Best Digital Powder Scale

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  • Last Post 04 April 2022
John Alexander posted this 13 February 2021

 My 15 + -- year old Pact just went haywire and showed numbers jumping all over the place.  I understand Pact's turn around time for repairs is often three month. I guess I will find out.  In the meantime I have a year old Lyman Accru Touch 2000 which will do but is slower than the Pact and will drift a bit (as will the Pact) so has to be checked with homemade weights close to the weight of what is being weighed.  Is there something better?

What is the very best digital powder scale for reloading?

It is worthwhile to try the many digital scales on the market for around $20?

I would sometimes like to weigh some things to closer than the + -- 0.1 grain possible with the  Pact or Lyman.  What is on the market that would do that and are they too much trouble (over sensitive) to bother with outside of a real science lab? 

There was a similar thread in 2013 I am hoping something new since then is better.

John

 

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RicinYakima posted this 13 February 2021

The best scale is the GemPro 250 Precision. They have been the scale of choice for high class drug dealers since I was in law enforcement. The will weigh 0.01 grains accurately, and can be set for grams if needed. They are not cheap at about $125, but mine has been stable for five years and always accurate. They are 110 volt and need to be constantly plugged in to work without drifting as they warm up.

PM sent on press. The up ram and up handle press was the solution when people lived in smaller houses and had smaller shops. Down handle presses require the surface nailed to a wall, up handle can be stable with just weight on top.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 13 February 2021

ditto on leaving your digital scale plugged in and ON all the time .  or let it warm up 6 hours before using it.

ken

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John Alexander posted this 15 February 2021

I looked up reviews on the GemPro 250.  They sounded good.  Tried to find on on the internet to buy.  It turns out they stopped making them in 2018. Looks like there are some equivalent to the Genpro250 or better  starting at about $500.

Decided to see if I could get the Pact repaired or buy another since it served well for a long time.  They no longer make them and of course don't service them. Looks like the Lyman may have to do.  There is a ton of little cheap ones on the market.  May try one just for the heck of it. 

John 

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RicinYakima posted this 15 February 2021

When raiding drug labs, there were every kind of cheap electronic scale made, up to 2014 that is. The issue is sensitivity; they are .1 gram which is 1.5 grains! FYI  They may be better now.

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Paul Pollard posted this 15 February 2021

John,

Midway has the RCBS scale which was the same as the PACT. https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1458562485

Never mind. I see it’s discontinued.

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rmrix posted this 15 February 2021

Some of you may remember the Denver Instrument scale advertisements on the inside covers of Handloader and Rifle decades ago. Not inexpensive. A heavy industrial grade scale.

I got one way back when. It has been turned off only a few times in all these years. Rock solid reliable. Next to no drift. 

I load and shoot a lot of match cast bullet rifle loads each year and next to no pistol ammo. I would not own it if the bulk of my loading was thrown charges for handgun.

 

It paid for itself many times over in lack of drama, lack of having to replace one every few years and the confidence that you can weigh 200 bullets, or 50 powder charges and everything gets done with out the scale being the center of attention.  In other words, a very good piece of equipment goes unnoticed.

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RicinYakima posted this 15 February 2021

I bought the one I have now because we had a lightening strike the power pole by my house and fried my Denver Instrument scale. But the GemPro is only 1/4 the size. There are some used scales on eBay, but you never know how good they are.

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Shuz posted this 17 February 2021

Ive had an RCBS electronic scale for over 30 years and have never had a problem with it. I keep it plugged in all the time.

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Squid Boy posted this 18 February 2021

I unplug my electronic scales and feeders after losing a scale and two powder measures to nearby lightning strikes. I have tried overload protection but no joy. Not much will withstand lightning. Squid

"Squid Pro Quo"

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miraton posted this 28 March 2022

I also had a GemPro 250 Precision, but I have to tell you it was a terrible product. I mean, it was one of the least accurate scales that I have ever used, and I don't understand why so many people like it. I mean, it's pretty expensive, I would even say it's overpriced, and it's not worth it, for sure! I mean, even my personal smart weight scale is much more accurate compared to the damn gem pro "precision." I threw it into the trash can only ten days after receiving it, and I don't regret doing that.

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RicinYakima posted this 28 March 2022

Sorry to hear yours was not a good one. I leave mine running 24/7 and weight check it every time I use it. Has not varied in over 7 years. Having use electronic scales in the lab for over 25 years, mine is a jewel. 

Again, sorry yours did not work for you.

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Eutectic posted this 28 March 2022

I have an old RCBS I think it is 25 years old or more. It has a plug-in transformer and also a inboard battery pack. I have hauled it to the range for load development many times.

It has weights for calibration but I was skeptical of the linearity so I made some small stainless steel weights around the usual powder charges and checked them on a precise laboratory balance. I do not leave it plugged in and so far it has been perfect after a 5 minute warm-up.  

