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Discussion in 'Shooting Accessories' started by Sunbeam, Jan 13, 2020.
Keep going ahead and don't look back
Personally, as the RCBS 505 is discontinued by RCBS I would look at other models or brands. Unless you are striving for extreme long range benchrest groups (over 300 yards) a basic "untuned" scale will do. I use the scale to develop my blackpowder loads and from that I make a volume measure to carry when shooting - so I am maybe +/- 1.0 grain if I am lucky load to load. Any purpose designed beam scale will hold 0.1 grain.
As I recall Ohaus was making scales for at least six of the "reloading" companies who had their brands & colors applied so they are not widely different. If I were starting out fresh I would probably go with something like the Hornady G2-1500 electronic scale ($35 US). If you do consider a digital MAKE SURE it is trickle compatible. That is, it registers continually so you can add a few grains of powder at a time and view the results until you hit your desired weight. Some of the jeweler designed usage scales give periodically updated and more stable readings . . . but they will drive a reloader trying to use a powder trickler absolutely knutz.
Here is the Ohaus 505. I don't know what you may have available in the UK.
That's the exact same one i use. It constantly checks with my balance beam scale.
Absolutely no reason to "tune" the beam scale. BTW, they are more consistent and accurate than a "dope" or digital scale, which is VERY sensitive to vibrations, breeze, etc. I used to use one for loading on the 'other end of the spectrum', and went back to my beam scale.
Yes. Just be sure to calibrate it with the check weights often and hold your breath when weighing.
keep it covered with a box when not in use. it will weigh dust, as well as the moisture from your breath, your fingers and changes in household air currents.
I’ll throw in one more after the fact opinion. Magnetic damping and approach to weight feature is very nice features to have. OHAUS RCBS 10-10 has those.
Just don't get an auto scale/measure.
Beam scales are obsolete. They are inferior to a modern digital with tare feature in every way. I would now pay for one. I have several that I have been given, I only keep them because of my hoarder streak. I now use an A&D FX-120i for all loading. It is 10X the scale anyone needs except for the most demanding long range bench rest loading, but man it is as sweet rig to use. A $40 pocket digital is about perfect for all normal people. The "Tuning" referenced above is calibration. You can and should do that with you digital, it takes about a minuet with the supped check weight. Tuning is 505 is silly.
Have both, do not care for the electronic, have gone back to using my old reliable balance with magnetic damping. Use for both blackpowder and modern load work. The scales are used to set measures and throw charges. May not be historically correct but I like the plastic tubes to carry premeasured charges of powder/shot etc. Shot is often in home made paper tubes. I know the electronic are advertised to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. Have several, some were a lot more expensive than my old style. I personally do not like them. It is like the Ford or Chevy debate, use what you like and trust. Some of my older scales are 60 years old plus and still accurate when checked with weights over their full range. At my age I'm probably obsolete too, but I still work.
You are right when you say the old scales still work. I still own, and sometimes still use, a Redding beam scale that is oil dampened that I've owned now for 61 years. It still works, but it will only weigh Up to 325 grains, So I use one of them fancy little $20 digital scales to weigh round balls on, twice as quick and probably more accurate.
What do you suppose an early day trapper did to be sure his round balls all weighed the same? Absolutely nothing and I'm sure they worked just fine. I think for what I hunt with my flintlock, I'm just wasting a lot of time trying to stay busy.
Best most accurate is the Belding & Mull Powder Drop. These old powder drops are great and so accurate, by volume only not weight. They are so accurate the Schutzen Shooters used them back in the day and still do today..
If you watch eBay and check the tables at gun shows one can usually be bought for around 75 bucks. Well worth it and will last you a lifetime. There is nothing to wear out on them. Just addin my 2 cents worth.
Good Day, Gordy
I have a B&M and have used it on the range. I find the horizontally operated lever awkward and stiff. The whole unit turns on the thumb screw mount. Any helpful hints to make it more user friendly.
Absolutely disagree... a beam scale with magnetic dampening is superior to a digital scale. If you don't believe it, I challenge you to check your tare throughout your loading. I haven't found one yet that doesn't change during my reloading, but I never use either with black powder and patched round balls.
A "scoop" or powder measure will give you all the accuracy you need with round patched balls. If you need increase your accuracy, then change patch thickness, lube, and charge. Check your patches after shooting for burn through and tears. Use a rest initially to remove as much human error.
Don't worry about weighing your loads.
Re tare as things drift. It is constantly rechecked as part of properly operating the balance. Do not expect the tare vessel to stay perfectly the same as you get finger prints and smutz on it.
I use a set of eight class "S" laboratory grade traceable check weights to check the accuracy and linearity of the balances. The A&S FX-120i resolves +/-0.02 grains. That is less than a single kernel of stick powder. It also close to dead on accurate as witnessed by the check weights. It can be quickly and easily be recalibrated to be dead on accurate. My pocket digital balance can also be quickly re-calibrated. It is less accurate, only to 0.1 grains.
A reloaders' beam scale has no tare feature. It is effected by air currents. It take about 10 X the time to make a measurement that is accurate to +/_ 0.1 grain under ideal conditions. When I check my old beam scales with the class S check weights I find that they are not linear or particularly accurate. Mine read low. That is probably designed in to keep re-loaders "safe". A beam balance is not easily re-calibrated. So my old 505 and Redding are inaccurate and slow. Even a $20 modern electronic scale beats that.
I would suggest that if one cares about accuracy to check it. Take a couple of coins to an old time pharmacist or a college chemistry department and have the weighed on an analytical balance. Convert the metric weight to grains. Check your reloaders' powder scale. You will be surprised at how off it is it.
I worked 30 years in a laboratory operating and maintaining balances. Believe what I write.
Hey I do have a helpful tip for you on your B&M powder drop. Go to ACE Hardware and pickup a #143 compression spring. You will find them in there drawer of springs, and this is there part number on the spring. Replace the spring in you powder drop with this one. Will make your powder drop much easier to cycle, and for like $1.49.
Good Day, Gordy
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