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Old 09-29-2012, 13:25   #61
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Originally Posted by PCJim View Post
The real point should be that, of all the reloading equipment that one needs, the scale is the single most important component that you should never go cheap on. Trust me that from experience I can tell you that inexpensive digital scales will wander and your charges (in a high pressure case to begin with) could become dangerous.

Remember that in reloading, you are creating controlled explosive devices that, within certain parameters, are generally safe. Overcharge a single round due to a $30 scale and the resulting damage to yourself and your firearms could easily run in the thousands, including damages that cannot be repaired.
PCJim is exactly right. We are not trying to convey information to puff up our chests. It is not a Chevy vs. Ford thing.

This is the one area that is downright critical: to ensure that the charge that goes into the case is what you expect it to be. There is no way I would rely upon a cheap electronic scale for that purpose -- and virtually no experienced hand loader would either.

Let's think about it this way. You are dealing with a high level of precision. One ounce is a pretty light weight. There are 437.5 grains in one ounce. We handloaders are measuring to the tenth of a grain. That means that you need a tool that is precise to 1/4375 of an ounce!

I have a close contact that I have mentored in handloading. He went with a cheap scale against my suggestions for loading various rifle cartridges. He also had a quality beam scale. For whatever reason, he had more faith in electronics than mechanics.

Results: His velocities were inconsistent with the occasional big outlier low or high velocities with sometimes an ejector imprint on the case head and sticky bolt lift (symptoms of high pressure). A few case head separations later, and I feel that he is lucky to not yet have had a KB. He would not get his mind around the fact that it was his scale that was the culprit. Inconsistent charge weights were evident to everyone but him. After all he "zeroed it regularly" and verified the readings with the included heavy check weight - so the scale must be accurate he argued. He also touted the online product reviews (this sounds familiar).

He told me that he did not use the beam scale because his electronic scale "proved" that the "beam scale was all over the place." When in reality it was the other way around. He would weigh a charge on the electronic scale and move it to the beam scale. The beam scale would show different readings -- high or low. So in his mind the beam scale was inconsitent. In actuality, the beam scale demonstrated how utterly unreliable the electronic scale was.

I have an RCBS 505 beam scale that I like a lot and a set of check weights that will cover 0.5 grains to 60 grains and combinations in between. When I set my scale, the check weights show that the scale is precisely right. If my load is 8.5 grains, I zero the scale, set it to 8.5 and put 8.5 grains worth of check weights on the pan just to be sure. Then the powder throw is adjusted to throw that charge weight and off I go.

OP, we are not trying to be mean to you, or pile on. This is just too darned important. Listen to the experts here on this one issue where there is virtually unanimous agreement (that otherwise never happens here).

Last edited by Taterhead; 09-29-2012 at 13:28..
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Old 09-29-2012, 13:40   #62
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FWIW, you can NOT verify one scale w/ another unless one scale has been checked using certified or verified check wts. I am always amazed how little people know about their chosen hobby, particulalry when your health is drectly at risk. A 125gr bullet is NOT a check wt, they can vary as much as 0.2gr +/-. I've said it befreo, cheap out on your other gear, but spend good money on a scale. If you arelimited on funds, then it's going to be a quality beam scale. Until someone proves it to me with a lot of use, there are no good/cheap (read much under $100 retail) dig scales for reloading.
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Old 09-30-2012, 23:26   #63
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Try Ebay for deals on used equipment. I've bouth several bargains there.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:57   #64
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My intention is to go and purchase one of the aforementioned scales later this week..

It is frustrating though.. I have looked at the RCBS 502 and 505... Like anything, you have people who say theyre great in reviews, and others who say their crap. I just dont want to make a mistake on a $70-$80 scale here...

The dillion scale I believe can only be purchased from Dillion so I might go that route as well..

I'll make a final decision in the next day soon, but I am waiting for my book (to be delivered tomorrow) so when I see what "components" I need (bullets, powder, primer [dont need brass now]), Ill buy the proper scale... (so I can hopefully order everything at one time).. you know.. shipping sucks so I want to get it all together...
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:10   #65
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Originally Posted by RYT 2BER View Post
My intention is to go and purchase one of the aforementioned scales later this week..

