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Powder Scales, and measuring systems

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BE Mike
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Powder Scales, and measuring systems Empty Powder Scales, and measuring systems

Post by Eindecker Sat Oct 08, 2022 8:45 pm

I havent done much reloading, never got the time to get into it before life happened to me. So i havent had much gear collecting. 

I used a LEE powder scale that turned out to be manufactured wrong. They machined 4 slots into the beam that the metal blade could use as a pivot point, and no repeatability. 

I have a Hornady "pocket scale", the real tiny one they have.  Its not exactly reliable. I can get the factory 10 gram weight to read anywhere from 9,8 to 10.125 grams at and after calibration.  Certain spots on the big metal plate the powder pan goes on are wildly innacurate so i have to weigh 3 to 5 times for each charge.

And my powder measuring is the Lee Dipper kit.  Still have a gun, and all my fingers so I do believe the theory behind it.  Although the fact that the dippers are undersized I am concerned on under charging it.. 

     ie the lee data says .32 cc as minnum charge, and the manual tells you to use the .30 cc dipper as the starting charge.


What should I actually look into getting. An over priced electronic scale, or a modestly priced beam scale like the hornady one?

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Post by jglenn21 Sat Oct 08, 2022 9:30 pm

Buy the best beam scale you can.
An old ohaus RCBS 10-10 or a Lyman M5 off eBay.
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Post by Dcforman Sun Oct 09, 2022 7:44 am

Yup, a beam scale would be the most affordable. When it comes to measuring powder by volume, that's a sound practice, and every powder measure on a progressive or single stage press uses this theory. Also keep in mind that most bullseye shooters use loads below the starting charge weight listed in manuals. My 38 special 148 HBWC fly at 700 fps, 2.7 WST.

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Post by NukeMMC Sun Oct 09, 2022 8:03 am

Send me your address.  I have a beam scale I will send you.  It has been sitting in a box downstairs for about 10 years now, unused since I went to electronic.  I believe it's either Forster or Hornady.
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Post by SteveT Sun Oct 09, 2022 9:28 am

Beam scales are good and should be repeatable... it's just physics, but is slower to use so I don't take as many measurement when I use one.

I've had limited success with a couple of reloading branded scales. I think I have some electro-magnetic interference in the reloading corner of the basement. Two different reloading scales would sometimes work great and sometimes never settle down to a reading.

Cheap < $100 jewelers scales are garbage in my experience.

I have been intrigued by Creedmoor's reloading scale (link here). If I didn't already have a A&D FX120i I would probably try it out.
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Post by BE Mike Sun Oct 09, 2022 9:39 am

SteveT wrote:Beam scales are good and should be repeatable... it's just physics, but is slower to use so I don't take as many measurement when I use one.

I've had limited success with a couple of reloading branded scales. I think I have some electro-magnetic interference in the reloading corner of the basement. Two different reloading scales would sometimes work great and sometimes never settle down to a reading.

Cheap < $100 jewelers scales are garbage in my experience.

I have been intrigued by Creedmoor's reloading scale (link here). If I didn't already have a A&D FX120i I would probably try it out.
No offense intended, but if I were to spend the money on a Creedmoor scale, I'd instead get an RCBS Chargemaster and have a powder dispenser and scale, all in one. Although the Lyman Gen 6 doesn't seem to get as good reviews as the RCBS, I've had a Lyman Gen 3 for many years and it is always spot on. I check it often with my Lyman weight check set.
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Post by NukeMMC Sun Oct 09, 2022 10:11 am

BE Mike wrote:
SteveT wrote:Beam scales are good and should be repeatable... it's just physics, but is slower to use so I don't take as many measurement when I use one.

I've had limited success with a couple of reloading branded scales. I think I have some electro-magnetic interference in the reloading corner of the basement. Two different reloading scales would sometimes work great and sometimes never settle down to a reading.

Cheap < $100 jewelers scales are garbage in my experience.

I have been intrigued by Creedmoor's reloading scale (link here). If I didn't already have a A&D FX120i I would probably try it out.
No offense intended, but if I were to spend the money on a Creedmoor scale, I'd instead get an RCBS Chargemaster and have a powder dispenser and scale, all in one. Although the Lyman Gen 6 doesn't seem to get as good reviews as the RCBS, I've had a Lyman Gen 3 for many years and it is always spot on. I check it often with my Lyman weight check set.
I have 2 of the RCBS Chargemasters that I do rifle loads with.  I have tuned their settings for each powder I throw.  I use 1 for throwing the charge and the other for checking.  Their scales are 0.1gr off from each other, not an issue if you know it is there.  One day I'll probably get an FX120i or Sartorius and the Area 419 kit, since I do long range also, but for now, my tuned Chargemasters do single-digit Sd.

