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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Lyman electronic powder scale and a Lee balance beam mechanical scale. I have zeroed both numerous times and checked and rechecked loads and there is a consistant 1/2 grain difference between the two. The Lee mechanical always seems to measure less. Which do I trust? This is my first time with an electronic scale so I wanted to be sure of the charge as I am loading to the safe max level in my 45-70, using IMR 3031. The bench is level as once balanced I do not move the scale around.

I appreciate any and all advice.


Neverhome
 

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The scale should have come with a couple of check weights, if you can't find them or it did not come with any, then the set that rcairflr shows will be the way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Gentlemen,

I do have a check weight for the Lyman and zero the scale after every charge, re calibrating every five loads. I crossed checked each load with the Lee balance scale and that is where the discrepancy occurs. Each time the same weights, just off a half grain between the two scales. I should be safe as the Lee reads below the Lyman. Just bugs me that they don't match.

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i have a lyman digital, and an rcbs 505 beam scale. I get as much as .1gr difference.

If you have ac or a fan inthe room, turn it off.. it effects ballance bean scales quite dramatically.

temp effects the digital scales..and so do batteries.. I reccomend running the digital scal on line power.. and turn it on 15m before use.

check 0 on both scales at start and then 5 laods in.. my first 5 loads I test on both scales.. then I use the ballance scale as a 5th then 10th load test. once I get a tray loaded I usually randomly pick a cartridge and dump it and read it's charge, then recharge if ok.

what lee scale you using? the safety scale out of the classic kit?.. it's an ok scale.. but doesn't make high marks on the walls in my book.... you sure won't blow anything up with it... but I really like my rcbs BB 505 scale after trying a couple others. mag damping is nice too.
 

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Neverhome:

The check weights in the link are precision and are marked as to their actual weight. Buy them, and then use them on the two scales. That will determine which is correct.

If I were to guess, and I will, the LEE scale is probably off. Just because it is mechanical does not mean it is accurate. LEE must fear over loads as their scoops and the chart that calibrates them to grains of powder typically are always light on powder. I'll beat the drum again: LEE stuff is not of the same quality as virtually all the name brand equivalent equipment. But it is cheaper... The "Harbor Freight" tools of reloading. If cheap is important to you then use it. Otherwise skip them.

In general electronic scales are touchy to use. They can drift over time, loosing their zero and falling out of calibration. I use a Dillon scale (a 15+ year old version) and I am constantly zeroing it (before every measurement!). I check it against the checking weight set in the link occasionally but find it not more than 0.1 grains off at almost any load level. I turn it on an hour before I start using it to get it to settle into a good zero. I make sure there are no wind currents in the reloading room and it is plugged into the wall for power (no battery operation). I also have the top of the line RCBS mechanical scale that I have not used in 15 years. I much prefer the electronic scale. The mechanical scale endlessly swings back and forth, making measurement a long time thing. I'll take the electronic scale every time.

LDBennett
 

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I agree with LDBennett. I leave my Dillon scale plugged in and turned on all the time. Another factor can be lights-- flourescent lights have been reported to cause interference with electronic scales. Temperature too, as well as bumping the table every time you pull the handle on a press or powder measure. Definitely buy a set of good check weights and use them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the input. The Lee is a cheap model and does take a long time to settle. I do run the Lyman on power and not battery. I tend to agree the Lyman is giving the correct weight. I took my Marlin 45-70 GG to the range today and zeroed it with the reloads measured on the digital. At 100 yards I shot a 1", 3 shot group, using a 405 GR Remington jacketed flat point over 51.5 Grs of IMR 3031, pushing 2107' per second. Scope is a Leoupold with the BDC dial. Once zeroed at 100 yds, I used the compensator for a 200 yard shot and it was right on. That tells me the powder charge from the Lyman is correct as I special ordred the scope turret specifically for that load and velocity.

I appreciate all of the advice. Thanks to all.

Neverhome
 

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Check weights are critical to use of any scale. When I first started out reloading, I didn't have a check weight, so I "made" one. I just used a piece of brass rod and used a friends scale ( calibrated of course ) to weigh it. I put it in a small baggie with a note of the weight. Don't use or trust a bullets listed weight, a 230gn bullet can vary alot depending on manufacturer and lot. I wouldn't use a bullet even if I did know the exact wt, too easy to mix up and get lost.
 
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