AR-MPR: Phase II – Charging Cases with the Redding 3-BR and Hornady Auto Charge

In this video we’ll continue the precision loading process by using the Redding 3-BR powder measure and the Hornady Auto Charge to dispense powder loads.

Next, we’ll cover calculating optimal seating depth, and seating the bullets.


17 thoughts on “AR-MPR: Phase II – Charging Cases with the Redding 3-BR and Hornady Auto Charge”

  1. This is not intended to be a dumb question.

    After reviewing my thought a few times I am impelled to ask. Mainly because I am not familiar with the Redding 3-BR Benchrest powder measure w/micrometer metering insert.

    Could you not have achieved the precision 25g after “fiddling” with the insert? Or was the video mostly to showcase the Hornady auto-charger [which looks to have some great features]

  2. Specifically for Varget and Benchmark, you can get real close with the 3-BR. After playing with the Auto Charge some now, I think powder dispensers are most handy for more formal benchrest loading (for competition) or any time you’re using a larger stick powder that doesn’t meter as well as Varget/Benchmark.

  3. Gavin is the 3BR the best powder measure that is available? Can you achieve 25 grains with the 3BR consistently?

    1. I have been amazed at how consistent Varget will meter out of the 3-BR. Usually +/- 0.1 grain. For AR-15 precision loading, that’s very good! You can’t go wrong with this powder measure. It’s a top-quality unit. The micrometer is awesome, and has a zero backlash feature. I do want to mod it so that it can hold more. Perhaps I’ll do a blog post on that some day…

  4. I mean no offense with this comment because I’ve enjoyed every one of these videos. That said and perhaps it’s just my imagination, I’ve never used the Hornady powder measure but I’m thinking my RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 is quite a bit quicker than the Hornady shown here.

    1. Mark, no offense taken- I don’t have first hand experience with the chargemaster. What powders have you run through it?


      1. Gavin,

        Literally too many to list. I reload for most of the popular calibers from .380 through .50 BMG and a few that aren’t so popular. I’ve used a couple of dozen different powders in the ChargeMaster. The only comment I have regarding powder variety is that when using stick powders it slows down a bit when you get to last little bit or while using the trickle function. I’ll also say that it is fast enough when working with .50 BMG’s I will let it throw the whole charge (approx. 220 grains) while I’m seating the previous round and I don’t find myself spending too much time waiting. I have a half dozen different manual scales as well and have compared its charges with these scales and found it to be more than enough accurate. My ChargeMaster has been a very good investment, I literally have nothing bad to say about it. I’m pretty critical and that doesn’t happen too often with me. I wish you lived next door, I’d let you borrow it to run a heads up comparison with the Hornady. A little sidebar here, My next significant reloading purchase will be a Hornady case prep station, have you used one?

    2. I would have to agree with Mark, the ChargeMaster seems quicker. I’ve run BlueDot and Varget through mine, both dispensed at about the same rate, although the BlueDot was for pistol loads and the Varget was for rifle.

      Could you show us the precision of the Redding powder dispenser? I’m currently using the RCBS ChargeMaster for all of my reloading which is quite a bit slower in comparison to a quick-throw system. I’m interested in learning more about the precision of these units and how one manufacturer maybe different than the others. In addition, what are the benefits to a Mic-Precision meter versus a stock metering measure on a quick flow assembly, is one truly more accurate than the other? Could you potentially use a quick throw dispenser for “Precision” loads or are only useful for practice ammunition?

  5. I was wondering if it would be advisable to seat a bullet while waiting for the next charge to complete? It would speed things up a bit without compromising accuracy. Also you woud eliminate the chance of a double load.

  6. The comparison you made between Benchmark and Varget being similar is not entirely accurate. In the scale of burn rate (you can find it here:, Benchmark is quite a bit faster than Varget. These two powders are not interchangable at the same charge weight.

    1. You are correct that they have different burn rates, and one should never interchange load data between two different powders. When I said they were similar, I was referring to the metering characteristics and color. Both meter really well, and both are suited for pretty much the same selection of cartridges.

  7. After watching this video, I wasn’t surprised to find Chargemaster owners discussing the speed of the Hornady Auto Charge. I too am a Chargemaster owner. Not only has my experience in speed with the Chargemaster been more favorable, after some research I found it could be programmed by the user to be even faster, something I’m not sure that the Auto Charge offers.

  8. I decided to give the LNL Powder dispenser a try. Graf n Sons has it on sale for $199. Was thinking about the rcbs 1500, but for $20 more it seemed like a no brainier to get the powder dispenser. Mainly wanted a electronic scale to verify my LNL powder measure throws.

  9. Was looking at the RCBS 1500 and the LNL Auto dispenser. Was leaning towards the RCBS, but the Hornaday is on sale at Graf and Sons for $199 w/free shipping. So for $30 more, I am going to give the Hornady a shot. Hopefully the Hornady will not disappoint.

  10. Gavin,

    Thanks for the articles, they are very helpful. I have been using IMR 3031 which is extruded and very clean burning but is real hard to use in progressive press. Does the Vargent and Benchmark burn real clean? I am trying to find a powder that will work in Hornady L-N-L progressive press. I tried AA 2520 and it meters real good +/- .02 but is awful dirty but does shoot well.

    1. Varget does seem to burn clean- but I’ll need to shoot more of it in the AR-MPR to know for sure (have shot a lot of it in bolt guns, they don’t get as gunked up in the action 🙂 ). It definately meters real well. In the Redding 3-BR, I was getting +/- .1 grain which is really good.

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