bout near needed new pants!

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by DrDenby, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. DrDenby

    DrDenby New Member

    Was at the range today and had a disturbing event.

    I take several guns with me and was anxious to try a new batch of reloads because I experimented with several different powder weights in 40sw and 9mm.

    put one of the higher weight 40 in my SR40c and fired off the first round.

    There was a boom and a kick about equal to my 357mags

    I tried a lower weight and something was still wrong.

    So I tried my Walther in 40 and same results.

    I tried my 9mm CZ75 and it still felt wrong.

    I know the way my guns feel. I have had some for a long time. I have been shooting since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I know when something is wrong.

    Went home, pulled a few bullets, weighed the powder, zeroing and making sure the beam settled right on the mark.

    Everything checked out fine.

    Took my scale over to a buddy's house and used his against mine.

    My 1 month old scale was reading 1.1 grains light!

    Instead of 4.8, I had 5.9 in a round with max 5.0!:eek: (for one of the 40 loads)

    He was kind enough to lend me one of his scales.

    Needless to say I will be on the phone with Lee in the morning!

    And I have a LOT of bullets to pull and reload:mad:

    Fortunately I have them labeled and with sampled bullet pulling can tell how far back I need to go.

    Anyone else have similar scares?

    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016
  2. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

    I got the Lee beam scale{cheapo} with my press kit and I never even once used it during actual loading. IMO it took to long weighing the powder so I bought a Hornady G2 1500 electronic scale.
    Good thing you figured out what the problem was before you had a gun go boom in your hand.

  3. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    Do yourself a favor, buy a digital scale,
    They are not very expensive...

    you will be glad you did.

    Carl Crosby and C. D. Bates like this.
  4. DrDenby

    DrDenby New Member

    It's what I shoulda done too Buster.

    I hear ya Jim.

    Been looking at digital scales.. the G2 1500 is $33 at Midway and will add that to my order along with lots of other stuff to take advantage of the free shipping deal for 1 time order thats going on until 7/31

  5. MagBlackhawk

    MagBlackhawk Patriot

    I've been using the same Lyman balance beam scale since 1980.
    Maybe I should get a back up?
  6. greg_r

    greg_r Well-Known Member

    I have a Lyman and a Hornady balance beam scales. They are my primary scales. I also have a Lee balance beam scale. It also is accurate, but like buster40c says it takes a while to settle down.

    I'm going to take a differing view on the Hornady G2 1500. I don't like mine at all. It does not like to always go back to zero. I will set the tare to zero, weight out my powder charge and dump into the case. When I put the empty pan back on the scale it may go back to zero or it may not. I've had it show a weight of up to 2.0 grains, though more commonly it's between 1.1 to 1.3. It probably does this about once every 10 or so charges.

    My brother got a Hornady single stage kit for Christmas last. It has an electronic scale also, but not the 1500. It does the same thing.
  7. DoubleR

    DoubleR Active Member

    Glad you figured out the problem.
    My recommendation is to always have two different scales and randomly check accuracy like you did with your friends. We do ours every 100-250 rounds. Has saved a lot of pulling over the years.
    On the digital scale front I just want to warn you to read reviews. Lots of them. There are good and bad ones out there and it's hard to sort threw them sometimes.
    Also be very aware of any drafts or wind when measuring powder. Even with a digital.
    Let us know how it all turns out!
  8. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

    I don't remember the brand name of the balanced beam scale I used in 1978-82, but do remember it was a true balance scale (two baskets). It was slow, but completely reliable when clean - and simple to 'calibrate'. Clean is the operative word here; gotta keep a balance scale clean and undinged. That knife-edge is notoriously dingable, and it is crucial for accuracy.

    Nowadays I use an AWS DIA-20 electronic scale. Cost me over $100 (it measures in grams and carets as well as grains, broadening its utility). In the grains scale it is supposedly accurate to .01 grain. In my experience, in my environment, it is repeatable to .05 grains. It does take 15 minutes or so to stabilize after power-up, using the tare reading as the test.
  9. Reloader54

    Reloader54 Reloader54

    I got a RCBS balance scale when I bought the RCBS reloading starter kit. I also found that the manual powder dispenser would not give accurate amounts of powder with every pull. So I got a Lee electronic powder dispenser/scale. And I've no problems with powder weights. I got it from Midway USA. And it was on sale as well.
  10. gwpercle

    gwpercle Member

    Electronic scales are not infallible and the cheaper they are the more fallible they are.
    RCBS 5-0-5 and a set of check weights are about as dependable and reliable as things get. Even the Lee scale with a set of check weights will do. The operative words being check weights. Get a set regardless of the type scale you get , they will keep the scale honest . Midway has RCBS set for $26.00 .
    C. D. Bates and Carl Crosby like this.
  11. jigs-n-fixture

    jigs-n-fixture New Member

    Bullets make good check weights.
    Carl Crosby likes this.
  12. DrDenby

    DrDenby New Member

    That was first thing I looked at when I got my scale.

    Bullets were +/- up to .4 grains of what they should have been.

  13. Carl Crosby

    Carl Crosby Member

    I weighed bullets until I got one that weighed what I wanted it to. Or, noted the exact weight of the one I was using to zero my scale.

    After 20 or so years and several moves, my Ohaus scale (RCBS of a different color) got really inaccurate, so I bought a Dillon beam scale. It started giving strange readings, but at the suggestion of one of their techs I cleaned the agate bearings with alcohol, then upon inspection found that the copper paddle that dampens the beam was sticking against the bottom of the scale. I tweaked gently with some long-nosed pliers, and voila! No more problem.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  14. silveradoman59

    silveradoman59 Member

    The Lee beam scale was my first, later I bought a Frankford Arsenal electronic scale. I started using the FA to check the accuracy of my Lee and it checks out. My Lee also came with my press kit. I've had one problem with Lee equipment and they replaced it with no problem. I always check the zero of the Lee before I throw any charges. If I want to load a few quick rounds I use the FA, but I do like to use the Lee.
  15. WizardMaster

    WizardMaster SHARPSHOOTER

    Tide will fix you up just fine! Maybe a small amount of bleach too but we won't go there LOL!!!!! OUCH! You got lucky!!!!!:eek::eek:
    mrmike7189 likes this.
  16. noylj

    noylj Member

    I always found the Lee beam scale to be as accurate as any other beam scale--just needed to learn how to properly READ it.
    Could be dirt or rust on the blade/fulcrum. Should have check/calibration weight.
  17. kyhunter

    kyhunter Member

    I use a known check weight before loading and again during loading just to have confidence the scale digital or balance type measures properly. You can make them yourself but need to have a scale you trust to help make them the weight you want or buy a couple different weights from a known source. This works fine for me and lets me know at least the scale or balance is reading right. Any scale needs checked. Ky
  18. Carl Crosby

    Carl Crosby Member

    Not yet, thank Heavens!
  19. Carl Crosby

    Carl Crosby Member

    Yes, but it's hard to find 5-10 gr bullets!
  20. silveradoman59

    silveradoman59 Member

    Use a 22 caliber bullet. Weigh it on a digital scale for an accurate weight. Don't trust the manufacturer. Then use it to verify your beam scale. I have a 22-250 Rem. and almost all of us have a .223 or know someone who does. Use a 40, 50 or 55 grain bullet.