Scales scales scales... tell me about your scale!

DeauxJoe

Daisy Picker
Sep 15, 2011
550
2
18
33
Thibodaux, La
#1
I am looking for a digital powder thrower that can give me a pretty precise charge. I'm no bench rest shooter and I get that chasing the perfect cartridge is a rabbit hole that never ends. I honestly don't want to go down it any way. I'm happy with my case prep and reloading procedures but I find my current Lyman Gen 5 continuously throws too far off for my liking. Currently I am set on getting a A&D FX-120i with an AutoTrickler V2 & AutoThrow combo. Thats about 1k worth of gear. Are there any option out there that are better bang for the buck? Any opinions on this setup? Any advice would be appreciated thanks.
 
Apr 18, 2014
759
8
18
Colorado
#4
I use the Chargemaster and my loads are very accurate with velocity spreads in the low teens and single digit SD. For a kit that can be found in the for sale section for $225, it's a fantastic tool. If you pick one up, make sure you buy the reducing insert as well, which is also for sale in the reloading PX.

With all that said, I am really tempted to spend the $800+ on an FX120i and trickler. The Chargemaster resolution is 0.1 grain, and I've found it's not quite as precise as I'd prefer. Let's say I'm dispensing 42.0 grains. Sometimes my charge weight is actually 41.98 grains. Sometimes it's 42.05 grains. I realize it's me being a perfectionist and the chance of me actually missing a shot because of 0.07 grains is microscopic, but I'd prefer to shrink that discrepancy down to the 0.02 grain resolution of the FX
 
Aug 7, 2014
577
6
18
Gillette, WY
#5
I am looking for a digital powder thrower that can give me a pretty precise charge. I'm no bench rest shooter and I get that chasing the perfect cartridge is a rabbit hole that never ends. I honestly don't want to go down it any way. I'm happy with my case prep and reloading procedures but I find my current Lyman Gen 5 continuously throws too far off for my liking. Currently I am set on getting a A&D FX-120i with an AutoTrickler V2 & AutoThrow combo. Thats about 1k worth of gear. Are there any option out there that are better bang for the buck? Any opinions on this setup? Any advice would be appreciated thanks.
Now that the guy has made the Auto-system stand alone, very viable product. There is something I've seen that may come to fruition, think more coin, but IMO may be better in the long run, but by pics I've seen, maybe a mod or 2 may be desired, which becomes a huge PIA.
 

DeauxJoe

Daisy Picker
Sep 15, 2011
550
2
18
33
Thibodaux, La
#7
I use the Chargemaster and my loads are very accurate with velocity spreads in the low teens and single digit SD. For a kit that can be found in the for sale section for $225, it's a fantastic tool. If you pick one up, make sure you buy the reducing insert as well, which is also for sale in the reloading PX.

With all that said, I am really tempted to spend the $800+ on an FX120i and trickler. The Chargemaster resolution is 0.1 grain, and I've found it's not quite as precise as I'd prefer. Let's say I'm dispensing 42.0 grains. Sometimes my charge weight is actually 41.98 grains. Sometimes it's 42.05 grains. I realize it's me being a perfectionist and the chance of me actually missing a shot because of 0.07 grains is microscopic, but I'd prefer to shrink that discrepancy down to the 0.02 grain resolution of the FX
Sounds like you and I are in the same boat lol.
 

spife7980

Full Member
Feb 10, 2017
2,648
71
48
#9
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padom

SuperMod
Mar 13, 2013
5,685
68
48
Southeastern, Pennsylvania
#11
Not wanting to manually throw and transfer pans and trickle up I had no interest in the A&D FX120i for the longest time. Now that a combo is available that will automatically throw and trickle at speeds equal to or faster than my Chargemasters I am interested. Just purchased the complete A&D, Thrower, Trickler combo..Cant wait to put this thing through its paces. My biggest concern is the durability and longevity of this combo. Time will tell...

I also ordered the Area419 Billet Adjustable base for the AutoTrickler.
 
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Aimsmall55

Gunny Sergeant
Oct 23, 2010
2,624
1
36
Meridian, MS
#12
I use the A&D FX120i with a few chargemasters and recently purchased the new Auto trickler made for it. I can do 100 rounds of ammo within 2/100's of a grain like it's nothing now. I HIGHLY recommend the scale plus the Auto trickler. If your REALLY SERIOUS about loading fast and with the least deviation as possible it will be hard to beat.
 

