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Old August 16, 2014, 09:08 AM   #1
Tallbald
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Digital scale in the $50 range?

No conclusive information I can locate here folks. And the search feature isn't consistently working either for me. I'd like the safety and speed of a digital scale for powder measuring but wow they are high priced. Suggestions please? Just stay with my Lee balance scale? Nice and accurate but for me, really slow. Thank you. Don
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Old August 16, 2014, 09:15 AM   #2
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Harbor Freight or Amazon. I have one from Amazon that works great.
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Old August 16, 2014, 09:44 AM   #3
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Digital Scales, cheap, and safety don't go in the same sentence. For $50-$70 I would get a Dillon Beam scale. I use a RCBS Rangemaster 750 ($120) and verify with a Dillon beam scale when checking powder drops on my Dillon press. I use a RCBS Chargemaster 1500, and my Dillon beam scale for my magnum rifle loads. Both RCBS digital scales have been spot on for 2 years, but I still trust my beam scale.

What ever you get just make sure it works off AC power, let it warm up for 20min before calibrating, and using. Try to stay away from fluorescent lighting.
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Old August 16, 2014, 09:55 AM   #4
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I have a battery operated one I bought 10+ years ago from E-bay, works great, always has. Paid about $40 bucks for it. That model is long since discontinued, but there plenty to take its place.
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Old August 16, 2014, 10:35 AM   #5
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I use a Frankford Arsenal battery-op pocket scale which sells for around $30. I have used it for years w/out issue, and plan to get another if/when this one dies. I calibrate before each use (takes 10 seconds)
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Old August 16, 2014, 11:00 AM   #6
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+1 on beam scales like Dillon and 5-0-5. I had Lee and 5-0-5 beam scales that got PIF but they were sensitive enough to detect 1-2 pieces of 1/4"x1/4" copy paper and read consistently with my two Ohaus 10-10 beam scales.

Digital scales may provide faster readings but no where the sensitivity and consistency of a beam scale. Digital scales I tested won't detect weight until 2-3 pieces of 1/4"x1/4" copy paper were placed and barely read 0.1 gr (BTW, this is how I test the sensitivity of any beam scale before I buy - movement with one piece of paper is ideal).

I have not been impressed with the sensitivity and consistency of Harbor Freight digital scales and for similar price range, I would recommend Frankford Arsenal DS750 digital scale. I bought mine from Midway and after calibration, it consistently reads exact weights of my check weights and is within 0.1 gr of my two 10-10 beam scales in the 2.5 - 6.0 gr powder charges.

I read posts that Gempro 250 with 0.02 gr resolution could detect the variations in typical M2 class reloading check weights but at $140, I don't think we need that level of sensitivity and I would be concerned with how delicate that scale would be around the bench. At around $25-$30, the FA digital scale should provide you with low enough resolution and consistency for reloading not to mention durability from bench vibrations/bumps. Many complain about slow warm up time of their digital scales and FA digital scale is ready within seconds and reads consistent with 10-10 beam scales.

FYI, digital scales are sensitive to temperature and when operated outside the specified temperature range (typically around 59F - 95F), they tend to act up. Many also posted that fluorescent lighting affects digital scales and I have two overhead CFL clamp lights on my bench and the FA digital scale does not show any interference from them.
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Old August 16, 2014, 11:21 AM   #7
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I bought a Hornady GS-1500 about a year ago and it's been working very well for me. It can be found for between $30 and $35 most places. As in the model number, it has a 1500 grain capacity so you can weigh bullets without a problem too.
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Old August 16, 2014, 11:37 AM   #8
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I appreciate all the answers. It looks like my best bet is still my slow but accurate and already-in-my-toolbox Lee beam scale. Sadly I got rid of an old Ohaus 505 from back in the 60's years ago, thinking I'd never again need it. Foolish me. Don
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Old August 16, 2014, 12:45 PM   #9
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Ohaus or RCBS 10/10. Fast, accurate, and reliable.
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Old August 16, 2014, 01:14 PM   #10
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The highly touted GemPro 250 that I bought wasn't that impressive. Yes it worked but the batteries didn't last and the readings sometimes drifted...my son has it now.

What I'm presently using is an American Weigh GEMINI-20. It's dead nuts accurate (verified with RCBS check weights) fast and doesn't drift. It has 0.02gn resolution, 300gn capacity and comes with a calibration weight. The only thing it needs is a larger pan. Amazon sells them for approximately $20. IMO, this is by far the best cheap scale available.

