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RCBS Chargemaster 1500 Review By Jim Brown

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Unread 12-04-2009, 02:19 PM
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Re: RCBS Chargemaster 1500 Review By Jim Brown


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.



Monte, Where did you get the instructions / procedures to set the internal adjustment like the setpoints?
Thanks Pops_22_250]
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Unread 12-06-2009, 06:55 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Re: RCBS Chargemaster 1500 Review By Jim Brown

gidday pops, cheers very much for your advice. i haven;t as yet followed through with my purchase of the chargemaster 1500. it still seems the better item on the market at the moment.
my mates one has given me the slow issues you talk of. i will be giving the parameter adjustments a good go.
damn fine nice-o- ya to have a bit of a yarn.
cheers again
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Unread 05-29-2010, 03:51 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: reno , NV
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Re: RCBS Chargemaster 1500 Review By Jim Brown

I got mine a long time ago when they were $150 at mid south, but mine did not come with software ?
Is the soft wear included now?
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Unread 01-04-2011, 01:59 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 11
Re: RCBS Chargemaster 1500 Review By Jim Brown

I have the charge master 1500 also. I believe I have had it about a year and a half. I use ball powder in it all the time and I do use cling free pads to keep from having static. It does a good job throwing charges in the high sixty grains for me. I took a one pound plastic Retumbo container and cut it in half to catch my powder on empting and works well.
The only down fall with the unit is my key board went out just after warranty and it will cost 45.00 dollars to get it fixed or replaced. So I have to send it in.But other than that I feel it is a good unit. And the warranty will start over at that time. Heavy Wall
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Unread 01-18-2011, 09:11 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Re: RCBS Chargemaster 1500 Review By Jim Brown

I am thinking about getting this Narchez had a good geal going right now at $279 but i mostly reload .40 and .45 and i am going to start .223 how is this with handgun loads?
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Unread 01-18-2011, 09:31 PM
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Location: Wenatchee, WA
Posts: 806
Re: RCBS Chargemaster 1500 Review By Jim Brown

My handgun loading experience is pretty thin, and I don't use much other than ball powders... but I think using a Chargemaster to dispense a charge of less than 15-20gns would be almost a waste of time/effort.
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Unread 01-18-2011, 11:58 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 11
Re: RCBS Chargemaster 1500 Review By Jim Brown

Loadtoad a 7
I can"t tell you anything about hand gun load because I have never tried it. But I do know it will work fine for any Rifle loads. That is my experience so far. But I"m not an expert by any means. I use a thrower for pistol shells and weigh them. Slower but works well. I use it for 223-22/250- 308- 300- 338- 6.5 and my long range 7mm I throw and weigh with a balance beam scale. Heavy wall
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