DPS III vs. Chargemaster 1500

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by encoreguy, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. encoreguy

    encoreguy Well-Known Member

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    I did a search before I did this and read what was there, but no one compared a DPS III. Any input on which to buy? I don't really care about speed as much as accuracy. I am not a high volume shooter so I would pick the one with better accuracy over the faster one if there was a difference. I read the review over a 6MMBR but the DPS III addressed the negative issues with the DPS I and II according to their adds. Any warrenty issues between the two. Any thoughts or input?
     
  2. Sludge

    Sludge Well-Known Member

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    I cant speak for the DPS or the Chargemaster. However, I have experience with the older automatic trickler by RCBS. The one thing I found and you can take this or leave it, but I found the automatic trickler to be ok for throwing loads for general shooting. The autos do great at that. However, when trying to push the extreme spreads on my chronograph lower, I found they are limited by the fact that they round to the nearest tenth of a grain and arent accurate enough for my tastes in that reguard. I ended up using my thrower to work on one bench and throw a charge to about a tenth shy of my intended load, then I move the pan over to another bench and top it off by hand with a balance beam scale while the automatic trickler prepares another for me. Having the automatic trickler working on one bench behind me while I fine tune a charge on another bench allows me to quickly spit out higher quality ammo. I can get more uniformity with the balance beam and the chronograph results have shown the difference. Now, as I said before, if its just pistol loads, or plinking ammo, I will just accept the loads the automatic trickler puts out. Its just the long stuff that I get really picky about (maybe too picky at times).

    I hope that makes sense. My two cents, your mileage may vary...
     

  3. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    What automatic tricker are you using Sludge?
     
  4. Sludge

    Sludge Well-Known Member

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    Its the RCBS Powdermaster. It has the trickler and the scale seperate. You just put the scale beside the dispenser. Fairly similar to the Chargemaster. It was manufactured by Pact and is still sold under their name as far as I know.
     
  5. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    The powdermaster and the chargemaster are very different machines and have nothing in common but the RCBS logo. The chargemaster will throw charges quickly and is just as accurate as any beam scale used for reloading. BTW, the balance beam scales are only accurate to .1 grain just like the chargemaster and if you think you are getting your powder charges down more accurately than that, you would have to be using a medical or phamaceutical scale or something that goes to .01 grain and your gun or ammo would never know the difference in .01 grain anyway.
     
  6. Sludge

    Sludge Well-Known Member

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    Well, the chargemaster is somewhat different, it spits it out the front instead of the side but is a play off the same theme. I didnt say I owned one. That said, their accuracy is still limited to rounding off of the digital scale to the nearest tenth of a grain. In fact it could have a 47.25gr rounded off to a 47.3 and a 47.34gr rounded off to a 47.3. That rounding off is what I dont like about the digitals. They need to have one more decimal place IMHO but for most folks that would get too pricey. I dont know what beam scale you have but mine CAN differentiate between individual grains of extruded powder where my digital scale cant. As I said I let the powdermaster throw the charges just shy of the intended load for me while I top one off on the beam. I put it on the beam and SLOWLY trickle up one small grain of extruded powder at a time until I have a perfect uniform reading. I can take 20 finished rounds with matched brass, primers, bullets etc and place one on the digital scale. Then tare weight it to that bullet and all 20 will read 0. Nicely matched and the chrono agrees. ES runs in the 13 to 20fps range right against the bottom limit of the chrono. Now, being that I work with the wastewater industry thus the name Sludge, I also have a Sartorius analytical balance that I could get very technical with that is calibrated and accurate to 0.0001g or .0015gr but below the tenth does have diminishing returns. As I stated earlier my Pact chronograph in tests has shown that I can reduce my ES by using the beam. Perhaps im using it differently than you are or maybe I got lucky and have a nice sensitive one. I dont know, but repeated chrono results have shown me that I was on the right track by doing it that way over just taking the thrown amount from the machine with all other variables being equal. I just told what works for me.. it may not work for you.

    Im probably too anal for my own good... and most stuff I do probably is just too damn picky and may not make a difference. At long ranges on flesh I just want to take out all the variables I can with the ammo and gun. God knows between my trigger finger and the environment I have enough challenges for a one shot hit without compounding any more varialbes than I absolutely have to.
     