http://www.awscales.com/portable-pre...illigram-scale
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Old August 16, 2014, 06:38 PM   #11
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I've been using the Hornady GS-1500 for 3 years and it is excellent. I also bought an ancient Pacific beam scale off of Ebay for cross checking. Both are right on the money. Keep your Lee scale and relegate that to cross checking.
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Old August 16, 2014, 07:27 PM   #12
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I have the Frankfort scale. Works well most of the time. I notice it starts to act funky under different temperature like when the a/c is on. I also have the harbor freight one which only measures down to the nearest .1 of a grain. Both work well enough
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Old August 16, 2014, 07:59 PM   #13
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More sensitive scales will be affected by the air movement in the room. When the HVAC vent is on, my 10-10 will swing wildly but the FA DS750 tends to be less affected but I only use the scales when the vent is off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto
presently using is an American Weigh GEMINI-20. It's dead nuts accurate (verified with RCBS check weights) fast and doesn't drift. It has 0.02gn resolution, 300gn capacity
I may need to check it out. The nice thing about the DS750 is that it has a large square platform so I can use the same pan from the 10-10 to check the powder charge drops without having to transfer the powder (I tare with the empty pan and drop a charge to weigh on DS750 and then check on 10-10). On the Gemini-20, it looks like you are limited by the small round platform in the center. Do you put the pan on top of the round platform to weigh the powder charges or do you transfer the powder charge?
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Last edited by bds; August 16, 2014 at 08:21 PM.
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Old August 16, 2014, 09:02 PM   #14
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I use a Frankford Arsenal DS-750 digital scale. However, I always weigh the first few powder throws against my RCBS 5-0-5 beam scale to make sure the digital scale is measuring consistently and accurately. One thing I have noticed is when the batteries begin to get low on the DS-750, the readings can creep or be a little erratic.
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Old August 16, 2014, 09:19 PM   #15
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I have the Lyman 1500 I think. It has been spot on since day one. I check it with my RCBS balance beam every once in a while and it has been good to go. I think it was around $60
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Old August 17, 2014, 04:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Dillon View Post
Ohaus or RCBS 10/10. Fast, accurate, and reliable.
The OP is asking about a $50 digital scale and you recommend a $160 beam scale? Sure the 10-10 is a great scale, probably the best but it's really not even close to what the OP was asking about...
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Old August 17, 2014, 07:02 AM   #17
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I think I have 3 or 4 of the MTD (red plastic case) $30 scales or less.

I have checked them periodically against the scale that is part of my RCBS chargemaster. They are always right on.

If you are nervous, pick out a couple of bullets that are in the range you need to measure, mark them for posterity, and keep them with the scale to act as check weights right in the range that is important to you (e.g., the charge that you hope to place)

I take them with me to the range if I load (for load development) there. Taking theRCBC is a lot more trouble, tho I have done that also.
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Old August 17, 2014, 11:04 AM   #18
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I am attempting to steer the OP in a direction that will help him realize the most value for his reloading dollar. These scales an be found for much less on ebay than retail and a good balance beam scale will serve him well over the long haul, ratter than purchasing cheap Chinese junk that may render inaccurate and unreliable results.
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Old August 17, 2014, 11:07 AM   #19
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I have the Frankford DS 750 and it works fine. I do always double check it with check weights before use.
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Old August 17, 2014, 01:31 PM   #20
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My suggesting is save your money and buy something of Good quality. Cheap digital scales are just that. The Gempro 250 has a Lifetime warranty which is hard to beat, http://www.oldwillknottscales.com/my...empro-250.html. And yes any good super accurate scales can not be banged around, neither should the beam scales. If you not dealing with loads < 4-5gr a 0.1 gr is suitable. But once you get below 4 gr the whole game changes. Then if your using a powder that does not meter consistent your just compounding the problem.
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Old August 17, 2014, 01:38 PM   #21
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I use a Jennings JSR-50 jewelry scale. Costs $25-30 and works absolutely fine. I've got Lee and redding beam scales for backup but the digital has always agreed.
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Old August 17, 2014, 02:56 PM   #22
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I like the Hornady scale that Arch has, but I found mine drifts when the batteries get low. I use rechargeable batteries in it and put freshly charged batteries in it frequently. I also check it once in a while along the way to make sure it is still on the money. 99% of the time it is. If I were to do it over, I would get one that supports an AC adapter. Also, the scale turns itself off if there is no activity for a while. That saves the batteries, but can be irritating and then I feel the need to check the calibration again.

Last edited by horseman1; August 17, 2014 at 03:10 PM.
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Old August 17, 2014, 03:02 PM   #23
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duplicate

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Old August 17, 2014, 03:05 PM   #24
Jesse Heywood
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I have the RCBS 750. I like it and will suggest you save you pop bottle money so you can buy a scale of similar quality.

Issues that affect all digital scales. (The better scales have less problems)
1. Flourescent lights - A ballast issue with older lamps. One desk lamp that was grandpas, with the ballast in the base made the scale fluctuate. Problem solved by ditching the old lamp.
2. Power fluctation - Usually results in a shifting zero. Do not use a battery for power. And do not turn the scale off. If you do, it takes a few minutes to stabilize. My scale does best if left on all the time.
3. Air currents. Ceiling fans, portable fans, a/c ducts, open windows.
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Old August 17, 2014, 03:43 PM   #25
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Quote:
I am attempting to steer the OP in a direction that will help him realize the most value for his reloading dollar. These scales an be found for much less on ebay than retail and a good balance beam scale will serve him well over the long haul, ratter than purchasing cheap Chinese junk that may render inaccurate and unreliable results.
What is the country of origin of the computer you are typing on,
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