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Thread: Powder Scales - Electronic

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    6

    Question Electronic Scale problems

    After reloading some 223 rounds my brother and I decided to sort the assembled cartridges by weight (approx 184gr)

    We started off with a Lyman DPS 1200 and when I rechecked some of the cartridges the readings were different by up to .4 grains

    Thinking it was the scale I got my RCBS Rangemaster and sorted them again, similar results !!

    We tried it zeroing on a cartridge then sorting by weight difference and by zeroing the scale and separating by actual weight.

    We compared between scales and found they often differred by .2 and oncen in a while .3 grains

    My brothers reloading room is draft free with a very solid and level bench. I have lost all confidence in these scales for anything closer that .4 grs.

    Is there a solution or do we have to go back to the 10-10?

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Great State of TEXAS
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    8
    Quote Originally Posted by Ax238 View Post
    They are the only way to go. And the RCBS Chargemaster is in a class by itself. Trust me, you won't look back.
    I just bought my Chargemaster 1500, and used it for the first time this weekend. I was AMAZED!!!! I took a few of the rounds out to shoot with them, and they were all RIGHT ON.... I can not believe I waited this long to get one.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Northeast Alabama
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    140
    Quote Originally Posted by mastiff54 View Post
    After reloading some 223 rounds my brother and I decided to sort the assembled cartridges by weight (approx 184gr)

    We started off with a Lyman DPS 1200 and when I rechecked some of the cartridges the readings were different by up to .4 grains

    Thinking it was the scale I got my RCBS Rangemaster and sorted them again, similar results !!

    We tried it zeroing on a cartridge then sorting by weight difference and by zeroing the scale and separating by actual weight.

    We compared between scales and found they often differred by .2 and oncen in a while .3 grains

    My brothers reloading room is draft free with a very solid and level bench. I have lost all confidence in these scales for anything closer that .4 grs.

    Is there a solution or do we have to go back to the 10-10?
    Why are you weighing the assembled cartridge?. The electronic scales adverise +- .1, that accounts for .2 of your error. If you weigh your bullets, primer, charge and cases prior to assembly, and get the advertised accuracy, you have four areas for a possible .2 grain error, applying simple matmetics that adds up to a possible error of .8 grains. I weigh my cases and charges on a Chargemaster and have found their accuracy to be as good as possible considering the price.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Frederick Md.
    Posts
    2,421
    Quote Originally Posted by mastiff54 View Post
    After reloading some 223 rounds my brother and I decided to sort the assembled cartridges by weight (approx 184gr)

    We started off with a Lyman DPS 1200 and when I rechecked some of the cartridges the readings were different by up to .4 grains

    Thinking it was the scale I got my RCBS Rangemaster and sorted them again, similar results !!

    We tried it zeroing on a cartridge then sorting by weight difference and by zeroing the scale and separating by actual weight.

    We compared between scales and found they often differred by .2 and oncen in a while .3 grains

    My brothers reloading room is draft free with a very solid and level bench. I have lost all confidence in these scales for anything closer that .4 grs.

    Is there a solution or do we have to go back to the 10-10?
    Assembled cartidges will vary that much and it is not likely the powder charge that is the culprit , go back and weigh your empty cases.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    washington.........STATE that is.
    Posts
    8,163
    I can vouch for the MXX 123.

    I load to the single kernel of powder........ which means that I add or take away one kernel to make weight. The 123 easily and repeatably registers the single powder kernel. Using the 123 in conjunction with a thrower it's faster than the Chargemaster but a lot more work. I've got a Chargemaster on my wish list

    I keep mine inside and use it only for preloading. I don't think that bringing out and setting it up on the tailgate would work out well. I've had a Lyman and a Dillon and wouldn't bother with an electronic to replace them. I would use a balance beam if it wasn't for the ease and accuracy of the MXX unit.



    Brient, that Durascale site is cool. Thanks for the link.

    al

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    6

    I must have written my post poorly

    Thanks for the lead on the Durascale MXX123. Definately worth looking into.

    I have also learned that AC voltage fluctuations, static electricity and cell phones will affect the electronics in these units.

    I was not asking why there would be a difference between cartridges - I know quite well that all components will vary. That is why we sort each of them before reloading, and thankfully my math comes up a lot different.

    The problem that I am referring to is the very same cartridge will weigh up to .4gr different each time I set it on the scale. Not between different cartridges - the very same cartridge. That should not change unless there is some law of physics I am missing.

