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Old 07-01-2022, 07:25 PM
rustythread rustythread is offline
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I'm building myself a reloading bench and planning on resurrecting my ~30-year-old Dillon 550B. i expect that the vast majority of reloads will be handgun cartridges--38 Sp., 45 ACP and 9mm. Maybe later, some .223 and .308 rifle rounds.
It has been a great while since I reloaded, so I'll be re-learning from scratch.
Accordingly, I expect that most of my use of a scale will be for setting up and periodicly re-verifying the reloader.
My vision is less than optimal, which makes electronic scales with easy-to-read numbers tempting, but the stories about interference from phones and lights are concerning.
I would appreciate any suggestions.
Thank you.
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Old 07-01-2022, 07:38 PM
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I have on old fashioned scale and an inexpensive digital. A Frankford Arsenal brand I believe. It works great. After awhile, I put the old balance beam scale away and just use the digital.
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Old 07-01-2022, 07:54 PM
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I have used a simple Redding balance for over 35 years. There are similar models from other manufacturers. Its main use is for setting my Lyman 55 powder dispensers for handgun loads. I also have a Lyman 1200 DPS II digital scale/dispenser which I use for rifle calibers. Those are a little pricey but worth it if you are a serious rifle reloader. I have used it since 2008. Of course it can be used just for weighing if you choose, but there are far cheaper digital scales made for that purpose. I have never had any of the supposed electrical interference problems with the Lyman that some others have reported. The major irritant is that there is a half-hour warmup period required before use with the Lyman. I normally use a lab grade Ohaus quad-beam magnetically dampened centigram scale for weighing bullets and heavier things. It could also be used for weighing powder, but that requires doing a simple unit conversion from grams to grains (15.43 grains per gram). No trick if using a pocket calculator. My Ohaus, 311 gram capacity, approximately 4600 grains:

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Old 07-01-2022, 08:02 PM
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If you're building a bench, then why not plan for an easy visibility shelf at eye level so you can more easily read the scale?
This will make a nice reliable beam scale more appealing to use.
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Old 07-01-2022, 10:11 PM
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^^^^
Good suggestion. A beam scale should actually be close to eye level anyway, otherwise the visual can be canted and reading is not as accurate an 'eye to scale' should be.
The old O'haus 10-10 beam scales are very good, I believe that RCBS bought the rights and are now makes them in China....Hmmmm. I bought a made in USA older used one for a great price, took it to a local O'Haus scale vendor to have it checked. It was perfect. I might recommend looking for a good used O'Haus beam scale.
Otherwise revert to most recommended digie's most of the earlier issues that you pointed out have been remedied.
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Old 07-01-2022, 11:26 PM
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Personally, Iíll cast a vote against a shelf on the load bench for the scale. I much prefer the scale to live out itís destiny on a shelf (definitely eye level!) that is in no way whatsoever attached to the load bench or any work bench that is subjected to constant/repeated action and vibration.

These days my scales sit on a very shallow upright multi-level shelf. Iím pretty sure this unit is a CD/DVD rack. Iíve got some ballast down low and at the top it is tethered to the wall.

Gravity seems to be a constant on this planet and my beam scales love that. Iíve always been a beam scale guy, suspect I always will be, but my scales live on a shelf that has no fan, no brass tumbler, no power tools and isnít subjected to any movement.
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Old 07-01-2022, 11:34 PM
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Much like Dwalt, my only scale is the Redding beam scale I got in 1972. It's worked fine in all that time and I have not felt the need to invest in a digital scale.
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Old 07-01-2022, 11:45 PM
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Same here. I took about a 40 year break and when I got back into it I still use the same Redding beam scale.

I did buy an inexpensive digital scale but it was erratic so I returned it. I suspect cheap is not the way to go on electronic scales.
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Old 07-02-2022, 12:13 AM
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Older RCBS/Ohaus 5-10 and 502 scales are two of my favorites and can be had a very reasonable prices if you shop around at shows, classifieds and certain auction websites. Don't shy away from the more expensive 10-10 and 505 scales or their Lyman equivalents if you find them for a good price. Picked up a nice 5-10 at a garage sale for $15 recently- I cleaned it up, calibrated it and gave it to my daughter who I'm teaching to reload.
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Old 07-02-2022, 01:32 AM
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I have a Hornaday GS 1500 and a Ohas 505 I bought in the early 60s. So far neither has failed me. Had a Dillon electronic that crapped out in about 3 years, had a 1 year warranty, new ones too expensive.
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Old 07-02-2022, 01:56 AM
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I'd go with the Dillon scale. You already know their equipment and their warranty is fantastic.

