Recommend a non-electronic scale?


January 21, 2013, 12:24 AM
I have an RCBS RangeMaster electronic scale, but I'd like to get a non-electronic as a backup.

Unfortunately, the reviews I've read of the RCBS balance scale were awful. I've read that a lot about RCBS lately - that their quality has gone down since they moved production to China.

The Lee scale doesn't get much better reviews.

The Dillon Eliminator gets good reviews.

Anyone have an opinion to offer?

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January 21, 2013, 12:25 AM
From what I can tell they stopped making quality balance beam scales a few years ago.

January 21, 2013, 12:28 AM
What have you heard bad about the RCBS 505 Scale? I love mine and think it's one of the best out there. I calibrated it to some others and it was spot on with the rest.

The Dillon is good choice for practically the same costs as the RCBS. Lyman's isn't too bad. Some would say the Lee gets the job done too. I guess it's just personal preference.

Redding is another good option to consider.

January 21, 2013, 12:33 AM
Hmm. I bought an older RCBS 505 two years ago when I started reloading. Could not get it to perform consistently, so I called RCBS. They said send it in. I did. Two weeks later I got a brand-new 505 in return.

Since then it has served me very well, no complaints at all. Easy to use and as far as I can tell, quite accurate and consistent. Don't know if this unit was made in China - but seems it would not be difficult to ensure quality in a product like this scale while still lowering production costs. Only a few precision elements that make it work properly (beam, pivots, poises). The rest is very basic quality printing, painting, metal bending, and assembly.

Would be very troubling to hear RCBS quality had declined, considering their long-standing reputation and the perfect customer service they provided to me (I ended up paying $15 for a brand-new scale that retailed around $80 at the time).

January 21, 2013, 12:47 AM
Don't know about the current RCBS stuff but I too have an older 505 thats awesome. OHAUS made the scale that RCBS put their name on and they pretty much owned the manual scale market for many years.
I have a very good electronic by MyWeigh thats quite trust worthy as well. I notice most of the gold assayers use the same one and I don't think I paid more than 150.00 several years ago.
I still use the 505 quite a bit and trust it exclusively. Reloaded many very consistent rounds over the years between the two. Electronics are nice for sorting brass or bullets but I still use the 505 for weighing powder.
FWIW I played with a Lee Safety scale for a few years and it did work consistently but the RCBS was my favorite.

January 21, 2013, 12:49 AM
I read reviews on Midway for the RCBS scale, their tumbler, and their chronograph, and was not impressed by what people had to say. Reviews on the Rock Crusher were more mixed - some good, some bad.

I've heard people say that their quality of yore was great but now they've gone overseas. The only RCBS product I own is their hand primer and I have no complaints.

January 21, 2013, 01:03 AM
178048 all of these read the same, ,I don't have an RCBS yet ,but I'd bet it would work as good as one of my other 5 scales , most of the time I use a Lyman DPS 1200

January 21, 2013, 01:22 AM
I have the lee scale and though I'm just starting out with it I have no problems or complaints. Especially not with the price.

January 21, 2013, 02:24 AM
I have the ohaus 505, one old and one recently new. Really love them.

January 21, 2013, 05:53 AM
rd, 1/21/13

I bought a Dillon balance beam scale made by Ohaus about eight years ago. It's always worked well and I recently checked the readings with a bunch of check-weights- it's still spot-on for all weights tested. Simple to use, no batteries to run dry. I still like and use non-electronic measuring devices (ie- calipers, micrometers, etc.). Good luck.

best wishes- oldandslow

January 21, 2013, 07:11 AM
Oldandslow, How dare you mention check weights! Using a known standard to verify your measurement equipments accuracy. Funny we get this far into the thread before its mentioned. Kudos to you fine sir. I do use electronic measurement for most part now that eyes are tiring and can't quite verify the reading of that thirsting number right of the decimal place. For all of you freaks Google "international weight standard rising or changing" or something similar. Seems that all the official kilogram standards that are strategically placed around the world for the.scientific community to use as reference to keep their equipment calibrated so that 1.0000000 kilograms or 0.000001 milligrams is the same for the same of scientific research have all been gaining weight at different rates. This could have huge implications on research and verification of results from lab to lab. The contaminants/pollution that is monitored closely where reference standards are stored has still allowed contaminants to cause them to gain weight. Scientists are now trying to come up with a worldwide accepted way to clean their reference weights and bring all back to consistency. I really need to start sleeping instead of reading stuff that most people really don't care about. Moral of story is keep your check weights clean and still don't believe 10 grains on your scale is the same 10 grains on the manufacturers scales unless yours go in for regular calibration. I drive my primary scale to Atlanta once every two years.

