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Thread: powder scales question

  1. #1
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    powder scales question

    I have had a Dillon Precision balance beam scale for some time, but recently I have been noticing some apparent irregularities. I use a dipper and finger tap those last few granules of powder to get it to zero. sometimes if I have overcharged the pan, and scoop some out with the dipper, the reaction is more than i would expect. if i play with it, by pushing the beam all the way up, letting it settle, then pushing it down all the way and letting it settle, I can get two different readings. ??? I will then slide the beam around some on the balance point, try again, and it often will get consistent after that. What is going on?
    I have thought about getting an inexpensive electronic scale (not one of the $150+ ones), but when I see them saying they are accurate to plus or minus 0.1 grain, that is not good enough in my book, I am sure I get finer gradations with my hand trickling. Any thoughts on that?
    Trying to do some load development and am questioning whether the powder load is what I think it is, and/or if it is staying consistent....

  2. #2
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    Spend the money

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Ashley View Post
    I have had a Dillon Precision balance beam scale for some time, but recently I have been noticing some apparent irregularities. I use a dipper and finger tap those last few granules of powder to get it to zero. sometimes if I have overcharged the pan, and scoop some out with the dipper, the reaction is more than i would expect. if i play with it, by pushing the beam all the way up, letting it settle, then pushing it down all the way and letting it settle, I can get two different readings. ??? I will then slide the beam around some on the balance point, try again, and it often will get consistent after that. What is going on?
    I have thought about getting an inexpensive electronic scale (not one of the $150+ ones), but when I see them saying they are accurate to plus or minus 0.1 grain, that is not good enough in my book, I am sure I get finer gradations with my hand trickling. Any thoughts on that?
    Trying to do some load development and am questioning whether the powder load is what I think it is, and/or if it is staying consistent....
    for a laboratory balance that reads in the hundredths, otherwise, you wont ever know if that tenth made a difference. From my experience, it does.

    Pete

  3. #3
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    I don't know what powder you are using but some meter better than others, and it is for that reason I use a ball powder like BLC -2. In my Ohaus beam scale it will measure + - half a tenth. If I'm worried about much variation I will throw a short charge and trickle. Beam scales have to kept really clean to be consistent, If you know all this already I'm not much help.

    Mort

    One last thing....why are you using a dipper?
    Last edited by dmort; 05-02-2020 at 03:47 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Ashley View Post
    I have had a Dillon Precision balance beam scale for some time, but recently I have been noticing some apparent irregularities. I use a dipper and finger tap those last few granules of powder to get it to zero. sometimes if I have overcharged the pan, and scoop some out with the dipper, the reaction is more than i would expect. if i play with it, by pushing the beam all the way up, letting it settle, then pushing it down all the way and letting it settle, I can get two different readings. ??? I will then slide the beam around some on the balance point, try again, and it often will get consistent after that. What is going on?
    I have thought about getting an inexpensive electronic scale (not one of the $150+ ones), but when I see them saying they are accurate to plus or minus 0.1 grain, that is not good enough in my book, I am sure I get finer gradations with my hand trickling. Any thoughts on that?
    Trying to do some load development and am questioning whether the powder load is what I think it is, and/or if it is staying consistent....
    What Rifle Discipline are you involved in were less than .1 of a grn makes a difference?

  5. #5
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    I do not like the Dillon (probably the only thing Dillon I don't like)

    IMO after weighing many thousands of thrown rounds (I've got over 5hrs of video showing loading down to the individual kernel) I'm convinced that if you're going to weigh loads accurately you need to spend 500.00

    Altho I do have some small 20.00 scales from Amazon that are roughly twice as accurate as throwing or using a Chargemaster.

  6. #6
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    Clean the scale well.

    Pay special attention to the agate blocks the beam seats in and the knife edges on the beam.

    Make sure you're set up on a firm, level surface.

    Test with check weights.

    If it's still not repeatable, throw it out. I like the RCBS 10-0-10 for a beam scale, but for better than .1, you'll need to spend the money.

    OldWillKnottScales.com had the best prices (by a significant amount) when I bought my AnD FX120i...

    GsT

  7. #7
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    if it has magnetic dampening, move the beam every time you add or remove powder.
    make sure it is clean

  8. #8
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    check this out

    are the fellows that are weighting getting more accurate loads than throwing how much vertical is hold or condition or to hot a load or mind or misreading or watching wrong type of flaig there is only one type of flaig that shows the true condition

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillBrawand View Post
    are the fellows that are weighting getting more accurate loads than throwing
    It's not even close....

    Throwing and using a ChargeMaster are about equally accurate, somewhere from 30-80 feet per second variation is achievable.

    Weighing it's easy to get down to 5fps velocity variation

    But for short-range 100-300 Benchrest velocity variation isn't an important variable.

    so I agree with you

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by alinwa View Post
    It's not even close....

    Throwing and using a ChargeMaster are about equally accurate, somewhere from 30-80 feet per second variation is achievable.