I just found one of their scales in my garage that hasn't even been open yet. Funny the things you find when you don't expect it.
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Old 07-02-2022, 03:54 AM
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It depends upon how much you want to spend. For what you described it will be used for I suggest a good beam scale.

I'm not a fan of the newer scales because they are not made as well IMO so I would suggest buying a used scale. I have both the RCBS 5-0-5 scale and an older Ohaus 10-10 scale which IMO is the best balance beam scale ever made.

The reason I have both is, I bought the 5-0-5 when I first started loading and the 10-10 later on used for a price I couldn't pass up. ($40) both have served me very well and I highly recommend them. If you don't intend on weighing bullets that are heavier than 511gr the 5-0-5 is just fine.

If you're afraid the older RCBS scale might be worn out or defective they have a lifetime warranty. The completely rebuilt me 5-0-5 scale for me without a charge, not even the return shipping. (RCBS customer service is second to none)

I know you didn't ask but for a powder measure but a Lyman 55 or an RCBS Uniflow.
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Old 07-02-2022, 08:31 AM
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Beam balance scales are reliable and not prone to interference from fluorescent lights, cell phones, or most other electrical devices. Mine is on a wall mounted shelf so the bench imparts no vibration to the scale. It is at eye level and well lit, so it is easy to read.
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Old 07-02-2022, 08:53 AM
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National Metallic.
It just works.



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Old 07-02-2022, 10:20 AM
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I had lost the pan to my Ohas 10-10 scale and bought a Dillon beam scale at a stocking dealer. What a piece of junk!

I have 3 digital scales, as they age, they lose their ability to not wander around the desired setting. I found my 10-10 pan and trust it. I also have a Mid 80's Hornady "Magnetic Dampened" beam scale, it it extremely sensitive (in a good way!) and accurate. and repeats weights for days on end! I have

I have the large and small sets of Lyman Check Weights and check my scales often. The Ohas and Hornady have never changed!

I load on a 1984 Dillon 450, converted to a 550b, and load all the cartridges listed and more! Once the case mouth activated powder drop is properly set, it drops the same volume of powder until readjusted. If you change to a different lot # on your powder, you could have a weight change. (I buy 4 or 8 pound jugs of powder to deal with this!)

For pistol loading, When I think the powder drop is correctly adjusted, I drop 10 charges in the scale's pan and weigh and divide by 10. That gives me the true average. I do 5 on large rifle charges.

My Dillon success story is, In 1984 I loaded 20,000 rounds of 223 for my Mini-14 and got 1.5 MOA at best. I thought it was the ammo. I sold the Mine in about 1992 and in 1994 bought a Bushmaster AR-15 and scoped it with a Leupold Veri-X III 6.5-20x40mm AO That same batch of ammo shoots .1 to .25 MOA out of several rifles (So it wasn't my ammo!) That load was WW748, CCI Small Rifle Mag primers, and Winchester 55 gr FMJ w/Cannelure, and mixed military brass. It took most of a month to prep and load all those rounds! When I moved about 7 years ago I still had 6000-6500 left so I gave half to one of my sons that has a Stag Left handed AR. He gets the kind of groups I do with a Red Dot! (Thanks to his USMC training!)

I also loaded my most used cartridges, 45 ACP, 45 Colt, 44-40, 44 Special, 9mm Lugar, and 38 Special in batches of 5000. Depending on what sport I was shooting at the time, 5000 rounds was a 6 month to 2 year supply. Coming up with those quantities of brass, bullets, and primers wasn't difficult in the 80's and 90's, now, it is a big problem!

Have fun getting back to reloading, shooting it all, and reloading again!

Ivan
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Old 07-02-2022, 10:43 AM
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If all you do is check the powder throw from the Dillion a beam scale should be all you need. I need to break mine out and check my digital scale. The digital scale is supposed to check itself but I'm not sure if that's entirely possible. I think my beam scale is RCBS but I would have to check.

