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Beam Scales

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  • #16
    steve_l for just starting out, I recommend making sure the scale is reasonably level and zero it before you do a batch. As long as you are staying away from maximum loads, as you should be, the tolerance any commercial reloading beam scale is within the safe zone. Beam scales can be so precise that having the pan slightly tilted, the charge on one side of the pan, a slide that is tilted a bit, etc. can cause the needle to not rest in the same spot. If you are overly concerned then throw a bit of extra, and less, powder in the pan and see where the needle lands. You may be surprised as to just how little powder it takes to get the needle to move off center while still being within 0.10 of a grain.
    Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.
    -Winston Churchill

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    • #17
      I can't imagine using a 505 for sorting bullets and brass wither Robert, way to cumbersome. I do however like using my 5-10, it has a wheel so quick adjustments are a snap, same with a 10-10.

      If the pan is properly suspended from the beam, no rough spots on either the wire or the hanger, it doesn't matter where the powder is laying in the pan, this is because the weight suspends from the same point off the beam. The manufacturer's wouldn't have made the pans flat on the bottom if the location of the powder in the pan made a difference, and it doesn't.

      HBC

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      • #18
        I've sorted a lot of .308 brass on my 5*10............. thus why I bought a small cheap Hornady digital. Oh so much easier/faster/better.

        The powder still goes in my 5*10.

        Correct HighBC....... the actual positioning of weight in the scale pan has no effect on the scale reading because all that weight is suspended from the scale hanger point. Even if the pan itself and hanger tip a bit (put a .308 brass in my 5*10), the pivot point on the scale arm does not move, scale reading does not change.

        Powders, pick up a good book filled with data for the cartridge you're working with, study it, study the charges and powders, pressures, bullets that are used with the different powders, then begin doing some developments. What you don't want to do is walk into a reloading store and buy powder without any idea what type loads and bullets it's best suited for. The way I started into this part of the hobby, is I would study the data sheets, then I'd find a powder that provided a good case fill, delivered velocity projections that suited my needs based on what I intended to shoot at or hunt.
        Excellent guidance HBC,, same way I started. The ONLY way to approach it IMO.
        There are so many powders, if you just go buy one, the odds you will get something suitable (from nearly 120 available) is very slim. Don't waste time or money, figure out what you want to do, acquire cartridge data, study it, determine what APPEARS TO BE a promising and appropriate powder, THEN get some, and bullets, and start work.

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        • #19
          Interesting on the free swinging weight. My fine adjustment always got caught on the side of the beam so I would need to make sure it was straight. I did have problems with it about a year ago and you guys helped me get it sorted out to where it was usable again. I thought the tab getting caught was normal so I did not bring it up. I still had to adjust it to match the check weights for big jumps but it was good enough to use it for verifying the digital.
          Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.
          -Winston Churchill

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          • #20
            I couldn't argue that Damannoyed, using a digital for sorting is a lot faster, and accuracy is in no way as critical as with weighing powder charges. Even an extreme flaw of 1.0 grain when sorting brass or bullets isn't going to be a huge deal regarding pressures, but 1.0 grain variance sure could cause a problem when it concerns powder charges though. And even though I can sort pretty darn fast using my 5-10, a digital is definitely much faster and plenty reliable enough for this task. Honestly, I think I fight technology, I just prefer the good old manual tools of my generation over the modernized times we now live in.

            HBC

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            • #21
              As I want to shoot up to 1000 yds I started looking at loading for long-distance. What I found out from several sources is that the normal digital scales sold for handloading are very general and not that responsive. I use a 505 beam scale and have found out it is not that responsive, but still a good scale.
              I will be buying a digital scale next year and one requirement is that it be responsive enough that it can measure a single kernel of powder. General loading does not require that sensitive amount of responsiveness but long-distance does.
              Not too thrilled about a digital scale but doing a test on a 505 and a Redding beam scale found that they will not show a reading of under 3 or 4 kernels of powder.
              I found out that the lead weights in the powder pan holder will oxidize over time and weight is affected. I recalibrated both my scales, made sure they are level as can be and they went from varying readings to consistent readings.
              So my suggestion to Steve is yes, get a good beam scale. Wish I had gotten a RCBS 10-10 made by Ohaus. But I got what I got, no problem.
              "The United States Marine Corps is a drug and I am a recovering addict."

              "American by birthright… U.S. MARINE by the Grace of GOD!"

              "And on the 8th day God created Marines and like fish, we came from the sea!"

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              • #22
                When I was shooting F-class I found that my groups at 1,000 yds. had 5" more vertical than Horizontal until I got my accurate scale which corrected it. I think that a hunter should shoot at a square or an oblong target instead of a round target. The vitals of a game animal are more square or oblong. Then the 5" more vertical would be acceptable at 1,000 yds. A buck deer's vitals are right at 16-18" and a bull elk 22-24" . Shooting at a 10" round bullseye at 1,000 yds. is really not a realistic target for a hunter.
                NRA Endowment member
                NRA Range Technical Team Advisor
                TSRA member
                NRA certified pistol coach-Retired
                NRA classified Master, F-Class mid-range
                Velocity is like a new car, always losing value
                BC is like diamonds, maintaining value forever

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                • #23
                  Shooting at 1000 yards isn't realistic for a hunter, no matter the shape of the target.
                  If it weren't for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all.

                  "Ammo and really good friends are hard to find in a gunfight so I bring them with me" E. J. Owens

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