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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok this is my situation. I am prepared to be flamed. I began reloading ten years ago with the Lee scale that came in the kit I bought. Did OK and I loaded thousands of pistol/bulk .223 rounds with it without blowing my face off. After a while I (stupidly) bought one of the cheap MTM digitals at Academy and kind of half-ass cross checked charges with the Lee. Did OK for a while like that. Now that I have matured in my endeavors and want to make tiny groups I have serious doubts about my powder-measuring equipment. I have decided the best way is to drop a charge and trickle up to the (hopefully accurate) weight. My equipment through my own testing has proven inadequate for this task and now I must advance. Can you guys recommend to me a decent scale? I have read enough to know that a digital that has the abilities I now require is out of my budget for now. What is a good balance-beam scale nowadays? My budget is 200. Help me out guys. The old RCBS 5-0-5 used to be a common recommendation but they don't make them anymore. I see the Hornady scale all the time for $65 or so but I see a lot of bad reviews. Any advice or discussion is welcome. Thanks in advance!
 

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Hi, and welcome to the forum. I have both a Lyman balance beam scale that I have loaded on accurately since 1972. And a Lyman 1200 DPS Digital Powder Dispenser that I purchased back in 2005. Simply put, I don't trust digitals. A mechanical balance beam scale is far less likely to cause error, than something electronic.

I don't like the fact that many electronic scales can drift if they're not properly warmed up. My Lyman 1200 DPS Powder Dispenser requires a 30 minute warm up mode before I can begin to use it. And it still drifts after it's warm. Sometimes by as much as a grain. I have to constantly check it. I've heard and talked to others that have had the same issues. You will never have such issues with a balance beam scale.

I've heard the newer electronic scales have improved a lot in the last 15 years. But I'll never buy another one. They have gotten cheaper that's for sure. I don't know if that's a good thing or not?

One thing I would recommend with ANY scale you purchase, is a set of check weights. I keep my Lyman balance beam scale in a plastic, sealable Tupperware container that was meant to store a loaf of bread in. It works perfectly for keeping dirt and dust off of it.

Newer younger shooters who were brought up on electronic scales seem to trust them more. I never did. I've found that a good balance beam scale, along with a set of check weights, and a good powder measure, (I have both a Lyman and a Redding measure), will throw as accurate of a charge as I could ever want. (+ - .01 Grain).

If you don't want to use a measure, a set of powder dippers with a good powder trickler will work, once you get the hang of it. I have a Redding Powder Trickler, and it's made of cast iron, and is nice and heavy. I prefer it to my Lyman trickler which is plastic. I just throw a charge a few tenths of a grain under what I want to achieve, then bring it up to my set weight with the trickler.

It's not as fast as my Lyman electronic dispenser, but it is far more accurate. Especially with long grained stick rifle powders. Both the Lyman and the Hornady scales are within your budget, even with a good set of check weights. Lyman and Hornady have been manufacturing reloading scales for decades.



 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi, and welcome to the forum. I have both a Lyman balance beam scale that I have loaded on accurately since 1972. And a Lyman 1200 DPS Digital Powder Dispenser that I purchased back in 2005. Simply put, I don't trust digitals. A mechanical balance beam scale is far less likely to cause error, than something electronic.

I don't like the fact that many electronic scales can drift if they're not properly warmed up. My Lyman 1200 DPS Powder Dispenser requires a 30 minute warm up mode before I can begin to use it. And it still drifts after it's warm. Sometimes by as much as a grain. I have to constantly check it. I've heard and talked to others that have had the same issues. You will never have such issues with a balance beam scale.

I've heard the newer electronic scales have improved a lot in the last 15 years. But I'll never buy another one. They have gotten cheaper that's for sure. I don't know if that's a good thing or not?

One thing I would recommend with ANY scale you purchase, is a set of check weights. I keep my Lyman balance beam scale in a plastic, sealable Tupperware container that was meant to store a loaf of bread in. It works perfectly for keeping dirt and dust off of it.

Newer younger shooters who were brought up on electronic scales seem to trust them more. I never did. I've found that a good balance beam scale, along with a set of check weights, and a good powder measure, (I have both a Lyman and a Redding measure), will throw as accurate of a charge as I could ever want. (+ - .01 Grain).

If you don't want to use a measure, a set of powder dippers with a good powder trickler will work, once you get the hang of it. I have a Redding Powder Trickler, and it's made of cast iron, and is nice and heavy. I prefer it to my Lyman trickler which is plastic. I just throw a charge a few tenths of a grain under what I want to achieve, then bring it up to my set weight with the trickler.

It's not as fast as my Lyman electronic dispenser, but it is far more accurate. Especially with long grained stick rifle powders. Both the Lyman and the Hornady scales are within your budget, even with a good set of check weights. Lyman and Hornady have been manufacturing reloading scales for decades.
Entris scales
thank you so much for your suggestion
 

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You can spend thousands of dollars on a scale that will measure down to kernel of powder. That is fine if you have an extremely narrow accuracy node for a particular shooter but when you have a .20gr or higher accuracy node, IMO, those dollars spent on that super high end scale might be better spent elsewhere. I have a 505 and another old RCBS scale that came with my Rockchucker kit that I save as a backup. I pick my load based on whether I will be hunting in warmer or colder weather than where I did my load development. Living in FLA and doing load development down here, its usually colder where I'm going to hunt. Rounds run slower when it gets colder if you doubt this check out this test noted in the Precision Rifle Blog.

 

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I’m using the RCBS m1000,paid somewhere around 150 for it. Pretty happy, it can throw an odd measurement now and then so I double check with my digital.
I use powder scoops to get within trickling distance,seems to be pretty consistent.
Pretty sure I could knock down $1.50 an hour selling my ammo if I were to make a biz out of it.
man am I fast.
 

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I’m using the RCBS m1000,paid somewhere around 150 for it. Pretty happy, it can throw an odd measurement now and then so I double check with my digital.
I use powder scoops to get within trickling distance,seems to be pretty consistent.
Pretty sure I could knock down $1.50 an hour selling my ammo if I were to make a biz out of it.
man am I fast.
Yeah we really need to find out who in the supply chain is sticking it to us so that we can formulate a proper response to their greed. It's really tough to nail down for obvious reasons. I'm sure Ukraine is going to come up as another BS reason for short supplies.
 
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