I find shooting games to be quite therapeutic. When I’m not practicing in preparation for a competition, I’m possibly just blowing up flying targets for fun. It’s both convenient and cost-effective to reload my ammunition.
With the help of a reloading scale, I can upgrade my ammunition and ensure both maximum accuracy and consistent performance. The device provides precise gunpowder measurements so that I have better chances of hitting the target each time.
I understand the perks of using the best reloading scale. I’m also well acquainted with the frustrations of using a mediocre device. If you want to dodge the hassle of buying substandard equipment, read on, and I’ll guide you through the top 5 powder scales for reloading with the highest accuracy.
5 Best Reloading Scale For The Money
Quality ammo is not cheap, and cheap ammo does not have an excellent element. We have listed down the 5 best reloading scales that can save you money and help you improve the quality of your bullets.
1. Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Precision Scale
Let’s dive right in and begin our best reloading scale reviews with a model that allows measuring in grams, karats, ounces, and grains. If you are searching for an adaptable scale that offers you greater flexibility when weighing different objects, Platinum Series from Frankford Arsenal is ideal for you.
This device has more than a few bragging points, including the fact that it has an LCD with a bright blue backlight to make your readings more legible.
Better still, this unit runs on batteries, DC, or AC power. To make it more energy-efficient, it has an auto-shutoff feature that kicks in any time the device is not in use for more than three minutes.
Moreover, this scale operates at 1/10 grain accuracy and has a 1500 grain capacity. It is designed for measuring shotshells, bullets, and gunpowder.
For your work to be more comfortable when reloading your ammo, there is a range of intuitive controls. These controls make the unit user-friendly and ideal for beginners.
Because this unit is also DC powered, it is lightweight and portable. It weighs only 2.2 lbs and comes with a carry case for your convenience. The package also comes with 4 AAA batteries, calibration weights, clear protective cover, 220V adaptor, and 110V power supply.
- Measures grams, grains, ounces, and Karats
- Runs on batteries, AC or DC power
- Lightweight and portable (2.2 lbs.)
- Power-efficient scale shuts off automatically when dormant for 3 minutes
- 1/10 grain accuracy
- An LCD with blue backlight for easy readings
- Impact-resistant carrying case clear protective cover included
- Comes with 4 AAA batteries
- This is not the easiest unit to calibrate. For proper programming, it needs to be in a stable, quiet, and level position.
2. RCBS 98923 Chargemaster Combo Scale/Dispenser
Here is a model that I believe is the most accurate reloading scale. The RCBS 98923 doubles as a Chargemaster 1500 Scale and Chargemaster Dispenser. These are two units that can be detached, although they come assembled for your convenience.
Using the scale and dispenser at the same time helps to ensure both accuracy and speed of the reloading process.
This is a heavy-duty unit with a 1 lb capacity powder hopper. It has an overall intuitive design, and the dispenser has an alphanumeric keypad that allows you to dial in the exact charge before proceeding to dispense your gunpowder.
Better still, the keypads are memory buttons, so the dispenser records about 30 of your favorite reloading steps for your convenience.
Something else I liked is the trickle button that ensures you get the last bit of your powder. This reduces powder wastage and possible inconsistencies in the performance of your ammo. There are four-speed settings to choose from, so you can set the whole reloading process at a comfortable pace.
This scale has 0.1-grain accuracy. The front part of the device has a display with additional buttons for enhanced control. These buttons allow you to turn the unit on or off, measure your powder in grams or grains, or even calibrate your device.
- Premium quality unit
- Doubles as a scale and dispenser
- Easy to use for a stress-free reloading process
- Comes with four-speed settings
- Trickle button helps to reduce power wastage
- Memory buttons automatically master your 30 best recipes
- 1-grain accuracy
- This unit is considerably expensive
- Designed for use with only smokeless powder
3. Hornady 050108 Electronic Scale, 1500 Grain
Another high-performance scale on our list is the Hornady Electronic unit. This is an affordable device that works with the same top quality precision as other advanced models that are more expensive. The compact design of the scale should not fool you because it has a huge capacity of 1500 grains.
