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exmarksman9870

electric vrs beam scale

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What do you think is the best beam scales or electronic scales are ?... i was thinking of a rcbs chargemaster but i lost at the horses today so that wont be happening hahah also the rcbs chargemaster lite,,,at the moment i use a lee safety scale and trickle up and also have a digi scale, just a cheap one so i think i want to upgrade,,,, i throw a few grain bellow and trickle up to my required load.

 

rcbs beam scales are what i have been thinking of or a rcbs rangemaster 2000 then trickle up.....

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Have friends who have gone the chargemaster route and ended up back at beam scales and trickler. Personally, upgraded my Lee safety scales only because they don't work with the Targetmaster. Now use Lee scoops to throw near the charge and trickle up using the Targetmaster into RCBS 505s.

 

Mark

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ExMarksman

 

In direct answer to your questions: I think the Prometheus 2 ( http://prometheustoolcorp.com/features ) is probably the best beam scale and you'd go a long way to best the A&D FX/FZ120i with the autotrickler upgrade added (thus: http://www.autotrickler.com/auto-trickler.html )

 

Now do you need these particular set up - your call?

 

Personnaly I'm looking at the latter.

 

Just my 5 cents worth.

 

T

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Having used a Redding balance beam for years, then upgrade to using it in conjunction with a TargetMaster, then switching to a GemPro250 digital, I've got rid of them all for the new Chargemaster Lite.

 

I've found the unit to be excellent. A lot quicker than the others listed above, and as long as you know how to use it properly, it's extremely accurate and dependable.

 

Here's my review and test: http://ukvarminting.com/forums/topic/38699-rcbs-chargemaster-lite-arrived-today/

 

My tests prove that by trickling up (removing the pan first before trickling up - that's critical) and not just throwing direct charges, I was either within 0.00gn or 0.02gn accuracy. The worst i got was only 0.04gn. Bear in mind that 0.02gn of N140 is around 4 kernels of powder. That is on par with with the excellent GemPro250, and you really need to spend a whole bucket load more on a Prometheus to get better (0.01gn).

 

It's also worth noting that many accomplished benchrest, long range precision and tactical shooters in the US still favour using their Chargemasters for loading.

 

Hope you find what works best for you.

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Chargemaster Lite for me, for all the reasons Catch 22 stated.

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chargemastr lite looks a nice bit of kit.. cheaper in the usa buts whats new there...how can it cost double in the uk...

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I brought my CM Lite in directly from the US (Natchez) as they were running a good deal at the time.

Even with shipping, insurance, handling and customs, I saved over £120 when compared to the silly prices advertised over here.

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Catch-22-

 

Your review of the CM Lite looks great but there is one niggling question in my mind: How do you know the numbers the Gempro displays are accurate in absolute terms?

 

The reason I ask is that -all- stain gauge-based scales are known to be far from immune to drifting. I didn't read the study closely but did you use a lab-grade magnetic restoration force balance to verify the absolute load weights?

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Catch-22-

 

Your review of the CM Lite looks great but there is one niggling question in my mind: How do you know the numbers the Gempro displays are accurate in absolute terms?

 

The reason I ask is that -all- stain gauge-based scales are known to be far from immune to drifting. I didn't read the study closely but did you use a lab-grade magnetic restoration force balance to verify the absolute load weights?

Hi Chris,

No I didn't - unfortunately I don't have access to a magnetic restoration force balance. So I cannot be totally sure as you note.

However I did try a number of things to minimise the other factors that could affect drifting, such as magnetic fields from other devices, using line isolators and draft proofing the room.

I was confident in the GemPro as i have weighed and re-weighed the same charges, in addition to the supplied check weights, and detected no disernable drift (within the 0.02gn tolerance listed). There are also lots of independent reviews of the GemPro, many of whom give it glowing praise.

 

Again, for my purposes it's as accurate as I think I can buy without spending some seriously top whack.

If I were competing at the highest level, then I may use the Prometheus or Satorius lab-grade scales. Dunno if it would realistically translate into better groups down range, but if I was going for world records then why not use the best money can buy?

