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Thread: scale accuracy

  1. #21
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Northwest Ohio
    For several years I used an analytical balance for reloading with check weights on one side and the charge on the other these scales / balances were as accurate as the check weights used to set them and a royal pain with breezes and vibrations affecting them. When the furnace kicked in the blower would cause problems with it. The finer and more receptive the scales is the more its prone to this and the time it takes to slow and stop is much longer.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    I use a Redding #2 beam scale and always set up with check weights prior to throwing charges.

    I transfer each charge from the measure into the scale before decanting into the case.

    Call me anal if you like, but I know that every powder charge is right on the money every time.


  3. #23
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    I don't like how my charge masters "auto zero" themselves, I prefer things not change and I not know it.

    If you watch the video to the end you can also see they are not as sensitive as a beam scale either.

    That said inside 200 yards you couldn't tell the difference between charges thrown by a measure vs one thrown to the kernel. In other words it doesn't make any difference for most folks.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Pleasant Hope MO
    Interesting video, just another reason I use a RCBS 505 scale and check weights for all my reloads. I use electronic scales for every thing but powder charges.

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Florida, where we call big dogs Deer
    I have a ChargeMaster, can't say I've had the problems like "jmorris" but when I'm throwin loads for 223 or 308, the ChargeMaster will throw accurate weights/charges maybe 6 out of 10 times. One thing I've found is close the swinging door that covers the scale pan, ANY breeze will throw your charges off. Cumbersom and time consuming, but that's the way I do it.
    Gun Control means hitting what you aim at!

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  6. #26
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    The Willamette Valley, in Oregon
    Quote Originally Posted by EDG View Post
    There is a big disconnect between the users of digital scales for reloading and the manufacturers of digital scales.
    The construction of many of the cheaper digital scales result in a stick slip stick slip condition as a load is trickled into the pan.
    The result is the slow additions of powder with a trickler do not register accurately in small increments. This is dangerous.
    The only way to detect this problem is to test your scale with a trickler and a good beam scale or other known good scale such as a lab balance.

    The sellers of those cheap digital scales are depending on you not being able to sue them when you blow yourself up. Just because you used their scale for powder does not mean that is a proper use of all electronic scales. I find them good to measure a one touch item such as cartridge case or bullets. You might be able to "one touch measure powder" but you cannot trickle loads into many scales and depend on them being accurate.

    Finally many el cheapo electronic scales drift with time. [...]
    Some of my loading applications require very precise charges, so I end up trickling to a finished weight.
    When I learned that many of the new electronic scales behave in a fashion as you were describing, thinking of that would cause me to be gravely concerned.

    I have a PACT scale (in storage) where the manual describes an autotare 'feature': it ends up repeatedly /subtracting/ values of small sample additions to maintain a zero on the display. I don't feel I can trust something that does that, so I'm not using it.

    I have been using a $1000+ laboratory electronic scale for a long time now, and have been very happy with it.
    I do leave it on continuously, and retare it occasionally during use.
    It has proven to be extremely reliable and consistent over the past ~25 yrs, perfectly responsive & never exhibiting any unusual behavior such as sticking w/ small weight changes.
    Last edited by Kestrel4k; 08-03-2017 at 04:06 PM.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master 308Jeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Tempe, AZ
    Check this out:

    I bought one, pretty much for weighing bullets and what not. I haven't used it enough yet to see if I'd trust it enough for powder measuring, but I'll find out in time.

  8. #28
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    May 2009
    I worked in the semiconductor mfg industry for 25 yrs and we learned that semiconductors lose their spec over time. The company I worked for manufactured the semicondutors, etc for the avionics in the Concord aircraft. To make a long story short, the Concord folks wanted to redo the electronics with new components. 20 yrs later we had the components in stock (nitrogen purged atmosphere) but had to re-certify them again for the aircraft. After testing we found the parts could no longer hold original spec due to electrolysis and refused to certify. Up until this time the problem was virtually unknown in the semiconductor industry. So while old electronics still work and we don't see the problem, its there and could be a problem with old electronic scales used for powder.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check