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Thread: Your thoughts on auto chargers - RCBS Chargemaster, Lyman, Hornady, etc.

  1. #21
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    Isn't the whole purpose of this tool to help a person not pay attention? This is exactly why I like the automated beam type scale. You're still looking at it and verify the needle in a very analog fashion, but it's just a lot less fussy because it's hands free.

    But, everyone has their own comfort level with reloading so go for what will fit with your particular style.

    I'd keep fluorescent lighting away from it and other sources of radiation.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Don't forget a nice 'heavy duty' plug strip along the backside of the bench, mounted on the wall where the usual bench 'toppings' don't block the outlets.
    I hate to plug things in 4 feet away from where I'm using them...I'll always do something to snag the cord and turn things over or send them off to the dang floor...
    “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” G. Orwell

    "A handshake or your word is all it takes…don't screw that up."…charlie

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew P View Post
    Isn't the whole purpose of this tool to help a person not pay attention?
    No the purpose is the speed up your loading. You have to pay attention to it. If you pick up the pan w/out confirming the charge value you're an idiot. Same as if you place the pan back on the scale and it reads anything other than zero and you continue along.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master

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    I've heard about fluorescent lights affecting digital scales but my Chargemaster has lived under one every since I've had it. I have had no problems with them. The original fixture had T-12 bulbs and ballast and I later replaced them with T-8's and neither have been a problem. I do have about 60 inches of separation between them. The Chargemaster is also plugged into an outlet that is on the same circuit as the lights. I do make it a point to keep my phone away from it, however I've not seen a problem with this either. Air current will affect any scale and the Chargemaster is no different. I simply close the A/C duct in the room when I'm using the scale. I use the straw trick with mine but I've never seen the need to tweek the electronics to speed it up. Maybe if I were loading very large capacity cases.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Define repeatable. Is every charge out of one hundred being the same repeatable?
    Yes that would be repeatable but the chargemaster can't do that. They have a resolution to the tenth of a grain +\-.

    I have rigged up a 5-0-5 beam scale so it can repeat charges to +\- a single kernel of powder, much more repeatable.

    This video is pretty short and sort of illustrates what I am talking about.


    So the RCBS with that powder and +\- .1 grain equals a difference of up to 12 kernels, if that is your definition of "the same", they will work just fine.
    Last edited by jmorris; 03-19-2017 at 10:05 AM.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
    Yes that would be repeatable but the chargemaster can't do that. They have a resolution to the tenth of a grain +\-.
    Do you have one? W/ a ball powder mine will throw one hundred of the same charge. I have that much faith in it. I know you've mentioned the single kernel scale before. That level of accuracy is not needed w/ what we do. People w/ beams and tricklers got along just fine for decades. The Chargemaster does the same thing in an automated fashion.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    The charge master is as good as it gets without going to a 5k Promeithius. From what I've heard since I picked mine up and doing my pre-purchase dilligence its the best out there. I think Lyman was the only other game in town at the time.

    You can program them to slow down sooner when dealing with big charges of large stick or set .2 shy and trickle up which I do for LR ammo. You can beat the for load development.

    If you have problems with flourescent light interferance, go to Radio Shack and get some ferric oxide line filters for the power supply cord to cut down on the floating numbers/rising. Just warm it up for 20-30 minutes before loading.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Do you have one?
    I have two, the ones in the video above. Fast forward to 1:47 in and you will see the 5-0-5 scale that has better resolution.

    Your charges are "The same" because that is as good of resolution as the CM1500 has. Kind of like if I used Lee dippers, all of my charges would be "the same", just a different definition of what "the same" means.

    If your scale only has a read out to .1 and the manufacturer states that it's only accurate to +\- that resolution, only luck would make them the same at a higher resolution.

    A CM1500 can't do this for example.


    I agree that level of accuracy is not needed by most. For most a volume measure is more than good enough to achieve the results they are looking for.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    When I went through my scale testing phase I observed the same discrepancies. I will only use the CM for rifle loads. It really shines in this application.
    "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees" Looking for an RCBS Ammomaster and H&R shotgun barrels regardless of condition

  10. #30
    Boolit Man
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    I double check every tenth charge from the CM with my Redding #2 and 5-0-2 scales, they always agree with each other.

  11. #31
    Boolit Mold
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    I guess I go against the trend and think they are a waste of money. I have a Pact and it does work good but I always resort to a Redding powder dispenser. It works on all the powders I use and is accurate, fast, and easy to set up. I also have been playing with the Lee perfect powder measure (not the disc but the one with the drum). I have that mounted in my turret press and is case activated. I am really surprised and pleased with it. I just think for my use, the dollars are better spent on other equipment. The Pact that I have just sits in the box on top of the shelf. I keep telling myself, I wish I could get rid of it and come out with a little cash for other things.

  12. #32
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    My Chargemaster works great for me... but I don't use it for my pistol rounds which I produce in large quantities... my Lee power drop work fine for those, and the precision of the charge isn't quite as important.

    It's nice for my .44 loads that I like to shoot for groups, the 45-70, etc ... when there's lots of powder to be measured precisely. It trickles just the right amount of powder (almost) every time, and if it's a tenth over I just dump a little out and let it drop again to the correct amount.

    I used to check it against another scale, but it's always been right so I don't bother any more.
    Five out of six doctors agree that Russian Roulette is completely safe.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master






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    I use a Charge master for rifle loads only and check loads on a beam scale every 10-15 rounds, I can say that I am bvery satisfied with the Charge master.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
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    I always thought a CM was an expensive tool in search of a use. Nobody uses it for pistol ammo, only rifle. The rifle ammo has such a large charge that being .2 grain off is .5% of an error of a 40 grain charge. And most powder dispensers can get to .2 grains with most powders.

    .5% error would be really difficult to detect from all the other reasons why a shot doesn't hit the same hole...

    The benchrest shooters all use powder dispensers, nobody that's winning weighs.

    The load development angle is the first time I've seen something that makes sense for a CM....are these things still $300+?

  15. #35
    Boolit Master
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    I use it w/ pistol rounds. H110 leaks like a sieve out of my measures. And 800-X meters like gravel. Anytime I'm loading near max, regardless of powder, I use the Chargemaster. Just because you don't see a use for it doesn't mean others feel the same way.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master omgb's Avatar
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    I got a smok'n deal on one from an estate sale. Honestly, I can't see the advantage. I can use a standard drop measure, a trickler and a balance scale and do it faster and more accurately
    R J Talley
    Teacher/James Madison Fellow

  17. #37
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    Just because you don't see a use for it doesn't mean others feel the same way.
    Yep, there is a "butt for every seat" so to speak. Some enjoy time spent reloading, others like to get it done quickly and some folks are just "gadget geeks" and like neat things.

    Nothing wrong with any of them.

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    I have the Hornady version. I have only used it with rifle loads so far. I like it because I can set it to throw a charge, once it is done I dump the powder into the case and put the pan back on, make sure it is still at zero and off it goes again. By the time I am done seating and crimping I am ready for the next load.

    The big thing for me is that it is accurate for my needs.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master
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    i have 2 hornady auto chargers and i run them together....i don't have to wait for the next charge ...it's ready before i am.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master PaulG67's Avatar
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    I acquired a chargemaster about 5/6 months ago, have been very happy with it. Have loaded several hundred rifle round and like other I check ever tenth or fifteenth round on my 505 scale and it is always right on as well as I can see. It has been a great help to my reloading. One thing I am curious about is if I will ever receive the rebate I applied for when I bought it. They seem quite slow about that.
    Paul Gauthier AKA Dragonrider


    I am Retired, I was tired yesterday and I am tired today!!!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check