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Who uses an electronic powder measure/ scale?

bullsi1911bullsi1911 ModeratorPosts: 11,355 Senior Member
been thinking about investing in one. It looks like the RCBS chargemaster and chargemaster lite are the ones with the best reviews.  However, they have some negatives as well.

anyone have input/ experience/ thoughts?
To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
-Mikhail Kalashnikov
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Replies

  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Midway has the RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 $50 off right now.

    Mine is an older Lyman DPS 1200, but it still works pretty darn good.

    I don't use it all that much except for some rifle loads. In truth my RCBS Uniflow and the newer Lee Drum measures work just fine for most of my reloading.  
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Amazon has it for the same price and free shipping. $319.90


    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Heck, $289 at Natchez...................shop around.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 4,079 Senior Member
    I use a Chargemaster and like it just fine. It's not exactly fast but it is accurate and much easier than hand weighing every charge. 
    Sako
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,772 Senior Member
    I use the RCBS Chargemaster.  Invaluable to me. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,581 Senior Member
    I have several Chargemasters...Like them!
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,937 Senior Member

    I have a Chargemaster as well.  Probably the best reaoding tool I've ever bought.  I held off for years due to the price of them.  I should have bought one a long time ago.  When I got mine, I started to buy the Chagemaster lite.  Ended up finding the Chargemaster 1500 on sale and with a rebate and got it for close to the same cost as the lite model.

    My only "issue" with it is, it can be pretty slow with some powders and charges.  I've been dispensing a charge, pour the powder in the case and put the pan back on the scale, which automatically starts the next charge while I'm seating the bullet on the case I just charged.  A lot of times, I have to wait a good bit for the next charge to be ready.  No big deal, really.  I do know the newer model Chargemasters are programmable to set the dispense speeds and the points that it changes dispensing speeds, such as slowing to the trickle phase at the end 1 grain before target weight as opposed to 5 grains, for example. The process for reprograming them is readily available on line.  However, there is not "return to factory default" option.  So once you change it, it ain't going back to factory settings unless you write the factory settings down and reprogram them back in.  I have not tried messing with these settings.  IMO, with some powders the Chargemaster goes into the final trickle stage a bit early and takes a long while to complete the charge. It could stand to run at faster speed until a little closer to the target weight.  But again, I have not tried messing with these settings on mine.  I just use it as a good excuse to relax, take my time and enjoy the process.

  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,937 Senior Member
    FWIW, I was using a Redding Match Grade 3BR dispenser prior to getting the Chargemaster.  That Redding is a fantastic measure and very accurate.  I don't think I've touched it since I got the Chargemaster.  While the Redding would be much faster and just as accurate as the Chargemaster, I've gotta admit, punching a few buttons and hitting enter is really convenient and much less of a chance of making a mistake.  And, with the current metering chamber on my Redding, it does not throw light pistol charges very well at all.  Anything under 5 grains and it starts getting a little erratic.  That's another thing that makes the Chargemaster awesome to use.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    edited April 2018 #10
    Me. But I do see the virtues of a balance beam scale over an electronic measure. True, the electronic measure can be more accurate, but as I said in the other thread about the Ruger hand gun blowing up, electronic measurers can be wrong and it's harder to see when there's a problem unless you manually weigh some charges to check it or use a test weight.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    The RCBS Chargemaster is absolutely my favorite hand loading tool. It's not fast enough for handgun ammo mass production, but I use it anyway, sometimes, just because I just like using it. For rifle ammo, it is wonderful.
  • JKPJKP Senior Member Posts: 2,312 Senior Member
    I've got a Lyman and the RCBS. The Lyman is in the box as it's not as accurate in my experience. The Lyman is faster though. 
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,355 Senior Member
    I am seriously considering the Chargemaster Lite.  the only thing that it seems the 1500 has is the ability to save loads. 


    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,980 Senior Member
    I have both an electronic and a balance beam.  The electronic is faster to set up but slower to load individually.  I only load for the .22 Hornet with the balance beam and then work up a load with my powder dropper.  I'm sure the RCBS is accurate for working up a load, but I've never used it for that.  I measure every 9th charge on the Harral's, and I'm satisfied that it's just as accurate as the RCBS but I doubt the RCBS is any more accurate.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    I have both balance beam scales, and a PACT digital scale. I use BOTH the scales to set my powder measure, and weigh every 10th charge, on BOTH. I also check cases for powder level; it isn't uncommon for some powders to bridge in the powder measure tube occasionally and short one case and overcharge the next. Being CDO (OCD in proper alphabetic order) is never a bad thing when reloading is being done.

    Starting with cleaned cases my order of operation is:
    1 Deprime/size, check and trim if necessary
    1A Bell case mouth on cases of straight wall cartridges or for lead bullets
    2 Prime with hand primer
    3 Charge cases, 50 at a time (my loading blocks hold 50 cases)
    4 Seat bullets
    5 Crimp bullets
    It isn't a fast method but I haven't blown anything up, yet.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,355 Senior Member
    I think there is some confusion here.  I’m talking about the automatic powder measure/ scale that pours and trickles the power for you.

