I purchased a digital scale from Dillon Precision over 15 years ago. It plugs into a receptacle near my loading bench. I often check the accuracy of the scale with some Lyman weights. It has been a great scale! Mine is accurate to +/- .1 grain.
Because it's "electronic" and my loading is done in a "mostly unheated" shed in NH, I remove it from the shed when done and keep it in the heated basement. I have a propane heater and heat up the shed for 1/2 hour before going out there to reload!
I got the RCBS ChargeMaseter Combo a few years a go and very happy with it. If I ever go UBER-precise I might look for a slightly more accurate precise on the measurement maybe going down a digit. It has made some very accurate rounds and I am NOT complaining. Of course you can always improve but don't take this as it is anything not worthy as it surely is. YMMV
I also bought a Chargemaster (on sale) a year ago, but have yet to use it. My purchase was more for rifle reloading than pistol. When I retire (soon), I'll be working up loads for my rifles and using my LabRadar to determine velocity vs. accuracy. Can't wait! Less than 1 year away!
I'm not a reloader (yet), but ran across a video the other day that may be of interest...
This is from the youtube channel "Johnny's Reloading Bench". The video, which was released 2 months ago, compares 16 digital scales that range in price from mid-teens to close to $100, if I remember correctly.
For me, being the nerd I am, I did a statistical analysis of the charge weight from the Dillon scale. Once I determined that the standard deviation was +/- .05 grain, I was confident in using it! A .1 grain difference will not cause any over-pressure rounds if I reload close to the max!
As with so many things, it depends on what level of accuracy/precision you need. For some time, I used a Frankfort Arsenal (IIRC) scale that was rated at +/- 0.1gr. That was fine for mid-range pistol rounds and bulk rifle ammo (55gr 223 in my case). But when I started trying to shoot the tiniest groups I could, the scale became a limiting factor in my reloading. I switched over to a GemPro 250, which is rated to +/- 0.02gr, and saw my velocities, SD, and groups all shrink.
Posts: 1976 | Location: NC | Registered: January 01, 2006
There are 2 kinds of electronic scale technology in common use. The load cell is used in cheaper scales and is made up of a series of resistive strain gauges. A resistive straing gauge, is basically, an element that through which the resistance to current changes as it is flexed. While reasonably accurate when in good condition, they have a tendency to drift over when trickling powder. Load cell technology is what's used in most reloading type scales.
The other technology in common use is magnetic force restoration. The easiest way to describe it is as a type of balance beam. The beam is balanced when no weight is on the scale. When a weight is placed on the scale, a computer controlled magnetic force is used to hold the beam in a balanced position. The computer calculates the weight based on the amount of power and magnetic force needed to keep the beam balanced.
Magnetic force restoration scales tend to be found on laboratory quality equipment, and are priced accordingly.
I use a Sartorius Entries 323-1s magnetic force restoration lab balance for weighing rifle powder charges. It easily weighs single kernels of powder, and does not drift under any circumstances. Sartorius, Scientech and A&D all make excellent quality MFR balances.
The Sartorius Entries 64-1s is also an excellent scale.