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What am I doing wrong with my 505?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by notbubba, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. notbubba

    notbubba Well-Known Member

    I just bought a brand new RCBS 505 scale.

    It wont zero.

    To see how far off it is, I weighed four 125 grain bullets.
    The average weight I got was 117.5.

    Did I set the scale up wrong or did I buy a broken one?

    What do you think????????
  2. Stinger

    Stinger Well-Known Member

    Have you zeroed the scale? You said it won't zero, but I'm not sure what you mean. Do you not know how? I'm not being condascending (especially since I can't spell that word.)

    Assuming that you did follow the instructions...

    bullets are a poor substitute for a set of check weights. Get a real set and then you will know for sure if your scale is off.
  3. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    On balance beam scales it's important to keep the pivot points clean of dust and debris, and to make sure the pivot points are seated properly in the cradles. The scale also needs to be as level as possible, and then the adjusting screw moved until the pointer on the beam is centered on the proper mark. Check those things and then start over with weighing and see if it makes a difference.

    Also, if you're weighing cast bullets, they will vary more in weight than jacketed bullets from a reputable manufacturer.

    Hope this helps.

  4. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Well-Known Member

    I think the bit that makes me wonder the most is the comment:

    "it won't zero"

    If that's the case then that's the first problem you have to solve. I can't remember if the 505 is one of the one's where you can adjust the thing that hangs off of the arm and holds the powder pan or not? If it is then the instructions should tell you how to do it . typically it's with lead shotgun shot if I remember correctly.

    I'd get the thing zero'd correctly first then see how they weigh out. My experience has been that for cast boolits the weight on the box is a guideline typically following the mold used to drop them . . . (but they should be relatively consistent if the caster is any good) quality jacketed bullets from someone like Sierra should be be pretty much dead on weight wise to what the box says.

    Just my .02

  5. mrkubota

    mrkubota Well-Known Member

    You turn the plastic leg in and out to zero the scale....
    Make certain you're on a level surface to start with too!
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2007
  6. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    Thanks mrkubota...You saved me from having to say that it must be on a level surface and you adjust it with that little wheel at the base to your left if you are right handed (the pivot end). I also agree that bullets are a piss poor calibration weight.
  7. notbubba

    notbubba Well-Known Member

    The scale is on a flat surface.

    All the weights are in the zero grooves.

    Pan in place & beam is pegged out at the bottom.

    I'm loading for cowboy action using Trail Boss powder; my Dillon press was set up to drop 3.2 grains.

    I had to dump almost all the powder from 2 casings to get the beam to move.
  8. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    Make sure the beam is set in there straight, and not rubbing or contacting anyplace except the pivot points.

    When you zero the scale, the pointer should be at the long line in the middle of the measureing scale, so it can freely move up and down, with everything set in the zero positions.

    The beam shouldn't be "pegged at the bottom". It should be right in the middle and even breathing on it heavily should move it.

    Hope this helps.

  9. Eagle103

    Eagle103 Well-Known Member

    You're using the brass pan aren't you?:)
  10. bobaloo

    bobaloo Well-Known Member

    You have the little aluminum pan don't you?
    The only thing I can think of is that you have the wrong pan and it's too light. A balance beam scale doesn't have much to go wrong with it, if the knife edges are in the right spot and are moving freely.
  11. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Well-Known Member

    Um, the beam is not supposed to be pegged at the bottom. The beam, with the pan and all weights set to "0" is supposed to center in the middle. Adjust the leveling device to adjust the center.
  12. jkingrph

    jkingrph Well-Known Member

    Call RCBS, If they cannot help you to "zero" it they will make it good and replace.
  13. jrumsey

    jrumsey Well-Known Member

    Steve in PA is right with the weights set to there zero position and the empty powder pan in place you need to adjust the leveling screw on the bottom left side of the scale. Adjusting this up or down will cause the pointer to move up or down, you want the pointer to be in the center of the scale.

  14. notbubba

    notbubba Well-Known Member

    The scale is fixed.

    The pan that the brass scoop sits on has a hollow base.
    The base opens up and has shot and what looks like really little tiny bits of weld splatter.

    Just had to adjust the amount of shot & splatter (4 or 5 times) till the beam was on zero.

    I learn something new every day, well every year anyways.
  15. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Well-Known Member

    Well, I guess thats one way to zero it, but not the correct way.
  16. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Well-Known Member

    You do know that the round white object on the bottom left is what you turn up or down to level the scale.

  17. notbubba

    notbubba Well-Known Member


    I turned the leveling foot all the way in & all the way out.
    Beam stayed just like the picture, except that all three poise were in the zero grooves.

    Tilted the scale to 45 degrees both up & down.

    I took it back to the gun shop and they fixed the pan weight.
  18. jhansman

    jhansman Well-Known Member

    I have the exact same problem with a used 5-0-5 I bought. Nothing I do will zero the scale (regardless of the front adjusting foot) short of picking the front up at a ridiculous angle. I guess I'll try the method the OP found.
  19. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Well-Known Member

    If it was stuck like in the picture, then the part that holds the pan had no or very little weight in it?
  20. notbubba

    notbubba Well-Known Member

    Right, the pan acts as the counter weight for all that beam sticking out the other side.

    I think maybe my pan got switched at the packing process.

    At the gun shop when we were problem solving, he pulled the pan from an other scale and the beam went all the way up because that pan was heavier

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