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Old May 22, 2012, 01:56 PM   #1
Wyoredman
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RCBS Chargemaster setup:

I just ordered the RCBS Chargemaster dispenser and scale combo from Natchez. I've always thought that having a mechanical dispenser coupled with an electronic scale was a brilliant idea, but I have never before been able to afford one.

That has changed and with the excellent sale at Natchez ($289.00), I took the plunge! Yeah!

So, how have your experiences with this piece of equipment turned out? Do you love the thing, or do you find it cumbersome and inaccurate? Is the speed ok for loading rifle rounds? What should I be on the lookout for? Let me know your experiences with the Chargemaster.

Thanks - Wyoredman
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Old May 22, 2012, 02:00 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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First thing you do is take about 1/4" of a McDonalds straw and glue it in the end of the dispenser tube. This keeps stray granules from falling so easily after the dispenser means to stop.

So far as the use and function of the device. I've said it many times before....


The first time you use it, there's a light that shines down from heaven and a chorus of angels sing "Alleluia!"

I'm only slightly exaggerating. Seriously. I wouldn't want to load rifle rounds without one. Ever.
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Old May 22, 2012, 02:08 PM   #3
Wyoredman
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Thanks Peet, I guess my daughter gets a trip to McD's tonight!
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Old May 22, 2012, 03:13 PM   #4
m&p45acp10+1
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I have the Hornady AutoCharge. I would not trade it away for the world. All of my rifle rounds are loaded using it.
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Old May 22, 2012, 03:44 PM   #5
David Bachelder
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Don't forget this:

RCBS Rebate

Knocks the price down another $50.00

Not a bad deal.
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I load, 9mm Luger, .40, 38 S&W, .38 Special, .357, .45ACP, .45 Colt, .243 and 30-06
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Old May 22, 2012, 04:37 PM   #6
Tuzo
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I echo Brian's sentiment about the Chargemaster. My only advice: read the instructions.

Bought my machine for about the same price several years ago and it has worked accurately every time. Still check the thrown charge with a beam scale every 25th or so round instead of every 10th round as I used to do with a manual powder measure. Once set the weight has never varied so I may begin checking every 50th round.

I use the Chargemaster for rifle cartridge reloading. For pistol I use a very reliable RCBS Little Dandy.
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Old May 22, 2012, 04:53 PM   #7
Wyoredman
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READ THE INSTRUCTIONS? Only if I must! Haha! Thanks for the heads up, Tuzo.

Natchez is promoting the rebate, so if you buy from them you can get the rebate form on their site. Thanks David.

I hope to have it by the end of the week.
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Old May 22, 2012, 07:15 PM   #8
DeadCenter
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I really like my Chargemaster, sure beats the Lee beam scale I was using before. I second the McDonalds staw mod and also I have changed the speed settings mildly to speed up the rate of dispense. You can google chargemaster speed programming, there are several write ups on it. Basically you can set how many grains before target weight to switch from full to high speed, high to slow and slow to trickle speed.
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Old May 22, 2012, 07:32 PM   #9
Cajun Ken
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I have had my RCBS Chargemaster Combo for a short period of time, but I love it. Before I seated any bullets, I checked 50 charges against my balance beam scale and they were right together on all 50. I still check every 10th or so round. It has greatly increased my confidence, and I am able to keep a smooth rhythm going, as opposed to constantly adding or removing powder to get the right weight. Also, I haven't experienced any problems with proximity of fluorescent lighting or minor vibrations.

I hope you are as happy with yours as I am with mine.
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Old May 30, 2012, 09:25 AM   #10
Wyoredman
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Received the Chargemaster yesterday. Set it up last night and began learning how to use it.

Very easy to set up. Came with 2, 50gram calibration weights.

Calibration was very simple. After calibration, I filled the hopper 1/3 of the way with IMR 4064, entered a load in the memory and dispensed 30 charges.

I weighed each charge on my Lyman beam scale. All were within +-0.2 grains of the listed charge, most being right on.

I did notice that if you were not carfull, powder would fall out of the dispensing tube when removing or replacing the powder pan. I think Peetza's McD's straw glued to the tube will fix this.

When the scale was set to "Auto Dispense", it would meter a 40.0 gr charge in less than 15 seconds. The "autodispense" feture is very nice! It begins filling the powder pan as soon as it is replaced onto the scale, saving time.

There is memory for 30 loads to be stored with info on powder, and bullets.

The only drawback to the whole set up, that I can see, is the fact that with the powder reservoir attached, the system is too tall to fit into any of the drawers or shelves on my bench. I needed to remove the plastic powder hopped cylinder to stow the machine.

Reloaders need some sort of small plate or short sided bowl to catch the powder from the hopper drain when you are done. The drain is fairly low on the dispenser, so unless you have the Chargemaster set up on the edge of your bench, it is hard to get a catch vesel under the powder drain when emptying the hopper.

So far, I am very impressed with the Chargemaster ease of use and accuracy.

