Hornady Auto-charge, thoughts? [Archive] - Glock Talk

PDA

View Full Version : Hornady Auto-charge, thoughts?


Boxerglocker
08-20-2012, 15:23
I'm really loving my 69 SMK match load with Varget. However, just a PITA to trickle to get my charge right spot on....Way too slow.

Looking real hard at getting a Hornady Auto-charge. Cabelas has sales coming... I have some Cabelas buck on my account, free bullets, la di da...

I know a few of you guys said you had one. What do you guys think of it? I think it would be a worthwhile investment for me. I'm going to buy bulk 69 SMKs as well as some 75's along with 8 pounds of Varget.

Three-Five-Seven
08-20-2012, 15:50
Recovering from overcharges obviates any time advantage that auto measures might have. If (big if) you can get an auto charger set-up and leveled so that it didn't spill over charges at the end of a trickle cycle, then there might be a time advantage.

If speed, and quantity of rounds are the issues, one would be better off going to a powder that meters well and dropping it from a conventional powder measure.

unclebob
08-20-2012, 16:01
Take a look at the RCBS Charge Master. Natchez has them on sale for like 289.00 and if you get 300.00 in RCBS products you get 50.00 back from RCBS. Everything I have read the RCBS is better. I defiantly like mine.:thumbsup::thumbsup:

Boxerglocker
08-20-2012, 17:48
If speed, and quantity of rounds are the issues, one would be better off going to a powder that meters well and dropping it from a conventional powder measure.

Yeah, I already have tried the better metering powders with 69 SMKs, they just do not preform as well as VARGET unfortunately.

Take a look at the RCBS Charge Master. Natchez has them on sale for like 289.00 and if you get 300.00 in RCBS products you get 50.00 back from RCBS. Everything I have read the RCBS is better. I defiantly like mine.:thumbsup::thumbsup:

I'll take a look at the RCBS as well... I've read lots of reviews saying the Hornady had problems with QC a couple years ago. However it appears they have overcome those recently and a few guys really feel they are great value.

unclebob
08-20-2012, 18:02
I'll take a look at the RCBS as well... I've read lots of reviews saying the Hornady had problems with QC a couple years ago. However it appears they have overcome those recently and a few guys really feel they are great value.

How many times have you read on here about Hornady QC on their products?

fredj338
08-20-2012, 18:12
My buddy has one, uses it for Varget. He likes it, says it's accurate & fast. He's really picky, so I trust his review.

Boxerglocker
08-20-2012, 18:33
How many times have you read on here about Hornady QC on their products?

I know Bob, in this case though, it's pretty close. Gavin the Ultimate Reloader who is local to me gives the Hornady very favorable reviews.

I have to admit price is a major consideration right now for me, and though I was going to wait for Cabelas to have thier next holiday weekend sale in 2 weeks. Grafs is showing a total of $191 shipped for the Hornady right now. I'm really tempted to give it a whirl.

Boxerglocker
08-20-2012, 18:34
My buddy has one, uses it for Varget. He likes it, says it's accurate & fast. He's really picky, so I trust his review.

That's it I'm ordering it!

JaPes
08-20-2012, 18:43
I'm a newer reloader so take my opinion for what it's worth.

Last month, I received a Hornady Auto Charge as a birthday gift. So far, it's metered out accurate loads. The first few times I used it, I verified every charge it metered by weighing the charge on a separate scale.

If it meters a charge beyond the set desired charge, it will alarm three times, lock out the keypad, and it takes a deliberate held press of a specific button to release the lock out.

My Hornady Auto Charge has no issues metering out W231, Titegroup, Unique, & 2400. The only powder mine has issues with is Bullseye.

unclebob
08-20-2012, 19:29
I know Bob, in this case though, it's pretty close. Gavin the Ultimate Reloader who is local to me gives the Hornady very favorable reviews.

I have to admit price is a major consideration right now for me, and though I was going to wait for Cabelas to have thier next holiday weekend sale in 2 weeks. Grafs is showing a total of $191 shipped for the Hornady right now. I'm really tempted to give it a whirl.

Has Gavin ever given a bad review on anything?
6mmBR use to have a review of both machines. It might still be there but I could not find it. All the reviews I have ever seen the RCBS wins every time. But the Hornady is a little cheaper. Hope it works out for you.

Boxerglocker
08-20-2012, 19:52
Has Gavin ever given a bad review on anything?
6mmBR use to have a review of both machines. It might still be there but I could not find it. All the reviews I have ever seen the RCBS wins every time. But the Hornady is a little cheaper. Hope it works out for you.