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volucris

don't touch me
Dec 6, 2009
24
0
1
TN
#13
Been using a Chargemaster for several years and the only change I've done to mine is adding a plastic straw to the auger. I know a lot of people obsess over that extra resolution a higher-end scale can provide, and I know very well from using them in laboratories for many years, but the application of shooting is a bit more tolerant than people seem to believe. If you've loaded your cartridge to within a pressure node, those small variances of say a Chargemaster should have little to no effect on your ES value. And then if it does, what are you looking at gaining numerically? For most of us, 1000 yards is the most we shoot, and so is an ES of 9 that I can achieve with a load from a Chargemaster going to be improved upon with triple the investment in a better balance setup?

Seems to be a lot of money that could be spent on bullets and barrels instead.
 
Feb 14, 2017
63
1
8
#14
I have a sartorius entris64-1s, even if in theory it is better than the A&D, if I had a do-over I would have gone with the A&D. I have the auto trickler but I don't much care for it, it takes too long for the scale to return to 0 and for the trickler to start moving; I can go faster with a scoop and an Omega trickler. You can change the scale to be less finicky and 0 out faster but I noticed if you do that than it can miss a kernel drop and you have to lift the pan up and place it down to get the scale to read out correctly. It would have been nice if the auto trickler started dispensing when it detected a significant drop in powder charge from the current reading (Say it is programmed to do 40.4 and I dump it and place the pan and it shows -.006gr or +.012gr I think it is safe to start dispensing), but unfortunately that feature does not exist at least not as far as I know.

And as volucris mentioned, powder is not the end all be all of low SD's. Sure I get an SD of 4 or 5 in my 6.5 creedmoor but my 308 is having trouble breaking single digits and they are both loaded with the sartorius. I believe I messed up the case prep or the Sierras I use for the 308 are not as consistent as the Bergers for the 6.5 (I mean I know they are not as consistent I just have not narrowed down the problem to say that is the reason for my poor SD's). Also, I was getting good vertical at 600 yards where I shoot even with the poor SD's (~15) my main loss of points (F Class) was wind and shooter error. So if you have the money to blow and you want to be sure your powder charges are perfect then get the A&D but you may be better suited with a chargemaster and spend the rest on components for more practice. The A&D can also give you better granularity for sorting cases and bullets and primers by weight so I wouldn't call the A&D a waste whatsoever.

Note: I am new to shooting and reloading so probably don't listen to me. Cheers.
 
Likes: culater

Kopfjager1

Belligerent F#*k
Feb 12, 2017
360
7
18
#15
899 for the scale, trickler thrower combo
https://ce-products.myshopify.com/pr...utothrow-combo

729-749 for the scale and trickler without a powder throw
https://ce-products.myshopify.com/pr...nt=41177501510

I want the scale trickler so bad but I keep convincing myself that I dont actually need it over a cm. But I want it.
Welp, I was going to save up a little more for the scale and trickle separately, but the trickler, thrower and scale combo, definitely forced me to say fuck it. Thank you kind sir for supplying the link.
 

jonthomps

Gunny Sergeant
Feb 9, 2009
1,698
0
36
Kansas City
#18
Go with your gut. I recently purchased the A&D FX120i and wish I would have done it years ago! Comparing it to a Gem Pro is like comparing a tricycle to a Ferrari.
 

scudzuki

Gunny Sergeant
Jul 1, 2012
1,991
23
38
52
Philadelphia suburbs
#19
I have the FX-300i, it did not cost much more than the 120i, with the same resolution and update time but 320 grams capacity.
Maybe I need to reload artillery shells some day, who knows?
I've had it for a few years, before the A&D FX series became popular among reloaders.
It's a great precision balance. Fast, precise, no drifting. Resolution of roughly one granule of extruded rifle powder.
I trickle by hand at the moment but may get an Arduino and try to make an autotrickler myself.
 

orkan

Primal Rights, Inc.
Oct 27, 2008
2,705
17
38
South Dakota, USA
#20
Prometheus. The tip of the pyramid in powder dispensing.



[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/i.imgur.com\/0z8rj5wh.jpg"}[/IMG2]
 
Jan 27, 2013
108
2
18
50
So Cal Mountains
#22
The A&D / auto trickler & thrower is the way to go. Makes life a lot easier, have your brass prepped & load up a fresh batch for a match or practice @ about 100 per hour easy, really made it $$ well spent for the time saved. BTW it was good with the trickler & CM or scoop but the thrower puts the system over the top. Maybe not a Prometheus ( I've never used one ) but for probably 1/4 the cost it kicks a$$
 

orkan

Primal Rights, Inc.
Oct 27, 2008
2,705
17
38
South Dakota, USA
#26
It's all about powder management. When I load I don't need pans or separate funnels or loading blocks. I never actually handle the powder. Saves tons of time and it's not even possible to spill kernels.