 

HTH

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If you're in no hurry to reload, you can get excellent accuracy and consistency simply by using a good beam scale plus trickler for a fraction of the cost of any electronic scale/load machines. I use an RCBS 10-10 plus RCBS trickler and achieve some very consistent loads with that. I can't help think that using the Lee safety scales may be one reason behind your issues with some of your loads. I've never found the lee scales to be anything other than inconsistent and horribly variable between measures. Tested alongside my 10-10 scale and comparing half a dozen loads from the Lee scale, some were up to half a grain out! The problem is that they're just too crude a device and require the beam to stay central to get any sort of consistency. Mine needed a gentle tap each time. OK to get you started, but the best place for them is the bin. You can't give them away. Scoops are preferable to Lee safety scales.

 

If money's no object than the Chargemaster or Lyman (latest) versions are probably worth the investment if you load a lot. Beware earlier lyman versions as they were known to suffer with static build up affecting accuracy and consistency.

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I use a Lyman 1200 DPS3:

 

http://www.chuckhawks.com/lyman_1200DPS3.htm

 

Accuracy is usually spot on or 0.1 gr high. Throw takes about 15 to 20 seconds.

 

I recently completed a load development programme by making up a batch on the Lyman. I just ensured that the weight on the display was accurate, i.e. not even +/- 0.1 grains. The batch I loaded up had a Standard Deviation of 5.1 and grouped into 0.11" C-T-C.

 

How much more consistency do we need?

 

maximus otter

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If you're in no hurry to reload, you can get excellent accuracy and consistency simply by using a good beam scale plus trickler for a fraction of the cost of any electronic scale/load machines. I use an RCBS 10-10 plus RCBS trickler and achieve some very consistent loads with that. I can't help think that using the Lee safety scales may be one reason behind your issues with some of your loads. I've never found the lee scales to be anything other than inconsistent and horribly variable between measures. Tested alongside my 10-10 scale and comparing half a dozen loads from the Lee scale, some were up to half a grain out! The problem is that they're just too crude a device and require the beam to stay central to get any sort of consistency. Mine needed a gentle tap each time. OK to get you started, but the best place for them is the bin. You can't give them away. Scoops are preferable to Lee safety scales.

 

If money's no object than the Chargemaster or Lyman (latest) versions are probably worth the investment if you load a lot. Beware earlier lyman versions as they were known to suffer with static build up affecting accuracy and consistency.[/quot

 

hi mate..i did the tmk test loads on my digi scale and checked it often... although i agree with you on my lee scale...i am in no hurry loading have all the time in the world..so upgrade my beam scale or import a rcbs lite when funds allow..

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The most consistently precise.accurate shooters of all,100/200 yard Bench Resters typically do not even weight their powder charges,but just throw from a good dispenser,like the Harrel. Aggregates of 5x5 shots in the low .2s or better are just routine.

Partly this is because a few fps variation just will not be detectable at 100y,with their velocities.

But .1 grain will make a small difference by 1000y -hard to detect though as many other factors-predominmantly wind-will obscure it's effect,but still worth a bit more effort to reduce...either by a properly set up and validated electronic dispenser/scale or tune beam scale and trickler system. Consistency is the key,assuming the powder load is giving optimal velocity and precision/accuracy. But whether 1 kernel (.025g) really is worth pursuing becomes moot. It is definitely not a priority,above other imperfections. It may have a feel good factor,and that does no harm at all,IF justified.

 

 

gbal

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Does the CM or any of the similar reloading-branded jobs feature a force restoration scale? I assume not?

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The most consistently precise.accurate shooters of all,100/200 yard Bench Resters typically do not even weight their powder charges,but just throw from a good dispenser,like the Harrel. Aggregates of 5x5 shots in the low .2s or better are just routine.

Partly this is because a few fps variation just will not be detectable at 100y,with their velocities.

But .1 grain will make a small difference by 1000y -hard to detect though as many other factors-predominmantly wind-will obscure it's effect,but still worth a bit more effort to reduce...either by a properly set up and validated electronic dispenser/scale or tune beam scale and trickler system. Consistency is the key,assuming the powder load is giving optimal velocity and precision/accuracy. But whether 1 kernel (.025g) really is worth pursuing becomes moot. It is definitely not a priority,above other imperfections. It may have a feel good factor,and that does no harm at all,IF justified.

