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Ammo and Reloading Factory Ammunition, Reloading, Components, Load Data and more.

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  #1  
Old 03-13-2019, 6:36 AM
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Default Which scale

I havenít started hand loading yet, but I would like to weigh some factory ammo. After retirement I will get into hand loading, but just am too busy right now.

What scale would you recommend I get that can later be used for hand loading?
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2019, 7:14 AM
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https://www.ballisticproducts.com/BP...tinfo/6880300/

When you get into handloading , might add a beam scale.

Weighing variable weights on a bean scale is a PITA.
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Old 03-13-2019, 7:58 AM
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I have a Hornady digital unit that was fairly cheap. Three years later and it's still working great and accurately.
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:37 AM
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RCBS Chargemaster is nice.
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2019, 6:46 PM
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RCBS Chargemaster Would be my minimum.

I went full r...... and got the A&D FX120I Scale & AutoTricklerV2 with the area 419 add ons that I slowly added. Here https://www.area419.com/product/auto...-fx120i-scale/

I would buy it again in a heartbeat. It is very quick and very accurate.
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Old 03-13-2019, 8:45 PM
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If you have some time before you start reloading,, watch for a nice older RCBS-OHAUS 10/10 beam scale... Digital scales you can wait on as they get better every year ..One you buy today will be obsolete in a couple of years.. Having one of each type is very handy to check each other,,, and ease of use in alot of cases...
Cheers...
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Old 03-13-2019, 8:50 PM
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I like my RCBC 5-0-5 scale. That's all.
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:02 PM
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For me this digital showed a great bang for the buck balance and it works well. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I also like beam scales. Both types have their ups & downs and as much as I initially thought it was nutty, I like having both on the bench.

Your scale choice may be dictated by the cartridges you want to weigh, all scales are limited, so do verify that before you buy.
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:53 PM
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Lot of cheap scales that will float by the hundredths when removing weight. Stay away from those $10 Chinese scales and you'll be alright.
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Old 03-14-2019, 2:25 AM
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What hand loading skill level are you aiming for?
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Old 03-14-2019, 6:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevec223 View Post
If you have some time before you start reloading,, watch for a nice older RCBS-OHAUS 10/10 beam scale... Digital scales you can wait on as they get better every year ..One you buy today will be obsolete in a couple of years.. Having one of each type is very handy to check each other,,, and ease of use in alot of cases...
Cheers...
Thank you, sir. That is a good suggestion I will likely follow. Retirement is not on until 5 to 7 years, earlier if the wife prevails LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by hambam105 View Post
What hand loading skill level are you aiming for?
I canít say as I havenít even started. Iím the kind of buy-once-cry-once person. But I can say Iím not planning to reload in bulk, mainly hand loading for precision.
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Old 03-14-2019, 7:56 AM
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Did anyone actually read what he's trying to do?

A pocket electronic is perfect. A beam scale or chargemaster type is stoopid for this.
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Old 03-14-2019, 9:13 AM
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I own both the digital and beam .
Beam scales have to be calibrated / checked every time you use them . Mine
are taken apart when stored [ no room on bench ] the digitals are stacked on shelf .
Both the digital and beams need to settle down when in their spot
Easier on a digital - push a button to zero . All my digitals are always plugged
in / turned on and I change the battery [ ies / rechargeables ] every 6 months .
Buy a set of weights to check either kind . Or go cheap and just buy some washers
Cycle both kinds with the weights - dust / spider webs - etc .
After 5 to 10 powder drops , recheck weight of powder , it can and does change .
If you are [ should to learn scale ] weighting cartridges , don't be surprised to find
different readings . A little in case length , primer etc . This is why you check OAL
when reloading .
Primer length / weight is not checked after reload - just the primer height .
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JagerDog View Post
Did anyone actually read what he's trying to do?

A pocket electronic is perfect. A beam scale or chargemaster type is stoopid for this.
Thanks. OP here. I can fancy myself getting into hand loading some day. Just no time at present.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyjr View Post
I own both the digital and beam .
Beam scales have to be calibrated / checked every time you use them . Mine
are taken apart when stored [ no room on bench ] the digitals are stacked on shelf .
Both the digital and beams need to settle down when in their spot
Easier on a digital - push a button to zero . All my digitals are always plugged
in / turned on and I change the battery [ ies / rechargeables ] every 6 months .
Buy a set of weights to check either kind . Or go cheap and just buy some washers
Cycle both kinds with the weights - dust / spider webs - etc .
After 5 to 10 powder drops , recheck weight of powder , it can and does change .
If you are [ should to learn scale ] weighting cartridges , don't be surprised to find
different readings . A little in case length , primer etc . This is why you check OAL
when reloading .
Primer length / weight is not checked after reload - just the primer height .
I'm such a newb to hand loading, but can I assume the primer and bullet weights are usually consistent? I'm thinking factory cartridges loaded with "brand name" bullets like Sierra Match King.