  7. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    A couple of things here Sludge. The CHargemaster (as I said earlier) is NOT the powdermaster. I have used the powdermaster and it is a hunk of yakpoop. Several others on here can back that up. The chargemaster on the other hand has many improvements in the circuitry and dispensing and is far superior. Sales of the Chargemaster have probably been 10 to 1 of all the other powder dispensers combined and for good reason. And the chargemaster has different ergonomics of course like you mentioned.

    Second, your scale (no matter which one you use) is only going to be as accurate as the rating system and all scales currently made for our purposes are only accurate to .1 grain plus or minus. You can't throw more accurate loads than what your scale will provide beam or electronic.

    Third point, there is absolutely no need for the reloading scales we use to go to .01 grain accuracy because the gun and equipment involved in the whole act of shooting would never be able to tell the difference. Harrell's powder measures most BR guys use for competition are rated for .1 grain accuracy plus or minus and many "zero" inch groups are shot and .1 grains means more (comparatively) in a small case like a 6ppc than it is in a large case like a 300 ultra.

    Fourth point, the reason you feel your standard deviations are better with your balance beam doing the measuring is not so much the balance beam is going into the .01 accuracy level but more that your electronic scale is not throwing accurate charges. In other words, you would have more faith in your charges if your electronic scale was better. The standard deviations you mention are good when loaded with your balance beam loads. However, with a Chargemaster, even smaller deviations are possible. And remember, you could have the powder charge in your ammo counted out to the kernel and if the gun doesn't like that load, the sd can be huge still.

    QUOTE
    "At long ranges on flesh I just want to take out all the variables I can with the ammo and gun."

    Agreed. That is important and it should be a goal of all long range hunters.


    ANd for giggles, here is a group I shot in competition last summer that was loaded on a chargemaster at the range:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2008
  8. Sludge

    Sludge Well-Known Member

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    That may well be the case. I should compare the rcbs digital scale with the Sartorus scale. They are in different locations however I may carry a measured load over to my office and test it.

    Your right about the gun liking or not liking a particular load too. Ive been there and done that. Thats why I have cans of powder all over the shop that I never use LOL

    You mentioned smaller deviations. How small can you actually acheive with consistancy? And, what chrono will read low enough to accurately measure them?


    BTW, schweet group
     
  9. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Well-Known Member

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    If you do the comparison on the ultra sensitive scale, I would love to see your findings. That would be very interesting. You could even do write up for it and post it in the articles section here!

    As for the deviations, depending on the gun, I can always get sd's in the single digits loading with the chargemaster with one load or another. It really just depends on the gun. I know from working with the chargemaster for over 3 years now that if the sd's aren't good, it is the gun not liking the load, not inconsistencies in the powder charge itself. Of course, I didn't trust it at first and had to recheck my charge on my 10-10 Ohaus scale for the first 500 or so loads. After that many and no descrepancies, I realized the chargemaster could be trusted and I was just wasting time double checking every load.

    I use an Oehler 35 chrono on a 4' rod. It gets down to 2 or 3 feet accuracy on bullets under 4000 fps. It would be even more accurate if I had it on an 8' rod but that would be a pain to transport!
     
  10. Sludge

    Sludge Well-Known Member

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    If I can get the time and more importantly REMEMBER to do it I will have the powdermaster throw lets say 10 charges and then take them to the analytical balance and see how much deviation there was.

    So far as the chrono, I have a Pact championship timer/chrono (I was fairly heavily into IDPA at one point a few years ago). It served as my shot timer for draws, target transitions etc and for chrono work too. Info is hard to find but I dont think it does well below ES's of about 10-15fps (in its current 24" configuration). So, im at the bottom end of its ability to measure. It was originally purchased to check that I was making power factor for IDPA, not for rifle work, but it got drafted for that job. Its picky about light conditions too. I have been looking to buy another chrono or perhaps upgrade this one with the IR kit and perhaps make the seperation longer by building another frame for it to take it out a bit. I havent decided on that yet. Changing the frame for the sky screens should be an easy task though and given the equipment I own will probably done if for no other reason than to satisfy my curiosity.
     
  11. uncleB

    uncleB Well-Known Member

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    Sludge,
    I dont think you are getting the point yet, you are still talking about your powdermaster. it is a POS dinosaur just like my powder pro.
    You need to try one of the chargemaster's for a couple of week's to let the reality sink in of just how good they really are.
    UB
     
  12. Sludge

    Sludge Well-Known Member

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    LOL

    No, I dont think you understood the last post. Goodgrouper said...
    So, I told him that I would. Nuf said.

