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My new used toy. Dillon 550

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by itstime, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. itstime


    Apr 9, 2006

    picked up a 550 set up to do most pistol calibers. I think I got a deal. Now the learning curve.

    The dies have a little surface rust on them. What is the best practice to clean them up?

    Should I send it all to Dillon to go through it all? It has sat for years.

    I'm a newb and need suggestions. It's all in a big box. Parts I don't even know what they are.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    If the price was right, send it to Dillon, I think they charge you like $40 for a refurbish & shipping each way. Light surface rust can often be removed w/ fine steel wool & some penetrating oil. If the inside fo the dies show any pitting after that, they are lost, at least the sizing dies. DO you have the manual? THat helps a lot with setup. Ask if you get stuck, many 550 owners here.

  3. bush pilot

    bush pilot

    Jan 29, 2004
    Fred gave you some good advice. If you shoot at a club there is probably another shooter there that has a 550 and would be happy to help guide you. I've actually tumbled some grungy dies before with good success. I'm not sure how it would do on rust and I doubt you have a tumbler.

    ETA: If you can, post pics and there will be plenty of people that tell you what the part is and where it goes.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  4. GLShooter


    Jan 3, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    A piece of scotch bright covered with some JB bore paste and a drill will take care of that surface rust quickly and not harm your inside die bodies. It works on shotgun chambers that have been neglected. An old 'smith taught me about that one one day.

  5. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Surface rust on the outside can be removed with 0000 steel wool and, if you want, a few drops of penetrating or household oil. To prevent future surface rust, spray the dies lightly with some Remington Oil when you finish cleaning your firearms. BTW, Lee brand dies are notarious for developing surface rust, especially in a humid or corrosive environment.

    Many people do not realize that poisons, fertilizer, pool chemicals and the like will emit vapors that will corrode metal.

    OH, and congrats on the 550 press. Very simple operation, extremely versatile. You will find you made a very good decision.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  6. SigFTW


    Nov 4, 2010
    Surface rust?? just throw it into the tumbler. :supergrin:
  7. El_Ron1


    Apr 15, 2004
    Redneck Sparta
    I wouldn't send it to Dillon unless you find some problems after you set it up properly and give it a try.
  8. RustyFN


    Sep 29, 2006
    West Virginia
    Congrats on the new press. The 550 is a great press I'm sure you will be happy.
  9. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    The owner's manual is available as PDF on Dillon' site.

    What these videos:

    5 ten minute videos show how to set it up, everything about it. It was watching these that convinced me I could handle reloading, I literally ordered one that same day.