A powder scale is a critical part of your reloading setup. Powder scales precisely measure how much gun powder you’re putting into your ammo.
Without one, you can’t be sure of the precise amount of powder that goes into each round of ammunition (called the powder charge).
Reloading requires a strict level of precision for good, and safe, results.
So, are you looking for the right reloading scale to add to your reloading bench but aren’t sure which one to get?
No need to fear!
We’ve done the research on which reloading scale will give every reloader the safest and smoothest experience possible. And we included some links so you can buy the best powder scale in just a few clicks.
As a note, some reloading presses or reloading kits already include powder scales. Therefore, you may already have one and don’t need to buy another – however, upgrading from a basic kit-level reloading scale might be a good idea.
We cover fancy scales that are electornic powder measures that do everything for you.
Best Reloading Scales for 2022
Top Reloading Scales
Best Reloading Scales
- Hornady G3 1500 Electronic Reloading Scale
- Lyman Micro-Touch 1500 Electronic Scale
- RCBS M500 Mechanical Scale
- GEMINI-20 Portable Precision Digital Milligram Scale
- Frankford Arsenal DS-750 Digital Reloading Scale
Best Reloading Scale Reviews
Now that we’ve had an overview look at our list, let’s take some time to review each reloading scale individually.
Hornady G3 1500 Electronic Reloading Scale Review
This electronic scale from Hornady offers the same high-quality precision as the highly-rated Hornady Auto Charge. How this scale differs is due to the price point and built-in components.
Unfortunately, for the Auto Charge, many prefer to dispense powder manually instead of with a trickler. Manually dispensing increases accuracy and dependability.
The G3 1500 scale from Hornady doesn’t come with a dispenser, but it is compatible with one. Its main benefit is that you don’t have to automatically trickle powder, like you have to with the Auto Charge.
Including a backlit LCD display, the G3 1500 can measure in grams, grains, ounces, or even carats. It has a 1500-grain capacity, and it measures with 0.1-grain accuracy. Included are two power adapters, an AC adapter, and a 220V adaptor.
What is the best digital powder measure? The Hornady G3 1500 Electronic Scale is the best digital powder measure because of its capacity, versatility, and overall quality. The quality of Hornady’s scales has set the bar high for other competitors.
And, it includes a draft shield in case moving air around your reloading area is making it difficult to get a reading (yes, it’s that sensitive – it is a very accurate reloading scale and a great option to get started with precision reloading).
The Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Charge is the best powder scale with a digital keypad and automatic trickle function. But the simpler Hornady G3 1500 is the best digital reloading scale for the price.
Hornady G3 1500 Electronic Reloading Scale Pros and Cons
- Positively vetted – 300 reviews with a 4.5 average
- Large screen – Easy to read LCD screen
- Weigh options – Trickle powder or weigh bullets, cases, etc. directly
- Calibration – A very small number of reviewers reported issues
- Power glutton – Some users report it draining batteries quickly
Lyman Micro-Touch 1500 Electronic Scale Review
The Lyman Micro-Touch features almost as many capabilities as the Hornady above. This scale also has an excellent 1500-grain capacity, LCD backlit display, and a protective cover for longevity.
Unlike its competitor, Lyman’s digital powder scale can operate off battery power or the included AC adapter. This flashy kit also comes with an ambidextrous powder pan and calibration weight.
This tool is a wise investment if you’re looking to pair it with other products from Lyman.
Lyman Micro-Touch 1500 Electronic Scale Pros and Cons
- Small – Doesn’t take up much bench space at all
- Power options – Utilizes batteries as a backup to AC adapter
- Small – Not everyone likes something this small and easily disturbed
- Sensitivity – Some users report issues with accuracy and consistency
RCBS M500 Mechanical Scale Review
No digital scale can match the consistency of a balance beam scale, free from electricity and random errors. RCBS’s M500 Mechanical Scale is a superb option for reloaders willing to take a little extra time to use a manual beam scale for more consistent reloading.
It takes more time, but it is probably the best way to ensure a precise charge weight.
What is the best beam scale for reloading? The RCBS M500 Mechanical Scale is the best beam scale for reloading. Its cast aluminum base, tip-proof metal pan, and RCBS’s damping systems allow for incredibly efficient and accurate results.
What is the best reloading scale for rifle ammo? The M500 Mechanical Scale from RCBS is the best reloading scale for rifle ammo since rifle reloading requires more precision than the handgun reloading process.
Without batteries, AC power supply, or annoying glitches, manual measurements are almost always more reliable than a digital LCD display.
The RCBS Chargemaster Combo is a great digital choice, but we love RCBS’s mechanical scale.
