Digital or beam

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Missouribound, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. Missouribound

    Missouribound Well-Known Member

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    I'm wondering if the preferred scale is beam or digital? I know the beam scales are dead on but the ease of calibrating and reading the digital seems to have an advantage.
    Any words of wisdom? I'm thinking of setting up a reloading station in my garage.
    Right now I am trying to figure out equipment and costs.
     
  2. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I use both. I like both. I would miss either if it broke.:confused:
     
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  3. hairbear1

    hairbear1 Well-Known Member

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    I like the beam scales for the simple fact that every load is consistent and you don't have to recheck the calibration every 10 or so loads even though it's a bit slower.
     
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  4. bama1965

    bama1965 Member

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    I like the digital, I don't load for long range super accurate loads, just target loads, and a few hunting rounds. I check about every 10 to 20 powder drops.
     
  5. Greg_r

    Greg_r Well-Known Member

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    I own both, but prefer the beam scale. Too many things interfere with the digital scales unless they are very well shielded. About the only thing that will interfere with a beam scale is a draft.
     
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  6. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Beam and ancient Herters' powder trickler. Works every time for over 50 years.
     
  7. sheepdawg

    sheepdawg Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Lyman Digital, Lyman Powder Pal
     
  8. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Far more important than the scales themselves are a good set of scale check weights.
     
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  9. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    i use both as well. IMO, i think for the most part, beam scales are going to be much more accurate than most of the digital scales on the market, unless you step up to the better certified and calibrated digital scales, which in turn will usually be much more expensive.

    personally, i like the digital for being faster, and my beam scale for being more accurate.
     
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  10. jigs-n-fixture

    jigs-n-fixture Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Dallas, good to see you back.
     
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  11. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    thanks Jiggs.:)
     
  12. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    I use both,but unless you invest in a good laboratory grade Digital scale,you'll just be wasting money on the cheap Chinese crap that all the Reloading companies sell if ultimate accuracy is your game.

    Most of the cheap Reloading digital scale are only calibrated down to .1-.2 tenths of a grain. The higher quality scale that I use is calibrated to .02 hundredths of a grain. I use it to calibrate my beam scale,and then use the beam scale to weigh all my charges.
    I will check every 5-10 charges on the digital scale,but in general,don't need to after I calibrate the beam scale to the digital scale.

    I routinely get single digit SD/ES numbers with my loads,so what I do works very well when it comes to accuracy.
     
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  13. jigs-n-fixture

    jigs-n-fixture Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Inexpensive digital scales, are built with 0.01-gram precision, so they are only precise to 0.154-grains. Which is ok, if you’re loading larger calibers. But, if you’re loading 25-grain charges for a 204 Ruger, the lack of precision is a problem.
     
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  14. Missouribound

    Missouribound Well-Known Member

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    Welcome back Dallas.
     
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  15. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    thank you Mr. Missouri.
     
  16. Missouribound

    Missouribound Well-Known Member

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    Well thank all of you for your replies. I will purchase a balance type scale for regular use.
    The digital scales have come down in price considerably so I may pick one of those up as well. I'm just trying to avoid making mistakes right off the bat. I have time to do that later.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
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  17. OldManMontgomery

    OldManMontgomery Active Member

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    I prefer the digital scale, but there are good ones and - less good ones.

    Probably a beam type might be more accurate, but unless you've already matched all your cases for weight, reamed the flash hole, squared the primer pocket, trimmed to uniform length, chamfered the mouth, matched the bullets by weight, pillar bedded your rifle, tuned or replaced the trigger, lapped the locking lugs and some other stuff, one-tenth of a grain in a hunting cartridge will make a bit of difference.

    I do have two 'super accurate' rifles. They both shoot well under an inch. I do not measure powder charges much.
     
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  18. Dakota1

    Dakota1 Well-Known Member

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    I've used both but as I got older, I don't have the patience to wait for a beam scale's pointer to stop bouncing. I've checked my two beam scales against my RCBS digital & they're right on the money. And the digital scale is much easier to read & displays the weight much faster.