    Like this:  https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1018264281/rcbs-chargemaster-lite-powder-scale-and-dispenser-110-volt

    i already use use a digital scale.  This would replace the measure as well
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    I think there is some confusion here.  I’m talking about the automatic powder measure/ scale that pours and trickles the power for you.

    Like this:  https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1018264281/rcbs-chargemaster-lite-powder-scale-and-dispenser-110-volt

    i already use use a digital scale.  This would replace the measure as well
    No confusion here. I know what you were talking about. :)
    The way I reload that would slow me down considerably as it takes time for the machine to dispense a load of powder.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,775 Senior Member
    edited April 2018 #18

    I retired my Chargemaster 1500 early last year and it has been sitting on the shelf ever since.  I use the Autotrickler with my A&D FX-120 digital scale.  With that setup I am now loading powder at .02 grain, which represents a kernel of Varget, in a few seconds.  The setup is spendy but very precise.

    The CM1500 served me very well for many years and I will be using for non-competition loads, so it's not really retired, just unused right now.

  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    edited April 2018 #19
    I am seriously considering the Chargemaster Lite.  the only thing that it seems the 1500 has is the ability to save loads. 


    I Have the 1500. If saving loads is the only advantage, to me it's no advantage because I don't save loads anyway. I know most every load I have worked up in my head and even then I check my records. It takes a whole 30 seconds to program a new load into the Charge Master. There's probably many features on the 1500 I don't use, but I use what I need to make good loads with less effort. If you're like me in that respect and you can save some money, get the lite.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,394 Senior Member
    snake284 said:
    I am seriously considering the Chargemaster Lite.  the only thing that it seems the 1500 has is the ability to save loads. 


    I Have the 1500. If saving loads is the only advantage, to me it's no advantage because I don't save loads anyway. I know most every load I have worked up in my head and even then I check my records. It takes a whole 30 seconds to program a new load into the Charge Master. There's probably many features on the 1500 I don't use, but I use what I need to make good loads with less effort. If you're like me in that respect and you can save some money, get the lite.

    snake284 said:
    I am seriously considering the Chargemaster Lite.  the only thing that it seems the 1500 has is the ability to save loads. 


    I Have the 1500. If saving loads is the only advantage, to me it's no advantage because I don't save loads anyway. I know most every load I have worked up in my head and even then I check my records. It takes a whole 30 seconds to program a new load into the Charge Master. There's probably many features on the 1500 I don't use, but I use what I need to make good loads with less effort. If you're like me in that respect and you can save some money, get the lite.

    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    On my 2nd chargemaster combo, they are awesome!
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • ojrojr Senior Member Posts: 1,136 Senior Member
    edited April 2018 #22
    I still load using the teaspoon method, and It's about time i changed that
    It took ages to move from the beam scales to a small Hornady electronic one which I tap the powder into then check every 5th on the beam
    I think it's time I moved into the modern world and from the replies here it looks as if the charge Master is the one to get.

    As an aside, the spell checker refuses to accept hornady or Hornady and insists on replacing it with Horny
    Perhaps some one could look at this.


    The flight was uneventful, which is what one wants when one is transporting an Elephant.
     Reuters, Dec 2020.
  • pjames777pjames777 Senior Member Posts: 1,421 Senior Member
    Just ordered RCBS 1500 combo unit from Natchez.  $289 + tax + shpg.  Over $100 less then Midway.
  • GilaGila Posts: 1,828 Senior Member
    I never have, and I never will.  If it ain't broken, don't fix it.  I like my RCBS 1010 just fine.
    No good deed goes unpunished...
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 1,431 Senior Member
    edited April 2020 #25
    As I start reloading, I bought a RCBS 5-10 because I didn’t trust the little Hornady scale that came with my kit.

    Can’t wait for it to arrive.
  • 41magnut41magnut Senior Member Posts: 1,216 Senior Member
    Used my RCBS chargemaster for several years for hunting ammo, was generally pleased.
    Recently it has developed a tendency to be +/- as much as 4/10 / grain. Not sure of I've done something to cause the problem, or just my bad luck.   
    I found the memory function to be tedious, so never used it..
    Not the fastest, but faster than a balance beam scale and hand trickle. 

    Saving the sofa change for this,

     https://www.autotrickler.com/autotrickler.html
    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen :iwo:
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,929 Senior Member
    I just started using the RCBS chargemaster that my father gave to me. I wasn’t too enthused, but have found it work very well!
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    I'm using a Chargemaster and have for years now.  It will be the best investment you make in your reloading setup.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,775 Senior Member
    41magnut said:
    Used my RCBS chargemaster for several years for hunting ammo, was generally pleased.
    Recently it has developed a tendency to be +/- as much as 4/10 / grain. Not sure of I've done something to cause the problem, or just my bad luck.   
    I found the memory function to be tedious, so never used it..
    Not the fastest, but faster than a balance beam scale and hand trickle. 

    Saving the sofa change for this,

     https://www.autotrickler.com/autotrickler.html

    That Autotrickler is the only way to fly.  Adam does good work.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,518 Senior Member
    Looks neat but I dont see any pricing.

  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,775 Senior Member
    mitdr774 said:
    Looks neat but I dont see any pricing.

    Did you mean pricing for the Autotrickler? It's there.  Just click on the v3 autotrickler and autothrow.
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