Question about electronic scales and dispensers
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:25 PM   #1
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Default Question about electronic scales and dispensers

Fellas, I am pondering on a thought that sometime in the next while I may buy an electronic scale and or powder dispenser scale combo. I have used my old Ohaus beam balance to weigh thousands of rounds, but think that I may modernize my operation somewhat.
Please give me some recommendations on what y'all like best and why. It would help me make a decision with some knowledgeable advice.

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Old 08-25-2010, 02:28 AM   #2
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I have a Smart Reloader electric scale/dispenser.It works pretty good with most powders,and is pretty fast throwing charges.
I have friends that have the PACT,and RCBS.They all work about the same,and all have problems with the long grain powders.They will over throw the charge you program,but it really isn't much of a problem once you know about how much they will over throw and just adjust the programed charge weight.
They are nice to have,but you can still throw charges faster with a RCBS Uniflow manual dispenser.I only use the electic dispenser when I load 308 or larger cases.

Natchez shooters supply has all the electric dispensers on sale now,the Smart Reloader is only $179.99 and it has a 2 yr warranty,the RCBS is $100 more.

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Old 08-27-2010, 09:53 AM   #3
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Default Powder Dispensers

I have the RCBS ChargeMaster. It is about 4 years old. The only problem it has is the first couple of charges thrown with a new powder it tends to overshoot. It needs to learn when to switch from high speed dispense to trickle. The one thing no powder dispenser can solve is how much powder drops on that very last trickle turn. This means that it will occasionally drop 0.1gn higher than target (probably 0.05gn or less).
You simple look, decide if that is a significant amount and either throw it back in the hopper, remove a few grains to get the right weight (just like if you were trickling by hand) or use it. For rifle loads, ±0.5gn is generally fine.
It can dispense fast enough that after I pour the powder into the case, it generally has the next charge waiting by the time I place a bullet on the charged case and seat the bullet.
The new units (Sharp Shooter or something) allows you to adjust manually how soon the dispenser goes into trickle mode. The Hornady has 3 speed settings so you can set it for the highest speed that throws correct charges. My old RCBS simply learns with the first couple of throws. The old PACT and RCBS ran through a complicated calibration procedure that really dialed it in in, but took awhile. Also, didn't like having to keep two separate units aligned so the IR signals could be read.

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Old 08-27-2010, 12:32 PM   #4
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Default From another angle

Thanks for the good info. As I mentioned, I am still using my OOOOOOOOld Lyman/Ohaus beam balance for weighing and balancing my loads. I dispense the charge into the powder pan from my manual powder measure which is set to throw about 1/2 gr light and then balance the scale with the trickler.
I guess that I am overly fanatical about having exactly the same charge in each and every case (rifle), but then that's just me. From what I am reading here, using the electronic dispenser might be more trouble and slower than I am now. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Would I be better off to continue using the manual measure and just purchase an electronic scale and then check it with the beam balance from time to time?
My manual method gives me such outstanding consistency that I am a little afraid to change anything, but I am still procrastinating.
It could be that at my age (66) I should simply leave well enough alone.

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Old 08-27-2010, 09:36 PM   #5
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If you are happy, why change? You are being overly meticulous, but that is probably just the way you are. You certainly will never be happy if you plan to check the digital with your balance beam. You would first have to get your balance beam calibrated just to know that it is correct. You would need several Class 2 check weights, and they cost about $50 each, to determine what errors your balance beam has over its full load range.
I love my RCBS ChargeMaster. It dispenses a load as fast as I can cycle my 1050 press (I do not aim for speed). Occasionally, due to trickling error, it will read 0.1gn over. Since the load I am using may actually be dispensing at 5.54gn (and the balance reads 5.5gn) and the over charge might be 5.56gn (thus, reading 5.6gn), it may not even represent a 0.1gn over charge. When it happens, though, I just pour it back in the hopper and let it dispense a new charge.
If you are loading for rifle, you REALLY don't need 0.1gn accuracy, but if that is what makes you more confident, then that is what you need to do.

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