For pistol ammo it doesn't matter if you throw 0.10 grain +/-. For precision rifle ammo it matters. I load all my pistol and .223 with a digital Frankfort scale like this one.





Works fine for my needs.
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Old 07-02-2022, 10:51 AM
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Default Dillon digital for me

I too use the 550 Dillon (bought in 1989) and their digital scale. I keep a balance beam for back up but have never had an issue with the digital. Easy to read. Just don't have a fan overhead as it'll cause the unit to drift.
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Old 07-02-2022, 11:04 AM
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I use a digital scale for quick set up and weight checks. My “Master Scale”, an RCBS 10-10, is the finale word on all charge weight.
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Old 07-02-2022, 12:05 PM
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Don't forget the check weights. Found my Redding beam scale to be off 0.1 gr at something like 44 grain weight. No big deal, but surprising.
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Old 07-02-2022, 01:07 PM
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I Have tried 4 different digital scales over my 40+ year reloading career. None match the repeatability of a beam scale. The common problems I have had were short life (one died after 8 months), wandering zero, poor repeatability (weigh a charge, remove pan, replace pan, getting a different weight). I have a few balance beam scales and while a bit slower than a digital, they are consistently accurate and repeatable even my 30 year old Lee Safety Scale. I have tried all the common suggestions; AC over battery power, no fluorescent lighting, no open windows/breezes, no cell phone, no CD player/radio speakers on, and warm-up periods. All suffer from the same failures, but my bean scales (now using an RCBS 5-10 I bought used several [20?] years ago) are very consistently accurate/repeatable.

There are many "hints" for old eyes reading scale hash marks from magnifying glasses to digital cameras/tablets. I have my scale close, mebbe 18" away from my face, use a 100 watt desk lamp to illuminate the scale and focus with my mid lens of my trifocals. Works for me...

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Old 07-02-2022, 02:30 PM
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If you can find a RCBS 10-10 tuned by Scott Parker, you'll be very happy
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Old 07-02-2022, 04:51 PM
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Have my original Ohaus / RCBS 10/10 that was recalibrated by Ohaus 3 years ago. Bought a new 5-0-5 Ohaus/ RCBS to double check charge weights.
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Old 07-02-2022, 05:07 PM
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Just got lucky. Opened up a carton that has been packed for at least 20 years and found what looks like a new-in-box RCBS 5-10 I'd forgotten I had. Maybe I'll find some check weights in there, too. Christmas in July!
Thanks, all, for your info!
I'm sure I'll be back with more questions once the bench is
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Old 07-02-2022, 08:13 PM
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The Creedmoor Sports TRX-925($350) is kind of the premier scale or the A&D FX120i($600).

If you are just confirming a progressive powder throw, something like a Hornady G3-1500 May be fine.
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Old 07-02-2022, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustythread View Post
Just got lucky. Opened up a carton that has been packed for at least 20 years and found what looks like a new-in-box RCBS 5-10 I'd forgotten I had. Maybe I'll find some check weights in there, too. Christmas in July!
Thanks, all, for your info!
I'm sure I'll be back with more questions once the bench is
Readily available check weights (in grams, not grains - multiply by 15.43). Use uncirculated or lightly circulated coins only. Coin Specifications | U.S. Mint

For setting my powder measure, I will throw and weigh five to ten charges at once and take the average for handgun loads. Or at least two charges at once for heavier rifle loads.

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Old 07-02-2022, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustythread View Post
Just got lucky. Opened up a carton that has been packed for at least 20 years and found what looks like a new-in-box RCBS 5-10 I'd forgotten I had. Maybe I'll find some check weights in there, too. Christmas in July!
Thanks, all, for your info!
I'm sure I'll be back with more questions once the bench is
Outstanding!!! You have no need to buy anything else unless of course you want to lol. The 5-10 is very similar to the 10-10 and a great scale. The main difference is it will max out @510gr instead of 1,010gr of the 10-10 mostly due to the 500gr additional hanging weight. Both have a micrometer poise adjustment knob. (0.1gr to 10gr)
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Old 07-03-2022, 07:06 AM
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and check weights like:


