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Any thoughts on reloading beam scales?

This is a discussion on Any thoughts on reloading beam scales? within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I have a 505 that I have gone back to using for some of my calibers. I use an RCBS chargemaster digital scale, but like ...


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Old July 22nd, 2019, 08:14 AM   #16
 
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I have a 505 that I have gone back to using for some of my calibers. I use an RCBS chargemaster digital scale, but like many have found myself going back to the beam. One thing is that its actually faster. Instead of waiting for the electric dispenser, which can be slow even on small charges cause of the time it takes to dispense the last few tenths of a grain, I have gone to a lee scoop set followed by trickling the last little bit using a RCBS powder trickler.



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Old July 22nd, 2019, 10:18 AM   #17
 
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OP, glad you could find a 505.

RCBS 505 first and only scale I've ever owned. I guess I got lucky. This was in the days before interwebs and online reviews. My uncle said it was a good one and I took his word.
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Old July 22nd, 2019, 11:04 AM   #18
 
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I have had my RCBS 10-10 'forever'. I will admit that most often I use my PACT electronic scale because bench space is limited. I would love to have both on the bench as each has it's strong points. Sorting brass is quicker with the PACT but trickling powder on the RCBS rocks!

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Old July 22nd, 2019, 11:09 AM   #19
 
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I have the Redding Model 2 magnetic damped scale and a set of calibration weights.
I bought this because the rest of my rig and dies are Redding.

I have no experience with anything else.
My neighbor has (5) RCBS after his Dad passed...
Maybe I can compare them with mine.
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Old July 22nd, 2019, 12:35 PM   #20
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Ohaus is the OEM for nearly all reloading balance beam scales but are labeled with a different brand name. The only exception I know of is the cheapie plastic Lee 100 grain scale.

bgavin mentioned calibration weights. This is very important, especially if your balance beam has seen a lot of use. Years ago I started with a RCBS scale that had a poise "saw tooth" beam in 5 grain increments, rather than the easier to use 10 grain used on more recent models. This scale was calibrated when new and I assumed it was still calibrated after many years of use. I was very surprised to find it was way off, making the powder charge notably heavier that what the sale indicated …. enough to get you in trouble if you load at the high end of the chart. I suspected there was a problem because the scale didn't level like it did when new so I borrowed a set of calibration weights from a friend and got the bad news. I promptly bought my own check weight set (Ohaus set, in grains, not grams). After a close inspection, I found the "saw teeth" on the soft aluminum beam had worn round from dragging the poise weight back and forth. This made the pan end of the beam lighter so more weight was needed to make it zero at a set weight.

I sent the scale back to RCBS but it wasn't repairable and that model had been discontinued. RCBS gave me a "credit slip" for the full cost of the scale that could be applied at any retail store that sold RCBS products. I ended up using the credit to help buy a new RCBS Ammo Crafter Kit, which I still have and use. I test my current RCBS 510 a couple times a year using the check weights in the same range as my intended powder drop …. 5, 10, 20, and 50 grains. This pretty much covers most of the handgun and rifle powder charges that I use.
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Old July 22nd, 2019, 12:52 PM   #21
 
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+1 On the Redding #2, been a solid performer.
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Old July 22nd, 2019, 08:43 PM   #22
 
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Have 1980's.... 505 & 10 yr old RCBS check weight set(which keep uncontaminated for sure). Great scale!!, yet in recent years I get a little concerned with charges under 8 or 9 graines.

Have eScale to cross check but even its not as accurate as a good beam scale, IMO. But ekectronic good for weighing bullets, h2o & cases too.
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Old July 25th, 2019, 04:14 PM   #23
 
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Back in the early 90s friends of mine knew I reloaded shotshells. They bought a box full of miscellaneous stuff at an auction for $2. Gave me an Ohaus 10-10 that was in the bottom of the box that was missing the pan. Bought one mail order (pre-internet) and got a great scale for about $15 total.

I also use a cheap digital for double checking shot charges and for other hobby related stuff.

Try to find a used one online.
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Old July 25th, 2019, 05:06 PM   #24
 
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I didnt read through all the replies so this may be a repeat. I use an Ohaus. It is probably 45 yrs. old and I like it. I have recently picked up an RCBS electronic scale and powder meter but use it for powder measure. I use Ohaus to statistically verify weights. Also use the Ohaus for bullets and brass.
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Old July 25th, 2019, 05:11 PM   #25
 
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I also recommend the RCBS 10-10. I have a set of check weights as well just to check accuracy from time to time. Using mine for 20 years now.
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Old July 25th, 2019, 09:24 PM   #26
 
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I have an RCBS 10-10 scale that I got in a trade 30 years or more ago and it was fairly old then. But it still works just fine. Just in front of the RCBS is my Dillon DeTerminator electronic scale. The Dillon and RCBS scales get zeroed every time I use them plus I have check weights from 3 to 710 grains. On smaller pistol charges I tend to use the beam scale because the electronic seems to get a bit hokey when first starting out with charges in the single digit range. I have found that a lot of people don't even know their scales (both types) need to be zeroed often, nor how to do it. Your beam scale should be re-zeroed every time it is moved even a bit. It's quite easy to have it be off by .1 to .5 grains just by moving it an inch or so. Probably not a big deal if you're loading mid range .38's but if you are anywhere near a max load on anything it can be the difference between an ok & and an over pressure load. In fact, I usually rezero/calibrate my electronic scale every time I start out on higher pressure rounds and then cross check it with the beam scale as well. As much as I love my electronic scale, if I could only have one it would be the beam scale. The electronic scales can drift even when recalibrated so if it's all you have, check weights are mandatory! You just can't be too careful when using scales of any type.
Cheers,
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Old July 26th, 2019, 02:58 AM   #27
 
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I use a Dillon that I bought second hand with the rest of my kit back in the early '90s, and it still works great.

When I load for precision rifle, I use the RCBS Chargemaster to throw light charges. I toss them into the Dillon and then I trickle the rest.
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Old July 26th, 2019, 07:46 AM   #28
 
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5-0-5

Quote:
Originally Posted by scattershot View Post
I have used an old Bonanza beam scale for 40 years or more, and it has served me well. I would lke to get a scale that has magnetic dampening, though, and thought I would see what everyone else uses. Any recommendations?
I too have a RCBS 5-0-5. After many decades of use I wanted a faster weigh-up for custom loads and went to a Digital RCBS trickle powder scale. I am very happy with it. I do still use the RCBS 5-0-5 to verify calibration of the Digital scale. Gravity never lies.
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Old August 3rd, 2019, 08:56 AM   #29
 
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The RCBS 505 and 1010 have both been replaced by the M500 and M1000, both to their detriment. If you want a new scale, the 1010 from OHAUS/RCBS is the way to go imo. They can be had used or old stock for 100-150 bucks, just make sure you get the green one if you want imperial. The tan one is metric. If you're in the market, I can reach out to some folks who sell reloading equipment for ya.
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Old August 3rd, 2019, 08:57 PM   #30
 
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Unless you can find a Ohaus/RCBS Dial-O-Grain in good shape at a reasonable price, the RCBS 10-10 is the way to go.
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