Clay Learns to Reload: Ep. 5 Precision Powder Measuring with RCBS’ Powder Trickler & ChargeMaster Lite

In my journey into reloading as a cherry boy, I have done some things that are at the very least questionable, if not downright sketchy. I think we can all agree that a red Solo cup and a Gerber baby spoon are not proper powder-measuring tools, though they do work in a pinch.

This week, I decided to step up my powder-measuring game with some help from my friends at RCBS.

RCBS Powder Trickler 2

The RCBS Powder Trickler 2 with height-adjustable, non skid base and powder tube extension. Retail is $25.

First up is the RCBS Powder Trickler 2, a supplement to your scoop. Or Gerber baby spoon, however you roll. When we are trying to make precise loads, it is easy to end up a few 10ths short on powder. Then you add a little bit with your spoon. Then, it’s too much, so you take some out. Then you get mad and throw the scale across the room.

The Powder Trickler solves this problem. It dribbles powder very slowly, but it is perfect for making up a few 10ths without going over. Much more precise than trying to do it via baby spoon. The new model features a height-adjustable stand and powder tube extension so you’ll have no problem reaching the powder tray on your scale.

MSPR is around $25.  This is a great little tool to have.

Powder goes in there.

A closeup of the height-adjustable base.

RCBS ChargeMaster Lite

The second piece we are taking a look at is ten times the price of the Powder Trickler, but absolutely worth it if you are making large batches of ammo. The RCBS ChargeMaster Lite is exactly what a budding reloader needs. It holds nearly a pound of smokeless powder and features an auto dispense mode.

Using the ChargeMaster Lite is a cinch.  Once calibrated with your charge set, hit the GO button. The ChargeMaster Lite dispenses a precise powder drop every time you set down the powder tray with an audible beep to let you know when the job is done.

The ChargeMaster Lite retails for $299.95.


  • 2-300 grain powder dispense range
  • +/-0.1 grain accuracy (0-500 grains)
  • Ambidextrous scale pan
  • LCD Touchscreen display
  • Durable On/Off and Dispense buttons
  • Wind Cover
  • Powder hopper and quick-drain system
  • Built-in bubble level
  • Limited One Year Warranty
  • 120/240 switching power supply
  • EU/UK/AUS compliant

Trickling in powder has never been so easy and so precise.

The ChargeMaster Lite also keeps track of how many charges it has dispensed, a double check for your loading block. In testing, the charge was on point every time. The illuminated LCD display is clear and easy to read and the unit comes with a built-in level. It lacks some of the memory functions of the ChargeMaster Combo, but for those of us starting out, I don’t find that to be a negative.

The LCD touchscreen display is intuitive. You won’t need to spend hours learning how to use it.

The ChargeMaster Lite also features a handy powder dump lever on the side for quick swap outs of various powders. If you need to increase your efficiency at the bench, this is a must-have! With one day of use, it already feels like it was worth the money. MSRP is $299.95

For more information on any of the products mentioned visit

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About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website,

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  • Sgt. Pop December 18, 2020, 9:21 am

    just a note, I used to use a commercial powder trickler years ago, but in 70’s switched to using a gutted ballpoint pen filled with the powder I’m currently using, set the scale tad low, and the pen throws about one individual gain at a time. Works for me, your milage may vary……. just pour out the pen into the powder can when finished.

  • Keith June 30, 2018, 6:02 pm

    I noticed the flakes of gun powder stuck to the inside of the clear powder cylinder. It is static electricity that causes this to happen. Very dangerous should this easily spark. I learned about this on the RCBS web site “after” loading about 500 rounds of 9mm. It is recommended to use denatured alcohol on a cotton swab and clean the powder cylinder and the catch tray before each use of your Charge Master. I clean everything the powder can touch on the Charge Master. The denatured alcohol dissipates very quickly. You will immediately notice how easily the powder will slide through the powder tube and scale without sticking.

  • Ugly Driver June 29, 2018, 4:54 am

    I’ve used the same trickler for about 20 years. The base is hollow, I filled it with heavy 44 mag bullets and then covered with gasket sealer. The added weight makes the trickler more stable.

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