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Old June 25, 2020, 01:54 PM   #1
BondoBob
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Decent Electronic powder scale prices.

I purchased a cheap $20 digital scale on Amazon. It's off by .15 to .2 grains compared to my Lee Safety scale. And it varies the same powder drop weight by the same amount if I way it twice. I just wanted something a little faster than the beam scale for spot checking loads occasionally. I use the Lee for working up initial throw.

What is the starting price point of a decent digital scale? By decent I mean something that is only off maybe .05 grains. Or should I just stick with the Lee?
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Old June 25, 2020, 02:10 PM   #2
Unclenick
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With inexpensive scales the quality can be hit or miss, as you've discovered. However, I got one of these on sale for $25 at Midway, and it has proven remarkably stable and has never disagreed with my analytical balance (0.002-grain resolution) by more than 0.1 grains. It is very repeatable and has surprised me in that regard as it has been better than some more expensive scales I got in years past. Unfortunately, it is not currently on sale and the price has doubled. But a sale may come back again.

If you are willing to put real money into it, you can get 0.01-grain scales with magnetic force restoration transducers that are very fast compared to the strain gauge type and work super-duper, but you do end up paying for them.
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Old June 25, 2020, 02:20 PM   #3
nhyrum
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Sorry, I tend to be long winded. There's a "summary" at the bottom.

Here's the issue with "cheap" electronic scales. They use strain gauges, which are extremely prone to creep, just because of how they work. Since they know that making the scale, what they do is make the brain box basically write off small increases in weight as drift.

I'd say the rcbs ones would be the minimum. There still strain gauges, but they're at least programmed better and more sensitive. Basically, a few hundred bucks would be my personal minimum. I've heard a lot of good things about the gem pro scales though. I was lucky enough to be able to get a lab grade balance that's hooked up to motors that operate a powder measure and a trickler (a&d fx200i with the auto throw/trickle) but I know that's a lot more scale than most need or can afford. I used a chargemaster 1500, and while it's not bad, it just isn't fast or accurate enough throwing 100 ish grain charges.

I'd totally skip the new matchmaster for the auto trickle if that's what you are looking for.

Tl;dr
If you can't afford the rcbs, the gem pro ones on Amazon aren't terrible, but iirc, the one everybody recommends I think got discontinued.

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Old June 25, 2020, 03:27 PM   #4
hounddawg
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I would recommend a $1100 dollar Sartorius

https://www.dscbalances.com/sartoriu...l-balance.html
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Old June 25, 2020, 03:42 PM   #5
nhyrum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hounddawg View Post
I would recommend a $1100 dollar Sartorius



https://www.dscbalances.com/sartoriu...l-balance.html
That's about what my a&d auto trickler cost. The new version with all the billet stuff is probably a couple hundred bucks more.

But yes, if you're serious about precision and accuracy, analytical grade balances are the way to go. Mfr is way more reliable, faster, more accurate, and more precise.

My grandpa runs an analytical lab, and he's always used a&d. So I've also got an in to keep mine certified, which I do every two years, because it doesn't really need to be certified.

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Old June 25, 2020, 03:46 PM   #6
hounddawg
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I think I will splurge on a Autotrickler and throw for my A&D once I get settled in and my new reload room gets set up. Not that I need one but I can afford it and they are neat to watch. Also it will impress the heck out of my new neighbors
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Old June 25, 2020, 04:00 PM   #7
nhyrum
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Quote:
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Also it will impress the heck out of my new neighbors
Sounds like reason enough for me!

You'll love it.

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Old June 25, 2020, 05:32 PM   #8
hounddawg
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hey isn't that what 99% of reloading equipment that is sold for? To show how other reloaders how anal you are and how much disposable income you have? I can get SD's in the single digits and sub .5 MOA using a $20 scale and a Lee classic turret but it does not impress people like a $1500 dollar annealer, $1000 dollar scale and a $300 dollar hydropress
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Old June 25, 2020, 06:01 PM   #9
Carriertxv
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I’ve got two Hornady electronic scales that have worked very well for several years. The G1500 and the LNL bench scale. No matter what scale you get a set of check weights like Lyman, RCBS or others sell to me is a very important thing to have.
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Old June 25, 2020, 06:04 PM   #10
nhyrum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hounddawg View Post
hey isn't that what 99% of reloading equipment that is sold for? To show how other reloaders how anal you are and how much disposable income you have? I can get SD's in the single digits and sub .5 MOA using a $20 scale and a Lee classic turret but it does not impress people like a $1500 dollar annealer, $1000 dollar scale and a $300 dollar hydropress
Man, I am still chasing a creedmoor load I loaded on my old Lee turret with the cheapest Hornady dies and using an old beam scale... And I've got 200 dollar die sets, big massive o frame press and the fancy scale now. I got that load to an es of 4...

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Old June 25, 2020, 06:22 PM   #11
hounddawg
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6.5 CM ? low single digits with a 6.5 is good. I am finding out that the 6MM cartridges are easier to develop and more accurate. There is a reason that the 6 PPC and 6BR family are setting all the records
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Old June 26, 2020, 12:44 AM   #12
markr6754
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I highly recommend this scale. It is extremely accurate and measures to 0.01gr, although published accuracy is to 0.02gr.

Where my National Metallic (the one linked above) will drift between 4.5gr and 4.6gr, this scale will indicate the weight as 4.55gr to 4.59gr and stick there. I use this to test my Frankford Arsenal electronic dispenser.

You could also check out their 6L ultrasonic cleaner if interested. It’s the same unit as RCBS, but at 1/3 the price. Also, it isn’t green.

This is the leftover inventory from bullets.com which went out of business as I started reloading.
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