Which powder scale?

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Danjet500

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Feb 20, 2008
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What powder scale are you guys using or do you recommend? I have an RCBS beam type scale that I just don't trust. It never seems to keep the same zero. I don't feel confident in the darn thing so I'm going to get something new.
All help is appreciated. Thanks.
 

flhr62

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Feb 23, 2007
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307
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ga
I have the RCBS 5-0-5 and like it very much. I have not used a digital scale though. I have also had the RCBS 10-10 but I like the adjustments on the 5-0-5 better.
 

jforwel

Bearcat
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May 19, 2006
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Montana
I have been using an RCBS 5-10 beam scale for 26 years and I trust it more than my digital scale. Danjet, balance beam scales will change zero depending on where you place them, temperature, humidity, etc. Mine has, and I would assume all have, an adjustment screw to bring the beam back to zero.

I store my scale on a shelf and use it on a bench and have to adjust it ever so slightly each time. I also use a set of check weights and the scale is always accurate.
 

Rainman

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I've got a RCBS 505 that I've had for years and I wondered the same thing at times. Several months ago, Midsouth Shooters Supply ran the new Hornady electronic scale on sale so I bought one. Guess what- the RCBS is dead on the money every time. Just re-balance when you start everytime and you're good to go.

Dan
 

Cholo

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I use a PACT digital and like it a lot. I used an RCBS balance beam scale for 20 years and liked it just fine. Don't know the model # because it's packed away somewhere. It had the thumb wheel adjustment for the 1/10 grains. Either scale needs to be adjusted for accuracy on a regular basis. I did find it crucial to keep all pivot points squeeky clean on the RCBS and I had complete faith in it. I certainly didn't need a digital and could have done just fine with the RCBS for life. There can be no drafts whatsoever while using either.
 

Rick Courtright

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Redlands CA USA
Hi,

I have an RCBS 5-0-5, an RCBS 5-10, a Lee Safety Scale and a small Jennings digital. All have their good features, but, as w/ any equipment, none is "perfect."

There's a set of check weights on the shelf which gets frequent use.

If I had to reduce the "population" to a single scale, like it used to be, I'd keep the 5-0-5, which I purchased first (around '75) and still measures dead nuts on...

If an RCBS (or any of the Ohaus built scales) is having a problem returning to a consistent zero, be sure to check the pivot knife edges and the bearing v-blocks for debris (you may want to take the v-blocks out and clean them and the area where they're mounted to ensure they are free to move), along w/ possible wear and/or damage to the knife edges... if things are clean and undamaged, the scale's probably ok. Verify w/ the check weights.

Rick C
 

Bucks Owin

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Danjet500":1bxz79z9 said:
What powder scale are you guys using or do you recommend? I have an RCBS beam type scale that I just don't trust. It never seems to keep the same zero. I don't feel confident in the darn thing so I'm going to get something new.
All help is appreciated. Thanks.
Hmmm. What do you mean by "keep the same zero"? IMO, the scales offered by any reputable maker should do you fine. I still use an ancient brown wrinkle painted Redding balance beam that my dad used 50 yrs ago! Last week I bought what I think is the forerunner to the Redding at GB for $10. It's an R.F. Wells and the only difference from the Redding is the damper. Redding used a "hydraulic" paddle while the Wells had a spring assisted gizmo that's not all there anymore. Anyway, they both weigh identically and now I'll have one for my "travelling" reload bench. (And I like collecting old reloading equipment) Anyway, I'm way off track here..... I suspect that any device that is intended to measure weight divided down to 1/70,000ths of a pound is pretty accurate. I know a thin layer of dust or one kernel of powder will move the beam which is accurate enough for me! Unless your RCBS is damaged somehow or something is binding or as was mentioned, a nick or dirt on the knife edges I can't see where you should have any problem with it. Pretty simple device really. Look it over real carefully. I'm sure RCBS would fix it in a heartbeat too. They're good folks. Pardon my rambling...Dennis (BTW, sure like your avatar!)
 

