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Old December 1, 2012, 06:30 PM   #1
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Digital Powder Scales - Which is Best??

I am looking at upgrading to a digital powder scale for my reloading, but want to stay in the $200 range. I have researched some on the various shooting supply sites and it seems that the major brands (RCBS, Lymann, Hornady) are all about 50/50 on the ratings. I don't want to waste my money on something that works half the time. Anyone with experience or recomendations? I'm all ears.
BTW, I load mostly rifle loads with IMR or Hodgdon powder, but occasionally some pistol loads with Unique.
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Old December 1, 2012, 06:36 PM   #2
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Sorry don't use digital yet. Thinking the same thing. I have asked my brother-in-law who works at a pawn shop. He just asked if it has to be a "reloading" scale? or can you use a Jewelry Scale?

Looking at a Jewelry scale, there seems to be better scales (or at least better reviews). So thats what Im going with. I still haven't ordered one yet but will be soon enough.
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Old December 1, 2012, 06:56 PM   #3
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I personally can't imagine spending that kind of money on a scale that didn't include an auto-dispenser.

MidWay has the Hornady LnL AutoCharge on sale right now. Users on The Firing Line seem to really like that scale. It's reviews on MidWay aren't great but it seems to do better in most other places. If I really, really couldn't spend over $200, I'd be buying that in a heart beat.

I haven't used both but I am somewhat inclined to believe that the ChargeMaster from RCBS is a somewhat better unit. I use one of those and I absolutely love it and highly, highly recommend it.

I'd recommend getting either the Hornady dispenser or the RCBS 1500 scale (about $185) and add the dispenser later.
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Old December 1, 2012, 09:10 PM   #4
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You can get the hornady auto charge from Natchez for 169.00. I have not had any issues with mine. I wouldn't be wo it now
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Old December 1, 2012, 09:32 PM   #5
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I was exactly where you are, about 2 years ago. I really wanted an electronic scale, but I knew I would eventually get a dispensing system. The reviews were mixed on both scales and systems.

I bit the bullet (so to speak) and bought the RCBS ChargeMaster Combo. It is a joy to use and I have had not one problem with it. If you buy the scale and unit separately, you are going to pay a premium. Currently at Cabelas you can buy the RCBS ChargeMaster Combo for $299.99 and get a $50 rebate from RCBS. So for just $50 more than your limit, you can have the entire system.

I can't say enough good things about the scale. It is always dead on, I use it to weigh by brass for sorting (try that on a beam scale) and it just works. There may be others out there just as good, but I only know how mine works.

Cabelas link

The tuning of the dispenser makes it much better suited for rifle than lower weight charge handgun dispensing.
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Old December 2, 2012, 05:03 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the input. The mixed reviews I was seeing on Midway and other sites had me concerned, but it sounds like the RCBS system is the way to go.
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Old December 2, 2012, 05:58 PM   #7
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I have a digital scale that was on sale from Midwayusa for 19.99 and it works fine. I have had it about 6 months and no complaints so far.
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Old December 2, 2012, 07:56 PM   #8
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I use an RCBS partner scale. Been using it for years. I load alot of rifle cartridges and a few pistol, but mainly rifle. $200 is a high for a scale only. The RCBS scale I have was built by PACT and their customer service and tech support are superb.
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Old December 3, 2012, 09:04 AM   #9
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I've been reloading many years. When the RCBS ChargeMaster first came out I took the plunge. Never had a problem,it's very accurate & easy to use. If your in the game for the long haul get one. Hope I helped, Be Safe Chris
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Old December 3, 2012, 04:29 PM   #10
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I have been using a $20 digital scale for the last 2 years and it works every time..

I check it against my beam scale to be sure it is still on but, it has never been off.

It seems to me that you would be paying more for the brand then the product.
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Old December 3, 2012, 05:00 PM   #11
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I have Hornady's electronic scale and it works really well if you understand how electronic scales work.
You can not use it for anything under 1.0 gr. If you load bullseye in 32 s&w long or short you are out of luck. starting load is one grain of bullseye.
The scales are just not calibrated to go to that low of an extreeme. The same applies to the high end of what the scale will do.
In the range where the scale is calibrated for, usually above 1-2 grains, they are very accurate.

The Hornady that I have is dead on until the air conditioner comes on, then I have to wait , their that sensitive.
As long as you realize what your dealing with you will be fine with an electonic scale, but you need a beam scale to back it up for double checking the calibration when setting up a powder measure. If both my beam and elect match, I know I'm good to go. Then I use the elect scale for the rest of the run. It is about 4 times faster than a beam scale.
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Old December 3, 2012, 05:17 PM   #12
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GemPro 250
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Old December 3, 2012, 05:32 PM   #13
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Having a balance scale to check your digital scale is nice, but not necessary. The digital scale comes with one or more check weights. Before I weigh anything with my scale, I toss on a quality bullet of known weight like a 180 grain Accubond. If the scale were actually off by one grain on a 60 grain powder load, it would be off by three grains on the 180 grain bullet which would be very noticeable. If the scale is in error, it would generally be way off.
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Old December 3, 2012, 10:04 PM   #14
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digital scales

Just a thought...if you are loading something so critical (I cant imagine a unique load would be) that a .1 grn deviation might blow up your gun, it might behoove you to make certain your digital scale has better that a .2 or .1 margin of error. Not so big for rifles, but pistols, the difference between 15.2 and 15.3 grains of 2400 might mean the difference between making a whitetail deer sad or making your gun sad. Since I reload .357 almost exclusively anymore (and my gun and I LOVE the 15.2 grains of 2400 over 158 JSP), I ended up sticking with my balance scale. I'm already over current published data (not old data though) and I don't want to press it to 15.3 or event 15.4 on accident.
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Old December 10, 2012, 08:39 PM   #15
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I did a lot of soul seaching on the powder scales, today I ordered myself the RCBS Chargemaster combo. Yes it was more but the rebate helps and I think it is the better system, think I will be better off in the long run.
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