Also, the scale is mechanical... not electronic. So, the confidence is real.
 

spife7980

Full Member
Feb 10, 2017
2,648
71
48
#27
So its worth it if you have the money to spare. I dont and know that I could sweep up a hell of a lot of rogue kernels for 3k bucks. Hell, right now the only kernel spillage I have is from forgetting to close the CM chute lol. As with anything in this game get what you can afford.
 

dttheliman

Pushing those 6.5's
Jun 27, 2013
69
2
8
San Antonio
#28
Feb 19, 2017
31
2
8
#31
Received my A&D FX120I and auto trickler today. I had Cambridge do the initial calibration. Set up and charging cases in 20 minutes. $779.00 delivered sorry I didn't do this earlier. Chargemaster combo and Gempro for checking loads was serviceable but frustrating.

Padom what are the benefits of the area 419 base?
H
 

spife7980

Full Member
Feb 10, 2017
2,648
71
48
#32
Can anyone report on some longer charges such as 4064 or h4350? They piss me off in the chargemaster even with the reducing inserts.
 
#33
I tend to agree with Volucris comments above. I run two Hornady Lock n Load and they were varying wthin .1 on the powder throw when rechecking every 3 - 5 throws then a Bloke at my club in discussion said fit a small piece of subway clear straw to Auger I thought "What" any way couple weeks latter I tried it in frustration and it brought tolerance down to .05 Good enough for me at 400, 600, 800 and 1000mts. Gotta say that little 30mm of straw made my life a whole lot easier.
But as they say each to their own and if someone wants to spend big to get more precision that is their decision and I say do what ever you want!
 

Attachments

padom

SuperMod
Mar 13, 2013
5,685
68
48
Southeastern, Pennsylvania
#34
Received my A&D FX120I and auto trickler today. I had Cambridge do the initial calibration. Set up and charging cases in 20 minutes. $779.00 delivered sorry I didn't do this earlier. Chargemaster combo and Gempro for checking loads was serviceable but frustrating.

Padom what are the benefits of the area 419 base?
H

So the Auto Trickler comes with a 3D printed plastic base. The Area419 base is a nicely machined base that is much more heavy making it very stable and has adjustable legs so you can change the tilt of the trickler. If you read the directions on setting up the trickler they say to start out level then put shims under the base to tilt it which increases the speed of the drop. You dont need to shim with the Area419 base, you just adjust the legs. Very well built. Just waiting on my Auto Thrower.

Jon is running a 25% off sale till 9/28 so you can get the base for like $55 right now.


 

scudzuki

Gunny Sergeant
Jul 1, 2012
1,991
23
38
52
Philadelphia suburbs
#35
I received my autotrickler yesterday and had it throwing charges +/- 1 milligram in about 20 minutes.
Pretty cool.
I'm going to drill and tap 3 holes in the base for leveling feet, as the squishy double sided tape on the bottom of the included trickler base is its only immediately obvious weak point.

In the process I found that A&D now offers a "budget" 120 gram x 1 milligram balance with their fast and precise MFR "Super Hybrid Sensor" for a little over $300. For someone looking for a fast accurate reloading scale and no plans to add peripherals (like an autotrickler) this is the ticket.


 

scudzuki

Gunny Sergeant
Jul 1, 2012
1,991
23
38
52
Philadelphia suburbs
#36
That Area 419 frame is nice but I can't justify the price. It's certainly $75 worth of material and CNC time, but I've spent enough for the time being.

I added 2 fixed “toes” and an adjustable one to the plastic frame . Given the thin cross sections it was a bit of a challenge but 105% thread depth helped. The screws are whatever I could find in my bins.

Much easier to fine tune level now.

I ran off 20 rounds, with 2 different charge weights. Faster than tricking manually? Not a huge timesaver but I give the edge to the AT, and so much easier to let the AT do it. Fun again, even.
All 20 charges were -.000/+.001 mg. Win goes to the AT.
 

Attachments

Feb 19, 2017
31
2
8
#37
Thanks for the info on the 419 base. After the second session I can see the need to adjust the tricklers flow. Couple over throws of 2-3 granules of RL17 but way easier.
H
 

padom

SuperMod
Mar 13, 2013
5,685
68
48
Southeastern, Pennsylvania
#38
That Area 419 frame is nice but I can't justify the price. It's certainly $75 worth of material and CNC time, but I've spent enough for the time being.

