Okies, I think it’s a review time… I have been equipment shopping and had a few toys rock up almost at once, as it seems that post is slowly unfoockering its parcel delivery… So we’ll start on something simple.
A humble powder trickler.
A bit of backstory…
I generally use throwers, but on occasion, especially when I am doing load development, I aim for extreme consistency, which consumes a lot of time. Anything that helps me get there faster is a big plus.
I tried to use a “common type” type powder trickler, that you had to twist the tube and that just didn’t work for me. The way I sit, the way I work, the way I keep my hands and the actual form factor of the trickler. Just not for me. I think @AusTac may have inherited that one.
Until now I was using a 308Win case, which gave me a lot more range of motion, but it does get a little old, put it down, pick it up, spills, etc. Certainly works better than a conventional trickler, but still requires (I think) un-proportional effort so to speak.
Doing a bit of google foo, I spotted two electric trickler, which is what I was after. Hornady trickler which again is too “static” and requires you to move your hands around the scales, which sucks. And the unit had to be physically touched to dispense the powder, which is a problem when you are trying to drop granules, not grains. The other was Omega, which I really liked and of course near impossible to get in Australia. so there goes that. Back to 308 case until now.
I spotted this ad on Used Guns:
It kind of sat in the back of my mind, until I knocked my 308-trcikler over a couple of times in one session, that was it!
Seemed like a go, I thought!
In terms of form factor it’s exactly what I wanted and for $120 shipped I thought – yep, okay. By the way, you can certainly DIY, but more on price and DIY later (in short, not worth it).
A little bit of research, and as always coolest things come from DIY makers (@MaxJon by the way, his mold handles are freaking awesome).
I would say it needs a little bit more polish, but only a tad. A few days on the reloading bench, being used, even the swankiest equipment starts looking a little dull. I am trying to be objective here and this is pretty much the only negative I can think of (really grasping at straws here).
The unit is built very well. It comes with a “dampener” mat, a brush for cleaning (and the unit itself). It also comes with a really good instruction manual. Just a printed A4 sheet, but it is excellent. Some points about flow control and adjustment are great and I wouldn’t have known. That said, it worked perfectly fine (more on that later), so I didn’t have to adjust anything. I did a little just to see how it all fits together, then back to original configuration.
It operates of 3 x AA batteries and has dual speed, (I peeked inside) at 1.5 and 3V respectively to power the vibratory motor. I actually have a bag of the same motors, I am fairly certain, hard to say without breaking it apart (not taking, breaking), but I am pretty sure that’s the form factor… Anyway, if this is the case, how he got them in there and fixed them in place, the guy should be performing microsurgeries on baby mice, pretty impressive.
The rubber dampener on the tube moves up and down to allow for finer flow control. And the unit itself can pivot on it’s base, which is angled, also for flow control.
This is my biggest issue with all other units I could access… Just sheer stupidity via lack of experience. You can just tell when someone uses their own kit and tunes it to the process. Eloc I found to be exactly on the money in this department.
The unit can sit wherever you want it to sit on your bench and the wire is long enough (not if you have a 3m bench and want to sit on the other end lol – I doooooo have a 3m bench ) to comfortably stretch the control box to your location.
Control box: small enough to comfortably sit under your hand, with buttons in good positions for easy operation without any movement.
$120 shipped. Personally, I don’t think it’s expensive, however, I don’t think it’s crazy cheap either. Posting from WA, subtracting that, I think it’s at a good price point. Especially for someone at home, who took the time, effort and knowhow to make one without a production line. I respect that.
Could it be made cheaper? Maybe. I probably could, I have been known to tinker, but with a HUGE caveat. I can probably make something at a cheaper price, when I do it the second time, but most likely the third or fourth time. By the time I factor in the engineering/design effort, assembly, testing, burning out a few motors and general tuning, I would be spending a lot more money, time and effort. Not to mention figuring out what components to use to build a hopper and so on.
Like anything in life, it’s a trade of between time, money and convenience. You can only choose two. I choose convenience and time, so far so good. Really happy with the unit. And I think it is reasonably priced, all things considered.
Tested with 2205 and 2208. I figured, I would go for the largest and finest powder that I use to see how granular I can get. I say granular because I get to my 90%+ charge weight with a scoop, the rest I painfully trickler in. Works as advertised, repeatable, can easily drop single granule of both powders. I think they are at extreme ends of the size spectrum, so it was a good to test with both.
What else… Definitely a home maker and a very helpful guy when I was asking about it (even if he’s from a Communist Hermit Kingdom of WA). And that makes me happy, buying not just Australian made, but REALLY Australian made.
Overall, for me, 10/10.