Lee safety powder scale?


March 3, 2010, 05:22 PM
Is there a problem with my scale or is it just me?:banghead:

Just purchased a new Lee safety powder scale. I'm frustrated because it seems very difficult to get an accurate reading. Getting to zero took quite a while, and now everytime I measure a load I have to re-zero the scale. What's more, tenths of a grain are really hard to read.... not very exact. Also, the scale seems to stick.... for instance if the arm bounces all the way up it is likely to stick at the top. I tried to make sure my table was level, but I'm starting to think I have a bum scale. Seems like a lot of putzing for something that should be relatively accurate.

What d you more experienced guys think?:confused:

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March 3, 2010, 05:32 PM
Supposedly that scale is accurate so long as the beam isn't cracked.

They are kind of finicky and I know guys who can't seem to get a handle on them, but I've had no problems with mine. Very accurate, just a pain to set and often with the tilting of the beam, the tenths slide will go out of adjustment.

Mine has served me well though once I got used to procedure.

ol' scratch
March 3, 2010, 06:30 PM
Which powder measure are you using? I found the scale to be fine, but the lee powder measure wouldn't throw a consistent charge--at least with Unique. It seems to do just fine with 4895. As far as the scale sticking, mine would do that too. Make sure the razor edge the beam rests on is on the grove. It should be fine then. Also, if it is sticking, it might be binding against the frame. Mine does that too. Just make sure you move the beam toward you so it doesn't bind against the frame.

March 3, 2010, 07:05 PM
First--make sure you do have the balance set properly in the notch. I have found it easy to have it not in place, and there can be accuracy issues. Assuming that you have that done, and that your bench / shelf is level--then once you get the scale zeroed, you shouldn't have to re-zero it. I also assume you are having trouble setting the scale because the vernier slides so easily when the friction pins are out--that can drive a person nuts. So, here's the way I do it:

1. I remove the tray and pick up the beam. Leave the vernier drag pins in / "on."

2. Hold the beam in both hands and place your thumbs on either side of the vernier. Push with either thumb, as needed, to slide the vernier to the weight you want to set.

With a bit of practice, it should become easy to adjust--and it will hold that position because the friction pins are on.

3. Replace the beam on the balance point. Re-hang the tray, and put the "10-gr" ball into the proper trough for your weight. Double-check the beam is properly installed on the balance.

Note that this order does NOT call out all the procedures for safe operation. Zeroing the scale (or any scale) without a set of weights to verify actual weighing is not recommended, obviously.

FWIW, I sorted out this technique when my aging eyes started to make real issues for seeing that vernier--after a ten-year hiatus from reloading. Ten years earlier, I had given up and gone to a 505. I use the Lee scale almost exclusively now--my current bench setup is too crowded for my 505. I also have (a couple) cheap LCD electronic scales, but have found they become inaccurate as the batteries drain.

Jim H.

March 3, 2010, 08:46 PM
What JFN said. I have two Lee Precision scales. Very simple and accurate. Price can't be beat.

March 3, 2010, 08:56 PM
I gave mine away to someone who was wllling to pay the postage.

IMO life is too short to get frustrated at your hobby from using the most non user friendly scale mankind has yet devised all in the name of saving not quite enough money to order 4 large pizza's

March 3, 2010, 09:44 PM
Does the Lee have a magnetic dampner. I'm not familiar with the Lee, but my Hornady and Ohaus beam scales do and makes life a lot easier.

March 3, 2010, 09:51 PM
the lee DOES have a magnetic damper. occasionally the blade on the end of my beam will stick to the magnetic damper behind it, locking it from moving freely--perhaps this is what bear was experiencing?

Bush Pilot
March 4, 2010, 12:12 AM
Lee scales make great paperweights.

March 4, 2010, 01:30 PM

You've got it Sqroot.... Seems that everytime (most times) the arm moves to its upper limit the dampener grabs the plate. I'll just work with it for a while and see if I get more used to it.

Thanks Guys:D

March 5, 2010, 12:12 AM
You have to hold your mouth juuust right, but the LEE set up properly is very accurate.

Figuring out where to set the vernier to zero it wasn't real obvious in the instructions, but it works.

March 5, 2010, 12:35 AM
All scales go screwy on a surface that doesn't stay in one place. If you lean on your table, or it wobbles, or the floor moves when you shift your weight, or the table legs are on padded carpet, all kinds of things like that can move the tables.

Breezes and drafts are also a problem. So are seismic events and prolonged explosions, but a draft is more commonly encountered while reloading.

March 5, 2010, 01:05 AM
I had a Lee scale and a 10-10. Had a friend in need and gave him the inexpensive one. Still miss my Lee. May buy another again soon.:cool: It does however get some getting used to. I had it working well after 2 nights trying various things till I understood how it worked.

John Wayne
March 5, 2010, 12:27 PM
The Lee scale is not the best, but it is a good value and has worked well for me. First of all, make sure the razor is properly seated in the notch, lock the slider in place and zero the scale--this step didn't take more than a few minutes for me (make sure you zero it with the pan in place!).

I have had problems with the Lee "Perfect" Powder Measure and Trail Boss...it doesn't always throw consistant charges. I use this powder for minimum loads anyway, so it doesn't bother me that much. With ball powders like HS-6 the measure has been very consistant.

The scale does have magnetic dampening, and with very light loads (under 4 grains or so) I have noticed that it likes to "stick" in the middle when you get it close to balanced. I guess the weight of the powder is not enough to overcome the magnetic resistance. When weighing heavier charges, I do not have this problem. Usually a simple tap is all it takes to get it to swing a little bit and give an accurate reading.

The slide scale isn't that hard to read for me, you just want a little white showing on either side of the number you desire. If you're looking for .8, it should have most of the white showing above 8, with a little on .7 and .9. I do wish the scale was a little heavier though, it moves around too easily.

I do not have a set of weights to check the scale, but I have loaded a few max loads according to the scale, without problems.

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