The 6mmBR reviewed the RCBS, Lyman and another.... was reading it earlier today. This guy gave it very favorable marks and made a great video.

http://youtu.be/32cAE94ceJc


The Hornady on sale at Graf's is a lot cheaper, gotta give it a try. Just read a bunch of threads on Sniperhide reloading , appears that the consensus is the Hornady works best with stick powders such as VARGET so my chances are good. We will see, should be here next week so I'll give a review once I try it out.

unclebob
08-20-2012, 20:06
The 6mmBR reviewed the RCBS, Lyman and another.... was reading it earlier today. This guy gave it very favorable marks and made a great video.

http://youtu.be/32cAE94ceJc
You donít pick up calibration or check weights with your fingers. You use tweezers.

PCJim
08-20-2012, 20:55
I picked up a RCBS Chargemaster early this year for use only for my bolt gun ammo. It is accurate to within 0.1gr as compared to my 5-0-5's readings. That said, and whether it matters or not, I wasn't satisfied with .1gr accuracy.

Now, I set the CM to dispense .3-.4gr short of my desired charge and finish the charge with the manual trickler. By the time I've finished with the charge and dumped it in a case, the next one is waiting on me.

I personally don't think any electronic scale can deliver the weight accuracy that one can obtain visually on a beam scale. There has to be a built in tolerance. Except for the Prometheus scale, which I for one cannot afford.

Taterhead
08-20-2012, 22:10
You donít pick up calibration or check weights with your fingers. You use tweezers.

Bob, I did not know this. Can you explain a bit more about why?

unclebob
08-21-2012, 06:35
Bob, I did not know this. Can you explain a bit more about why?

I donít remember all of the reasons why. But for one the natural oils in your skin if you pick them up with your hands will transfer to the weights. Or if you have something on your fingers it could transfer to the weights. I believe now that the RCBS check weights come with a tweezers. How I knew this 40+ years ago? When I first got my check weights. I donít know. But a friend of mine that use to work in a calibration lab has told me numerous times to use tweezers when picking them up.

Boxerglocker
08-21-2012, 07:22
Double tap...

Boxerglocker
08-21-2012, 07:25
I donít remember all of the reasons why. But for one the natural oils in your skin if you pick them up with your hands will transfer to the weights. Or if you have something on your fingers it could transfer to the weights. I believe now that the RCBS check weights come with a tweezers. How I knew this 40+ years ago? When I first got my check weights. I donít know. But a friend of mine that use to work in a calibration lab has told me numerous times to use tweezers when picking them up.

That only applies to non-chrome plated mild steel check weights. Oil from your fingers left on steel causes corrosion, much like some dies will in left unmaintained for long periods. The difference is with check weight you just can't spray a little WD40 on them and wipe off the rust with steel wool. You end up taking material off and ruin the ground in calibration weight.

unclebob
08-21-2012, 07:29
That only applies to non-chrome plated mild steel check weights. Oil from your fingers proigates

Maybe so. But I will still use the tweezers. Maybe someone that works in a calibration lab can explain why better than I can. I just know what my friend said that worked in a calibration lab.

Boxerglocker
08-21-2012, 07:42
Maybe so. But I will still use the tweezers. Maybe someone that works in a calibration lab can explain why better than I can. I just know what my friend said that worked in a calibration lab.

I got this from our calibration lab technicians web page.
"When handling your sample, never use your hands to place tare weights or samples in the weigh chamber. The heat from your hand can cause weighing errors in the fourth and fifth decimal places of a gram. Use appropriately sized and shaped tweezers or tongs to handle your weighing vessels".
The reason given above is also stated.

Boxerglocker
08-27-2012, 18:42
Well my Hornady LNL Auto Charge arrived today.
http://images5a.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp63549%3Enu%3D68%3C5%3E%3A47%3E254%3EWSNRCG%3D345%3B%3B5%3B%3B%3B6345nu0mrj
I opened it up, calibrated it with the accompanying weights, did some checks with my Lyman check weight set (Yes Bob, used tweezers) and found everything good to go. I did a few dozen test charges at various weights with Varget and compared them to my Dillon E-Terminator scale and they all matched. To account for any possible variances I used the supplied 50 gram checked weight to calibrate the Dillon as well. Then I zeroed both scales with the Hornady powder pan.
I'm not gonna do any extensive testing with other powders right now. Varget was my main concern and so far the Auto Charge works perfectly. We will see how the it does in the long run but I'm totally happy with the way it runs. Total price delivered was $191 from Grafs.
I'll get back in a week or so after I get a little more time on it. I'm off to load some Berger 75g VLDs with Varget to test out tomorrow. :wavey:

PCJim
08-27-2012, 21:47
Boxer, I'm curious as to how much variance the thrown charges may have. If you have a beam scale, could you report back on just how accurate the charges actually are? My Chargemaster was as stated, +/- .1gr as weighed on the 5-0-5, which didn't make me feel cozy comfy for what I am trying to extract from the SPS.

