RCBS Powder Dispenser/Scale

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by WI_HUNTER, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. WI_HUNTER

    WI_HUNTER Member

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    Hey guys,

    Im 15 and started reloading not too long ago. I was at cabelas looking around and I liked the Chargemaster scale and dispenser. Not sure if thats the name but its the RCBS digital one. Do any of you have them? Do you like them? Im going to start more long range shooting soon and not sure if i should stay with the regular powder measure or the digital? Thanks
     
  2. JLM

    JLM Member

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    Jan 23, 2009
    I recently got a CM from a good friend and really like it. With a few mods to the programming (easy to do) and sticking a cut down
    McDonalds straw in the dispenser tube, it almost allways throws dead nuts on (measured on a beam scale) and does it quickly.

    I found the ammo shoots just as good as a throw/trickle type setup.

    The added 'bonus' IMO is that while you are throwing another charge, you can be seating a bullet at the same time, so its like having two people on the bench.

    HTH.
     

  3. rhouser

    rhouser Well-Known Member

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    JLM: Straw in the dispensing tube?
    WI Hunter: I use the CM and it works for me. They are not cheap, but, I feel like I got what I paid for. If you are on a budget, there are other ways you can go that will result in FINE loads. As always, it is up to us to decide where we spend our money. Good Luck with your loading. rc
     
  4. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    WI_Hunter,
    I have had one almost 2 yrs now and can't believe I ever wasted my time on anything else. It speeds up the process so much. Whether I'm loading 100 45ACP for plinking/practice or 12 .300 WinMag for load development (4 different powder charges), it's quick, quicker than a balance beam and just as accurate. I recently shot a 3.6" group at 560yds from my .300WinMag (180gn NBT) and a 1.457" group at 300yds with my .243Win (75gn HP) with loads from it.
    I put the partial McDonald's straw in the feed tube of mine and it does seem to trickle better and not dump too much at the critical point. Something else I changed; for the two front and two back feet I replaced with some that have hard rubber cushions. They are a bit longer with more adjustment and make it easier to level (I epoxed a small bubble level to the green lid of the powder hopper). I did away with the middle feet and used the right machine screw to tighten the bar down. I haven't messed with the programming on mine as it works fast enough for me.
    I've been a scale technician for 12 years now and it's a great dispenser/scale. A word of caution if you decide to change the leveling feet. Be careful and do not use too long of an adjustment leg for the front leveling feet as it may contact the main PCB. This would probably cause it to short or burn a component out and I'm sure they will not honor any warranty.
    Good luck in your decision. JohnnyK.
     
  5. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "...not sure if i should stay with the regular powder measure or the digital?"

    Opinions on digital dumpsters vary, a lot. Bottom line, either does as good a job as the other. The ONLY thing a digital offers is "speed". But not a lot of that, and that at great cost.

    Speed with a conventional measure/scale/trickler depends, a LOT, on the placement of the tools, the user's skill and his rythum. If The measure is mounted in the press, if the scale and trickler are on the bench top (instead of a shelf near eye level) and if it's not all close to the press his speed will be poor and the digital is likely to be faster.

    Digital systems are impressive to look at. But, considering that digital scales have to warm up before use, some as long as an hour, then calibrated and zeroed each use, and again from time to time during use, are sensitive to varying line voltage and stray electical fields, they are more difficult to change powders in and they can easily be damaged without visible signs, I wonder what real time saving value they can offer to a "normal" volume shooter. Not much in the final analysis, I suspect.

    But, those who love digitals do love them. I don't, but I typically only load one or two boxes of rifle stuff at once and never weigh individual charges for pistol ammo, that's pointless, so my needs are modest.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  6. Timberbeast7

    Timberbeast7 Well-Known Member

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    ?? What?? Have you ever used a Chargemaster...doesn't sound like it. "Warm up" takes about 10 seconds, calibration takes about 1 minute. Not sure how a scale will be affected by 'varying line voltage', they are extremely easy to change powders in (turn the plug open, drain the spout, sweep the last of the powder out the drain spout, refill), and I've heard stories of the Chargemasters being dropped on the floor with no damage. I'm not trying to be argumentitive but I don't think you have accurately described the Chargemaster. Also, what do you consider a "normal" volume shooter? If you only shoot a couple times a year, it will probably be cheap to find a friend with reloading equipment.

