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Old August 19, 2012, 09:57 AM   #1
Nathan
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Scales: Balance vs Digital

I have an RCBS 5-10. I like it.

I have thought about digital to get slightly better accuracy, weigh loaded rounds easier, and be easier to setup.

I just don't feel like I can get a trustworthy digital for the price. By trustworthy, I mean not overly environment sensitive, but also able to be trickled into.

Any ideas? MTM? EBay?
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Old August 19, 2012, 10:00 AM   #2
TMD
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Stick with the beam type. I have a Hornady digital and the darn thing has a mind of its own. Its such a piece of crap I wont even sell be because I dont want to screw anyone.
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Old August 19, 2012, 10:25 AM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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For what price?

There are a people who don't like/trust digital scales and will be more than happy to point out all the shortcomings.

I'll tell you one thing. Spend the money on a Hornady LnL AutoCharge or an RCBS Chargemaster combo and the first time you use it, it's like a light shines down from heaven and the angels sing.

As far as a stand alone digital without a dispenser, they're likely slightly faster and easier to read quickly but not worth the price to me. The dispensing part is where the value comes in.
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Old August 19, 2012, 10:41 AM   #4
m&p45acp10+1
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I agree with Brian about the dispenser part. I have the Hornady. I5 was gifted to me or else I would not have spent the money on it. If it ever craps out. I will buy another. More likely than not the Lyman would be the one I buy. The only rifle loads I do not use it for I load with Trail Boss. For those I use dippers due to it being faster, and the accuracy is the same.

My beam scale comes out once a month to give a quick check on my dispenser scale as a cross check. So far the dispenser has been spot on.
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Old August 19, 2012, 01:33 PM   #5
buck460XVR
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I use both. I trust the beam more, but always double check the load with a small digital. While it may be possible to set the beam weight one notch or so wrong and a digital readout can be affected by battery life, lighting and other interference, to have both be wrong, you have to screw up bigtime. If they read the same, you know you're good to go, if they don't you need to stop and figure out why.
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Old August 19, 2012, 01:59 PM   #6
jcwit
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I also use both. I trust both the same, after I check the digital as I also would zero out the beam, where is the problem?
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Old August 19, 2012, 04:05 PM   #7
wncchester
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I was a precision electonic instrument repair/calibration tech in the space program. I have three beam scales for powder, no digitals at all and won't have one unless someone gives it to me.

Beam scales used properly are just as fast to use, equally accurate as the best of the common digitals, much more dependable over time and a lot less quirky.
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Old August 19, 2012, 04:33 PM   #8
res45
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I like my beam scales,no batteries required. They mainly just get used to set up my powder throwers and check random thrown charges or to check new lots of powder with my RCBS Lil Dandy rotors.

I only have one load that uses a stick powder thats course enough to not be within two tenths of a grain so I use the beam scales and a trickler.
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Old August 19, 2012, 06:04 PM   #9
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I've been intrigued by the electronic dispensers...

I load our long-range centerfires on a LNL AP because of our family volume, but would like a little better consistency than I get with the drop (not bad, but room for improvement, particularly with the extruded powders we use).

How quickly can an auto-dispenser meter 50 grains of powder?

If it's fast "enough", it might be a good compromise for better consistency. I'd just use a powder funnel instead at the drop station, and dump the charge in manually.
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Old August 19, 2012, 06:18 PM   #10
David Bachelder
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I like the RCBS 505 as far as beam scales go.

I LOVE the RCBS Chargemaster. Spot on and very dependable.

"the first time you use it, it's like a light shines down from heaven and the angels sing".

How would I top that?
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Old August 19, 2012, 06:21 PM   #11
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Chargemaster:

I forgot to mention the $50.00 rebate from RCBS. This makes the MSRP a little easier to swallow.

Try it ...... you'll like it.
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Old August 19, 2012, 06:37 PM   #12
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"How quickly can an auto-dispenser meter 50 grains of powder?"

I use a RCBS Turret press. The chargemaster automatically starts a new cycle when the digital scale zeros. So ... by the time I dump the charge, replace the pan (the digital scale then zeros and starts loading the next dump), size the brass, seat and crimp the bullet remove the finished round the chargemaster is waiting on me.

Pretty fast I think. I think a progressive press may lend its self to a little wait, since they are faster than Turrets (I assume).

I think I can drop a straight wall pistol reload about every tweny seconds. Rifle would be a tad slower, I'm a little anal about them. I like consistancy in my rifle reloads. So like WhattaBurger ..... I do them one at a time. After all; I use them for hunting and I want accuracy and a humane kill. I wouldn't want to settle for less.
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Old August 20, 2012, 05:09 AM   #13
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I have scales that run on oil from 5w to 40w depending on the wind, I have 505, 5=10, 10-10, Redding, Herter, Pacific, 4 beam Ohaus, Ohaus 10-10 with two beams (one in grains the other in grams), I also have the RCBS electronic type scale that docks to the powder dispenser, I have one reloading scale that does not have a counter balance beam with poise, it is used with check weights on one side and a pan on the other.

When I go to a gun show I look for parts, there are times I go to the gun show and find enough parts to build a scale or enough parts to complete one I am working on.

