If you are a person who creates your own ammunition you probably have realized that there is a big savings in reloading your own cartridges. Not only is it away to create ammunition that is often times more accurate than what you would get from the manufacturer or in the store, but there is a considerable savings that can be made when you were buying the materials to make your own cartridges.
However, that savings can quickly be lost if you are not accurately measuring out such things as gunpowder. Your great cost-saving endeavor can quickly turn against you and this is why it is important that you get an accurate scale to assist you in making sure that your gunpowder is not wasted.
Buyer’s Guide : How to Choose the Most Accurate Reloading Scale?
Before discussing the best options for scales, it is important for you to understand what makes for an accurate and good quality scale. So here are some things to pay attention to:
Type of Scale
There are two primary types of scales that you can purchase: digital and mechanical or balance beam. The digital scale is one that is measuring your powder electronically, while the mechanical or balance beam scales are allowing you to do this manually. Some find the manual more accurate, it’s really a question of what you like best.
No matter which kind of scale your speaking of, you want to look for something that provides you with a great deal of sensitivity, at least 1/10 grain inaccuracy. This will give you great precision and ensure that you don’t have waste.
Whether you are planning on doing a small number of cartridges or a big batch, being able to weigh the amount you are looking for at any time is an important consideration. Make sure you get a capacity that fits how you reload your cartridges.
If you are a person who reloads your cartridges while you’re out at the range or out on a hunting trip, then you need something that’s going to be durable. The more mobile you need your scale to be more durable you needed to be.
Of course price is always a concern. While you want the highest possible quality scale, you also want to get one that works well within your budget, so having an idea of the other kinds of factors that matter to you most will help you to determine what you can afford.
Have Some Confidence…
6 Best Digital Electronic Scales on the Market!
Now that you have some ideas about important factors to pay attention to when choosing a scale. For those who are deciding that they would like the digital scale option, here are my top six digital scales that I discovered.
#1 RCBS Chargemaster Combo 1500, 110V-AC
- Made of extremely high quality materials that keep it stable and make it durable
- Perfect scale for those who were on the go
- Great capacity area
- Display screen makes it easy to choose exact measurements
- High precision accuracy
- Did have some issues with getting it to zero out
- Some report that the electronic portion will have issues
The precision of this scale is +/- 0.1 grains and I was able to dispense anywhere from between two up to 300 grains. The precision of the scale is amazing, ensuring I got an accurate amount of powder for every time that I measured, perfect for those who want to ensure they are not wasting powder during reloading.
Extremely fast in terms of your ability to get the powder amount you want to weigh out correctly, and the display is easy to use so that you can get the exact kind of measurements you are looking for. You will be amazed at how quickly this cuts your reloading time, and you are able to use it with the multitude of different kinds of powders.
A great design that is extremely durable. You can easily take this anywhere, and it allows you to use batteries to keep it charged on the go. Absolutely loved it.
#2 Hornady 050108 Electronic Scale, 1500 Grain
- A high quality scale which gives you great precision in measurement
- LCDs display is large and easy to read, and it is easy to use the controls on scale
- Comes with additional tools that make it easier to get accurate cartridges
- Easy to set up and you can plug it in to an outlet virtually anywhere you go
- Can be a real challenge to get the scale to initially zero
- Does not weigh the water volume of cartridges
- Must be careful of where you set the scale as even a small breeze can cause inaccurate readings
There is a large LCD display, which makes it easy to read and it is lit, so even if you were out creating cartridges as the sun is going down, you can still get a good reading with your powder without giving away your position. Plus, it gives you precision up to one tenth of a grain. You can easily weigh bullets, powder, cartridges, cases, and much more.
Included with the scale are a variety of measuring tools, which not only include micrometers and calipers, but you also get tools that allow you to measure rim thickness, the seating depth of your bullet, and other tools that help to create uniformity in each cartridge you make. This is a great scale built to give you an accurate card each and every time. You also like the fact that is so small that it easily fits on your workbench area without taking up much room.
