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ipser

Digital vs. Balance Scale

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I have always used a balance scale to check my powder drop at the start and intermittantly, about every 50 rounds.

 

I'm thinking about getting a digital scale to do a load of 223 where I check the weight every single round. And I would like to check my larger caliber rifle ammo every round as well.

 

I used to own a super-cheap digital scale but it started acting funny so I threw it out. But what I liked about it, when it worked, was that I could zero it on the empty case and then check the weight of the case with powder.

 

Would a digital scale speed up reloading when checking every load? Would a trickler help?

 

What is the best scale for doing that?

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29 minutes ago, ipser said:

I have always used a balance scale to check my powder drop at the start and intermittantly, about every 50 rounds.

 

I'm thinking about getting a digital scale to do a load of 223 where I check the weight every single round. And I would like to check my larger caliber rifle ammo every round as well.

 

I used to own a super-cheap digital scale but it started acting funny so I threw it out. But what I liked about it, when it worked, was that I could zero it on the empty case and then check the weight of the case with powder.

 

Would a digital scale speed up reloading when checking every load? Would a trickler help?

 

What is the best scale for doing that?

 

Sure it will be faster.  A trickler would be handy to have if you are going to weigh every charge. You could go slower and just buy one of the RCBS Charge Master that dispenses and weighs at the same time. It is very handy if you want to make lots of powder changes and charge weights over a regular measure. One way to speed up your regular gear for precise loading is to throw about 0.5 light and then trickle the charge up directly on the scale.  Any of the above mentioned rigs would work. I used a PACT for years but now use the RCBS CM with the odd load being checked as needed 

 

Greg

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I use  Lyman Gen 6 Touch Screen Powder System auto charger, It dispenses and weights in one shot. One thing with these styles is they are only accurate to .1gr so if you want more accurate then that you do what Greg mentioned and throw a bit light (.2gr for me) put that on the balance beam scale and trickle charge to perfection.

The touch screen is a finicky thing and I can't say I am totally pleased with that part of it but it does work.

To speed things up you can use the auto trickler then transfer that powder to the beam scales pan then put the auto pan back on the scale and it can auto charge so it starts a new charge once it senses the pan being on it, while that is going on you trickle up to your target on the beam scale and dump in the case, by then the auto charger has another full pan .....rinse an repeat.

Quick and accurate.

 

Darrell

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How much are you willing to spend on the scale?

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fiddy cents

 

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When I load, I load at different levels of precision.  Of course, individual weighing each round is the highest precision. 

 

Now as for balance beam vs electronic scale, if you assume one grain is one grain no matter how you get there, they both have the same precision.  The difference then is an electronic scale is much faster.  Now that said unlike a scale purely based on gravity, an electronic scale is all about technique.  You basically need to insure its in calibration by using a dead weight or two and the how differs by scale manufacturer with the better ones have a calibration feature.  Calibration features vary from simply a zero adjustment to zero and span basically two adjustments here and then there.  Its still way faster than a balance beam. 

 

Note on any scale, lower the range the more accurate the scale. 

 

As for which electronic scale, that depends on how precision a load you plan to do.  I use an older Lyman with double weights.  I do precision loads and my technique is pretty good because I have used scales my entire work career.  A more expensive scale, it does fine but even it has a quirk.  Mine is designed to work on either a 9 volt or AC adapter.  It drifts more without the 9volt so I run both at the same time.  Of the newer scales dedicated to reloading, I don't really know.  The new Lyman 2000 uses one weight for calibration but claims to have "anti-drift" while the RCBS 2000 and Hornady 1500 use a classic two weight.  I'd probably lean now to a two weight.  All three of these are $100 plus options. 

 

Now that doesn't mean the cheapies don't have place either.  If you check them say with a balance beam for repeatability, they're not bad for a slightly lessor precision loads.  They're basically just not as precise and don't last as long but then how important that is depends on your weight goal and how many rounds you load. 

 

Tricklers are just like electronic scales in that they are faster than manually trickling with a powder spoon.  Hands down the best trickler is the Redding no. 5.  They all pretty much work on the same principle but the Redding has a very heavy base which makes it more stable. 

 

Pretty much all these things, the more you use them and continually check your results, the better you get and faster you get.  There's a learning curve to this stuff just like there is to all the reloading stuff and this vs that down to how fast.  I have found if you think of reloading as manufacturing, you do better.  That means applying a quality control plan.  I give as much emphasis to a quality control plan as I do actual load data.  My plans include a sample timing etc and its continually changing.  If I have a load, I have quality plan but many of the plans overlap.  For example, a plinker load for .223 55 grain and 62 grain would possibly have the same plan, check this many rounds out of this many for powder weight, etc.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Tj

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This is my dream scale...(in case you guys haven't bought my Christmas present yet. :laugh:)

I'll have one one day.  

FXi-500.jpg

 

https://www.oldwillknottscales.com/and-fx-120i.html

 

 

 

I doubt I'll have the auto-throw and auto trickler that you can get to go with it, but I do want that scale.  

 

img_20181205_1227245618339085401172228.j

 

https://www.area419.com/product/auto-trickler-complete-powder-dispensing-unit-w-ad-fx120i-scale/

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Srgt. Hulka said:

This is my dream scale...(in case you guys haven't bought my Christmas present yet. :laugh:)

I'll have one one day.  

FXi-500.jpg

 

https://www.oldwillknottscales.com/and-fx-120i.html

 

 

 

I doubt I'll have the auto-throw and auto trickler that you can get to go with it, but I do want that scale.  

