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RCBS Match Master Powder Dispenser: Best Single Unit Dispenser? [Reloading Review]

MORE POWDER, MORE POWER

The main thing that slows most of us down when making ammo is the actual process of throwing the powder. You need it to be precise and accurate, but if you trickle it out grain by grain, you’ll be there all week.

Go too fast, and you’ll have wildly inconsistent ammo that is, at best, not accurate or, at worse, candidates for Bubba’s Piss’n Hot Loads.

There are a few great systems for throwing powder, and the RCBS MatchMaster comes from a brand we trust and at a price we can afford. But does it get the job done?

Short answer: yes. But for the details, you should keep reading.

FEATURES

  • 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.
  • .04 Grain Accuracy in Match Mode
  • Dispenses in under 20 seconds in Standard Mode
  • User-adjustable powder dispensing settings allow 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, velocities, etc
  • Can disable audible beep
  • Made in Taiwan

WHO IS THIS FOR

At $900 MSRP, the MatchMaster isn’t going to be economical for people who don’t produce a fair amount of handloads per year. But at three times the price of the least expensive electronic powder dispenser that RCBS makes, you get a lot of features and some real precision. Advertised as accurate to 0.04 grains, the MatchMaster is designed for making precision loads.

While you can totally use it for pistol, plinking, or hunting ammo — the real goal is going to be precision long range rifle ammo, such as for PRS, F-Class, or just long range yeeting.

Personally, I used it for bulk precision rifle ammo and for PRS and NRL: Hunter.

I mainly built 6.5 Creedmoor, but I also used it for 6 ARC and .223 Rem.

THOUSANDS OF ROUNDS LOADED

This has been a slow-burn review for me because I wanted to really get to know the MatchMaster and see how it performed after a fair amount of use.

By my count, on one unit, I’ve loaded about 600 rounds of 6.5 Creedmoor, 200 of 6 ARC, and another 100 of .223 Rem.

On my other unit (Yep, I got two), I have another 1,000 rounds of 6.5 Creedmoor.

Nothing of interest happened with the 6 ARC or .223 Rem ammo besides to say that the MatchMaster performed as expected and was basically more of the same from what I’ve learned on the 6.5 Creedmoor ammo. So, for the sake of brevity, I’ll focus on the Creedmoor.

Be sure to follow the unboxing instructions, but from start to finish it’s really not hard and takes barely any time. Less than 10 minutes.

H4350 is preloaded in the MatchMaster’s app, simply select it, and away I went. While the app allows you to fine-tune the speed and settings, I didn’t really change anything. The pre-load for H4350 worked really well, and I didn’t see much need to change it. I still built a special profile to customize, but after working out the kinks and setting my own speeds, I didn’t really gain anything over the pre-load program. 

Depending on what powder you’re using, having special profiles might come in handy and will definitely be useful when new powders come out.

Precision

Great handloads come from being consistent and precise with the powder. The MatchMaster is billed at measuring powder down to 0.04 grains in Match Mode and 0.1 grains in Standard Mode.

When I’m making bulk plinking ammo, I use the standard mode because it measures out a lot faster. For me, with my components, with my rifles, I still get roughly MOA from that “bulk” ammo.

My Match ammo with the MatchMaster leaves me very happy, half MOA from my PRS rifle and 0.7 MOA with my SIG Cross for NRL: Hunter.

Checked against check weights and two other scales I own, the scales on the MatchMaster are very accurate. Not perfect out to three digits, but extremely consistent in their readings.

When it measures a 41.00gr load, I know I’m getting a load that will shoot.

Speed

A load of 41gr H4350 takes about 10 seconds from my MatchMaster. Not the fastest on the market, but a hell of a lot faster than most of the offerings out there. 

For my process, I like having the two MatchMasters running at the same time — but even with only one unit, it is fast enough to keep me moving and churning out ammo at a good rate.

When I’m running bulk ammo, I have to push myself to keep up with the two units. I often only use one MatchMaster when I’m loading practice rounds so that I can more easily watch a ball game while I load.

