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View Full Version : Chargemaster 1500 - why didn't I do this sooner!


HermanH
06-13-2012, 10:15 PM
I started reloading back in the late 1970's(early 1980?) using a primitive Lee Reloader - the motivation for resizing, flaring, and priming, was a hammer. That lasted all of 1 month before I bought my RCBS and I still have it to this day! (I still have the Lee hand loader if anyone wants to buy it off me!)

In the process, I purchased both the RCBS 5-10 beam scale, and RCBS Uniflow. I've handloaded thousands of rounds over the course of some 32+ years using this same basic setup, covering .38, .357, 9mm, 7mm TCU, .44, .45ACP and .223.

Recently, I came across the typical Midway USA special and for fathers day, a $35 discount code was in my email. I decided that it was FINALLY time to upgrade my setup to the 21st century and go digital. After reading dozens of reviews of both the Lee and RCBS units, and watching a few of the Youtube videos, I decided to go with the Chargemaster 1500. This was a very expensive proposition at $300, but you have to remember, I bought my RCBS scale for $35 and the uniflow for $45. The Rockchucker press was a whopping $89.

I received the unit today and went over the calibration sequence a couple of times so I could get used to it. Then I went ahead and set my first memory load for a .233, with a 52gr. BTHP and 23.1 gr. of H322. I also setup my beam scale as a comparison.

ON the first powder dispensing, I put the powder into my beam scale and it read 23.1 dead on, just as the Chargemaster weighed it.

I loaded 10 cartidges and measured the 11th round again with the beam... 23.1. I repeated this 2 more times and still got 23.1. I didn't need any more convincing at this point.

The highlights of this unit:

Precise and repeatable measurement of powder.
No more issues with keeping the dispenser full.
The unit auto fills whenever it detects an empty tray ( 0.0 gr.)
Easy to empty remaining powder
Stores up to 30 loads.

One thing I never had was a trickler and essentially, this unit is nothing more than an electronically controlled trickler. The best thing about this is, it's a self contained unit. Any normal person would have the Uniflow, scale and trickler. I now have it all in one unit I can move around easily (the Uniflow was usually bolted to something.)

Life BEFORE the Chargemaster:
http://home.comcast.net/~a5afterb5/images/Firearms/chargemaster_01.JPG

Life AFTER the Chargemaster:
http://home.comcast.net/~a5afterb5/images/Firearms/chargemaster_02.JPG

Not having to stop every 5 or 10 rounds to weigh for an "average", and hope it's not too far off, and not having to re-adjust the trim and not having to always top off the canister, makes loading up 100 rounds so much quicker. But the real savings will be when I want to load up my 9mm, .45ACP and my .223 the same weekend. I have my memory sets in place. Just change powder, call up the necessary memory for the caliber I want, and just start loading.

I should have done this years ago!

Fractured
06-13-2012, 10:17 PM
I love technology. I sooooo wish I could get a reloading setup, but a 1 bed condo is too small.

on another note, should this be in the reloading forum?

TNP'R
06-13-2012, 10:21 PM
I love technology. I sooooo wish I could get a reloading setup, but a 1 bed condo is too small.

on another note, should this be in the reloading forum?

I feel ya, I don't have the room to reload either.

BillyGoatMachine
06-13-2012, 11:24 PM
I remember the day when I got mine. It's a lovely thing when you get to speed up the reloading process.

707electrician
06-14-2012, 12:02 AM
I am so glad I got one. Worth every penny. Before I was throwing with a lee and measuring with an rcbs 10-10 and having to trickle every charge for accuracy and it took forever and after straining my eyes trying to line up the scale it probably was less accurate than the chargemaster

ExtremeX
06-14-2012, 12:12 AM
I want one

sigstroker
06-15-2012, 10:19 PM
How long does it take for that thing to throw a charge?

