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Old November 15, 2012, 11:14 AM   #26
Ronbert
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Thanks for letting us know it's going to be ok :-)
Sometimes the issue can be pretty simple but hard to see when it's your own.

One rule about the lack of auto-index - NEVER turn the shellplate backwards. Just make that a rule/reflex.

Next rule is to pay attention and if something nags at you like maybe you're pulling the handle twice, CHECK IT.

If I get interrupted for something, I'll finish the rounds on the press and clear the shellplate so that I return to a known re-starting point (empty press).
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Old November 15, 2012, 11:54 AM   #27
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lack of autoindexing on the 550 ...is a reason to go to the 650 .../ but you can load high quality safe ammo on the 550 - especially if you use powders that will overfill the case - if you double charge ( not a powder like Hodgdon TiteGroup !! )....

Go to an auto parts store ...get a small flexible shaft mirror / they're usually round and about 3" accross....and cable tie it to the press - so you can move it around and see into the case after you drop the powder & before you seat the bullet. Also make sure you have really good light on the press....like a Halogen lamp ...adjustable in all 4 directions ( like an old draftman's lamp ) or something that you can pick up at an auto supply store....both will help.

stay focused ...and only load for an hour at a time max....to keep your focus !

Think about your practices...
a. only keep one kind of primer on your bench at a time...
b. only one type of powder on the bench at one time....
c. only one bullet type on bench....
d. keep the bench clean...
e. use a "case gague" to check every round before you box them up...
f. double check that everything is adjusted - and tight - on the press.
g. When I start the press - I weigh the first 10 powder drops - to make sure its dead nuts on my goal. My range from min to max may only be 0.6 grain say 3.4 - 4.0 grains ...so my goal may be 3.7grains...and I don't want anything below 3.6 or above 3.8 with 90% of them, or more, right at 3.7 - but most scales are only accurate to + - 0.1grain......after I measure the first 10 and its ok / then I check 1 in 5 / then 1 in 10 / then 1 in 25....as long as I am dead certain I am still maintaining the 3.7gr goal.

Its all the little things...
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Old November 15, 2012, 01:08 PM   #28
stev32k
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My LNL is back at the factory right now. It would not stay adjusted and cases would hit the side of the sizing die or miss the primer hole. I could adjust the pawls and get it dead on then 5 or 10 strokes later it would be off again. Got to be on a first name basis with the Hornady CS guys.

I managed to load 100 9mm and 100 .40 S&W, but it took almost 4 hours and was kinda painful. I had to check the adjustment of the shell holder plate on every stroke else a case would hit the sizing die or miss the primer.

Finally Hornady said to box it up and send it back. It arrived at the factory today. I hope they tell me what was causing the problem so maybe I can do something about it if it happens again.
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Old November 15, 2012, 01:12 PM   #29
rajbcpa
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I'm I using the large (rifle) powder bar?

Thanks....


I'm using the powder bar that was in the powder measure that came from the Dillon factory. Is this probably the large (rifle) bar?

It seems to be throwing 5.6 grains of PP consistently.

I think I will mark all the parts, "Small" Vs. "Large", with a felt tipped pen since it is easy to get them confused.

I thought it said in the Dillon 550 directions that it was set up from the factory for small primers, small powder throws, etc.

I guess this was not a good idea to assume.
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Old November 15, 2012, 01:21 PM   #30
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When all else fails: RTFM

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Read
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Slowly, carefully, repeatedly. I speak from personal experience. Manuals tend to be written by technical writers in very precise language. These days they are readily available as close as your internet connection. I still go back to step one when ever needed.
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Old November 15, 2012, 03:24 PM   #31
Ronbert
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Trust, but verify.

When in doubt - don't trust.

When reloading - don't trust, verify.

Take the powder measure apart and see which bar is inside. It's a clever arrangement and won't take long. Then you'll know for sure. And you'll see how the same measure can work with different bars.
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Old November 15, 2012, 04:02 PM   #32
rajbcpa
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...trust but verify ...I like that!

Didn't Ron Reagan invent that phrase when talking about the USSR in the early 1980s?

The pictures in the Dillon directions for the 550 are not real useful. For example, the small and large powder bars look identicle in the picture.

Am I missing something obvious?