Hornady is a renowned brand that has been around since 1949. It is a worldwide leading manufacturer of ammunition, bullets, and reloading tools. With accuracy being one of the primary goals of the brand, you can trust their reloading scales to offer you the best value for your money.
The 050108 model is ideal for measuring the weight of cartridges, shotshells, bullets, and gunpowder. It has 0.1-grain precision, making it the best digital reloading scale for the price. Various other features also make this one of the most user-friendly scales in the market.
The huge LCD display makes it easy to see your readings. This unit has large buttons on either side of the screen that gives you additional control to calibrate or turn the device on or off. The package comes with a metal powder pan, AC adapter, 220 Volt adapter, and 2 calibration weights.
- Top-quality electronic scale from a well-known brand
- Very accurate (0.1-grain precision)
- Large, easy to read LCD display
- 1500 grains capacity
- Compact and lightweight for convenient storage
- Affordable, yet comparable to advanced reloading scale models
- Metal powder pan, AC adapter, 220 Volt adapter, and 2 calibration weights included
- The LCD display is legible, but it has a limited viewing angle
4. Hornady 050068 Lock-N-Load Auto Charge
I did mention that Hornady is a leading brand in the production of reloading tools. Well, it has a range of models, and one of the advanced scales from the company is the Lock-N-Load auto charge. This unit has an automated charging system for enhanced efficiency and speed.
Even though this model uses cutting edge technology to ensure accuracy, it is also easy to use. It has a large keyboard and an LCD display with a backlight for easier reading. The device also meets the standard 0.1-grain accuracy.
If you are a smart buyer, you will possibly question why this unit has a high price tag. Well, it has a range of superb features that makes it worth its cost. This device has a zero button, on/off switch, and number pads that make it swift to dial in precise reloading settings.
Apart from the sleek design that looks good on any workbench, this unit allows both manual and automatic dispensing.
Additionally, it has a trickle function and 3-speed settings that include fast, normal, and slow. You can choose the ideal speed settings, based on the powder size, charge, and weight you are using.
There is one tip that will help ensure you make the most out of your unit. It is crucial to allow the device to warm up for about 15 minutes before use. This ensures the readout remains consistent. After this, calibrate your scale and zero the pan.
- Very accurate
- 2 calibration weights and a large 1000 grains hopper included
- Designed for ease of use
- Allows automatic and manual dispensing
- Has a trickle function
- A large LCD display with backlight
- Grains precision
- Three-speed settings (fast, slow, normal)
- 1000 grains capacity
- Overcharge protection
- Not ideal for use with smokeless powder
5. American Weigh Scale Gemini Series Precision Digital Milligram Scale
Last but not least is the best grain scale for reloading from American Weight Scale. This is a multipurpose, portable unit that weighs in 6 units of measurement, including grams, ounces, troy ounces, deadweight tonnage, karats, and grains.
It can be used for weighing not only powders but also chemicals, gems, and more.
Even though this is a simple scale, it is both accurate and consistent. It is also intuitively designed to prevent accidents. The scale has a uniquely designed shield that can flip down to protect the device and the pan. This shield also prevents air currents from messing up the readings when reloading outdoors.
Moreover, the package comes with a sturdy square-shaped case. It prevents bumping and vibrations for more convenient transportation to outdoor locations. Other items that come with the package include a powder pan, 2 calibration weights, 2 AAA batteries, and tweezers.
Just like numerous other well-reviewed reloading scales, this device needs warming up before use. It is also necessary to tinker with the calibration weight a little for the sensor to detect it. Make sure the unit is placed on a flat surface before use.
- Portable and ideal for outdoor use
- The flip-down shield protects the unit and weighing pan from potential damage
- An affordable device with consistent performance
- A multipurpose unit, suitable for weighing powders, pet medication, herbs, gems and more
- Grains precision
- Tare feature
- Comes with a sturdy carrying case
- Powder pan, calibration weight, and tweezers included
- An LCD display with blue backlight
- This scale has a 308-grain capacity (20 g), which is rather low
Benefits of Reloading Scale
If you engage in target shooting competitions, having top quality bullets are always essential. High caliber ammo is expensive, so reloading your bullets do save money and also helps you upgrade low caliber ammunition. Let’s now list down the perks of buying a reloading scale.