It is frustrating though.. I have looked at the RCBS 502 and 505... Like anything, you have people who say theyre great in reviews, and others who say their crap. I just dont want to make a mistake on a $70-$80 scale here...
Website reviews can be helpful for flagging potential 'gotchas', but sometimes I question the common sense and actual past experience of some reviewers. So although web reviews may help in a decision, you sometimes have to consider the source.

I've seen many reviews of phone apps where people say the app is junk and doesn't work as advertised, and I've downloaded and run them perfectly. It's a similar thing for reloading hardware sometimes. At least most of the 'old' posters around here can stand on their record.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:21   #66
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When people post reviews. You in most cases donít know if they load 50 rounds a week or 500+ a week. How often do they use the product? Is it a great review because that is what they bought? Or they donít know any difference in the quality of different products.
Like I have said before and others have stated here. Of all the reloading products you buy the scale is the most important. It is one piece of equipment that if it is wrong can destroy a gun and hurt the person.
Some people think that a beam scale is always accurate. I know of two cases where it was not. That is why check weights are very important. To verify that the scale is reading what it should. The weights that come with some of the scales in most cases are calibration weights not check weights. There is a difference. Also it does not do any good to put a 25 or more calibration weight on the scale for a check weight when you are only loading say 3 grains of powder.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:26   #67
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Originally Posted by RYT 2BER View Post
My intention is to go and purchase one of the aforementioned scales later this week..

It is frustrating though.. I have looked at the RCBS 502 and 505... Like anything, you have people who say theyre great in reviews, and others who say their crap. I just dont want to make a mistake on a $70-$80 scale here...

The dillion scale I believe can only be purchased from Dillion so I might go that route as well..

I'll make a final decision in the next day soon, but I am waiting for my book (to be delivered tomorrow) so when I see what "components" I need (bullets, powder, primer [dont need brass now]), Ill buy the proper scale... (so I can hopefully order everything at one time).. you know.. shipping sucks so I want to get it all together...
Get the Dillon and don't look back. No reason to spend more. If you want to spend more I would get the Redding. But ANY decent beam scale is going to be more reliable then the cheap electric. You should also invest in some check weights. But barring spending money on some weights you can make a 5 gr item and check you scale regularly with it to see if it is weighting the same as it was before. That is the downfall of the Electric Scale. People who actually check them regularly will find the cheap ones do drift. Once or twice they are OK. But if you check them 20 times are they reading the same all 20 times that day and the next and the next. In the 5 gr weight range not the huge check weight that comes with the scale.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:40   #68
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It is frustrating though.. I have looked at the RCBS 502 and 505... Like anything, you have people who say theyre great in reviews, and others who say their crap. I just dont want to make a mistake on a $70-$80 scale here...

The dillion scale I believe can only be purchased from Dillion so I might go that route as well..
Either of the RCBS 502 or 505 will be fine. So will the Dillon and it is a little cheaper based on my quick review of web sites.

In either event, you still need a set of check weights.

You can read the User Manuals for each of these scales from the respective manufacturer's web sites. See if there is some part of the description that seems to favor one over the other.

OTOH, if your short list really IS 502, 505 or Eliminator, start a new thread asking specifically about those scales. I don't think you want to ask about the Lee. It isn't highly regarded around here.

CAVEAT:

I have a rather low end RCBS scale that came in a kit I bought about 30 years ago. I don't use it. Further, I haven't used ANY of the listed beam scales. I'm using the Dillon D-Terminator digital scale and an RCBS Chargemaster which incorporates a digital scale.

But I would use any of the 3 and I don't think I have a preference for 2 poise versus 3 poise as long as I can set the charge weight to 0.1 gr.

Richard
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:49   #69
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Website reviews can be helpful for flagging potential 'gotchas', but sometimes I question the common sense and actual past experience of some reviewers. So although web reviews may help in a decision, you sometimes have to consider the source.
Even the purported 'gotchas' are often wrong. I just read a review of one of the RCBS scales and it said the scale could only be set to the whole gr and that the 0.1 increment had to be read off the beam pointer. WRONG!

Sometimes it is worth reading the User Manual in advance of purchase just to see if the person writing the review had the faintest glimmer of real knowledge or experience.

