Broke down and got a digital scale.

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Don Fischer, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. Dick Blizzard

    Dick Blizzard New Member

    I have used a Redding #1 beam scale for all my LD rifle reloading for the 7 years I have been involved in it, absolutely consistent and accurate to my single check weight. After reading the above posts I plan on buying a check weight set though, to verify accuracy over the full range of weights. I have recently, in the last 4 years increasingly loaded pistol rounds. I purchased a Frankford Arsenal electronic pocket scale to help speed up the powder measuring for pistol cartridges. Worked just barely OK, accurate enough, but constantly needed re-calibrating. Thankfully it died 6 months ago and put me out of my misery! In my search for a better unit as a replacement, I came across a forum thread (rugerforum??) on scales and found a strong recommendation to look at 'Jennings JScale JSVG 20'.
    All the specs looked great and then I found and bought a used ebay unit, for $29. I am in, accurate, consistent to 100th of a grain. Absolutely worth a look. .
    fatbob1945 and chaswea like this.

    FRED J. WAHL Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2017
    Kissimmee, Florida in Winter, N.E. PA in summer
    I've bought and owned several digital scales, 2 American made PACTS, 3 of the older, round, battery operated scales from Frankford Arsenal, (which were pure junk and returned, thankfully Frankford replaced them, free, with the later, rectangular scales), and a "Smart Reloader" electronic scale/measure. All worked well enough, but I have had problems with all of them. The PACT scales, even after calibrating them, have a tendency to "change their minds, after giving a weight, which is frustrating. If you weigh the same cartridge case, after 30 seconds, it sometimes changes the reading by 2 tenths of a grain, and does the same thing with powder charges. They are very good about their return and warranty, and the reading you get is a little slow in displaying, but I have been using one of their early scales for nearly 20 years. They were also expensive to buy--
    The replacement, rectangular shaped Frankford Arsenal scales are not bad for the price, (+ or- $25.), but they too "change their minds" on the readings, and shut off after a minute, to save on battery strength.
    The "Smart Reloader" scale/measure has been good, but their owner's manual translation from Chinese will leave you scratching your head, and the learning curve is a real PITA, but once you get it down, they work very well. Changing powders in them is a mess, tho, and they are very electrostatic. The outer housing on mine got very gummy and sticky, which I hate, but the system is very good if you can leave one type of powder in the hopper. A nice feature is that as soon as it drops a charge of powder, and you replace the pan onto the scale, it automatically refills the pan to the same weight, until you shut it down.
    I compared the scale accuracy with the PACT, and the "S-R" is right on the money.
    fatbob1945 and chaswea like this.

  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    I paid the big bucks about 25 years ago for the Dillon scale (different from their current offering) and have never had to replace it. Bought one scale and it is still working fine after 25+ years. In 2011 I, for fun, calibrated it over the range of loads I might encounter. From 0.5 grains to 5 grains it was 0.1 low. from 10 to 70 grains it was 0.1 low as it was at 90 grains. Both 80 and 100 grains were 0.2 grains low. I think that is adequate accuracy and very good consistency.

    But all is not perfect. Because it will drift off zero if not warmed up for a long period (like left on all the time which I do not do), I re-zero it before every measurement.

    So how do I use it. I reload progressively. Dies are pre-set but powder weight has to be adjusted from caliber to caliber. I set up and measure the powder measure delivery ONCE for that reloading batch of up to maybe 300 cases. The measure never changes during the session based on my 25 years of experience using this Dillon measure. ( I do this and I do not recommend you do it this way). So....once I set up the powder measure with several measurements, I don't use the scale again. The drifting might be a problem for those of you that measure more often than once during a session or especially if you measure every case you reload.

    I take away from this and those of others who have bought lesser digital scales that you pretty much get what you pay for. I realize that some people just have to get the "best deal" for the moment. I tend to buy the best tools regardless of the price (within reason and when the increased cost gives a measurable return). I am sure there are other digital scales that have performed well for years and years and I know, based on comments here, that there are ones that were cheap that didn't last or were inaccurate. You get to pick which ever way suits your fancy.

  4. Don Fischer

    Don Fischer Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2016
    I use a 510 RCBS, been using it about 30yrs now. Had to replace those blocks the beam rides on last year but nothing else has gone wrong. With stick powder I measure every load, throw low and trickle up. with ball and flake I set the powder measure and go for it. Once the powder measure seem's right I throw 10 loads to check consistency. 10 50gr loads should come out vey close to 500 grs. If I hit a gr or so either side, I don't worry about it. I think I need a new cutter on my cast trimmer too. Just haven't got into it to see how to replace it. I don't recall ever having any tool that I would call junk. They all worked the way they were supposed to.