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how to determine if beam scale is correct

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by lovethesport, Oct 13, 2010.

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  1. lovethesport

    lovethesport Member

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    i setup an ohaus 505 and measured the powder and shot---both bushings are throwings a little more---could this be because of the bushing or the scale---is there anyway to verify or recalibrate the scale

    powder bushing is 17.8gr--scale reads that as 18.00 gr

    shot bushing is 7/8 oz which equals to 382.81 grains---scale reads as 389.6 grains--

    thank you
     
  2. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    The scale may be right. Bushings will vary. You need to get a set of scale check weights. Lyman makes a set that isn't too expensive. Midwayusa and a host of other retailers carry them.
     
  3. brent375hh

    brent375hh TS Member

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    You can buy a set of weights to check it. Jacketed bullets are usually quite close to being what they are suppose to be, but I would not count on it. Can you compare with a friends scale?

    Weight also depends on shot size. A given volume of 8 1/2 will be more than the same volume of 7 1/2.

    I would not be too excited about the variance you are getting on your powder.
     
  4. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Pick out a nickle, dime and a quarter. Drop by some shooting friends homes and weigh them on their scales. If you get consistent weights, you can use them to check your scale. If you want to save your change, you can use a washer, a nut and a small bolt or even a small, medium and larger rock as check weights.

    Bushings are much more likely to be off than your scale. The drop charges for bushings listed in manuals are approximations.

    Pat Ireland
     
  5. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    A dime weighs 35 grains. I use them to check scales a lot.
     
  6. Easystreet

    Easystreet Well-Known Member

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    Quote: "A dime weighs 35 grains. I use them to check scales a lot."

    What year? ;-)

    Yeah, that's pretty close. Close enough for reloading purposes.

    Easystreet
     
  7. Savage99Stan

    Savage99Stan Active Member

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    Take any sierra bullet, weigh it after zeroing your scale. You can count on the Sierras as being within a couple tenths of the specified weight. I visited the factory a while back and was offered the opportunity to test (weigh) any bullets coming off machines. I believe specs were: +/- .1 on match bullets, +/- .3 on hunting. I found nothing worse than plus or minus .1 grain. If the scale measures them right, it should be o.k.
     
  8. Claydotter

    Claydotter Active Member

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    I wouldn`t worry about .2 gr.

    Also,the same bushing will most likely drop a different weight in a progressive loader than it would in a single stage loader.

    Regards, Pete
     
  9. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Check it with a good digital.
     
  10. likes-to-shoot

    likes-to-shoot Well-Known Member

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    I have a Hornaday 505 Beam scale and one thing I do is to slide everything to zero and place the empty pan in its holder. I then turn the single leg (screw) up or down until the balance beam is on zero.

    Its probably close enough just putting it together but to each their own.

    Bill
     
  11. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    <blockquote><I>"Check it with a good digital."</i></blockquote>Assuming that you can afford such a thing, why do so many of the digital scale users I know keep a beam balance handy just to "double check" their digital scales?

    MK
     
  12. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    Unknown, I think a serious study would suggest the folks with the balance beam and a digital simply didn't throw the balance beam away when replaced. I have both for that reason but DO use them often together to ensure reliable readings from both devices. I also use the dime and a .38 special bullet on occasion to make tests.......breakemall......Bob Dodd
     
  13. Leo

    Leo Well-Known Member

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    I worked in the Westinghouse standards lab in Chicago. Electronic scales are always verified by checking with a mechanical balance scale. Electronic scales start with an excited load cell, which no two are alike, that is why there is so much sophisticated circuitry devoted to linerizing the output signal. And this is with lab grade electronic scales costing thousands of dollars. A common $150.00 powder scale in basic calibration is plenty accurate enough for reloading and is conveinent, but has no accuracy edge over a simple, well made balance scale. Unless parts of that Ohaus balance beam are bent, the pivots damaged, or other parts substituted, there is no loss of accuracy. Call the scale good and the bushings lesser tolerance.
     
  14. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I don't use a scale at all but then again I haven't loaded a shell for twenty years.
     
  15. JACK

    JACK Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    Loves. The powder drops are higher due to machine vibration allowing more powder to settle in the bushing. prob the same with the shot drop too. But shot will always vary some because of antimony content. And too remember that your scale needs to be level. If you really want to do it right, start with a level scale and then adjust the scale to match a given that you trust. i.e. the lead drop.

    Barry. Yo are missing some fun. I have a starter MEC grabber for you. $150 plus $15 to ship. It came to my portal under the radar of the web. Nice unit, but it has to go.

    Jack
     
  16. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    The reason i have both is simply to double check the calibration of my electronic scale every now and then. I challenge anyone with any beam scale to get a faster and even more accurate reading vs. my digital scale. With me, the need for my digital was simply speed. I can dump a charge and get its weight almost instantly. When i'm set up loading, i like to spot check routinely and don't always want to fiddle with the beam. Having the calibration option on my digital as well as my balance for reassurance gives me the confidence my charges are correct. This all being said, i just bought this "New in Box" "Old Stock" Pacific Model M scale for pennies on the dollar. I gave me Lee balance to my neighbor.---Matt

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    <I><blockquote>"I challenge anyone with any beam scale to get a faster and even more accurate reading vs. my digital scale."</blockquote></I>No arguments there...<I><blockquote>"The reason i have both is simply to double check the calibration of my electronic scale every now and then."</blockquote></I>...but if you don't trust your digital scale to always be accurate and you need to verify it with a simple beam, why do you insist on using IT instead of the BEAM that you apparently trust?

    Where's the logic in getting fast readings that you have doubts about?

    MK
     
  18. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Matt, I have several balance scales and all are oil reservoir ( hydraulic units) I have to say that they are every bit as fast as my digital. They dont bobble but rather go right to the point and do not have to be warmed up or zero'd in every time I turn it on. I have a Pact BK11 and simply don't trust it like I do the balance beams.
     
  19. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    MK---Trust has nothing to do with it. All scales whether they are beam or digital need to be calibrated and checked. Having a method to calibrate and then double check the claibration is a plus. Make sense??--Matt

    cubancigar2000----I know nothing about those type of beam scales so i'll recant that statement to prevent a shoe being inserted in my mouth.
     
  20. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    Assuming that you understand how to zero and maintain the balance surfaces of your 505, it can be relied on to give you a lifetime of good service. Getting a powder drop that is 0.2g variation from the chart data is pretty good. I would say the scale is dead on. Having a check weight is also a good idea, I use a .17 cal 25 grain rifle bullet for my check weight but any small metal object that you have verfied the weight of will work.

    On the subject of digital Vs balance beam scales, I have both and my confidence still falls on my old RCBS (Ohaus) beam scale that has been with me since the 70's. The digital is faster but it is suseptable to inaccuracy as the battery gets weak.
     
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