#3 RCBS Scales Chargemaster Lite 120/240 Vac-US/Intl
- Provides great accuracy
- Durable design that makes it easy to take with you wherever you are going
- Easy to use and read LCD interface and display
- If you have used an RCBS scale before, you will find that this is a great improvement over previous models
- Very difficult to be able to initially calibrated it to zero
- You must allow the scale to warm to get an accurate reading
- I was dissatisfied with the level of service the company provided
The LCD display is easy to read and easy to use. This is one of the things that I really loved about the scale, because it took a very short learning curve for me to be able to get the amount of powder I needed and every time. The interface is just excellent, and you will love how responsive it is.
Setting the calibration is easy. It is a durable device that enables you to be able to take it with you wherever you want. Battery-operated if you so desire. I personally like the fact that it was built as a rather small device, making it easy to store on my workbench or to take with me. Really ideal for the on the go hunter.
#4 Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Precision Scale with LCD Display and Case for Reloading
- A great-looking scale that comes in a fantastic case
- Accessories included in the kit make it a worthwhile investment
- Fantastic accuracy, and you can calibrate in four different forms of measurements
- Easy to use, and allows you to keep it powered in three different ways
- Molded plastic storage case protects this scale and helps to keep it durable
- Can be difficult to get it to zero and keep it that way
- The smallest air currents can cause challenges with getting accurate readings
This is one of the easiest scales you will find to use, which can either run on 110 V, 220 V, or by using for AAA batteries. It will automatically shut off after 180 seconds of idle time making sure that your power is not wasted. Plus, you will like the fact that its size makes it that you could store it virtually any place, even when it is out of the case.
Included with the scale and case, are calibration weights, a metal powder Pam, a storage case, the adapters for power supply, and a clear protective cover. This is a scale that is specifically built to give you maximum potential in terms of the hand loads you are creating, and you will love the fact that you can take this with you anywhere you go. Plus, it has a large black lit display that makes it easy to read no matter where you are.
#5 American Weigh Scales GEMINI-20 Portable Milligram Scale
Included with the scale is a carrying case that also provides you with such things as tweezers, calibration weight, and a tray. They flip down shield protects the scale, so not only do you get accurate measurements but you do not have to worry about the scale being damaged, as this is an extremely durable and hard plastic.
There are six different weight units that you can use, including ounces, grams, and grains among three others. The diameter of the scale is 1.3 inches, and is made of a strong stainless steel to give you a great scale. There are separate on and off buttons, along with an easy to read LCD display. The user guide is easy to follow, and included are two different 10 g calibration weights.
What many have liked is that the company has completely redesigned the weighing platform, making it much more accurate and easy to use. Not only can you weigh powder and cartridges, but virtually any kind of material you would like, as I was even able to weigh tea extract and different supplements I have been using to improve my health.
#6 Frankford Arsenal DS-750 Digital Reloading Scale with LCD Display
- Great design that is portable and allows you to take it anywhere easily, sliding it into your pocket
- Accurate scale that comes with great accessories
- Sharp looking design with easy-to-read display
- Amazing how accurate it can be despite its compact design
- You have to be diligent about keeping the pan to the center of the scale to get the right measurement
- It is good to have the scale on for a brief time before use, like a few minutes, to get it to accurately measure
- The tare can begin to decrease in value with prolonged use
The digital LCD display is easy to read, and contains a blue backlight that improves ability to read. An auto shut off occurs after 60 seconds of nonuse, and it is powered by using two AAA batteries. The scale allows you to measure and one of four different units, which include grains, grams, ounces, and carrots, and it provides both tare and counting functions.
Despite being a small scale, it is an extremely durable one that comes with a protective cover to not only ensure that the scale is protected but also to ensure that the mechanisms inside are protected so that they do not become damaged. Included is a powder pan, a calibration weight, and a soft carrying case.
The fact that it performs so well and is easy to transport makes it a worthwhile scale to take with you no matter what purpose you need it for. Out-of-the-box you are able to use it, and you will enjoy how simplistic it is.
