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Opinions wanted on automated powder dispenser scale combinations.

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  • Opinions wanted on automated powder dispenser scale combinations.

    Looking at a slight upgrade on my bench. Use a Dillon electronic scale with a Lyman balance for check weights and an old (30 yrs or so) Hornady small hopper powder measure. Looking at upgrading to a combination dispenser and scale combo but the reviews on Brownells and Midway all run between fantastic and it stinks. Who has some personal experience to recommend a make and model, pro and cons?

  • #2
    I've been running the RCBS Chargemaster for a couple years now with no problems. I very rerely break out any of the beams to check it anymore like I did originally. Partially because I always go through the cal check sequence with the included test weights every time I start using it. It's more accurate than I have the patience to be. The scale is stand-alone and has a few modes that are real time savers. It's a life saver when working up hand loads for evaluation.

    One option I use a lot is that it starts running powder for my next charge as soon as I lay the pan on the scale. This allows me to finish the charged case while it starts filling the pan for the next case. I run a semi-progressive setup that is basically a funnel sitting on top of where the volumetric thrower normally resides and I wait very little for the powder to finish filling before I'm ready to charge the case with the pan that's been filling.

    Down side: It will occasionally throw an over-charge and start beeping to tell me that the charge is bad. Mind you this is on the same bench, so it usually only happens when I happen to be rough with the press while the charger has switched from fast fill to "trickle" toward the end of the charge. This is because I have caused a system that is trickling to dump the powder that was inside the rotating dispensing tube. I cannot see how any trickling system could overcome a human being impatient and bumping its foundation.

    It's really the only thing that I use for any sort of extruded powder reloading now. A good example would be Varget. I cannot even volumetrically throw this charge without denting the shoulder from the extruded powder binding. It would take me forever to reload my 223 target loads if I had to hand trickle every load.
    Last edited by fixxer; 05-11-2018, 17:34.
    For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
    And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
    And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
    And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
    -Lord Byron (=5 lines)

    Comment


    • #3
      Humidity control and uniformity along with temperature control keeps powder mass per unit volume very close. When ever you open a new can of powder you should throw several loads and check the weight. But in a stable temperature and humidity the weight mass) of the powder will vary very slightly. A powder measured by volume once the variation in technique has been determined and minimized is probably safe and adequate.

      Volume capacity of a case may be a bigger variable that powder variation. If you're loading ammo in 500-1,000 lots in one sitting the attention you'll spend on waiting for a trickler for every cartridge is probably unnecessary and a waste of time because you probably are not going to be trying to shoot one hole at 100 yards. If you're loading 50 rounds for 200-400 yard prairie dogs it is worthwhile if only for peace of mind.

      Making sure that every case has a powder charge, controlling temperature and humidity in storage and at the bench and uniform technique is probably most important. An electrical trickler has the advantage of being uniform round to round. RCBS, Hornady, Dillon and other companies are reliable companies, but I've always like green tractor and loading tools.
      The people think the Constitution protects their rights; But government sees it as an obstacle to be overcome.
      If your religion says suicide and murder are wrong; Aren't you doing both if you are not prepared to defend your life and the lives of others?
      I am not a lawyer, but I have personal opinions.

      Comment


      • #4
        Changes to powder weight per volume due to humidity are vastly, VASTLY, overblown.

        When Hodgdon themselves say things like "it would have to be raining inside your powder dispenser", that sentiment means something.

        How is it you "control humidity in gunpowder storage" inside a closed HDPE plastic container?

        Might as well worry about it once it's loaded into ammo as well.

        Unless you are one of those people who are sufficiently afraid of this hobby blowing their house up suddenly so you load in a Garden Shed out in the corner of the yard underneath a big shade tree, and prefer (again, for additional Fire Safety) only reload during active rainstorms/monsoons, Working inside a house with heating and air conditioning where you also live (gunpowder appreciates the same living conditions the human body appreciates) basically relegates "humidity and gunpowder" to an unimportant exercise in futility.
        Worrying about the minuta
        Gone. Good riddance.
        Watch the **** storm continue without me.

        Comment


        • #5
          If you can, you do, if not, you preach.
          Originally posted by kscardsfan
          Grain of salt hell, I'm taking it with a salt block from the feed store. Thats a big bunch of crap there.