Check weights




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Old 07-03-2022, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordson View Post
I use a digital scale for quick set up and weight checks. My ďMaster ScaleĒ, an RCBS 10-10, is the finale word on all charge weight.
Mine too.........I've never had to replace a battery in my 10-10. And it's approaching 40 years old. My RCBS electronic scale live in it's box on the shelf.
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Old 07-03-2022, 09:57 AM
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If you are using max loads, go back and verify what they are on your new scale. I once purchased a scale that was a grain heavier at 45 grains than my old scale. It was enough to pop primers on a hot day. I then bought some check weights.
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Old 07-03-2022, 10:12 AM
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The general consensus seems to be a used RCBS 10-10 and for good reason. A great quality product for a great company.
Good used ones are going up in price but will serve you well.
Electronic scales work well but have some quirks and for the average reloader a good quality beam scale is a reliable alternative the does not break the bank.
I have used mine for over 40 years, still works great donít think you will be able to say that about an electronic one.
Just my opinion and worth what you paid for it. 😁

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Old 07-03-2022, 10:42 AM
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I've had a 10-10 and a Redding for a long time. Both work well and are accurate. A small point, but the fine adjustment setup on the RCBS is a bit slower than the slightly simpler Redding. But the RCBS come with a plastic dust cover. Take your pick.

I bought a Lyman check weight years ago. These are inexpensive and worth having. I use mine to verify scale readings about once a year, but the scales have never been off.

I've had one experience with electronic scales like most handloaders use and quickly returned it. Few handloaders would spend the money for a truly good quality reliable electronic scale, way beyond the cost of the under $200 scales mentioned in these posts.
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Old 07-03-2022, 01:59 PM
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I have used a regular triple beam Redding and RCBS scale for many years. Now I am using a Frankford Arsenal Intellidropper. I am not looking back. Absolutely love it. Easy to use and accurate. I still have the other scales but, they mostly collect dust.
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Old 07-03-2022, 02:52 PM
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I've been happy with my Dillon beam scale for the last 20yrs or so. I also verify with RCBS check weights that I've owned for as long as I can remember. I also have a very cheap digital that came with my Hornady kit that I find very useful for setting up a charge or a quick double check. One thing that I always do is adjust my powder drop based on no less than 10 charges and I weigh that on the digital and once its where I think it should be I will double check with the beam as my safety check. I find it much easier to adjust my charge weight based on 10 than chasing single drops (on a 550 as well). I've been extremely pleased with how accurate and consistent my 550 can be with Titegroup. If I had to buy a new scale now it would probably be a Dillon Digital, but I just don't have the need.
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Old 07-18-2022, 11:56 PM
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Johnnys Reloading Bench did a digital scale review awhile back of 3 or 4 different models and the one he liked the best, the one that worked best was this little, cheap looking black box of a thing but he said it was very accurate and very fast. It measures to .1gr. Since this was right after I started loading and wanted a digi I bought one and he was right.
It comes with cal weights too but it has always been spot on with my beam scale a d its just a out the fastest digi scale Ive ever seen, not that Ive seen thousands or anything but you get the picture, the readout is about instantaneous. Im still using it.. no name on it but I bet if you search his YT channel youll find it. I think it was less than $20. Yeah, sounds to good to be true, but it is.
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Old 08-03-2022, 10:49 AM
nksmfamjp nksmfamjp is offline
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Honestly, get a decent digital and 3-4 check weights in the range you measure or calibrate. Get F-1 or similar tolerance check weights so they are checking something. Buying one that replaces the calibration weight may improve calibration also!

I have moved all my weighing to a Creedmoor Sports TRX-925. Great scale! Possibly too accurate! I catch myself fussing over 0.01gr!

Last edited by nksmfamjp; 08-03-2022 at 03:27 PM.
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  #36  
Old 08-03-2022, 11:44 AM
Tu_S Tu_S is online now
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I usually rely on the scale built into my Hornady Auto Charger, but have a Frankford Arsenal DS-750 to do quick double check every dozen or so rounds.

I used to use the old Lee balance scale to double check the DS-750, but haven't had the thing out in years now.
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Old 08-03-2022, 03:25 PM
nksmfamjp nksmfamjp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tu_S View Post
I usually rely on the scale built into my Hornady Auto Charger, but have a Frankford Arsenal DS-750 to do quick double check every dozen or so rounds.

I used to use the old Lee balance scale to double check the DS-750, but haven't had the thing out in years now.
Why the double check? Öto a potentially less accurate scale?
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