Creating your own ammunition allows you to save money and reload your shells more accurately. But you need a high-quality powder scale (also called a reloading scale) to measure your powder accurately, or else it’s less of a budget-friendly activity and more of a waste of time. Let’s take a look at the best powder scales on the market to help you find the best option.
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Powder scales are essential for anyone who reloads their own ammunition for a couple of reasons, namely accuracy and consistency (precision).
If you want to precisely measure the amount of powder you use in each cartridge, a powder scale is a must-have. Using an accurate scale allows you to measure the perfect amount of powder for each load with little to no variation (more on that later). You’ll also ensure that you don’t waste any powder when you use a reloading scale, saving you money in the long run.
If you want to get a consistent result when you fire your rounds, you’ll want to ensure you get the same powder charge for every single round you make. In order to get a consistent charge without variation, you need the most accurate unit of measurement possible. Powder scales measure weight in grains, which is more precise than grams or ounces.
If you needed to measure out a fraction of a gram, you’d have to convert grams to grains, which is certainly doable, but it’s also time-consuming. The simplest and most effective way of doing things is to invest in a reloading scale that measures your powder in grains, which will save you time and effort in the long run.
The majority of reloading scales are reasonably accurate, but we went a step further when compiling our list of the best of the best. Each scale featured has an accuracy of one-tenth (or 0.1) of a grain, which allows you to get exact measurements whether your scale is digital or mechanical.
If you want to get the most out of your charging powder without any waste, any of the scales on our list will make a great addition to your reloading bench.
When it comes to accuracy, you need to ensure that your scale doesn’t shift around, leading to inaccurate measurements. We looked for scales with deeper grooves to prevent unintentional sliding, which makes your job a whole lot easier.
Digital scale or beam scale?
Choosing a new powder scale can be a daunting task, but there are a few features to keep in mind that will help you find the best option for your reloading ventures. Suppose you keep these features in mind while shopping; you’ll be able to find the best scale at an affordable price. Let’s take a look.
While you can spend several hundred — or even thousands — of dollars for the most accurate scales on the market, they’re not really necessary for reloading your ammunition. You can get a proper load with scales that have an accuracy of 0.1 grain.
The capacity your scale needs varies by what you intend to do with it. Keep in mind how many rounds you plan on reloading and the amount of powder required for each round to get a general idea of the capacity you’ll need.
While you can always measure and weigh your loads in batches, you’ll save time and effort if you can do it all at once. There’s also less margin of error that way, too, so you’ll eliminate the potential for variance between loads.
The two main factors that contribute to your scale’s performance are accuracy and capacity, but that’s not all that goes into the making of a high-quality reloading scale. Look for additional features such as measuring pans, speed of measurement, and dust covers to protect your scale. If you plan on taking it with you to a firing range, you might also want to look for a scale that comes with a carrying case.
It can be tough to narrow down the options when it comes to buying a powder scale. Here are the top five best powder scales we’ve found.
Buyers are raving about the accuracy of this scale, with many swearing there are zero fluctuations in readings after months of frequent use. While it’s sensitive to air currents and some electronics, it offers fantastic grain capacity, so it can be used for cartridges and cases as well as powders.
If you’re looking for a scale that excels at providing accurate measurements, our top pick is a good option. It offers two calibration weights, which provide 3-point calibration, and it measures in grams, grains, ounces, and carats. It also has a stability indicator to ensure accurate measurements to 0.1 grain with a 1500 grain capacity. You can run it using the 110V or 220V adapters, but it also runs on four AAA batteries, which are included.
This scale features an automatic shut-off function after 180 seconds, which helps preserve battery life. The large, backlit display makes it easy to read, and it offers easy to use controls, including a tare function.
Those looking for accuracy and durability will love this option. It provides a clear plastic cover to protect your scale during use and transport, and it’s easy to adjust. Calibrating this scale is remarkably easy, too, so it’s a good option for first-time users and long-term pros alike.
If you’re looking for an accurate scale, this is a great option. Buyers are impressed by how precisely it measures powder, even after multiple loads. You shouldn’t use the scale in a room with an active ceiling fan, as it’s sensitive enough to detect airflow. That being said, that’s part of what makes it so accurate.
Many scales are challenging to read, but this option from Hornady provides a large LCD display screen, so you won’t have any trouble reading the weight. The scale weighs powder accurately to one-tenth (0.1) of a grain. It has a capacity of 1500 grains, allowing you to weigh powder, bullets, cartridges, and cases.