    Right now im not going to try the chargemaster. I may in the future, but too much is going on right now for me between remodeling a 105 year old house, wife in grad school full time, 9 yr old kid, work, ... Ive got no time for any load development or anything at the moment. When I do, given that the testing on the powdermaster goes poorly, I will no doubt get a chargemaster. And, when I get one, or get an opportunity to get my hands on one for a day or two I will without fail, subject it to a test too.

    If you read back to the earlier posts you will see that I havent been trusting the powdermaster anyway. I chose to trust the balance beam over it. And, btw, im going to test that things accuracy too ;)

    At any rate, I can still let the powdermaster throw the charge light and use my analytical balance to top off the last tenth of a grain accurately. Im not without a means to throw an accurate charge. The analytical balance is calibrated to 0.0001g or 0.0015gr. So, its capable of being way more picky than I need to be. The balance is at work, but I own the company and I will use it for reloading if or when I choose :p
     
  13. Sludge

    Sludge Well-Known Member

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    Goodgrouper, I did a bit of testing today to satisfy my curiosity.

    I did a proper warmup and calibration on both the RCBS and analytical scales. Then I had the Powdermaster throw 10 charges. During the test I used Hodgdon BL-C(2) due to its fine metering characteristics and decided on a charge of 50gr. I performed a tare weight function on the RCBS digital scale before it dispensed the first charge and didnt perform any more during the duration of the test. On the analytical balance, I verified tare weight on it prior to each throw of powder because it could detect fingerprints on the weighing pan and would alter its readings somewhat if i wasnt careful or if any powder residue remained in the pan.

    (No) (Indicated on RCBS Digital Scale) (Indicated by the analytical balance)
    1- (50.0) (50.035)
    2- (50.0) (50.019)
    3- (50.0) (50.026)
    4- (50.0) (50.052)
    5- (50.0) (50.060)
    6- (50.1) (50.095)
    7- (50.0) (50.038)
    8- (49.9) (49.925)
    9- (50.1) (50.033)
    10-(50.0) (50.024)

    The group taken as a whole had a SD of 0.06gr as indicated from the RCBS scale. The SD according to the analytical balance was 0.043gr. ES of 0.170

    Now, as you can see some of the loads were not indicated by the dispenser as 50.0gr loads. It either over or under dispensed. So, if I were to discard all loads it said were not 50.0gr loads the Average according to the analytical balance is 50.036gr. The SD according to the analytical balance is then 0.014gr with an ES of 0.040 Thats not as bad as I had expected.

    Now, I threw a few to 55.0gr on the balance beam too. Suffice it to say that the balance beam was not as accurate. The Average according to the analytical balance was 54.995gr and the SD was 0.019gr with an ES of 0.046 at the best that I could do when everything went right. Now, the flaw with the little balance beam scale was that the calibration was so easily knocked off. I wasted one whole set of numbers when I bumped it and after 4 or 5 wild samples on the analytical balance, I realized that the scale had been altered. I then had to recalibrate it and begin another test batch. I would not have been able to detect this deviation without the analytical balance there to catch the change. Now, if I was careful, and didnt mess up the calibration, it did well as the above SD indicates. A higher quality balance beam would surely do much better in reguards to holding its calibration than this little one did.

    Very enlightening tests none the less. I expected a higher spread from the RCBS digital scale, and I did not expect to find the problem with the balance beam scale. As I said above, the change in that scale wasnt detectable unless you were backing up its measurements with another scale. The chronograph results that I had based my previous assumptons on was on ammo using H-1000. Its a coarse powder and perhaps that is why the balance beam had appeared to throw a more uniform powder. I should repeat the testing with a coarse powder to see if the results hold. Or, perhaps I had a really good day with the balance beam...

    I would really like to get my hands on a Chargemaster to see how it performs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
  14. Reloader

    Reloader Well-Known Member

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    Cm 1500...

    Can't help with the DPS, but can say that my charge master 1500 has been very accurate in the short 3 months I've owned it. I haven't tried any ball powders yet, but with small stick and large stick it has thrown accurate charges every time. I've checked several charges with my 1010 and it's been dead on every time.

    I heard of some guys setting it light and trickling the last bit. I just set mine dead on and it's been throwing them dead on the money every time. I only use it when volume loading as I find a beam quick enough if I'm just loading a few different loads for load development.

    It will throw a mid 40s weight charge of stick powder in 18-20 seconds from start to finish. The auto mode is nice, empty the pan and when the pan is back in place it throws the next charge automatically.

    Nice rig, I'm glad I have one.

    Reloader