I added 2 fixed “toes” and an adjustable one to the plastic frame . Given the thin cross sections it was a bit of a challenge but 105% thread depth helped. The screws are whatever I could find in my bins.

Much easier to fine tune level now.

I ran off 20 rounds, with 2 different charge weights. Faster than tricking manually? Not a huge timesaver but I give the edge to the AT, and so much easier to let the AT do it. Fun again, even.
All 20 charges were -.000/+.001 mg. Win goes to the AT.
Not a huge timesaver? Not faster than trickling manually? Really? Man I ran charges side by side with my CM which is faster than manually trickling and the A&D/AT combo was WAY faster. Like half the time. Throw to 3g under target and then the AT finishes it off in lightning fast speed in my experience. Also, I played with the ramp up/down speed on the back of the A&D as well as the tilt of the AT. I have it dialed in perfectly right now with zero overthrows. The time between this and the CM doesnt even compare. When the Auto Throw arrives in a week I wont have to do a single thing anymore.
 

scudzuki

Gunny Sergeant
Jul 1, 2012
1,991
23
38
52
Philadelphia suburbs
#39
Not a huge timesaver? Not faster than trickling manually? Really? Man I ran charges side by side with my CM which is faster than manually trickling and the A&D/AT combo was WAY faster. Like half the time. Throw to 3g under target and then the AT finishes it off in lightning fast speed in my experience. Also, I played with the ramp up/down speed on the back of the A&D as well as the tilt of the AT. I have it dialed in perfectly right now with zero overthrows. The time between this and the CM doesnt even compare. When the Auto Throw arrives in a week I wont have to do a single thing anymore.
I said "Not a huge timesaver but I give the edge to the AT, and so much easier to let the AT do it". I did not say it was not faster.

I throw to .2-.3 grains under and trickle the rest. Only requires 10-15 kernels of powder.
I don't remember it taking more than several seconds to manually trickle the rest.

If I timed it I'd probably find tricking a few seconds faster with the AT, and that when I do 50 or 100 rounds the savings really adds up.
I just wanted to create reasonable expectations re: time savings for someone considering the purchase.

It does cut down considerably on the focus required, tricking to a single kernel is a PITA.
It's awesome watching the AT bang it out automatically and accurately and, yes, quickly.

The RL-16 powder I was weighing is very nonuniform, with the largest kernels twice the weight of the smallest.
Trickling by hand I'd sometimes have to remove a large kernel and add a small one to get +/-0 accuracy.
With Varget or H4350, with kernels all exactly the same weight, I might be able to get +/-0, but I don't think it's possible with the RL-16.
 
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Mar 28, 2017
61
0
6
#40
lol and I thought I went nuts by buying 2x CM1500's so I could just throw powder at a good pace. When cross referencing eachothers' weights, they've always lined up so I don't expect much source of error by having two systems.
 
Jan 27, 2013
108
2
18
50
So Cal Mountains
#41
Can anyone report on some longer charges such as 4064 or h4350? They piss me off in the chargemaster even with the reducing inserts.
Spife I use mine with H4350 mostly, but also varget & imr4064 with out a problem, w/ thrower combo about 100 per hour + or - a kernel & you might have 2 - 3 over a by 2-3 kernels I just recycle. It would probably be a little faster but I'm trying to multi-task usually.
 

padom

SuperMod
Mar 13, 2013
5,685
68
48
Southeastern, Pennsylvania
#42
I have run H4895, H4350, Varget and 8208 in mine so far. Once dialed in it ran perfectly with the first 3. I had to adjust the tilt of the trickled to a more level position and speed up the ramp down for 8208 as it's a smaller granular so it was coming out to fast when the trickled was tuned for larger kernels like Varget/H4350. Takes 2min to tune.
 

Sheldon N

Keeper of the Secrets
Sep 24, 2014
2,159
54
48
Pacific Northwest
#43
Curious here, what is a real world time for you guys to prime, powder charge and bullet seat 100 cases using the Auto Trickler setup?

