RCBS Chargemaster.... Upgrade or Offload

Jul 2, 2014
373
66
28
London, KY
#1
I have been loading more and more recently, and my chargemaster (regular not lite) is driving me up a wall. I bet it over-throws the charge 6/10 times, and the real kicker is I underthrow and trickle up with a RCBS trickler. I will intentionally set the charge at say 43.3 grains so I can trickle up to 42.5, and the damn thing still throws over more often than not in the 42.5-42.7 range. I'm using H4350, and I know extruded powders are the most troublesome, but it's pretty maddening to try to dump out 0.1 grains of powder and re trickle back up.

So, my question to you all is would it be worth it to go down the rabbit hole and try the re-programing and reduction straw, or sell it off and look into an Auto Trickler V2 and FX-120i combo? I don't have money to burn, but it's not a tremendous issue in this range. What I don't have is time. I'm gone literally half the month traveling for work, and when I am home I have to do all the home things, not just stand at the reloading bench dicking around with a powder dispenser.

Will I see a vast improvement upgrading what I have? Is the Auto Trickler V2 really THAT good (as in will it work and actually save me time? I'm on a long node (more or less did an OCW test without realizing it) but I never feel like I'm throwing the exact same charge weight with the RCBS. I don't see any appreciable group size differences, but I do see some speed variation with what the charge master is claiming to be the exact same load.

Thanks in advance guys.
 
Aug 14, 2011
299
6
18
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#2
Have you tried reprograming it for a better throwing? I can throw varget with mine and its pretty spoton i usually have 2-3OT in 100rds, and its usually only .2gr over.
 
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OLD308

New Hide Member
Jun 8, 2018
86
40
18
#4
Auto Trickler is much faster after set up. Set up times vary. The main benefit too me is greater precision in the measurement. My Chargemaster has collected dust ever since the Auto Trickler arrived. If the Auto Trickler dies, I’ll order another and wait, won’t even think about using the Chargemaster while waiting on delivery.
 

spife7980

Full Member
Feb 10, 2017
3,874
865
113
Central TX
#5
I had the reducing inserts and once I started loading h4350 I started getting just as many overthrows. 4064 was just fine though, go figure. I didn’t bother messing with any programming bs though. The guy I sold into said it was working just fine for him with h4350 when I followed up with him. Beats me as to what the difference was but all I can say is that I love my autothrow.
 
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Aug 12, 2017
124
57
28
SD
#6
I load a lot of different powders, h4350 being one I use a lot. I actually reprogrammed to throw faster and got the insert. I load exactly .1 short and drop by tapping the straw/tube. I don’t seem to have an issue, I overthrow 1/100 maybe.
Again mine is running faster than stock. I would suggest reprogramming, slowing down the delay at the end (or whatever they call it) and getting the straw.
 

jpgolffl

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 21, 2017
734
230
43
Tallahassee, FL
#7
My chargemaster almost never overthrows. I use varget, retumbo, RL 33, 26, 17. It’s the best thing I have ever bought for reloading. It sounds like there is something wrong with your chargemaster. I tried the reducer just for the hell of it but it makes it run too slow for me because of the reduction in the tube. It takes a looong time to throw 86gr with the insert.
 

dannySH

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 13, 2017
532
81
28
#8
I load a lot of different powders, h4350 being one I use a lot. I actually reprogrammed to throw faster and got the insert. I load exactly .1 short and drop by tapping the straw/tube. I don’t seem to have an issue, I overthrow 1/100 maybe.
Again mine is running faster than stock. I would suggest reprogramming, slowing down the delay at the end (or whatever they call it) and getting the straw.
That's exactly what I do with mine with the same results you have.
 
Jul 25, 2011
237
20
18
Colorado, Pawnee Grass Land
#9
McDonalds straw! Make it long enough that it blocks off half of the square intake window in the dispenser tube of the CM. Keeps the tube from plugging up and dropping big globs of powder. Also manualy trickle up makes it more accurate. I trickle up to .1 before and then drop one kernal at a time with tweezers. Untill the number just switches.

