Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Problem at the Reloading Bench

Hot Sundays are great days to go down to the basement and reload some ammo.

I had almost a hundred .308 Winchester cases prepped and I have seen unprecedented demand for 30-30.  I wanted to clear the decks of all of the distractions before I loaded the 30-30.  I got the .308 primed and then went to verify the powder measure with my Lee Beam Balance.

Do you notice something missing?
Yup.  It looks like the scale took a tumble and spit out its counterweight (a ball bearing).

Here is the fracture.  Sharp, inside (reentrant) corners are a crime against good design.
Another scale was ordered.  I was happy with the Lee balance.  It worked fine until it failed the anti-gravity test.  My plan is to mike the ball bearing in the replacement scale and see if I can replace the missing one.  I will check the calibration by weighing several objects of varying weights on both scales.  At which point I will glue the fracture shut and re-zero....then I will have a backup

Added later:  I pulled some measurements off the balance beam and if my measuring and my math is right then a 7/16 carbon steel ball bearing will be within  2% and low (on the safe side), a 302 stainless steel ball will be within 1% and also low.  That reminds me that I will not only have to measure the ball bearing's diameter but check to see if it is magnetic.

I wish somebody at the Lee Precision Company would authorize that a good moldmaker "breath" on this parting line with a small stone to radius or chamfer the corner where the crack started.


  1. At least you caught it BEFORE you started loading...

  2. Yes sir. That is a fact.

    The ball being missing is pretty obvious. The quality guys call it "self declaring".

    Thanks for reading.

  3. I had the same problem with the Lee scale That phenolic beam is okay, right up until it isn't. I went with a Hornady scale and never looked back.