          QUOTE=mjkeat;n1101496]****ing stupid.[/QUOTE]

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't think I would kick any of the automatic powder dispensers off my bench. I've even thought of getting another cheaper one from the other Red company to speed up my "manual/progressive" target runs. Two pots would get me target loading with extruded powders that would be consistent with how quickly I crank out cheap range ammo with the volumetric thrower setup and I don't have to stop in the middle of a good run to check consistency on the scale. I still use the beam scale for that reason. I leave it setup on the bench for me to dump random progressive cartridges into. Every so often, I break it out just for a little peace and quite with weights and measures.

            Yeah, I don't buy the inconsistency of humidity junk either. Sure, in theory it's affects pressure down the road. In reality if my powder is sticking to my trickler and my loads are drifting because of humidity,then it would be time to get inside, out of the rain.

            I'm quite happy with my RCBS Chargemaster but the price is not cheap. It's still not that bad when you consider how much time it saves you but if you're on a fixed budget, I'd happily go with a Hornady to Lyman if that's what I could get my hands on and that's what fit the budget. Of course on the inverse side; if price is no object, Prometheus would be happy to set you up starting at about $3800.

            I still have the old fashioned hand trickle sitting on the bench in the cabinets with my beam scales. I'm absolutely glad that I started out manually and will eventually use them again to get me by when the electronic do-dads fail; as they all eventually do. But then again, I'm fond of manual layout tools and indicators in the shop too. Nothing replaces a good mic with a ratchet stop and a vernier scale.

            In my mind, the only downside to reloading is running out of components. The rest of it is actually therapeutic. Figuring out little quarks and problem solving is just an excuse to learn.
            Last edited by fixxer; 05-13-2018, 00:22.
            For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
            And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
            And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
            And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
            -Lord Byron (=5 lines)

            Comment


            • #7
              If you feel you MUST load every case with exactly 24.25 grains and your RCBS Uniflow measure is adjusted to throw 24.25 grains 0.10 grains you'll never be able to measure an accuracy or velocity difference.
              In a bench rest competition most competitors use a measure and uniform technique, they don't try to measure outdoors in the sun and wind.
              If you're loading a handgun metering by volume is all that matters because it takes too long to count kernels of powder. If you're worried about 0.1 grain then you should worry about humidity, which can vary from almost zero on a 0 F day at 100 % to a soaking at 100 degrees F and 100% relative humidity.
              The people think the Constitution protects their rights; But government sees it as an obstacle to be overcome.
              If your religion says suicide and murder are wrong; Aren't you doing both if you are not prepared to defend your life and the lives of others?
              I am not a lawyer, but I have personal opinions.

              Comment


              • #8
                https://youtu.be/cXWbMu4PtpE
                Originally posted by kscardsfan
                Grain of salt hell, I'm taking it with a salt block from the feed store. Thats a big bunch of crap there.




                QUOTE=mjkeat;n1101496]****ing stupid.[/QUOTE]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Zero experience with the automated dispenser. After using electronics for years I've actually gone back to a balance beam for the precision stuff. I use a "tuned" older RCBS 10-10, web cam, Harrell's measure and auto trickle set up:



                  Based on check weights it's accurate and repeatable. The web came makes it a lot easier to see the tiniest movement and the tuned 10-10 shows the impact of a granule of H4831SC.
                  homo homini lupus est

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chuck R. View Post
                    Zero experience with the automated dispenser. After using electronics for years I've actually gone back to a balance beam for the precision stuff. I use a "tuned" older RCBS 10-10, web cam, Harrell's measure and auto trickle set up:



                    Based on check weights it's accurate and repeatable. The web came makes it a lot easier to see the tiniest movement and the tuned 10-10 shows the impact of a granule of H4831SC.
                    The camera is also eliminating indication parallax for you, assuming you leave the stand at the same exact height after the initial setup. It's a great aid in the machining world of profiling cutting tools, using layout tools and indicators. I have a cheap USB bore scope camera that plugs into either my PC's or android that I can use as needed. I put it on a cheap magnetic indicator base not too long ago to use it around the shop.

                    I plan to stick it to the top of my progressive press next time I run it to watch the powder charge since I've destroyed a couple powder check dies from wear, tear and gorilla force. It's easy to forget they are there when everything is running normally for a few hundred rounds, then BLAM, followed by cranking harder after I backed off because I thought it was an indexing problem before realizing it was the powder check die doing its job.
                    For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
                    And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
                    And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
                    And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
                    -Lord Byron (=5 lines)

                    Comment

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