Looking for a new scale - Suggestions...


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SlowFuse
November 24, 2012, 11:41 AM
I am looking to upgrade my Lee Safety Scale and am wanting to stick with a beam style scale. I've looked at digitals but don't feel confident with one under $150 or so because of spotty reviews.

Just wanted to get an idea of what some of you guys are using. So far RCBS looks good but I didn't want to jump right into something and regret it. Thanks.

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Certaindeaf
November 24, 2012, 11:46 AM
Everybody loves the RCBS 505.

billybob44
November 24, 2012, 12:07 PM
RCBS has a GREAT scale=The 5-10-5!
This scale has the thumb wheel for the small adjustments that for me is easier to use. Check out the 5-10-5..Bill.

James2
November 24, 2012, 01:01 PM
Check out the Ohaus M5 Powder Scale.

That is the one I am using and I sure like it.

StretchNM
November 24, 2012, 01:45 PM
I'm not sure you can "upgrade" from the Lee Safety Scale, though you can certainly get a heavier, nicer finished, more expensive scale from another maker. For accuracy though, you'll probably have to keep the Lee.

Mike 27
November 24, 2012, 01:53 PM
The Honady bench scale for about 85 bucks does very well. It stays spot on with my Lee and with my auto powder measure.

Lost Sheep
November 24, 2012, 03:52 PM
Almost all beam scales sold under anybody's nameplate are all made by Ohaus, except for Lee's scales. My personal favorite is my RCBS 10-10 because the wheel micrometer is easier for me to manipulate than the sliding weights for the 0.1 grain increments.

You might consider that a used scale might do you just as well as a new one. There is not that much to wear out on the better scales (the jewel bearings and knife edge are about it). If you find one in a pawn shop or gun show you can check the operation and satisfy yourself before purchase.

StretchNM, I am uncertain of your meaning. Upgrade in accuracy, as your post suggests is unlikely. The Lee is accurate, but not more accurate than almost any other beam scale. Upgrade in ease of use is pretty much guaranteed. Even if one knows how to read a Vernier scale, the Lee (with the little windows) is a pain in the eye-or some other three-letter part of your anatomy). Increase in weighable range, obviously, as the Lee's range is only 0 to 110 grains; all others I have seen are more.

Lost Sheep

Boxhead
November 24, 2012, 04:50 PM
I use a 30+ year old 5-10 RCBS that, I believe, is no longer made. It has the wheel for grains and tenths of grains which I like. The 10-10 does as well but is pretty pricey. The Dillon Eliminator is a solid choice for $70 or so which is about $25 less than the exact same scale from RCBS.

Ky Larry
November 24, 2012, 05:12 PM
I have a Redding and an old Lee scale. I've checked the Lee many times with check weights and it is always dead on. The Redding is easier to see but it's not more accurate.

CZ57
November 24, 2012, 05:52 PM
You might want to look into an RCBS RC 130. It's triple poised, magnetically dampened and has agate bearings. It's designed specifically for weighing powder charges and the one I use is very accurate. They're also a very good deal for the $. ;)

ColtPythonElite
November 24, 2012, 06:01 PM
I quit using my 505 15 years ago after getting a Pact BBk.

Henry45
November 24, 2012, 06:05 PM
I'll be getting a Pact for Christmas.. :)

oneounceload
November 24, 2012, 07:06 PM
Almost all beam scales sold under anybody's nameplate are all made by Ohaus, except for Lee's scales.

And Ohaus sets the standard - the ones they make for RCBS are unequal -sorry, the Lee isn't even in the same ballpark

moonzapa
November 24, 2012, 07:48 PM
Try the RCBS 5-10-5 scale if you have got to have a balance beam scale. I keep an old beater scale to check my RCBS Chargemaster/Dispenser from time to time. Good shooting!

Lost Sheep
November 24, 2012, 07:59 PM
Almost all beam scales sold under anybody's nameplate are all made by Ohaus, except for Lee's scales.
And Ohaus sets the standard - the ones they make for RCBS are unequal -sorry, the Lee isn't even in the same ballpark
True, Ohaus scales set the standard for accuracy. Lee's simple little scale is not only in the ballpark, but every bit the equal of those.

It is also true that the Lee is lesser in almost every other aspect: durability, usability.....and MUCH lesser in price.

You get what you pay for, but if you want to pay for accuracy and scrimp on everything else, the Lee will do just fine. And when you want to move up in quality, you are not out that much.

In my opinion, even Lee's cheapest (in every sense of the word) press is still worth having.

Re: My earlier post. I bought my RCBS/Ohaus 10-10 scale in 1976 or so. It was a LOT cheaper then. I was aghast to see the price for one a just last year. I think I paid less than $50 for mine in '76 and saw one in 2011 for $180. But I also saw a well-used but fully functional and accurate 505 at a gun show for $30 this summer.

Lost Sheep

GT1
November 24, 2012, 08:02 PM
The Lee is as good as any as far as dishing up a load of accurately weighed powder, but it is a big pain to use for such a small piece of kit. It rides on a razor knife edge and has no 'bearing' like all the others.

