First unsatisfactory RCBS experience

Spitpatch

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Over 50 years of reloading and I have sworn by RCBS every step of the way. Of course I own some equipment that is of other manufacture (Lee Factory Crimp Die is a favorite), but the Green Machine has always done me right. Not sure I ever tried to make good with them on a product that failed before, but for advice over the phone, making custom dies, etc. they were golden every time.

20 years ago I bought the combination Charge Master electronic powder measure and the (separate) scale. These "talk" to each other via electric eye.
The scale (made by PACT, but RCBS branded) recently failed.

Now, I know that even Leupold draws the line on electronic stuff where warranties are concerned. That is understandable. What I wanted was my scale repaired. (Went to PACT as well: no bueno.)
RCBS advised me they do not warranty that scale anymore because they don't sell it anymore.

Shocked, but still loyal, I simply asked for some sort of credit (even a nominal amount would have pleased me) toward a new setup (my measure is nothing more than a glorified trickler now without the scale).

Nope.

I still can't believe it. Fortunately my OHAUS 304 dial beam (branded RCBS but they now get no credit) is still the precision workhorse it was when I bought it 30 years ago, so I'm not dead in the water.

As for RCBS, "The old Green Mare ain't what she used to be.", and that sound you hear is Fred Huntington rolling over in his grave.
 

WAYNO

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As for RCBS, "The old Green Mare ain't what she used to be.", and that sound you hear is Fred Huntington rolling over in his grave.

Yep, big conglomerates buy up everything they can, and have no responsibility for respecting promises and relationships of the previous owners.:confused:

But in fairness, the mechanical components of my RCBS equipment will work as perfectly today as they did 45 years ago. I would expect no electronic component to do so, by any manufacturer, other than by luck.
 
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P7M13

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RCBS hasn't offered a repair for that for years. PACT used to offer to upgrade & improve it for $75 replace an eprom). Guess they don't do that anymore.
Mine still worked but gave it away. Now have the Hornady auto dispenser, but lately I've been using my Lyman #55 classic powder measure. With ball and flake powders, it's right on (i.e. +/- 0.1gr), every time.
My RCBS *never* performed that well, even with the McDonald's straw hack, and the Hornady is only consistently accurate when I program it for slow feed.
 

RVTECH

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Well, All this talk of electronic scale issues (not only on this forum but others) has made me give up on the idea of ever getting one.

With regard to RCBS I have only had a couple dealings with them and both positive. One when they repaired my 5-10 beam scale a few years ago and replaced a 9mm carbide die.

I just set my my measure a couple grains low, throw a charge in the scale pan and top it off with a trickler. Fast & simple and non-electronic!
 
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AMT

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Had an RCBS JR2 that I bought many years ago. The handle broke at the 90-degree point where the threads ended and the handle part started. I know that years of stress at junctions like that will eventually crack and break. It does on everything.

I called RCBS and asked if they hand a new/replacement handle I could buy. The guy puts me on hold and I'm thinking he's gonna come back and ask for my name and address to send me a new/replacement. Or, at the very worse come back and tell me that it is $20 and they will pay for shipping.

He comes back and says that model is out of support and they can sell me a retro-kit for $90. :eek:

I went to a machine shop with my nearly broken handle and asked if they had a steel rod the same diameter that they could thread for me. $10 and 30 mins later i was heading home with a new steel handle. And to boot, the guy put a radii where the threads and the handle are so it isn't a 90-degree cut and a weak point anymore.

In my experience RCBS isn't all they are cracked up to be.
 

Mikej

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Now I'm new at this reloading thing, 10 years, so. I use a 5-0-5. I can't bring myself to trust an electronic scale. I don't think I ever could? I always felt my eye was accurate with in a .1 +/-. And recently reloading my first rifle round and digging out the trickler for the first time, I can see the difference of 2 kernels of mid size stick powder. I'd be testing an electronic every few loads to be sure it wasn't +/-ing me 4 kernels!

As far as customer service...I had somehow stripped threads in my rifle size drum in the thrower when I switched to the small cavity drum. Rcbs didn't hesitate to send me a new rifle size drum, plus the nut.
 

RVTECH

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and digging out the trickler for the first time, I can see the difference of 2 kernels of mid size stick powder.
Yep a trickler makes all the difference in using a beam scale. I am surprised I read so little about them being used, or some not knowing they exist at all unless one happened to be included with kit they bought or they learned about them later but they still do not seem to be universal with reloaders who load single stage.
 