RCBS M500 Mechanical Scale Pros and Cons
- Analog – Beam scales are less vulnerable to inaccuracy and glitches
- Robust – This thing is a tank
- Old school – Many people prefer digital
- Heavyweight – Takes up space on the workbench and isn’t mobile
This scale was initially intended for kitchen use, but it doubles as a reloading scale.
GEMINI-20 Portable Precision Digital Milligram Scale Review
Although this scale wasn’t made for the reloading process, its capabilities still measure up to other digital reloading scales. The reason why this scale works as part of a reloading press workbench is because of its durability, accuracy, and versatility.
This handy kitchen scale can measure in:
- Troy ounces
Although this may be designed for the kitchen, this digital scale is perfect for using on the go, since it only requires 2 AAA batteries.
This bundle comes with 2 calibration weights, a protective cover, a metal tray, an easy “tare” button, and even a pair of tweezers. This is among the most underrated scales on the market today for measuring powder and even casings.
GEMINI-20 Portable Precision Digital Milligram Scale Pros and Cons
- Portable – Small, easily moved, and accurate
- Versatile – Measures grams, ounces, carats, grains, and more
- Well-liked – More than 5,000 (!) review on Amazon
- Culinary design – Some users won’t like that it was designed for kitchen use
- Fragile – Easy to damage or ruin calibration
Frankford Arsenal DS-750 Digital Reloading Scale Review
Frankford Arsenal made their 750-grain digital reloading with convenience in mind. It measures in grams, grains, ounces, and carats, all shown on a large LCD display.
This kit includes:
- Metal powder pan
- Calibration weight
- Carry case
The value for what you get for Frankford’s DS-750 earned it a place on this list. It may not stack up to others on this list in terms of versatility, but it offers enough precision to get the job done — but at a lower pricing than all the other reloading scales.
Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Precision Scale is an excellent choice for a deluxe, expensive option. Fortunately, Frankford also offers the DS-750 for a budget-friendly device that still gives you what you need.
Frankford Arsenal DS-750 Digital Reloading Scale Pros and Cons
- Tare function- In addition to measuring grams, carats, etc.
- Price – Very low price for such a reliable scale
- Limited capacity – Only measures half of what some others can
- Shallow – The powder pan has shallow sides
Do you need a scale for reloading ammo?
Yes, you need a scale for reloading ammo to ensure the ratios of all your reloading measurements are correct. A powder scale prevents a squib, which is ammunition without enough powder to fire, possibly leading to gun malfunction and explosion. A scale also helps with accuracy.
Buy a scale that is durable, precise, and convenient. You need to be confident in its ability to calculate accurate measurements. Some companies may overcharge you for scales that they say are accurate but don’t live up to the hype.
I use manual scales instead of digital scales. In my personal experience, I’ve used digital scales to weigh the same exact amount of powder twice in a row and gotten different results. It’s a little more time-consuming, but manual scales are more consistent than digital scales.
If you use a scale, you can use other reloading equipment like a dispenser to measure powder manually or a trickler to automatically dispense powder.
How is gunpowder measured?
Gunpowder is measured using a reloading scale, oftentimes alongside a trickler or dispenser. With an adequate reloading scale, the powder is measured in 0.1-grain accuracy for each cartridge of ammo.
Powder is (usually) dispensed onto the scale, measured, then transferred into its cartridge. Weight capacity of the scale determines if you are able to measure multiple casings with powder at the same time.
With the assistance of a reloading manual, you can learn about the different measurements and specified instructions for each size caliber you intend to reload. The amount of powder you load into your ammo will directly impact how that single cartridge will ignite within the chamber.
Do I need a powder dispenser with my scale?
No, you do not need a powder dispenser with your scale. Dispensers are optional, but they can improve efficiency and quality of life. Like mechanical vs. digital scales, using a trickler or dispenser depends on each reloader.
Dispensers add ease of use to the reloading process. However, allocating the powder yourself can mean more accurate measurements.
How often should I calibrate my reloading scale?
How often you should calibrate your reloading scale depends on manufacturers’ guidelines. If a scale with high-quality components needs regular calibration, there’s probably an issue that requires attention.
Thankfully, most powder scales include a calibration weight. You can place this useful tool on your powder tray to continuously check the calibration of your scale. Doing this helps keep track of how often your scale actually needs a calibration.
More Resources For Reloading Ammo
Whether you prefer a digital or mechanical scale for accuracy depends on your personal preferences. This list ranked scales based on which offered reloaders the most ease of use, durability, accuracy, and overall safety.
Each one of these options is a gun powder grain scale that will serve you well.
If you are interested in learning more about the reloading process, Gun University has you covered. We offer helpful articles on:
- Best single-stage presses
- Best progressive reloading presses
- Best turret presses
- Best reloading dies
- Best case trimmers
- List of gun reviews
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