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Discussion in 'Reloading' started by BuckeyeGlock77, Oct 18, 2019.
Done once, done right and my kids can fight over it.
A good beam scale will rarely let you down (not LEE). If you must have an elec, plan on spending $100+ IMO. I have yet to see the cheap $30 scales to hold their zero & IMO, a total must for repeatable accuracy.
Appreciate the feedback. I’m actually leaning towards a good beam scale and check weight.
Won’t be in a huge hurry, just going to reload when get time and teach my son and daughter how to do it. My daughter enjoys plinking with me.
5-0-5 and a set of check weights, purchased 30 years ago.......nuf said
I have a couple of old Ohaus and a set of Pacific check weights. I also have a PACT, Dillon and RCBS Chargemaster 1500. All are of good quality IMHO.
The reality however is the PACT and RCBS are used 99% of the time. I use the check weights sometimes for sanity. Neither one drift and they stay true. The beam scales are in the their boxes.
It may have been said before, but make sure you keep buzzy electronics away and stable power supply. Use a dryer softener sheet to wipe things down like the powder measure hopper. This will cut down on static electricity. The big no no is anything that is blowing. Ceiling fan AC vent..... The RCBS has an air shield.
I don't use the Pan for measuring. I use a very clean primed fired case. I weight it first and zero the scale. I use this case to calibrate the powder measure.
If you get a digital and it allows. Always calibrate in the zone you are working. For example you may have a choice to calibrate 0-20 grains. or 0-100. For pistol, choose the 0-20, for that is closer to your work zone.
Also, my scales are on a heavy and flat surface. Avoid having them subject to continuous vibration and such.
Taterhead has always given me good advice.
I started with a Lee beam scale - worst thing I ever tried to use. Then I got a Pact digital scale - second worse thing I ever tried to use - won't hold a consistent calibration so I really have no idea how much powder I am loading. Finally got a used RCBS 505 off Ebay and that's all I use now. Pretty much foolproof and simple. Also got a Lyman check weight set.
The 505 is what I use.
Anyone who has a 505 and check weights ever find a use for the check weights? After you zero your 505, I can't figure how it would ever be off.
I have a bunch of them, your setting a powder measure not loading to set a 1 mile record. I’d use one of my digital scales because they are fast and easy. My beam scales have a better resolution than all but the most expensive digital scales though.
The old 505 and 10-10 scales are solid, the china ones were so bad they dropped the line all together and came out with new beam scales. To make matters worse they used the same casting, so on the bottom of the turds they still say that they were made in the US and had a made in China sticker stuck on the bottom. I would inspect closely either that looked new because once someone takes the sticker off, you wouldn’t know the difference at first glance.
For those benches that aren't perfectly level or even level with irregular surfaces...or if debris lands anywhere atop the scale or interferes with pivot, 30 seconds spent with check-weights is bloody cheap insurance. Imagine the ensuing head-scratching of over-cooking a batch then coming-up short on the next.
...they thought of us when they designed them and put a leveling foot on them.
A lot of love for beams here! I've got a Redding #2 beam and a RCBS digital 750 (I don't see it made anymore). I can appreciate the Redding in certain circumstances, but the RCBS digital is my go to scale. If you are measuring a lot of things of different value quickly, the digital is much faster. You just need to keep in mind that the longer you are off of zero, the more that strain gauge can wander.
I have used this old RCBS 304 for many years, and believe with care it will last for many more .
You're right. The zero can wander by a tenth or so if the scale is jostled next to the action of the press. But on a stable, isolated surface it's not going anywhere
I find that check weights can detect operator error like setting a poise "in-between" two notches. Or worse, seeing it on an 8 when a 7 was intended.
My process is to zero the scale. Set the weight, then check weight to the nearest 1/2 grain.
That's what I was thinking.
Every time I sit down to my bench, I check to see if the 505 is zeroed. If it isn't, then I just turn the leveling foot dial until it is.
The reason it might not be zeroed is because it got moved on my bench. If I keep it in the same spot, it stays zeroed. But it could have got moved for whatever reason, so I glance at the scale before I start.
It seems to me that the scale weights on a balance beam are basically check weights in themselves.
A separate check weight set would be a layer of redundancy. Nothing wrong with that concept. I've just never purchased any. I didn't even purchase the scale, it was given to me by an old reloader
Calibration weights that come with some scales are for calibration of the scale. Once you have the scale set up and calibrated. Then let's say you what to load 3.0 of X powder. You then use the check weights and put 3.0 on the pan and the scale should zero or weigh 3.0 or the weights that make it come as close to 3.0 as you can with the weights supplied. If you are going to load for rifle then you do the calibration for high charge. So you want to load 40.2 of X powder. You then use the check weights to put 40.2 on the scale or as close to 40.2 as you can.
I had a 304 Ohaus scale that was wrong and a friend of mine had a Ohaus 505 that were wrong. The only way we knew they were wrong was with the check weights.Before he got check weights he also had a Dillon digital scale. He checked the beam scale against the digital and thought the beam scale was right and the digital was wrong. Nope the beam scale was wrong.
If you are weighing small charges, you want a small charge check wt. Your scale may be fine with 50 gram but not 5 grains. Beam scales can get out of alignment, the bearng surface needs to be clean & undamaged.
Btw, you cant use one scale to check another unless zero is checked with a cert weight. Which is not a bullet or somethng that claims a certain weight. I have seen match gullets vary 2/10gr.
Also will be loading pistol and rifle on a Dillon 550 & 750 once I finally get bench built and presses set up.
I bought Dillon’s bean scale (Eliminator ? ) plus the full set of Lyman check weights .
I also have a cheap digital that I was curious to see how it measured vs the beam.
I have one. Just faster and easier. The RCBS beam scale that came with all the second hand stuff I bought just didn't work worth a dang. I would buy a new scale. Don't trust one that's been used. This little 30 buck scale was hanging on the reloading supply board at Academy Sports.
Seems real consistent. Calibrate and zero it a lot. Works fine.