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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am using my 550 as a single stage press to roll some 308’s with smk 175. Mainly because the powder measure is not giving me good enough consistency with Ramshot TAC. I was getting a range of throws between 42.5-42.9g. So I am using a charge master lite to get better consistency. The Dillon still does prime, seat, and crimp. I was sending one round through at a time. I removed the powder measure but left the powder die in station 2. It worked pretty well and I was taking my time to manually drop the powder into primed casings. Got through 16 rounds and all of sudden the primers stopped getting pushed into the case pockets. Upon inspection, the problem is caused by the ram rod hitting the cartridge Shute that is mounted on the strong mount. I could remove the Shute and push the handle further forward to seat the primers. I ended the session because it didn’t feel right. I am baffled by why this problem suddenly occurred.
I tried the small primer bar and it’s the same. The height of both bars are at 1.215”, which is at the low end of the spec range. I called Dillon and the tech offered to send a new large primer bar. I am not convinced it will solve my problem. Has anyone seen this?
 

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I don’t know or use the Dillon, nothing against them. If you were to prime off the press, would that help? I know that’s another tool & expense, fairly modest though.
 

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Call Dillon. They have very good customer service.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don’t know or use the Dillon, nothing against them. If you were to prime off the press, would that help? I know that’s another tool & expense, fairly modest though.
Yeah, hand priming would get me going on these 308's. But the 550 is still down. I wouldn't be able to roll any ammo in the normal operating mode.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Call Dillon. They have very good customer service.
Call Dillon. They have very good customer service.
Yep, calling them again and on hold now. I had more time to tinker with the press last night, still can't figure it out. The handle could touch the cartridge shute before, but when it did the primer push rod (inside the primer slide cup) would be pronouncedly protruding.
 

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...the problem is caused by the ram rod hitting the cartridge Shute that is mounted on the strong mount.
Terminology confusion? Can't imagine how the ram (the shiny hydraulic-looking piston with shell-plate on top) would contact the cartridge chute. Perhaps the chute impedes the steel arm of the Handle Assembly when pushing forward during the short primer-seating stroke? Then the chute needs to be moved to allow clearance for the arm.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Terminology confusion? Can't imagine how the ram (the shiny hydraulic-looking piston with shell-plate on top) would contact the cartridge chute. Perhaps the chute impedes the steel arm of the Handle Assembly when pushing forward during the short primer-seating stroke? Then the chute needs to be moved to allow clearance for the arm.
Yes, I was confused with the terminology. I meant the handle. I fixed it in the posts. Thank you.

I hadn't touched the cartridge shute ever since it was installed 20+ years ago. Like I said the problem started in the middle of a session. I can't figure out what happened or broke. Dillon is sending a new handle locking nut since the handle can spin left and right on my press. But I was able to tighten the nut and stop the spinning. Still didn't solve the problem.
 

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Only thing I can think of is if one the two cast “beams” that run vertically and connect to the horizontal piece the handle bolts into is cracked and allowing the handle to move further forward. Possibly it looks good stationary and static, but is noticeable under use?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Only thing I can think of is if one the two cast “beams” that run vertically and connect to the horizontal piece the handle bolts into is cracked and allowing the handle to move further forward. Possibly it looks good stationary and static, but is noticeable under use?
Good call! I checked the beams and they looked okay, but the bottom of the frame is cracked, and it's causing the beams to lean forward therefore the handle is also tilted forward. Calling Dillon back now. Thank you!!
 

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Dillon CS is crazy good. I had a problem with seating primers and told them which part I thought was the culprit. They sent me the whole primer assembly. The phone call took about 3 minutes.
 

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Not sure if the 550B has the grease zerks like the 550c, but you may want to pump a little grease in there when you install the new parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Got through to Dillon's CS. The part is field replaceable. I asked if I can send it back for repair, and might as well have them do a full tune up on it. Tech says yes, and because of the broken frame, the service would be free! Excellent! I would be fine paying for the service. The last time I sent it to Dillon for that was in 2010 and the press is looking pretty gritty. I was pleasantly surprised. Dillon lived up to its reputation once again!
 

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A suggestion, Get a single stage press to size rifle cases on. The Lee Cast Iron Classic is a good one.
Improving Powder Measure Accuracy: Zip Tie a cheap fish tank bubbler to the powder hopper. Turn off when not actively loading. I have not loaded any rifle ammo on my 550 in years, but it should work well for what ever powder you are using I would think.

Bob R
 

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I load lots and lots of rifle ammo on my 550s. Everything from 17 Mach IV to 223 to 338 Lapua. Zero issues. I dont use the Dillon powder measure through.

A little polishing and TLC on a Dillon measure will make them work really well. They will even throw stick powders like Varget within .2-.3 of your target. For ball powders like TAC and H-110 they will be spot on. Mine throw H-110/1680 within .06 of target, thats under a tenth of a grain.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
A suggestion, Get a single stage press to size rifle cases on. The Lee Cast Iron Classic is a good one.
Improving Powder Measure Accuracy: Zip Tie a cheap fish tank bubbler to the powder hopper. Turn off when not actively loading. I have not loaded any rifle ammo on my 550 in years, but it should work well for what ever powder you are using I would think.

Bob R
Thank you for the suggestion.. I am not following completely though. Are you saying pumping air into the powder hopper would give me more consistent drops? I am going to try tying a couple of rubber bands between the hopper and the powder bar to activate the bar more consistently when the handle is pulled. I saw that in a video and it seems to make sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I load lots and lots of rifle ammo on my 550s. Everything from 17 Mach IV to 223 to 338 Lapua. Zero issues. I dont use the Dillon powder measure through.

A little polishing and TLC on a Dillon measure will make them work really well. They will even throw stick powders like Varget within .2-.3 of your target. For ball powders like TAC and H-110 they will be spot on. Mine throw H-110/1680 within .06 of target, thats under a tenth of a grain.
I have only recently ventured into reloading rifle cartridges. Never had any issue with powder measure consistency with pistol loads. But there is a huge difference in volume and weight. 44gr vs 4.8gr. The frame cracking was probably a gradual process. Maybe the setup/fitting slowly drifted. I will experiment again when the 550 comes back from Dillon.

I was getting a lot of powder leak with H110 though using the small powder bar. I found a few Youtube videos of people having the exact same problem. I called Dillon for the larger space bar, which they promptly sent me. But it didn't fit in any of my powder measures. Its too big. I was attempted to file down where it's catching, but ended up switching to the large bar. I was loading 300BLKOUT at the time. The large bar was able to give me 18.4gr, with very little room left on the adjustment.
 
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