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Thread: Considering a new digital scale

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Considering a new digital scale

    First off, I am relatively new, so hello all! I have been lurking for years but made an account recently...

    I currently use a lee beam scale and a small Hornady electronic scale (small battery operated, like the ones you see drug dealers using on cops) The beam scale is fine for checking loads or dialing in a drop to a desired charge but I would really like to use a digital scale for measuring unknown amounts or trickling loads. The zero on the Hornady scale floats and it absolutely drives me nuts! I have had to re do many many trickled charges because of that scale. Anyway, I am looking for recommendations / reviews of digital scales.

    I have heard many times of one that started with a G and was something 250 but I don't remember right now.

    Thanks,
    Cole
    Don't let America end up like California...
    "You've got to ask yourself a question: 'do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

    God bless America
    God bless those who fought for liberty

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Young people will do math with a pencil & paper, then double check themselves with a calculator.
    My generation will do math with a calculator, then double check the calculator with a pencil & paper.

    That's where I am with these new-fangled digital scales in general---- and Hornady's in particular.
    Especially after I had to 'unload' about 150 rounds of .223.

    After that, I went back to the old, but well cared for beam scale.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

    OK folks. Enough of this idle chit chat. This ain't no retirement home.
    EVERYONE!!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I have the Gem pro 250 on my bench its a good scales accurate and easy to use. Its hard to trickle powder in to as there is a little lag from sensing the first small amount. Most digitals have this. This isnt a reloading scales but a jewelers scale for gems and precious metals. It comes with a pan, anti vibration mat, power pack, and test weight.
    It reads to .02 grains in 5 different scales.
    Look at the gem / jewelers scales. Mine has been very good. but there may be better available now

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by country gent View Post
    I have the Gem pro 250 on my bench its a good scales accurate and easy to use. Its hard to trickle powder in to as there is a little lag from sensing the first small amount. Most digitals have this. This isnt a reloading scales but a jewelers scale for gems and precious metals. It comes with a pan, anti vibration mat, power pack, and test weight.
    It reads to .02 grains in 5 different scales.
    Look at the gem / jewelers scales. Mine has been very good. but there may be better available now
    That's the one I was trying to think of, thanks! The lag is consistent on all scales I believe, no worse than the swinging beam of a mechanical and definitely not worse than the floating zero on the hornady!
    Don't let America end up like California...
    "You've got to ask yourself a question: 'do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

    God bless America
    God bless those who fought for liberty

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winger Ed. View Post
    Young people will do math with a pencil & paper, then double check themselves with a calculator.
    My generation will do math with a calculator, then double check the calculator with a pencil & paper.

    That's where I am with these new-fangled digital scales in general---- and Hornady's in particular.
    Especially after I had to 'unload' about 150 rounds of .223.

    After that, I went back to the old, but well cared for beam scale.
    I tend to agree, an electronic scale for me is an aid not a replacement. I have had my fair share of mess ups with the hornady...
    Don't let America end up like California...
    "You've got to ask yourself a question: 'do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

    God bless America
    God bless those who fought for liberty

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole440 View Post
    I tend to agree, an electronic scale for me is an aid not a replacement..
    I thought that too, until I got to thinking,,,,,, I just can't trust it. At least not with gun powder.
    So, one day, it became the newest electronic item in the city landfill.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

    OK folks. Enough of this idle chit chat. This ain't no retirement home.
    EVERYONE!!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Digital scales depend on electronics and a battery to function. Balance beam scales are plain and simple, have existed for many hundreds of years, and are accurate. What more could a reloader want?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    I concur almost 100% with posts here-above, before mine! I use, and mostly rely upon an Ohaus triple-beam, "Dial-A-Grain" from the 1960s. However, I do have and regularly use a Dillon brand "Determinator" scale, which I have positioned under the spout tube of a Hornady precision manual trickler.
    I have the powder measure set for a smidgeon less powder than I want, using a Dillon 550b. After the powder is dumped in case, I remove it from the press, put it on the Determinator, and slowly trickle to exactly what I wish. And, periodically, I WILL dump cases onto the triple-beam scale just to ascertain all is still "kosher".
    I share other posters comments, BUT, for my application -- particularly loading tiny cases where even 1/10th of a grain is quite significant -- this electronic scale has proven itself to be a great addition to my loading process.
    geo

  9. #9
    Not certain, but some recent research showed me the Gempro 250 may no longer be in production. Gimme a few, and I'll find the scale I bookmarked should I need/want another one. I'm currently using a 250, and have been pleased with performance.

    The scale is made by A&J. Several options. I got the G250 from oldwillknottscales.com, and it appears that vendor still has really good pricing. It also seems to be pretty easy to find/navigate to the scale that will suit you.