I just bought the auto throw/ trickle. It is pretty sweet! Way faster than the CM. I was surprised how close the CM was using my method. The auto throw/trickle is still faster and more accurate. I will still keep my CM for load development, then use the A&D scale for verifying each load. The CM was way off if you let it throw to your target weight.
 
Jul 2, 2014
373
66
28
London, KY
#10
McDonalds straw! Make it long enough that it blocks off half of the square intake window in the dispenser tube of the CM. Keeps the tube from plugging up and dropping big globs of powder. Also manualy trickle up makes it more accurate. I trickle up to .1 before and then drop one kernal at a time with tweezers. Untill the number just switches.

I just bought the auto throw/ trickle. It is pretty sweet! Way faster than the CM. I was surprised how close the CM was using my method. The auto throw/trickle is still faster and more accurate. I will still keep my CM for load development, then use the A&D scale for verifying each load. The CM was way off if you let it throw to your target weight.
I'm gonna tray the straw/insert mod and reprograming, but honestly unless it's night and day different I'll probably join the A&D gang before too long. Had another terrible time with 5 measly loads to do a pressure check before I work up a new small rifle magnum primer load.
 

Stpilot12

Killed a guy with a Trident...
Jul 18, 2012
457
168
43
Northern Crappyfornia
#11
Once you go A&D with auto throw, you never go back... That really doesn't roll of the tongue does it? Anyway, I gave up on chargmasters (have 2 collecting dust) The A&D set up is so smooth and quick (and really accurate) much less headache. No comparison to the CM. Swipe the card, cry once and move on, its worth it.
 
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supercorndogs

Professor Dickweed
Feb 17, 2014
2,668
738
113
#13
I bought one of the aluminum inserts, put the anti RFI things on the power cord. Mine barely ever overthrows. I have run h4350 and 7977 in it. as well as the easy ones like Varget, RL15 and 8208. 8208 meters well enough I just throw it. Organ has a good video on programming it. I bought mine used and haven't messed with the programming, so I can't say i it has been altered or not. I am not too concerned about being .1 off. I haven't managed to find a node that narrow yet.
 
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#15
I’ve got two Chargemasters, both with reducing inserts that I bought here in the FS forum.

It’s helped a lot with overthrows, I have almost none with Varget, RL15, RL17, 4895, etc.
They have always made a mess with ball and flake powders, throwing them everywhere. The reducers haven’t changed that.

6AD6F7DD-F277-423D-B616-86D71394925A.jpeg

But that’s not really the problem with these things, it’s the software for the scale.

Both of mine are grossly inaccurate when it comes to weighing charges, and the charges they do throw vary by as much as .9 of a grain and still show the correct target weight when the charges are completed.

They’ve both been reduced to automatic powder measures, for lack of Better terminology.

RL17:

8DFAB597-EDF8-4EC6-B506-93CD5AAD9536.jpeg

54EC1F17-37AB-4E32-9D9D-72B008EF3E35.jpeg

I throw charges below target weight on the CM and trickle up on my Sartorius GD305.

Once I get into the swing of it, it’s not much slower.
 
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Jul 2, 2014
373
66
28
London, KY
#16
I'm gonna live with it a bit longer, then go A&D. Too many mixed opinions on the CM, and zero on the A&D it seems. Found a company that sales the A&D stateside, but if anyone has any place that can beat $605 shipped, let me know please.
 
Oct 22, 2011
77
23
8
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#17
I cannot say enough good things about the Auto Trickle set up. I stepped up from a Lyman 55 powder measure. I looked into the charge master and determined to not go with a charge master because of all the mixed reviews on it. Some like it, others have had "issues". I am very happy with my decision thus far. Good luck
 
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#18
I’ve had both of the above CMs for 10 plus years. Well, almost, both have gone back to RCBS for refurbishment. I think it was $95.00 last time I sent one in, including return shipping.

