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Opinions on digital powder dispensers

Fatman

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Dec 10, 2000
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Tulsa
I use a Pact (RCBS) digital powder dispenser and scale for almost all my rifle reloading, because I load mostly extruded powder and my Lyman powder dispenser is a real pain in the butt. What are the opinions out there on them. I have heard all the things about letting them acclimate for 20 mins. before using them and such but I haven't ever had a problem with them drifting or throwing inaccurate charges. If mine is going to be off, it is usually over by .1 instead of under (99 out of 100 times) so I set it to throw .1 under and trickle up. I also check the calibration with the supplied weights to make sure it is still in spec. It is slower than I like but I still use it almost exclusively.
 

danr55

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Dec 18, 2000
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4,328
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Mesa, AZ
Fatman, I have limited experience with a digital scale. Anytime I am loading, I have an overhead fan on. The slight breeze from the fan was enough to cause some variation in the digital. I therefore, use a triple beam scale for all of my loading. :cool:
 

Nodak Hunter

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Jan 18, 2001
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111
Location
Grand Forks, ND
One thing to be VERY careful of on digital scales is their tendency to rezero themselves if you are trickling powder onto them. What happens, and I know from both my experiences, and those of others, is that the scale is constantly adjusting itself for slight discrepencies in atmospheric pressure (zeroing). If you very slowly trickle powder onto the pan, you can actually add quite a bit without the reading moving, or moving only slightly.

Right now, I've got it figured out, and could demonstrate to you how I can get almost two grains of powder into an empty pan, and it will still read zero. Amazing but true.

I only use my digital scale to check thrown charges for accuracy. I never trickle powder onto it.
 

Fatman

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Dec 10, 2000
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Tulsa
Nodak

Trickling loads from the beginning is a no-no with the Pact/RCBS digitals, just for that reason. I can't recall why they behave that way, but it is spelled out in the instructions I got with mine. I dispense up to 1 or 2 tenths under the desired load then trickle up. So far, it has not caused any problems. I occasionally take the pan off of the scales (with a charge in it) and place it back to see if the charge is correct and it seems to work correctly.
 

GilaMonster

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Joined
Aug 29, 2001
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264
Location
New Mexico
Actually, I've read that many of the competition shooters use digital scales and most believe that +-.1g is within reason. I don't use one. I weigh each and every one of my rifle loads. Partially because I tend to load right at the maximum pressure for the particular rifle most of the time. I'm from the old school. I neck size, trim, turn the necks, weigh the cases into lots, and then weigh the powder down to the nearest granule. A lot of pain, I know but I don't have a rifle that will shoot bad enough to achieve 1 MOA. All of my rifles will shoot under 3/4 MOA and my 25-06 Ackley Imp will shoot consistant 3/8 MOA. Some of my best groups were within (using a micrometer to check outside of the ragged hole and subtracting the diameter of the bullet).12 MOA. That was during a benchrest shoot. I do use a auto powder measure for most of my Large Cal. Handgun ammo. I don't know if measuring the powder to the nearest granule is necessary, but If it aint broke don't fix it! Thats my opinion for whatever little its worth. You gotta do what works for you.
 
Yeti

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