Richard
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:56   #70
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Also, any issue with a Good Beam is going to be handled easily by the manufacture. Dillon has a STELLAR Customer Service Dept. I have even heard of someone dropping a box of bullets on their scale and Dillon replaced it. Not recommended but that was the report by the owner. You simply can not go wrong with Dillon. People know that Dillon stands behind their mechanical products forever so they have excellent resale as a result. Any issue with any product is promptly handled for free by Dillon. So people buy used Dillon items with confidence and pay a little more as a result.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:02   #71
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Also, any issue with a Good Beam is going to be handled easily by the manufacture. Dillon has a STELLAR Customer Service Dept. I have even heard of someone dropping a box of bullets on their scale and Dillon replaced it. Not recommended but that was the report by the owner. You simply can not go wrong with Dillon. People know that Dillon stands behind their mechanical products forever so they have excellent resale as a result. Any issue with any product is promptly handled for free by Dillon. So people buy used Dillon items with confidence and pay a little more as a result.
Ill probably just go with the Dillion.. they send me catalogs all the time so I feel like I owe it to them

Theyve spend a ton on catalogs so I think theyve earned the business
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:36   #72
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How did you get on the Dillon list?
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Old 10-01-2012, 15:01   #73
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I got news for you... Ive been snooping around looking for a potential component supplier... Looks like the hardest part of reloading is going to be finding bullets!!!!!
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Old 10-01-2012, 15:16   #74
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I got news for you... Ive been snooping around looking for a potential component supplier... Looks like the hardest part of reloading is going to be finding bullets!!!!!
Think of the money you'll save by not using bullets in your reloads!


Are you hoping for something specific? I never have supply problems with Montana Gold, but I order ahead of when I actually need them. They're also a little spendy.
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Old 10-01-2012, 15:34   #75
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I got news for you... Ive been snooping around looking for a potential component supplier... Looks like the hardest part of reloading is going to be finding bullets!!!!!
Precision Delta for jacketed bullets
Powder Valley for powder and primers

Powder Valley also sells bullets but the only bullets I have bought from them are Sierra BTHP Match for .308

There's a $27.50 HazMat fee on shipping powder and primers. Therefore, the order size has to be large enough that the savings covers the fee versus buying in small quantities at the LGS.

Montana Gold also makes jacketed bullets. I have bought a bunch of their .45 ACP, 9mm and .223. The prices are better at Precision Delta but sometimes Montana Gold will have what I need in stock.

Once again, look at the stickies. There is one dedicated to suppliers.

Richard
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Old 10-01-2012, 16:30   #76
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How did you get on the Dillon list?
Umm some time ago I had bought a speed strip case from them. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense
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Old 10-01-2012, 16:39   #77
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Umm some time ago I had bought a speed strip case from them. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense
Some things are just meant to be. You'll see.
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Old 10-01-2012, 18:15   #78
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Even the purported 'gotchas' are often wrong. I just read a review of one of the RCBS scales and it said the scale could only be set to the whole gr and that the 0.1 increment had to be read off the beam pointer. WRONG!

Sometimes it is worth reading the User Manual in advance of purchase just to see if the person writing the review had the faintest glimmer of real knowledge or experience.

Richard
Again, many people writing reviewes don't have enough exp to understand what they are using.
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Old 10-01-2012, 18:50   #79
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Think of the money you'll save by not using bullets in your reloads!


Are you hoping for something specific? I never have supply problems with Montana Gold, but I order ahead of when I actually need them. They're also a little spendy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by F106 Fan View Post
Precision Delta for jacketed bullets
Powder Valley for powder and primers

Powder Valley also sells bullets but the only bullets I have bought from them are Sierra BTHP Match for .308

There's a $27.50 HazMat fee on shipping powder and primers. Therefore, the order size has to be large enough that the savings covers the fee versus buying in small quantities at the LGS.

Montana Gold also makes jacketed bullets. I have bought a bunch of their .45 ACP, 9mm and .223. The prices are better at Precision Delta but sometimes Montana Gold will have what I need in stock.

Once again, look at the stickies. There is one dedicated to suppliers.

Richard

Thanks for this info and ill check the stickies. I assume I'll figure it out when I get the book tomorrow... I was under the assumption that load (recipie) data was specific for a particular bullet but I guess I'm going to learn that tomorrow from my reading.
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Old 10-01-2012, 19:24   #80
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It is. Unfortunately you are not going to find your bullet, powder and primer, case combo. They also do not use the same gun you do.

That is why smart people check two or more sources and then start LOW and work up.
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