Thanks...
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Old November 15, 2012, 04:42 PM   #33
Misssissippi Dave
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The powder bars are made the same way. The amount of powder you can measure with each is the difference. The small powder bar is the one that came in my powder measure. When I got mine I took out the bar and compared it to the other one just to make sure. I did the same thing with the primer tube. I have learned that if two different sizes come with something it is best to check to make certain I have one of each size and then to put in the one I currently need to use. You never know who is doing the packing or if the way things are packed have changed since the instructions were written.

At least with the internet it is possible to get fairly quick help when needed. You still need to double check even that information to see if it is right.

I put a plus and minus sign near the nut to adjust the power amout. This way I know which direction to turn things when adjusting.
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Old November 15, 2012, 04:43 PM   #34
Ronbert
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Yes, Reagan invented that. It's a contradiction in just 3 words.

If I remember right the powder bars are of different thickness. There are spacers in the aperture of the measure body to make up the difference for the thin one.

Work with them, it'll make sense when you see it. You'll also learn for certain which way to turn the screw to make adjustments to the powder drop and whether it's a linear function :-)

I haven't reloaded rifle in many years now so haven't had to change powder drop ranges recently enough to remember the details.
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Old November 15, 2012, 05:01 PM   #35
rajbcpa
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Ok - Thanks...

I did read the Dillon directions at least once because I could not at first determine how to adjust the powder charge.

Thanks...

Reagan had some great slogans .... how about this: " are you better off now than you were 4 years ago?"

And this one too: "Government is not the solution [rather] ...it is the problem."

The "trust but verify" slogan is surely a classic.....
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Old November 15, 2012, 05:57 PM   #36
jmorris
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If you look at the right side of the photo below, the powder bar installed is for most pistol loads (note spacer above the bar). The rifle bar is twice as thick.



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Old November 16, 2012, 09:25 AM   #37
Rifleman1776
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I guess I'm not suited.
I inspect my brass/cartridge at every step of the process. Progressive presses deny that opportunity.
I once had one of the first of the firt progressives put out by Lee. A hunka junka all the way. Very dangerous device, particularly the primer seater that could ignite a primer directly up into the powder hopper.
Never again any progressive for me.
I use an old Lyman turret. A turret is basically a single stage with movable dies.
I believe that batch loading, at the end, is just as fast as with a progressive press. And safer, and more fun, and you can take a break and come back. No pressure.
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Old November 16, 2012, 09:37 AM   #38
jmorris
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Quote:
I guess I'm not suited.
I inspect my brass/cartridge at every step of the process. Progressive presses deny that opportunity.
I once had one of the first of the firt progressives put out by Lee. A hunka junka all the way. Very dangerous device, particularly the primer seater that could ignite a primer directly up into the powder hopper.
Never again any progressive for me.
I use an old Lyman turret. A turret is basically a single stage with movable dies.
I believe that batch loading, at the end, is just as fast as with a progressive press. And safer, and more fun, and you can take a break and come back. No pressure.
I don't know any progressive that you cannot inspect brass at any station anytime you like. Would certainly slow down the process though.

Many folks still think Lee progressives are "hunka Junka".

Batch loading is faster than running one at a time through each process and a turret is faster than a single stage but neither is anywhere near the speed of a progressive.

How long would it take you to load the same amount of ammo that the one in this video does in 15 seconds?
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Old November 16, 2012, 11:07 AM   #39
Marco Califo
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Quote:
I use an old Lyman turret. A turret is basically a single stage with movable dies.
I believe that batch loading, at the end, is just as fast as with a progressive press. And safer, and more fun, and you can take a break and come back. No pressure.
+1. I would add that my Lee Hand Loader gets the most use, either in front of the TV, or working a slow night job. Maybe not as fast as a progressive, once you get one working, but it allows inspection and interruption at ANY time in ANY step. I find this level of control very useful for rifle cartridges.
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Old November 16, 2012, 11:18 AM   #40
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Quote:
I believe that batch loading, at the end, is just as fast as with a progressive press.
You really believe that pulling the handle once to deprime/size, once to prime, once to drop powder, and once to seat/crimp (I personally prefer to seat and crimp separately) is as fast as pulling the handle once for a complete round?

Note to self: Always remember that by definition half of the population is below average in intelligence.
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Old November 16, 2012, 02:28 PM   #41
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Ouch 45 Auto. Not very nice.