How about cases? I guess I can clean the empties I have been saving and see if they vary a lot. The empties are from one manufacturer and from the same batch.

Is it a reasonable assumption that if I weigh cartridges, and if the bullets/primers/cases are consistent in weight, then the only variable is the powder weight?
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Old 03-14-2019, 1:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beanz2 View Post
Thanks. OP here. I can fancy myself getting into hand loading some day. Just no time at present.




I'm such a newb to hand loading, but can I assume the primer and bullet weights are usually consistent? I'm thinking factory cartridges loaded with "brand name" bullets like Sierra Match King.

How about cases? I guess I can clean the empties I have been saving and see if they vary a lot. The empties are from one manufacturer and from the same batch.

Is it a reasonable assumption that if I weigh cartridges, and if the bullets/primers/cases are consistent in weight, then the only variable is the powder weight?



No. It's a stack-up of variables, with the case typically being the largest variable. Bullets will vary a grain or so. I've never weighed primers, but being they don't weigh much to start with they prolly don't vary a whole lot. Powder weight within a given lot is one of the smallest variables. Expect your completed rounds to vary by 5 or more grains if you're not handloading with pre-selected components. Even when pulling out all the reasonable stops, there will be variances. Benchresters will weigh brass and bullets and segregate them. Maybe one or more will pipe in what they regularly see as variances with even the best of components.

That $25 pocket scale is more than ample. Mine's been rock solid. Sets up in seconds, calibrates in seconds, weighs in seconds. Readings don't wander. A bit of hysteresis and a slight lag to changes are the only caveats.

If you're trying to enhance accuracy by segregating completed commercial rounds by overall weight, forget about it.
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Old 03-14-2019, 2:12 PM
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Default I don't know a single competent Handloader that doesn't or hasn't used both types of

1st item of thought:
Handloaders constantly measure and weigh component's.

2nd:
Many a Handloader is unfamiliar or at least uncomfortable using a non-digital beam scale and therefore do not use or recommend one.

3rd:
Professional Handloaders do not financially skimp on having, and developing the skills to properly use, any scale on their workbench.

I'd have to learn more about the OP's attitude and reloading plan before further recommendations on the positive & negative features inherent in either type of scale.
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Old 03-14-2019, 2:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hambam105 View Post
1st item of thought:
Handloaders constantly measure and weigh component's.

2nd:
Many a Handloader is unfamiliar or at least uncomfortable using a non-digital beam scale and therefore do not use or recommend one.

3rd:
Professional Handloaders do not financially skimp on having, and developing the skills to properly use, any scale on their workbench.

I'd have to learn more about the OP's attitude and reloading plan before further recommendations on the positive & negative features inherent in either type of scale.



Well....he's already said he wants to weigh commercial completed cartridges and is years away from any actual handloading.

I think most handloaders know how to use a beam scale. But weighing 100 cartridges, adjusting the balance for each to zero out is extremely time consuming.

Beam scales are quite good for adding volume to a preset weight. They suck for gathering what's likely 100 data points in 100 cartridges.
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Old 03-14-2019, 3:17 PM
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JagerDog:

Absolutely. If the OP is years away then he has plenty of time to save up for a decent scale.
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Old 03-14-2019, 3:48 PM
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OP why are you trying to weigh factory ammo?

Did you accidentally mix together different bullet weights that look the same, and you need to sort them apart again?

Like 115 FMJ and 124 FMJ?

Or 124 JHP and 147 JHP?
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Old 03-14-2019, 4:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JagerDog View Post
[/B]

No. It's a stack-up of variables, with the case typically being the largest variable. Bullets will vary a grain or so. I've never weighed primers, but being they don't weigh much to start with they prolly don't vary a whole lot. Powder weight within a given lot is one of the smallest variables. Expect your completed rounds to vary by 5 or more grains if you're not handloading with pre-selected components. Even when pulling out all the reasonable stops, there will be variances. Benchresters will weigh brass and bullets and segregate them. Maybe one or more will pipe in what they regularly see as variances with even the best of components.

That $25 pocket scale is more than ample. Mine's been rock solid. Sets up in seconds, calibrates in seconds, weighs in seconds. Readings don't wander. A bit of hysteresis and a slight lag to changes are the only caveats.

If you're trying to enhance accuracy by segregating completed commercial rounds by overall weight, forget about it.
Thank you for the insight. Very informative. So I guess all I can do now is buy good match commercial ammo if I need the consistency until I can get into handloading?