Boxerglocker
08-27-2012, 22:06
Boxer, I'm curious as to how much variance the thrown charges may have. If you have a beam scale, could you report back on just how accurate the charges actually are? My Chargemaster was as stated, +/- .1gr as weighed on the 5-0-5, which didn't make me feel cozy comfy for what I am trying to extract from the SPS.

It's rated at +/- 0.1 as is the Dillon. I threw at least 30 charges and crossed checked against the Dillon and they were all spot on.
I have a beam scale back-up in the rafters boxed up. I'll pull it down later this week and take some numbers.
As you know most loading data in manuals is pretty conservative, to be honest I'm not overly concerned as long as it's consistent in throw against my check weights. I stay pretty much below max charges and watch very carefully for pressure signs, so even if it were to throw 0.1 over it mostly would not make much difference that I would notice.

Colorado4Wheel
08-27-2012, 22:53
If it's accurate and repeatable to .1gr then its pretty much as good as it will ever need to be.

Boxerglocker
08-28-2012, 07:42
If it's accurate and repeatable to .1gr then its pretty much as good as it will ever need to be.

That's exactly what my thoughts were when deliberating the purchase. I specifically wanted it for rod "Varget" style powders. All reviews I read pointed it out to be more reliable for those types. I don't see myself using it for anything other as the 650 powder drop is consistent enough to through H335, BLC2 and TAC loads that will do 1/2 MOA or better with my chosen bullets up to 60g.

F106 Fan
08-28-2012, 08:04
Now, I set the CM to dispense .3-.4gr short of my desired charge and finish the charge with the manual trickler. By the time I've finished with the charge and dumped it in a case, the next one is waiting on me.


I was trickling a bunch of IMR 4064 (stick powder) charges yesterday and I noticed that my RCBS Uniflow powder measure was tossing within 0.2 gr time after time. I wanted 42.2 gr and it would throw 41.7 - 41.9 and all I had to do was top it off.

I was thinking about getting something like a ChargeMaster but if it won't hit the charge every time, why bother? I see no reason to have the CM throw light and then have to top it off. I can do that with the Uniflow and save the money.

Richard

Boxerglocker
08-28-2012, 08:59
I'm not going to try an start an argument here just state an opinion. I believe that those who are hardcore beam scale advocates in regards to accuracy compared to a reasonably well made digital are pushing it uphill in vain. Here is one of several articles I have read in both reloading forums, magazines and various technical journals regarding precision measuring.

http://www.6mmbr.com/prometheus.html

As I stated, I've done lots of reading on the subject and found that the standard run of the mill Dillon, Lyman, RCBS beam scale is not more accurate, in fact they are actually less accurate than a digital rated at +/- 0.1
The hydraulic damped & custom-tuned bean scales are good to the +/- 0.04 - 0.06 range but you'll find those significantly pricier.
As I stated in my post #22 not a concerned to me, as long as it's consistent in throw against my check weights.
That being said, knowing the tolerances the shear speed of these auto charge powder measures, to me makes these well worth their cost.

PCJim
08-28-2012, 09:14
Boxer, my thoughts on the tolerance may not matter at all. What impact does a maximum .2gr charge varianace have on grouping at various distances? At the current limited 100yd range that is my only access, it may not have any impact at all. When I (hopefully) have access to a 500yd range, it may make a difference.

On the 5-0-5 scale, I can visually tune the charges to a centered "zero" mark, well within any +/-.01gr. Whether the scale is reading accurate to the charge really doesn't matter for this purpose, only that each charge is consistent.

So, I end up using the Chargemaster to throw light charges, .3gr less than what I want, and trickle them up manually to the desired charge. The Chargemaster has the next charge waiting for me when I've finished dumping the charge into the case.

Sure, it takes more time and may not be worth the effort. But it definitely makes me feel more confident in the consistency of the rounds, and that confidence probably carries to the range when I pull the trigger.

BTW, my SPS accuracy loads are currently using Varget powder. I haven't tested the thrown charges of BL-C2 against the 5-0-5.

