If you’re into precision reloading and long-range shooting you’ve undoubtedly heard about the MatchMaster electronic powder dispenser from RCBS. This new powder dispenser looks different and works different compared to any other powder dispenser you’ve seen! In this article and video, I’ll give you the “first in-depth look” at this electronic powder dispenser, show you all of the cool features, and demonstrate how it works. Buckle up!
What’s In the Box
I received a pre-production sample from RCBS for evaluation, so keep in mind that there could be subtle changes when you get a final production RCBS MatchMaster powder dispenser. This kit comes with everything you need to weigh and dispense powder. Here’s a picture of the box contents:
Above we have: (clockwise from top)
- MatchMaster powder dispenser
- Instruction sheet/booklet
- Pan and platen
- 20 gram and 50 gram calibration weights
- Powder brush
- Dispensing tube caps
- Drain tube
- AC adapter and international plug adapters
- Wind screen
- Hopper and cap
Specs and Overview
Here’s the RCBS-supplied overview, specs, and data for the MatchMaster Powder Dispenser: (See RCBS product page for more info)
The RCBS MatchMaster Powder Dispenser takes powder dispensing and weighing to the next level. Utilizing Patent Pending dual tube dispense technology most charges can be thrown in under 20 seconds to 0.10 grain accuracy. Pharmaceutical grade scale components enables .04 grain accuracy for the ultimate in precision.
- .04 Grain Accuracy in Match Mode
- Dispenses in under 20 seconds in Standard Mode
- User adjustable powder dispensing settings allows for fine tuning to reduce dispense times in match mode.
- A tuned MatchMaster can dispense 38.5gr of H4350 in under 7 seconds in Match Mode
- Improved quick-drain feature utilizes a flexible tube to drain powder from the bottom of the 1lb hopper, enabling fast changes from one powder to another.
- Match mode throws a maximum charge of 300 grains; Standard mode can achieve a max charge of 1000 grains
Bluetooth app increases functionality:
- Control up to 8 units simultaneously
- Pre-configured powder profiles for easy setup
- Save details about specific loads including photos of group sizes, velocites, etc
One MatchMaster in Match Mode can dispense charges at the same speed as TWO ChargeMasters.
One MatchMaster in Standard Mode can dispense charges at the same speed as THREE ChargeMasters.
Setup and Configuration
Setting up the MatchMaster powder dispenser is EASY, as demonstrated in the video:
- Assemble the parts that are in the box (hopper, calibration weights, powder brush, hopper, cap)]
- Turn on the unit and tighten the transport screw (see special instructions in video)
- Let the MatchMaster powder dispenser warm up for 30 minutes or so
- Calibrate the MatchMaster
- Fill and start dispensing!
For each powder you dispense, you’ll want to:
- Enter the powder setting (1,2,3,4 – corresponds to granule size)
- Select Match or Standard mode for speed or precision
- Select “Auto” or “Manual” for starting each powder dispensing
- Place the pan on the platen, wait for “Stable”, then zero the scale
- Enter charge weight
- Press the “Start” button
This is one of the easiest and most intuitive powder dispenser systems I’ve used to date. And then there’s Bluetooth (see below) which makes things even easier.
Pistol Powder Test: Alliant Bullseye
Before we get into the numbers, some notes about this testing and the data below:
- These were literally the first tests I’ve done with the MatchMaster powder dispenser, I expect better results with more first-hand experience
- The hardware, firmware (on-board software in hardware), and iOS app for my phone are not final, so expect a tad better performance for final shipping units
- I picked a couple powders to test, and plan to show more powders in the future. These are the only two powders I’ve put through the machine
For my powder testing, I decided to start with a pistol powder (Alliant Bullseye, a classic), and used two charge weights:
- 5.6 grains: 45 ACP or similar
- 24 grains: 44 Magnum or similar
I didn’t see any overages with Bullseye, and once the powder dispensing tubes were filled (after first dispensing) I observed the following performance:
|Bullseye, 5.6 grains, Match mode|
|Bullseye, 5.6 grains, Std mode|
|Bullseye, 24.0 grains, Std mode|
Summary of Bullseye Performance
Alliant Bullseye dispensed quite accurately, and performed well with the default Flake powder setting (#1). For speed, the MatchMaster powder dispenser met or exceeded the published performance numbers (20 seconds for Standard mode, 40 seconds for Match mode).