Divernhunter

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Mar 4, 2004
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263
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Denair,Ca,USA
I have a lyman and a RCBS and a dillon beam scales and all work fine. I have had the lyman and RCBS scales since the 1960's and they still are fine. If you move the beam scales you will have to rezero them but it is no real problem. Electronic ones need rezeroed also but that is just a push of a button.
I also have a PACT electronic scale which works well. It is better when weighting bullets etc(faster), but the beam scales do fine when I use them. The electronic is just handier as long as you keep it out of wind drafts.
 

Danjet500

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Feb 20, 2008
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I guess I wasn't very clear on what my problem is with this 5-0-5 scale. I can set it to zero, weigh a bullet, take the bullet off and put it back on the scale with no changes to anything and it will read different + or - .5 grain. This scale is supposed to be accurate to +/- .1 grain. Plus or minus .5 grain is too much tolerance for weighing powder. I'll make sure everything is clean and check it again but I have weighed several items on this scale numerous times and it always acts the same. I will aslo be contacting Midway, RCBS or Ohaus.

Bucks Owin, thanks for the comment on the avatar.
 

Boxhead

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An RCBS 5-10 bought 32 years ago with my RCBS Jr. kit. I have tried the PACT a few times (sent back for repairs twice and died again to my junk drawer) and revert to my original scale with zero regrets. I am not a "gnats a$$" .00001 grain guy as I have demonstrated to myself that I can develop dead accurate loads with the "old" beam scale just as I did many years ago.
 

Sonnytoo

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florida
Highly reco the RCBS Range Master 750 digital scale. I have (for backup) an Ohaus 505 that I've had for 50 years and it still works just fine. Occasionally I use it to check my digital. But with check-weights (just a 10-grain and a 20-grain), I don't feel the need to use the mechanical balance any more.
I love it. And it's so quick, I weigh every charge before I use the funnel to fill my case. SO MUCH QUICKER than a beam balance. Maybe 8-10 times faster.
Sonnytoo
 

J Miller

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Sep 30, 2000
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Not in IL anymore ... :)
Danjet500":3ep5ojru said:
What powder scale are you guys using or do you recommend? I have an RCBS beam type scale that I just don't trust. It never seems to keep the same zero. I don't feel confident in the darn thing so I'm going to get something new.
All help is appreciated. Thanks.


Danjet500":3ep5ojru said:
I guess I wasn't very clear on what my problem is with this 5-0-5 scale. I can set it to zero, weigh a bullet, take the bullet off and put it back on the scale with no changes to anything and it will read different + or - .5 grain. This scale is supposed to be accurate to +/- .1 grain. Plus or minus .5 grain is too much tolerance for weighing powder. I'll make sure everything is clean and check it again but I have weighed several items on this scale numerous times and it always acts the same. I will aslo be contacting Midway, RCBS or Ohaus.

Danjet,

Here is some things I've learned about scales.
First they must be absolutely level. End to end and front to back. I made an adjustable plate for my scales. Since then they rarely change zero.
Scaleplatform.jpg


I originally bought my RCBS 5-0-5 scale off eBay. When I got it it did the same exact thing yours is doing. What has happened is the plastic beam pivot blocks have become dirty or worn.
First carefully take the balance beam out and use a brush and clean out the "V" shaped groves in the pivot blocks. Clean off the pivot shaft and the entire balance beam as well. The bottom of that pivot shaft has two sharp "V"'s, they need to be undamaged.

If leveling it and cleaning it doesn't cure the problem, call RCBS and send it back for an over haul. This is what mine took. That was several years ago and it's worked just fine since. The overhaul cost me the shipping back to RCBS, nothing more.

Joe
 

Yosemite Sam

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Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
2,113
Location
Cape Cod, MA, USA
I own and regularly use a 5-0-5. I think it's a great, basic scale.

A friend has the Pact digital scale and thrower combination. It's a great unit for churning out large amounts of shells, but that powder thrower takes a long time to grind out a charge, not to mention set up and calibrate. I can do it faster using my 5-0-5 and dippers. Using the Pact I got into a rhythm of letting it throw a charge while I was seating the last round I filled.

Considering the price difference, I like the balance approach.

-- Sam
 

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