August 07, 2023
RCBS ChargeMaster powder dispensers have been the pillar of most reloading benches. The little green machines have helped hunters, competitive shooters, and enthusiasts elevate the quality and quantity of their ammo. In the past few years, RCBS has revamped their powder dispenser line to implement smartphone technology, speed up the reloading process, and improve the design. Of the three new models, the Supreme is the mid-priced version of the bunch. If you were to start with one dispenser or add another to your flock, this is the one to get. Here’s why.
Like the other new models, the Supreme is Bluetooth-enabled and can be tethered to the RCBS Reloading App. All the dispenser’s functions are controlled via the display. The app controls a few reloading functions. The scale has a plus or minus .1-grain accuracy, which will serve all but the most demanding shooting applications. The dispenser is powered by a 110-volt outlet or a portable power supply. For those who take a dispenser to the range or competition, this is a big plus. The scale has a 1,500-grain load cell capacity.
Improvements include larger leveling feet, a new hopper lid, and a serviceable dispenser tube seal. The large feet make leveling the unit a one-handed operation; no more lifting the body to grab and spin the feet like other dispensers. The new hopper lid sits on top of the hopper with its body protruding into the interior. It’s now much easier to remove the lid with one hand without having to hold the hopper in place. With serviceable seals, you can prevent powders from building up in the rear of the dispenser tube.
Drain Open Warning
One of the biggest and costliest accidents at my reloading bench is pouring fresh powder in the hopper with an open drain. I sometimes forget to close the drain after emptying the hopper. Once the Supreme is powered up, it will detect whether the drain is open or closed. If it’s open, it will warn you with an annoying beep and blink the word “DRAIN” on the display.
When reloading, brass prep is usually a fast-paced process. The boring part happens while you are waiting for the dispenser to throw a charge. The Supreme has sped this up greatly with its Learn Process feature. When you press the “LEARN” button, the Supreme will run a few dispensing tests on the powder to learn its optimized throwing speed. The results are worth the money. With my cartridges, it has cut dispensing time in half. The powder now drops in the time it takes to put the powder in the case and seat the bullet. No more staring at the spinning dispenser tube.
The dispenser will remember the last learned setting and have it ready the next time you boot it up. If you have multiple powders, you can save that learned setting into one of the 50 memory slots and recall it later.
The Supreme can save more than the optimized learned setting in its memory. It will also store the cartridge name, bullet weight, powder name, and powder weight. Now, each time you begin a reloading session, recall the memory slot for the cartridge, click the “GO” button, and the Supreme will be ready to dispense the powder at the specific charge weight and learned setting. To recall a saved slot, use the dedicated memory keys and up/down arrows.
Bluetooth and App
Like any Bluetooth device, you’ll need to pair the app and dispenser. The app is available for Android and iOS devices and controls a few reloading functions, so you don’t have to touch the dispenser’s display to reload your favorite cartridges. Calibration and zeroing the scale can be performed in the app too.
The app has two ways to dispense powder: manually enter a charge weight or pull up a saved charge weight from the load log. The app has no link to the dispenser’s memory, so the loads you saved in the dispenser’s memory will not show up in the app or vice versa. They must be created in the app’s load log.
The load log is a great way to go. Here, you add a firearm log and then create a list of cartridges you load for that firearm. Cartridge information is as simple or as detailed as you want to get. You are good to go with the basic fields like powder type, charge weight, and Learn Process setting. Additional fields include specific component information, environmental condition, and ballistic data.
Recalling a load from the load log is easier than on the dispenser, because the display on the phone holds much more info. Just open the log and touch the load. The great benefit about storing the load data on your phone is that it can be used with other RCBS Bluetooth dispensers.
This may seem like an inconsequential feature, but if you’ve ever accidentally grazed the power button while powder is flowing, you’ll get why this is a cool feature to have. Pressing the power button boots up the LCD display and will boot up and countdown a series of numbers from nine to one. The big deal here is that to turn off the dispenser, the power button must be held for three seconds. While doing so, the display will countdown before shutting off.
The Supreme has been on my reloading bench for the last 4 months, and I’ve loaded a minimum of 600 cartridges. Over or under charges are minimal even with powders where two to three kernels equal .10 grain. It is highly consistent, too. Recently, three separate reloading sessions with the same rifle and load formula produced velocities within 5 fps of each other. I can’t count how many times the drain open warning beep has saved me powder. The Supreme is hands down faster and more thoroughly thought out than other dispensers of equal value on the market.