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Thread: Powder scale

  1. #21
    Thanks much

  2. #22
    Boolit Bub gumbo333's Avatar
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    Thanks all on the "beam" question. I've used Lee dippers with the lyman beam scales for years. I use a dipper that holds more powder than i need then hold the filled dipper over the powder pan , then tap the dipper with the end of a pencil to dribble in the required amount of powder. I've done this for 40 years. but you need to check that tenth grain weight every time before you fill the powder pan. My old fumble fingers usually bump the scale beam at some point. I'm not fast, use 2 presses to charge with powder, seat bullet and crimp, complete just 1 shell at a time. But in my old age I enjoy shooting the mouse fart loads. Loading those takes patience.

  3. #23
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Three44s View Post
    The dipper is just a transfer tool to save time to load the scale pan?

    Is that not what some of us are intending?

    I started real high tech back in 1975 at the wee age of 19.

    I used a small bowl and dipped my powder out of with a plastic picnic spoon. The powder went from the spoon to my shiny new RCBS 505 beam scale. When I went over, I pinched a few powder granules in my fingers from off the scale pan and trickled them back onto the pan until it balanced.Three44s
    I've been reloading over 35 years and sometimes I still use this method; "dip and trickle". I have 3 good scales, and mebbe 4 powder measures (two are used most) but if I just want a "quickie" I'll dip and trickle (or shake the dipper to get to final weight). I figured out a while back what each dipper throws with my methods and recorded them, but I still use a scale when I "dip"...
    Last edited by mdi; 09-16-2019 at 11:31 AM.
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    The Dipper is Old School, stand alone, and when carefully calibrated to any caliber will throw consistent charges faster than any beam or electronic scale, which by themselves - scales DO NOT throw charges, while the dippers do.

    For some precision reloaders, powder VOLUME rather than powder weight is their ticket to accuracy, they do not weigh their charges, and they win just the same.

    If you are serious about saving money, MAKE YOUR OWN DIPPERS, learn how to consistently throw a charge with the dippers (it is not difficult), and laugh all the way to the bank.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ulav8r View Post
    Have checked dippers against a beam scale and have gotten very consistent charges from the dippers. Any beam scale in good condition can be very reliable, though some are easier/quicker to use than others.
    When using dippers, my charge goes from the dipper to the case after I have weighed several to know I am throwing consistent charges.
    Spell check doesn't work in Chrome, so if something is spelled wrong, it's just a typo that I missed.

  6. #26
    Boolit Bub
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    Have used a Redding beam for 40 years, still spot on. A tip to stop poise bounce place a small piece of foam for the beam to rest on ,cushions the beams fall when you remove the pan slow or fast.

    Cheers Mai in au.

  7. #27
    Boolit Mold benp's Avatar
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    Lee dippers, trickler, digital scale and a beam scale. I prefer older equipment so I picked up a "vintage" RCBS 505 beam scale off of ebay rather inexpensively.

  8. #28
    Yard sale... You'd be amazed (mebbe) the deals you can find when someone's kids/g'kids/spouse clean out the ole man's reloading stuff. Or the ole man decides it's time to cull the collection.
    Quote Originally Posted by lostchild0 View Post
    My son is trying to get started reloading and later on into casting he's on a very tight budget. I've been looking for the best bang for the buck scale and powder measure. Can anyone give some advice in this area? Thanks in advance lost...
    Don't want no one to git hurt, but if you're gonna have a wreck, I wanna watch.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    There is a Lee scale on S & S for $10 plus shipping, sounds fair to me.

  10. #30
    Boolit Bub
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    My opinion only-

    I dip with Lee powder dippers to get close to my intended charge, I then dump dipper into a Dillon Eliminator beam scale, I then use my trickler to get the exact charge weight I need. The trickler is either a Hornady or a Lyman. I don't remember which and the label fell off years ago.

    Some may say that loading the way is too slow or a pia. Yup, it's slow, but I get the exact charge weight every time and it forces me to slow down and enjoy the hobby. Going slower means fewer mistakes. Mistakes mean big kabooms.

    As for the OPs exact question in reference to the scale, the Dillon is fair priced and a very good unit. I'd buy the same scale today if mine got stolen or whatever.

    Everything I mentioned would cost roughly $100 total and would last a lifetime with care. I'm a giant fan of Lee Precision, I didn't have any luck with their scale. I tried my hardest to like it to no avail. About the only Lee product I've used that I wasn't 100% satisfied with.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    For inexpensive digital scales, here is a thread that I started in August:

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...endation/page2

    Might want to take a wander through there. There are a number of different opinions offered on cheap digital scales.

    Don't write off used either, here on the forum or locally, I'm coming across used reloading stuff on a regular basis. Probably going to look at a whole pile of reloading stuff on Thursday. Guy wants it gone, he has health issues, the stuff was his dad's. Mostly RCBS stuff, press, dies(10+), powder measure, Lyman lead pot half a dozen molds and handles, scale, polisher, thousands of pieces brass, 10,000+ primers, looks like 40+ lbs. of powder. From the photo's he's sent me it looks like a pickup load.

    I can see multiple S&S ads in my future if we can agree on a price and from what he's told me already, I don't think that is going to be a problem.