January 21, 2013, 07:25 AM
Shop around. Plenty of good used ones out there.

January 21, 2013, 07:28 AM
When I got into reloading I purchased an electronic scale (Hornady GS-1500) and an older beam scale to check against the electronic one. The Hornady works great. I bought my beam scale on ebay. It's an old-old Pacific that's in great shape and accurate. I load 9's & 38 special.

January 21, 2013, 08:00 AM
RCBS 304 is what you are looking for. Hard to find & pricey, but worth it.

January 21, 2013, 08:27 AM
That little Lee in the picture above is what I use.

It's touchy and has to be whatched closely but allows very repeatable accuracy if treated properly, just like the others that look like it. No ceiling fans, don't breath on the scale, once you get it zeroed don't move it to another area on your bench and watch to make sure the opposite end from the powder tray stays in the center of the open area.

Most of the reviews I read on the Lee seemed to be from people used to the simplicity of a digital scale which will not meet the accuracy of a beam type scale unless you spend the big bucks.

January 21, 2013, 08:36 AM
I also use an RCBS 5-0-5 and I'm very happy with it. (made by Ohaus)
My Lee scale is also very accurate but it's a pain to use.

January 21, 2013, 09:40 AM
RCBS 10-10 for 30 Yrs now and it's been a great scale. I think if I going to get a new one, I'd look at Dillon.

January 21, 2013, 09:50 AM
I have 3 scales, a Redding, a RCBS 10-10 and a Lyman/Ohaus M5. They all work very well, but I like the Lyman best.

January 21, 2013, 10:19 AM
I have The Dillon Eliminator. Bought new about five years ago. works for me no complaints. It is the only one I have used so I have nothing to compare it to.

January 21, 2013, 10:58 AM
Balance-beam scales are so basic that they almost have to work. Poor workmanship or crappy materials would be the only thing that could make them bad.

January 21, 2013, 11:47 AM
The older Hornady/Pacific beam scale is still one of the best.

The newest Hornady does not look as nice

One poise (10 grains), 2 counter poises (1 grain x 10 and 0.1 grain x 10), magnetic damping.

January 21, 2013, 12:35 PM
why would anyone not use a check weight? I have scales to measure scales haha

January 21, 2013, 12:48 PM
RCBS, Hornady and others have their balance beam scale made by Ohaus, a top maker of that equipment. I have the RCBS 5-10 and have had it for over 30 years with no issues. I would recommend their scales

Ky Larry
January 21, 2013, 12:58 PM
I used a Lee scale for years. I used RCBS checkweights and it was always spot on. I recently switched to a Redding Model 2 scale just because it is easier to see. There isn't any difference in accuracy between the two.

January 21, 2013, 01:44 PM
My dad has been using a Lyman for about 40 years. He said this RCBS is the spitting image of it.

January 21, 2013, 01:57 PM
That RCBS is now made in China though. They aren't as good.

January 21, 2013, 02:18 PM
RCBS 10-10 is a good moderately priced scale. If you have more money you can look for an Ohaus/RCBS dial-o-grain scale (not dial o gram). Very handy with a dial poise for fine measurements. Mine has a 3000 grain capacity and sensitivity to 0.1 grains. This is probably the best of the reloading beam scales. They tend to be a bit spendy though, and hard to find. The key is to have a set of check weights too.

January 21, 2013, 03:11 PM
I have a Redding works very well, have some rcbs stuff but since they went CHINA
I wont buy there brand anymore, just my opinion

January 21, 2013, 03:58 PM
I think the RCBS scales are made in Mexico now.