All three of these scales are never turned off, unless there’s a power failure. The Sartorius and the CM on the left are both plugged into a line normalizer thing. The CM on the right isn’t. Doesn’t seem to make much difference between the two as far as function goes. The CMs live under old pillow cases. The GD305 has its own fitted cover.

Because the Sartorius can weigh one stick of powder, I have to decide how close I want to be to my target weight on it. Most powders can only go within one hundredth of a grain (.010) over or under. Ball and flake powder is more forgiving. I can get within 5 thousandths (.005) of a grain.
 
Last edited:
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spife7980

Full Member
Feb 10, 2017
3,874
865
113
Central TX
#19
I'm gonna live with it a bit longer, then go A&D. Too many mixed opinions on the CM, and zero on the A&D it seems. Found a company that sales the A&D stateside, but if anyone has any place that can beat $605 shipped, let me know please.
This place used to be the go to, I got mine for 500 from them but the price has raised a bit now... strange.
https://ce-products.myshopify.com/collections/featured-products

Edit: on the actual scale page "PLEASE USE DISCOUNT CODE: CAMBRIDGE When Checking out for $245.50 Discount" which brings it back down to the $500 line.

The complete package is the same 899 I paid by default though with no discount code required.
 
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Jul 2, 2014
373
66
28
London, KY
#20
This place used to be the go to, I got mine for 500 from them but the price has raised a bit now... strange.
https://ce-products.myshopify.com/collections/featured-products

Edit: on the actual scale page "PLEASE USE DISCOUNT CODE: CAMBRIDGE When Checking out for $245.50 Discount" which brings it back down to the $500 line.

The complete package is the same 899 I paid by default though with no discount code required.
Thank ya sir! I looked or a 'complete kit' and couldn't find it right off. That makes things easy as pie.
 
#21
This place used to be the go to, I got mine for 500 from them but the price has raised a bit now... strange.
https://ce-products.myshopify.com/collections/featured-products

Edit: on the actual scale page "PLEASE USE DISCOUNT CODE: CAMBRIDGE When Checking out for $245.50 Discount" which brings it back down to the $500 line.

The complete package is the same 899 I paid by default though with no discount code required.
Oh, for Christ’s sake, that’s what I paid for my Sartorius years ago.

If I’d had this option, I’d have one already.

Maybe one day I’ll get the conversion.
 

jpgolffl

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 21, 2017
734
230
43
Tallahassee, FL
#23
I’ve got two Chargemasters, both with reducing inserts that I bought here in the FS forum.

It’s helped a lot with overthrows, I have almost none with Varget, RL15, RL17, 4895, etc.
They have always made a mess with ball and flake powders, throwing them everywhere. The reducers haven’t changed that.

View attachment 6946369

But that’s not really the problem with these things, it’s the software for the scale.

Both of mine are grossly inaccurate when it comes to weighing charges, and the charges they do throw vary by as much as .9 of a grain and still show the correct target weight when the charges are completed.

They’ve both been reduced to automatic powder measures, for lack of Better terminology.

RL17:

View attachment 6946365

View attachment 6946366

I throw charges below target weight on the CM and trickle up on my Sartorius GD305.

Once I get into the swing of it, it’s not much slower.
People drive themselves crazy over .1 gr. If you have a good load .1 grain will not make a bit of difference. Especially if you are throwing >40 grains. If you throw .1 gr over a 40 gr target weight you are 1/400th over. If your load can't handle a 1/400th difference in charge weight you need to find a new load. Even if you are throwing .223 loads .1 grain would be less than 1/200th off. Not going to make a difference.
 