    Have not used the Hornady, but I do have a RCBS Chargemaster. IMO, they're all about the same. Maybe accurate to a tenth of a grain, but one has to constantly recheck calibration. I put ferro-magnets inline with the power cord, and mouse pads beheath to isolate vibration. I get pretty accurate drops, as I use the G250 to compare the weight. One has to remember to let the scale sit for at least 30 minutes turned on before use. I leave them on all the time. Very little power use. I also have an inexpensive Amazon ups connected to them. Acts as surge protection, as well as keeps them on. I was told a line conditioner might help with consistency and accuracy, too. The scale the Autotrickler uses is really the type you'd want for bleeding edge accuracy and consistency, but you're going to pay for it.

    I also have an old Lyman/Ohaus beam scale inherited from my father, and it's readings are consistent with my other scales, so I'm "good enough" for now. If I'm loading for a bolt gun in need of most precise accuracy/consistency of powder charge, I use the G250 and a trickler.

    Some say cry once and get it over with. They're probably right.
    Last edited by soflarick; 01-19-2020 at 11:17 AM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub
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    Yeah, it looks as though the gem pro 2 - 300 is the newer model, which has mixed reviews... I agree with the above posts regarding the scales and how I would use them. Part of the problem with the small hornady is that it is battery operated with an auto off feature so it never really warms up.
    Don't let America end up like California...
    "You've got to ask yourself a question: 'do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

    God bless America
    God bless those who fought for liberty

  11. #11
    I found the same results concerning the Gempro 300. I thought it was going to be a nice upgrade, but then there's so much negative feedback on it, I chose to avoid it. Deactivate the auto-off feature. It needs to stay on. Changing temps in your reloading location also affects the scale, so you should calibrate before you use it. My Chargemaster and G250 are quick to calibrate, so it's a non-issue.

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by soflarick View Post
    I found the same results concerning the Gempro 300. I thought it was going to be a nice upgrade, but then there's so much negative feedback on it, I chose to avoid it. Deactivate the auto-off feature. It needs to stay on. Changing temps in your reloading location also affects the scale, so you should calibrate before you use it. My Chargemaster and G250 are quick to calibrate, so it's a non-issue.
    Unfortunately I have not found a way to disable the auto off on that particular scale... Well, I am in no hot hurry so mabye I will keep an eye out for something to try out in the S&S forum.
    Don't let America end up like California...
    "You've got to ask yourself a question: 'do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

    God bless America
    God bless those who fought for liberty

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cole440 View Post
    ... The lag is consistent on all scales I believe, no worse than the swinging beam of a mechanical and definitely not worse than the floating zero on the hornady!
    Goodness, "no worse than the swinging beam"? You need to try a better balance scale! I've been doing this for a LOOONG time and have never found a magnetic damped beam to swing more than 2-3 times before it settles; maybe 3 seconds. I've seen quite a few digitals take that long or longer to settle.

    My 55 year old beam scale precisely follows a trickler in real time, every time. And it doesn't care if the powerline voltage fluctuates, or if the room temperature changes, or if the ducks are flying east to west, etc.

    I repaired and calibrated precision electronic instruments under contract with NASA most of my working life; the lack of reliability from all them pretty and very high cost electronic devices meant I had excellent job security for a long time. Consumer digital scales, all of them, are "throwaways", meaning they're not worth the cost of repairs; if you have a failure while under warranty the seller will toss yours and send you a new one,

    Today I use one of the cheep digital scales for segregating cases and bullets by weight, never for gunpowder.

    But, it's your money ... I wish you good luck!

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    Goodness, "no worse than the swinging beam"? You need to try a better balance scale! I've been doing this for a LOOONG time and have never found a magnetic damped beam to swing more than 2-3 times before it settles; maybe 3 seconds. I've seen quite a few digitals take that long or longer to settle.

    My 55 year old beam scale precisely follows a trickler in real time, every time. And it doesn't care if the powerline voltage fluctuates, or if the room temperature changes, or if the ducks are flying east to west, etc.

    I repaired and calibrated precision electronic instruments under contract with NASA most of my working life; the lack of reliability from all them pretty and very high cost electronic devices meant I had excellent job security for a long time. Consumer digital scales, all of them, are "throwaways", meaning they're not worth the cost of repairs; if you have a failure while under warranty the seller will toss yours and send you a new one,

    Today I use one of the cheep digital scales for segregating cases and bullets by weight, never for gunpowder.

    But, it's your money ... I wish you good luck!
    Yeah, my mechanical scale is a lee and it has sucked since day one. Been meaning to get a new one off the S&S someday. Funny I have a relative who was a scale calibration technician for about 40 years in both commercial and military. He has the same feeling about the consumer scales so I understand... I realise the shortcomings and limitations of them.
    Don't let America end up like California...
    "You've got to ask yourself a question: 'do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

    God bless America
    God bless those who fought for liberty

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Petander's Avatar
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    I got my first digital scale last year,after 30 years of reloading.

