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Dillon 550b leaks powder when reloading .223

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by kubura, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. kubura

    kubura

    539
    0
    Jan 10, 2005
    As the title says, it only happens with .223 remington.

    I never had this problem with .308, 30-06, .30-30 or 7.62x39.

    When the powder bar assemly moves about a half way back from right to the left, slotted bellcrank assembly, powder bar assembly and the failsafe rod are not operating smoothly. At that point, the powder bar assembly stops for a split of a second, before it goes back to the left, and my 550b automatic powder system turns into a salt shaker.

    It happens on every 3rd or 4th round, regardless of the powder I use (Varget, Benchmark, IMR 4064, IMR 4198, H-335, RE-15).

    I called Dillon several times. Everyone I talked to was very friendly. Several things were suggested: adjusting the failsafe rod and cleaning the powder bar assembly. However this thinkering did not solve my problem. I called again this morning, and was told that "some powder leak is normal with .223 cases because of the small size of the case mouth" :dunno:

    550b owners, have you run into this problem when reloading .223?

    Any help is very much appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2010

  2. sig2009

    sig2009

    938
    1
    May 3, 2005
    Are you using the magnum powder bar? If you are using the standard powder bar powder will drop out. Ask me how I found that out! Switch to the magnum powder bar and you won't have that problem anymore.
     
  3. kubura

    kubura

    539
    0
    Jan 10, 2005
    I am using the standard large powder bar that came with 550.

    I checked several times that everything is lined up right. I even got the alignment tool from Dillon. The right buttons are installed, no: 3, to hold the case in the right position. No burrs on the case mouth. I used brand new Lapua brass from MidwayUSA. It's not jumping when the shellplate is indexed; and it is still spilling powder. This thing is driving me nuts.

    What's the magic with the magnum powder bar? Please, share the experience.

    I will call Dillon on Monday.
     
  4. rjrivero

    rjrivero

    583
    0
    Apr 23, 2009
    This is the issue. You need to take that powder assembly off the die and figure out why it's not working smoothly.
     
  5. I think it's powder bridging dropping 20+ grains into a small .220 case neck requires more time than 40+ grains into a .305 neck, so I instead of a gentle push at the top of the stroke I give it a slight bump to shake the powder loose in the measure and I also dwell a few seconds longer at the top of the stroke to let all the powder all fall into the case ... you can see this when checking a powder charge and you dump the powder from the case it sometimes hangs up and takes a little shake to get the powder to move . Like sand in a hour glass the smaller the hole the slower the flow...
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2010
  6. dudel

    dudel

    5,451
    983
    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    I had it happen early on when I first used the 550b for 223. Turned out I had too much lube near the area of the brass mouth. Caused powder to clump and stick as it was going through that tiny case mouth. I now use less spray lube and the problems seems to have resolved itself. BTW, I'm using Varget. Love that powder.
     
  7. dudel

    dudel

    5,451
    983
    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    I didn't catch it at first either; but he does mention:

    It happens on every 3rd or 4th round, regardless of the powder I use (Varget, Benchmark, IMR 4064, IMR 4198, H-335, RE-15).

     
  8. kubura

    kubura

    539
    0
    Jan 10, 2005
    Varget, Benchmark, IMR 4064, IMR 4198, H-335, RE-15
     
  9. kubura

    kubura

    539
    0
    Jan 10, 2005
    That makes sense.
     
  10. kubura

    kubura

    539
    0
    Jan 10, 2005
    I think this may be the problem.
     
  11. kubura

    kubura

    539
    0
    Jan 10, 2005
    sig2009, would you elaborate, please?
     
  12. dudel

    dudel

    5,451
    983
    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    I'm using the standard bar for Varget, it works fine for me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2010
  13. Hoser

    Hoser Ninja

    2,353
    38
    May 22, 2002
  14. unclebob

    unclebob

    7,445
    388
    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    It’s been 20 or 30 years ago since I loaded for .223 But since you had problem with the powder sticking too the lube. I would run the cases threw the press with just the sizer die. Then clean off the lube.
    Ball powders seam too work better with the small case mouth. Also wait a couple of seconds before raising the handle. Taping the side of the platform might help also before lowering the ram.