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Nullus Anxietas
posted
Merry Christmas to me!

New Year's Eve, as is our tradition, just after midnight I called my best friend of 48 years to wish him and his wife a Happy New Year. Near the end of the conversation he asked "By the way: Would you like to have my reloading press? I can't use it any more." Seriously? Yeah... uh... okay?

Went over there Saturday to pick up the "reloading press." Here's what resulted...



To say I was a bit taken-aback would be the understatement of the decade. (Yeah, that really is a Ransom Rest over on the right side.)

Took inventory yesterday, once I got it all in from the truck:

  • RCBS Rock Chucker Reloading Press
  • RCBS .45 ACP carbide die set
  • RCBS .30-06 die set
  • RCBS #3, #6 and #27 Shell Holders

  • Lee Hand Press Kit
  • Lee Auto Prime Shell Holder Set (missing #6)

  • Lyman #55 Powder Measure
  • Lyman Powder Measure Stand
  • Lyman Powder Measure Baffle
  • Lee Powder Measure Kit (missing .3 cc)
  • RCBS Powder Trickler

  • Dillon Precision CV-500 Case Vibratory Cleaner (w/media)
  • Dillon Precision CM-500 Case/Media Separator

  • Dillon Precision .45 ACP Case Gage
  • Forester Products Case mouth chamfer/bevel/reamer (?) (see photo below)
  • Lee Chamfer and Deburring Tool
  • RCBS Case neck brushes & handle
  • RCBS Primer Pocket Brush Combo
  • RCBS Primer Tray-2
  • RCBS Case Lube Pad
  • Dillon Precision Case Lube
  • Primer pocket cleaner/reamer (?) (see photo below)

  • Plastic measuring cup
  • Small red funnel
  • Dozens of plastic ammo cases

  • Various powders
  • .45 ACP bullets, FMJ, 230 gr., about 850
  • 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .223 Rem., 5.56mm, .38 SPL brass

  • Stack of reloading books

  • Ransom Pistol Rest

And he says there's probably more he hasn't come across, yet. (E.g.: I have part of a chrono. Primers.)

Here are the two tools in question:



I've been idly considering reloading for years and years, but, always the Catch-22 situation: Spend what I had to on reloading gear and I'd starve myself of ammo for a good long while. Guess that's not a problem, now!

So the question is: What else will I need? I know I'll need a scale (he kept that). And, of course, dies for what I want to reload, as well as primers, powder and bullets. Something to measure case lengths and overall lengths? Case trimmer? What else?

Suggestions for a scale? I'm thinking that, for .308, I'll want to weigh everything, every time. If I end up doing .223/5.56 or any pistol, I'll probably only weigh to calibrate the thrower and then every XX loads.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: ensigmatic,




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
 
Posts: 10540 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alea iacta est
Picture of exx1976
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The two tools in question are a chamfer/debur tool (on the left) and a flash hole uniformer (on the right, with the handle).

To use the first tool, the cone shaped piece is inserted into a rifle case mouth and turned to angle (or chamfer) the inside of the case mouth. This makes it easier to seat rifle bullets without damaging the jackets. The other end of the tool removes burrs from the outside of the case mouth.

Generally, this tool is only used after you trim the case, and are used EVERY time you trim the cases.

The other tool is for uniforming flash holes. The collar is loosened and slid up and down the shaft to center the tool in the case. Basically, loosen it and slide it all the way toward the handle. Then the pin goes into the case mouth, and down into flash hole. While holding it in the flash hole, slide the collar down to center the tool in the case mouth. Additionally, it prevents the tool from going too deep into the case and removing too much material from the flash hole. I have one of these tools, but don't use it. Lapua brass generally doesn't require this step since the flash holes are drilled, not punched. Brass where the flash hole is created using a punch can leave a hanging chad that can potentially obscure the flash hole, and needs to be removed.



The rest of your kit looks like a good start. You need a scale. You should also get a bullet puller (an inertia hammer is like $20), and yes, you'll need dies for the calibers you want to load, as well as powder/primer/bullets.

For measuring, just about any caliper will do. I use a digital caliper I got from Harbor Freight for $10. I've had it 5 or so years, and it's still on the original battery. No problems.

I also like loading blocks for single stage pressesn. Frankford Arsenal makes blue ones that are on clearance at Midway from time to time for like $3. When they are, I usually stock up for new cartridges.

