So my Powder Scale is off...


July 26, 2007, 11:18 PM
So my powder scale weighs everything -10gr, I discovered. Apparently, the little handle that comes with the little measuring cup thingy is missing, and weighs exactly 10 grains. I made sure to check with a friend when my 4.2gr powder filled up a .38 casing (I'm just getting into reloading, and double-checking EVERYTHING to make sure I get it right), and we discover that rather than 4.2 grains, with this -10gr setting, I was about to load 14.2 gr :what:

Trying to figure out how much the thing was off by, I put a 125 gr JHP on it, and it weighed out at 115, so now I have to go refigure all my figures on what load I need....but at least it'll be a standard load, now. But, my question is basic....I noticed that if I elevate the end with the cup thingy about 2.5" up, the scale balances/zeroes out like normal. Not that it would be my "intended practice", but would it be "safe" to set up the scale to where it correctly weighs everything out if it is so off-set, at least until my new powder cup measure arrives in the mail, so that I can finally finish loading the rounds I have sitting in the shell holder, or should I hold off? Once canted the way I described, everything weighs in like it should, but this is more of just a "is this safe?" question, just to get the powder drop set for 4.2gr? Thanks!

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July 27, 2007, 01:43 AM
Can you say Kinetic bullet puller? Try the Smart Reloader scale recommended by Chuck Hawks. It always says 10 grams with a 10 gram test weight in it. Don't even think of using it until you get the right part. Go and pull up overcharges on search my friend. Weighing the ammo will not help, as shells weight differently. Imagine a blown up gun, lost fingers, hospital visit,police report, and the little lady bitching at you, co-workers asking what happened, banned from the range, etc. Test weight suggestions?

July 27, 2007, 07:32 AM
Do not use a bullet as a check wieght.

If your pan is missing the handle, you should be able to zero out the scale anyways by adding a bit of shot to the pan holder.

July 27, 2007, 07:51 AM
Your balance or a scale can be zeroed without the pan. Find the instructions and read about the process. While bullets aren't all the same weight, they won't be off by 10 grains so you can use them as a crude check. However, weights are available which are better. My RCBS electronic came with two. As for suspect ammo already made, pull the bullets are start over once the problem is corrected.

Mal H
July 27, 2007, 09:49 AM
Eightball - don't fix the problem by tilting the scale at a crazy angle like that. Fix it as Chawbaccer suggested. Add about 10 grains to the pan carrier. It is usually screwed together with a removable pan holding some small weights. Do not loose any of those weights or you'll make the problem worse.

I said about 10 grains because you should rezero using the base leg as always, so the exact weight isn't important. Heck, you probably don't know the exact weight of the missing handle as it is.

July 27, 2007, 12:41 PM
FWIW, i wasn't saying I checked weight with ammunition, I checked it with a known gr JSP bullet--125=115 doesn't add up very well. I made sure to NOT load any ammunition until after I found out why 4.5 gr filled up a .38spl case (since it wasn't supposed to be a compression load); no ammunition is loaded.

And, I don't have spare shot laying around, unfortunately--and since I inherited this setup, the instructions for the scale are missing.

July 27, 2007, 02:08 PM
Are you sure that the slide is set to the zero position? I ask because it seems odd that a piece broke off that weighed exactly 10 grains. At any rate, the fact that the zero was off should make you stop and look for problems.

Ol` Joe
July 27, 2007, 04:51 PM
What brand scale is this? If it is RCBS give them a call and explain your problem. They will go out of their way to help and supply manuals, parts, ect usually for the asking.

July 29, 2007, 12:20 AM
So have you checked with the manufacturer of your scale to see if you can buy a new pan? Or check on Midway website for replacements?

Good shooting and be safe.

July 29, 2007, 02:39 AM
You might want to check the manufacturer's website for instructions avail thru pdf, all the big companies have them available.

The reason you don't want to make any determinations based on weighing a bullet is that its not a check weight, and bullet weights within the same lot vary enough to make using it as a coefficient to adjust your scale virtually useless. A 125gr bullets seldom weighs 125.0 grains. For checking powder charges the standard is to acheive accuracy to within .1gr

If I were in your shoes, I would . . .

1) download the instructions (if its not available, I'm sure the manufacturer will gladly send you a paper copy if you call them)
2) order a replacement pan from either Midway, other online/catalog vendor, or the manufacturer directly
3) purchase a set of reloading check weights to zero your balance at weight approx to the charge you are using, do not zero w/out weight. To rephrase; if you plan to use 10.0 gr of powder, place a 10.0gr checkweight in the pan, then zero the scale, same for other charges but you don't have to be exact, you can approximate, so if plan to use 5.3gr, and only have a 5.0gr weight, use the 5.0 weight to zero, then remove weight and use the scale as you normally would. In my experience, scales are seldom accurate across its entire range.

Good luck.

July 29, 2007, 02:50 AM
It's an OHare, or somesuch--the company that supplies scales to RCBS, et al. Unfortunately, they don't directly sell reloading scales anymore, so that's a dead end.

Anyone got an RCBS 10-10 they wanna get rid of, or help me find one for cheap? I'm borrowing a buddies, and I like it.

Ol` Joe
July 29, 2007, 09:19 AM
Ohaus maybe"
They still build RCBS scales and simply don`t put their name on them anymore. The parts between them may be interchangable as the old 505 and 5-10 RCBS/Ohaus scales I have are the exact same as the newer ones sold as RCBS only. Call RCBS they likely will be able to help and supply a pan. If not they should be able to give you some direction as to getting your scale working.

July 29, 2007, 04:43 PM
I weighed the pan and such of my buddy's RCBS pan and the Ohaus one, and they do not weigh out the same. Unfortunately, there's no easy way out.

Mal H
July 29, 2007, 11:14 PM
I don't have spare shot laying around
It doesn't have to be shot, it can be anything that weighs around 10 grains and fits in the under-pan like a small washer, a snipped off piece of copper etc..

July 29, 2007, 11:36 PM
Some beam type scales have a couple of nuts on a short bolt which are used to regulate the scale for differences in pan weights. These are NOT the same as leveling screw used to level the scale each time you use it. If your Ohaus scale is set up with this arrangement, you may be able to adjust them to compensate for the missing 10 grains of weight in the pan. Typically they are set at the factory for the pan matched to the scale and never have to be used/adjusted again UNLESS you replace the pan or break off a part of it.

Good shooting and be safe.

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