When I first saw a picture of the Hornady Lock-N-Load quick trickle, I “got it” immediately. One of the ways I like to measure precise powder loads is to dump a “bulk low charge”, and then trickle up to the exact value. But there are some issues you’ll face if you use conventional equipment for this purpose. First, you’ll find that you’ll want to bulk-charge as close as possible to the desired final weight so as to avoid excessive trickling. If you do this however, you’ll find that some times you may go over the desired weight (due to fluctuations in charge weight) which means extra time for re-measuring or corrections. You also may find that your scale isn’t sensitive enough to trickle 0.1 grain increments with consistently.
Hornady G2 1500 Scale
Trickling powder is a very precise process- where tenths of a grain (each tenth measuring 1/70,000th of a pound!) are critical. Because of this, a very precise scale is required: one of great resolution (the ability to detect change in measured value). The Hornady G2 1500 was designed around the considerations involved both for trickling *and* for general powder charge measurement. It’s also battery powered and extremely compact. All of these things make the G2 1500 scale a very handy and versatile instrument- both for the reloader’s bench and for field load development at the range.
Hornady G2 1500 Features and Specs:
- Takes two AAA batteries (included)
- Highly sensitive, optimized for trickle charging
- Backlit display
- 1/10th grain accuracy (up to 500 grains)
- Maximum measurement: 1500 grains
The G2 1500 is a precision instrument, but you can only get optimal results if you take into consideration the following:
- Temperature: you should let the scale adjust to room or ambient temperature, and let it “warm up” for 3 minutes prior to using it. If you are loading outdoors- keep the scale out of direct sunlight.
- Air movement: It’s not hard for air movement to simulate a .1 grain fluctuation (1/70,000 lb) in measured weight. So keep the scale away from fans and wind if you are loading outdoors.
- Level: Make sure you place the scale on a level surface- it’s critical to getting accurate measurements.
- Calibration: Make sure your scale is calibrated frequently. It doesn’t hurt to calibrate after warm-up (3 minutes) for each use, even if it isn’t totally necessary.
Hornady Lock-N-Load Quick Trickle
At the beginning of this article I outlined some challenges implicit to efficiently trickling powder charges for precision loads. Undershooting or overshooting is an issue when you dump “bulk charges” with a conventional powder measure and then “trickle up” to the desired weight. The Hornady Lock-N-Load Quick Trickle addresses these challenges by offering two-speed trickling.
Here’s my process for precision powder charges using two measures:
- Dispense “bulk charge” with Hornady Lock-N-Load powder measure (about 1 grain below desired charge weight)
- Quick trickle (using 3:1 knob) powder charge to within 0.2 grains of desired charge weight
- Slow trickle (using 1:1 knob) powder charge to desired charge weight (taking time on last 0.1 grain)
This process is takes approximately the same time as using an expensive electronic motorized powder dispenser.
Hornady Lock-N-Load Quick Trickle Features and Specs:
- Cast iron base
- Employs Lock-N-Load bushing system (socket in base, bushing on trickler)
- Two modes: high-speed (3:1), low speed (1:1)
- Sealed ball bearings
Putting It All Together
Above: a great powder measuring setup: From left: Hornady Lock-N-Load bench powder measure using Hornady Fast Load base, G2 1500 scale, and Hornady Lock-N-Load Quick Trickle.
If you assemble this collection of powder measurement and dispensing equipment, you have multiple options for powder charging depending on the precision required for your reloads. If your load development tells you that you can be +/- 0.2 grains for the desired charge weight and still meet your goals, then you likely won’t need to trickle at all. If you are loading for a match, you can use the setup shown above and enjoy both speed and precision.
As a final note- I consider the Hornady Lock-N-Load bushing system class-leading in terms of die/equipment retention. I’ve long wanted the Fast Load powder measure base, and am very pleased with it now that I have it.
Do you have a favorite powder measuring setup? Do you have the G2 1500 scale or the Lock-N-Load Quick Trickle? Please leave a comment sharing your experiences!
If you are interested in these products, you’ll find them at great prices at Midsouth Shooters Supply:
- Hornady Lock-N-Load Quick Trickle
- G2 1500 electronic scale
- Hornady Lock-N-Load bench powder measure
- Hornady Fast Load powder measure stand