If you plan to load rifle brass, you'll need a trimmer. There are bench trimmers that are hand operated (or you can purchase a drill attachment for like an electric screwdriver) that will trim just about any size brass out there for less than $100. Or you can purchase caliber-specific ones like World's Finest Trimmer or the Giraud Tri-Way. These chuck up in a hand drill and are much faster. The benefit of the Giraud is that is also chamfers and deburs all in one step, so you don't need to use that little hand tool after trimming.

As for a scale suggestion, it depends on your budget. The best value for the money seems to be the GemPro 250. Resolution of .02gr, pretty good accuracy, and can be had online for somewhere in the $100-150 range IIRC.

We're here to answer additional questions as you progress.

Nice score, and happy new year!




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15317 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of fredj338
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Let me know if you want to get rid of the Ransom rest.


IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
 
Posts: 7574 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of sourdough44
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Congratulations. I would start by reading one or more of the reloading manuals/books.

No matter their age they would still be of use, reference current ones too.
 
Posts: 2720 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You've received some good answers from exx1976 already, let me ask a few questions.

1- I'm guessing this is a new area to you. Is your friend willing or able to help set this up for you? Reason I'm asking is that this is a lot of equipment to start and it would be very useful to have a mentor to make sure it's all set up properly. Absent that, yes read the books, read them, then read them again and ask questions.

2- Do you have plans to get really involved in this or you just took the it because it was your friend? Reason I'm asking that one is to have an idea of the level of equipment that should be suggested for you to buy.

3- More as comments: The #3 shellholder from RCBS is for the .45ACP and the .30-06 (as well as the .308 Winchester and any of the cartridges derived from the .30-06 and the .308. On the pistol side, that shellholder is only for the .45ACP.

The #6 is for the .38 and .357 cartridges and a few very obscure rifle cartridges.

The #27 is for the .40 S&W and .357 SIG cartridges and not for any rifle cartridges that I can remember.

The .223 requires a #10 shellholder and the 9MM uses a #16, if memory serves.

4- The lube pads would lead you to consider using RCBS lube or some other poor lube method. Ignore the pad and start with Imperial Sizing wax from the beginning and you will be much better served.

5- The missing #6 shellholder for the Lee priming tool is not an issue. It's used for old rifle cartridges like the 25/20 and the 32/20.

You have a good friend, and I hope he's not abandoning reloading because of bad health.

I just reread your post and you did say you were new to this, so read books or ask your friend for help in setting up, if that's possible.
 
Posts: 2354 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of sigcrazy7
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If you are needing a shell holder for the .308 anyway, a Redding competition set sure is nice. You can get to your desired headspace much more quickly than you can by moving dies.



[i]
 
Posts: 4646 | Location: Utah | Registered: December 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Dances With
Tornados
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For me, lots of good bright light to see, sure makes it easier.
 
Posts: 6364 | Registered: October 26, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Muzzle flash
aficionado
Picture of flashguy
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That Lyman #55 powder measure is extremely flexible--it can load from very small to very large capacities with good repeatability. It is necessary to develop a consistent methodology, though: I start with the drop lever "down", position the case, move the lever up for a little less than a second, then down, and flip the little knocker twice before removing the case. For me this gives a consistent load. It's best to keep the powder reservoir at least half full, too.

flashguy




Texan by choice, not accident of birth

When they ask me, "Paper or plastic?" I just say, "Doesn't matter to me. I am bi-sacksual."
 
Posts: 17876 | Location: Dallas, TX | Registered: May 08, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by exx1976:
The two tools in question are a chamfer/debur tool (on the left) and a flash hole uniformer (on the right, with the handle).

Well, I guess I know enough to have guessed what these were Smile. Thanks. And thanks for the instructions on their use--particularly the flash hole uniformer.

quote:
Originally posted by exx1976:
I have one of these tools, but don't use it. Lapua brass generally doesn't require this step since the flash holes are drilled, not punched. Brass where the flash hole is created using a punch can leave a hanging chad that can potentially obscure the flash hole, and needs to be removed.

And reloaded brass...?

quote:
Originally posted by exx1976:
The rest of your kit looks like a good start.

LOL! Good "start"

quote:
Originally posted by exx1976:
You should also get a bullet puller (an inertia hammer is like $20),

He has one. It missed the first load. He's set it aside for me.

quote:
Originally posted by exx1976:
For measuring, just about any caliper will do. I use a digital caliper I got from Harbor Freight for $10. I've had it 5 or so years, and it's still on the original battery. No problems.

