Lyman 1200 DPS 3 V's the RCBS Chargemaster 1500 combo
I have been looking at changing my reloading method for over a year now and I have been looking at the Lyman 1200 DPS 3 and the RCBS Chargemaster 1500 combo for over a year, but I'm a true Yorkshireman and parting with my money is like peeling the skin off my back, so I have taken my time.
Eventually I decided to bite the bullet (figuratively) and dig deep into my pockets, but which one? So after a quick phone call I managed to borrow a Lyman 1200 and try it out.
After setting the machine up and painstakingly reading through the manual, calibrating etc, I started throwing loads and my initial thoughts were WOW, I poured a load into the bullet case and placed the scale powder pan back on the scale, reloaded the bullet in the press and the new load of powder was there waiting for me, confirmed by an audible beep from the Lyman. This was quick, I'd reload a bullet and the powder was there waiting for me for the next load, this was reloading at a canter, but, and it's a big but, what about that all important accuracy? Well the Lyman was quick, no doubt about that, but I think that it was to quick for it's own good, I did notice that on a 38.0 grain load I would often get a 38.1 or even a 38.2, it was dispensing too fast IMHO. Another little niggle was that the powder trickler which also dispenses the main load was to far over to the edge of the scale pan, I had powder all over the bench, Hmmmm, was this just going to be something that I had to put up with or would the RCBS be better?
I decided to have a punt and bought the RCBS, not that I wasn't impressed by the Lyman because I was, but I had done some research on Youtube etc and the RCBS had a good rap.
Anyway it arrived and after unboxing it and putting them side by side I thought that I might have made a mistake, the Lyman is a much more aesthetically pleasing unit and to be honest the RCBS looks like cheap plastic crap, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Again I read through the instructions, calibrated it and programmed in a load for the .243, I filled it up with Vhit 140 and set it going, the first difference that I noticed was that the RCBS is a tad noisier than it's counterpart but only slightly, then as powder made it's way through for the first time I also noticed that it was slower, not so much on the main loading but at the trickle end of the procedure, the RCBS simply slowed down to a stop and gave a fraction of a turn ever couple of seconds until the scale showed from 37.8 grains, 37.9 and finally 38.0 grains, again a audible bleep sounded to alert me that the load was complete and so I continued to load another 43 rounds. Not once did this unit go over the desired load and whilst I did have to wait a second or two it was well worth the wait and was also more relaxing to use. Another plus was that there was no powder spillage on the work bench. At the end of the day the RCBS won hands down, the reason was quite simple, accuracy is everything.
Scores on the doors,
Lyman 1200 DPS 3. 7/10
Chargemaster 1500. 9/10