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Lee Safety Scale Haters...... Why?!?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Centurian22, Feb 26, 2013.

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  1. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    Title about sums it up. I see such wide spread hatred and bashing of this one particular piece of Lee equipment seemingly more than any other. I have a LSScale and couldn't be happier with it especially for the $25 I paid for it! The only thing that has bothered me in the least little bit is that it only goes to 100grains which prevents me from weighing bullets that I shoot. This is no fault of the scales and as I saw explained, the lower the weight range the easier it is to maintain accuracy.

    So please, tell me specifically what the problems are that you LSS haters are having and what you moved on to at what price to fix the problems.
     
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    My little lock button never worked on mine (I never got around to having it fixed) and you need good light and a magnifying glass to see the ticmarks etc. Other than that, I love and use mine.
     
  3. Jaxondog

    Jaxondog Member

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    I used one for year's, but not anymore. they are just too inacurate, plus the digital's are so much faster.
     
  4. MarkA

    MarkA Member

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    Mine is a pain in the rear. The beam doesn't stay in parallel so when I pull a charge off, it has a tendency to stick to the damping magnet. Just have to watch it like a hawk when I'm trickling my charges. Watching it like a hawk isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it could still be better. Generally, I'd like to see some of the slop taken out of the thing.


    ~Mark
     
  5. leadchucker

    leadchucker Member

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    I bought one of the Lee kits that came with the Safety scale. I have found the scale to certainly be accurate enough, if you take the time to set it up right. But that little screw assembly that serves as the fine vernier is very difficult to get accurately zeroed. It is a fairly flimsy affair. The slightest movement, even that of engaging the screw lock or dumping powder in the pan, can change it's calibration enough to throw my charge off by a tenth or so. I load pistol rounds. A tenth of a grain is a significant amount of error. I found myself spending more time checking the zero and calibration of the scale than I did weighing charges.

    I got fed up with it one afternoon, and went over to the local wallyworld and bought an RCBS 502 (The wallyworld here stocks quite a bit of reloading stuff) The difference in ease of setup and use was like night and day. I sold the Lee scale on evilbay next week, and have not regretted it at all.

    I won't say I hate the Lee Safety Scale. It can be quite accurate, if you are patient with it. But life's too short.
     
  6. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    The blade the beam rides is too delicate. I’m not a hater; the Lee scale is the most sensitive scale I own.
     
  7. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Member

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    I have asked Lee many time why they don't get rid of the red monster & offer a real beam or digital scale----they never answer me
    I have always used a 5-0-5 scale
    I also have a digital scale.
    The Lee scale came in a Lee Turret kit
    I use many Lee products but I will never use that red monster---it hold small instruction manuals from falling off a shelf.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  8. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

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    It's downfall is it's sensitivity and lack of weight. It's just as accurate as other beam scales. But it's not the most user friendly scale. Use a RCBS/Lyman/Ohaus beam and tell me if you want to still use the Lee.


    Brought to you by TapaTalk
     
  9. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    I typically use an RCBS 10-10 made by Ohaus. Yes, it's easier to use, but it costs a lot more. When I started re-loading, Lee equipment made it possible. My whole setup cost less than a 10-10 scale.

    I bought a Lyman beam with electric dispenser years ago when the only beam scale I had was the Lee. It was no more accurate than a measure and I sent it back. Probably just my dissatisfaction with the dispenser, scale may have been fine.

    I have some digital scales that are great for weighing bullets and brass, but used the Lee for powder charges (I don't trust the digital; maybe I should have been Amish ).

    The Lee scale has loaded a lot of ammo at my house. It’s currently at a friends house as he’s just getting started in reloading. When he gets his own or upgrades, the little Lee scale is going back on my bench.
     
  10. Mike 27

    Mike 27 Member

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    The only think I didn't like about it was the size. Everything on it was so small and difficult to manipulate. It is a good scale and I still have it. I have no issue using it in a crunch as it is very accurate, just not my go to scale on the bench.
     
  11. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    it is super accurate - surprisingly for its ultra low price - but my tired old eyeballs prefer my $30 digital scale. I frankly do not personally need the accuracy of the pricey digital scales. Same goes for my Harbor Freight calipers. They work great, cost little.

    I will say that my lee balance scale is much easier to use by carefully setting it to the desired weight and leaving it. Then pouring a powder charge into the pan and seeing if it is heavy or light and adjusting the powder throw accordingly. It is kinda finicky using it to try and weigh an unknown item. The digital instant read solves that issue.

    yes the 5-0-5 series balance scales are easier to use and read for unknown weights - they IMHO are NOT more 'accurate' than the Lee product, just more user friendly.
     
