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  #1  
Old 02-08-2012, 9:16 AM
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Default Cheap electronic powder scales?

Do you use a cheap electronic powder scale like a Frankford Arsenal?

I use a cheap Hornady powder scale ($30) that came in my reloading kit. It seems to be fine but I have never checked it against anything like a beam scale or an expensive electronic scale.

Do you think these scales are adequate? Have you compared them 'against' anything?

I am not a high volume reloader so speed of measurement is not an issue.
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Old 02-08-2012, 9:20 AM
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I have a hornady gs 1500 or something, checked it with my rcbs beam, it was within .1 most of the time. I still dont have %100 trust in it.
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Old 02-08-2012, 9:35 AM
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Do not use the cheap ones here, I have 3 good digital scales RCBS Charge master, Dillon Terminator and a Pact, and I will still not give up my RCBS 10-10. If you are just loading to save $$$ you should be fine. If trying to make match grade ammo, get a quality scale.
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Old 02-08-2012, 9:37 AM
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I've had a few reloaders tell me all electronic scales are off and check them with known weights.
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Old 02-08-2012, 9:40 AM
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Originally Posted by IntoForever View Post
I've had a few reloaders tell me all electronic scales are off and check them with known weights.
Fixed that for ya.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:58 PM
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Lots of things can cause an electronic scale to be "off." Flourescent lights, wind currents, vibration, temp and humidity...

Get some check weights.

My Lyman 1500 isn't "cheap" but I still calibrate it often. It stays on all the time and is not located on my bench. Just sitting there it will normally drift with time & need to be recalibrated.
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Old 02-08-2012, 2:03 PM
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Its good to have a beam scale to check against an electronic one and vice versa.
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Old 02-08-2012, 3:57 PM
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Ive been using a $15 scale i got at a head shop for a while now. It works great! Im sure its slightly off every once in a while but the difference most of the time is less than 1/10th of a grain so it doesnt even register. I check it periodically against a beam scale, and its fine.

Keep in mind im not too serious about precision powder charges. I dont weigh every charge, i dont make match ammo, and most powder measures will be off by 1/10th of a grain from time to time anyway.

If you want to make match quality ammo, you probably better invest in a decent scale, but then again you will probably want to invest in top quality calipers, dies, components, etc...

I will tell you this: the ammo i make with my cheapo scale will outshoot just about anything i can buy commercially
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Old 02-08-2012, 4:20 PM
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I use the small Frankford Arsenal $30 scale and it works fine. I do check its accuracy from time to time and its been good. It comes with a little weight to check it.
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Old 02-08-2012, 5:57 PM
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I wouldn't risk my gun or hand on an electronic scale. But I do have a $7 Harbor Freight scale that works great for getting approximate weights of cast bullets (+/- 1 grain) and its great for estimating how much powder is left in a bottle, or for counting bullets. Weigh ten and it counts how many you put in the hopper!
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Old 02-08-2012, 6:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rsrocket1 View Post
I wouldn't risk my gun or hand on an electronic scale. But I do have a $7 Harbor Freight scale that works great for getting approximate weights of cast bullets (+/- 1 grain) and its great for estimating how much powder is left in a bottle, or for counting bullets. Weigh ten and it counts how many you put in the hopper!


Not sure if serious?
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Old 02-08-2012, 6:30 PM
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Started out with a Lee balance scale. Accurate, but "challenging" to work with. Picked up a $30 Frankford and got tired of buying $5 batteries every few weeks. Moved over to a Hornady bench and haven't looked back. Still have the others just in case they are needed. I have a weight set (in addition to the 10/50g that's included) to keep it honest. Works for me.
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Old 02-09-2012, 4:24 PM
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This calibration weight set might ease your mind a little. It's cheap, so don't confuse it with the good stuff that is linked to some reference standard. However, it should show how sensitive your scale is to weights ~100mg or 0.1g
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Old 02-09-2012, 4:34 PM
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I'm very new to reloading, but when I got my Rockchucker kit I ended up buying a Hornady 1500 scale as well.
Big mistake.
Thankfully the Rockchucker came with a beam scale to double check.
The Horandy was constantly drifting .1 and .2 almost every time I used it.
I'd calibrate it and it'd be off so I'd have to re-calibrate and start over. I also noticed it would give me different weight readouts depending on where I placed the pan on the scale.
No to mention it shuts off after 60 seconds...

I ended up just using it to get a 'rough' weight and then getting my true weight and trickling on the beam scale.

I just bought an RCBS ChargeMaster and wow, what a world of difference.
No more cheapo scales for me. I still double check my charge every few throws on the beam, but so far the ChargeMaster hasn't drifted at all.

Again, new guy to the reloading, so I'm sure people can speak to the pros and cons with greater authority then myself, this was just my experience.

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Old 02-09-2012, 5:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsrocket1 View Post
I wouldn't risk my gun or hand on an electronic scale. But I do have a $7 Harbor Freight scale that works great for getting approximate weights of cast bullets (+/- 1 grain) and its great for estimating how much powder is left in a bottle, or for counting bullets. Weigh ten and it counts how many you put in the hopper!
That's hilarious... you won't ANY electronic scale but you trust something from Harbor Freight?
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