I have an inexpensive digital caliper I bought at a local tool store, years ago. I don't know as I trust it for this job (though I don't know as it's ever led me wrong on anything else). For one thing: If I leave the battery in, it'll be dead in six months or a year. But, I can get another. They're not expensive, any more. (Suggestions for a "decent" one welcome.)

quote:
Originally posted by exx1976:
I also like loading blocks for single stage pressesn.

There's a clear plastic box with a package label that reads "loading block(s)," but, no loading blocks. I'll ask him about them. Anyway: On the list.

quote:
Originally posted by exx1976:
If you plan to load rifle brass, you'll need a trimmer.

I wondered about that. I plan to start with reloading for my tack-driver: A Remington 700PS in .308 Win. It can already do sub-MOA with 168 gr. Federal GMM. I'd start out trying to duplicate that load and work from there. Then maybe .223/5.56, but, probably not on a large scale. I don't know as I'd be inclined to do any handgun loads on a single-stage press.

Though I do have those .45 ACP dies. And bullets. But, no .45 ACP pistol.

I was looking at vulrath's "Little Crow Gunworks WFT Trimmer" thread and idly perusing Amazon, last night. Going to take more research and thought.

quote:
Originally posted by exx1976:
As for a scale suggestion, it depends on your budget. The best value for the money seems to be the GemPro 250. Resolution of .02gr, pretty good accuracy, and can be had online for somewhere in the $100-150 range IIRC.

Noted.

quote:
Originally posted by exx1976:
We're here to answer additional questions as you progress.

Thanks!

quote:
Originally posted by exx1976:
Nice score, and happy new year!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Birthday, for me, all in one go!

(Though I wonder if he did me any favours. Near as I can tell, even before dies, I have about another $300 worth of stuff to acquire... *sigh*)

quote:
Originally posted by fredj338:
Let me know if you want to get rid of the Ransom rest.

Will do. TBH: I strongly suspect I won't use it.

quote:
Originally posted by sourdough44:
Congratulations. I would start by reading one or more of the reloading manuals/books.

Thanks! Do you or anyone else have a particular recommendation. A kind of Reloading for Dummies, for starters?

Mind you: Many moons ago I shot handgun metal silhouette with a T/C in 7mm TCU. That was a wildcat round at the time. I was handloading on progressive press at a friend's place. So I kind of more-or-less grasp the basic principles.

quote:
Originally posted by NikonUser:
1- I'm guessing this is a new area to you. Is your friend willing or able to help set this up for you?

That won't be possible. But, see above.

quote:
Originally posted by NikonUser:
2- Do you have plans to get really involved in this or you just took the it because it was your friend? Reason I'm asking that one is to have an idea of the level of equipment that should be suggested for you to buy.

I plan to give it an honest go. But I also want to try to limit the economical impact. So I want good, dependable tools, but, I don't necessarily need the super-duper greatest whiz-bang everything. Then again: Anything that relieves "unnecessary" mundane repetition would be welcome.

TBH: I won't really know until I try it.

quote:
Originally posted by NikonUser:
3- More as comments: The #3 shellholder from RCBS is for ...

Thanks for the shell holder info!

quote:
Originally posted by NikonUser:
4- The lube pads would lead you to consider using RCBS lube or some other poor lube method. Ignore the pad and start with Imperial Sizing wax from the beginning and you will be much better served.

Noted! Thanks!

quote:
Originally posted by NikonUser:
5- The missing #6 shellholder for the Lee priming tool is not an issue. It's used for old rifle cartridges like the 25/20 and the 32/20.

Great.

quote:
Originally posted by NikonUser:
You have a good friend, and I hope he's not abandoning reloading because of bad health.

Unfortunately, that's exactly the problem. Arthritis has brought him low Frown He's been my best friend for nearly a half century and was my favourite shooting companion, too. Best shot I've ever met or known.

quote:
Originally posted by NikonUser:
I just reread your post and you did say you were new to this, so read books or ask your friend for help in setting up, if that's possible.

New-ish, as noted above.

quote:
Originally posted by sigcrazy7:
If you are needing a shell holder for the .308 anyway, a Redding competition set sure is nice. You can get to your desired headspace much more quickly than you can by moving dies.

I'll look into that. Thanks.

quote:
Originally posted by OKCGene:
For me, lots of good bright light to see, sure makes it easier.

