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I am going to buy a scale and powder measure to reload both rifle and pistol cartridges. I won't need anything huge or special (like 1,000 grains capacity or anti-static construction). I don't trust manufacturers sales pitches, and a lot of the products seem very similar, so please give me your opinion on those you have used, being as descriptive as possible about benefits and drawbacks. Sean
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I've used several powder measures and scales, including electronic scales.

They are all basically capable of good work.... BUT no scale can be trusted until you have check weights to verify, especially the electronic ones. They sometimes wander!

Zero scale, then put on some check weights in the neighborhood of what you will be loading that day (say to the nearest 10 grains), double-check that scale agrees with check weights, do your loading, then put check weights on scale at end of session. Your processes/procedures will mean more to safe reloading than the brand on the scale, my opinion.

No measuring device is useful without a known standard for comparison - this is not just true for reloading.

Powder measures - I mostly use the RCBS Uniflow with both large and small metering drum. Small drum goes to about 60 grains of stick powder and gets left in 99% of the time. The micrometer adjustment feature is nice, you don't have to fool with a lock nut to change settings. With the small drum it will throw ball powders to 0.1 grain every time, with short stick powders like Varget, usually within a couple of tenths.

Anti-static is not marketing fluff, static electricity can influence a scale quite a bit, and annoy you considerably with a powder measure. 500 grains is plenty of capacity for most reloading. I rarely weight anything to 1,000 grains and when I do, it's usually mail that I'm wondering about how many stamps it needs!

Hope this helps....
 

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Hi, Sean:
I've got 2 of each. The Redding #1 is 35 years old and still going. They have a slightly modified unit now, the RS-1. Advantage, all metal. Disadvantages, oil damped and 380 grain capacity. Oil damped is OK as long as you don't tip it over and use an oil that doesn't creep, like 3-in-1. Gun and motor oils creep and make a mess. There's two things you may want a larger scale for. 1 1/4 ounces of shot weights 547 grains, which means splitting the load and adding if you're setting up an adjustable charge bar. The other limitation is checking your loaded shells. Suppose you get that uneasy feeling that you didn't put powder in one .338 shell. Bullet + primed case + powder = 250 + 240 + 70 = 560 grains, again over the 500 grain capacity of most small scales.

The PACT DPPS Digital Precision Powder Scale has a 1500 grain capacity and has been trouble free, most of the time. Static caused by very low humidity and temperature changes can drive it nuts. About this time of year I start loading everything in sight, hoping spring will come soon. When the sun gets around in mid afternoon it hits the scale if I leave it in it's usual place, and :mad: The RCBS Powder Pro Digital Scale is the same unit, colored green, like money (hint, hint).

My main measure is a Lyman #55. It's only problem is with small charges of flake powder. My old Ohaus Duo-Matic is more accurate with them, but it's an awkward beast and is discontinued. If you find one for $20, grab it.

Lee, of course, is cheapest. From what I've heard, the Perfect powder measure is surprizingly good, particularly with the difficult to meter stick powders like 4350 and 4831. The scale is a nasty piece of junk.

http://www.redding-reloading.com/pages/powdscales.html
http://www.pact.com/dscale.html
http://www.lymanproducts.com/lymanproducts/

Bye
Jack
 

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Dillon sells good scales (a bit pricey) I have both the electronic one and the old triple beam style. The electonic ones comes with an anti static shield which helps if you are in a charged area.

http://dillonprecision.com
 

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For powder measures, I use a RCBS Duo-Matic and a Uniflow with the micrometer dial, and a bunch of Dillon ones that go with the progressive toolheads. I don't think you can go wrong with the Uniflow for the money. I have a balance style scale that came with my RCBS Reloader Special 3 kit that I got when I was 14. That scale has never come out from under the bench since I purchased the first RCBS digital that was available about 10 years ago. Still works, which it should since it cost over $300 at the time. As Mike said, make sure you have and use your check weights, and use them regularly. I have never worried about it being close to the weight I'm using because I figured 250.0 grains and 500.0 grains exactly with no deviance of any kind would keep me accurate at the 5-100 gr duty it usually sees. These are the check weights that came with the scale. Does this make a difference? If someone took my digital scale, I would shoot them. I don't function without it. I hate balance beam scales and think they are slow to use and just plain SUCK.
 

