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OK...I got a used Dillon 550

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by gunowner1, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. gunowner1

    gunowner1

    1,302
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    Jul 11, 2011
    Jensen Beach
    I was on Craigslist this morning and a guy had a used 550 with a ton of stuff with it. I picked it up cause I am a compulsive idiot who does things like this, see previous posts). It came with the press,odd things is handle says 450 and the press says 550. Also came with Ultra-vibe tumbler, RCBS Range Master scale 750, a Dillon Dial caliper, and a bunch of dies I will never use. Dies are all RCBS in .257 Roberts, .270 Winchester, 357 Magnum, 32 S/W, 44 Mag,.35 Remington, and a few others. Can I sell any of these? I will never reload any of the above calibers. Also came with eight tool heads. Why so many?
    I am calling the guy tomorrow so he can come over and help me get it set up. I got a basic idea off Youtube but I know that is not enough info.I need someone to show me hands on. Hopefully I will not get frustrated with the damn thing and throw it all in the trash.LOL
    Anyway I walked away with everything for $350.00. Feel free to flame away.
     
  2. Fwdftw

    Fwdftw

    2,529
    0
    Apr 18, 2009
    Hernando MS
    Man none of that us gonna work at all...go ahead and set it outside and ill pick it up and take it to the dump for you....








    You got a great deal....post the dies up here or another forum im sure someone will pick em up if there cheap enough!

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
     


  3. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    You might be able to sell the dies but some of those calibers are pretty specialized.

    There is an Owner's Manual available at Dillon and there are a LOT of tutorials on YouTube.

    What you should look into is which primer setup you have versus what you need.

    You didn't mention a powder measure. The expander or powder funnel in the powder measure die is caliber specific.

    You also need to check the shell plate number(s) and see if you need to order a caliber conversion kit.

    If you post which calibers you are going to reload, someone around here can tell you which shellplate and powder die you will need.

    It is normal practice to set up each caliber on its own toolhead. Some folks even leave a powder measure on each toolhead although this certainly adds a few bucks to caliber conversion.

    Spend some time at the Dillon site just looking into things like caliber conversions and primer conversions. And download the manual, of course.

    Richard
     
  4. gunowner1

    gunowner1

    1,302
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    Jul 11, 2011
    Jensen Beach
    If the powder measure is that tube looking thing that goes on top,I got two of them. I have no idea how that thing measures minute amounts of powder. I'll go to the Dillon site and look around. Worst case scenario I'll find a local reloader and pay him to show me what;s up.I'm not posting a thousand questions here. All that does is aggravate other GT members.
    All I really want to reload are 9mm, 45 ACP, and 10mm. Also maybe .223/5.56 when I know what I am doing. Thanks for the responses guys.Every little bit helps.
     
  5. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    There is a discussion of the powder measure in the 550B manual. It is good that you have two of them.

    Look at the side of your powder measure and compare it to Figure 20 in the manual. Over the years, Dillon has changed the operating crank from a single piece of metal (mine were black) to a dual piece 'fail safe' device (kind of golden colored). If you don't have the fail safe mechanism, you will want to order the upgrade kit. It really does help with getting reliable charges.

    Not on this forum! There are folks around here that have used the Dillon 550s and the predecessor 450 for decades. We all like the press and I'm confident that you will as well.

    As to the 'local reloader': They can only show you what they know. They may be very competent or not...

    Then you will need both the large primer and small primer mechanisms. 9mm and .223/5.56 use small primers. The 10mm uses large primer and so does most of the .45 ACP. The small primer .45 ACP cases are a travesty!

    It's good that you have several toolheads. You will need at least 4.

    One more thing: Dillon has a FOREVER warranty regardless of ownership. You now have that warranty on your press. If there is anything wrong, anything at all, they will make it right.

    Richard
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  6. njl

    njl

    7,802
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    Sep 28, 2000
    :noitacoL
    Worst case, you could box it all up (the press and related parts) send it to Dillon, and ask them to look it over / clean / rebuild it as needed and buy any missing parts.

    The extra toolheads are because it's pretty standard practice to put a set of dies into the toolhead, get them properly adjusted, and then leave them there. When you setup to load another caliber, you remove the tool head, and put in another with that caliber's dies. The really lazy people will keep powder measures on the caliber specific toolheads so there's one less thing to mess with, but the costs of doing that add up.
     
  7. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    8,745
    970
    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    Post pictures and we will tell you what you have and don't have.

    Start your education on the Dillon 550 here.
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRZrbv_8kx4"]How to reload with a Dillon RL 550B Part 1 - YouTube[/ame]
     
  8. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    ^^^^

    That's a great series of videos (5 in all) and they cover everything a new reloader needs to know.

    Richard
     
  9. gunowner1

    gunowner1

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    Jul 11, 2011
    Jensen Beach
    The shell plate on my Dillon doesn't have the extension to attach the fail safe rod. I have two powder delivery attachments.One has the gold parts #17838 and #17839. I'm still looking at alot of money to get this up and running. I have to find out if the shell plates will work for what I want to reload and buy dies for those calibers. This is going to take awhile. Dies run $63.95 a piece and if I need new shell plates they are $33.95 a piece.
     