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Old August 20, 2012, 05:27 AM   #14
twins
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Don't go cheap on digital scale

Quote:
I have thought about digital to get slightly better accuracy, weigh loaded rounds easier, and be easier to setup.

I just don't feel like I can get a trustworthy digital for the price. By trustworthy, I mean not overly environment sensitive, but also able to be trickled into.
Get a Chargemaster:
http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm...23&src=tpSlrHm

The best ~$300 you'll spend for reloading gear.
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Old August 20, 2012, 08:01 AM   #15
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Unless they have changed in recent history, the digitals were only guranteed to be accurate to +/- .2 of a grain. I have more faith in a balance beam scale being more accurate than that. +/- .2 (.4 possible from desired) grain seems like quite a lot of variation to me. That is almost half a grain.
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Old August 20, 2012, 09:50 AM   #16
Arkie45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit View Post
Unless they have changed in recent history, the digitals were only guranteed to be accurate to +/- .2 of a grain. I have more faith in a balance beam scale being more accurate than that. +/- .2 (.4 possible from desired) grain seems like quite a lot of variation to me. That is almost half a grain.
I just purchased a MyWeigh Gempro for $129 a month or so ago that works great. Accuracy to 0.02 grains
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Old August 20, 2012, 10:03 AM   #17
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I also have the 5-10 - still works as designed after about 30 years or more. I HAD a battery/digital scale that even dispensed powder - it crapped out after three months - never again
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Old August 20, 2012, 10:43 AM   #18
dahermit
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Quote:
I just purchased a MyWeigh Gempro for $129 a month or so ago that works great. Accuracy to 0.02 grains
It would seem that digital scales have improved while I have been asleep. 2/100 or a grain is not bad.
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Old August 20, 2012, 11:15 AM   #19
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I've been using a Hornady beam scale since around 1980. Last year I decided to get a check weight set just to see. It was still reading right on. So I see no need for a battery powered device when the balance scale works so well down through the years. Plus I'd always be 're-checking' the electronic scale to make sure it was reading properly.
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Old August 20, 2012, 04:39 PM   #20
dahermit
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Quote:
I've been using a Hornady beam scale since around 1980. Last year I decided to get a check weight set just to see. It was still reading right on. So I see no need for a battery powered device when the balance scale works so well down through the years. Plus I'd always be 're-checking' the electronic scale to make sure it was reading properly.
Had an RCBS ("Pal" or "Partner", don't remember the name for sure), that ran though batteries, had to have a pretty fresh one to work, when changing batteries had to fool with "recalibration" procedure (sometimes more than once to get it working). Went back to my RCBS balance beam when the electronic one failed after about seven years of so...will not go back to electronic...I do not see a pressing need for anything but a mechanical balance beam scale.
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Old August 20, 2012, 04:52 PM   #21
tobnpr
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It all depends on what your needs are.
Beam balances, and single stage presses work just fine for low volume, accurate loading (or high volume, if you're a glutton for punishment and are retired).

I load 400-500 rounds for myself and my sons for each range trip... a time consuming task no matter how it's done- and certainly not something I'd want to attempt with a beam balance.

It would go from being a hobby, to an unpleasant, 3 day long chore.

I'm willing to accept a couple of tenths variation in a charge for that trade-off.
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Old August 20, 2012, 05:24 PM   #22
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If you weigh and sort bullets you will get tired of the beam scale very quickly. I have a RCBS 5-10 (I think) but I have only used it a couple of times since I bought the RCBS 750. I have no complaints with the digital scale.
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Old August 20, 2012, 05:48 PM   #23
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit
Unless they have changed in recent history, the digitals were only guranteed to be accurate to +/- .2 of a grain. I have more faith in a balance beam scale being more accurate than that. +/- .2 (.4 possible from desired) grain seems like quite a lot of variation to me. That is almost half a grain.
+/- 0.2 grains is not potentially 0.4 off your desired weight, it's 0.2 off. The indicated weight could be +0.2 or -0.2. The extreme spread could be 0.4, but no charge would be more than 0.2 from the intended weight.

Besides which, it's not as though mechanical scales are perfect. Most have an indicated variance of 0.1gr. Yes, 0.2 is double 0.1 but it's not perfection versus error. It's how much error is acceptable.

Plus, I've never seen this variance. The RCBS ChargeMaster that I use shows the same weight for the same items every time. The check weights always shows correct. The pan always shows the same weight. I have a few "check bullets" that I set aside. They all show the same every time.

The variance is a theoretical maximum, not a given.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rclark
Plus I'd always be 're-checking' the electronic scale to make sure it was reading properly.
I verify my scale between every charge.... by putting the pan back on it. If it still reads zero, it's still accurate. It's like using a 165.5gr check weight every single time.
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Old August 20, 2012, 09:57 PM   #24
Arkie45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit View Post
It would seem that digital scales have improved while I have been asleep. 2/100 or a grain is not bad.
They have...I verify mine against my 5-10 often, and it has NEVER varied any more than .1. I bought the GemPro after reading many rave reviews, and trust its consistent repeat ability completely. It is my go-to now.
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Old August 20, 2012, 11:18 PM   #25
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Quote:
... and certainly not something I'd want to attempt with a beam balance.
Not sure I get you. I only use the scale to verify the first few throws from the powder measure and then spot check after that. I can't see how a digital scale makes it any faster.
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