Lots of bright, diffused light and cheaters. It's become necessary. *sigh*

quote:
Originally posted by flashguy:
That Lyman #55 powder measure is extremely flexible--it can load from very small to very large capacities with good repeatability. It is necessary to develop a consistent methodology, though: I start with the drop lever "down", position the case, move the lever up for a little less than a second, then down, and flip the little knocker twice before removing the case. For me this gives a consistent load. It's best to keep the powder reservoir at least half full, too.

Noted!

I expected to get a decent scale, then experiment with that thrower to figure out what made it work most consistently.

I suspect that may change from power-to-powder, too?

Thanks, everybody, for all the hints, suggestions and the welcome!




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
 
Posts: 10540 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Plowing straight ahead come what may
Picture of Bisleyblackhawk
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The ABC's Of Reloading is a a good first book...probably the best...

https://www.amazon.com/ABCs-Re...8/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

Also... Modern Reloading by Richard Lee...it is written with LEE products in mind, but it is a a good source of general reloading info...

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=n...ern+reloading+2nd+ed

Another good source of info is this website...

http://ammosmith.com/forum/index.php


********************************************************

"we've gotta roll with the punches, learn to play all of our hunches
Making the best of what ever comes our way
Forget that blind ambition and learn to trust your intuition
Plowing straight ahead come what may
And theres a cowboy in the jungle"
Jimmy Buffet
 
Posts: 6498 | Location: Southeast Tennessee...not far above my homestate Georgia | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alea iacta est
Picture of exx1976
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Yep, how accurately a particular powder measure throws powder definitely depends on the powder. Different types of powders work best in different types of measures.

If you're going to be loading for a "tack driving" bolt gun, and want the best accuracy you can get, I'd use the powder measure to throw short, and then trickle up to your final weight. There are many different tricklers out there, from Redding ones for probably $20-30 to some motorized ones around $70-100 or so (that are ALWAYS out of stock) to some fully automated setups like jlemmy & I are using (fx120i and autotrickler.com, about $750). Take a look at jlemmy's thread on the fx120 for a good youtube video.


You may also want somewhere to keep track of what components you have on hand, and store your load data. If you are an android user, might I suggest: https://play.google.com/store/...s.reloadersinventory


Smile

Enjoy!




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15317 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Plowing straight ahead come what may
Picture of Bisleyblackhawk
posted Hide Post
One thing to keep in mind...when you need replace your tumbler media...I've been using ground walnut lizard litter for years (it's fine enough to not clog .223)...you can buy it at Petco or sometimes Amazon has huge bags bags on sale w/free shipping with Prime.


********************************************************

"we've gotta roll with the punches, learn to play all of our hunches
Making the best of what ever comes our way
Forget that blind ambition and learn to trust your intuition
Plowing straight ahead come what may
And theres a cowboy in the jungle"
Jimmy Buffet
 
Posts: 6498 | Location: Southeast Tennessee...not far above my homestate Georgia | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of sigcrazy7
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Don't let exx1976 scare you. You don't need $1k scales and $750 tricklers to get started. He reloads like he tells time... on a Rolex. Smile

You can make nice ammo with a beam scale like a rcbs 5-0-2 or 10-10.

exc1976, that is a compliment. You have some nice stuff! But we should make the newbs think they're going to save money until they are hooked. Big Grin



[i]
 
Posts: 4646 | Location: Utah | Registered: December 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Dances With
Tornados
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by sigcrazy7:
Don't let exx1976 scare you. You don't need $1k scales and $750 tricklers to get started. He reloads like he tells time... on a Rolex. Smile

You can make nice ammo with a beam scale like a rcbs 5-0-2 or 10-10.

exc1976, that is a compliment. You have some nice stuff! But we should make the newbs think they're going to save money until they are hooked. Big Grin


Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin

.
 
Posts: 6364 | Registered: October 26, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by sigcrazy7:
Don't let exx1976 scare you.

Nah, I ain't a-skeered Smile

quote:
Originally posted by sigcrazy7:
You can make nice ammo with a beam scale like a rcbs 5-0-2 or 10-10.

Been researching digital scales. Interestingly: In the price-conscious category, the Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Precision Scale, which retails for around $85, gets good reviews: 4.6, 4.7 and 4.8 out of five at Amazon, Cabela's and Midway, respectfully. Way better than any other digital scale in that price range.

