Electronic powder dispensers: good, bad, or ugly?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Shopfox, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member Supporter

    I understand they have quirks: 20 minute warmups, need for calibration, potential for interference, etc.

    This said, is it a purchase that you're satisfied with and would do over again?

    Mainly I'm looking at the RCBS Chargemaster lite for$229 shipped after rebate. I don't have a ton of reloading time, and do maybe 50-100 rounds at a time. I just want to make my limited reloading time easier and more efficient.
  2. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Well-Known Member

    Save your money. I've tried several different brands of them,and they all failed my expectations. The best unit that I had was the Smart Reloader brand,and after a couple years it broke - wouldn't calibrate,and they aren't imported to the USA anymore.

    I've tried PACT,RCBS,Smart,Lyman,and have a Hornady setting on a shelf now,that I won't use. They work OK for ball type powder's,but you have to play with the speed settings a lot in order for them to actually drop your target weight correctly.
    They all suck when it comes to extruded type powder's. I can manually charge several cases with my Redding BR-2 or RCBS Uniflow powder drops,and weight check the charges on my beam scale before I can get one correct weight charge from the electronic powder machines.

    I've seen all of these units fail at throwing the inputted charge weights. They will under throw,and over throw charges -.3 to +.3 tenths of a grain each charge,and the scale will show the weights to be the correct weight.
    For plinking ammo,you could live with that type of difference,but for precision loads,it will really mess with your goals.
    Shopfox and Dallas53 like this.

  3. Shopfox

    Shopfox Well-Known Member Supporter

    Thank You for the honest assessment. I saw a lot of glowing reviews and was close to pulling the trigger. I'll save my shillings for a bit.
    Dallas53 likes this.
  4. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    I never saw the point.

    My target and varmint rifles shoot 1/2 MOA or less just throwing charges straight from the measure.
    Dallas53 likes this.
  5. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member Supporter

    I have heard lots of the same stories of inconsistent powder charges being thrown, that for me, it seems like a waste of money. And this was even some of the higher dollar units being mentioned.

    Until I hear many glowing reviews of a particular unit, I'll stick with my tried and trued methods that work, even if albeit slower. I can make up time in other areas of reloading, without sacrificing accurate loads.
    SGWGunsmith likes this.
  6. SGWGunsmith

    SGWGunsmith Well-Known Member Supporter

    I've been using the same powder measure since 1969, that I actually bought from the very first Gander Mountain store in Wilmont, WI. This place was a real trip. They had a little room with a bunch of catalogs where you'd fill out an order and then a guy would disappear into the warehouse and come back a day or so later with all your stuff.
    After a few years they built a really nice showroom building down the road on an old ski-hill. Still have most all of original equipment, but I did need to buy a new press as I wore out the ram on the Rockchucker I originally bought. Now have a Redding BOSS and a Hornady electronic powder scale. Works for me! :)
    jigs-n-fixture likes this.