Rifle Powder Test: Hodgdon Varget
I probably have used more Varget for rifle reloading than any other powder, so I decided to use that in my testing for rifle powder dispensing performance here. Here are the performance numbers from my initial testing with Varget:
|Varget, 25.0 grains, Std mode|
|Varget, 50.0 grains, Std mode|
|Varget, 50.0 grains, Match mode|
|Varget, 50.0 grains, Match mode|
|Large Granule Size (Setting 4)|
Summary of Varget Performance
Hodgdon Varget performed VERY well with the MatchMaster powder dispenser. I would call this powder the “Speed King” here- it dispensed way faster than the Alliant Bullseye with the settings I used, and I only had one overage which was corrected when I changed powder settings. Bravo!
Bluetooth Hardware, RCBS MatchMaster App
As stated in the video, I won’t go into deep detail on the MatchMaster powder dispenser Bluetooth hardware integration, or the companion app here as I am running the pre-release Beta version. But I want to give a quick overview, because this capability is really cool, and quite useful.
The MatchMaster powder dispenser hardware has Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) built into the hardware. This means that with most recent Apple (iOS) or Google (Android) phones/tablets, you’ll be able to install the RCBS MatchMaster moble app to control the MatchMaster powder and more.
Here are some of the features included with the MatchMaster app:
- Load data log
- Storage and retrieval of powder settings
- Control and monitoring of powder dispensing
- Calibration user interface
This is quite the list of features- look for future updates on this technology here on Ultimate Reloader!
Drift, Accuracy, and Precision Tests
Here’s what’s really amazing about the testing I did with the MatchMaster powder dispenser: I didn’t get any drift (zero) at any point in my testing.
Two-Day Drift Test
Here was my “acid test” for drift:
- Start with scale turned on, warmed up, zeroed
- Leave scale on for two days
- Check zero again
After performing the above test, the display read “0.0” – and that’s pretty amazing!
My precision testing was very simple: Weigh powder charges, remove the powder charges, then place the powder charge back on the scale. This is a test of the repeatability of the scale, and the scale read the same number after repeated weighings time after time. Very solid precision for this scale!
For my accuracy testing, I put the MatchMaster powder dispenser head-to-head with the A&D FX-120i laboratory scale. The MatchMaster powder dispenser has an advertised accuracy of 0.04 grains, where the A&D FX-120i has an advertised accuracy of 0.02 grains. As seen in the video, the compared weights either had the same value, were different by 0.02 grains, or in once case were different by 0.06 grains. Considering that the A&D FX-120i is only accurate to 0.02 grains, I’d say the RCBS claim of 0.04 accuracy has been verified here. In many cases it appears to be better than 0.04 grains!
I’m just getting started with the MatchMaster powder dispenser, and I’m very impressed so far. The performance is what RCBS claims it to be (or better), the features are great, and the user interface works quite well (with or without the companion mobile app). Please stay tuned as I dig deeper into stories featuring this new innovative powder measure!
If you are interested in getting your own RCBS MatchMaster dispenser, check out the product page at Midsouth Shooters Supply!
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6 thoughts on “TESTED: NEW RCBS MatchMaster Powder Dispenser”
Accuracy looks decent. What type of scale is it? Strain or load cell? How is the speed compared to the AutoTrickler?
Gavin starting to sound like an infomercial pitchman-lol. I use a Lee dipper and trickle – so much less time and money. Much faster and just as accurate as these costly machines.
you have to be kidding? You can not even match 2.0 g accuracy let alone .04…
Holy salt-peter Gavin,
Seems like reloading/handloading is becoming an elitist activity. While this machine is terrific, a thousand bucks is quite extreme.
Don’t get me wrong – a very nice piece of equipment, but the value compared to RCBS’s Chargemaster 1500? I and many of the guys I know own 1500 or its Lyman/Hornady equivalents, bought on sale in the mid-upper $200’s over the last few years. Even at the 1500’s current sale price of $350, Matchmaster costs almost 3 times times much, to deliver twice the dispense speed with twice the precision. An extra $550 to save 20 seconds per round for charge weighing? While the next charge is being weighed out, I currently seat a bullet, check concentricity and box the previous round, so for me no time savings.
For precision (LRP) rounds I finesse the 1500’s +/- 0.1 gn (0.2 gn band) accuracy to a 0.5 gn band (tested against a pharmaceutical scale as you did above Gavin) by setting my 1500 to deliver 0.1 gn less. Then I tap in a kernel at a time (usually 3 or 4 kernels for Varget and H4350) until my 1500’s display tips up to the desired weight. The manual tapping does take an extra 20-30 seconds per round, but I don’t load LRP rounds by the hundreds, so saving 10-15 minutes of loading bench time per range visit isn’t worth the extra $550.
you make a good case for the amount of reloading you describe.. those of us who load 400 to 600 rnds for a multi day long range match. the time could be measured in hours. it does seem very attractive.. even at that price point..