Welcome back reloaders!
For this article, I was fortunate enough to find this little scale that's accurate up to 0.05 grains.
Yep, 0.05 grains. If you aren't familiar, most electric reloading scales are only accurate up to 0.1 grains and come at a hefty price. However, those also throw powder as well.
Affordable Reloading Scale
As far as what it's capable of, it has a max weight limit of 20 grams or 308 grains.
Another feature I like about it is that it has a programmable auto-off, which, a lot of those cheap amazon scales won't let you do that, but some will. I like my scales personally to stay on and have a "warm-up" period. I've noticed with a lot of reloading scales will tend to work better after you have them on for a long time.
Moreover, with a 10-year warranty, this scale works great.
Here is a test I performed to put it through the "ringer."
The first test was to see if there was any fluctuation when measuring different amounts of grains.
"What do you mean?"
Well, with a lot of scales, even the reloading scales currently, will fluctuate when you put weights on it. For example, if I put a powder pan with 15 grains of powder on a scale, what you will most likely see is that it will show: 14.8...14.9....then finally 15 grains.
"Is this a deal-breaker?"
No, but for a lot of people, it is. If I see this with scales, it will always make me question the actual reliability among the scale in use. However, make sure you have good batteries in your scale too. Low voltage will result in weird and misleading readings.
For this test, I used 10 different charge weights I varified on an FX-120I scale by 0.05-grain increments and timed them on the Sharpshooter scale.
1st charge weight of 20 grains: 0.73 seconds to target weight. No fluctuation.
2nd charge weight 20.05 grains: 0.74 seconds to target weight. No fluctuation.
3rd charge weight 20.10 grains: 0.72 seconds to target weight. No fluctuation.
4th charge weight 20.15 grains: 0.73 seconds to target weight. No fluctuation.
5th charge weight 20.20 grains: 0.75 seconds to target weight. No fluctuation.
6th charge weight 20.25 grains: 0.72 seconds to target weight. No fluctuation.
7th charge weight 20.30 grains: 0.70 seconds to target weight. No fluctuation.
8th charge weight 20.35 grains: 0.72 seconds to target weight. No fluctuation.
9th charge weight 20.40 grains: 0.73 seconds to target weight. No fluctuation.
10th charge weight 20.45 grains: 0.70 seconds to target weight. No fluctuation.
It is important to note that as the weight increased, the time it took to read the weight did not change by much at all. This shows that the scale is very consistent in response time to read any amount of weight. I performed this same test on other scales I have and it took longer to read larger charges as it increased.
Truweigh vs RCBS Chargemaster
I also wanted to compare this to a scale a lot of people have. Remember, the Chargemaster only reads to 0.1 grains while the Truweigh Sharpshooter scale reads to 0.05 grains.
For this test, I compared readings from 20.05 to 20.45 grains. Both scales were extremely accurate. However, for the 0.05-grain increments in target charge weight, the RCBS Chargemaster had rounded up which is normal. There were no other different readings among the scales. On average the Sharpshooter read target charge weights in 0.73 seconds, while the RCBS Chargemaster read charge weights on an average of 0.75 seconds.
This scale is pretty good and will get the job done. It would be a great addition to any bench. A lot of people will claim that the price of $85 is high for this scale. I agree. However, all of the cheap amazon scales only have warranties up to 2 years or none at all. Most of those cheaper scales will "crap out" on you after a year or two most likely. You might get lucky and have one for a super long time, but, if you have one for more than two years and it finally starts bugging out on you, time to buy a new one. At the average price of $16 and let's say they break every year at some point and you just missed the warranty window (if it has one), 16*10=$160 and that's not including tax, and your time sending it back and forth with the manufacturer dealing with the hassle.
Another thing I had noticed about this scale was the load sensor, it is very sensitive. If you are reloading in a room with a draft, good luck. Fortunately, in my reloading room, I don't have too much of a draft, but messing around with it for a little and occasionally just coughing around it would make it jump a tad. Deal-breaker? I wouldn't necessarily say so. But it is definitely annoying and can cause some problems when weighing out charges.
As always, shoot straight, be safe, and happy reloading!
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Blake has been writing reloading articles for three years and helping out within the community to further enhance reloading education. In his free time, he works within the community to help out new hand-loaders by educating them on the many variables that come with this wonderful hobby. His passion is solely based on educating others so that they may pass on that information to future generations, keeping the art of hand-loading alive.
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