- Exact Weight Readings
Whether you are into hunting or target shooting, you must know the weight of your bullets, because this will affect their speed. In case you need to shoot at maximum speed, you need lightweight ammo. Heavier ammunition is, even so, better for shooting over long ranges because they remain steady in the air.
With a reloading scale, you can ensure your ammo has the right weight for your precise needs.
- Eliminate Guesswork
When shooting, accuracy means everything. Your chances of hitting a target depend highly on your understanding of the overall weight of your ammo. Any skilled shooter will tell you for free that you cannot make assumptions when reloading your ammunition.
- Upgrade Your Ammo
A reloading scale gives you the power to recreate your ammo. In case you have those cheap bullets for scaring away critters from your backyard, you can increase their weight to make them ideal for competition shooting. Manipulating the weight of the ammo gives you control over how it works.
Purpose of a Reloading Scale/Definition
Reloading scales are essential devices used for weighing various ammunition parts. You can use your device to measure the weight of the powder, the shell, and even the reloaded bullets.
These devices are not so different from regular scales; the only difference is that they are designed for measuring the weight of cartridges, gun powder, and bullets. The next stage would be using a shotshell reloader or press for reloading.
What makes reloading scales important is that they help to ensure improved ammo accuracy. These devices have evolved tremendously over the years, and different products differ in their technology and overall mechanism.
Modern models are, however, easy to use and have a range of features for enhanced functionality.
Hey, wait, if you still don’t know the step by step shotshell reloading guide, read this article.
What to Look for Before Choosing the Best Reloading Scale
As I mentioned earlier, reloading scales use the same working principles as regular scales. The critical difference is that they are uniquely designed for reloading shotshells.
These are specialized devices that can ensure you to recreate ammo that performs optimally for your unique needs. Here is what to consider before purchase.
- Mechanical Vs. Digital Reloading Scale
The markets have mechanical and digital reloading scales, and it is vital to choose carefully between the two. Mechanical scales use various automated methods to measure the weight of gun powder, shells, or bullets.
Digital scales are perceived to be more accurate because weight is placed on static-free areas to improve calibration through tare function.
Both options are great, and you simply need to consider your needs and budgets.
When it comes to choosing reloading scales, accuracy means everything. For any device to serve its primary purpose, it ought to have +/- 0.1-grain precision. The best products are standardized before use, although recalibration may be needed from time to time to maintain optimum accuracy.
- AC vs. DC
Again, your needs will dictate whether you should choose an AC powered or DC powered scale.
The former ought to be plugged in before use, and hence the AC powered scales cannot be used outdoors. DC powered scales are portable and can be used in the field, although they run out of juice, and this can pose problems.
If the perks of both AC and DC powered scales sound enticing, consider choosing products that have a combination of both power systems. Some advanced devices switch to AC mode when plugged in and automatically shift to DC mode when unplugged.
- Manual vs. Automatic Dispensing
Some scales allow manual dispensing while others are designed for automatic weighing and dispensing. If it is essential for you to reload your ammo with speed, then perhaps choosing a device that allows automatic dispensing would be great.
- Load Capacity
The load capacity of a reloading scale is another crucial aspect to take into account. Different scales vary in their capacity, so you must think about the rounds of ammunition you need to reload and the amount of gun powder that is required for each round.
A scale with a low load capacity can still get the job done. In this case, however, you must measure and weigh your powder multiple times, and the whole process will be more time-consuming.
The performance of a reloading scale is gauged based on its accuracy and capacity. However, most scales have additional features that help to enhance their overall performance. For instance, some devices have removable measuring bowls and protective covers for more convenient storage.
Another aspect that may determine the performance of a unit is its measuring speed. Some devices are designed to ensure a smooth and quick measuring process.
Different Types of Reloading Scale
There are three types of reloading scales available in the market. Irrespective of the one you choose, I can assure you that it can effectively carry out the duty of guaranteeing precise weight measurements when reloading your ammo.