Jul 2, 2014
373
66
28
London, KY
#24
People drive themselves crazy over .1 gr. If you have a good load .1 grain will not make a bit of difference. Especially if you are throwing >40 grains. If you throw .1 gr over a 40 gr target weight you are 1/400th over. If your load can't handle a 1/400th difference in charge weight you need to find a new load. Even if you are throwing .223 loads .1 grain would be less than 1/200th off. Not going to make a difference.
Yea sure, but I’m throwing over .2-.4 grains while trying to underthrow and trickle up. It over throws powder 60% of the time or more and I never trust the reading. It’s infuriating and takes a lot of time to fix. I’m not after anal retentive .001 kernel accuracy, I’m after efficiency and speed.
 
May 6, 2012
71
10
8
Utah
#25
The straw makes a big difference. I was loading today and had an insert in. CM has been reprogrammed. I was overthrowing every charge with IMR 4451 by around .3-.5 grains. I put the straw back in and took the insert out and everything is golden again. I could probably shorten the straw at the endand still use the insert, but no need to.
 

jpgolffl

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 21, 2017
734
230
43
Tallahassee, FL
#26
Yea sure, but I’m throwing over .2-.4 grains while trying to underthrow and trickle up. It over throws powder 60% of the time or more and I never trust the reading. It’s infuriating and takes a lot of time to fix. I’m not after anal retentive .001 kernel accuracy, I’m after efficiency and speed.
Are you positive you aren’t bumping the table while it’s charging? I can’t imagine mine doing that. You should def contact RCBS. There is something wrong if it’s doing that. Is it showing over on the scale or are you weighing the charge on a different scale and it’s reading over?
 
Jul 2, 2014
373
66
28
London, KY
#27
Are you positive you aren’t bumping the table while it’s charging? I can’t imagine mine doing that. You should def contact RCBS. There is something wrong if it’s doing that. Is it showing over on the scale or are you weighing the charge on a different scale and it’s reading over?
100% man. It’s a 5’x2’ bench with 4” thick laminated top on a steel frame. Doesn’t wiggle unless you really bump it. Only have the one scale at the moment. Beeps and it’s anybody’s guess what it’s gonna a read.
 

jpgolffl

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 21, 2017
734
230
43
Tallahassee, FL
#28
100% man. It’s a 5’x2’ bench with 4” thick laminated top on a steel frame. Doesn’t wiggle unless you really bump it. Only have the one scale at the moment. Beeps and it’s anybody’s guess what it’s gonna a read.
My bench is super solid, still if I seat or breath or allow a fan or HVAC to get near it while it’s nearing the target weight it will be all over the place. Have you tried closing the clear cover and sitting back so nothing at all touches the bench? If so I would call rcbs and tell them to fix the damn thing. Mine works perfectly as long as I don’t hinder it.
 
Nov 25, 2007
2,035
1,443
113
Lithia, FL
#29
My loading bench in the garage shares a wall with the HVAC system.
I don't hear it running from the garage, but if I place my hand on the wall there is a very tiny vibration.
If I were using an electronic scale, I would probably test it to determine if the A/C system was causing any interference or vibration of the bench surface.
 

earthquake

Gunny Sergeant
Jul 30, 2009
1,597
75
48
Delaware, OH
#31
I used the metal insert in my CM, made by Dave M. here in Ohio. Placed the anti-RF do-dads on the cords and it improved a lot. Not perfect, but better. Throwing Varget, H4895

Earlier this year I broke down and got an Auto-throw/trickler & fx300i combo with the Area419 accoutrements. Wow! Love it! Not only for accuracy, but speed.

It still does not throw exactly the same charge every time, but it's always +/- 0.05 grains. I do know of some guys that still aren't satisfied with +/-0.03 grains! That's like two pieces of powder!

Anyway, I still have my CM as a backup....but I really like the Autothrow set up. I can't imagine you'd be disappointed.
 