  12. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    It is too light and small overall. The vernier is difficult to read. It is overly sensitive and hard to see unless you have lots of light and/or young eyes.
    The Lee scale is designed to be set in a spot, calibrated, and the user should be able to pick up the beam and make adjustments, and set it back on the fulcrum/base. It does that, but razor balances can be touchy because you are trying to set it on a point instead of a valley like all other scales(It does not have that 100% feeling you have it where it needs to be.).
    The pan and hook are one piece, one of the most annoying things with me, to pull and replace the pan is more difficult than it needs to be. I'm known for having 'soft' hands(really good hand eye coordination) and fiddly things are usually not fiddly for me, the Lee Safety scale was a pita.

    I bought a Lyman Pro 500($50 shipped) and as soon as I got it I made sure the Lee met an unfortunate end.

    The Lee was quite accurate, but there was no enjoyment in its use.
     
  13. deadeye dick

    deadeye dick Member

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    Leadhucker post#5
    On the fine zero wheel I had the same problem with the adj. shifting. To cure this I put a VERRRY small amount of low streinght locktite on the wheel. This was just enough to stiffen it up and it will NOT shift on you. Works for me.
     
  14. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    love mine.... super accurate (when matched up against our $500 digital lab scale at work).

    Some people never learned how to read a vernier type scale and have problems with it.

    I keep mine stationary in a wall cabinet above my work bench so it's isolated from floor vibrations and rarely needs to be re-zeroed.
     
  15. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Lining up the little marks like a vernier caliper, and trying to decide which marks actually are lined up so you know what the weight is. And moving that little slide bar with the marks on it....to move it just a little at a time, I had to tap the stupid thing with a toothpick to get it to move in small enough amounts.

    Someone on a local board put up an RCBS 5-0-5 for sale, I jumped on it, and will never touch that Lee again. And yes, I can weigh bullets up to 510 grains!

    I would like to have a decent electronic scale as well, those would be handy for other things. But my Lee Safety Scale isn't likely to ever see daylight again.
     
  16. returningfire

    returningfire Member

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    I love mine. But it is like it wasn't made for people with big dumb fingers like mine.
     
  17. Ken70

    Ken70 Member

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    A LOT of people have difficulty with understanding vernier scales; it just doesn't register with them. Digital they understand. Had my Lee for 20 years, and don't see any need to replace it. I bought an inexpensive digital scale to weight assembled ammo, looking for squibs or doubled charges. Never found one yet, Knock on Wood......
     
  18. PJSprog

    PJSprog Member

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    Same here. Been using my Lee for a little over 20 years now.

    Frankly, I've found that some people just won't like anything with the Lee name on it. That's fine, too. To each their own.
     
  19. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    All in all I like Lee Products as good as I do any of the manufactures.

    The Lee scale is an accurate instrument.

    My only complaint is its so light weight, heck I'm a former smoker with COPD and I can blow the thing around my bench. If they weighed more so they didn't go sliding all over the place with the slightest bump it would solve the problem.

    I did solve the problem with my Lee scale, mounted it on a chunk of 4 quarter oak, it now stays put.
     
  20. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Oh, I understand how vernier scales work, it's just seeing which marks are actually lined up that's the hard part for me.
     
  21. GT1

    GT1 Member

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    Er, the vernier slider isn't too hard to understand. :p In fact if Lee made a full size scale like that with agate bearings it would be great, I liked the lockable adjustment.

    I am a Lee fan, just not a Lee Safety Scale fan.
     
  22. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    I think the crux of the matter is the scale is so light that it's hard to move the slide without making the beam sway up/down. And, conversely, while the beam is swaying around, it's hard to move the slider by little increments. I find the magnetic damping to be rather slow, which makes this problem worse.

    I have placed two screws, above and below the pointer, on mine. This limits the movement of the pointer to maybe 1 or 2 tenths an inch up or down. I can easily pin the beam on whichever screw it's settling on while moving the slider. Then when I let go, the beam either doesn't move and needs to be adjusted farther, or it settles very quickly to the other screw, or if it's within +- 0.05 grains, it will finally settle somewhere in between. It's almost like a go no-go gauge or a comparator.

    I initially hot melt glued some travel limiters on there to see how it worked in practice. After using it for quite a long time that way, I finally got tired of regluing the pieces when they fell off, and I drilled and self-tapped the screws. It is a definite improvement to me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  23. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Member

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    I have a Lee scale. Waaaay sensitive, and with all the user friendliness issues already mentioned.

    Bought a Dillon beam scale, made by Ohaus, new for $56. SOOOO much easier to set up and use. The extra money was well worth the decrease in aggravation caused by the Lee scale.
     
  24. jhvaughan2

    jhvaughan2 Member

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    Gloob hit it on the head for me in why I get frustrated with mine. I'll have to try those tricks.
     
  25. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    WOW! I can't believe the response this thread has gotten! Well I guess when thinking of how often I saw the scale bashed it makes more sense. Thank you all for your input. Most are about what I expected. Being young woth decent eyes and medium hands / fingers, I hadn't thought of the difficulty the scale could cause for older reloaders (which there are probably more of than younger ones) with poorer eyesight and people with bigger hands / fingers. I look forward to more input.
     
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