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Best Beam Reloading Scale [2020 Review]

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Are you looking for the best beam reloading scale? When it comes to reloading cartridges, accuracy is key. For this reason, you need to get an effective one to avoid wastage. That is where we come in.

The Top Beam Reloading Scale Available 

After doing extensive research, tests, and reading a lot of customer reviews, the following are our top 3 choices. Towards the end of this guide, we will let you in on the main features to check out when buying a beam reloading scale, and the right way to use it.

Brand
Best Overall
RCBS M1000 Magnetic 98916 Powder Scale
Best for the Money
Hornady 050109 Lock-N-Load Balance Beam Scale
Best Cheap Pick
OHAUS 30393272 5-0-5 Reloading Scale
Product
RCBS 98916 M1000 Mechanical Scale,Green
Hornady 050109 Lock-N-Load Balance Beam Scale,Red
OHAUS 30393272 5-0-5 Reloading Scale, 3.5" Height,...
Accuracy
0.1-grain
0.1-grain
0.1 grain
Capacity
1000-grain
500 grains
500 grains
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
RCBS M1000 Magnetic 98916 Powder Scale
Product
RCBS 98916 M1000 Mechanical Scale,Green
Accuracy
0.1-grain
Capacity
1000-grain
Rating
Best for the Money
Brand
Hornady 050109 Lock-N-Load Balance Beam Scale
Product
Hornady 050109 Lock-N-Load Balance Beam Scale,Red
Accuracy
0.1-grain
Capacity
500 grains
Rating
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
OHAUS 30393272 5-0-5 Reloading Scale
Product
OHAUS 30393272 5-0-5 Reloading Scale, 3.5" Height,...
Accuracy
0.1 grain
Capacity
500 grains
Rating

Best Overall Beam Reloading Scale: RCBS M1000 Magnetic 98916 Powder Scale

RCBS 98916 M1000 Mechanical Scale,Green

The RCBS M1000 Magnetic reloading scale favors both right-handed and left-handed reloaders. This high-performance scale weighs 2.4 pounds and has exemplary productivity. It features a high-quality alloy metal construction for added durability.

In terms of capacity, this reloading scale can weigh up to 1000 grains to allow for weighing large amounts of powder at the same time. This is the largest capacity compared to other scales in this guide. Moreover, it has a readability of 0.1 grain, which allows you to measure accurate loads.

The magnetic damping system allows you to have maintenance-free movements and fast readings. It has a three poise system. The main poise runs to 1000 grains, the medium goes up to 20 grains, and the last one spans 1 grain in 0.1-grain increment to achieve the much-needed precision.

RCBS M1000 comes in an impressive, rigid design. The metal pan is tip-proof and the green-painted aluminum base is die-cast. The two features offer you optimum stability as you work on your cartridges.

Features

  • 1000-grain capacity
  • 0.1-grain accuracy
  • Magnetic damping system
  • Weighs 2.4 pounds
  • Triple-poise system
  • Tip proof metal pan
  • Green-painted die-cast aluminum base
  • 3 separate pointers
  • Ambidextrous 

What We Like

  • Very accurate and durable
  • Has high productivity
  • Allows fine modifications
  • Great user-friendly design
  • Commendable stability when weighing
  • Easy to read over and under loads
  • Favors both the right-handed and left-handed

What We Don’t Like

  • It is manual
  • Quite expensive
RCBS 98916 M1000 Mechanical Scale,Green
  • Made of The highest quality materials
  • Mechanical scale
  • For an extremely extended period of time

Best Beam Reloading Scale for the Money: Hornady 050109 Lock-N-Load Balance Beam Scale

Hornady 050109 Lock-N-Load Balance Beam Scale,Red

If you want to reload your ammunition in a hassle-free way, consider this option. The Hornady Lock-N-Load Balance Beam Scale has a 500-grain capacity and plus or minus 0.1-grain sensitivity. Like our RCBS M100, the sensitivity ensures you get precise and repeatable results.

Another thing they have in common is the magnetic dampener. The main purpose of this feature is to facilitate fast and accurate results. Due to the two specifications, the scale is easy to work with for a beginner.

The balance bar doesn’t flake or peel because it’s laser etched and easy to read. The pan hanger’s mold design offers a perfect fit. It has hardened pivot pins and bearing which enhances the weighing scale’s durability. 

In comparison to the other two, Hornady is cheaper than our best overall yet provides almost the same benefits. The 1.5-pound beam scale boasts of durable material and available in a fiery red color.

Features

  • Molded pan hanger for a better fit
  • Measurement range from 0 to 500 grains
  • 0.1-grain sensitivity
  • Hardened pivot pins and bearings for durability
  • Magnetic dampener for fast, accurate measurements.
  • Easy-to-read laser-etched bar

What We Like

  • Precision in measurements
  • Impressive easy-to-read design
  • Anti-flake and  anti-peel balance bar
  • Very durable and user friendly
  • Convenient and practical

What We Don’t Like

  • Just like our first choice, it is also mechanical.
Hornady 050109 Lock-N-Load Balance Beam Scale,Red
  • 500 Grain Capacity
  • Plus or minus 0.1 grain
  • Magnetic damper or accuracy

Best Cheap Beam Reloading Scale: OHAUS 30393272 5-0-5 Reloading Scale

OHAUS 30393272 5-0-5 Reloading Scale, 3.5' Height,...

