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 RCBS Chargemaster Settings 
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I've found my RCBS Chargemaster to be a real mixed blessing. It's super-easy to use, of course, but it's also p-a-i-n-f-u-l-l-y slow most of the time, and that gets aggravating.

Yesterday I was going to load 100 rounds of .223, and I just didn't want to deal with it anymore . . . so I went ahead and followed some "internet instructions" to alter the settings and install the straw. (I was already using a straw, but mine didn't go all the way to the back of the tube.) Here's a two-part video; the first part is my Chargemaster with the factory settings plus the new straw throwing 25.0 grains of WC844; the second half is throwing the same charge after I changed the settings:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8sRFPJQAI8

I ran the charge five times. The average time between starting to dispense and showing the charge as complete was:

Factory settings and new straw: 24.8 seconds
New settings and new straw: 8.6 seconds
New settings, new straw, and I pulled the straw out a little more: 7.5 seconds

Man, what a huge difference! I'm so happy with it.

Now I need to try it with a stick powder, to see if it still works as well....

Here's the YouTube video that I followed that shows how to change the settings and cut the straw:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuGfuCR9RJo

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Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:31 pm
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I have tinkered with the setting a bit. I got tired of overthrows on small charges. It would kick into high speed on a 5 gr charge. It took some patients, but it helps. Thanks for the vid link.

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Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:17 pm
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Do you get more overcharges now or does it seem to still be as accurate? I find myself rather using a powder measure with a baffle if its already set and just weighing every 5th or so charge. It's soooo much faster. My Hornady auto charge is really only useful for small batches or if I'm doing load development. I may have to try this straw method.


Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:19 pm
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Out of 100 rounds loaded, I think I had three overcharges that I there back. That's a LOT less than I normally get ... but usually in using stick powders, and for this test I was using WC844 which is a very fine ball powder and will typically be easier to measure and will give fewer overcharges. Bottom line: I need to run some stick powder to really test it.

I'm hopeful that having the adjustable straw "gate" at the back will help with overcharges, even if it slows it down from what you saw in the video.

It ran fast enough during my loading of those 100 rounds that I didn't have to wait for the powder dispenser except for those three times when I had to re-run the charge.

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Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:39 am
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Playing with the settings is the best thing i did with my two chargemasters. Stick powders will improve too. I didnt notice any more over charges with the faster times vs defaults. And usually its easy enough to pick up a small pinch of powder to bring it down to the correct level (it usually over charges ~.2gr in my experience.

With my two chargemasters and 44.5gr of Varget it keeps a good cycle of loading. I offset them a bit so as one is throwing, the other is done and im loading a round. Usually by the time i seat the bullet the other is done and the first is throwing. Works well :)


Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:58 am
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MadPick wrote:
Out of 100 rounds loaded, I think I had three overcharges that I there back. That's a LOT less than I normally get ... but usually in using stick powders, and for this test I was using WC844 which is a very fine ball powder and will typically be easier to measure and will give fewer overcharges. Bottom line: I need to run some stick powder to really test it.

I'm hopeful that having the adjustable straw "gate" at the back will help with overcharges, even if it slows it down from what you saw in the video.

It ran fast enough during my loading of those 100 rounds that I didn't have to wait for the powder dispenser except for those three times when I had to re-run the charge.


You might try just loading the charges as they're dropped, even with the +/- amounts. Go shoot them and see if it makes any difference at all. I've done this and found that it didn't matter out to 300 yards.

If you take a look at what speed differences you'll get from a "tenth of a grain" and put those different speeds into an external ballistic's program, you'll see that it really doesn't matter until you get out over 600-800 yards. "Down to the granule" accuracy is important for BR shooters and "thousand yarders". Short stuff? Not so much.

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Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:45 pm
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deadshot2 wrote:
You might try just loading the charges as they're dropped, even with the +/- amounts. Go shoot them and see if it makes any difference at all. I've done this and found that it didn't matter out to 300 yards.

If you take a look at what speed differences you'll get from a "tenth of a grain" and put those different speeds into an external ballistic's program, you'll see that it really doesn't matter until you get out over 600-800 yards. "Down to the granule" accuracy is important for BR shooters and "thousand yarders". Short stuff? Not so much.