    Why did we weigh the assembled cartridge? - because we wanted to learn about the variation tht comes from progressive loading. We sorted 100 assembled cartridges after progressively reloading them, as an experiment in accuracy, investigating the uniformity of the thrown charge from the RCBS progressive press.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Hancock, Maine & Palm COast, Fl
    Posts
    4,414

    The best of "Reloading" scales

    Will vary in their reading; not unlike powder measures. It amazes me that we get the accuracy we do considering what we have to work with. I guess our barrels are a lot more forgiving than we realize.

    I like my RCBS Chargmaster. Wish it were faster in the automatic mode and wish the trickle mode was a bit more controled but it is the best thing I have found to date. I use RCBS measures, which are dirt cheap used and throw close to the desired charge sometimes when I load. I have found this method faster than using the Automatic mode. I trickle with my fingers, also faster than the power trickler. My fingers won't throw too much powder sometimes like the Chargemaster. All and all though I believe one can not beat the Chargmaster.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Bulls Gap, Tennessee
    Posts
    106

    one with a 17 rem

    my dad (passed 2 yrs ago) bought a 17 remington from a buddy who loaded with electronic scales. the rifle came with 20 or so loaded rounds, & the guy was an accomplished reloader... anyway the 17 blew a primer right off the bat, so all bullets were pulled reloaded of a balance scale. back then the word was they (electronic scales) were prone to variation because of magnetic fields created by other appliances, wire in the walls & many other causes. Back then i remember literature saying a battery operated version would better.. also they have to "warm up" the contact points. best to leave them on all the time rather than turn them off. It seems to me that the electronic scale is very sneaky about when it makes a mistake?? Back then everybody knew somebody who's electronic scale had malfunctioned negatively. Supposed to be great in the correct environment.

    Do any of em have a "we never mess up" guarantee.? I guess my 10-10 don't either.

    kirk

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    washington.........STATE that is.
    Posts
    8,163
    I keep a case next to the pan with its weight written on it. I also periodically check random cases on the block and when I'm done with a run I again check 4-5 random loads.

    The hardest thing with this setup is finding an easy way to transfer powder from the scale pan to the case. I have several different funnel setups and for my compressed loads I must reach up over my head to dump the powder, tiring.

    Pete,

    I watched the videos on 6MM BR.com and another video I think on the RCBS site. Unless they're slow I can beat them handily, 30% at least.

    I too throw and trickle with my fingers. I've learned to seed from 1 to 5-6 kernels perty handily and can nail the weight to the kernel 50% of the time.

    Taking kernels out is the slowest, I've used several little plastic tweezers and scoops but the quickest way yet is with my latest plastic RCBS funnel/tray I can pinch up 2-3-4-5 grains and drop back in the remainder.

    I DO want to try the Chargemaster but I've talked myself out of it so far



    BTW, I've seen the Chargemaster advertised as "accurate to the tenth of a grain"...... Is this "plus-or-minus" or a tenth total? anyone care to share? Using H4350 this translates to either 5 or 10 kernels accuracy as a kernel of H4350 normally reads as .02gr.



    al

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Hancock, Maine & Palm COast, Fl
    Posts
    4,414

    For better consistency

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Ethridge View Post
    my dad (passed 2 yrs ago) bought a 17 remington from a buddy who loaded with electronic scales. the rifle came with 20 or so loaded rounds, & the guy was an accomplished reloader... anyway the 17 blew a primer right off the bat, so all bullets were pulled reloaded of a balance scale. back then the word was they (electronic scales) were prone to variation because of magnetic fields created by other appliances, wire in the walls & many other causes. Back then i remember literature saying a battery operated version would better.. also they have to "warm up" the contact points. best to leave them on all the time rather than turn them off. It seems to me that the electronic scale is very sneaky about when it makes a mistake?? Back then everybody knew somebody who's electronic scale had malfunctioned negatively. Supposed to be great in the correct environment.

    Do any of em have a "we never mess up" guarantee.? I guess my 10-10 don't either.

    kirk
    I bought a line conditioner or, I should say, a battery backup that has a line conditioner in it. I believe the conditioner has made my Chargemaster more stable. That is to say, the tare weight reading doesn't vary much when the scale is unloaded. The things we do for LOVE, eh ?

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Northeast Alabama
    Posts
    140

    mastiff54

    or some of us read your post wrong. I have noticed variations in my Chargemaster. After reading the manual, which suggested recalibration after the scales sit for some period of time, and following the suggestion, the scale seems to be more repeatable. I noticed this with cases which I had weighed previously and happened to weigh them again. I was seeing .2 or .3 grains diffenence and after recalibration they started repeating. From your post it appears that there was no significant time lapse between weighings. Big question do rounds which weigh the same shoot better? I have shot some very good groups with case weight variations as much as 3 grains...