That scale is currently on sale at Cabela's for $50, which is a killer deal. I almost >< bit. But, it'll be months, at least, before I'll be set up, so I (reluctantly) passed.

In the meantime: My buddy has unearthed a PACT electronic powder measure I can have. That interfaces with PACT's scale, which, while it rates well, costs more like $130-$140.

quote:
Originally posted by sigcrazy7:
... we should make the newbs think they're going to save money until they are hooked. Big Grin

Yeah, only thing is: I've been hanging out on gun forums for a good long while. I know better. You don't save money, you just shoot more Wink

Bisleyblackhawk and exx1976: Your comments noted. Thanks again!

Next I have to qualify a case length trimmer...




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
 
Posts: 10540 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of sigcrazy7
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Call me old fashioned, but I sure do like having a beam scale on hand to check any electronic scale against. I'd hate to find out my e-scale failed the hard way.

I know you're an old hand. I just wanted to comment on exx1976's stuff. It's always so nice and beyond my budget. Smile



[i]
 
Posts: 4646 | Location: Utah | Registered: December 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of fredj338
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quote:
Call me old fashioned, but I sure do like having a beam scale on hand to check any electronic scale against. I'd hate to find out my e-scale failed the hard way.I know you're an old hand. I just wanted to comment on exx1976's stuff. It's always so nice and beyond my budget.

You can't really check one scale with another UNLESS it has been verified with certified check weights. By those for any scale, elec or balance.


IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
 
Posts: 7574 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
slam fires
Picture of 45 Cal
posted Hide Post
Your friend gave you the basic I started with in the late sixties early seventies.
It certainly will work,fact of the matter I still have that old press and use to size my 06 and 223.
That is about all I shoot lately .
I did not stay with that setup but a few years and I drank the Dillon coolaid early in the seventies.
Had to,two sons with mini-14's and they caught the shooting bug.
Manuel's are good and testing a must.
Time will come you will light on favorite loads,bullets and brands
I have loaded my favorites I need no manual as they are burned into my old brain.
BTW I am still using the old rcbs balance beam,it serves me well.
Best of luck on your new hobby.
 
Posts: 20762 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by sigcrazy7:
Call me old fashioned, but I sure do like having a beam scale on hand to check any electronic scale against. I'd hate to find out my e-scale failed the hard way.

That had occurred to me.

It did not escape my attention that the two most popular powder measure scales at Brownell's, and the second most popular at Midway, are beam scales.

quote:
Originally posted by sigcrazy7:
I know you're an old hand. I just wanted to comment on exx1976's stuff. It's always so nice and beyond my budget. Smile

*nod* Smile My budget is quite limited, as well.

But, I have time. Before I can build my reloading bench I have to remodel the room in which it'll go. ("Remodel" means strip it down to studs, bare outside walls, ceiling [floor above] joists, and concrete floor, then put all new stuff in--the right way.) Before I can do that I have to clear the room. Before I can do that I have to make room in the rest of the basement, which means Getting Rid Of Stuff.

Soooo... it'll be a bit Wink

quote:
Originally posted by fredj338:
You can't really check one scale with another UNLESS it has been verified with certified check weights. By those for any scale, elec or balance.

Pretty much all the scales I've been looking at come with one or two calibration weights.

I might be inclined to buy a complete set, anyway, as opposed to a separate scale. Your point is well-taken.

quote:
Originally posted by 45 Cal:
Best of luck on your new hobby.

Thanks!




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
 
Posts: 10540 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of sigcrazy7
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by fredj338:
quote:
Call me old fashioned, but I sure do like having a beam scale on hand to check any electronic scale against. I'd hate to find out my e-scale failed the hard way.I know you're an old hand. I just wanted to comment on exx1976's stuff. It's always so nice and beyond my budget.

You can't really check one scale with another UNLESS it has been verified with certified check weights. By those for any scale, elec or balance.


I just use it to check for big variances, not to calibrate anything. Question: Do you use calibration weights every time you set up, or just every now and then? I typically don't do it often, but I'm curious what best practice is. I'm thinking probably should check every time.

Edit to add:
I use the beam scale to check because until recently I had to operate my electronic scale on batteries, and once the scale got squirrelly in the middle of a session when the batteries got low. I was hand throwing charges before a trickler, so didn't notice the scale wandering. I started using the beam pan on my escale, and then sitting it over on the beam before the case periodically to check.



[i]
 
Posts: 4646 | Location: Utah | Registered: December 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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