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Old September 12, 2011, 10:40 AM   #1
hulley
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Question on Lee vs. Dillon powder charge.

I have a Lee turret press. The Lee powder disk measure is less than impressive, dropping from one hole to another yielded me a .6 to .7 gr difference. Can the Dillon powder charge be dialed in to exactly the charge amount you desire? I'm sure many of you have read my other thread on 9mm problems but I bought the Lee to get my feet wet and really wanting a Dillon XL650. I'm much more impressed with the action on the Dillon as opposed to the Lee Turret. Two completely different presses I know and worlds apart from each other on cost but I plan on using the Lee for .44mag and some rifle rounds and the Dillon for 9mm and 45acp and maybe .223 in larger batches. I certainly realize that I need to figure some things out before buying the Dillon, like fully grasping the loading expierence!

Thanks
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Old September 12, 2011, 01:12 PM   #2
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The XL 650 is a great machine and you will be happy with it long after you forget how much it cost. The powder measure is as good as any but as with all measures some times stick powder can by problematic. Some people say they have trouble with flake powder, but I have none with all 7 of my Dillon measures. +/- 0.1g is normal.
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Old September 12, 2011, 04:20 PM   #3
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The adjustment from the factory is +/- 0.1 Gr for me. There is an aftermarket accessory that is a calibrated knob if you really want to go overboard but I've never felt the need.
I have had Unique, a flake powder, bind up the slider, but it was obvious, easy to fix & did not cause weight problems, it just got stiff till I cleaned it.
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Old September 12, 2011, 06:25 PM   #4
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I have the 550 and use varget for my 308,223 and it's not to smooth with that powder or RCBS either!.
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Old September 12, 2011, 06:26 PM   #5
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0.6 to 0.7 gr is way too much variation ....

but yes, the Dillon powder measures will let you drop consistent volumes of powder / holding 0.1 grain is no big deal on my Dillon 650 ( with a suitable powder - like Hodgdon TiteGroup or Hodgdon Universal ).

Most presses these days are well made ...and I can't say that I've spent a lot of time looking at the Lee Turret press lately ...but my hunch is / you can improve the accuracy on that powder measure by going back / re-running your setup ..and making sure everything is as it should be.

You may have a static issue or any number of things that is causing the problem on a new press ( get some anti-static dryer sheets / clean everything / wipe everything down - see if it helps). Talk to some local guys with the same press / maybe someone can come by and give you a hand with it - and figure it out.
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Old September 12, 2011, 07:31 PM   #6
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I may be missing something here, but exactly how would you use the Dillon with the actuator arm to throw powder with a LCT press? Maybe I've overlooked a way for the Dillon powder measure to be hand operated.

With my 550 I can expect it throw loads consistent to +/- 0.1 grain once I've got it dialed in.
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Old September 12, 2011, 09:12 PM   #7
hulley
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On the Lee, once a disk is in place it will drop a steady powder charge. However if I need to use less powder, the next lower amount is .6 to.7 gr less. I didnt mean that there was a variance of .6 to .7gr with each throw.
For example, I'm currently loading a 9mm round and I'm using 6.0gr, I wanted to use less powder so I dropped down to the next smaller size, that size yielded a 5.3gr charge. I'm not able to do a 5.7gr that I wanted for the specific bullet that I was using.
I was asking if the Dillon could be set up at whatever target weight that you wanted. I understand the +/- .1gr variance.
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Old September 12, 2011, 09:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
For example, I'm currently loading a 9mm round and I'm using 6.0gr, I wanted to use less powder so I dropped down to the next smaller size, that size yielded a 5.3gr charge. I'm not able to do a 5.7gr that I wanted for the specific bullet that I was using.
Adjustable charge bar! I've found it doesn't work well at small openings (under 4 grains or so) but from 5-20 grains it will give you the adjustability you want.
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Old September 12, 2011, 11:18 PM   #9
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Even using Unique with my Lee Turret I do not get .6, or .7 grain differences. Are you sure the press is mounted correctly ? I get typically .1, or .2 grain differences depending upon whether I am using Unique, or 2400. I wonder what other Lee Turret users are getting.
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Old September 12, 2011, 11:38 PM   #10
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The adjustable charge bar for the Lee will solve your problem.
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Old September 13, 2011, 12:02 AM   #11
TimW77
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Come on people at least READ what the OP wrote!

If you want to answer a question you should actually READ what the OP wrote...

"...dropping from one hole to another yielded me a .6 to .7 gr difference."

Obviously he is talking about the Lee Auto Disk Powder Measure which has 4 disks each with 6 holes.

Dropping from one hole to ANOTHER HOLE there is a 0.6 to 0.7g difference.

