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Discussion Starter #1
Have a very old Redding scale. Don't know how old, but guessing by the original box with a price printed on it of $11.95, it's quite old. Maybe from the 20's or 30's? Was purchased with an old Champion 201 press and a Hollywood Gun Shop throw. Anyhow, used to reload some years ago. Mostly 30-30 and 30-06. Some .357. Getting back into the shooting sport and have recently purchased a .243 that i'd like make some reloads for. Upon removing the scale from the box, found that the two calibration nuts on the end of the scale are loose, therefore, concerned that the scale is out of whack. Tried weighing some hornady bullets. The scale after being zero'd empty (by further moving the nuts) weighs about 2 grains low when weighing a new bullet. What would you recommend?
 

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Figure its age to be from the late 50s, early 60s. That price equaled about a half-day's pay for most workers at that time so don't think it was cheap.

The "calibration" is built into the beam itself, the V notches, and that isn't adjustable.

The twin nuts on the right end of the beam are for a rough zero, there should be a verticle screw/foot on the left end for the fine zeroing,

Accuracy should be fine but with no damping on the beam it will swing a good bit.

The Hollywood measure was a fine device, as was all of their stuff.
 

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I would get a good check weight set such as thoes from Lyman or RCBS ect. and that would remove any doubt about the performance of the scale.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Figure its age to be from the late 50s, early 60s. That price equaled about a half-day's pay for most workers at that time so don't think it was cheap.

The "calibration" is built into the beam itself, the V notches, and that isn't adjustable.

The twin nuts on the right end of the beam are for a rough zero, there should be a verticle screw/foot on the left end for the fine zeroing,

Accuracy should be fine but with no damping on the beam it will swing a good bit.

The Hollywood measure was a fine device, as was all of their stuff.
Was wondering about the age of the scale. Bought it from an old order mennonite man who had gotten it from his father. His father was from California and seems to me the story went that the guy had done some work for Weatherby. Dunno, been a long time since i've heard the story.

Anyhow, the screw on the foot is for zero-ing then. Ok. Makes sense. Thought perhaps was for leveling the base prior to installing the beam. Zero-ing makes better sense.

Talked to a co-worker last night that has a set of test weights he will let me use. In the meanwhile, i think i'll order a set for myself.

You're right that it takes quite a while for the scale to settle out since it has no dampening. Assume new scales today (RCBS) have dampening? That would sure be nice. I have several RCBS dies and they seem to be very good quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Does it have a little 'paddle' at the balance point that dips into a 'well'? If so. fill the well with oil which will act as a damper to get you a reading quicker.
Not quite sure i follow what you're describing, but there's nothing extra at the balance point. Basically just a fulcrum point.
 

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"Assume new scales today (RCBS) have dampening? That would sure be nice."

If by "new" you mean everything made since the mid-60s, yeah, they all have magnetic vane dampening.

You can use most light vegetable oils in the "pot" the paddle sticks into, many of the old guys liked olive oil or peanut oil, IIRC. The oil has to be replaced from time to time, dust will settle in it and change the "viscosity!" Simply covering the scale with a hanky during storage helps a LOT.

You may already recognise it but I'll say this anyway; the most important piece of "reloading gear" you can have is a properly laid out and strong bench. Make a strudy box or shelf that will place your good old Redding scale near eye level where you will be using it. (The only worse place for a beam scale than flat on the bench top is under the bench top!)

Mount your powder measure behind and just to the left (for a right hander of your press and have the scale/powder trickler just to the left of the measure; that will allow you to have a good work flow and allows for bullets and loading blocks to be placed between the scale and bench front edge, immediately to the left of the press. Properly placed tools will allow you to size, powder charge and seat bullets without even moving your feet. That's much faster than the arragements I see in most "Let me show you mine" photos!

If people set up their benches more thoughtfully, with powder measures and scales properly located, they wouldn't think their beam scales are "too slow" and spring big bucks for flaky digitals that will do okay on the bench top.

Have fun! ;)

Oh yeah, ref "leveling" the scale body; it isn't necessary. The beam's right end nuts takes care of leveling it and it's NOT critical the beam be perfectly level to the horizion, close is good enough. The beam will balance properly when the poise weights equal the charge weight, it couldn't care less what angle the body is but the pointer scale matters of course. Thus, we must adjust the body for "zero" with the screw foot when the beam IS properly in balance.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I used one just like the one shown a long time ago until I upgraded to an Ohaus 10-10. I located the scale I had stored and took a pic of the beam. From left to right you see the main weight that has 5 grain graduations, the fulcrum point with the paddle extending down into the 'well' below the balance point and the small weight that calls out to the tenth grain. Hope this helps.
Now i see what you're meaning by a paddle. Just looked at my scales. No paddle on the fulcrum and no well in the base either. Maybe i have an older model? Other than that, same 5 grain graduations on on side and 1/10 grain on the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If by "new" you mean everything made since the mid-60s, yeah, they all have magnetic vane dampening.

Are you saying i'm using an antique?? Just kidding. Scales are now on my list to update. Because of the dampening. I'm not sold on the digital scales. I'm a little old fashioned. At a previous job, used to use a set of truck scales that were built in the 1920's. Guess where the scale people would come to check the accuracy of their truck weights? They told us that load cells are not always that accurate, but mechanical scales always work. Maybe not so with powder scales? Changed my way of thinking anyhow.


You may already recognise it but I'll say this anyway; the most important piece of "reloading gear" you can have is a properly laid out and strong bench. Make a strudy box or shelf that will place your good old Redding scale near eye level where you will be using it. (The only worse place for a beam scale than flat on the bench top is under the bench top!)

Kind of silly that i didn't think about mounting the scales higher. Great idea. For a reloading bench, i have my press mounted to a steel shop bench. Quite sturdy. I'm going to try the scales mounted higher.
 

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Your scale is a relic. I'M an antique. But I still work as well as ever (if not as long or as often!). So does my beam scale. If you get a new powder scale take a long, hard look at the Redding or RCBS (Ohaus made) 1010. And a Redding powder trickler to go with it.


"They told us that load cells are not always that accurate, but mechanical scales always work. Maybe not so with powder scales? Changed my way of thinking anyhow."

As a retired "space" electronix instrutment tech, I agree with your past friends and it is true of powder scales also; there are no digital scales on my bench.

If I should find a digital in a ditch I'd use it...to weight bullets and cases maybe ... but not for powder.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Per Ranger's recommendation, picked up a new RCBS 1010 today at the local shop. Haven't had a chance to use it, but it appears to be made very well. Also picked up a Hornady trickler. They didn't have the Redding. See how it works. Only out ten bucks if it's a piece of crap. Thanks for the good recommendation!
 

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"...'picked up a Hornady trickler. They didn't have the Redding. See how it works. Only out ten bucks if it's a piece of crap."

You din't make a mistake, the Hornady would be a close second, IMHO. Both are about as heavy as any commericial tricklers every made and that's why I like them. Didn't like them well enough to buy them tho, made my own and it's perhaps tripple the weight of the Hornady - and I do LIKE it, but that doesn't do anyone else any good. Oh well...

Hope you see the advantages of the new scale too; having that little "extended scale" weight is a reassuring thing for accuracy checks.
 
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