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#6321067 - 06/03/16 07:52 AM .1 vs .02 digital scales
TackDriver Online   content
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Registered: 05/02/14
Posts: 603
I have the old RCBS digital powder scale that I have been using for years and it measures .1 grain, would a .02 scale help in accuracy at long range? There are scales that cost thousands of dollars that measures by the kernal, but its outrageously high in value and not looking to spend that kind of money. $200 to $300 is my budget. Is the GemPro 250 a great scale? Pros and cons of buying a .02 scale?


Edited by Big Stan (06/03/16 07:53 AM)

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#6321121 - 06/03/16 08:25 AM Re: .1 vs .02 digital scales [Re: TackDriver]
rickym Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 5427
Loc: texas
For a long range shooter more than likely yes, it would allow you to fine tune a load as opposed to guessing where you are in the tenths. Your current scale is fine, but if you want the ability to consistently produce a duplicate load I would make the switch.
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#6321183 - 06/03/16 08:51 AM Re: .1 vs .02 digital scales [Re: TackDriver]
redchevy Offline
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Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 25753
Loc: Texas
I'm not going to say it will or wont help you, but I do know there are countless long range shooters that do well that do not measure to .02.

Some of the well known guys on this forum use chargemasters, which are only accurate to .1.
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#6321245 - 06/03/16 09:34 AM Re: .1 vs .02 digital scales [Re: TackDriver]
Dien Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/16/12
Posts: 493
Loc: Grand Prairie
I use a chargemaster and with the .1 resolution it shouldn't make that big of a difference if you're just trying to hit BIG steel targets out to 1,000 yards.

I'm trying to get better at shooting bullet holes at 100 yards though so I am waiting for my auto trickler for a .02 resolution scale.

http://www.autotrickler.com/index.html

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#6321271 - 06/03/16 09:52 AM Re: .1 vs .02 digital scales [Re: TackDriver]
papa45 Online   content
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Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 574
Loc: Arlington
My thoughts: I have an RCBS Chargemaster and have wondered the same thing. When I find high SD's on my loads, I always suspect the Chargemaster, but I have checked it against my beam balance scale and have even pulled bullets on loaded ammo to weigh the charge. It's always within "half a tenth" (0.05 gr) of the desired weight. The powder I use for many of my loads typically gives me a velocity difference of about 50 fps per grain. Keeping things simple, that means 0.1 gr gives me a velocity difference of about 5 fps. Given all the other variables that can affect velocity and accuracy, I'm not worried about 5 fps.

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#6321505 - 06/03/16 01:04 PM Re: .1 vs .02 digital scales [Re: TackDriver]
ChadTRG42 Offline
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 11043
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Beginning of this week, I made a video to post on line to show how I load my ammo with the powder charge accurate to within .02 grains. (I'll be uploading it shortly).

Take the RCBS chargemaster. It states that it is accurate to within +/- .1 grains. So, that's accurate to within about .2 grains of powder (or more), which is a legitimate swing with the RCBS CM. Now, I use a Sartorious high end digital scale that is accurate to within +/- .02 grains. That's accurate to within .04 grains technically. Most extruded kernels of gun powder are about .02 to .03 grains in weight. So, the .02 grain scale is accurate to within 1 kernel of powder.

Now, what is the real world difference between .2 and .04 grains? From my testing, .1 grains of powder is about 10 fps increase/decrease. So a .2 grain spread is already equal to about a 20 fps extreme spread, just in the powder charge! That's without accounting for any deviation in the load itself, the rifle, environmental conditions and all the other factors.