If you are a fan of Ohaus and have a tight budget, try this one out. The Ohaus 5-0-5 reloading scale is accurate and dependable. From the 1960s, it has been the ideal bullet and shot reloading scale for competitive sport shooters. It is compact therefore easier to store in comparison to other models.

The Ohaus 505 has a capacity of 500 grains, with 0.1-grain accuracy. This helps you measure precise quantities without a lot of trouble. You get a pair of poise consisting of a large and small aluminum weight that allows you to make coarse or fine adjustments.

For ease in reading, the black aluminum beam has a black and white high-visibility faceplate, complete with a black poise that shows the weight you are reading. On top of a built-in leveling foot, the base constitutes strong, die-cast steel for impeccable stability as you work.

Features

  • 500 grains capacity
  • 0.1 grains accuracy
  • Black and white high-visibility plate
  • Built-in leveling foot
  • Hard, die-cast steel material
  • Black aluminum beam
  • Compact dimensions

What We Like

  • Easy to store and read
  • Ideal size for most reloaders
  • Stable and durable
  • Enables precision while measuring
  • Easy to read
  • Very affordable

What We Don’t Like

  • It is a little less stable compared to other reloading scales
OHAUS 30393272 5-0-5 Reloading Scale, 3.5" Height,...
  • Package Dimensions: 27.0 H x 9.2 L x 11.4 W (centimetres)
  • Package Weight: 0.487 kilograms
  • Country of Origin : China

What to Consider When Buying a Beam Reloading Scale

There are a couple of factors you have to check out before settling on one beam reloading scale. They determine how effective, accurate, and convenient the scale is. With that in mind, it comes down to the following factors:

Accuracy

It would be such a waste if you jeopardize your load quality because of inaccuracy. On that note, you should get a reloading scale with at least 0.1-grain accuracy.

Note that a deviation of as little as 0.5 grain might cause potential ruin. For example, if a cartridge requires 150 grains, going over or under load should not happen. When it does, your bullets fire abnormally and there is a high possibility you will miss targets.

Capacity

Different reloaders require different capacities. A higher capacity can help you fill cartridges faster and give you more options. On the contrary, it will take more space since it has a longer beam hence a larger scale.

Are you loading a single cartridge at a time or filling the hopper? If you prefer the latter, we expect you to take a 2 pack or more. Don’t forget that a larger capacity does not automatically mean a better reloading scale.

Durability

What dictates the level of durability is the material used. Our top three choices are durable because they constitute steel or metal. At all costs, avoid any scale made of plastic. Plastic can spoil when exposed to heat and is not so resistant to wear and tear.

The aim is to get a beam reloader that will serve you for the longest possible period without frequent replacements. Look at it as an investment.

Calibration and Readability

This is important if you are a beginner, or have an eyesight impairment. Each time you use the scale after a while or move it to another surface, you will need to zero it. Therefore, the reloading scale should be simple to calibrate. 

Besides, it should be effortlessly readable. What works best with visibility is contrast. White numbers and markings on a black background or black numbers and markings on a white background are your best pick.

Mechanical or Digital

A reloading scale can either be mechanical, like our 3 beam reloaders, or digital. Currently, reloaders prefer the latter since they are easier to operate, clean, and store. Unlike manual scales that are super indulging, as long as a digital scale is on and reads zero you’re set.

On the upside, manual beam reloading scales are less susceptible to calibration issues. This is because such problems are easier to diagnose and rectify. Better yet, they are more accurate than digital ones. By the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference.

Commonly Asked Questions

Before wrapping up, let’s look at some of the questions we have been asked about beam reloaders. 

Are Balance Beam Scales More Accurate than Digital Ones?

If you calibrate it correctly, a balance beam scale can be more accurate than a digital one of a similar price. However, with time, they apparently stop working properly due to over-usage.

How do I Know if my Scale is Accurate?

Reweigh a single object several times. The object should be one whose weight is known. Place it on the scale and note the weight. Take the item off and let the scale revert to zero. Repeat the process at least five times to ascertain consistency.

Why Does my Scale Keep Changing?

This is due to the atmospheric pressure difference. As you take your scale from one workbench to another, you need to calibrate it back to zero. Failure to which you get fluctuations in weights. That translates to the different scale readings you experience.

Can a Balance Beam Scale be Wrong?

Balance beam scales are reliable and satisfactorily accurate. The fact that they have been in use for years show that they work so well. Make sure to rebalance to zero every time before a weighing session to avoid getting a wrong reading. 

Conclusion

Getting a good beam reloading scale if you don’t know what to look for is frustrating. Whether you are a beginner or a veteran reloader, this guide will help you find a reloading scale to make your work easier. Make sure to look out for such features as accuracy, readability, and capacity. 

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created KeepGunsSafe.com with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.