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Old 06-25-2009, 10:56 PM   #1
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Default Balance Beam scale vs. Electronic scale

My brother and I have been reloading ammo for some years now, actually my brother has been doing it for over 10 years and I just started about a year and a half ago. We pool our rescources on equipment and componets and split the costs.

My brother has been using a balance beam scale for many years and to me it seems a slow process.

We've been discusing buying a digital scale and I have been looking at the RCBS Model 98923 Charge Master Combo.

Any reloaders here use one of these?
Pro's and Con's to this type of scale?
Possible better choice for this type of scale?

Any input will be appreciated before we make decision to buy one.

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Old 06-25-2009, 11:44 PM   #2
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I use a Frankford Arsenal (Midway USA) digital scale. Accurate to w/in .1 grains (1/70,000th of a pound). Comes with batteries, case, powder pan and check weight. About $40.

Fast and accurate.

Down side. Battery operated

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Old 06-26-2009, 02:17 AM   #3
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I have tried digital scales,but I would rather just use my balance beam scale. On my pistol loads,I get pretty uniform powder charges from my powder dispenser so I check every 5-7 charges. I usually weigh each of my rifle loads and over the years have become very efficient in doing so. Plus I'm never in a hurry when I'm out in the shop reloading,so any time wasted weighing powder charges is time well spent to me.

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Old 06-26-2009, 02:40 AM   #4
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The drug dealers use the digitals now days. If they thought they weren't as accurate as triple beams, they would not use them I think.

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Old 06-26-2009, 03:13 AM   #5
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MY Lyman 1010, RCBS 1010, Ohus 1010 (All the same) scale was more accurate and faster than my digital PACT BBKII ever thought of being. it is also more accurate than the digital as well.

The digital was ok for weighing cases and bullets to check for Extreme. My digital went belly up 3 weeks after the warranty was up. My balance beam has been shipped to the dealer then all over the country then to me. It is still just as accurate today as it was the day it rolled of the line.

The load sensor on any digital scale is the weak link. That is the biggest draw back to them. That and the fact that it is not covered by any warranty that I know of. I wasted $75+ on what is now nothing but a $75 paper weight.

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Old 06-26-2009, 11:19 AM   #6
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You have to look at the rated accuracy of the scale and the units it will weigh in. There are e-bay knock offs avertised for reloading that are only accurate to .2 grains. Some don't even measure in grains, just oz, and grams.

The Frankford Arsenal acale is cloned but not well. In my experience it is as accurate as my RCBS 1010 and more convenient. I don't trust either 100%. I use one to check the other on occasion. For those that swear by their bean scales...When was the last time you used certified check weights to confirm it was calibrated correctly?

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Old 06-26-2009, 12:35 PM   #7
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I have the midway scale it doesn't cost $40 well mine cost me $19 without shipping at midwayusa i am sure I paid $30 for shipping. It didn't work at all. it was a waste of $19 I called them told them it was such junk I was surprised they put their name on it.

I am sorry you can't say anything that will get me to believe that a $19 battery scale is as accurate as my beam scale.

All I can say is that i get better accuracy with my loads done on a beam then on my pact bbk2. I will not use a digital scale ever again. Sorry they are just to fragile for me to waste my money on. I would rather save my money for bullets.

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Old 06-26-2009, 12:53 PM   #8
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Bullets? You can find bullets? Where?

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Old 06-26-2009, 01:28 PM   #9
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The prime use for a loading scale is for powder. In my mind, that means a beam. IF I spent a lot of time weighing cases or bullets I MIGHT consider a digital IF they cost about $25. BUT they aren't inexpensive and I rarely weigh anything but powder!

I bought my Lyman/Ohaus M-5 (same as RCBS 1010 today, but others are just as good) in '65. It was dead on accurate at the time, still dead on accurate today. Does anyone here have any electronic device that old ... I mean that still works? My grandson will get my press...and scale, and they will last him a lifetime too if he takes care of them.

Speed is a relitive thing. The digitals DO settle faster, maybe a full two seconds faster than a typical beam. But with the total required warm-up time, zero set, tare set, then repeat those a few times while in use because of drifting and it sorta slows the whole process down a little, right? And never mind their quirky susceptibility to external electrical/magnetic fields, line voltage changes, temp changes, etc. while in use. And the few good ones cost a LOT! All in all, they are really pretty gimmicks but they are NOT made for me!

Beams are quite fast IF they are used correctly. Don't set them on the bench top, put them on a shelf, with a trickler, at near eye level and near the powder measure for fastest operation.

Don't bother to weight 500+ pistol charges (or even 50) no matter what scale you use. For volume work, drop the charges and eye-ball the powder colume in each case afterwards for meaningful variations, that's accurate enough for anyone's needs!

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Old 06-26-2009, 01:54 PM   #10
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The prime use ..

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