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Old 10-15-2020, 07:50 PM
CounterMeasure CounterMeasure is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Texas
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Default RCBS Chargemaster models and drift...

I now own all three variants of the RCBS Chargemaster line. That includes the $900 one because I was curious about it. I know from my own engineering experience the major cost difference in these guys is specs of the strain gauges. The Master is supposed to have a seriously accurate one, while the Lite has a strain gauge that isn't as accurate as the Original model, which is how they were able to bring the cost down.

I decided to run an experiment to see how much each drift. I set all three on the same workbench, and leveled all three. Then let all three warm up for over an hour before I calibrated them.

I then zero'ed them, and ran some tests on their readings. The Lite and Master models were always within .1gn of each other. The older Original Chargemaster had the highest deviation; up to .4gn of the other two depending on the weights (5.1gn, 35gn, 155gn). Comparing to the tried and true beam scale, the Lite and Master models were the correct ones.

Then I walked away for 8+ hours. Just came back to see what they read from the initial zero:
-Lite: -0.8gn
-Original: -1.9gn
-Master: 0.0gn

I can't say that represents the quality of model lines given I only have one of each, but I did find it interesting it was the Lite model that hung in with the top of the line one.

I am curious if others that maybe own the same ones see in terms of drift.
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  #2  
Old 10-15-2020, 07:55 PM
canes7 canes7 is offline
 
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Do you think age and cleanliness plays a factor?
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  #3  
Old 10-15-2020, 08:21 PM
CounterMeasure CounterMeasure is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canes7 View Post
Do you think age and cleanliness plays a factor?
Age, maybe. My Original model is 5 or 6 years old at this point. Cleanliness, no. All my equipment is spotless because I am OCD like that. My 10 year old RCIV looks brand new still.
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  #4  
Old 10-16-2020, 06:10 AM
canes7 canes7 is offline
 
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Like you I keep my stuff clean. I ave a Chargemaster, it’s 10 years old at least. I’ll have to test it. I plan on making some 1000 yard .308 ammo soon and I surely do not want half grain or better swings in my powder charges.

Thx
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  #5  
Old 10-16-2020, 09:06 AM
milprileb milprileb is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canes7 View Post
Like you I keep my stuff clean. I ave a Chargemaster, it’s 10 years old at least. I’ll have to test it. I plan on making some 1000 yard .308 ammo soon and I surely do not want half grain or better swings in my powder charges.

Thx
Well, let me rain on the parade here. I shoot 308 at 1000 yds every weekend and I have a Chargemaster. Its the worst $280 on reloading gear I ever spent. It has a .1 error plus or minus of the charge set and at 1000 yds, that is a recipe for inaccuracy. The Chargemaster that I own is at best useful for Garand match ammo but I'd never never use it for 200/300/600 yd Service Rifle hand loads.

Now before someone challenges me on the accuracy of my balance beam scale when I used it to validate the errors of my Chargemaster, the news gets even worse when I validate the Chargemaster with my ‎Sartorius scale .

I got accurate scales but the Chargemaster ain't one of them.

If you want 308 ammo that will perform at 1000 yards, do what we all do...weigh each charge precisely on a credible high quality scale. The old Ohaus 1010 and 510 scales can still be had , if you snag one of them, they were deadly accurate. Be careful its not the Chinese or Mexican RCBS branded 1010....its not the same by any stretch of imagination to the Ohaus reloading scales made in Florence Park, NJ. (Oh joy...the RCBS Chicom 1010 has Ohaus Florence Park NJ markings on it...nothing like copy cat cloning !!).

1000 yds: weigh charges. Chargemaster won't hack it. Nope...won't do the mission whatsoever.
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  #6  
Old 10-16-2020, 09:24 AM
canes7 canes7 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milprileb View Post
Well, let me rain on the parade here. I shoot 308 at 1000 yds every weekend and I have a Chargemaster. Its the worst $280 on reloading gear I ever spent. It has a .1 error plus or minus of the charge set and at 1000 yds, that is a recipe for inaccuracy. The Chargemaster that I own is at best useful for Garand match ammo but I'd never never use it for 200/300/600 yd Service Rifle hand loads.

Now before someone challenges me on the accuracy of my balance beam scale when I used it to validate the errors of my Chargemaster, the news gets even worse when I validate the Chargemaster with my ‎Sartorius scale .