January 21, 2013, 04:07 PM
I just bought a new 505 and it works fine. I have a Pact electronic scale and they agree so if one is off they are both off and by the same ammount. I've had no problems with any of my RCBS equipment. And yes mine said made in Mexico.

January 21, 2013, 04:11 PM
Is that a step up or down from China?

January 21, 2013, 05:43 PM
Being made in China doesn't automatically mean the quality has dropped.

There are some high quality products in China...Norinco 1911s are highly regarded. Seasonic smps are some of the best on the market right now...actually, pretty much all computer components besides main processors, are made in China.

They will make things just as well as their client specifies and will pay for.

Do you have some sort of input on the quality of the scale beyond preconceptions of the place of manufacture?

Link on midway's site still says made by Ohaus

January 21, 2013, 06:50 PM
Unless Ohaus has moved production to China, RCBS still has Ohaus make their scales. Their dies and presses are still made in the US

January 21, 2013, 08:30 PM
I would buy a RCBS 10-10 scale and never look back. Either a new one or a used one from eBay would be great. Don't pay any attention to the RCBS bashing as their products are great as well as their customer service.

January 21, 2013, 09:40 PM
ohaus 505

January 21, 2013, 11:04 PM
I have a Lyman D7 that I picked up from Craigslist for a song. Came alone with a bunch of other tools/components/manuals. I use it to verify my digitals. It's worked perfectly and takes next to no time to settle down.

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January 22, 2013, 02:03 AM
Yes my Lyman 505 and RCBS 505=the same

January 22, 2013, 02:19 AM
I recently sent my RCBS 505 scale in for service and when it was sent back it was in a new box and the box is marked "Made In Mexico". (not China) I kept the new box and threw the old one away even though the old one was marked "Made in USA", it was in terrible shape after all these years. I was hard to keep a Made in Mexico box over a Made in USA one but keeping both would take up too much room. (don't want to be a hoarder)

January 24, 2013, 05:07 PM
I have a Dillon balance beam and a Pact electronic. They are in sync and both require no ceiling fans and a level surface. The Pact uses 110v or a battery so is quite stable. The Pact is faster and easier to calibrate but accuracy is good on both.

twice barrel
January 25, 2013, 07:03 AM

January 27, 2013, 05:40 PM
Absolutely nothing. It works. Now...if it were just in stock.

Matt Dillon
January 28, 2013, 12:41 AM
Ohaus or RCBS 10-10

January 29, 2013, 12:04 PM
I have a Dillon Eleminator that I use all the time. I like the poises(is this the correct term) better than the micro adjustment on my RCBS/Ohaus 510. Easier for my fumble fingers to manipulate. And much easier to zero.

I would like to throw some fuel on the fire.
Why do you check your beam scale with check weights?
I only load handgun cartridges. I start by making sure that the scale is set to zero. Sometimes it has changed slightly, I presume due to heat, cold, humidity, etc.
I use the scale to verify that my powder measure is set to the correct throw. I know what I get from each disk hole. (It is written right on my cartridge box.) I set the scale to say 5.3 grains, throw a few loads from my measure, then weigh one. It always weighs 5.3gns. None of my loads are approaching maximum or minimum so it really makes no difference if they are off + or - a .1gn.
What am I missing?

January 29, 2013, 02:21 PM
Why do you check your beam scale with check weights?

There is mechanical tolerance in the marking of the poise positions.

January 29, 2013, 09:09 PM
I can't say enough good about RCBS--they just replaced a 30-yr-old 1010 scale with a brand new one after I told them I had caused the problem with the old one. I dropped the balance beam on a concrete floor and the pivot axle came loose in the beam.

Hondo 60
January 29, 2013, 09:51 PM
I used a Lee scale for years.

+1, BUT and that's a BIG BUT, I bought an Ohaus/Lyman scale last month.
There's NO COMPARISON!!!!!

The Ohaus scales are so much easier to use.

I'm not bashin Lee, I use LOTS of their stuff.
But there's a reason their scale is $25 when a similar Ohaus is $80 or more.

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