The App

No app is perfect. I don’t love the RCBS app, but it isn’t horrible either. In the six months I’ve been testing the MatchMaster, I’ve run into bugs a small handful of times. Every time was solved by turning it off and back on, but normally took at least two cycles of turning it off and back on.

All but one of the bugs were related to the calibration of the MatchMaster. Either it fails to do so and returns an error for unknown reasons, or it gets stuck and won’t progress sometimes. 

While kind of annoying, these never prevented me from loading ammo — just delayed me by 30 seconds to 5 minutes.

Except for this issue, the app is well-made and easy to use. The options are straightforward, the controls are simple, and nothing is weirdly hidden or confusing. Overall the app gets a 8/10 from me.

PRECISION & ACCURACY MEASURING

Let’s get on the same page because a lot of people don’t really understand these terms or, worse, use them interchangeably. 

Accuracy is how close a value is to the truth. If the truth of a powder charge is 41.00gr and you measure it as being 45gr, that is not accurate. If you measure it as 41.01, that is much more accurate because it is very close to the truth.

Precision is how repeatable a measurement is. If the true weight of a powder charge is 41gr and you measure it as being 41.00, 40.05, 41.90, 39.5, that is not a precise measurement because the weights are all over the place (2.4gr from min to max). 

If the true weight is 41gr and you measure it as 42.01, 41.98, 42.02, 42.00, 41.99 those are very precise because they are repeating within a very small range (0.04 from min to max) 

But neither set would be accurate because they aren’t very close to the truth.

Ideally, you want your measurements to be both. But honestly, it’s far more important for them to be precise than for it to be accurate.

I don’t really care if my powder charge is 40gr or 42gr, as long as it is the same charge weight every single time. Consistency is how you make great ammo.

All of that said — I don’t know how accurate the MatchMaster really, truly is. But, as far as I can tell, it’s pretty damn accurate. And I know for sure that it is precise.

Accuracy

I have three sets of check weights, but none of them are calibrated, so I don’t actually know how good my weights are. Two of them come from RCBS (one with each MatchMaster), and one I got off Amazon.

20 grams is 308.647 grains, rounded to two places is 308.65 grains. Both RCBS 20 gram weights measure slightly differently. 

For unit one, weight one measures 308.68 grains. Unit two, weight one measures 308.66 grains.

Unit one, weight two measures 308.64 grains. Unit two, weight two measures 308.66 grains.

For accuracy, I don’t know how accurate the two scales are because I don’t know the real true weight of the check weights. Maybe my weights are a touch on the heavy side, maybe my scales read slightly high. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

Precision

Even if both scales measure slightly high, it doesn’t really matter because both scales are very precise. Taking the weights on and off over and over and over again, the measurements are ALWAYS the same. This goes for the 50 gram weights also, the measurements are always the same from reading to reading for the same scale and the same check weight.

For precision long range reloading, a great powder dispenser is critical. Does the RCBS Matchmaster make the cut? Check it out!

Since this is what actually matters to us, this is really good news.

WHY TWO UNITS

RCBS sent me one of these MatchMasters for review. That was 8 months ago. About 4 months ago, I set up a new reloading room with more space for equipment and a huge pile of brass that I wanted to load. While one MatchMaster is pretty fast at throwing powder, a second one would double my speed.

Having used the first unit for 4 months by then, I knew I liked it and thought a second one would help me out a lot — so I bought one.

Then, since I had two, I wanted to keep using them to see if I ran into any problems using the two units side-by-side.

Wonderfully, nothing has happened. Both units run amazingly, and both units are easy to use at the same time.

My reloading speed has doubled, and the two units keep me busy when loading up. 

Something I recommend is using the same check weights when calibrating the two units so that they start off with the same numbers. But since one of my units reads .02 grains higher than the other, I account for that when I throw charges.

For example, if I want 41gr of powder, I’ll set one unit to 41gr and the other to 41.02gr. This just gives me an extra degree of consistency.

LOOSE ROUNDS

In the end, I really recommend the MatchMaster. RCBS’s flagship unit measures powder quickly and very precisely. The ammo I’ve built using these units has been outstanding and a major upgrade in consistency for me.

The MatchMaster isn’t cheap, but it’s significantly cheaper than some other options while delivering amazing results.

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