I will update as I get the chance to explore more of the features.
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Old May 30, 2012, 10:14 AM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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The Chargemaster indicated all the charges were exactly correct and your beam scales showed +-0.2gr?
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Old May 30, 2012, 12:37 PM   #12
Wyoredman
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Peetza,

On a few of the throws, the Chargemaster indicated 40.0gr but the beam scale showed a few tenths differance. I am assuming it is user error at this point, as I just unpacked the Chargemaster last night and have not become totally aquainted with it.

As I mentioned, you were correct in noteing that powder granuals do have a tendancy to fall out of the dispenser. Some may have fallen out into the pan as I removed it from the chargemaster, I am not sure.

I will get some more time with the machine tonight and report back, but currently, I think this may be the answer to my prayers!

Thanks.
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Old May 30, 2012, 12:43 PM   #13
temmi
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I have had mine ever since they came out.. I'm thinken 5+ years maybe more (time flies)

I love it

No problems

Fast

Accurate

What more can I say?

Snake
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Old May 30, 2012, 06:09 PM   #14
tomt53
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Wait for the ChargeMaster to beep at you and the arrow is pointing to stable. Sometimes mine will throw an extra .1 grain. Then I take out my trusty MacDonald's coffee stirer from the 70's ( the ones MacDonalds had to quite using because people were using with them with drugs) and take out a dab or two.

++ on the straw from MacDonalds
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Old May 30, 2012, 07:44 PM   #15
Brian Pfleuger
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I'll be interested to hear how it works out for you. I've never checked it against a beam scale, only another digital.
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Old May 30, 2012, 08:02 PM   #16
DeadCenter
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Also another tip for your chargemaster... take a sharpie and write on the powder lid a note to remind yourself to ensure the clean out valve is closed!!! How many here will admit they've started to fill with powder just to find it flowing out the clean out because you forgot to close it? LOL It really sucks when your reloading room is carpeted and this happens.
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Old May 30, 2012, 08:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
I've never checked it against a beam scale, only another digital.
I use a beam scale to check mine, and every charge has agree exactly with the digital readout of the RCBS unit.

I read so many stories about leaving the powder drain open after emptying that I think it was seared into my brain. So my standard practice after brushing out the last few granules of powder is to rotate the drain to the closed position.
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Old May 30, 2012, 08:34 PM   #18
Miata Mike
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I have on and love it! I mostly use it now for rifle loads and random checking of my pistol loads I make on my Lee Pro1000.
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Old May 30, 2012, 10:34 PM   #19
marklyftogt
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Love it and love it and Natchez...you need to spend $300 to get the rebate. Get the combo pistol primer hole cleaner brush.
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Old May 31, 2012, 12:20 AM   #20
Kayser
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IMPORTANT : You need to wait until after the Chargemaster beeps and redisplays the number to get an accurate reading. If you don't do this, it can very easily explain the differences you are seeing. It goes like this:

- Charge trickles complete.
- Chargemaster beeps. At this point the weight displayed is not necessarily accurate. I'm pretty sure the reason here is that it just stops updating the display when it crosses the threshold. But that last few grains it ekes out can pop it from 49.9 to 50.1 or 50.2 instead of the 50.0 it "locks down" at.
- It flashes the round count.
- It then displays the weight again. Now the value you are seeing is the correctly measured weight.

This is a pretty big design flaw in the whole system if you ask me. But if you're aware of it, it's no big deal.

Again, very important to use the post-beep, post-round-count weight displayed value. That should match up to a balance beam scale every time perfectly.
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Old May 31, 2012, 09:23 AM   #21
Wyoredman
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Yes Kayser!

Used the Chargemaster last evening to load 100 rounds of .220 Swift. After tapeing the "staw extender" to the dispenser and then waiting for the round count to flash, it was very accurate! Much faster than throwing the powder then trickeling to the charge weight.

I compared every 10th charge weighed on my Lyman beam scale and was always dead on or +-0.1 gr.

My hands are large and I am having a bitt of trouble removing the powder pan from under the dispenser without bumping it. Practice will help.
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Old May 31, 2012, 12:01 PM   #22
Brian Pfleuger
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You call it a straw "extender"...

In hindsight, I wasn't too clear about it exactly but the straw is normally glued inside the tube, flush with the end.

I don't guess it really makes any difference, since I think it's the little edge that the straw creates inside the tube that matters, but there's not really a need for it to be sticking out. So long as the powder lands in the pan it shouldn't matter functionally, except it might be why you're bumping it so much?
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Old May 31, 2012, 01:48 PM   #23
Wyoredman
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Much more cear! I have it taped to the outside extending the dispenser (trickler) tube. Seems to work, but it does get in the way!
As they say....Clear as mud?
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Old May 31, 2012, 05:07 PM   #24
AllenJ
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The "straw" idea sounds like a very good one, I'll have to do it my Chargemaster. I hate when you watch the powder build up right on the edge of the tube as the scale attempts to get a tenth more powder to drop, and then it all drops at once and you're 2 tenths over! Thanks Brian for the tip.
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