Feature Article

Best Reloading Scales: Programmable Automatic Powder Dispensers Compete

Best Reloading Scales: Programmable Automatic Powder Dispensers Compete

For tests we acquired Hornady’s $235 Lock-N-Load Auto Charge Powder Dispenser, Lyman’s $275 Gen6 Compact Touch Screen Powder System, and the $300 RCBS Chargemaster Lite. We challenged each machine to deliver a starting load for 40 S&W handgun and a starting load for 6.5 Creedmoor rifle. We asked each machine to drop 4.8 grains of Winchester Super Target (WST) smokeless powder for our handgun loads. Despite being listed as a ball powder, it was plain to see that each particle of WST appeared to be disc shaped. Next, we asked our machines to drop 40.2 grains of Accurate Reloader 17 (RL17) for our rifle rounds. Granules of RL17 resemble tiny lengths of a very fine single-filament wire, sometimes referred to as a “stick”-type powder. Our choice of powders was based strictly on our needs at the time, determined in advance of ordering our test units. We later learned that stick-type powders were among the most troublesome for use in automatic dispensers. The Lyman manual didn’t mention RL17 by name, but revealed that their machine was fit with a special adaptor for the fill tube when using such powders. In terms of cleanup, the RL17 powder was easier to evacuate than the granules of WST, which had greater surface area and a more porous texture that was slightly dusty. Given these factors alone, it looked like our three machines were in for a challenge.

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June 2018 Short Shots: Rifles and Rifle Accessories

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