Jul 2, 2014
373
66
28
London, KY
#34
UPDATE: I ran out the last bit of powder from the last jug. When I put in a new, different lot of H4350 from a fresh jug the Charge Master did better. By no means is it running ‘flawless’ but the extreme (.4+ grain) has been less frequent. It is stil over throwing .1-.3 30+% of the time. It’s more manageable and I have had to dump fewer entire pans, but still no where near ‘set it and forget it.’

To be fair to RCBS I feel like the other jug of powered was somehow clumpy, but I’m still spending a decent amount of time fixing over thrown charges.
 

jpgolffl

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 21, 2017
734
230
43
Tallahassee, FL
#35
UPDATE: I ran out the last bit of powder from the last jug. When I put in a new, different lot of H4350 from a fresh jug the Charge Master did better. By no means is it running ‘flawless’ but the extreme (.4+ grain) has been less frequent. It is stil over throwing .1-.3 30+% of the time. It’s more manageable and I have had to dump fewer entire pans, but still no where near ‘set it and forget it.’

To be fair to RCBS I feel like the other jug of powered was somehow clumpy, but I’m still spending a decent amount of time fixing over thrown charges.
How is it overthrowing? Is it reaching trickle mode and then a clump falls out right at the end as it is trickling or is it throwing fast for too long and only trickling for a second?
 
Jul 2, 2014
373
66
28
London, KY
#36
How is it overthrowing? Is it reaching trickle mode and then a clump falls out right at the end as it is trickling or is it throwing fast for too long and only trickling for a second?
It’s going through what I imagine is the proper method. Throws 41.7’ish grains quickly, stops, trickles to 42.2, BEEEEP, 42.3.4.5 etc.
 

Bradu

Full Member
Aug 24, 2011
1,928
226
63
IL
#38
Yea sure, but I’m throwing over .2-.4 grains while trying to underthrow and trickle up. It over throws powder 60% of the time or more and I never trust the reading. It’s infuriating and takes a lot of time to fix. I’m not after anal retentive .001 kernel accuracy, I’m after efficiency and speed.
Both of mine were that bad before I added the bushings. Now they throw .1 grains over about 50% of the time, occasionally they will throw .2 grains over.
 
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jpgolffl

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 21, 2017
734
230
43
Tallahassee, FL
#39
It’s going through what I imagine is the proper method. Throws 41.7’ish grains quickly, stops, trickles to 42.2, BEEEEP, 42.3.4.5 etc.
If it is throwing to 41.7 before slowing down that may be your problem. Did you buy it new? Wondering if the programming has been changed. Do this...
Look up how to change the programming, it’s really easy. Set it so that the first three numbers are 7, 3, 1. Once you look up how to program it that will make more sense. This may make it run a little slower but it would be a good test to see if it makes it more accurate.

Once you do that make sure there is NO air flowing in the room, do not move around at all or touch the bench at all once the auger slows down to medium trickle.

See if that makes a difference.
 
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Jul 2, 2014
373
66
28
London, KY
#40
If it is throwing to 41.7 before slowing down that may be your problem. Did you buy it new? Wondering if the programming has been changed. Do this...
Look up how to change the programming, it’s really easy. Set it so that the first three numbers are 7, 3, 1. Once you look up how to program it that will make more sense. This may make it run a little slower but it would be a good test to see if it makes it more accurate.

Once you do that make sure there is NO air flowing in the room, do not move around at all or touch the bench at all once the auger slows down to medium trickle.

See if that makes a difference.
I’ll give that a try. It was throwing less than 41.7 first. I paid better attention afterwards. I’ll still try this and see if it helps.
 

jpgolffl

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 21, 2017
734
230
43
Tallahassee, FL
#41
I’ll give that a try. It was throwing less than 41.7 first. I paid better attention afterwards. I’ll still try this and see if it helps.
Try it out. Can’t stress enough how crucial no vibrations and no air movement is too. I have gotten in a habit to listen to the CM and as it gets to trickle I am very still and don’t touch the bench at all. I also crank the AC way down to get it nice and cold before I start so I can turn the hvac off while I am charging.
 
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