I have a Lyman M5, they are antiques(vintage?) and not in production, I don't think, but very nice. I have the 10-10 and it is a deluxe beam with a price to prove it($150), I also have a new Lyman Pro-500($50) that is plastic based and too light out of the box, a few ounces of lead hot glued underneath made it a joy to use now, and it is accurate as any other scale riding on agate bearings.
The 505 and Dillon are basically the same scale, running about $70 if I recall, same deal, all of them are beams on agate bearings and will give the same dependable accurate readings as long as used properly and kept clean.

Boxhead
November 25, 2012, 12:34 AM
I went through three PACT's (warranty repairs/replace on two) and tossed the last one going back to the old RCBS. This was a number of years ago, hopefully they figured them out by now.

ArchAngelCD
November 25, 2012, 12:36 AM
RCBS is a great manufacturer who stands behind their products no matter what. their 505 scale is very good and if you have the money their 1010 is even better. (but costly)

45Frank
November 25, 2012, 12:45 AM
I went through three PACT's (warranty repairs/replace on two) and tossed the last one going back to the old RCBS. This was a number of years ago, hopefully they figured them out by now.
I use a 15 year old or so www.midwayusa.com/product/630725/lyman-le-1000-electronic-scale-110-volt LE1000. Have never had an issue and have only had to recalibrate it once.
Had a Pact trickle charger scale compo for years it never worked for more then 2-3 loads at a time and their customer service is one person on a cell phone who just kept telling me to recalibrate. They returned a call once or twice in the dozens of times I called over 2-3 years. Used it for a door stop for a while then target practice.

SlowFuse
November 25, 2012, 01:43 AM
Thanks for all of the great info. The RCBS 505 is what I had my eye on.

My Lee has started sliding off of its weight setting from vibrations caused from ram movement or whatever else I may be doing between throwing charges.

Some of you may be scratching your head on that statement wondering why I'm jumping around while charging. So.. I feel like I should mention I still individually weigh some pistol loads on the beam and dump them using a powder through expanding die.

The Lee slide gets stiff on the higher end (left side) but on the lower end of the scale the slide won't stay in place like it used to. I'm not sure if it's the vernier reading but I've never liked the style of measurement used on it. Aside from the various RCBS models I've compared I'll be checking out the Dillon and Pact. I can get Lyman products locally so that may be an option also.

I appreciate the input so far.

GLOOB
November 25, 2012, 03:29 AM
My Lee has started sliding off of its weight setting from vibrations caused from ram movement or whatever else I may be doing between throwing charges.
Dude. There's a lock on it. Set the weight were you want it, then press the little button in.

megaton
November 25, 2012, 03:50 AM
Maybe he means that it gets uncalibrated from the vibration?

Never mind, re-read his post and he said its sliding off its setting.

777TRUTH
November 25, 2012, 06:07 AM
Dillon Eliminator or RCBS 505. Both will serve you well so get whichever you can get a better deal on.

FROGO207
November 25, 2012, 07:36 AM
My main scale is the Ohaus that is the same as the 10-10 but stores within its base/cover. I also have a 10-10 as a backup that came with a buyout deal 5 years ago. Neither one cost more than $25 used when I bought them either. I also recently bought out a reloader and resold his Lee Kit setup for a great price to a new reloader with the advice that the scale is a pain to use but accurate. He is still happy with it more than a year later even after learning on mine first.:) If the Lee is acting up I would call or email them. They will repair or replace one that is not working correctly IIRC. You could always save what you get back for a backup or trading material.

dickttx
November 25, 2012, 09:31 AM
After not reloading for about 40 years I started again a couple of years ago. When I could not get consistent drops from my powder measure, I eventually figured out that it was not the powder measure that was the problem, it was my scale that was setting on the bench top and being jiggled around. I then remembered that the scale should be on a shelf or something not attached to the bench top. Put it on an adjacent bench and the "powder measure" problem was solved.
I have a 10-10, a 5-10 and a Dillon Eleminator. For my fumble fingers, the Dillon is easier to use than the micro wheel on the other two.

SlowFuse
November 25, 2012, 10:58 AM
Dude. There's a lock on it. Set the weight were you want it, then press the little button in.

Yes Gloob I know. The lock only works right when I have it on the high side of the scale. That's what I was meaning by stiff, it feels like it should. The low side seems to lock but it feels looser than the other side. After a few rough press strokes (pulling out of the Lee expanding die) it usually works loose. I've thought about claiming warranty but am ready to just move onto something else. I may get it repaired for a backup.

I'll keep in mind what dickttx mentioned. I don't have much space besides the bench the presses and other equipment are already mounted on. But, a scale doesn't take much space so I'm thinking a small section added but not connected to the main bench will work to reduce interference.

StretchNM
November 25, 2012, 02:21 PM
Slowfuse, my little Lee scale is going on 5 years old, and still locks up tight. I can;t really see what yours is doing since that hasn;t occurred to mine yet. Still, I would call Lee and let them know. They'll probably send you a new beam.

But with that much vibration - I mean enough to have the poise moving around even if it's unlocked, - I'm thinking the bench needs some work. What's the deal with all that vibration? I know there's a "pop" when coming back down out of an expanding die, but that shouldn;t have any effect on the rest of your equipment.