    If I get this I'm going to have to build a second powder storage box, mine is already over-flowing! Gotta shoot more guns and less bull.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master dbosman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostchild0 View Post
    My son is trying to get started reloading and later on into casting he's on a very tight budget.
    Been there. I'm posting this, rather than PMing so no one else needs to offer.
    PM me your mailing address and I'll send you a Lee Perfect Powder measure. If I recall correctly, it's NIB. If I recall incorrectly, it's still in very good shape.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    Find an old used RCBS or Ohaus 5-0-5. Don't go cheap on a scale. Powder measures can bw had for an inexpensive price used. They are of little benefit if the scale doesn't permit an accurate setup of the powder measure.
    "There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something."
    ~Thorin Oakenshield

  14. #34
    Boolit Mold Nodakjohns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    The lee perfect powder measure does well for me. I use an RCBS 505 that I got used. I think that's a good way to go.

    I agree, A set of Lee dippers will get you going well enough. I still use them.
    Exactly what i have used. Still a great way to go.

  15. #35
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Here's an FWIW; I start setting my powder measure with my RCBS 505 or my Lyman D5 beam scales. I'll then weigh a charge on my beam scale and then weigh it on my Frankfort Arsenal digital scale. I'll note what my "good" weight is on the digital and then use that for charging because it is a bit faster. I have time and especially when working up a load I'll weigh each charge. After about 10 light charges of CFE Pistol (3.7 gr.) I started noticing odd weights appearing, having to trickle up and/or remove more from the charge. I reweighed a bunch of previous charges and noticed a +/- .2 to .3 grain difference form my "standard". The digital has fresh batteries, had warmed up to using temp., but I still got variations. I usually place the pan back on the scale between charges, glance at "zero" and tare often. For potting ammo this prolly wouldn't make a lot of difference, but I believe it would when working up a load or when the manual's min/max is about 1 grain. I had a bad experience with a "good" digital scale a few years ago, a Jennings that was highly recommended on a forum, and it died a crazy death after a few months (wandering zero, needing tare every time pan was removed/replaced and eventually could not calibrate). Tried 3 digitals in the last 12 years and all failed, and yep, I heeded all the warnings about lighting, EMF interference, temps. and power supply, and I never had any variations with a beam scale (whether it's a $$$ Ohaus or an inexpensive Lee Safety Scale). Needless to say I don't trust digital scales when precision is needed...

    Jes sharing my experience...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  16. #36
    Boolit Master
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    Perhaps mdi you are a static electric "capacitor" that uses and unintentionally abuses electronic scales. Maybe your plastic wheeled (or synthetic padded) reloading chair is on top of a plastic mat and the movement between the two (or your backside) is the generator. Or your leather soled shoes on synthetic carpet. Do you get shocked in cold low and humidity weather when you reach out for the door handle? Try a PC wrist ground to relieve the electric potential between you and the bench before you touch the electronics.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master



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    First thumbs up for buying used equipment. Sometimes you have to look and wait, but that is the trade off for not spending more.

    I think it was Elvis Ammo who did a video comparing low price digital scales. It looked like one (not the more expensive) was better than the others. I had been using an inexpensive digital scale made for reloading, but wasn’t convinced it was that accurate. I couldn’t find the brand he tested, but found one that looked like it. In China, where all this stuff is made, one factory builds the same thing for others to put different names on it. Anyway it works well for me. Seems to be more consistent. In the beginning I checked it with a beam balance and it was right on. I also have some calibrating weights I have checked it with.

    What I like about using it, is I can dribble powder in a lot easier and faster with my fingers than, with a beam balance and dribbler, that I used for years. For me it speeds things up. The beam and support for the pan gets in the way to dribble with your fingers.

    Unless you are talking about automatic powder measures, (I dream of one) the Lyman 55 powder measure is top notch.

    I’ve never used dippers for smokeless powder, but think the same measure will throw different weights with different powders. Something to keep in mind. Otherwise, unless you’re pushing the limits, why not start with dippers?

  18. #38
    Boolit Buddy 44magLeo's Avatar
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    I have tried several inexpensive digital scales. I don't trust them. I wanted a faster way to weigh cast boolits.
    Put the same boolit on ten times and get ten different weights. Often by more than a full grain. They just set on a shelf.
    I have a Lyman 1000 beam scale. It's always right. Have a scale check weight to be sure. I have a Lee Safety scale. Just as right.
    I have a set of the Lee yellow dippers. I have a few dippers I made from found cases. With a bit of practice to develop a consistent dip I can dip loads to within .2 grs. This works very well except for max loads.
    I have a few Lyman 55 measures and a Lee perfect measure. Both throw very consistent charges. .1 grs or better. with most powders. Some of the long granule powders not quite as good.
    With a bit of shopping you can find very good beam scales for good prices. Used is a good place to start.
    Ebay isn't bad. Local gun and outdoor shows are good. Garage sales, gun shops, the shooting ranges. All places you may find good stuff.
    A set of dippers and a scale to check yourself with will be a good start. Just keep loads on the low side.
    You can always add more tools as you go.
    We all do.
    Leo

  19. #39
    Boolit Master
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    GONRA is happy with a RCBS Electronic Chargemaster - then touching up / checking up with a beam balance scale / dribbler.

  20. #40
    Boolit Bub gumbo333's Avatar
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    Need a good scale? Nice used ones are not expensive at all. Look in the Swappin & Sellin section of this castboolits. Ask me how I know.

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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