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Hancock, Maine & Palm COast, Fl
    Posts
    4,414

    On pans & Funnels - -

    Quote Originally Posted by alinwa View Post
    I keep a case next to the pan with its weight written on it. I also periodically check random cases on the block and when I'm done with a run I again check 4-5 random loads.

    The hardest thing with this setup is finding an easy way to transfer powder from the scale pan to the case. I have several different funnel setups and for my compressed loads I must reach up over my head to dump the powder, tiring.

    Pete,

    I watched the videos on 6MM BR.com and another video I think on the RCBS site. Unless they're slow I can beat them handily, 30% at least.

    I too throw and trickle with my fingers. I've learned to seed from 1 to 5-6 kernels perty handily and can nail the weight to the kernel 50% of the time.

    Taking kernels out is the slowest, I've used several little plastic tweezers and scoops but the quickest way yet is with my latest plastic RCBS funnel/tray I can pinch up 2-3-4-5 grains and drop back in the remainder.

    I DO want to try the Chargemaster but I've talked myself out of it so far



    BTW, I've seen the Chargemaster advertised as "accurate to the tenth of a grain"...... Is this "plus-or-minus" or a tenth total? anyone care to share? Using H4350 this translates to either 5 or 10 kernels accuracy as a kernel of H4350 normally reads as .02gr.



    al
    I have two of the Lyman pan funnels; a small pan with a funnel built into the handle. I trimed one to match the other and use them when in the automatic mode. This cuts a few seconds off the process and I use the funnel if I can, (some loads & powders don't require a big drop). If the load requires a big drop I have a funnel with an 8" tube fited to it and simply run the powder through that. When I am throwing and trickling by hand I still use the pan funnels and allow the unit to zero whilst I am dropping the charge.

    Of course, people who are good at just throwing charges directly into the cases seem to shoot just fine and competatively. I guess I just suck real bad at using a powder measure.

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    6

    What I have learned about digital scales.

    After contacting Lyman, RCBS and Ohaus I have gathered the following information:
    Most of these scales use strain gauge technology. . Learn more on strain gauges at http://www.sensorland.com/HowPage002.html

    The strain gauge can give you good weighing results for weighing static loads, but can drift much more due to temperature variations which may occur by just by using the scale. Especially those with the feed motor (like the DPS 1200) which will generate heat just from being used. Zero often, and calibrate when suggested by the system.

    Any voltage fluctuation may confuse the electronics into thinking the load has changed
    These scales are VERY sensitive and will detect any movement which could cause the strain gauge to flex at all under it’s load (including the empty pan). Light drafts can be caused by the movement of your hand while loading the scale and will affect the reading, but should stabilize once the 'breeze' subsides. Test it – it’s cool!
    Any vibration of the scale will affect the reading if it causes the scale to move at all. Another fun test.
    AC Line noise will affect the scales, a line conditioner is an excellent investment.
    Fluorescent lights are not a problem unless they are close to the scale, in the 2 to 3' area.
    Cell phones can cause interference with electronics, all recommend that they be turned off if near the scale (10ft)
    Static charges will also make funny things happen - the used dryer sheets was a great suggestion that works.

    Both RCBS and Lyman have offered to evaluate the scales for me, I pay shipping, which I will do, and am grateful for since they are not brand new. These are great companies who stand behind their products and support their customers.

    You'll see get better performance, linearity and repeatability with an electromagnetic weigh sensor which cost a whole lot more, and takes us back to the “Does it really make a difference?”

    I have received a lot of feedback asking “What am I thinking and why worry about it so much?”. Well the answers are simple in my mind. The pursuit of perfection is why I got into the hobby of shooting, smithing and reloading. It’s fun to be able to make one hole. When I screw up and miss blow a group, I like to be able to prove to myself that the variation was the shooter (me) and not the other variables. For me this is fun. The other concern I have and wanted to understand is regarding loading pistol rounds where a tenth of a grain is much more of an issue than with my 25-06.

    My brother and I load 17 Mach IV (17 Fireball) and 460 Rowland cartridges which are by nature fairly hot and sensitive to load variation. A couple of tenths of a grain will make a significant difference. (If you haven’t shot a 460 Rowland in a 1911, you have to try it, Clark makes great barrels and they shoot great. http://www.clarkcustomguns.com/rowland.htm )

    I have purchased an Acclab VIC 123 which reads to .01 grains and will continue this crazy pursuit of one hole groups !!! If there is interest I’ll write back later with more information and some statistical comparisons (GR&Rs for you quality geeks) of these measuring tools. Thanks to all who replied and contributed. This is a great community and I am proud to be a part of it.

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