 

 

gbal

 

Do you (or anyone else) know what the throw consistency is like with the Harrel with different powders George? I would like to see some tests against a standard with the Harrel as I'm thinking longer term of going this route rather than a CM as it has the advantages of being the quickest method of charging and unaffected by draughts or electronic re-calibration needs. Sorry for thread drift...

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Do you (or anyone else) know what the throw consistency is like with the Harrel with different powders George? I would like to see some tests against a standard with the Harrel as I'm thinking longer term of going this route rather than a CM as it has the advantages of being the quickest method of charging and unaffected by draughts or electronic re-calibration needs. Sorry for thread drift...

 

Several years ago Laurie Holland did a review of half a dozen powder measures for the Target Shooter magazine..I think you would be surprised at the results, the cheap little plastic Lee, although not much "street cred" was as good or better than most. Even the most expensive failed to achieve consistently small ES figures with a variety of powders, certainly not the +/- .1 grain all day long you often hear bandied about.

 

https://www.scribd.com/document/49879348/Target-Shooter-March-2011

 

Personally I'm in the beam scale camp. A good reliable beam scale will last a lifetime, an expensive digital will last a few years. Not long ago a Denver Mxx 123 would have cost $1,100 and was considered the Bees Knees, rave reviews and a "must have" item, now they are old hat, poor response to trickling and prone to drifting.

Now we are onto force restoration scales starting at around £500, how long before the next generation supersedes them or they are unrepairable. I have an old Ohaus digital lab scale, cutting edge and very expensive in it's day, but no spares available now.

 

A good beam scale, especially if used with a camera system, can easily detect a single kernel of something like Varget powder, having a digital scale with 3 figure resolution, costing 5 times as much can't improve on that because you would need to cut kernels.

 

Here's a video of a cutting edge system, about £600 for the scale, a couple of hundred for the trickler and another for the power measure.

Fast and accurate - but if you look closely at the video, around 10% of the charges he is adjusting charges with tweezers.

 

 

This is a chap using a good beam scale (Lyman M5) with an Omega auto-trickler, quick and accurate.

 

 

And here's my humble old RCBS 502 and a TM - video taken 7 years ago.

 

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I too never had a fault with a set of RCBS 5-0-2 or the 5-0-5 scales. ..Both were accurate and movement could be easily detected with just one kernel..

 

memo to self - "if it's not broke don't fix it and keep cash for powder/bullets"

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Several years ago Laurie Holland did a review of half a dozen powder measures .... Even the most expensive failed to achieve consistently small ES figures with a variety of powders, ..

 

Dead right in my experience.

I've had an RCBS thrower for yonks and it's fine for routine use. Ball powders like W748 are very precise with minimal technique practice.

 

I acquired a mint Harrell BR model for very little, and it's no better at throwing those bigger stick powders than the RCBS. If you think about it, coarse stick powders will never flow cleanly through a volume-based measure whose outlet is a rotating guillotine. You just can't avoid cutting kernels.

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Every time a kernel is cut there is an inconsistent vibration, exactly what's not wanted when using a measure. No matter how upmarket the measure they pretty well all work on the same principal, powder flows by gravity into a variable sized chamber then tipped out.

About the only company that seems to have made steps to addressed the problem is Lee with their elastic wiper system.

I have an old Ohaus Duo measure, nice to use but not so accurate as my cheap plastic Lee.

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Several years ago Laurie Holland did a review of half a dozen powder measures for the Target Shooter magazine..I think you would be surprised at the results, the cheap little plastic Lee, although not much "street cred" was as good or better than most. Even the most expensive failed to achieve consistently small ES figures with a variety of powders, certainly not the +/- .1 grain all day long you often hear bandied about.

 

https://www.scribd.com/document/49879348/Target-Shooter-March-2011

 

Personally I'm in the beam scale camp. A good reliable beam scale will last a lifetime, an expensive digital will last a few years. Not long ago a Denver Mxx 123 would have cost $1,100 and was considered the Bees Knees, rave reviews and a "must have" item, now they are old hat, poor response to trickling and prone to drifting.