And you know, under the right conditions, for some people I can see it. If they're the careful measure-twice-cut-once sort, it could be just as fast to batch as progressive. Which is hardly from a lack of intelligence as much as an abundance of caution. If they stop pulling the handle every time to check powder, examine this, that and the next steps the whole way through, it's not much more than batch loading with one handle pull.
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Old November 16, 2012, 05:08 PM   #42
jmorris
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Quote:
Ouch 45 Auto. Not very nice.

If they stop pulling the handle every time to check powder, examine this, that and the next steps the whole way through, it's not much more than batch loading with one handle pull.
While I agree with your first statement you lost me on the last one.

The difference is simple. On a progressive you get a completed round with every pull of the handle and some allow you to do this without ever touching a case or bullet.

On a turret or SS all you would get with the same handle stroke would be a sized and deprimed case. Double your time and you have powder in all of them. Triple and you can seat a bullet. At 4 times the motion you have a crimped finished product. You can add some more time too for priming.

The press in the video above is putting out a loaded round every 1.5 seconds, simply impossible with any turret press.

Last edited by jmorris; November 16, 2012 at 05:14 PM.
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Old November 16, 2012, 06:41 PM   #43
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I was saying that if someone stops and checks every single result of every single operation as a matter of caution it does affect speed... it mostly defeats the purpose of a progressive, but I can see someone with that sort of mindset not getting a speed boost from a progressive.
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Old November 16, 2012, 06:53 PM   #44
BigJimP
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Not to get into the middle of this argument.....but I assume you guys know that some progressive presses - have the options of a powder check die, powder cop die ...or whatever / like the Dillon 650 or the Hornaday LNL ...that both have the option.

In my opinion - you still have to pay attention to what you're doing ....but have a powder check die installed, adjusted properly, gives you a big additional safety factor ...and extra security when you are running significant volumes of rounds on a progressive.

My Dillon 650 - with a case feeder - and powder check die installed ..easily lets me run 800 rds an hour off the press...and with that powder check die installed ( and using good procedures ) means every round is 100% based on what my goals are for that powder drop. I like reloading ....but I'd much rather load 16 boxes and hour .....than one box every hour off a single stage press.....

I still spot check the powder drops by weighing one, once in a while...or whenever the powder check alerts me to a possible issue....but I sure don't have to pull cases out of each of the 5 stations in the press every time I pull the handle.....to double check everythign. I do run all finished cases thru a case gague as I box them up ...inspecting and checking each finished round for issues that would lead to feeding problems...

Last edited by BigJimP; November 16, 2012 at 07:02 PM.
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Old November 16, 2012, 10:02 PM   #45
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I don’t fault anyone for using whatever press they feel comfortable with. For the guys that want to examine every step of the process and don’t need the production of a progressive, then by all means use a turret or even a single stage. However some of us simply do not have time enough to load the volume that we shoot without a progressive.
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Old November 17, 2012, 07:24 AM   #46
rajbcpa
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Trust, ...but verify!

OK, the Dillon 550 press came from the factory with a small powder bar installed in the powder measure and a large primer shuttle installed in the press which caused a lot of confusion for me in the initial set up.

Maybe they assumed everyone started with 45 ACP or 45 Colt.

I've marked the primer shuttle with a felt tip pen and l can recognize the small powder bar because of its size compared to the large bar.

Always trust, but verify!
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Old November 17, 2012, 03:34 PM   #47
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Have you made any progress on your issue?
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Old November 17, 2012, 05:47 PM   #48
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Quote:
I inspect my brass/cartridge at every step of the process. Progressive presses deny that opportunity.
Ummm....No.

The cases in the LNL are retained in the shellplate by simple spring. I can remove any case, from any station, at any time- by simply pulling it out.

And I often do. I constantly spot check charge weight, bullet seating depths to be sure nothing's gone "off"...

If a primer seating didn't feel "right"... I take it out, and look at it...

The LNL can be EASILY run one case at a time, just like a single stage press.
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Old November 17, 2012, 07:50 PM   #49
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Glad you got the 550 working right. It really is a great press. Once you understand the press there isn't much that can go wrong.
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Old November 17, 2012, 08:57 PM   #50
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I am new re-loader myself on a LnL

I am new re-loader myself on a LnL only been reloading for about two months. I had a problem with the index and primer. I called Hornady and we were able to fix the problem in about three minutes and no issues after that. I am reloading 9mm and 45 ACP. Just load one case at a time until you get use to what each station dose. After you get comfortable with one put two cases in then work all the way up to five.
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