Old Redding Scale Question


March 1, 2004, 09:53 AM
I picked up an old used Redding #1 bullet and powder scale recently.

It had no directions and in cleaning it up I observed something that I hope one of you more experienced reloaders may be able to answer.

Right at the pivot point is what looks like a little paddle that extends into a well.

Is this for putting oil into to dampen the scale???

If so, what weight oil should you put in it.


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Mike Irwin
March 1, 2004, 10:14 AM

That's very likely part of a magnetic dampening system.

The paddle is probably copper, and on either side of the well are two pretty strong magnets.

Even though copper isn't magnetic, a metallic body moving through the magnetic field will encounter resistance.

If I'm not mistaken, the copper paddle moving through the magnetic field will also generate a small charge of electricity.

A few points about scale maintenance...

Inspect the "knife edges" on the trunions where the beam rests on the scale.

They must be knife edges, very sharp. If they're not, or they're rounded, don't use the scale. It won't be accurate.

Inspect the bearings in which the knife edges ride. Use a soft, short bristle paint brush to sweep any dirt or powder out of the bearings.

If you need to (if they're contaminated with oil or very dirty), use a cotton swab dipped in standard rubbing alcohol.

NEVER oil or otherwise lubricate the bearings or the knife edges! The accuracy of the scale will be greatly degraded.

Use scale check weights to ensure that your scale is weighing accurate.

March 1, 2004, 01:19 PM
Use a light oil in the damper, or better yet none at all.
The oil creeps and needs a complete washup every few months, and attracts dust.
I would degrease and use the scale as is. Undamped scales require that you get used to weighing with the pointer swinging, and not wait for it to come to rest. If the pointer goes up e.g. two marks and down two marks it is in poise and does not need to come to rest; indeed a beam at rest indicates a stuck beam and an unreliable reading.
The older technology is no less accurate than the new in this case.
Cheers from Darkest California,

Mike Irwin
March 1, 2004, 04:02 PM
So Redding did make scales using an oil dampening system?

Interesting. I've never heard of this.

March 1, 2004, 07:42 PM
This is an old scale but it seems pretty accurate. Anyway its a big improvement over the measuring cups!

I put some oil in the well this afternoon and it does settle down a bit quicker.

Mike Irwin
March 1, 2004, 09:34 PM
"It seems pretty accurate..."

That seems to indicate that you're assuming that it's accurate!

You can't do that.

Get a set of scale check weights!

March 1, 2004, 10:17 PM
I put a 50 grain blitzking on it. It zeroed at 50 grains and one tenth.

I put a 40 grain blitzking on it. It zeroed at 40 grains exactly.

I am loading .223 and the weights are very much in line with the old cups I was using with regards to how much the case fills.

After all I have heard about pistol cartridges I don't think they will ever be in my future!

But with a Ruger #3 and .223 you are not likely to hurt yourself.

March 2, 2004, 09:50 AM
If you haven't done so already, you should telephone Redding and get some good info from the folks there.

The folks on the tech help lines there are all reloaders, and they know their stuff!

March 3, 2004, 06:18 PM
Use 3 in 1 oil. Motor oils and gun oils creep out, but 3 in 1 isn't near as bad. I got mine in 1968 and still use it as a check against the PACT DPPS. If the PACT is behaving, they're within a tenth right across the beam.


October 4, 2008, 10:22 AM
On vacation this week in beautiful central Colorado, I stopped in J's Sporting Goods in Salida. He had two Redding #1 oil-dampened scales on the shelf, one in box with instructions for $45 and one scale only (no box) for $25. The scale sans box looked to be in better shape and was zeroed perfectly, so I bought it.

Up till now, I've been using the Lee Safety Scale that a friend gave me a year ago, but I had been contemplating buying the Redding #2, primarily because I wanted the graduated readings over/under zero. Of course, the Lee requires you to have the light juuuuussst so to clearly read the vernier scale.

This Redding #1 looks like it fits the bill. It has the +/- .5-grain readings, graduated in tenths, handles weights up to 325 grains (can check bullet weights!), is solid cast iron, has a leveler screw, and retains that they-don't-make-'em-like-they-used-to aura (even though we know that they, in fact, do).

Later today, I'll post a pic. First, I have to clean it up, put a little oil in the reservoir, and play with it a bit.

Next on the wish list: check weights.

October 4, 2008, 10:48 AM
"Right at the pivot point is what looks like a little paddle that extends into a well. Is this for putting oil into to dampen the scale???"

Yes. Use mineral oil or vegetable oil. Lay a cloth napkin over the scale when it's not in use to reduce the collection of dust. Change the oil very few months.

Your old Redding is a good scale. Their oil dampening was the first effort to improve them. When someone - Ohaus I believe - came up with magnetic damping all other methods dissappeared, and rightly so!

December 12, 2012, 04:00 PM
how would you set the scales for 7.7 gr.? i have no instructions

December 12, 2012, 04:18 PM
Here are RCBS instructions.
Your Redding will work about the same.



December 12, 2012, 04:22 PM
the big poise on the left has graduations of 5 gr. the small poise on the right has graduations of 0.1 gr. set the big poise to 5 gr (the first tick mark from zero) and the small poise to 2.7 gr (the twenty-seventh tick markfrom zero).

5.0 gr + 2.7 gr = 7.7 gr.

December 12, 2012, 04:26 PM

But be sure you zero the scale first.


December 12, 2012, 04:38 PM
thanks guys,it's has been log time since i used a set of beam scales

December 13, 2012, 10:59 AM
I have the old Redding oil dampend scale I have been using for over 55 years, very good scale--it was copied by other companys as well, like Herters.
Like rc says, zero the scale out first.
The ole Redding is just as accurate as my 505.


December 13, 2012, 11:04 AM
Old scales are usually pretty accurate if undamaged.

Gravity hasn't changed much in the last few years ;)

December 13, 2012, 11:49 AM
But all bets are off after Dec 21.

Assuming the Aztec calender is correct.


December 13, 2012, 01:15 PM
Well, I made it through 12:12 on 12/12/12 so I think that it's all downhill from here :)

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