Now we are onto force restoration scales starting at around £500, how long before the next generation supersedes them or they are unrepairable. I have an old Ohaus digital lab scale, cutting edge and very expensive in it's day, but no spares available now.

 

A good beam scale, especially if used with a camera system, can easily detect a single kernel of something like Varget powder, having a digital scale with 3 figure resolution, costing 5 times as much can't improve on that because you would need to cut kernels.

 

Here's a video of a cutting edge system, about £600 for the scale, a couple of hundred for the trickler and another for the power measure.

Fast and accurate - but if you look closely at the video, around 10% of the charges he is adjusting charges with tweezers.

 

 

This is a chap using a good beam scale (Lyman M5) with an Omega auto-trickler, quick and accurate.

 

 

And here's my humble old RCBS 502 and a TM - video taken 7 years ago.

 

 

Many thanks for that. I must read Laurie's test.

 

I tend to agree with you RE longer term reliability and cost effectiveness of scales. I use a Lee Perfect Powder measure and an elderly RCBS 10-10 tuned I believe by your good self and sporting a camera plus attachment (connected to a macbook laptop) together with an RCBS trickler and can get very consistent results to probably less than a tenth each time. It's a bit of a lengthy time consuming process though when I have over a 100 to load at one time, often in different cals, which is frequently!

 

Anything to speed that process up would be welcomed but I won't be buying into digital scales as I've heard too many reports of "issues" with most (bar the RCBS C-M which seems to be amongst the best of them).

 

I had pinned my hopes on the Harrel being the answer but may now put that idea on hold for a while.

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Varm, here are some limited data on the Harrel style powder thrower.

 

MIne is actually a Neil Jones Custom model,but very similar to Harrel models.

 

I set the 5-10 RCBS beam scales (tuned by Targetmaster Alan) for a load of 44g using V 140,and set the Jones to as near that as I could (it has small click adjust) without fiddling too much,and aiming for .1g consistency (ie .05 above ,or below-with the average kernel around .025 approx-I didn't count them-that's about +/- 3 kernels throw precision.)

 

I threw the JOnes into the scale pan ,and "trickled up" with kernels by finger,reducing pan was by dipping a probe (ball point pen) into pan and removing a few kernels.

Here are the data in terms of kernels above,exact,below the target scale weight:

 

7 were above (1,2,2,3,3,4,4);7 were exact ; 7 were below (1,1,3,3,3,3,3)

 

Only a 21 throw sample (it's cold up there,and cold hands don't make for perfect handling) -but quite a nice distribution,as one would expect statistically for a claimed accuracy of .1g

Only used this weight and powder,but should be ball park for stick extruded,and V140 is in general use.

 

ES is 4 kernels (from target weight,or 7 if +/- taken); SD is 1.3 kernels

 

A small adjust to throw consistently below the target weght removed the overthrows,as would be expected-these are more of a nuisance in that accurate removal is a tad more fiddly than adding up a few kernels. Adjusted loads took 30 seconds total-less if only adding.(The number of kernels is so small,that any manual/power trickler is considerably slower than the digital method of adding kernels-if doing a lot I might prearrange little groups of say 4 kernels-but the above data were counted individually to espablish some baseline.

 

The Jones/Harrel is pretty fast. Brass to powder loaded was an easy 10 per minute-way faster than any alternative (and with the above levels of accuracy-maybe better with a fine tune adjust.) and thats from pick up in tray to return loaded to tray-but no coffee.

Any powder thrower will do quite well,throwing low and 'trickling up'-but the closer you can throw to the rarget load,the easier and quicker the top up will be-three digital kernels beats any electronic device,for example....but we're in the few seconds ball park,and we all like some toys....and keeping up with the .......err...Joneses. :-)

 

G

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That's pretty impressive George and more than accurate enough bearing in mind brass to brass volume discrepancies. Even if brass were batched by volume, slight variances in neck tension would likely account for more deviation from POA than 4 kernels either side ever would. I'd be more than happy with that. Having said that, by the time you paid for one of those along with micrometer dial, shipping, customs clearance and VAT it would possibly be more expensive than the Harrel premium Custom models and considerably more expensive than the RCBS C-M Lite. I think I'll stick with the 10-10 scales and Lee Perfect measure for now.

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