So, even if the case is from one manufacturer and from one batch, the weight still can vary significantly?



Quote:
Originally Posted by hambam105 View Post
1st item of thought:
Handloaders constantly measure and weigh component's.

2nd:
Many a Handloader is unfamiliar or at least uncomfortable using a non-digital beam scale and therefore do not use or recommend one.

3rd:
Professional Handloaders do not financially skimp on having, and developing the skills to properly use, any scale on their workbench.

I'd have to learn more about the OP's attitude and reloading plan before further recommendations on the positive & negative features inherent in either type of scale.
I just have no time (yet) to learn the art of ammo hand loading. I think for now I'm relegated to commercial match ammo until I have more free time after retirement. Hand loading seems very interesting and offers so much potential, I'd like to get into it eventually.

I don't mind buying a nice scale if it means buying a good one only once (instead of buying mediocre then upgrading in a few years) but based on JagerDog's post above, if a scale does not guarantee a uniform powder load in commercial ammo, there is probably no point for me of getting it now.

Am I right in my conclusion?
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Old 03-14-2019, 4:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmykan View Post
OP why are you trying to weigh factory ammo?

Did you accidentally mix together different bullet weights that look the same, and you need to sort them apart again?

Like 115 FMJ and 124 FMJ?

Or 124 JHP and 147 JHP?
No, just trying to get better consistency. I had just taken a medium range rifle marksmanship class (75-350yd) at Front Sight and once a while I get a flyer. While I think most of them are my fault, I can't help wondering of other factors.

I chronoed a few rounds from one batch and posted it here, so I'm thinking of ways of getting more consistent ammo without going the hand loading route. The school also mandates factory new ammo only until I can pass the test to graduate to the higher level. I believe only then they allow hand loads.

I suppose I can pay for some Federal Gold Medal Match or SSA ammo, but I was too cheap and only used mid-grade ammo (IMI 69 gr Razor Core). I figured as long as my abilities are not up to par, why spring for the top of the line factory ammo.
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Old 03-14-2019, 6:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beanz2 View Post
Thank you for the insight. Very informative. So I guess all I can do now is buy good match commercial ammo if I need the consistency until I can get into handloading?

So, even if the case is from one manufacturer and from one batch, the weight still can vary significantly?





I just have no time (yet) to learn the art of ammo hand loading. I think for now I'm relegated to commercial match ammo until I have more free time after retirement. Hand loading seems very interesting and offers so much potential, I'd like to get into it eventually.

I don't mind buying a nice scale if it means buying a good one only once (instead of buying mediocre then upgrading in a few years) but based on JagerDog's post above, if a scale does not guarantee a uniform powder load in commercial ammo, there is probably no point for me of getting it now.

Am I right in my conclusion?
Brass varies quite a bit in contrast to other variables. Maybe one of the benchresters who pay particular attention can add some quantitative data for that.

I can tell my loaded 45 ACP rounds will vary 5 grains, even though the bullets vary a grain or so and powder is within a tenth or so and there's only 6 grains of powder to start with. That's all one headstamp, but could be different lots.

While a scale could be "fun", it's not likely to take you where you want to go. "Fliers" could be a host of things. More likely projectile oriented than powder charge. Garden variety "match" brass is mostly just a head stamp. Match quality bullets on the other hand generally shoot more consistent. They're going to be better matched for weight, their cores will be more concentric. They're less likely to be dinged or have other flaws.

The "art" of handloading allows the handloader to start with components he chooses (from mild to wild), then find what the rifle likes, while addressing other inconsistencies. Even distance from the rifling with identical components can make significant differences.
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Old 03-14-2019, 7:01 PM
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You can probably find lots of threads like this one, which will give you some sense for how much case weights can vary: http://forum.accurateshooter.com/thr...iance.3869863/

I load for three rifle calibers and try to keep the variation in powder charge to about 0.1 grains. Variations in brass weight will swamp any variation in powder charge by at least an order of magnitude.
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Old 03-14-2019, 7:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackEllis View Post
You can probably find lots of threads like this one, which will give you some sense for how much case weights can vary: http://forum.accurateshooter.com/thr...iance.3869863/

I load for three rifle calibers and try to keep the variation in powder charge to about 0.1 grains. Variations in brass weight will swamp any variation in powder charge by at least an order of magnitude.
Thanks, JackEllis. Well, there goes that plan.

Thanks to everyone replying. It has been very helpful
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Old 03-15-2019, 4:54 AM
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Knowing the purpose for the purchase should be a plus for the consumer. Having time on your side to make the decision should be in your favor.

Speed of use favors an electronic scale as compared to a balance beam scale.
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