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David Reiss posted this 28 March 2022

I bought a Hornady scale about 4 years ago, costing about $50. It has worked flawlessly and is very accurate. I check it with my Ohaus 10-10 scale and it is always dead-on. I should also note that it does not need the usual warm-up time. As soon as it comes on it works. 

As a side note, I decided to try one of the powder dispensing scales from Frankford Arsenal and it is wonderful. Again it works as advertised and is also very accurate, measuring against both my Hornady digital and Ohaus mechanical scales. 

Just my two cents. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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longhunter posted this 29 March 2022

When I started shooting BPCTG guns I needed a scale to weigh 500gr. plus bullets.  I bought a Dillon Electric scale.

I have be using it for over 16 years with no problems ever.  It took me a while to learn the trick of leaving it on or warm it up for a bit. Dillion stands by there products and its affordable also.

Jon

Jon Welda CW5 USA Ret.

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M1fuzz posted this 29 March 2022

Not a powder scale per se but, I recently got a Franklin Arsenal Intellidropper a few months ago. So, I guess it is an electric scale w/ the ability to drop accurate loads of powder. It has been spot on and works like a charm.

They are pretty reasonably priced to begin with but, Scheel’s had them on sale, I had a couple gift cards, and I signed up for a Scheel’s credit card for another bunch of $ off of it. I walked out w/ it spending $70.

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Bud Hyett posted this 29 March 2022

I have several Ohaus/RCBS beam scales that are good. Five decades now of usage and they are still accurate.

I bought the Dillon electronic scale three decades ago; it needs a 30-minute warmup to reliably repeat. As long as you know this and watch the time, it is effective.

My next purchase is the Frankford Arsenal DS-750 Electronic Powder Scale with 750 grain capacity. It does not need a warmup. It repeats reliably. I keep all in my reloading shed with a heater that keeps the inside temperature at 50 degrees.

My check weights are the Sierra .224 53 grain Benchrest bullets. Run them one at a time into the pan until I get to five to assure the scale works under a range of weights.

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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David Reiss posted this 30 March 2022

I forgot to add that my Franklin Arsenal Intellidropper also needs no warm-up. M1Fuzz's post reminded me of that.   

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Lee Guthrie posted this 30 March 2022

I too have the same problem with my Dillon electronic scale,  Wish I would have known about the need to warm up at the beginning, and not from pure accident of use.  Mine still needs reset/recalibration every so often when weighing charges to the nearest .1

(Yes, I know, I cannot shoot well enough to ever tell the difference, but it makes me feel better.) tongue-out

 

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Little Debbie posted this 31 March 2022

I’ve settled on the Lyman 1500 scale. It’s battery operated if you want and does not seem to require being on all the time. My first electronic scale was the PACT and it needed to be on all the time. When it failed I replaced it with the RCBS that I still have. It stays on all the time too. My RCBS powder dispenser also seems to need to be on too. I’ve been using the same Sierra 168 gr bullet for 40 years as a quick check weight. On all four of my electronic scales it weighs 168.1 grains when things are correct. Works on my beam scales too. The two RCBS scales occasionally need to go through the calibration routine. The Lyman never has. I also verify it by using my RCBS Little Dandy measure, it’s always within a .1 grain of the RCBS chart. It’s easy to use to as a bullet and case scale too. It is portable. I’ve purchased three of these (2 for me, the third for my son) I’m very happy with the accuracy and ease of use. I think is still under $80. Price, accuracy, ease of use combines to make it “best”.

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Wm Cook posted this 01 April 2022

Seems like some have had a love hate relationship with electronic scales from the get go. And I thers have had long term relations with a single unit and have been happy.

I have two RCBS small units neatly boxed, put away and totally non functional. My primary is a 7+ year old RCBS Chargemaster that’s been perfect. At least so far it’s been spot on. (knock on wood…pray to heaven….)

About Little Debby’s feedback with the higher end 1500 ($100); I think Lyman has three 1500 scales under $100. I tried the $20 unit and it was a no go. But his experience with the $100 unit seemed pretty solid to me and I’ll give that a try next time. The reason I tried the cheap Lyman 1500 was to weigh bullets in the house away from the shop. It gained .1 grain every time the same bullet was put back on the scale.

The thing that struck me about this post was that with all loading at the range we do a backup is kind of important.

And then old age kicks in and I started to think that old man “back in my day… “ bit and started to reminisce about my old Culver I foolishly sold years back.

Still got the Redding and that with the $100 Lyman would get me by in a pinch.

The automatic powder dispensers are just so huge to pack around and then you add the extra baggage like the extension cord.

If I was starting out cold it would be with the RCBS Charge master (and hope I get lucky and get a reliable one like I have now), the $100 Lyman based on Little Debby’s experience and another Culver.

Good topic.

Bill

My Uncle once told me that you learn something new every day. And when the day comes that you don’t learn anything, well, that’ll be the day after you die.

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