While the industry standard for electronic powder scale sensitivity has long been one-tenth of a grain (0.1 grain), a new scale from Creedmoor Sports betters that exponentially. Measuring to one-hundredth of a grain (0.01 grain), the affordable TRX-925 increases powder charge precision by a factor of 10—a boon, especially to precision reloaders of small cartridges.
Is a scale boasting a sensitivity to 0.01 grain really needed for precision reloading? That depends on a.) how one defines “precision,” and b.) the volume of the cartridge case. A difference of 0.1 grain (+/-0.1 grain) between two .300 Win. Mag. cartridges may be inconsequential on distant targets, but it is far too much for precision reloaders of diminutive cartridges such as the rimfire .22 Long Rifle, and likely noticeable with the smaller bench rest and varmint cartridges. Even with .223 Rem. cartridges, a difference between 23.9 and 24.1 grains may show up from the 600-yard line. If we can reduce powder charge variation from our competition ammunition, why not?
If you already use an electronic scale, the TRX-925 will have a short learning curve for you, though scientific scales of this type require some additional attention. These scales can be affected by the high frequency switching of nearby fluorescent lights (including CFL light bulbs) and by motorized devices operating on the same electrical circuit as the scale. Placing excessive weight—more than 925 grains—on the TRX-925 can damage its strain gauge, as well.
That 925-grain scale capacity is far more than the 250 grains of typical electronic reloading scales. A minimum weight of only 0.06 grains will trigger the TRX-925; if you’re curious, that’s the weight of seven kernels of IMR-4064. For the truly obsessive reloader, the TRX-925 can accurately weigh individual primers.
Scientific scales are readily perturbed by the slightest stray breath of air, so the handloader must either ensure against all sources of drafts, or use the provided plastic draft shields. Using the top cover portion of the shield while trickling powder is out of the question, as the long drop through the hole to the pan causes powder kernels to bounce out of the pan and scatter. Trickling can be accomplished with the side shields in place, but one must carefully hand-hold the trickler inside the shield to effectively drop powder without making a mess. This drawback is common to all scientific scales when using standard tricklers and draft shields. Better is to use a trickler with a tube or extension long enough to reach the pan center from beyond the edge of the scale’s base, such as the Lyman EZ Flow trickler shown here (which also needed a boost in height from a piece of wood).
To test the TRX-925’s sensitivity and repeatability, I weighed a powder charge on my electronic reloading scale featuring the typical +/- 0.1 grain tolerance, then weighed the same charge on the TRX-925. I weighed the same charge 10 times on both scales, dumping the charge from one scale’s pan to the other, careful to not lose a single kernel of powder.
I weighed both 20.0 grains and 50.0 grains of (extruded) IMR-4064, and 3.0 grains of (flake) Unique. The result was that the +/- 0.1 grain tolerance of my electronic scale stubbornly stuck to its initial weights without change, whereas the TRX-925 read to a much finer average tolerance of about +/- 0.03 grains. Specifically, the TRX-925 read the 20-grain charge of IMR-4064 weighed on my typical electronic scale as 20.03 to 20.06 grains, and the 50-grain charge as 50.12 to 50.16 grains. The three-grain charge of Unique weighed 3.00 to 3.02 grains on the TRX-925.
Scientific scales of 0.01 grain sensitivity have long been available, but few fall into the “affordable” realm, and they typically weigh in grams rather than grains. Many also require warm-up periods of 30 minutes or so before they can be used. The TRX-925 requires no warm-up, and weight readout options include grains.
The Creedmoor Sports TRX-925 scale retails for $349.95, a price comparable to most reloading scales, while offering 10 times the sensitivity of the others. If you’ve got a penchant to put more “precision” into “precision ammo,” the TRX-925 can fill the bill.