Yeah, I believe that.

My intent with these rounds is to eventually load them on the Hornady LNL progressive using the powder measure, so I'll definitely be +/- 0.1 grain there, at least. However, I wanted to get these as precise as possible to find a good load; the next step once I find it is to try again with the LNL and see if it does reasonably well.

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Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:19 pm
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MadPick wrote:
deadshot2 wrote:
You might try just loading the charges as they're dropped, even with the +/- amounts. Go shoot them and see if it makes any difference at all. I've done this and found that it didn't matter out to 300 yards.

If you take a look at what speed differences you'll get from a "tenth of a grain" and put those different speeds into an external ballistic's program, you'll see that it really doesn't matter until you get out over 600-800 yards. "Down to the granule" accuracy is important for BR shooters and "thousand yarders". Short stuff? Not so much.


Yeah, I believe that.

My intent with these rounds is to eventually load them on the Hornady LNL progressive using the powder measure, so I'll definitely be +/- 0.1 grain there, at least. However, I wanted to get these as precise as possible to find a good load; the next step once I find it is to try again with the LNL and see if it does reasonably well.


A tip or two on how to get powder measures to drop uniform charges: (The traditional type mounted on bench or on progressive presses)

Make sure you use a powder baffle. Maybe even two or three. Google "Uncle Nicks Powder Baffle Templates. It will give you PDF's for powder baffles to fit your measure which can be cut out of thin metals.

Second is to disassemble as far as you can, the powder dispenser, and polish with metal polish and a felt "bob" on a dremel tool. Make the surfaces mirror smooth. From the "funnel" in the bottom of the reservoir to the surfaces inside the slide-bar or drum where the powder is actually measured. The idea is to make sure that powder flows without as little resistance as possible so it fills the metering cavity the same every time. Some guys even attach an electric toothbrush to the side of the powder reservoir, dump the first few charges back, then keep moving along at a steady pace when loading. With this method, if you stop, then the next few charges will have to be dumped back or you'll have them more compacted than the rest.

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Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:29 am
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I rarely seem to come on here but great to see my mod worked for you !

Like I said in the video, I've used it for for almost 2 years and have loaded way over 15,000 rounds with it....it works well with everything from Tac to H1000.
If you guys have any questions feel free to ask, I'll try keeping up on this thread if you need anything answered direct.


Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:12 pm
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AtOne wrote:
I rarely seem to come on here but great to see my mod worked for you !

Like I said in the video, I've used it for for almost 2 years and have loaded way over 15,000 rounds with it....it works well with everything from Tac to H1000.
If you guys have any questions feel free to ask, I'll try keeping up on this thread if you need anything answered direct.


It took three years, but we finally provoked a post! :ROFLMAO: Welcome to WaGuns!

So you're Eric? Very cool, I had no idea you were local to us or were on the forum. Thank you for a very useful video!

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Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:51 pm
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deadshot2 wrote:
MadPick wrote:
Out of 100 rounds loaded, I think I had three overcharges that I there back. That's a LOT less than I normally get ... but usually in using stick powders, and for this test I was using WC844 which is a very fine ball powder and will typically be easier to measure and will give fewer overcharges. Bottom line: I need to run some stick powder to really test it.

I'm hopeful that having the adjustable straw "gate" at the back will help with overcharges, even if it slows it down from what you saw in the video.

It ran fast enough during my loading of those 100 rounds that I didn't have to wait for the powder dispenser except for those three times when I had to re-run the charge.


You might try just loading the charges as they're dropped, even with the +/- amounts. Go shoot them and see if it makes any difference at all. I've done this and found that it didn't matter out to 300 yards.

If you take a look at what speed differences you'll get from a "tenth of a grain" and put those different speeds into an external ballistic's program, you'll see that it really doesn't matter until you get out over 600-800 yards. "Down to the granule" accuracy is important for BR shooters and "thousand yarders". Short stuff? Not so much.


