May 28th, 2015

Cortina’s Corner: ChargeMaster Tips (The Trickle Test)

Chargemaster tip Erik Cortina beep trickle Dandy Omega trickler Sartorius
Note that Erik has fitted a cartridge tip on his RCBS ChargeMaster’s dispensing tube.

Erik Cortina has been fiddling around with his RCBS ChargeMaster and he discovered something interesting. Through a series of tests he determined that the ChargeMaster dispensed slightly more precise charges when he trickled the last few 10ths of a grain on to the RCBS pan. Erik wasn’t expecting this result, but he confirmed there may be a slight benefit to this trickling method (as opposed to allowing the ChargeMaster to dispense the full charge).

We should note that Erik’s preferred method of weighing powder is to first dispense a slightly lower charge with the RCBS, transfer the pan to a laboratory-class Sartorius magnetic force restoration scale, then trickle up with his Omega (Dandy Products) Powder Trickler. However, if you don’t have a $800+ laboratory-grade scale, you might just try trickling on to the ChargeMaster pan. You can see Erik’s test procedure in this video:

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June 13th, 2013

Omega $69.95 2-Speed Powered Powder Trickler

We’ve had some problems with our venerable RCBS Chargemaster (overcharges that display incorrectly, even after a second weighing), so we decided to dispense one grain low and then trickle up on a Lab Scale with the latest Magnetic Force Restoration (MFR) load cell technology. Though still quite expensive, MFR scales respond very quickly and accurately, so they are ideal for trickling. To optimize the trickling process, we acquired an Omega 2-Speed Powder Trickler. This $69.95 gadget works great with an MFR scale, allowing you to quickly and easily “finish off” charges with extreme precision — no more than a couple of kernels variance in your load. (With a typical extruded powder, a tenth of a grain is four to five kernels).

Omega Powder TricklerOmega 2-Speed Trickler
Most reloaders have used a manual powder trickler at one time or another. However, they can be frustrating to use for a variety of reasons — e.g. the tube is too short, or the trickler is too low, or the unit isn’t stable enough, or the unit doesn’t hold enough powder.

Well, the inventors of the Omega 2-speed Powered Powder Trickler have considered all those practical shortcomings in existing tricklers, and built a superior product — a “better mouse trap.”

Every aspect of the battery-powered Omega 2-Speed Trickler (from Dandy Products LLC) shows smart thinking. First, hopper height can be adjusted from 1/2″ to 5.5″ high. The tube is long enough to reach the middle of large-footprint electronic scales. And the outer end of the tube is cut at an angle, so you can see the powder kernels as they flow out — no more surprise clumps that raise your charge 0.3 grains. The powder hopper itself is bigger than most, holding a full 1000 grains. That lets you load all afternoon without having to constantly replenish your trickler.

Omega Powder Trickler

There is also a vinyl-clad, yellow “tuner” weight. You can slide this back and forth on the arm to adjust the powder flow. Once you get it set for your choice of powder, with a little practice, you can dispense one to two kernels reliably with a single, quick touch of the Omega’s dispense button.

Omega Powder Trickler

In practice, the Omega trickler is easy to use. It is reasonably fast, while being as precise as anything on the market. The unit is controlled by a two-button control pad, with a black button for slow feed and red button for fast feed. You can use the fast button to load the bulk of reloading powder and then use the slow button to maximize the accuracy of your load. The control pad is connected to the dispenser by a 24″ cable. That two-foot cable run allows plenty of trickler placement options on your bench. Watch the video review below to see the Omega Trickler in use. (Review by UK-based “1967 Spud”).

Review of Omega Two-Speed Tricker

Omega User Comments
Posting on 24HourCampfire.com, JasonK gave the Omega Trickler high marks: “This thing rocks! It can trickle fast, it can trickle slow, it can drop a kernel or two at a time. After ordering my Omega I quickly shopped for an Acculab VIC-123 scale, accurate to within .02 grains.”

Another Omega user, In2Deep, writes: “You can actually tap the low-speed button and drop kernels while watching the scale. After a little practice it only takes a few seconds to trickle up a load. Using an Acculab 123 scale, it can drop charges that repeatedly read down to around 4 one-hundredth’s of a grain. It turned out to be a tool that really works and saves time. There are rubber feet on the unit and surprisingly it does not cause interference with the digital scale which is often mentioned as a problem with most of the vibratory tricklers. Not many products are even worth the time to do a testimonial but this is a winner[.]”

Forum member Barry O (aka TheBlueEyedBear) has been using an Omega Trickler for a while, and he currently has a second-generation (upgraded) unit on his bench. Barry likes the unit, with some reservations. Barry tells us: “it took me some time to get used to it. One main gripe is the length of time it takes to get the thing primed and ready to dispense powder. But after that, not too bad. I still use my trusty tweezers for fine tuning loads.”

Thanks to Boyd Allen for suggesting this product for review.
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