    If it fits your budget, the Chargemaster is well worth the money and VERY reliable.
     
  7. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    I've used several different beam scales and some different electronic scales. The Chargemaster is the best (for my usage) system I have found. It dispenses the charge while I am seating a bullet and inspecting the loaded round. I don't worry about warm up times with it (I have with prior digitals). I calibrate it every time I use it (takes less than a minute). To use a typical beam scale, you need to have your eyes at the same level as the pointer to get accurate results. A digital is also vastly superior for seperating components or weighing things that vary in weight.

    If your budget allows, I'd recommend the Chargemaster. If you are on a tight budget, the beam scales will work just fine. I reloaded with a beam scale for many years. Just be careful to check the sliding weights (especially the 1/10gr slider) EVERY time you use it, it's easy to bump and can cause you to inadvertantly load heavy or light loads (doesn't happen with a digital).

    AJ
     
  8. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I am a beam scale person but after I bought the RCBS Charge master I have since become
    a believer in them.

    I have a Harold's powder measure and a very accurate beam scale and plan on keeping them
    to periodically check the accuracy of the RCBS and in case it malfunctions I will still have a back
    up.

    All of my loads were worked up on the beam scale and in the past electronic scales were off
    a little and I had to adjust the weight to match the beam scale weight. So far the Charge Master
    has been dead on with the beam scale.

    But you cant go wrong with the Charge Master.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  9. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    I love the ChargeMaster. A thrower/scale/trickler in one unit.
    All ya need is a funnel on a long droptube(about 12") and you're set.
     
  10. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    ""Warm up" takes about 10 seconds, calibration takes about 1 minute. "

    Sure, the display will "light up" in 10 seconds or less. I meant warming up enough for the electonics to become stable.


    "Not sure how a (digital) scale will be affected by 'varying line voltage', "

    Then you aren't very sure of how electonic things work. As a retired precision electronic instrument repair and calibration tech in the space/defense industry, I think I do. Maybe a little anyway.

    As I said, those who love them love them. I don't. Made too good a living for too long a time based on the lack of reliabilty for expensive electonic gadgets to start trusting them now. Enjoy it while it lasts. I HOPE your's lasts a long time, but I don't expect it. :D

    I do think that digitals are good for any non-critical work such as weighing cases, cast bullets, etc. But I have largely outgrown that for anything but the most precise work. For most target practice and hunting with factory weapons it just doesn't accomplish much to be that picky. That's true even for powder charges most of the time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  11. Timberbeast7

    Timberbeast7 Well-Known Member

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    boomtube...have you ever used a Chargemaster?
     
  12. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Boomtube,

    When I first bought my Chargemaster 3 years ago, I marked the weight of my powder pan on my loadbook, I also took several small pieces of metal and wrote their weights on them. I reweigh the pan everytime I use the scale and it always weighs the same amount, as do those little pieces of metal (regardless if it's been on and 'warmed up' or not). I turn on the scale, calibrate it and then weigh the pan. It ALWAYS weighs the same exact amount. Then I hit the zero button and start using the scale. I don't know what scale you are referring to, but it's not mine. I've had my Chargemaster for more than 3 years and loaded thousands of rounds with it, never a hiccup.

    AJ
     
  13. guns_and_labs

    guns_and_labs Well-Known Member

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    Through a combination of eBay and gunbroker, I ended up with an RCBS Chargemaster and a PACT equivalent. They look, act, smell and function IDENTICALLY. Buttons are the same, warm up time the same, charge speed the same.

    So, someone who knows, are they really the same system in slightly different dress?
     
  14. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "But, those who love digitals do love them. I don't, but I typically only load one or two boxes of rifle stuff at once and never weigh individual charges for pistol ammo, that's pointless, so my needs are modest."

    'Nuff said.

    I'M NOT trying to change your mind. Time will likely do that, but I can't and don't even wish to do so.