    Weighing it's easy to get down to 5fps velocity variation

    But for short-range 100-300 Benchrest velocity variation isn't an important variable.

    so I agree with you
    Al, I had my custom 30-06 up Walker County hast Sunday, just to shoot it some. Itís a 1-9 twist Krieger, Remington Varmint taper, 25 inches long. HS precision stock, trued up Rem 721, 8-32 NXS Nightforce Scope, Jewell Varmint Trigger. Itís a really nice Rifle.

    I specifically wanted to try Reloader 16 with the 168 Berger Hybrid. My usual load is 61.5 grns of 4831 SC behind a 178 grn AMax.

    I bought a box of Hornady 165 SST get a baseline velocity, which turned out to be and average 2970 over Edís Chronograph.

    I worked up to that velocity, finally at 58.2 grns of the Reloader 16, about .020 jump. Lapua brass, Winchester Large Rifle Primer.The velocity was an average 2980, and the 3 five shot groups measured an average .390. None were over .450. The extreme spread of all 15 shots was 16, the SD at 4.2.

    I consider this pretty darned good for a 30-06 ďhunting rifleĒ.

    All of the charges were thrown with my Chargemaster Lite.

    I was going to try the once fired Hornady brass, but the darned stuff was so much thinner in the necks than the Lapua that I did not have a small enough bushing to size the neck. The Lapua measured an average .014, the Hornady an average .0115

    That seems like a lot.
    Last edited by jackie schmidt; 05-12-2020 at 03:14 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackie schmidt View Post
    Al, I had my custom 30-06 up Walker County hast Sunday, just to shoot it some. Itís a 1-9 twist Krieger, Remington Varmint taper, 25 inches long. HS precision stock, trued up Rem 721, 8-32 NXS Nightforce Scope, Jewell Varmint Trigger.

    I specifically wanted to try Reloader 16 with the 168 Berger Hybrid.

    I bought a box of Hornady 165 SST get a baseline velocity, which turned out to be and average 2970 over Edís Chronograph.

    I worked up to that velocity, finally at 58.2 grns of the Reloader 16, about .020 jump. The velocity was an average 2980, and the 3 five shot groups measured an average .390. None were over .420. The extreme spread of all 15 shots was 16, the SD at 4.2.

    I consider this pretty darned good for a 30-06 ďhunting rifleĒ.

    All of the charges were thrown with my Chargemaster Lite.
    Wow..... that's VERY good! I've never gotten those results from my old ChargeMaster.

    I've had runs like that while hand throwing with several powder throwers and several powders but day-to-day and over time it always gets sideways.

    I have had limited success using the scale on the chargemaster and picking out/adding kernels finding a switchover point on either top or bottom of the resolution cycle...... I can get within 15-20fps that way, sometimes ((I don't know if I'm clear on "resolution cycle" so I'll try an analogy. I'm a construction guy, I have dozens of laser transits. Laser transits aren't very accurate so we train all our guys to "use the bottom of the beeps" or "up and down and find the edge of the beeps"..... it's kinda' like that trying to find "the edge" of the numbers on the chargemaster))

    But since I have a good scale I've just done it a few times to prove a point to myself.

    For the last 6-8 yrs I've taken to either throwing or CM'ing and then weighing to final weight on EVERYTHING..... I've even got probably 5-6 hours of video, just the camera pointed at the equipment while I throw or CM and then weigh (thousands?) of rounds just so an interested person can watch all three items in action over time.

  12. #12
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    Actually, that last bit isn't right. As soon as I hung up I knew I'd lied.....

    I DO NOT WEIGH EVERYTHING...... I only rarely weigh loads for 6PPC, trying instead always to keep a technique honed for loading on the fly. It's tempting with most of my shooting being done in the same building, but IMO if I can't learn to group/tune with a thrower at 100/200 match It's useless to even go.

    Unless I some day get a grip on this tuner thing.....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by alinwa View Post
    Actually, that last bit isn't right. As soon as I hung up I knew I'd lied.....

    I DO NOT WEIGH EVERYTHING...... I only rarely weigh loads for 6PPC, trying instead always to keep a technique honed for loading on the fly. It's tempting with most of my shooting being done in the same building, but IMO if I can't learn to group/tune with a thrower at 100/200 match It's useless to even go.

    Unless I some day get a grip on this tuner thing.....
    Al, if you have a Ď06, you should try that Reloader 16 with bullets in the 160/170 range. It gave great velocity, no pressure signs, and cleaned up great. That is the most consistent velocities I have ever got out of that Rifle.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackie schmidt View Post
    Al, if you have a Ď06, you should try that Reloader 16 with bullets in the 160/170 range. It gave great velocity, no pressure signs, and cleaned up great. That is the most consistent velocities I have ever got out of that Rifle.
    Yeahh, I like the old 30-06 round. And the new Barnes 165-168-180gr TTSX's and Lapua cases make the old girl into a real thunderbolt. And just about all the recoil any normal human can withstand in a light packing rifle, definitely as big as I'll go without a brake.

    I've never tried RL16, I will

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by alinwa View Post

    But for short-range 100-300 Benchrest velocity variation isn't an important variable.


    Not according to Gene Bukys and Mike Conry.

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