F106 Fan
08-28-2012, 09:19
believe that those who are hardcore beam scale advocates in regards to accuracy compared to a reasonably well made digital are pushing it uphill in vain.

I agree. After I loaded that .308 yesterday, I thought I probably should have checked my Dillon D'Terminator before I charged the cases. Oh well, never too late!

I set a 50.0 gr check weight in the pan and, no surprise, the readout said 50.0 - exactly! It comes out that way every time I check it.

The one thing I am concerned about is the weight of the calibration weight. Why would I care about a 50 GRAM (about 772 grains) calibration weight (included with the scale) when I throw 42.2 GRAIN charges. So, I check against a 50 gr calibration weight because it is very close to the charge weight.

I don't have a decent balance beam scale and I have often thought that I should. But, so far, I find the D'Terminator to work out just fine. Of course, that is with the understanding that there is always 1/2 last digit roundoff. So, my 42.2 gr reading could represent anything between 42.15 and 42.24999... Somehow, I can't convince myself that it matters. My shooting just isn't that good.

Richard

Boxerglocker
08-28-2012, 10:07
Boxer, my thoughts on the tolerance may not matter at all. What impact does a maximum .2gr charge varianace have on grouping at various distances? At the current limited 100yd range that is my only access, it may not have any impact at all. When I (hopefully) have access to a 500yd range, it may make a difference.

On the 5-0-5 scale, I can visually tune the charges to a centered "zero" mark, well within any +/-.01gr. Whether the scale is reading accurate to the charge really doesn't matter for this purpose, only that each charge is consistent.

So, I end up using the Chargemaster to throw light charges, .3gr less than what I want, and trickle them up manually to the desired charge. The Chargemaster has the next charge waiting for me when I've finished dumping the charge into the case.

Sure, it takes more time and may not be worth the effort. But it definitely makes me feel more confident in the consistency of the rounds, and that confidence probably carries to the range when I pull the trigger.

BTW, my SPS accuracy loads are currently using Varget powder. I haven't tested the thrown charges of BL-C2 against the 5-0-5.

No disrespect Jim, just stating what I believe to be be true. Sure you can "tune the charges to a centered "zero" mark, well within any +/-.01gr. "
However as I stated before your beam scale still has a variance of 0.15 +/- regardless of where you believe the zero is visually.
Then there is the the human factor, are you tired? Is your vision acute that day cause you didn't get much sleep the day before? I think it's just much more consistent to take and accept the 0.1 variance and move on.
Here's one for you, my buddy is running 178 Amax with Vit powder (can't remember which) in LC brass using a hand me down Rockchucker and the supposed POS Hornady pocket scale that I gave him to use from my LNL SS kit buy. He's shooting 1/2 MOA 5 shot groups at 100 and under 1 inch at 200 with his Remington 700 SPS TACT AAC-SD 308.

Colorado4Wheel
08-28-2012, 10:16
Stupid question perhaps. But if you set it to drop 60.0 grs of powder does it drop 60.0 grs of powder or 59.9-60.1 grs?

Boxerglocker
08-28-2012, 10:19
Stupid question perhaps. But if you set it to drop 60.0 grs of powder does it drop 60.0 grs of powder or 59.9-60.1 grs?

It drops 60g, the variance is a possible internal tolerance. I have watched it closely and it always pauses as it trickle a grain of powder waits and when it settles just over the target it stops.

http://youtu.be/N2Tpvvg-IDg

F106 Fan
08-28-2012, 10:29
It drops 60g, the variance is a possible internal tolerance. I have watched it closely and it always pauses as it trickle a grain of powder waits and when it settles just over the target it stops.

Now THAT'S what I wanted to hear! If it will stop at 42.2 gr with IMR4064, I'm in!

Richard

Boxerglocker
08-28-2012, 10:39
Now THAT'S what I wanted to hear! If it will stop at 42.2 gr with IMR4064, I'm in!

Richard

It's pretty cool Richard, once in 75 or so charges it went over and the display alarmed OVER, press ENTER to clear, dump the pan and place it back on the scale, start again.

Colorado4Wheel
08-28-2012, 10:59
It drops 60g, the variance is a possible internal tolerance. I have watched it closely and it always pauses as it trickle a grain of powder waits and when it settles just over the target it stops.

That is what I thought. Why anyone would want better then that is beyond me.

F106 Fan
08-28-2012, 11:06
It's pretty cool Richard, once in 75 or so charges it went over and the display alarmed OVER, press ENTER to clear, dump the pan and place it back on the scale, start again.