Lesliet

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I had an RCBS Swager I bought earlier this year, as an amazon returned item. Broken parts inside when I opened it up, so I called RCBS, they didn't hesitate to send me out new parts for free. Guess it just depends if they have a fix for your item, or not. Still, in the OP's situation, they probably could retain a lot of goodwill by offering a discount coupon or something for products they no longer have support for, to take a bit of the sting out of it.
 
20yr old electronics fail. If this was me I would see that is getting great mileage out of it and see good value. I don't know any electronics in reloading that come with a lifetime warranty.

RCBS for me over the past 30yrs has sent me replacement pins, bullet seat dies etc. all for free. All mechanical items and items they still have in production.

Personally, I have two RCBS chargemasters, still running strong about 4yrs old each. If they fail, I would probably buy another why I used my previously used RCBS beam scale that still works fine over 30yrs old. Heck my kids will end up with that someday will still work.
 

awshoot

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An interesting project would be "digitizing" an analog scale -- something that would pretty straight forward with an arduino, stepper motors or servos, a powered trickler, and an optical sensor.

Super crude drawing -- powder dropper power actuated, scale stabilizes, trickler activates for fine adjustment. Optical sensor stops when the arm is in the correct position. I don't know if it would be better, but it would be a decent project.

autoAnalogScale.png
 
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An interesting project would be "digitizing" an analog scale -- something that would pretty straight forward with an arduino, stepper motors or servos, a powered trickler, and an optical sensor.

Super crude drawing -- powder dropper power actuated, scale stabilizes, trickler activates for fine adjustment. Optical sensor stops when the arm is in the correct position. I don't know if it would be better, but it would be a decent project.

View attachment 782273
Lyman was the first to do what you speak of a long time ago . A relative of mine purchased one and I recall it being rather fussy.


Per some other thoughts on warranties. I have had a couple of digital powder / bullet scales and none have had more than a one year warranty that I am aware of.
 
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I haven't gone to those "new fangled electronic scales" because of what the OP mentioned. Nahhhh.....it's because I'm cheap and my stuff still works.

Aloha, Mark

I was hesitant at first , but I like the preciseness of a digital scale. Besides I still have a couple of beam scales so I can verify my charges when I decide the digital scale might be wrong.
 

gmerkt

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Over the years, RCBS has replaced a number of small items for me gratis. And made adjustments to dies a couple of times. But when I sent in my then-20 year old Rock Chucker press that was showing some looseness in the ram, they sent it back saying it was within tolerance. So they can be selective.

I can't bring myself to trust an electronic scale.
This goes both ways for me. I used a beam scale for decades, then bought a cheap little electronic "dope scale" (which I still use). The electronic scale showed me minor inaccuracies that I'd taken for granted for years. it made me a fussier powder measurer. But I don't know that it made me happier.

I can't see anyone offering that long of a warranty on electronics.
You got 20 years out of it, good on you.
I tend to agree with this philosophy, just my opinion. Whether it's fair to the consumer or not, expecting a long, flawless life out of electronic goods isn't realistic. Especially when it comes to obsolete products. It's not a normal expectation from any electronic consumer product.
 

BroncoFan

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Over 50 years of reloading and I have sworn by RCBS every step of the way. Of course I own some equipment that is of other manufacture (Lee Factory Crimp Die is a favorite), but the Green Machine has always done me right. Not sure I ever tried to make good with them on a product that failed before, but for advice over the phone, making custom dies, etc. they were golden every time.

20 years ago I bought the combination Charge Master electronic powder measure and the (separate) scale. These "talk" to each other via electric eye.
The scale (made by PACT, but RCBS branded) recently failed.

Now, I know that even Leupold draws the line on electronic stuff where warranties are concerned. That is understandable. What I wanted was my scale repaired. (Went to PACT as well: no bueno.)
RCBS advised me they do not warranty that scale anymore because they don't sell it anymore.

Shocked, but still loyal, I simply asked for some sort of credit (even a nominal amount would have pleased me) toward a new setup (my measure is nothing more than a glorified trickler now without the scale).

Nope.

I still can't believe it. Fortunately my OHAUS 304 dial beam (branded RCBS but they now get no credit) is still the precision workhorse it was when I bought it 30 years ago, so I'm not dead in the water.

As for RCBS, "The old Green Mare ain't what she used to be.", and that sound you hear is Fred Huntington rolling over in his grave.
I had the same issue a few years back. The rep actually turned me on to another brand that is exactly like the rcbs e scale. They talk through the IR port, the whole works. And the price as I recall wasn’t bad. Let me know if you want the info.
 

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