Digital powder scales?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by 1969SS396, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. 1969SS396

    1969SS396 New Member

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    I'd like to know what your expieriences have been in regards to digital powder scale pros/cons/problems.

    I received a Lyman 1200 DPSIII last year for Christmas from my wife, in talking with another reloading friend they told me there was some problems with them accurately metering out powder. I checked mine out against the old reliable 5-0-5 and found mine to be accurate thus far, however I have used it for maybe 200 rounds. Is this a common problem with that scale, will mine become a problem later on, or is my friend misinformed?

    Perhaps if it is, or is going to be a problem I should try to sell it and buy something else?....if so what is a more accurate scale in that somewhat close price range?

    Thoughts?
    Thanks.
  2. DGG!

    DGG! New Member

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    Check it against scale weights of a known weight. If the weight is calibrated to say 50 gr then you scale should also say 50 gr. If not send it back to be fixed.

    http://www.oldwillknottscales.com/calibration-weights-sets.aspx
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  3. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I didnt like em. I had the lyman pro1000, not my cuppa tea. I use an RCBS 502 beam scale as its dead nutz accurate up to 505 gr. I use it to weigh bullets, cases and powder....
  4. old semperfi

    old semperfi New Member

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    i live in southern indiana,old country boy at hear
    i have found that once you get your weight correct you must leave scale-dispencer in place.if you move it or it is in an area that has big temp and air movements differences it will screw up from time to time.i set my scales on one spot on my bench and it is never moved. old semperfi
  5. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

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    Congratulations on post #1000, old semperfi.
  6. 1969SS396

    1969SS396 New Member

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    The scales comes with a weight of "known weight" that is used to check for calibration before I start...so given it checks out each time I use it I would guess I am fine. However I will check myself out against the beam scale to make double sure everytime I use it as well.

    Thanks.

    A congrats on post #1,000 too old semper fi
  7. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    Any digital scale should be checked and recalibrated before any loading session. I have read that lyman recommends checking the 1200 frequently during sessions.
  8. hunterfisher

    hunterfisher New Member

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    No problems with mine. I just make sure to verify it's accuracy each time I use it.
  9. 199er

    199er New Member

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    I've had mine over 4 years and when I first purchased it I regularly verified it's readings against a balance beam scale. After using it for about 10 reloading sessions I 'figured out' the scale's quirts (such as letting it warm up adequately, keeping it out drafts, etc) I stopped verifying the scale's readings with a beam scale. Now I only use my scale check weights to insure the scale is 'zeroed' and operating correctly.

    I've had very good luck with my Range Master 750 scale by RCBS and use it exclusively but there is a 'learning curve' with a digital scale (as with any piece of equipment), albeit not a difficult one.

    Twice yearly, with out disassembling my scale I use a little 'canned air' to blow any dust off the internals of the scale. I had the AC adapter go bad this week. It is out of warranty but I called RCBS and they are replacing it cost free. Good company that RCBS!!

    When I bought this scale I paid about $84 (on sale). Now the Range Master 750 runs about $110 -$120 dollars but can routinely be found on sale for around $99.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
  10. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    I use the Lyman pro 1000 and deal with the quirks that digital scales produce. It is sensitive to everything in the environment, the best recommendation I have used is to leave it on a good hour before reloading and always recalibrate it just before starting. I think a quality beam scale cannot be beat - set it and forget it, something digital scales just simply cannot provide.
  11. the yooper

    the yooper New Member

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    i have a 1200 lyman. took me 4 or 5 sessions to get useto it checking it to my ballance scale and calibrating . still calibrating everytime but works well i love it . you will get useto it ash man!!!:)
  12. accident

    accident Active Member Supporting Member

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    I also agree with all these guys.I have a RCBS Rangemaster 750.Any climate changes including a minor fart can throw it out of calibration.I am buying a good beam scale as soon as I can.Just IMHO. Joe
  13. streetglide45

    streetglide45 New Member

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    New to the forum. I have the Lyman 1000 electronic scale. It drives me a little crazy. I do let is "warm up" for about 30 minutes before I use it. It still wonders by +/- 2 or 3 grains with weights up around 190 grains. At grains around 10, it will vary by +/- 0.5 grains. I got a beam scale because the digital one wasn't reliable enough for me. Combined with an inconsistant powder thrower and your stuck wondering what the heck is going on!!
  14. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

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    Thats what I use. Cant beat em. To me, its easier to work toward hitting a line than it is to watch numbers flash.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  15. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Yep. I also just bought a redding oil dampened beam scale from a member here. He sent it yesterday. Cant wait to get it. I like beam scales.
  16. armoredman

    armoredman New Member

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    As soon as I get it, I'll tell everyone about my experience with the new Berry's Manufacturing scale. :)
  17. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Currently PACT digital here...plus a Lyman and Redding beam scale. Owned a Hornady beam scale before my fire.
    The one I use most often is the PACT.

    Yes, they're touchy to drafts and other external interference...but guess what, a beam scale is too. Anything accurate down to 0.1gr is going to be sensitive to air movement.
    My Ohaus-made Lyman (identical to the RCBS 502) is harder to keep stable than the PACT is. I have a bad taste in my mouth from the magnetic damped beam scales....they're even more sensitive to magnetic fields (I.E. flourescent shop lights, TVs, computer monitors, speakers, etc) than a digital.
    When I use a beam scale, I reach for my old oil-damped Redding.

    At work, our plant uses scales that will weigh over a ton and the QA lab uses small scales accurate down to 0.005 gram. All of em are digital, there's not a beam scale in the bunch. If they work in a food grade lab setting then I think they are good enough for precision reloading work too.

    They key to buying any reloading scale, balance beam or digital, is to get a good quality name-brand unit. The cheapies aren't worth the money and that is where 99% of the bad press for either type comes from.
    Yes, I consider the PACT BBK2 / RCBS Rangemaster750 cheap units too...I know they use a cheaper load cell system that is not as stable as their big brother the PACT Precision / RCBS Rangemaster1500. The BBK2/RM750 is good if you've got a stable temp reloading area, but otherwise, spend a couple extra bucks for the Precision/RM1500. And yes, those two brands are identical units made by PACT so unless you absolutely must have green equipment go with the lower-priced PACT version.
    Both the Lyman 1000 and 1500 are good digitals, as is the Hornady Lock-n-Load digital.

    And whatever you do, absolutely do not waste time or money on any digital priced under $50 dollars...that includes all those cheap battery powered "pocket scales" that have appeared in recent years.
  18. TheGunClinger

    TheGunClinger Active Member Supporting Member

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    I never did a minor one.;)
    I use a Lyman scale and have had no issues with it yet. I do have to turn off the ceiling fan and I do recalibrate it often.
  19. jim brady

    jim brady Active Member

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    I use a Lyman 1200 DPS 3, and I love it! Used a 10-10 balance beam scale and an RCBS powder measurer for 30 years prior to it, but I found that it wasn't the most accurate for light charges. I let my 1200 warm up for 30-45 minutes and re-check the zero every 50 rounds.
  20. armoredman

    armoredman New Member

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    Never heard of a minor fart. I can clear a truck bay. :)
    Yes, I have to turn off the ceiling fan, and close the AC ducts as well. I can turn on one small fan that blows behind me for cooling, that's it. :)
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