  10. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    The powder measure rod doesn't attach to the shell plate. There is a little return bracket #13885 where the rod fits through the slot and the spring and plastic nut are on the underside. Figure 6 on page 8 of the manual shows the bracket. Oddly, I didn't see a figure that shows the rod as it is assembled.

    However, this page at Dillon shows the assembly:
    http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/content/p/9/pid/23594/catid/1/RL_550B

    What you need to know is which powder funnels, shell plates and locator pins you have along with the primer mechanism(s).

    You do need to use Dillons powder die and funnel. You can use anybody's dies for stations 1, 3 & 4. Lee die sets are a lot cheaper but Lee want to sell their Factory Crimp Die in the 4 die sets and most around here don't like that die. Lee does make a taper crimp die. So, buy the Lee 3 die set and buy a separate taper crimp die. I don't know that this saves a lot of money but it is something.

    If you bought the 550B new, you would still need to buy dies separately.

    Richard
     
  11. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
  12. ken grant

    ken grant

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    middle ga.
    A world of people out there use cheaper dies on their Dillon Press set ups.

    Lee will be the cheapest and nothing wrong with them.
    Some guys loading pistols will use the Lee Factory Crimp Die even when using Dillon's Dies elsewhere
     
  13. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    Ah yes, back to the discussion on dies...

    If you are going to be reloading brass that has been shot through a Glock, you may want to use a Lee sizing die because it will size a little farther down the case. This is because the radius at the nose of the die is a little smaller than on Dillon dies.

    However, this reduced radius doesn't make high speed operation go better. Sometimes the case just doesn't line up well enough. More time spent messing around with that little paperclip looking spring at station 1. But it works!

    I use the Lee die for 9mm because I pick up free-range brass.

    Station 2 probably needs to be a Dillon powder die and powder funnel but there may be other dies that both bell the case and operate some kind of powder measure. Given that the powder measures are Dillon, it makes no sense to go elsewhere.

    Station 3 seating die can be anybody's. Lee will work. It isn't as easy to clean up after loading lubed lead bullets as is the Dillon but it will work. The Dillon die is just plain superior!

    That said, some folks like the micrometer adjustment of a Redding seating die. This makes experimenting a lot easier.

    Station 4 is a taper crimp die, not a Factory Crimp Die! It doesn't matter who makes the die. Dillon makes a nice die but the Lee will work.

    Add up the costs for the available options and then decide. I'm not sure it is worth saving $30 to buy Lee instead of Dillon. Then again, it's not my money we're talking about.

    Richard
     
  14. gunowner1

    gunowner1

    1,302
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    Jul 11, 2011
    Jensen Beach
    If I don't buy the upgrade for the powder delivery system can I use the older manual one?
     
  15. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    8,745
    970
    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    The first thing is to figure out what parts you have. Each shell plate has a number on it. Some cross over to multiple calibers. The shell plate for 40sw will also work for the 357 sig and the 9mm.
     
  16. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Oct 19, 2011
    I thought that the return bracket and return rod had been around for a long time before the fail safe mechanism was introduced. In the old days, there was a double spring wrapped in a circle at the rear of the powder measure. There is a stud protruding from the powder bar and a white plastic stop on the measure housing. The springs were wrapped around them.

    So, I don't know the answer! I'm pretty sure my press had the return bracket for a very long time before I upgraded to the fail safe mechanism.

    You can also buy the return bracket separately and you can buy the rod, spring and nut separately. I believe the rods are different so the only one you can probably buy is for the fail safe mechanism.

    I wouldn't use the measure with the black operating mechanism. Dillon made the upgrade for a reason and I really like the way the fail safe mechanism helps to prevent under/over charging. This is a really big deal!

    Richard
     
  17. gunowner1

    gunowner1

    1,302
    57
    Jul 11, 2011
    Jensen Beach
    I'll try to figure all this crap out later.I got the basic idea but that's it.My head hurts! I haven't even figured out what primer tubes I have.All these primers, 8 boxes of Winchester #215 Large Magnum rifle primers and ten boxes of CCI 400 small rifle primers are,I believe,useless for 10mm,9mm, or 45 ACP. Also what do I do with the three jugs of Hodgdon H50BMG rifle powder that came with this thing.
    I'm going to call Space Coast bullets on Tuesday to see about powder,primer,bullets,and dies. If they have nothing,I'll order online.I gotta find someone locally who knows more about this then me. I really want to do this reloading thing but buying used may not have been the wisest move. I'm taking my headache and going inside. Thanks guys.Hope I didn't raise anybodies blood pressure.
     
  18. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    8,033
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    Oct 19, 2011
    I would spend about 10 minutes asking around the local gun range to see if anybody wants the powder and primers.

    If not, I would see if they can be dropped off at the local Hazardous Material dropoff station.

    The CCI 400 small rifle primers are useful for .223 but that's about it.

    Richard
     
  19. gunowner1

    gunowner1

    1,302
    57
    Jul 11, 2011
    Jensen Beach
    Last thing.LOL I am a memeber of a private range,Martin County Sportsmans Assoc. but I don't really know anyone on a personal basis there.Many of the guys live about twenty miles away and expecting anyone to just come over to help me seems to be asking alot. There really isn't any sense in having someone come over till I have everything to load a bullet. If Space Coast Bullets doesn't have everything I need to get set up to load at least one caliber I'll have to order online after I figure out what I need.