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550 came in

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by RustyFN, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. RustyFN

    RustyFN

    2,530
    0
    Sep 29, 2006
    West Virginia
    My 550 came in today with a 223 conversion kit. I mounted it to the bench and started to put it together. The directions were very good I thought. I had a little trouble with the shell plate. I tried to adjust it without a case. I put a case in a turned it half way between station 1 and 2, snugged it down and it works great. It comes with the large primer system installed so I had to change it over to small. Very easy I thought and didn't take very long. The powder measure came with the small powder bar installed and I need the large. It was also very easy to change over. I did learn that you have to keep a close eye on the little square white plastic thingy. I have the powder die and measure set height wise but not the charge. I did not install the rest of the dies yet. Overall I am very impressed how easy it was to set up. It seems that it should also be very easy to change calibers but I do see where it would be an advantage to buy extra powder measures with the conversion.
     
  2. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Let me get this straight. It came with the wrong primer parts, the shell plate didn't work right, the powder measure needed tinkering with. WTF, you could have bought a cheap red one, or an expensive red one, and gotten that same kind of raw deal.
     


  3. Congrats. The 550 is a fine progressive. too bad its not an auto indexing, but I have been told on GTR I do not need that automatic mover thingy.
     
  4. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

    14,949
    173
    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    Some brilliant minds on this forum.

    Congratulations Rusty.
     
  5. Beanie-Bean

    Beanie-Bean

    4,582
    71
    Apr 23, 2011
    Central Texas
    Congrats, Rusty. I'm right behind you in line for mine--it should be here tomorrow according to FedEx. However, I don't have a bench setup yet to mount mine!

    Hell, I'll mount it to the dining table if I have to!

    Have fun--did you get any other dies? Or are you loading up .223 as your main caliber?

    It's good to know that you were able to get through the manual and get the rig setup with little trouble.
     
  6. n2extrm

    n2extrm

    1,925
    3
    Feb 24, 2009
    Congrats Rusty. I am sure you will be very happy with it. The little white square will get you, they include them in the spare parts kit just for that reason. I might have lost one or two over the years. :whistling: I ended up getting powder measures for every tool head. You can get powder dies and put them on the tool heads and then you don't have to mess with that adjustment, just swap the measure over. Some people buy extra powder bars and leave them set for the tool head swap. In the long run the whole measure on the tool head is nice if you can swing it. I bought them over a few years.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  7. RustyFN

    RustyFN

    2,530
    0
    Sep 29, 2006
    West Virginia
    I bought it to speed up loading 223. I have been shooting a lot of that lately. I will add other calibers as I get some extra cash. I didn't buy any dies. I'm going to try the Lee dies that I have been using on my classic turret press.

    Thanks everybody.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  8. unclebob

    unclebob

    7,442
    381
    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    I would replace the Bellcrank keep nut on the powder measure with a nylon locking nut.
     
  9. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    2,950
    1
    Aug 4, 2008
    FL
    Rusty, congrats on the 550. I can't imagine another press being any more versatile than your new acquisition.

    Remember that you don't need to buy a complete caliber conversion kit for every caliber, as a lot of calibers use the same shellplate with different buttons. Check online for caliber conversion charts that you can download, sort and determine what you need to add another to your reloading abilities.

    Look into getting one of those plastic slipover "flowers" or "thumbscrews" to go over the powder adjustment nut. They really make it easier to make adjustments to the powder charge. I dedicated a case for each caliber, marked with a ring for visibility and an upside down primer, to check powder charges. Keep them close by.

    Keep the primer bar area clean (compressed air works great), and don't overtighten the primer magazine tube cap (doing so will ruin the plastic tip on the bottom of the tube).

    Lee dies will work great with the 550b. Be sure to have a case in each station when you make your final adjustments.

    My steps for 223: tumble, lube, resize/deprime (on the SS, could just as easily be done on the 550b if you remove the cases as they reach station 2), tumble to remove lube, trim, chamfer, debur, then back to the 550 to reload. If you end up following a similar process order, use a universal depriming die in station one to be sure there is no media in the flash hole (if you deprime on the 550b, you'll have to change station one dies). Finish the process as normal on the 550b.

    Congrats again. All the best. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  10. fredj338

    fredj338

    21,930
    1,046
    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    Ah brilliant minds do think alike Rusty. GO BLUE!
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  11. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

    One thing with rifle on the 550, the case length makes all the difference in smooth powder drops. Too much deviation from a median length will bind the operation.

    ETA: If you load .45 or .308/30-'06 family cartridges, I've got a conversion kit I'm trying to get rid of.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  12. RustyFN

    RustyFN

    2,530
    0
    Sep 29, 2006
    West Virginia

    It came with a nylock nut already.
     
  13. RustyFN

    RustyFN

    2,530
    0
    Sep 29, 2006
    West Virginia

    Freak I'll send you a PM when I get home. I am interested in a 45 auto conversion.
     
  14. unclebob

    unclebob

    7,442
    381
    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    Thanks, Good to know.
     
  15. Beanie-Bean

    Beanie-Bean

    4,582
    71
    Apr 23, 2011
    Central Texas
    Going to be a nice weekend! Bench parts arrive tomorrow, and I'll be at Lowes with the cut sheet for the lumber later today. Guess that the car will have to live outside until I can get the garage rearranged to my liking (actually, to my wife's liking...that's another story.)

    [​IMG]

    Woohoo!
     
  16. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    10,016
    1
    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    What's a 550 and why is it blue... did something happen to make it sad? I'm confused.

    Posted from an iPhone with a screen the size of a drive in movie.


    Jack
     
  17. Didn't you read the post man?

    It's Blue.......It's Blue!

    Everything else be damned!!!

    It's BLUE!!!!!!!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Steve Koski

    Steve Koski Got Insurance? Millennium Member

    7,059
    1
    Jan 31, 1999
    Montanuh
    550's suck. Get a nickel plated sissy pistol instead.