6 Best Mechanical or Balance Beam Scales on the Market!
While the digital scales can be a great option, as you have seen many have issues with their ability to zero out. This is why there are those who are much more comfortable with using either the mechanical or balance being scales and here are six you may want to consider.
|#1 Ohaus 30332167 10-10 Reloading Scale|
|#2 RCBS 98916 M1000 Mechanical Scale|
|#3 Redding Reloading – Powder & Bullet Scale #2 Master|
|#4 RCBS M500 Mechanical Scale|
|#5 Hornady 050109 Lock-N-Load Balance Beam Scale|
|#6 LEE PRECISION Safety Scale|
Most Frequently Asked Questions
I am frequently asked questions by friends and family related to issues or purchases, and so I have put together a list of some of the common questions I receive related to reloading scales. Hope these help.
Why you need a reloading scale?
If you are going to be creating your own rounds then a reloading scale is absolutely essential. You have to be able to accurately measure the amount of powder you are using in each cartridge, and a scale is the only way you can do that. This also helps you to prevent wasting powder which can become a costly mistake.
Why does everyone measure powder in grains?
The reason behind this is simple. To throw charges with a minimal amount of variation, you want to make sure that you have the same charge for the powder each and every time. To do so, you are looking to get as accurate of a measurement as possible and grains is far more accurate than any other standard unit, especially that of grams or ounces.
As an example, there are more than 15 grains in every gram, which would be much harder to determine if you only needed one fourth of a gram. It makes much more sense to simply go with the grain measurement to get the more accurate value.
What else can I measure with the reloading scale other than powder charge?
The truth is that you could measure just about anything. It really depends upon the kind of scale you’re using, as some are not able to measure liquids, but we have seen in this review that I actually used a couple of the scales to measure other kinds of substances.
Something not allow you to measure the water volume for cartridges, and you will likely find that in many of the digital scales this will be an issue. Far less of an issue in the balance beam or mechanical scales.
However, it is important to note that you should not be using your scale to measure others kind of substances than the charging powder. The reason behind this is simple. Even the smallest amount of residue from another substance can deteriorate or corrupt your charging powder, which could have catastrophic results. Make this a single-purpose scale.
Digital vs balance beam reloading scale – what to choose?
There are those who choose the digital scale simply because it is the easiest to use. No argument with that whatsoever. Once you have zero the machine, these can become the easiest things to use. With some scales you simply choose the amount of powder you wish to have dispensed and weighed and it will provide that for you. Some make it easy to simply pour in the amount that you need and get an accurate measurement.
However, I happened to be one who is a strong believer in the mechanical scales. These are much easier to zero, and provide less issues for you. Plus, you don’t have to worry about any kind of power source. Overall accuracy is not as solid, I will agree with that. It’s simply a matter of what you’re used to and what you like best.
How accurate are digital reloading scales?
What we saw is that most of the digital reloading scales give you incredible accuracy. You are able to measure in the 0.01 to 0.1 grains of accuracy. That’s pretty exceptional, and something that no mechanical scale can provide you with. For a person who is looking for the absolute most accurate amount of charging powder with each round they make, you simply can argue with this.
How to take care of a reloading scale?
As with any tools, the better you take care of it the better the device will be. You should always store your scale in a place where it is kept secure, free from getting damaged, and free from being knocked over or continually bumped against. The more wear and tear you subject your scale to the less likely it is to be accurate for you.
Always clean your scale after you’re done using it. This can simply be done by wiping down the scale with a dry paper towel when you are done using it, or cleaning it with a solution of a mild soap and water. You can even use alcohol rubs. Simply make sure that you treat your reloading scale with the greatest amount of respect and it will last for you for years to come.
What is the best powder scale for reloading?
Actually it depends on what you like. All of the ones on this list are built with durable materials, so you want to invest in something that’s going to be around as your enthusiasm and desire to hunt or to shoot competitively are increasing. One of the best things you will love about these kinds of scales is that they are built to last. If you care for your scale and buy a quality product, you can be sure it will be around for that long.
That was a lot of information for you, but it was good stuff that should help you on making the right decision on the kind of reloading scale you need. Just make sure you take the time to decide on what works best for you – digital or mechanical, as well as other factors – and you will have the scale that can work for you for a decade or more.
This review was intended to give you some good information, and I hope I’ve done that. Just remember to be smart and safe in everything you do surrounding the use of your weapon, including the reloading of your cartridges. Do that and your experiences will be better than ever and you will have great ammunition, great equipment, and great fun.