T.
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Old September 13, 2011, 02:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
I may be missing something here, but exactly how would you use the Dillon with the actuator arm to throw powder with a LCT press? Maybe I've overlooked a way for the Dillon powder measure to be hand operated.
With the older Dillon powder measures (the ones with the springs) the actuator arm is only a safety device. The measure can be used without it as long as you pay attention and make sure it cycles fully.
I don’t think the OP said he was going to use the Dillon measure on the Lee press he was just comparing the two.
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Old September 13, 2011, 03:34 PM   #13
hulley
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No, I wasnt looking to use the Dillon powder measure on the Lee. I guess I'm looking for more reasons to jump to the Dillon. I like the primer feed, the case feed, powder charge and round dump. I could buy a base XL650 and use that for a while and upgrade later. Oh well, I guess we can always "justify" and upgrade in out hobby eh?
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Old September 13, 2011, 06:58 PM   #14
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I recently sold my Lee Loadmaster AP press. I purchased a Dillon Square Deal B to replace it. I don't regret it one bit. A world of difference in quality of the press. The Lee was just so sloppy and a pain to set up or change to another caliber. The Dillon is slop free and smooth in operation. And the lifetime warranty on the Dillon is second to none.
I did have a problem with the Dillon primer feed system. Dillon spent the required time on the phone with me sitting in front of the press and ran through several trouble shooting steps, when none of those worked, they sent me a new primer feed system to replace the defective system.

I would not hesitate to buy the XL650. I much prefer the Dillon powder measure over the Lee Auto Disk Pro I have for my Lee Classic Turret.

The Dillon powder measure can be adjusted to the very powder charge you want instead of having to settle for the closest setting the Lee will allow you to get to.
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Old September 13, 2011, 07:02 PM   #15
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OH, and Dillons lifetime warranty follows the machine, not just limited to the original purchaser.
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Old September 13, 2011, 10:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Come on people at least READ what the OP wrote!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you want to answer a question you should actually READ what the OP wrote...

"...dropping from one hole to another yielded me a .6 to .7 gr difference."

Obviously he is talking about the Lee Auto Disk Powder Measure which has 4 disks each with 6 holes.

Dropping from one hole to ANOTHER HOLE there is a 0.6 to 0.7g difference.

T.
In which case the double disk set ameliorates that scenario, does it not ?
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Old September 14, 2011, 09:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
In which case the double disk set ameliorates that scenario, does it not ?
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No, they just allow you to measure larger powder charges.
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Old September 14, 2011, 09:22 AM   #18
hulley
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In which case the double disk set ameliorates that scenario, does it not ?


No using big words, just say make gooder!
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Old September 14, 2011, 09:23 AM   #19
hulley
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sorry, poor attempt at humor......
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Old September 14, 2011, 09:27 AM   #20
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@hulley

I misunderstood. If you already have the LCT and can afford the XL650 - get it, get it now.

I have both an LCT and 550B (hand indexing and 4-holes, but otherwise similar to the 650). The Dillon is worlds ahead of the LCT in quality of manufacture, in ease and efficiency of loading, and of course as has been mentioned they have excellent customer support.

I got the Lee way after the Dillon b/c I wanted a completely different style of press.

I've been very happy with the Dillon powder measuring system. The only thing more precise is to spend $500 on a bench-rest quality measure or weigh each charge.

I decided not to get the Lee Auto-disk just because of the issues I heard discussed here. I weigh out each charge and drop it in through the funnel. The LCT isn't about speed for me, when I'm in "production mode" I use the Dillon.
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Old September 14, 2011, 12:31 PM   #21
hulley
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Thanks Ike, its seems to me that there is enough slop in the LCT that I dont get consistant measurements. I feel like I'm constantly sdjusting for OAL. It could very well be me but I try to make sure to follow through with all throws. Oh well, another reason to get the Dillon.
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Old September 14, 2011, 01:02 PM   #22
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For what its worth ....I can tell you I'd buy the Dillon 650 again ( had it for 4 or 5 yrs now - with a case feeder ).../ and I especially like the extra security that the "powder check" die gives me on handgun ammo especially since I tend to run fairly high volumes off the press ( 800 - 1,000 rds an hour ).

I like reloading ....but I like it better / when it takes less time than more...but quality and safety is the #1 issue / not speed.

not that there are not other presses out there as well...
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Old September 14, 2011, 04:52 PM   #23
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I never had much luck with the Lee Adjustable Charge Bar, so went back to using the disks. I still have my Lee Classic Turrent on my bench, but a Dillon XL650 with case feeder occupies the other end of the bench. I know at least Vihtavuori N320 in the Dillon is consistent right to the 10th of a grain.
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Old September 17, 2011, 10:42 AM   #24
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Quote:
the next lower amount is .6 to.7 gr less.
Try the adjustable charge bar, it is the only one I use for pistol loads. It takes some getting use to to set it, very fine adjustment to get just the load you want, but once set it stays right at your setting for powder. I have been using it for 6 years now so I can dial it in without much problem. Some days are better than others, it takes patience but works.

I guess not everone's cup of tea.
Jim
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Old September 17, 2011, 07:49 PM   #25
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Yes the answer is the double disk.

The jump on the standard disk would be .46 to .49.
You can use two disk a .23 and a .25 to get .48 or a .27 and a .20 to get .47.

Make sense?

I also use the adjustable bar and can throw 5.7 of true Blue with no variance.

Just purchased a RL550 and to save money I got the basic model. Prime off the press and use the Lee disk and my powder drop. Saved a bunch as I already had the Lee powder dies.

Doug
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