I got accurate scales but the Chargemaster ain't one of them.

If you want 308 ammo that will perform at 1000 yards, do what we all do...weigh each charge precisely on a credible high quality scale. The old Ohaus 1010 and 510 scales can still be had , if you snag one of them, they were deadly accurate. Be careful its not the Chinese or Mexican RCBS branded 1010....its not the same by any stretch of imagination to the Ohaus reloading scales made in Florence Park, NJ. (Oh joy...the RCBS Chicom 1010 has Ohaus Florence Park NJ markings on it...nothing like copy cat cloning !!).

1000 yds: weigh charges. Chargemaster won't hack it. Nope...won't do the mission whatsoever.
LOL - tell us how you really feel!

Iíve had to reassess my .308 dies and just about everything else I have to load that caliber to include bullets, powder and cases....but didnít think of my powder measuring equipment. Iíve used my Chargemaster to make my 600 yard ammo for years. My process is to check against a balance beam scale every 10 charges. Maybe itís time to look into a good scale like you mentioned.

Thanks for the tip!
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  #7  
Old 10-16-2020, 01:32 PM
milprileb milprileb is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canes7 View Post
LOL - tell us how you really feel!

Iíve had to reassess my .308 dies and just about everything else I have to load that caliber to include bullets, powder and cases....but didnít think of my powder measuring equipment. Iíve used my Chargemaster to make my 600 yard ammo for years. My process is to check against a balance beam scale every 10 charges. Maybe itís time to look into a good scale like you mentioned.

Thanks for the tip!
If one great American reads my comments and has doubts about Chargemaster being the solution to dropping accurate charges, then justice is done. I read all the cheerleaders in the past about the Chargemaster and frankly, I got skunked. They were 200/300 yd M1 shooters pontificating its wonderfulness and I found out the hard way, its a very limited device.

The ChargeMaster is a dinosaur on my reloading bench and its stays there to remind me: Do your homework next time before you buy!!
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2020, 08:43 AM
steelap steelap is offline
 
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Location: North AL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milprileb View Post
If one great American reads my comments and has doubts about Chargemaster being the solution to dropping accurate charges, then justice is done. I read all the cheerleaders in the past about the Chargemaster and frankly, I got skunked. They were 200/300 yd M1 shooters pontificating its wonderfulness and I found out the hard way, its a very limited device.

The ChargeMaster is a dinosaur on my reloading bench and its stays there to remind me: Do your homework next time before you buy!!
Not criticizing, but curious. What are your tolerances for 1000 yd ammo? 0.25%, 0.1%? I would think that you would want to hold all components to a high degree of uniformity.

Do you need BR primers, or are regular primers consistent enough.?

I will almost certainly never shoot 1000 yes, but I am curious as to how far you have to go to get truly consistent ammunition.

I know the rimfire bench rest shooters are very intense.
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  #9  
Old 10-17-2020, 10:07 AM
jmm jmm is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milprileb View Post
Be careful its not the Chinese or Mexican RCBS branded 1010....its not the same by any stretch of imagination to the Ohaus reloading scales made in Florence Park, NJ. (Oh joy...the RCBS Chicom 1010 has Ohaus Florence Park NJ markings on it...nothing like copy cat cloning !!).
Isn't that Florham Park, NJ?
Actually, Florham Park is the company headquarters, not the manufacturing location of the scale. Nothing wrong with the marking.
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2020, 04:34 PM
WindLogik WindLogik is offline
 
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Those chargemasters are junk. It's not a matter of a persons desired charge tolerance. I know an accomplished match shooter that had a gun ruined because of one. He pulled his rounds down, and the crummy thing had drifted two grains. For hot-rod match rifles designed to run max loads, this is a real issue.

If you want to weigh charges and have assurance of good statistics, there are only two options in my mind: high quality beam scale or lab scale/autotrickler.

OP, for the money you have spent buying chargemasters, you could've bought more than one autotrickler.

Couple of other thoughts: the CMP does now offer long range matches. Personally, I weigh my 600 yard service rifle load. With optics, now, I think it matters quite a lot. Also, that 5.56 case is so small, a small variation in charge weight can give you elevation shots. Again, this is all mattering more these days because of optics. For shortline, (200, 300) I bang out my rounds on a Dillon.
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