For pistol, I have found my Dillon measures on my 550 and my Lee Pro auto-disk with adjustable charge bar are surprisingly consistent with the loads I put thru them.
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Post by Rodger Barthlow Sun Oct 09, 2022 10:24 am

NukeMMC wrote:
BE Mike wrote:
SteveT wrote:Beam scales are good and should be repeatable... it's just physics, but is slower to use so I don't take as many measurement when I use one.

I've had limited success with a couple of reloading branded scales. I think I have some electro-magnetic interference in the reloading corner of the basement. Two different reloading scales would sometimes work great and sometimes never settle down to a reading.

Cheap < $100 jewelers scales are garbage in my experience.

I have been intrigued by Creedmoor's reloading scale (link here). If I didn't already have a A&D FX120i I would probably try it out.
No offense intended, but if I were to spend the money on a Creedmoor scale, I'd instead get an RCBS Chargemaster and have a powder dispenser and scale, all in one. Although the Lyman Gen 6 doesn't seem to get as good reviews as the RCBS, I've had a Lyman Gen 3 for many years and it is always spot on. I check it often with my Lyman weight check set.
I have 2 of the RCBS Chargemasters that I do rifle loads with.  I have tuned their settings for each powder I throw.  I use 1 for throwing the charge and the other for checking.  Their scales are 0.1gr off from each other, not an issue if you know it is there.  One day I'll probably get an FX120i or Sartorius and the Area 419 kit, since I do long range also, but for now, my tuned Chargemasters do single-digit Sd.

For pistol, I have found my Dillon measures on my 550 and my Lee Pro auto-disk with adjustable charge bar are surprisingly consistent with the loads I put thru them.
I'm a big Dillon fan and have three of their presses, SDB,450/550 and a 550 with multiple tool heads and powder measurers. I have found that you need to use the extra small powder charge bar made for the .32 S&W in the powder measures to get consistent powder drops with small grain ball powder (WST). I back these up with a RCBS 10/10/10 beam scale that I bought back in the 1980's, I also have a Gem electronic scale for checking cast bullet weight for consistency. The bullet weight isn't as critical as the powder charge but needed to find bullets with voids and lighter weight.
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Post by SingleActionAndrew Sun Oct 09, 2022 10:35 am

BE Mike wrote:
SteveT wrote:Beam scales are good and should be repeatable... it's just physics, but is slower to use so I don't take as many measurement when I use one.

I've had limited success with a couple of reloading branded scales. I think I have some electro-magnetic interference in the reloading corner of the basement. Two different reloading scales would sometimes work great and sometimes never settle down to a reading.

Cheap < $100 jewelers scales are garbage in my experience.

I have been intrigued by Creedmoor's reloading scale (link here). If I didn't already have a A&D FX120i I would probably try it out.
No offense intended, but if I were to spend the money on a Creedmoor scale, I'd instead get an RCBS Chargemaster and have a powder dispenser and scale, all in one. Although the Lyman Gen 6 doesn't seem to get as good reviews as the RCBS, I've had a Lyman Gen 3 for many years and it is always spot on. I check it often with my Lyman weight check set.

The chargemaster is able to have all of those extra features for the cost if not for half the cost of the balances Steve mentioned because the scale in the RCBS is a $50 unit on a good day. The precision is low and the calibration & zero have a mind of their own. It was frustration using the RCBS Chargemaster that drove me to the FX120.
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Post by RodJ Sun Oct 09, 2022 5:29 pm

NukeMMC wrote:Send me your address.  I have a beam scale I will send you.  It has been sitting in a box downstairs for about 10 years now, unused since I went to electronic.  I believe it's either Forster or Hornady.
This ^^^^ all day long and a generous offer.

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Post by BE Mike Mon Oct 10, 2022 10:31 am

Decades ago I had a Lyman balance beam scale. After many years, I finally bought the Lyman weight check set. I found that the scale was off in the lower range (pistol powder range). I sent it back to Lyman and when I got it back, it was off in the upper range (bullet weight range). I find the electronic scales (I used to own a Dillon) accurate and speedy to use. I understand their limitations, i.e. sensitive to air movement and some electric current conditions. I guess I'm just lucky that I have found good ones and my reloading area has no such interferences. I do find my Dillon powder measures accurate for pistol powders. I've found that + or - .1 grain not to affect accuracy to any great extent. Bullet choice is critical for 50 yard accuracy. The condition of bullet bases and weight consistency ARE very important.
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Post by RodJ Mon Oct 10, 2022 7:40 pm

To your point BE Mike, fc60 Dave, provided me a succinct rundown on what he’s found to be most important variables. Powder charge, not so much. 

https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t19549-4-0-bullseye-brazos-200-lswc

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Post by jcullen47 Fri Nov 04, 2022 3:17 pm

RCBS  10-10 tuned by Scott Parker, if you can find one....outstanding

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