Just food for thought - I'll say it again - I really don;t think you can beat the Lee for accuracy. For mental peace of mind, however, buy the most expensive scale you can get your hands on. I've seen that work for people before... on all variations of purchases.

Lost Sheep
November 25, 2012, 04:36 PM
Yes Gloob I know. The lock only works right when I have it on the high side of the scale. That's what I was meaning by stiff, it feels like it should. The low side seems to lock but it feels looser than the other side. After a few rough press strokes (pulling out of the Lee expanding die) it usually works loose. I've thought about claiming warranty but am ready to just move onto something else. I may get it repaired for a backup.

I'll keep in mind what dickttx mentioned. I don't have much space besides the bench the presses and other equipment are already mounted on. But, a scale doesn't take much space so I'm thinking a small section added but not connected to the main bench will work to reduce interference.
Mounting the scale on the wall on a shelf at eye level works best. If it is away from the bench you can get close to the scale, too.

Lee probably won't replace the beam, but the whole scale. I have two Lee scales and if I switch pans, neither will zero. (Of course, they were probably made decades apart.) I never tried switching beams.

Lost Sheep

Searcher4851
November 28, 2012, 09:30 PM
I'm using an old Ohaus 10-10 scale currently. I really like thethe "fine tuning" with the threaded weight. (and the fact that you can lock the weight in place) I've used other beam scales, and this is my favorite.

Regardless of wether you go beam type or electronic, unless you have a rock solid bench, you're much better off isolating your scale from the bench. I have mine sitting on a shelf mounted on the wall next to my press. It sits at eye level and I can get my face right up to it. (quite handy for my old eyes)

Lost Sheep
November 29, 2012, 12:56 AM
I'm using an old Ohaus 10-10 scale currently. I really like thethe "fine tuning" with the threaded weight. (and the fact that you can lock the weight in place) I've used other beam scales, and this is my favorite.

Regardless of wether you go beam type or electronic, unless you have a rock solid bench, you're much better off isolating your scale from the bench. I have mine sitting on a shelf mounted on the wall next to my press. It sits at eye level and I can get my face right up to it. (quite handy for my old eyes)
Exactly my recommendation. With a strong light on it, too.

I have never felt the need to lock the threaded weight in place, though. It stays put very well once I have set it and is easy to see that it has not changed. (Not at all like the sliding vernier weight on the Lee Safety Powder Scale).

G11354
November 29, 2012, 07:51 AM
I started with the Lee Safety Scale and upgraded to the RCBS 5-0-2 and im very pleased with it.

The 502 dampens quickly and is easy to read, well worth the money invested. A number of people also like the Lyman scale.

Rogue35
November 29, 2012, 09:44 AM
I LOVE my 30+ year old RCBS 5-10. There is a guy over at ARFCOM in the EE that has one for sale for $55 shipped.

ArchAngelCD
November 30, 2012, 01:21 AM
I started with the Lee Safety Scale and upgraded to the RCBS 5-0-2 and im very pleased with it.

The 502 dampens quickly and is easy to read, well worth the money invested. A number of people also like the Lyman scale.
I like the RCBS 505 a little better than the RCBS 502 because of the additional adjustment on the beam.

Question?
Why does the RCBS 502 scale weight up to 505gr and the RCBS 505 scale weight up to 511gr? Wouldn't you think the 502 scale would weigh up to 502gr and the 505 would weigh up to 505gr? Or, just name the 502 scale a 505 and rename the 505 scale to a 511 scale. Just askin... Just to make things worse, the RCBS RC130 scale does weigh up to 130gr and the RCBS 1010 scale does weigh up to 1010gr!!! :confused:

kingmt
November 30, 2012, 10:44 AM
Unless there is a day that the is no electric I will never go back to a beam scale.

Certaindeaf
November 30, 2012, 10:47 AM
There'll always be gravity.

fguffey
November 30, 2012, 11:37 AM
http://www.opticsplanet.com/ohaus-adventurer-pro-precision-balances-ohaus-av212.html

I had a question about check weights, I have an Ohaus set with 40 pieces +, the set, I am told is no longer sold, covers grans, grams, apothecary and mg, to put the set together out of individual sets could cost $400.00, +. I was thinking of replacing the (missing) 2 gram weight, then? Then I decided I could do without it after getting a price.

I had no ideal aluminum and stainless are preferred over brass when it comes to accuracy. I did not ask if brass evaporated or wore out, I have wondered why an expensive set of weight would come with a cheap aluminum tweezer, a good pair of tweezers would/could and scratch aluminum and brass brass weights.

F. Guffey

fguffey
November 30, 2012, 11:52 AM
Purchasing scales:

I have attended the Dallas Market Hall Gun Show looking for parts, on multi occasions I have left there with enough parts to build a scale set for as little as $12.00. The parts I do not use is not a waste of money, then there is purchasing reloading equipment from estate sales, no clue how parts get scattered, with scales the sum of the parts exceed the price of the scale making repairing a scale with missing parts not financially practice.

F. Guffey

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