than many reloaders think it is too.
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Old September 13, 2012, 07:23 PM   #75
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Quote:
Well said, and that compromise is a LOT less than many reloaders think it is too.
It depends on what you're loading. The compromise of 2/10ths of a grain is a lot greater on a 2.8 grain charge in a 9mm than it is in a 59.0 grain charge in a 30-06.
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