I changed to the OWC method of load devlopment awhile ago and have been happy. Gives ALOT more freedom overall. I recommend a read of this site if interested....
http://optimalchargeweight.embarqspace.com/

But the jist is if doing load development, you will notice that 44.5gr of varget in 308 shoots great in all rifles. Loading 44.4-44.6 will shoot the same. Its all about finding a "range" your rifle shoots great at.

I suck at explaining this so just rea tthe article lol


Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:07 pm
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velillen wrote:
deadshot2 wrote:
MadPick wrote:
Out of 100 rounds loaded, I think I had three overcharges that I there back. That's a LOT less than I normally get ... but usually in using stick powders, and for this test I was using WC844 which is a very fine ball powder and will typically be easier to measure and will give fewer overcharges. Bottom line: I need to run some stick powder to really test it.

I'm hopeful that having the adjustable straw "gate" at the back will help with overcharges, even if it slows it down from what you saw in the video.

It ran fast enough during my loading of those 100 rounds that I didn't have to wait for the powder dispenser except for those three times when I had to re-run the charge.


You might try just loading the charges as they're dropped, even with the +/- amounts. Go shoot them and see if it makes any difference at all. I've done this and found that it didn't matter out to 300 yards.

If you take a look at what speed differences you'll get from a "tenth of a grain" and put those different speeds into an external ballistic's program, you'll see that it really doesn't matter until you get out over 600-800 yards. "Down to the granule" accuracy is important for BR shooters and "thousand yarders". Short stuff? Not so much.


I changed to the OWC method of load devlopment awhile ago and have been happy. Gives ALOT more freedom overall. I recommend a read of this site if interested....
http://optimalchargeweight.embarqspace.com/

But the jist is if doing load development, you will notice that 44.5gr of varget in 308 shoots great in all rifles. Loading 44.4-44.6 will shoot the same. Its all about finding a "range" your rifle shoots great at.

I suck at explaining this so just rea tthe article lol


Read Dan Newberry's OCW method shortly after he wrote it. Pretty much what I've been doing for years but he does a great job of explaining to the newcomers how it works.

Another time tested method is the Audette Ladder test developed by another old-timer, Creighton Audette.

http://home.mindspring.com/~45-70-350/the_ladder_test.htm

The OCW test is OK but it really doesn't explore the capabilities of a given rifle barrel as clearly as the Audette Ladder test.

20 rounds shot in as perfect conditions as possible, at distances over 300 yards, identify each and every accuracy node in a barrel which can THEN be explored and refined with the OCW test. ONE Audette Ladder Test can eliminate several OCW's which range from 15 rounds to 25 rounds each (3-shot or 5-shot).

What I like about the Audette test is that it lets the shooter know if they have that "3rd accuracy node" so many rifles have up in higher speeds. Good to know if you plan on shooting 1k or more.

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Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:01 am
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I'll tell you what, this settings update has really changed my perspective on the Chargemaster. I was getting so frustrated with it that I came very close to buying one of the competitors' products as well, just in the hope that it would be better. (Though the reviews don't show that any of them are perfect.)

Anyhow, I tried running some Benchmark powder through it the other day. Benchmark is a stick powder, but it's cut into fairly small pieces. It worked very well.

The Chargemaster is still kinda temperamental, though. It was running along just fine, dispensing fast and perfect charges, then it suddenly started throwing a LOT of overcharges, sometimes by as much as half a grain. I pulled the power cord to "reboot" it, but that didn't fix it. I hadn't turned on any extra lights or fired up any new electronics in the room, so I really can't explain it.

I finally pushed the straw farther back into the tube (as Eric explained in the video), and that fixed it. I had to push the straw WAY back; see the pic below. Look for the red stripe on the straw, and see how close to the back of the tube it is. This photo is taken looking straight down into the powder hopper. There is only a very tiny gap at the back, probably less than 1/8".

Image

But hey, it worked . . . and even though it was a little slower to throw the charge, it was still fairly fast. thumbsup

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Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:12 am
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Wow icon_eek What a fantastic thread for Chargemaster owners. I'll definitely be trying this once I get the garage into working order.

Would it be possible to make this thread sticky for future reference?


Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:43 am
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Sure, done.

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Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:45 am
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