Now to tighten up those numbers, getting your powder charge consistent to within .02 grains is to the kernel accuracy. This will give you the most consistent powder charge to keep your extreme spread (ES) and standard deviation (SD) as tight as possible. This becomes a HUGE factor at longer ranges where a high ES will cause vertical stringing and groups to open up. Sure, you may or may not see it at 100 yards from a hunting rifle. But for precision shooting, the .02 grains consistency is extremely important to me and my customers!
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#6321513 - 06/03/16 01:14 PM Re: .1 vs .02 digital scales [Re: TackDriver]
ChadTRG42 Offline
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 11043
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Also, if the scale is a strain gauge (like the RCBS CM and most low end scales), these will "wonder" with their weight readings. So frequently re-zeroing and calibrating are important. The higher end scales will use a magnetic method to weigh, which is much more consistent and repeatable. Also, look at the settle or stabilization time, which is how fast the scale reads the weight. My Sartorious is the magnetic type, and stabilization time in 1 second.
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#6321548 - 06/03/16 01:51 PM Re: .1 vs .02 digital scales [Re: TackDriver]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 25753
Loc: Texas
How many people loading on a scale accurate to +/- 0.1 grains have a load that is under 20 fps ES?

I don't even have a chronograph, just curious to know.
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#6321550 - 06/03/16 01:53 PM Re: .1 vs .02 digital scales [Re: TackDriver]
ChadTRG42 Offline
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 11043
Loc: Lewisville, TX
My 6.5x47 Lapua was running 6 and 7 ES on 5-6 shots during load work up. When practicing and putting 20+ rounds down it, my ES was 18, which is about 5 to 6 SD, which is freakin' awesome.
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#6321570 - 06/03/16 02:07 PM Re: .1 vs .02 digital scales [Re: TackDriver]
ChadTRG42 Offline
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 11043
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Sartorius ENTRIS 423-1S is the scale I run. It offers the best overall performance I am looking for in the precision, weight area and speed I need.
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#6321642 - 06/03/16 03:06 PM Re: .1 vs .02 digital scales [Re: TackDriver]
Cleric Offline
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Registered: 03/11/12
Posts: 2847
Its the old need versus want...

I don't need it, but its nice knowing for sure that when the bullet doesn't go where i thought it would, it was not the ammo.

If you are shooting deer to 300 yards, .1 is more then enough.

If you are shooting matches at to 1200 yards and 10-30k is on the prize table than i want EVERY advantage i could get

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#6321653 - 06/03/16 03:11 PM Re: .1 vs .02 digital scales [Re: TackDriver]
Cleric Offline
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Registered: 03/11/12
Posts: 2847
I did a class with NTPR a few years ago. We were loading 308 and i wanted to try his Prometheus for grins. We did the same charge on an RCBS CM and it. The SD was half on the Prometheus. Now it was a small sample size so i never did put it through my statistical tool to determine if there was a spastically significant difference in variation. But I would put money i could get one with a sample size of 30 each.


for the record i have a CM and just got a gem pro to measure how good it actually is. I am debating buying a higher end scale. The biggest issue i have had with the gem pro so far is its slow to respond after adding powder.

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#6321795 - 06/03/16 04:49 PM Re: .1 vs .02 digital scales [Re: TackDriver]
ChadTRG42 Offline
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Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 11043
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Yes, Jay's Prometheus is to within the kernel, which is .02 grains.

Powder is the sheer driving force behind the bullet. If it's the same each time, you get the same pressure and speed each time. If it varies, so will your speeds.

Like I said, for general hunting, within .1 or so is perfectly fine. I load my personal hunting ammo quickly on the Chargemaster when I need ammo in a hurry. And it does perfectly fine. But when I am wanting to tag something far away, .02 accuracy is how I roll.
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#6321858 - 06/03/16 05:40 PM Re: .1 vs .02 digital scales [Re: TackDriver]
glocker17 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 01/03/16
Posts: 345
Loc: RGV
For general use .1 is fine, I shot F class for some time and with a good load in an accuracy node .1 will get it done out to 600 yards. I would imagine that past that distance the difference would be more apparent. Inside 600 environmental conditions usually played a much bigger role, much less the ability of the shooter, for that matter your average low volume shooter might not be competent enough to realize any performance increase.

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#6321916 - 06/03/16 06:44 PM Re: .1 vs .02 digital scales [Re: ChadTRG42]
RiverRider Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/07
Posts: 7110
Loc: Wise Co.
Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
.

Powder is the sheer driving force behind the bullet. If it's the same each time, you get the same pressure and speed each time. If it varies, so will your speeds.


Not that simple. Case volume plays every bit as much a role in velocity consistency as charge weight does. But the real wild card is neck tension.
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