 

img_20181205_1227245618339085401172228.j

 

https://www.area419.com/product/auto-trickler-complete-powder-dispensing-unit-w-ad-fx120i-scale/

 

 

 

Wouldn't THAT be something!

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5 hours ago, Srgt. Hulka said:

This is my dream scale...(in case you guys haven't bought my Christmas present yet. :laugh:)

I'll have one one day.  

FXi-500.jpg

 

https://www.oldwillknottscales.com/and-fx-120i.html

 

 

 

I doubt I'll have the auto-throw and auto trickler that you can get to go with it, but I do want that scale.  

 

img_20181205_1227245618339085401172228.j

 

https://www.area419.com/product/auto-trickler-complete-powder-dispensing-unit-w-ad-fx120i-scale/

 

 

 

 

Since it has a "dynamic weighing feature that is good for weighing animals"

Could I borrow it to weigh my tree frogs to see how much weight they are gaining

and to help predict breeding condition, please ? 

I only plan to breed once or twice a year using simulated winter and spring/summer environments, and would only need the scale for a couple 

of weeks at a time.  

Thanks, brother.

John

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On 8/14/2019 at 9:05 PM, newbe said:

How much are you willing to spend on the scale?

 

Reading through the replies here, I'm thining very had about this question.

 

Everyone here seems to be a fan of the high end gizmos.

 

But it's not just cost, it's also time. These don't fit easily into the reloading process.

 

Lots to think about here.

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On 8/16/2019 at 11:16 AM, ipser said:

 

Reading through the replies here, I'm thining very had about this question.

 

Everyone here seems to be a fan of the high end gizmos.

 

But it's not just cost, it's also time. These don't fit easily into the reloading process.

 

Lots to think about here.

 

It's all  a matter of degree. You can take a longtime to load perfect cartridges by weighing, sorting, tweaking the run out etc. and spend lots of $$'s for the gear and then your time. It boils down to the ultimate usage. 3Gun is pretty haphazard in its demands for quality but 500/1000 yard F-Class is a different zip code in demands.  On my GOOD stuff I'll do concentricity checks and tweak them back in to under 0.001 run out. Most ammo I use is shot as it comes in my testing with no additional work. I don't sort brass other than times fired in most of it.  However there are times when it has to be the best I can lay down.

 

One great thing is the equipment is only bought once in most scenarios.  It can be as accurate as you want to make it with your checkbook.  I can turn out extremely good ammunition quickly on my progressive presses that will run with anything on-the range in 99% of the work I do and matches I play in. On the long range stuff it is always onsey twosey using a turret press run as a single stage. Of course that is only 100 rounds. If I need huge quantities of PD stuff I'll fire up one of the Dillons and still know I'm going to be a player at 350 yards with no issues. My 3Gun stuff is developed to shoot under an MOA or I won't shoot it period. I can load this on my 550 or 650.  I can't settle for stuff that just goes in the chamber and goes bang so it gets quite a bit more TLC.  

 

I'm retired so time is of little importance to me. When I worked full time and shot a match every weekend for virtually 25  years I used my turret and progressives. Good enough to win a truck load of Gold and keep a lead mine running somewhere was all I asked of it and it did work. Most guys here work but have been bitten by the Accuracy Dragon and are now chasing him hither and yon. It's all good and many are squeezing it in when they can like Newbe and TT with SJ bringing up a fast third place. Some of the bolt guns shooters on here are top tier in their work but I'm not going to stoke their egos as they might show up in Phoenix and want to throw down. I hate getting down on my belly at my age but you just never back down then!! :segrin:

 

Time is money, money is time and success is what you make of it.

 

Greg

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Greg hit on several biggies with quality purchases being one of them.

It hurts a little bit now, but you'll be a lot better off down the road.  That cost amortized over several years is literally pennies a day.

 

The real question is, how confident do you want to be in the end product, and what will be your expectations of it?

 

My scales aren't cheap, and they can at times be quirky, but as long as you recognize what's going on, you can correct it or work around it.  For precision rifle loading, that means I'm hand weighing every single charge to within 0.02gr or less.  This way if something doesn't happen down range on the target, I know it wasn't die to charge weight variation.

 

Probably more so the nut behind the trigger (me), but let's not go there.  It's bad for the ego. :laugh:

 

Greg's got a lot of experience in the reloading and competition process, and I've piggybacked off of a lot of his knowledge (especially when I first got into precision rifle loading).  

 

Its still an ongoing process learning about the details of precision reloading, as things are always changing and techniques constantly being challenged as new information comes down the pipe.

 

One can drive themselves nuts trying to control every little variable, but I can think of worse ways to lose my sanity :laugh:

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Posted (edited)

For decades I've used an RCBS UniFlow powder measure to just dump power into pistol cases, and otherwise in conjunction with a trickler and Lyman balance scale for rifle loads. It was time consuming, but reasonably accurate.

Now I have an RCBS CM-1500 and I couldn't be happier. It's faster and more accurate than my old method, and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to operate it.

 

They can be had used in good shape at an affordable price, and IMO they are worth seeking out if you can't bring yourself to part with the $ for a new one.

 

ETA: Right now there is a Lyman for $175 and an RCBS CM for $275 for sale on the Hide.

Edited by Longhair

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That will do fine. It is your basic entry level beam balance that gives the 0.1 accuracy as do most of the electronic ones. I stared in 1976 with a equivalent one that you are looking at. My RCBS has a dial drum set up for the tenths and is a tiny bit more repeatable for splitting hairs. Honestly a + or - 0.1 will rarely be noticed in most groupings at 100 yards given all else is equal.

 

Gree

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