Is a powder dispenser like the RCBS 1500 really worth the cost?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by The Count, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. The Count

    The Count New Member

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    i have already spent a boatload of money outfitting my new reloading hobby. today i was checking out those fancy powder dispensers like the rcbs chargemaster. even though i am usually a 'master' of convincing myself of the need to buy something :)) i am not sure about this rather expensive gizmo.

    in the time it takes to dispense a load and funneling it in i can easily load several rounds on my lee turret press and not even think about anything. the lee dispensing system is foolproof and accurate enough i would say. sure, to change loads i have to unscrew the dispenser and put in a different powder disk. takes like 2 minutes. yes, sometimes it is slighly off, but who will notice the difference of .1 grain more or less?

    but please convince me if i am missing something here!
  2. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    YES!!! A good quality accurate powder dispenser will save you tons of time and headache. I have an old Lyman 55 (best damn dispenser for any money IMO) and its absolutely accurate and consistent. I used to weigh every 5th charge to check until after about 500 consecutive "yup, still the same" I only check every 20 or so now. With the LEE, I was checkin every other charge and cussing because they were off by a 10th or 2. Spend a few extra bucks, you will be glad you did...
  3. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I would put a Chargemaster or one of the other powered measure/scale systems too high up on the must-have list for a beginning reloader.

    I would probably consider a good manual measure like the Lyman55 that JLA mentioned, the RCBS Uniflow, or the Redding #3, or similar unit for a starting rig.

    The powered dispensers that I've seen in action are slower than I can operate a dump-style measure, and they're accurate enough that I don't bother with scaling each and every charge like the powered dispenser systems do.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  4. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    I don't see anything you are missing. If you want to slow the production rate of the classic turret to half or more then get the Chargmaster. If not then continue to use the pro auto disk and load faster.
  5. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't waste the money on it.

    A dispenser such as JLA mentioned, yes. A $300-$350 electronic powder dribbler, forget it.
  6. The_Rifleman

    The_Rifleman New Member

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    Whoa! I don't think all my reloading equipment cost that much... and I'll notice the difference of .1 grain more or less; accuracy suffers.
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about the LEE powder dispenser but the others suggested are excellent for consistency IF you don't use one of the old fashioned really long cut tubular powders.

    Weighing each load and dribbling it (or using one of the auto dispensers, that are SLOW) is a waste of time unless you just have to use those long cut tubular powders. Errors of 0.1 grain will not be detectable on the target. The other systematic errors of ammunition swamp out insignificant errors in powder volume. But you don't have to believe me. Get the video "Advanced Handloading-Beyond the Basics" with Handloader Magazine's John Barsness. He dispels the myth that accuracy errors in powder volume of less than a couple of tenths make any difference that you can measure on the target.

    That video is really good for those that are after the most accurate ammo they can produce.

    LDBennett
  8. The Count

    The Count New Member

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    +1. but if i had enough money to spend i would get a chargemaster too. just because i love gadgets!
  9. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    The Count:

    Have you seen how slow those auto charging powder measures really are? Some charges take 30 seconds for one round. I know, some have variable feed rates and fast and dribble parts of the fill cycle but they are still slow. And for what? Accuracy of powder charging that gives nothing in return, according to John Barsness' video. And are extremely expensive (most of the way to the cost of a new Dillon RL550B press!). Even as a gadget they are a waste in my opinion.

    LDBennett
  10. The_Rifleman

    The_Rifleman New Member

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    That is why I ladder test; because you can gauge the accuracy by increments of "a couple of tenths" and in the case of my 30-30, one tenth. That is what ladder testing is all about; finding the exact powder charge by increasing one or more tenths of a grain at a time.
  11. Waldog

    Waldog Member

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  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    but why would you need 100 test rounds???
  13. Waldog

    Waldog Member

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    If you are starting at a Minimum load and working up to a Maximum plus. Loading 10 rounds each and increasing each load by say 1/2 gr for rifle you will easily get 50-60 rounds. IF you test more than one gun at a time you can end up with a BUNCH of test loads. When testing new rifle loads I sometimes only load 5 rounds each. However, 10 rounds gives you better accuracy and chronograph data. Especially with pistol/revolver test loads. At least that's the way I do it. I started doing it that way when I was shooting NRA High Power matches and you absolutely had to have the "most accurate and CONSISTENT loads" to be competitive. There are other ways to work up loads but, they all require "test loads" of some sort.

    If you don't "work up loads" and just pick a bullet/powder charge combo and blast away you won't benefit with a electronic dribbler. If you want a accurate, consistent load for YOUR GUN a electronic dribbler is helpful but, certainly not required.
  14. accident

    accident Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with JLA,GDMoody,and LD.I'm perfectly content with my RCBS Uniflo dispenser.I sometimes wish I had gone with the Lyman 55 mainly because of the good responces it gets from people who know alot more than I do.
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