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Looking for a new scale - Suggestions...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by SlowFuse, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Well-Known Member

    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.
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Everybody loves the RCBS 505.
  3. billybob44

    billybob44 Well-Known Member

    Take a look...

    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.
  4. James2

    James2 Well-Known Member

    Check out the Ohaus M5 Powder Scale.

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

    StretchNM Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. Mike 27

    Mike 27 Well-Known Member

    The Honady bench scale for about 85 bucks does very well. It stays spot on with my Lee and with my auto powder measure.
  7. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    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
  8. Boxhead

    Boxhead Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. CZ57

    CZ57 member

    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 $. ;)
  11. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    I quit using my 505 15 years ago after getting a Pact BBk.
  12. Henry45

    Henry45 Well-Known Member

    I'll be getting a Pact for Christmas.. :)
  13. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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

    moonzapa Well-Known Member

    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!
  15. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Well-Known Member

    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
  16. GT1

    GT1 Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. Boxhead

    Boxhead Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    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)
  19. 45Frank

    45Frank Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Well-Known Member

    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.

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