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Old May 20, 2007, 05:55 AM   #1
40SIG
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Dillon powder measure

I wondered if a Dillon powder measure could be used in any progressive press ?
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Old May 20, 2007, 12:23 PM   #2
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Short answer - - yes

But why would you want to use a third rate measure, when the RCBS and Hornady measures are so much better and so much less expensive??????
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Old May 20, 2007, 12:34 PM   #3
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Shoney, please explain why the Dillon is "a third rate measure", and why the others you mention are superior.
Also please comment on why the others you mention are "so much less expensive".
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Old May 20, 2007, 01:00 PM   #4
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I have the dillon on my 550, a Hornady LNL, and an RCBS Uniflow. I would prefer to have a Harrel powder measure, but the RCBS is slightly better than the LNL and they are both head and shoulders above the dillon, especially when it comes to flake powder accuracy and repeatably dialing in the same charge without fiddling around. The dillon also leaks some brands of ball powders, where the RCBS and LNL do not.


After you load at least a thousand cartridges with each, you will know.
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Old May 20, 2007, 05:10 PM   #5
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Shoney,

If you would, please elaborate a little more.

Hammer
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Old May 20, 2007, 10:51 PM   #6
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I run a couple of Dillons. If you use the fine granular ball powders like 231 and 748, the slide doesn't fit tightly enough to contain them completely on the older models, though the newer ones seem to do better.

As to flake powders, it depends which one? Small flakes like the Hodgdon Universal do OK. I probably have over 50,000 rounds of Bullseye through my Square Deal's measure without a problem. Unique, on the other hand, with its large flakes doesn't meter well because it bridges easily. Of course, it doesn't meter truly well in any measure I know of. The Lee Perfect measure's instructions even say not to try to use it with Unique. The Lee also tends to get gummed up by finer grained ball powders; it's molded parts don't fit tightly enough for them. My RCBS Uniflow does a bit better with it, but not great. My Redding BR 30 does a little better than the RCBS overall, but it still can't beat the Johnson Quick Measure on stick powders. The Redding does ball powders like 748 to within half a tenth of a grain routinely, though. I have concluded that Unique is only well metered out in an electronic dispenser that weighs each charge.

The Quick Measure uniquely will not cut stick grains at all. It has an adapter available for the Dillon presses. It is not as easy to adjust as the micrometer measures, though. IME, the standard drum measures do best with ball powder, the Johnson does best with stick powder with the Lee a close second, and the slide bar measures are a compromise for all, but are OK for pistol load accuracy and large rifle charges (.30 cal and up). If you find a charger-insenstive load, the slide bars are OK for stick, though.

Nick
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Last edited by Unclenick; May 21, 2007 at 01:20 PM.
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Old May 21, 2007, 07:14 AM   #7
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From what Unclenick is saying I get that powder measures in general all seem to have different issues.
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Old May 21, 2007, 11:21 AM   #8
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I agree with Shoney. The dillon is old technology, it's a bar type measure. The sliding bar presents a cavity formed by the bar and a settable sliding stop under a powder hopper. The powder drops into that cavity, then slides out to drop into the shell. The setting is crude, a 1/4 " bolt with a 7/16 head sets the sliding stop. No means of returning to any given setting, such as a mirometer barrel.

Then, adapting it to work on another machine would require some modification to that machine. The dillon measure works by the action of the shell entering the powder die to dump the powder. Then it must be pulled back by means of the rod that is hooked into the base of the shell plate. IF you could devise some sort of bracket to be attached to your ram, then the dillon measure would work.
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Old May 21, 2007, 01:33 PM   #9
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The Dillon pull-back rod was originally a fix the factory issued. The very first Dillon measure for the old 450 was manual and had to be operated as an additional step. The first automatic one just relied on the spring wrapped around the body from the post on the bar to return it. When some powders started to gum up the bar and render the spring inadequate, they added the pul-back rod. I think the spring was dropped altogether on the 1050? But, if you have the spring and keep the thing clean, it will work. The charge bars now have a better friction-proofing coating than they used to employ, so the spring may be more effective. The measure can then just replace the expander die on another brand press. The drop-tube/operating rod does both the expansion and powder dispensing in one step.

I added my own extra baffles to my Dillons to improve consistency a little more. I think a lot of the accuracy issues people identify with the them are not inherent in the mechanism as much as they have to do with inconsitent operating stroke speed and force that varies how much the powder tamps down into the charge cavity. The only way I know to avoid this completely is to dispense the powder separately and add it in through a hollow expander die.

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Old May 21, 2007, 02:06 PM   #10
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Nick, Do you think the Dillon measure could be adapted to a Loadmaster ? And do you think it's any more consistant than what I have now ?
I made a return rod to replace the chain a while back and it works a lot better than the chain. I did this because the chain kept breaking. It's a whole lot better now. I don't know why Lee doesn't do this as it was real simple. I want to start loading for 5.56 for my AR on the Loadmaster and want to use H335 and AA2230 but the ball powders seem to leak a little. It would sure make my life easier as I go through a lot more ammo with it. I'm not sure if the Dillon would work any better in that respect or not though.
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Old May 21, 2007, 02:42 PM   #11
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You'd need the Dillon Measure and die body combination (#20782) and the right size drop/expander/op-rod tube (Dillon calls them powder "funnels"). Dillon sells both. None of there photos show the old powder measure springs clearly. You would need that. The only other issue may be whether the diameter will fit the Loadmaster or not? I think it should.

If I were you, I would also look at the Johnson Quick Measure, which is also operated vertically, but is smaller diameter and more accurate and has an adapter available for Dillon presses. You can contact them and ask if it fits the Loadmaster specifically? The QM mechanism has a direct vertical chamber, and does not translate vertical to horizontal motion, and so needs no rod or chain of any kind. If you want to use Benchmark or other stick powders in the .223, this is definitely the better way to go, accuracy-wise, if you can manage it? It will cost about twice as much.

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Old May 21, 2007, 03:16 PM   #12
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I sent Dillon an email and will have to see what they say. As for Johnson, It looks good and something I may do. Thanks for your input. And if any Loadmaster users want to get rid of the chain system PM me and I will send you pictures of how I modified mine

Last edited by 40SIG; May 21, 2007 at 04:09 PM.
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Old May 21, 2007, 04:19 PM   #13
Hammer1
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There are at least two companies making aftermarket micrometer adjustment systems for the Dillon powder measure.

Have installed them on over a dozen Dillons and then tested them.

Both of the models that I have tested work well.
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Old May 21, 2007, 04:40 PM   #14
40SIG
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Available from who ?
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Old May 21, 2007, 06:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Available from who ?
These are two I've seen:

http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1231

http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1267

I've ordered a pair of the ones in the first link for my Dillon.
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Old May 21, 2007, 09:18 PM   #16
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Mr Dial makes another tool which replaces the standard Dillon powder measure bolt adjustment. Might be overreaching to call it a micrometer, but it does help set the Dillon powder measure.

http://www.gunblast.com/MrDial.htm


http://www.mrdial.com
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Old May 25, 2007, 08:53 PM   #17
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Any press than can take a standard die can take the Dillon, RCBS or Hornady measures. If I were loading rifle, I would go with the RCBS or Hornady with their case activated powder drop and I could use one of their micrometers. A much faster and very easy powder measures to use for rifle on a progressive.

I've used the Dillon as well and I agree with Shoney's assessment. It's based on technology originally developed by the Star company. Works really well with pistol, but isn't anything spectacular when used with rifle powders and often requires modification to work well with extruded type powders, where the RCBS and Hornady typically do not.

Regards,

Dave
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