Electronic/Digtal Powder Dispensers?


January 4, 2004, 10:45 AM
A question for the reloading experts.

I've seen 2 of these, one from Lyman and one from RCBS.

Lyman's is a one unit set-up called the "1200DPS Digtal Powder System."

RCBS' is the "Powder Master Electronic Powder Dispenser," which operates in conjuction with their "Powder Pro Digtal Scale."

I don't know if Dillon, Hornady or others offer similar dispensers.

My question is: has anyone been using one of these for reloading rifle cartridges - and if so, how's it work? Any problems?

Has an elect. dispenser increased your rate of reloading off of a single stage press, like a Rock Chucker, by cutting down on the tedious process of measuring out the right amount of powder on a typical powder scale?

Please feel free to comment with your experiences. Thanks. :)

If you enjoyed reading about "Electronic/Digtal Powder Dispensers?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Bob C
January 4, 2004, 11:11 AM
I got the Lyman 1200 for Christmas, and really like it.

Dispensing time is from 30 to 45 seconds, depending on charge weight, and accuracy is great. It's faster than weighing each charge with a standard set up, but obviously slower than throwing each charge.

I use the cycle time to seat the bullet in the previous round, so it really doesn't slow things down.

Setup and cleanup seem complicated at first, but in fact are both pretty straight forward.

January 4, 2004, 11:19 AM
Bob: I believe I read something somewhere that you can use a unit like that as a trickler.
Would it speed up the operation if you threw a charge and then topped it off to the exact weight ?
I guess it doesn't matter, as you say. You have something to do during that time frame anyway.

I really want to get the Lyman unit although I haven't done any research on it. My RCBS digital scale took a crap and now I have all the more reason to get one.

Bob C
January 4, 2004, 12:49 PM
I haven't tried using it as a trickler. That might be a little quicker, but it would also require an extra step on my part. The measure runs fairly quickly until it gets within a grain or so of the desired charge, and then it trickles in that last bit.

January 4, 2004, 02:39 PM
I have the RCBS set up. I should have bought one years ago takes about 36 sec to dump a 300 WBY charge. Never a problem. They are pricy though about $300. But well worth it.

January 4, 2004, 03:00 PM
I can't wait to get the Lyman 1200 DPS. I'm just waiting for the price to come back down a bit. Online places have it for around 230-250 again. It's price skyrocketed after winning Shooting Accessory of the Year...go figure.

Plus I have some other more pressing financial issues right now, but I hope to get one by Spring.

Gary H
January 4, 2004, 08:07 PM
I have the Pact/RCBS units and use them as trickler after manual drop. Very fast and accurate.

January 5, 2004, 02:56 AM
Whats the max dump on these units? Will it work for loading .50 bmg? About 220 grains at a time.

January 5, 2004, 08:43 AM

Sorry to hear about the passing of your scale. Since RCBS buys the scale from PACT and paints it green:) IIRC it doesn't fall in their liberal warranty plan but I'd call them and see if you can catch them in a sympathatic mood and get it fixed or replaced like they do all their products.
Just my 2 cents.

January 5, 2004, 12:37 PM
Thanks for the input, guys. :)

From what I've seen Lyman's unit is cheaper than RCBS' 2-piece unit. But "cheaper," as we all know, can bring on other headaches. :uhoh:

Anyway, for BobC, I was sorta leaning toward the Lyman unit. I didn't know that it had won a product award.

Also, like buford1, I load for a 300 mag and a 375 H&H (among other rifle calibers, like 303 Brit & 223). 36-seconds to dump out a correctly weighted charge for a magnum caliber sounds A LOT quicker than it takes me now, slowly weighing each load on the scales.

Not wanting to blow up the rifle or me, and desiring shot-to-shot consistency, I hand weigh EACH charge, not every 5th or 10th, like some do. I was interested in whether these electronic-digital units would speed up the present tedious process.

I should emphasize that I have very little free time to reload and only do it for 1 or 2 cartridges at a time. So any increase in efficiency (as long as it's safe) would be helpful. (BTW, I'm not interested in a progrssive reloader for rifle calibers at this time).

Again, feel free to relate any experiences with the Lyman, RCBS or other units. Thanks!

January 5, 2004, 01:09 PM
AGTMAN, you said:

I should emphasize that I have very little free time to reload and only do it for 1 or 2 cartridges at a time.

This sounds to me like you fill and empty the "hopper" frequently.(They are not air-tight) I have found this to be somewhat of a pain with my RCBS dispenser in that you must invert the entire unit in addition to making sure the tubes are empty. Everything except extruded powder will hang up in the bottom and must be loosened with a small long-handled brush and re-dumped. Once I got lazy and left some flake powder in the dispenser for two days...not smart...besides the possibility of drawing moisture it etched the entire previously smooth rounded bottom of the hopper. There is no turning back when this happens. It is to be smooth for a reason and the micro-dimples won't go away.

Bob C
January 5, 2004, 01:20 PM
The directions which came with the Lyman said that cleaning the hopper and the rest of the mechanism was easier than it appeared, and they were correct.

The first time was a little time consuming, but after that it got much quicker.
Last week I used four different powders in one session, loading for three different calibers. After that bit of practice, it's a snap to clean out the hopper.

I do highly recommend a good funnel and a can of compressed air.

Gary H
January 5, 2004, 02:11 PM
The PACT unit will fall over if you look at it wrong... bad design.

If you enjoyed reading about "Electronic/Digtal Powder Dispensers?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!