Which Powder Measure and Scale ???


Welding Rod
February 21, 2011, 02:25 PM
I have a friend who is setting up to start loading for the first time, as hobby. He is not a high volume shooter and does not compete in matches. Although like most reloaders, I image the volume will increase once the cost of shooting goes down due to loading his own.

His cartridges of most interest are 7.62 Russian (7.62 x 54 and 7.62 x 53). However he may obviously decide to do others once he gets going.

As stated, he probably won't be a super high volume shooter. He is getting set up with a Lee Classic Turret Press and will probably load using a single station at a time.

Anyhow he is trying to figure out what the best powder measure and scale would be for his needs, without spending an excessive amount of money. He is considering everything from the inexpensive stuff up to the Redding BR measure and Pact Scale/Electronic Measure combo.

Any thoughts on what might would be a good value to get him going in a new hobby without regrets later?

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February 21, 2011, 02:44 PM
I have only had one powder measure. The Lyman 55. It has held up very well, for many years, and does a good job of measuring any powder I have put in it. I don't have any of the gripes I keep hearing about other brands. It does well for either pistol or rifle loads.

I have two beam scales and both have remained accurate. I think the accuracy is built into the notches on the beam. Nothing changes there. As long as you clean the pivot points now and then, and don't knock it off the bench, they will be accurate. I probably would not recommend the cheapest beam you can find, but any of the better ones should be good and last a lifetime. The one I am currently using is the Lyman Ohaus M5. It is magnetically dampened.

February 21, 2011, 03:33 PM
I have been reloading for 5-6 years now and am now getting away from using scales. I am doing this by going to only ball powders and measuring with lee dippers. Although the Lee dippers go in .3 cc increments you can go in .1 cc increments by using combinations of dippers. Having said that I use a PACT BBK2 scale for non ball powder. I had a Lee scale for my first scale and was not happy with it.
If my scale dies I will not buy another. I shoot Russian 7.62-54R and briefly looked at reloading for it and came to the conclusion that surplus ammo was cheaper than hand loading at least the corrosive ammo.

February 21, 2011, 04:51 PM
I use the PACT system and like it. I have also used a Uniflo RCBS measure and an RCBS beam balance.

I mounted a Uniflo on my Lyman AA turret for years and happily loaded thousands of rounds with it.

If he goes single stage then the RCBS Uniflo will be fine and get an electronic scale vs the beam type. If he wants pistol only the Lee Auto Powder Measure will work well for him.


February 21, 2011, 04:52 PM
I use a Redding and a Hornady measure. They are good to me. I also use an RCBS 10-10 BB scale and it is still serving me well after almost 30 years.
I have another measure and an electronic scale but I use the Redding or Hornady along with the RCBS when I just have to know it is right.

Border Hopper
February 21, 2011, 05:36 PM
The cheap electronic scales may not be the bargain that he wants. I have one, and use it to compare weights (cast bullets, empty brass, other stuff), not to measure powder.

I shot for @ 15 years with only the RCBS 5-0-5 scale, a baby spoon and a trickler. Now that I have more guns and shoot more, that looks prehistoric. A cheap powder measure, though, is not something I ever wanted.

I use a Pact dispenser and scale for about half my reloading needs now. I also use several measures with adjustable chambers (Pacific, RCBS, Hornady) and a few with rotors bought separately, which is starting to look expensive.

I still think the Lee is a good deal. It is quick, cheap and easy. A good scale, with check weights, is like insurance.

Arkansas Paul
February 21, 2011, 05:40 PM
Can't go wrong with a RCBS Uniflow measure and a RCBS 5-0-5 scale.
I have one of the Cabela's digital scales and a 5-0-5. I always find myself using the 5-0-5. It's just easier to me. Escpecially when throwing a little light and trickling up to the desired weight, which I always do with rifle stuff.

February 21, 2011, 06:57 PM
Although I am a fan of most Lee products, I almost threw my Lee scale out the garage door once out of frustration.

Unless your friend has rock steady hands/fingers and patience to watch grass grow, I would recommend either the RCBS 5-0-5 or the Dillon Eliminator (http://www.dillonprecision.com/content/p/9/pid/25215/catid/7/Dillon_s__Eliminator__Scale) (essentially same scale as 5-0-5) for $54 that are much faster. :D

If he has weighing needs that will exceed 500 grains, he can consider getting the RCBS 10-10 scale with 1000 grain capacity. I have the older Ohaus 10-10 model and it is fast and consistent.

February 21, 2011, 07:21 PM
I use a RCBS Rangemaster 750 scale and like it a lot. It is probably middle-of the road price-wise.

For working up different rifle loads, I use it with Lee Powder dippers and an RCBS powder trickler. I also have a RCBS Uniflow Powder measurer that I haven't used much. Once I get settled in on a load, i'll use it for making a production run of the same powder amount. The Uniflow doesn't do the best job with Varget powder, which i've been using for my .223 and .22-250 loads. I haven't tried a ball powder in the uniflow yet, but i imagine it will work a lot better.

Perhaps he could spend a little more on the scale and go with the lee dippers for now. Then later he could go with a uniflow (or some other powder thrower).

February 21, 2011, 08:57 PM
I have the Lyman DPMS and do not recommend it.

Steve C
February 21, 2011, 09:36 PM
Scale is needed to set up and check the powder measure and can be used to weigh individual charges. A balance will remain accurate for a lifetime (unless gravity changes). I'd suggest buying a scale with magnetic dampening and 3 poises (sliding weights). The RCBS 5-0-5 is of this type but there are other manufacturers scales that would be as good.

For powder measures I like my Hornady but there are other good ones made by RCBS, Lyman, Redding, etc. Some types are more adept with the stick type rifle powders than others. Buying ball powders or short cut rifle powders can alleviate problems you may find with stick type.

Hondo 60
February 21, 2011, 09:51 PM
I have a Cabela's 1500 scale that I've been using for about a year & it's been accurate when I check it against scale weights.

I also have a Pact BBKII & it's been sent back for a 2nd time. The first time it worked for about 6 months, then Pact had it for 6 months. I got it back & used it for about 3 months, & had to send it back again. It'll probably be another 6 months before I see it again.

Balance beam scales don't have those kinds of issues, but digital scales are MUCH faster.

Arkansas Paul
February 21, 2011, 11:32 PM
I have a Cabela's 1500 scale that I've been using for about a year & it's been accurate when I check it against scale weights.

That's the one I have, but I find that after I weigh about a dozen loads, I'll set the pan on the scale and it won't zero. It'll be a -0.5 or so. Have you had this trouble? Maybe it's me. I haven't had it long.
To the OP, sorry for the hijack. Maybe this info will be useful to you as well.

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