How to Use a Beam Scale for Reloading? – The Step By Step Guide for 2020

Measuring powder is not like the veggies!

When you measure the veggies or bread, the small differences between the actual measurement and your measurement will not hurt. But this is not the case with reloading!

When you measure powder for reloading, your measurement must be accurate and precise! For this, you must know how to use a beam scale for reloading work!

The process is easy, but you must know how to take care of the scale and what is the difference between a beam scale and the regular digital scale! Today, we will tell you the ins and outs of beam scales for reloading!

How to Choose a Mechanical Reloading Scale

Keeping in mind the mechanical scales vs digital scale game, you must know that mechanical pens are larger and the other one is smaller in size.

While choosing mechanical reloading scales, there are things that you should keep in mind.

Accuracy and Readability

Make sure that the reloading scale is accurate because you have to measure bullets or powder.

Make sure the scale you choose is accurate to a minimum of 0.1 grains. Also, make sure it is perfectly readable.

The Capacity of the Scale

The capability of the scale entirely depends on your preference. Do not go for the largest scale if you don’t need it.

Check how many elements you are going to measure and pick up the scale according to it.

Quality and Construction

Make sure the knife edges are sharp, and the agate bearings are clean when you purchase a reloading beam scale.

Never pick up the rusty instruments. The construction will be better if it is made in the US. Re-check the quality if it is made in China or Mexico.

Beam Scales vs Digital Scales

We always get into a dilemma if we are given a choice between beam scales and digital scales.

Both of them afford precise measurement; however, it entirely depends on you what you are going to pick up.

Accuracy and Precision

Beam scales are very accurate. The precision of the beam scales depends on the smallest possible measurements.

As a result, you get precise and accurate results. On the contrary, digital scales are usually prone to inaccuracy. These are precise, but the accuracy is not ensured.

Calibrating Process

In terms of beam scales, these will be calibrated mechanically, but this is not the case with the digital scale.

There is a button added for resetting the internal electronics. So, you need to reset it. You can get these automatic press buttons added to the equipment too.


When you move the beam scales from one surface to another, it must be recalibrated.

The digital scales are usually sensitive to environmental factors, and so, you might get inaccurate results after moving.

Warm Up and Operation

You do not need to warm up what beam scales, but in the case of a digital scale, the warm-up is a must.

If you go through the operational method, both are easy, but learning curves on the beam scales can be challenging.

Also Read: Best Beam Scale for Reloading

How to Use a Beam Scale for Reloading – The Step By Step Guide

When you ask how to use a manual reloading scale or a mechanical beam scale for reloading, we always recommend you read the manual before you start using any powder scale.

When you are dealing with these excellent scales, you have to go for the model-specific instructions to use it.

Step 1: Recalibrate the Scale

The first work you need to do when it comes to working with your beam scale to check weight is to zero the scale.

If you start anywhere, it will not provide you with the proper measurement. So, first, zero the reloading scale.

For setting the balancing weight down to zero, you must adjust it carefully. Then, please put it in the tray.

After this, you must turn the required dial so that you can adjust the scale to the perfect level. For this, you need equipment that has fine adjustments.

Step 2: Aligning the Markers

After your scale is set to zero, you are ready to measure it correctly. Exactly after aligning, you have to take the bullet or the powder inside the tray first.

After putting it inside, you need to adjust the weights. Remember that the total weights will help you balance the scale!

So, adjust the weight with care. When you get ready with the aligned markers, you will easily get the measurement.

Step 3: Checking the Scale

When you are done aligning, you can take the measurements quickly. But, make sure you are looking after this process again and again.

You have to keep checking the scale. All you have to do is out a check weight. It will help you in providing the right reading.

To confirm the accurate reading, you have to keep checking the weight again and again.

Step 4: Cleaning the Knife Edges

In this situation, you must get a knife in your hands first. Then, check the knife edges. Try to find a graphite stick.

With this stick, start rubbing on the edges of the knife. This will help you in cleaning the steel knife edges.

If you do not get graphite sticks available, you can rely on pencils. You can use the pencil lead and rub it on the knife edge.

Keep rubbing it, and at a time, you will see that the edges of the knife are fully coated. This is the time you were waiting for!

All you need now is canned air for this process. Bowling off the excess graphite on the knife edges is your work now. Canned air can help you in blowing off the extra graphite.

Step 5: Cleaning the Agates

Now, it is time for you to clean the agates to get excellent balance. The edges of the knife sit on stones. In this situation, you have to clean these stones.

You have to take out the agates now. Keep doing it repeatedly. You can use Q-tipped for your help. Dip it in the rubbing alcohol and clean it first. Now, these are cleaned!

Watch the Video for Quick Info

Beam Scale Maintenance

Often, people ask about how to maintain a beam scale, and today, we will tell you the essential maintenance tips for beam scales when you are up for reloading sessions.

After you weigh the powder in your beam scale, you have to remove the dust first. If there is any residual dust, this will eventually get added with the weight of the next powder amount and provide you with an inaccurate measurement.

So, you clean the dust of the used scale by wiping it down. Use a dry cloth for this process. Make sure you calibrate the beam scale every time you use it.

Quality Beam Scale

It is always better to get a quality beam scale. Do you know why a quality scale can be a game-changer for you? We will tell you why!

When you have a quality beam scale, both precision and accuracy are mentioned. You must know how close measurements are to each other. This is known as precision.

On the contrary, knowing the actual measurements and how close it is to the beam scale measurement is also necessary. This is accuracy. A good quality beam scale can be your life-savior.

Apart from this, the durability of a quality beam scale is high. The reloading equipment will serve you for years if you get the right one.

Final Verdict

Now you know how to use a beam scale for reloading and get an accurate measurement. In this case, you must ensure that you have the best beam scale for this purpose; otherwise, getting precise measurements will be tough!

Write to us about your technique of powder measures for reloading purposes? Do you use a beam scale? How do you take care of the scale?

Additional Sources: All About Weighing Scale

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