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RCBS Chargemaster 1500 Review By Jim Brown

 
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:04 PM
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RCBS Chargemaster 1500 Review By Jim Brown

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By Jim Brown


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For a year or so now I have been using a RCBS Chargemaster 1500 for all my reloading, a simple tool to use in spite of its complicated appearance...READ MORE >>>
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Last edited by Len Backus; 06-13-2009 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:03 AM
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That is a great write up that mirrors my experiences with the charge master. There is one thing I just learned about mine that was not mentioned in the article. It is terrible at dispensing loads under 10gr. My unit does not seem to exhibit some of the vagrancies that Jim's unit exhibits. When I pull a charge off and reweigh it the weight is always the same so long as I wait on the beep before removing the charge. I have tried verifying the charge weights with a separate digital scale that I usually carry to benchrest matches. It didn't slow me down one bit as I would zero the second scale using a funnel pan then pour straight into the case. Even though it took no extra time or effort to verify the weight I soon abandoned this safeguard as my confidence in the unit increased. In short I think my chargemaster purchase was money well spent.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:13 AM
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Hmmm...

I got one a little after Jim did, apparently, but my experiences are quite a bit different (in my mind).

First off... my unit was slow. Dog-***** slow. 46.5gr Varget took anywhere from 30 seconds to 50 seconds, average in the low 40's. I saw the test times on 6mmBR.com (similar to what Jim posted) and thought this unit would be a great improvement over my old Pact dispenser/scale combo - not so much! The dispense time wasn't an issue of great concern at first, as I was weighing my charges out on a AccuLab VIC123 scale. I was mainly using the Chargemaster to get 'close' and then tweaked the charge to 46.50 +/- 0.02gr using the AccuLab, a seed bulb, and a lot of sweat (all the air vents turned off) and a lot of cussing. 600rds of precision .308 made that way puts a new hate for weighing charges into a person.

The good news was that my scale was on... when it said '46.5gr' it was 46.5gr +/- 0.1gr according to my AccuLab, every time. It rarely overshot, and when it did, that was easily fixed.

When I got back from FCNC, I decided that weighing charges out that precise was something I was going to avoid if at all possible. When you find yourself *avoiding* loading and going to the range because weighing charges sucks so much... something needs to change. And, I reasoned, if my charges have to be weighed that tight to maintain elevation, I might need to tune/tweak the load a little more.

Anywho, I picked up one trick from some folks @ FCNC - go to McDonald's and get one (1) drinking straw, preferably clean/unused ;) Cut off about 1" of it, and stick it up inside the dispensing tube, and tape it in place (duct tape works wonders). Probably 99% of the over shoot problems go away, as the powder cannot 'climb' the screw and clump up at the tube mouth like it did before. Once in a great while, you may get a 0.1gr overshoot... I pinch it off and toss it back, re-weigh the pan and carry on about my business.

The other 'trick' is to mod some of those parameters Jim talked about. On my dispenser, the big time killer was the setpoints at which it started slowing down... the measure would kick down a gear way too early (50% or so) and then again, and again, until it was trickling like the last grain and a half in super-slow speed, and it took *forever* :mad: Tweaking those parameters sped things up a bunch. You have to kind of experiment a bit w/ them, as you can get things going too fast and the scale can't keep up - by the time it tells the dispenser to SLOW DOWN!!! it's too late, it overshot the target weight. But it's pretty simple to adjust the parameters, and once you get it going, it makes a world of difference - speed *and* accuracy. Now it goes along fast enough that I have just enough time to pick up the round I just poured powder in, seat a bullet, buzz the meplat in my Giraud trimmer, and set in the box before the BEEP! from the Chargemaster signals another charge is ready. Just about right!

To the "Do's and Don'ts" category... Don't just grab the pan as soon as the beep sounds. Wait for it to display the counter info, and then go back to the actual charge weight. On the occasions when it *does* overshoot, it'll display the target weight, then beep, then display the actual final weight (the scale has finally caught up) which may be a skosh heavy. Wait for the final weight, just to be sure.

YMMV,

Monte

Last edited by milanuk; 07-15-2008 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:40 PM
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I am very new to reloading...and I bought a charge master. I like it; but then again, I know no difference. I too left the gate open one of my first times using the unit...powder everywhere! I like the idea of being able to change the speeds of the machine. Does anyone here have the know how in how to do this? I reload for my 300 rum so it takes a bit. I like the idea of the straw also, I'll get on that before my next reloading adventure as I have also noticed the powder jumping out at the end when it clumps up at the end of the tube.
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Old 07-24-2008, 02:39 PM
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I bought the combo whilst I was over in May & find it plenty fast enough & damn' accurate too.
It throws 59.5gr of H4831sc in 18 - 25 seconds & in 150+ loads has overshot by 0.01gr once & undershot by the same amount twice.
I seat & then crimp (two presses - one with a Lee FCD installed) whilst the next load is dispensing, so no time is wasted.
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:39 PM
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Here is another standing applause for the straw idea…it has just gotta work!!! It is too smart of an idea.

A suggestion you guys may consider is keeping a small bowl of the powder you are loading with any small measuring spoon (I use one out of a vitamin powder can I take) and when you press “dispense” just pour a measured amount in the pan and it quick zooms from 10-20g close to the 40-50g I am loading…you have to learn to time it correctly or you will overload it. If the measured amount is ready you can jet it up to within a couple of grains of the desired load…just play with it a little.
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbrush View Post
A suggestion you guys may consider is keeping a small bowl of the powder you are loading with any small measuring spoon (I use one out of a vitamin powder can I take) and when you press “dispense” just pour a measured amount in the pan and it quick zooms from 10-20g close to the 40-50g I am loading…you have to learn to time it correctly or you will overload it. If the measured amount is ready you can jet it up to within a couple of grains of the desired load…just play with it a little.
That is a great idea. I load calibers that use over 90 grains. That is a really good!

Thanks!
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