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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ordered one of these for my buddy as a backup. He has a labratory grade scale that came out of a closed chemical company, but it's a pain to use and starting to fade (LCD is going bad).

http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Weigh-G...p/B00ESHDGOI/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

To test against a Ohaus 10-10 (probably the best balance beam reloading scale available) and a Hornady electronic scale, I used a loaded Winchester primer (roughly close to most shotgun powder charges), and a loaded .22lr cartridge (roughly close to most rifle powder charges)

Primer: Smart-Weight 15.44 Ohaus 15.5 Hornady 15.4
22lr: Smart-Weight 51.16 Ohaus 51.25 Hornady 51.2

Obviously not an extensive test, but it seems pretty much with the rounding error to the nearest 10th of a grain to the other two. Quicker to use than the Ohaus (and 1/6 the price), and just as quick to use as the Hornady and 1/3 the price.

It does come with a small pan too, even though it's not shown in the pictures. Scale capacity is enough for most any powder charge necessary (although you may run out of room in the pan and have to substitute another one when you start getting over shotgun levels).
 

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I've had 7 scales now, and the problem with inexpensive (strain gauge, <$500) scales is more often revealed when it needs to constantly be re-zeroed; when the reading flutters; when you tare a pan, remove it, replace it and the scale does not read zero; etc.

While probably not an issue in shotshell reloading, many of these scales do not respond well to trickling. Sometimes their programming refuses to allow a small additional weight to register - its trying to hold against flutter. I've had one digital scale that sure seemed to build in an increasing error the more I trickled . . . probably due to its programming.

I've never tried your particular scale, and it may have reduced the problem of insufficient division points by smartly limiting max capacity to ~300 grains . . . which still requires being able to sense 40,000 different weights while trying to give .001g readability.

Let us know how the scale works out over the longer term . . . I'd sure rather spend $25 when my current scale breaks than another $600 :)

If you're interested in learning more about mag force restoration vs strain gauge balances, the video below might be helpful. But be careful, it can get expensive lol.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Interesting that you mention trickling. I tried "trickling" (I didn't use a trickler, but I don't have a press set up at the moment so I just tapped it into the scale pan from the lid of the powder bottle) 18 grains of red dot into the electronic scale pan to get an idea of the pans capacity (18 grains was about all it would take, so you'd really need a larger pan for this scale). It was .1 grains off compared to my ohaus, further apart then my other readings.

So maybe the cheapie scale would work OK for measuring set powder charges, but maybe not so much for a rifle charge where you're trickling in the last tenth or two.

I'll have to investigate your link when I have some more time tomorrow.
 

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If my experience turns out to be relevant to your scale . . .

It is likely to be most successful when weighing a one-off object starting at 0, eg, putting a bullet directly on the tray. This alone makes the scale a heck of a lot more useful than our typical beam scales lol.

If the scale is tared to a (eg) a 150gr pan so you can weigh powder, the scale goes from 0 to -150gr as you remove the empty pan, then goes past 0 to whatever the powder you put in weighs. Eventually, usually pretty soon, you would see the scale doesn't show -150gr when you remove the pan, or 0 with the empty pan on the tray. Re-zeroing with the pan on can correct this, but eventually you may see the scale thinks the pan weighs (eg) 149.8gr. For me that means its time to recalibrate.

Scales at these prices have limitations, but once you discover them they can still be pretty useful, and close enough for most work.
 
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