Even when I trickle by hand, about one in five go over and I have to dump a little out and try again. Not a big deal!

Using a CM will speed up the process by having the powder dispensing while I am seating a bullet. My currect procedure is to fill all of the cases in a loading block and then seat all of the bullets.

It seems that the CM likes the stick powder and at the moment, that is what I use for .308 and 6.5x284 Norma.

Richard

Colorado4Wheel
08-28-2012, 13:27
I love how it meters perfect. To the .1 gr. 74 out of 75 times and when it's over that single time it shows a alarm to even tell you it's over. Yet we still argue about "is it good enough". That is pretty darn comical really.

F106 Fan
08-28-2012, 13:43
I love how it meters perfect. To the .1 gr. 74 out of 75 times and when it's over that single time it shows a alarm to even tell you it's over. Yet we still argue about "is it good enough". That is pretty darn comical really.

It's good enough for me!

However, when I went to Graf's to order the Hornady Auto Charge, I read the two reviews. The first one is pretty negative and the buyer is going 0 for 2 on getting something to work.

I need to do a little more research. The Auto Charge is a 'nice to have' but it hasn't reached my 'got to have' list just yet. I don't have the patience to deal with any company's Customer Service. "Your call is important to us...". Yeah, right!

Richard

Colorado4Wheel
08-28-2012, 13:58
Buy it, if it works keep it, if it doesn't send it back. Of course you already have a Charge Master so you don't need one anyway.

Boxerglocker
08-28-2012, 14:10
I love how it meters perfect. To the .1 gr. 74 out of 75 times and when it's over that single time it shows a alarm to even tell you it's over. Yet we still argue about "is it good enough". That is pretty darn comical really.

:agree:

It's good enough for me!

However, when I went to Graf's to order the Hornady Auto Charge, I read the two reviews. The first one is pretty negative and the buyer is going 0 for 2 on getting something to work.

I need to do a little more research. The Auto Charge is a 'nice to have' but it hasn't reached my 'got to have' list just yet. I don't have the patience to deal with any company's Customer Service. "Your call is important to us...". Yeah, right!

Richard

Every company can be hit and miss... as I stated at the beginning of the post. I read numerous 50/50 reviews on the Hornady, to be honest quite a few were of the negative one were obviously negative cause of misinformed disgruntled people. I tend not to take those to seriously. The reviews I came across that helped me make my decision to buy the LNL Auto-Charge as opposed to the RCBS chargemaster were the ones that show both pros and cons. Knowing those and realizing the constraints regarding your needs are what is important.
My conclusion was that "stick" powders work great in the LNL Auto-Charge, it doesn't have all the bell and whistle features that the RCBS does, but it has the features I need.
So weighing it all out, I looked at price $100 + less for the LNL Auto-Charge. The CM also has its issues, many threads showing the straw trick, reprogramming tips. If you want a absolute guarantee no one can promise that to you. Stuff happens that you can't control.
I can tell you this for sure if my word means anything. For my explained purposes the Auto-Charge works perfectly.

F106 Fan
08-28-2012, 14:19
Every company can be hit and miss... as I stated at the beginning of the post. I read numerous 50/50 reviews on the Hornady, to be honest quite a few were of the negative one were obviously negative cause of misinformed disgruntled people. I tend not to take those to seriously.


Anybody can write a review even if they can't read the instructions. Like you, I don't put a whole lot of credence in negative reviews but it does make me want to look for some that are more positive.

There's a lot of good information on the Internet. And then there is the other 90%...

My intended use is similar to yours. I use mostly stick powder and it's all for rifle loads.

In the end, this isn't a life altering decision. Win, lose or draw, it just isn't a big deal. Education has never been 'free'!

Richard

Zombie Steve
08-30-2012, 10:23
I love how it meters perfect. To the .1 gr. 74 out of 75 times and when it's over that single time it shows a alarm to even tell you it's over. Yet we still argue about "is it good enough". That is pretty darn comical really.

74 out of 75 drops is not nearly exciting enough.

Kwesi
12-12-2012, 14:42
I donít remember all of the reasons why. But for one the natural oils in your skin if you pick them up with your hands will transfer to the weights. Or if you have something on your fingers it could transfer to the weights. I believe now that the RCBS check weights come with a tweezers. How I knew this 40+ years ago? When I first got my check weights. I donít know. But a friend of mine that use to work in a calibration lab has told me numerous times to use tweezers when picking them up.

Mine came with tweezers & instructions say to use them.