Also, you don't need a lot of space to reload. I use one of these with a Dillon mounted on it.

http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/medium/155/155024.jpg

russ69
06-15-2012, 11:08 PM
I use a RCBS automatic power dump but to tell you the truth, the ole powder dispenser is quite a bit faster and accurate enough for bench rest shooters. The automatic dumps are really good for working up small batches and a lot of fun to run but the old way is still a good method.

gigante
06-15-2012, 11:43 PM
How long does it take for that thing to throw a charge?

Also, you don't need a lot of space to reload. I use one of these with a Dillon mounted on it.

http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/medium/155/155024.jpg

Can't give you an exact time, but it's ready when you are. If you can find another pan that weighs exactly the same then it will be twice as fast as you are. This thing is pretty sweet. I don't know how anyone would regret buying one of these things unless they got a lemon, but that's fixable too. Win win.

SocomM4
06-16-2012, 10:48 AM
How many .223 can you load on a pound of powder?

707electrician
06-16-2012, 10:58 AM
How many .223 can you load on a pound of powder?

About 175

707electrician
06-16-2012, 11:03 AM
How long does it take for that thing to throw a charge?

Also, you don't need a lot of space to reload. I use one of these with a Dillon mounted on it.

http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/medium/155/155024.jpg

Depending on the charge weight it takes a good 10-15 seconds out of the box, but this nice thing is, you can tweak them to make it a bit faster but what I do is charge, set the pan back on the scale (it will automatically throw the next charge) and seat a bullet or do some more case prep. I can tell you that if you are loading precision rifle ammo where you are throwing and trickling every charge like I was, the chargemaster is a ton faster and less stressful. If I was loading plinking rifle ammo or pistol ammo and not weighing every charge, I would probably just use a manual powder measure

Iggy
06-16-2012, 11:19 AM
It works great with powders like varget that dont meter well. Be careful with pistol powders though. I think the manual says not to use them.

capitol
06-17-2012, 8:28 AM
The Chargemasters are great! Now you need a Giraud and a RCBS prep center.

Oh the ease of case prep now :cool:

BigBamBoo
06-17-2012, 8:34 AM
Now you need to keep it protected with one of my ChargeMaster covers: http://www.radiodustcovers.com/RCBS.html
I have two ready to ship as of today (Sunday the 17th.)

Take care,Stan

CSACANNONEER
06-17-2012, 8:41 AM
They are great! I use mine to throw rough charges and then fine tune on a DI balance. For general plinking ammo, I don't bother using the DI.

brianinca
06-17-2012, 8:53 AM
>>>
if you are loading precision rifle ammo where you are throwing and trickling every charge like I was, the chargemaster is a ton faster and less stressful.
>>>

Between the 1500 and the RCBS Prep Station, I figure I cut 40% off the time needed to load match ammo. The RCBS power TrimPro doesn't save all that much time but I can do 500 cases at a time now no sweat. Just got the TrimPro2 upgrade, need to install that. The 3-way cutters probably saved more time than the power trimmer, and they were a lot cheaper.

>>>
How many .223 can you load on a pound of powder?
>>>

7000 gr to the lb, so a 25 gr charge = 280

>>>
It works great with powders like varget that dont meter well. Be careful with pistol powders though. I think the manual says not to use them.
>>>

I like the IMR/Hodgdon stick powders and the 1500 is a huge improvement over the crunchy Uniflow. You've been misinformed about the pistol powder.

Regards,
Brian in CA

g17owner
06-17-2012, 9:00 AM
Mine al mentioned doesnt like Varget, is VERY slow with it and I can't do pistol powders well at all. It is ok for what it is but too expensive. If you use a single stage press they are exactly what you should be using. If using a turret press like I do for 308 it is way to slow. This guy did a good write up about it that I wish I read before I bought mine. http://www.longrangehunting.com/articles/rcbs-chargemaster-1500-review-1.php

707electrician
06-17-2012, 7:02 PM
Now you need to keep it protected with one of my ChargeMaster covers: http://www.radiodustcovers.com/RCBS.html
I have two ready to ship as of today (Sunday the 17th.)

Take care,Stan

I may have to get one of those covers. Do you make them in camo like the one pictured in the review g17owner posted?