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A digital scale for sorting brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by clutch, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. clutch

    clutch Well-Known Member

    I'd like to weight sort some of my brass. My beam scale isn't that fast so a digital scale sounds like it would be useful.

    I don't think I'd ever use one to weigh powder though. I'll trust my beam scale and my check weights instead.

    So what digital scale should I look at for sorting brass? That is all I'll use it for.


  2. scottishkat

    scottishkat Well-Known Member

    Once you use a digital scale I don't think you will go back. Allthough I bought my father one and he prefers the old school method. I weight sort allmy brass especially in smaller cartridges like 22 hornet. Get a decent unit and use the check weights.
  3. jim243

    jim243 Well-Known Member

    A total waste of time. Weigh bullets not casses.

    Just my view.
  4. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member

    My guess would be any simple plain digital scale should work. For the most part, without costing a fortune they will offer .1 grain resolution. Something like this one would likely work fine or you could pay more and get likely the same thing with this one.

    Scales like this will just about all offer a .1 grain resolution. You start wanting better you get into more cost like pharmaceutical grade scales. You can also get cheaper with something like this scale but with a .2 grain resolution it will suck if you are trying to weigh brass or sort brass to .1 grain resolution.

    Just My Take
  5. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Well-Known Member

    I'm with Jim on this one. I think it's a waste of time as well. Other opinions may vary...
  6. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Well-Known Member

    I don't weigh cases. I'll weigh bullets if they get loose from their boxes or bags. I use digital scale for powder, and the old school beam is right beside it to verify. A lot of times I won't even use the digital because they can be fussy. So I'll just use Lee Scoops or the beam.

    I've never felt the need to weigh my cases.
  7. Anmut

    Anmut Well-Known Member

    I bought a Hornady scale off of amazon a while back. Real basic but accurate to .1 grain which for me is fine for my reloading.

    After using digital, you will never go back to a balance beam scale!
  8. clutch

    clutch Well-Known Member

    The thing with digital scales that bothers me is when I read reviews, I keep reading that the zero wanders on every model I've looked at.
  9. Otto

    Otto Well-Known Member

    Deleted, misunderstood the question...
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  10. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member

    Digital scales aimed at the hand loading community aren't exactly high end or laboratory grade scales. For their intended applications they are "good enough" as to resolution and accuracy. The difference between a good lab quality scale and a reloading bench scale is a few thousand bucks.

    Digital scales can be susceptible to many factors in their environment from leveling to temperature to vibrations to a breeze and the list goes on.

    So for the hand loader it comes down to just what is "good enough" without getting obsessive about weighing powder, bullets and cases? Can I get by with a $49.95 scale, a $149.95 scale or do I need a $1,999.99 scale? What uncertainty do I really need?

  11. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member

    I have. Twice. First time was a cheapo scale. Paid like 35 bucks for it from midway. Found out that after about six months of use it was worthless. It worked good for afew months. I got to the point that I started to trust it. One day I hadnt reloaded in about a month or so, hadnt touched the powder measure. Added powder to load the same load that I had been loading before(everything set up exactly the same, should have been dropping 5.3gr AA2). Decided to weight the first charge, even though no changes. I calibrated the scale, dropped a few charges, weighed one, 4.9gr. Hmm. Dropped another 5.1gr. Another, 5.0gr. Interesting. Dragged out the beam scale. Dropped a charge. Weighed on the digital, 4.6gr. On the beam, 5.3gr. Changed batteries, calibrated, same EXACT charge weighed like 4.8gr. Still 5.3 on the beam. Weighed it again on the digital, yet another different number. Threw digital in the trash.

    Bought another one a year or so later, thought I would try it again. This time an AC plug in type. Still didnt give the consistency I wanted. I guess I could pony up and buy a 200 dollar one, but my 25 dollar beam scale works just fine for me and all my loading is using a powder measure anyway. I wont mess with another digital, it just aint worth it to me.
  12. Dthunter

    Dthunter Well-Known Member

    I use the rcbs chargemaster sith the auto pour option. The LED indicator can vary a bit from time to time. But if you "PAY ATTENTION" its not an issue.
    I have used this electronic scale to load thousands of rounds, and shoot that ammo at distances of 1000-1760 yards (1 mile). MOA or better performance. I think that is sufficient for my needs.

    As for weighing brass, if you are a benchrest shooter or a
    Long range shooter, I have never seen a
    Precision rifle perform without weight segregated/uniformed brass.
    If you just plink or hunt at normal distances, you dont need to.

    Thats just my experience though.
  13. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Well-Known Member

    Changes in ambient temperature, humidity will change zero. So will flouro lights. They take time to stabilize. Vibration. All sorts of things. My digital is located on a separate table next to my bench, it is on all the time, and I calibrate it often.

    Weighing pistol brass is a waste of time, but a lot of precision rifle shooters swear by sorting brass by weight.
  14. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Now that you mention it, that is about all I use my digital scale for. I don't trust digital scales for powder.

  15. clutch

    clutch Well-Known Member

    I ended up picking up a Frankford Arsenal scale that is about the size of an iphone maybe smaller.

    I'm impressed with it. I didn't expect a lot out of it but so far it seems accurate, repeatable, it tracks my Lyman check weights singly or in combination to 0.1 . Once in a while it tosses in a .3 flyer though. But when you take the item off the scale you see the .3 so you know something is going on.

    Sorting brass and bullets is easy peasy. I'm actually thinking of using it to load some ammo at the range. I'll have check weights with me to verify its sanity.

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