Assume you start with everything all set up and ready to begin working, so just the actual amount of time for the priming, weighing powder into the case, and seating bullets.
 

spife7980

Full Member
Feb 10, 2017
2,648
71
48
#45
Spife I use mine with H4350 mostly, but also varget & imr4064 with out a problem, w/ thrower combo about 100 per hour + or - a kernel & you might have 2 - 3 over a by 2-3 kernels I just recycle. It would probably be a little faster but I'm trying to multi-task usually.
Good, I have been pleased with the chargemaster until recently. I usually dont do large batches but I wanted to form 100 pieces of new 6xc brass and this was my first time ever using h4350. It took damn near 2 1/2 hours to charge them all because it was so clumpy coming out of the cm that at least 50% were over throws. I almost bought the autotrickler after the first 50 but didnt want to invest close to a grand on something that would just piss me off as well.

I have run H4895, H4350, Varget and 8208 in mine so far. Once dialed in it ran perfectly with the first 3. I had to adjust the tilt of the trickled to a more level position and speed up the ramp down for 8208 as it's a smaller granular so it was coming out to fast when the trickled was tuned for larger kernels like Varget/H4350. Takes 2min to tune.
See, the fact that you can tune it is great; 2 minutes for flawless feed from then on is a small price to pay. Throwing every other charge back in the hopper like I had to makes me want to quit reloading.
 

spife7980

Full Member
Feb 10, 2017
2,648
71
48
#46
My next question, I pack everything away when I am done with it and then pull it all back out to set up the next session (I reload on my living room coffee table), the charge master is no problem to do this way, will this set up have issues getting moved around other than having to handle two components as opposed to the all in one of the chargemaster?
 

padom

SuperMod
Mar 13, 2013
5,685
68
48
Southeastern, Pennsylvania
#47
My next question, I pack everything away when I am done with it and then pull it all back out to set up the next session (I reload on my living room coffee table), the charge master is no problem to do this way, will this set up have issues getting moved around other than having to handle two components as opposed to the all in one of the chargemaster?

No. Just unplug the wire/connector from the Auto Trickler and set that wherever you want. Then unplug the scale and put that wherever you want. Easy as that. They dont hook together or anything like that. You just set the Auto Trickler next to the scale with the trickle tube over your pan that sits on the scale. There is a wire coming out of the back of the scale that has a connector that plugs into the trickler. Nothing crazy.
 
Jan 27, 2013
108
2
18
50
So Cal Mountains
#48
Curious here, what is a real world time for you guys to prime, powder charge and bullet seat 100 cases using the Auto Trickler setup?

Assume you start with everything all set up and ready to begin working, so just the actual amount of time for the priming, weighing powder into the case, and seating bullets.
Sheldon you can just add the time it takes you to prime your brass depending on your method. I have the brass fl sized bumping back only .0015 & tumbled cleaned and waiting.
I the use an expander mandrel, prime (rcbs hand primer) then start charging with powder, while auto trickler is working I seat the bullet in the last charged case. It takes about 1 1/2 hours per hundred start to finish. It use to take me that long to charge 50 cases with CM1500 & gempro or my ohaus if the CM was cooperating. I now can go into my reloading room after work or weekend afternoon and knock out 250-300 rounds in a few hours that are match quality even for practice ammo. I can't express how frustrating it used to be for me, this is kinda of an expensive sport but the best investment into reloading I've made.
 
Jun 17, 2009
417
17
18
30
Houston, TX
#49
Curious here, what is a real world time for you guys to prime, powder charge and bullet seat 100 cases using the Auto Trickler setup?

Assume you start with everything all set up and ready to begin working, so just the actual amount of time for the priming, weighing powder into the case, and seating bullets.
I hand prime, so that takes a while and I won't include that in the time. But to charge 100 loads and then seat 100 bullets, takes me approximately 1 hour using the autotrickler and autothrow on the A&D scale. I'm a new reloader, but that is a realistic time while being accurate within a grain of your planned charge load.

 
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Steel head

Uncouth heathen
Aug 3, 2014
334
1
0
Washington
#50
I tend to agree with Volucris comments above. I run two Hornady Lock n Load and they were varying wthin .1 on the powder throw when rechecking every 3 - 5 throws then a Bloke at my club in discussion said fit a small piece of subway clear straw to Auger I thought "What" any way couple weeks latter I tried it in frustration and it brought tolerance down to .05 Good enough for me at 400, 600, 800 and 1000mts. Gotta say that little 30mm of straw made my life a whole lot easier.
But as they say each to their own and if someone wants to spend big to get more precision that is their decision and I say do what ever you want!
The straw mod is a godsend for the hornandy.
I loaded 50 cases with only 2 overcharged.
If id have run it on slow it might have been perfect