November 11th, 2019

Ultimate Reloader Tests RCBS MatchMaster Powder Dispenser

Gavin Gear Ulimate Reloader MatchMaster RCBS Powder Scale Dispenser

RCBS has come out with a new, twin-tube powder scale/dispenser that promises to deliver 1- or 2-kernel precision in the slower, more precise “Match Mode”. If it really works, this new RCBS MatchMaster unit could compete with an Auto-Trickler V3 mated to a Magnetic Force Restoration scale. However, the new MatchMaster employs a strain-gauge scale, so it will be interesting to see how the unit actually performs.

This is an impressive new machine, but it represents a signficant investment. MSRP for the MatchMaster is $1123.95 with street price around $899.00 (MidwayUSA). At around $900.00, the MatchMaster competes with an AutoTrickler system, which is definitely fast and highly precise.

Ultimate Reloader Tests the New RCBS MatchMaster
Our friend Gavin Gear of got his hands on one of the first production MatchMasters. Gavin put the machine through its paces in a “first look” video using two powders, Bullseye and Varget. In the video, Gavin explains the machine’s design features. Then he tests the new MatchMaster in both Standard Mode (faster) and the slower, more precise “Match Mode”. Gavin also published a full-length MatchMaster Review with detailed test results.

RCBS claims that the MatchMaster can dispense charges to within ± 0.04 (four hundreths) grain in Match Mode. That’s 1-2 kernels of an extruded powder such as H4350. Gavin’s testing, using an A&D FX-120i Magnetic Force Restoration scale as a control, showed that RCBS’s claims are solid.

Ultimate Reloader RCBS MatchMaster Powder Scale/Dispenser Review

“You can actually fine-tune the settings for the large dispensing tube and the small tube. There are quite a few parameters… quite a bit of flexibility.” — Gavin Gear.

RCBS MatchMaster Features

— MatchMaster offers two modes, Standard (Faster) and Match (More Precise)
— MatchMaster has two powder dispensing tubes, a larger diameter for large flow and a second smaller tube for precise trickle.
— MatchMaster Settings can be controlled with RCBS Mobile App that works through BlueTooth.
— Powder is removed from the BOTTOM of the machine. This means you must lift the unit up off the bench, then plug a drain tube into the bottom of the unit. See photo.

Gavin Gear Ulimate Reloader MatchMaster RCBS Powder Scale Dispenser

How Accurate Is the MatchMaster?
Near the end of his video review, Gavin threw an 84.20 grain charge of Varget with the MatchMaster. He then weighed the same charge with his A&D FX-120i Magnetic Force Restoration scale. The charge weights agreed exactly at 84.20 grains. When the same pan was placed a second time, the FX-120i showed 84.16 grains. That’s still a mere 0.04 grain variance, which is RCBS’s stated precision claim for Match Mode.

Gavin Gear Ulimate Reloader MatchMaster RCBS Powder Scale Dispenser
Note: This shows first placement of pan on the A&D FX-120i. A second placement of pan on FX-120i stabilized at 84.16 grains.

How Fast is MatchMaster in Each Dispensing Mode?
Gavin started testing the MatchMaster in Match Mode with Bullseye, a popular flake pistol powder. With a 24.00 grain Bullseye charge, one dispensing took 26 seconds (11:40 time-mark), while another took 40 seconds (12:30 time-mark), an average of 33 seconds. In standard mode, the MatchMaster dispensed 24.0 grains of Bullseye in 18.5 seconds average (15.03 time-mark, 15:32 time mark). So Standard Mode was 44% faster with Bullseye.

Next Gavin filled the machine with Hodgdon Varget powder and dispensed a 25.0 grain charge in Standard (Fast) Mode. The first try took 12 seconds (18:30 time mark) to dispense the charge, while the second run of 25.0 grains took just 11 seconds (18:50 time mark).

“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!” — Gavin Gear

Then Gavin switched to Match (Precise) Mode and dispensed two more 50.00 grain charges of Varget. These two precision throws finished in 20 seconds (20:38 time mark) and 17 seconds (21:09 time mark) respectively, for an 18.5 second average. That’s very good for large 50.00 grain charges, although the first charge was actually 50.06 grains, about two kernels high. But Gavin explained that the machine permits fine-tuning of the powder type setting. He changed this to account for larger extruded kernels and got a perfect 50.00 grain throw in 35 seconds (22:01 time mark). The “customized” powder settings can be loaded into the RCBS MatchMaster App for future use (See below):

Gavin Gear Ulimate Reloader MatchMaster RCBS Powder Scale Dispenser

Conclusion — Initial Tests Show Good Performance
Based on Gavin’s testing, the MatchMaster delivers on its promises. With Varget extruded powder, it was quite fast, even in “Match Mode”. The dispensed charges were exact within .04 (four hundredths) of a grain, i.e. a couple of kernels, as confirmed by the A&D FX-120i Force Restoration Scale. Gavin actually liked the system of removing the powder through the bottom of the machine, using the supplied tube. It takes some practice, but it worked fine, as you can see in the video.

The RCBS MatchMaster employs a strain-gauge scale. It remains to be seen if there is a bit of drift, as you will observe with strain-gauge dispensers in the $200-$300 range, such as the original RCBS ChargeMaster. During his MatchMaster test session, Gavin said he did not observe any drift, a good sign. Overall, it looks like this is an impressive machine. But, with a $899.00 price, this is a serious investment. Anyone considering the new MatchMaster will also want to look at the AutoTrickler V3 system with AutoThrow. It costs $520.00, NOT including a lab-grade Magnetic Force Restoration balance ($600 to $1000+).

Matchmaster bluetooth mobile app

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