It’s the digital era, and the latest reloading scales use digital technology to ensure speed and unmatched accuracy when weighing your gunpowder or rounds. Digital units come with a weight plate that is directly above the scale. It is easier to program them to ensure more exact readings.
Even though mechanical scales are currently considered a little outdated, they are also capable of ensuring accurate readings.
The only shortcoming is that calibrating them is a bit more complicated when compared to programming a digital scale. With mechanical scales, the weight is placed over an adjustable gauge.
Bean scales are traditional measuring tools. They are somewhat out of the market, although there are a few manufacturers that still produce them.
Again, you can depend on the accuracy of a beam scale, although the type of ammo you can weigh is limited. Usually, beam scales are the best for weighing pistol rounds.
Which Type Is Better?
As aforementioned, beam scales are, to some extent, out of the market. This leaves the question of whether to choose a digital or mechanical scale.
Well, both types of scales are accurate. However, you may want to choose a digital scale if you need to speed up the process of reloading your ammunition. Mechanical scales are, on the other hand, more affordable than their electric counterparts.
Both mechanical and digital scales require the same level of maintenance. It is crucial to clean your scale after each use, especially after using it to weigh smokeless powder. I also find it best to take extra precautions and cover my scale before storing it.
How to Use a Reloading Scale
If you are going to invest in a reloading scale, you may as well know how to make the most out of it. Modern devices are designed for ease of use, and most people can take full advantage of their functionalities and features. Be sure to also refer to your unit’s manual.
How to Use an Electric/Digital Reloading Scale
- Step One: Place your scale on a leveled surface, preferably on a rubber mat to prevent vibrations.
- Step Two: Use a small amount of weight (100 grams) to calibrate the scale. Make sure your weight settings are dialed at “grains.”
- Step Three: Long press the “Mode” button until the word “calibrate” or “CAL” appears on the screen.
- Step Four: Remove the weight (100 grams) from the scale if the screen reads “pass.”
- Step Five: Place your empty powder tray/pan on the device and ensure the readout is at zero. This means the scale should read negative if you lift your pan.
- Step Six: Add some gun powder to the tray and weigh it. If the scale reads a positive weight value, then your device is calibrated correctly.
How to Use a Mechanical Scale
- Step One: Get your scale balanced at zero. If need be, adjust the knobs at the bottom of the device to get all markings balanced and aligned at zero.
- Step Two: In case you are still not able to adjust the device at zero, you can place bullets on the powder pan to use them as your calibration weight. Add more bullets if the markings are below zero and reduce the weight if they are above zero.
When the device is finally aligned at zero, it will be perfect.
- Do not disassemble your scale.
- When placing the calibration weight, do so gently because dropping weight suddenly could damage your unit.
- Once you have weighed any objects, remove them from the scale. Leaving them on the unit for too long may damage the surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How precise are digital scales?
When compared to both beam and mechanical scales, digital scales are the most accurate. They can have about +/- 0.1-grain precision.
- Do I really need a reloading scale?
If you want to recreate accurate and high-performance ammo, then yes, you need the best powder scales for reloading. Depending on guesswork to fill your cartridge with gun powder will only create ammo that has inconsistent performance. Using a scale also helps to reduce the wastage of gun powder.
- Why is gun powder measured in grains?
The weight of one bullet and the gun powder that goes into it is too small to be measured in ounces or grams. You need to gauge weight in grains when reloading your ammo because this is the most efficient unit of measurement.
- Are reloading scales multipurpose?
Yes, they are. Depending on the kind of scale you have, you can measure the weight of liquids and other substances. From my perspective, however, it is best to use your reloading scale solely to weigh your ammunition accessories. The device costs way more than a regular scale, so it’s not worth it to take chances.
- Does my reloading scale need maintenance?
Both mechanical and digital scales are low maintenance devices. Wipe down the unit after use and store it in a protective case or cover to keep off the dust.
You have not seen your worst day until you have used a mediocre reloading scale to reload tens of boxes of ammo. Take it from me; finding the best reloading scale does not just happen.
It takes a bit of trial and error to find a unit that will not disappoint you. In the end, reloading shotshells is cost-effective.
Fortunately, we did the researching for you, and the devices listed above are worth their weight in gold.