    It's the cheapo Ballistic Products thing,it has worked ok in my opinion. But I wouldn't trust it for trickling powder. I have used it to check miniscule amounts of pistol powder,confirming progressive loads. It took me a while to trust the scale,I used an idiot proof Pacific beam to confirm...

    It's nice for sorting bullets,too.

    My old Pacific,Dillon and RCBS beam scales just work.

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master






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    Ive got a pact dispenser scale. a lyman all in one dispenser scale and a pact battery scale. I haven't used a beam scale in 10 years and don't see me using one in the future. I was skeptical when I started using them but found most of the problems wrote about in fourms like this were probably from people that didn't even have one. Or guys that claim there balance beam is better and you find out there using a plastic lee scale. If I was looking today id go rcbs. Why? because they will stand behind them forever. If your concerned your getting a bad reading is simple to stick one of your calibration weights in the pan and know your getting accurate readings. Scientists use electronic scales today. If there good enough for them====. Id about as soon go back to a beam scale as throw out the Dillon's and go back to single stage loading pistol rounds and while im at it toss the star and go back to lyman lubesizer.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Anyone try the electronic scale sold by Dillon?
    https://www.dillonprecision.com/d-te...8_7_25213.html

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy kaiser's Avatar
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    One of the reasons NOT(!) to start loading at the maximum listed in any loading manual are the weight variables of the different brands of brass, primers, "lots" of powder, and jacket thickness of bullets of the same listed weight. The differences of these components have on pressures and velocities of any given caliber is greater than minute changes of weighed powder charges. An example of this difference is a switch in brands of brass from Winchester to Remington in some calibers can be upwards of 20grains difference in individual brass cases; considering that a digital scale may vary .1 to (maybe) .3gr from whatever scale one might trust is of little consequences. I have 3 types of scales I sometimes use in conjunction when experimenting with a new cartridge and rifle combination to find the "best" (accuracy & velocity) load. The 3 scales are: a PACT digital that is powered by 110volt, Redding "swing" scales, and an inexpensive battery operated Frankford Arsenal digital scale. By experience, my least trusted scale is the battery operated one (thus far, found to be very reliable with scheduled battery replacement). Oh, many times I use Lee dippers to load because I am assured of safe loads by following their simple instructions, and the fact most loads deliver effective hunting accuracy.

    Point is, obsessing over minute grains of powder is not as important in the formulation of loading until we have already ventured into the maximum recommended pressures published in a reloading manual that has actually been pressure tested. The same load in the same gun with the same chamber (min/man) dimensions and rifling (lead & twist) specifications might give the same results as the published load; however, most times probably not. Even then, one is embarking in "unknown waters" where a change in atmospheric conditions or rifle condition can invalidate the precision of a .1 grain you are relying on to develop a safe load. (I've found as a "rule of thumb", that usually a load of 1 to 2 grains under the max powder and bullet load listed at max tend to be the most accurate!) Nothing new on my part; I just tend to agree with what Sierra's ballistic lab, Ken Waters, and Lyman has stated over decades of testing.

    Cole, welcome to the discussion. I think you will find the folks here very helpful; and willing to share their experiences and knowledge freely without malice. All the best!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    I repaired and calibrated precision electronic instruments under contract with NASA most of my working life; the lack of reliability from all them pretty and very high cost electronic devices meant I had excellent job security for a long time. !
    I feel vindicated for having a dim view on electronics in general.

    I worked in the shop for a safe & lock company for several years before I retired.
    They had a customer service dept. with a few folks in it manning a phone bank.
    The phones never stopped ringing. It was almost all problems with modern generation electronic locks.

    I asked one of them how often they got a call for a problem with an old school, 100+ year old technology, spin dial combination lock.

    He told me they got one every week or so where someone had lost the combination & needed a locksmith to open it,
    bought a old one that was locked up, it had been in a fire or flood,, the manager quit and didn't tell anyone how to open it, etc.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

    OK folks. Enough of this idle chit chat. This ain't no retirement home.
    EVERYONE!!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


    georgerkahn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doulos View Post
    Anyone try the electronic scale sold by Dillon?
    https://www.dillonprecision.com/d-te...8_7_25213.html
    Check my Post #8, hereabove. It took a bit of time for me to develop confidence in the D-Terminator. A "trick" I do is to take a paper-clip and trim it with a pair of diagonal cutting pliers to EXACT total weight of powder I wish. Hence, it is easier than pie, so to speak, for me to check the validity of the D-Terminator's reading -- just put the trimmed paper clip (the "Jumbo Recycled" size from Wal*Mart) on instead of a charged case. I have been MOST impressed with mine. I load (hopefully) charge to +/- 0.1 grain, and the D-Terminator has yet to disappoint me. Note that it comes with a wall-wart 110V transformer I have yet to use -- I have used mine exclusively using Harbor Freight Edge alkaline batteries -- which also, btw, seem to last "forever".
    geo

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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