The scale comes with two calibration weights, an AC adapter, a metal powder pan, and a 220V adapter. Best of all, the lock-n-load lid prevents your items from toppling off while you weigh them. It also has a zero button, so you can clear the scale before weighing your powder and get an accurate measurement every time.
Our pick for the best runner-up powder scale offers incredible value for money. The large display is easy to read, and the scale’s massive capacity gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of reloading. You’ll get everything you need to reload your ammunition with precision and minimal variation.
Buyers are extremely impressed by this scale’s ease of use and durability. It’s recommended that you shake the powder before you place the pan on the scale. You should then wait for five seconds after you set the pan down before taking your measurements for the most accurate results.
With its durable, integrated protective cover and remarkable ease of use, this scale has all the features you need for accurate measurements without costing a fortune. It provides an LCD display with a blue backlight, making it easy to read the numbers. It also has an auto shut-off feature that turns the scale off after 60 seconds to conserve battery life. It needs two AAA batteries, which are included.
The scale has a 750 grain — or 50 gram — capacity with a 0.1 grain (0.01 gram) accuracy. It also provides auto-calibration and overload protection. You can measure in grains, grams, ounces, and carats, and it offers tare and counting functions. You’ll get a powder pan, a soft carrying case, and a calibration weight.
This scale includes everything you need to get started on your reloading venture without breaking the bank. It’s easy to use, has a backlit display, an accuracy of 0.1 grains, and it even includes batteries and a carrying case.
While this scale is sensitive to drafts — so don’t run your ceiling fan while you use it — it’s that sensitivity which makes it accurate. Buyers love its small, convenient size and ease of use. The touch-screen display is especially impressive, as it’s a feature you usually only find on higher-end models.
Small but mighty, the Lyman micro-touch scale has the same features as larger models without taking up as much space. It’s a mere 3.25 inches wide, 5.375 inches long, and 1.25 inches tall with the dust cover in place. The touch-screen display shows weight in grams or grains, and it measures precisely to one-tenth of a grain.
Its maximum weight capacity is 1500 grains, so it can measure powder, cartridges, bullets, and more. The bright touch-screen display is easy to read, and the scale is remarkably affordable, so you won’t break the bank with this one.
This is an excellent option if you’re looking for a powder scale that won’t occupy too much real estate on your reloading bench. It offers high-end features for an affordable cost, and its accuracy makes it a reliable choice if you’re looking for a compact scale.
If you’re looking for a scale that offers great value for money and accurate readings, this one might be a good option. Users have noted how easy it is to use the scale right out of the package. Buyers also love the wallet-friendly price point of this model.
An essential for any reloading bench, this compact scale provides advanced features at an affordable price. It has a capacity of 20g, and at just 3 inches x 5 inches x 0.8 inches, it’s small enough to take with you without eating up too much space. It’s incredibly durable, too, thanks to its durable stainless steel construction.
The LCD screen is backlit, so it’s easy to read no matter the lighting, and it comes with a built-in cover to keep your scale safe from scratches and dents. This scale has six different weighing units, including grains, grams, ounces, troy ounces, and carats.
A great choice for those looking for a small and portable scale, this lightweight option is made from durable stainless steel, so it won’t rust or get discolored. You can weigh your powder using six different units, and the backlit display is easy to read.
There are numerous benefits to investing in a high-quality powder scale. Reloading your own ammunition is only advantageous if your measurements are accurate, and a suitable powder scale gives you the precise measurements you need. If your scale has an adequate weight capacity, you’ll be able to weigh powder, cartridges, and cases.
Whether you reload at home or at a firing range, most powder scales are small and lightweight. Some scales even come with a travel case that makes transporting them effortless and protects your scale from damage.
Powder scales are also incredibly versatile. In addition to measuring powder and cartridges, you can also use your scale to measure gems, stones, and more. Look for a durable scale from a reputable brand, and you can be assured your scale will last for years to come.
Reloading equipment is only beneficial if it’s easy to use, and powder scales are remarkably simple to use. Mechanical scales do require a bit more of a learning curve than digital scales, but an excellent mechanical scale uses well-defined scale bars, so they’re not much more challenging to read than digital scales.
A dependable powder scale is an integral part of your reloading venture. They’re affordable, durable, portable, and make the task of reloading a whole lot more enjoyable.
Make sure you keep your individual needs in mind when shopping for the best powder scale to ensure you find one with the right weight capacity for your use. Opt for a highly-rated model from a reputable brand, and keep an eye out for the features you want to ensure you get the best user experience.