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Powder Measure info

Hi,
We do quite a bit of our reloading in camp or at the range so a digital isn't practical: too sensitive to enviromental changes. For that reason we mostly use a beam type scale. Check weights are a must for either type if only for peace of mind. None of , what I would call affordable, scales are persactly on the money throughout the entire range (beam type or digital). It gets better as you go up in price, but, lab grade devices are out of the price range for most of us. At home would use a digital and Tanita makes a good one from all I've heard. I have an RCBS that has been back twice. The sensor is extremely fragile on this particuliar one. It frequently needs calibration during a loading session (not just zeroing) and I have to use the factory reset program more often than I care to. I should mention I bought this two years ago. Maybe the technology has improved.
As for powder measures. There are many issues surrounding these that make some more accurate than others. My wife and I have two Harrel's powder measures (one Deluxe with bearings and the lower priced Custom 90). Both are accurate and I can't see a difference between the two in that department. We use ball or short grain powders mostly but some "lincoln log" powders as well. I came across an article on another board that had a link to what I think is one of the more "scientific" evaluations of Powder Measures. The RSBS, Redding, Belding & Mull and Harrel's were tested. The obsevations are similiar to what I've observed (I have the Harrell's and RCBS). Also included is information on how to improve the accuracy of the RCBS & Redding measures. With this knowledge, selecting a measure to suit your needs in the price range you want will be easier. I can't believe I let that Redding go! If I only knew........Here's a link to the article:
www.schuetzen.net/powder_measures.htm

--------- Tom
 

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rcbs

have absolutely no problems with rcbs equiptment.
when a small item breaks or wears out,a quick call gets me new parts in a day or two,with no questions asked.
 

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Slangley - RCBS is my first choice for reliability and service. I agree with the other posters, when you order the scale get the check weights. Small price to pay for peace of mind. CEJ...
 

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scale

Hi Slangley I have a lyman scale I thinkI paid 60 or 70 dollars for it if you havent bought a scale yet I would let this one go for $45.00 PLUSS SHIPPING I dont use it any more like all the guys said it would be wise to get a set of check weights I have loaded alot of shells with this scale but I got an electronic one so I don't use it any more Forest Punch
 

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Hi Slangley!
I have been using a Redding Model 2 Master powder scale for several years now. It has a 505 gr. cap. & is magneticaly :) dampened. My powder measure is also a Redding, the one they bill as the Model 3K because it comes with two micrometer type metering chambers for pistols (0 - 10 gr.) and rifles (0 - 100 gr.); the measure body and drum are made of cast iron. I like it because I can record the micrometer reading at the end of a session, and then dial back into the approx. charge weight at a later date. I say approximate charge weight because every time I set up for a recipe again I usually have to tweak the meter up or down a bit. Also I am fully in agreement with what these other folks have had to say about check weights. Redding's website is www.redding-reloading.com if you want to check out their catalog, but don't let the catalog prices scare you. Those are only what you pay if you order direct. Dealer prices are usually lower by a fair margin. Good luck shopping!
Dave S.
 

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I've been very happy with my RCBS scale, RCBS Uniflow powder measure & Pact electronic scale. As mentioned before, having an accurate set of scale weights is an absolute must no matter what scale you use.
 

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I have one of Lee's Safety Powder Scales. I got it with my turret press. I bought some check weights to verify what I'm weighing and to see if the scale is set up correctly when Im reloading.

I guess I could have paid hundreds of dollars (maybe less) for another brand of scale, but I think 5 grains of powder on a "cheap" scale will still weigh 5 grains on an expensive scale. The end result is the same.
 

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powder measure

I use a Pact digital and I feel its great. I use a Lee scoop's and a Rcbs trickler. I am not loading large volumes, but I have always weighted each load. That's my way.
Jim
 
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