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Old August 5, 2011, 11:32 PM   #1
zippy13
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Dillon Strong Mount...

My buddy has been perusing the Dillon catalog and is considering a 550B similar to mine. He asked about the optional Strong Mount, and since my Dillon significantly predates it, I didn't have a clue. Any of you Dillon users have a Strong Mount -- what does it do, if anything, beyond elevating your loader?
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Old August 5, 2011, 11:39 PM   #2
l98ster
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The only other thing it does besides elevate your press is that it allows you to mount the other optional accessories. Bullet trays and case feeder are to name a few. Can't mount those without the strong mount. If you can live without those, save your money!!!!

-George
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Old August 6, 2011, 01:17 AM   #3
Kevin Rohrer
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I just added one to my 550. The reason I did it was to eliminate the 'Dillon Dip', which is caused by the long handle and its long travel arc. I can now stand or sit on a high stool and operate the press w/o having to lean down.
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Old August 6, 2011, 05:38 AM   #4
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depends on hieght of your bench
I dont use one but my bench is cheat high and I have no issues

IMO the more directly mounted your press is the better (less bench movement and flex)
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Old August 6, 2011, 06:12 AM   #5
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I used to mount my 550 on a 2x8 and then clamp it to the bench (kitchen counter-top height). This was mostly b/c I was operating with limited bench space and would swap machines around depending on what I was doing.

This is an older 550 (round-knob era) and there was a bit of the Dillon-dip cycling the press. Not very noticeable or particularly uncomfortable though. I'd load from a kitchen stool just fine. Plucked bullets and cases from unattached bins sitting on the bench-top.

Then I decided to try a Strong Mount. It is (as the name implies) a sturdy piece of hardware. Added the bullet tray but still pull brass from a free-standing bin. I sit a bit more upright while operating the press and there's no ducking and bobbing. I can load from a tall lab stool or standing.

I've been happy with the elevated mount, but it is not a quantum leap forward. I could invest in the brackets to mount the brass bin but haven't felt the need. I do like the bullet tray quite a bit though.

The area under the mount is kind of a "no man's land" and collects debris (spent primers that miss the cup, etc.).

It is actually a little harder to directly see what is going on with each cartridge as it rotates through the progression. I went through a period where my primer tube was doing a lousy job of dispensing a new primer into the punch each time. With the elevated mount, I'd miss the empty punch frequently which resulted in a loaded round with no primer and a trail of leaked powder (PIA). A phone call to Dillon resulted in a complete new primer feed assembly (no cost to me) and it has operated flawlessly ever since.

Since its a 550 there is no powder check other than visual and this is harder to do b/c of the angle. That might be a consideration when you're reloading in bulk. I know some folks have mounted lights directly to the press, but the area in the "O" is shadowed so visual inspection is already hindered a bit.

All in all, the pluses and the minuses balance out. I'm happy with the set up and the Dillon is my "go to" machine for volume pistol reloading. I also use it for loading volume 5.56 with the first (sizing) stage removed. I do the brass prep in advance and use the press to charge, seat, and crimp only.
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Old August 6, 2011, 08:33 AM   #6
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I have strong mounts on both of my 550s. Like Kevin said, it's nice to be able to sit or stand while reloading.
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Old August 6, 2011, 08:51 AM   #7
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I have strong mounts on both of my 550's. I wouldn't want them any other way.
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Old August 6, 2011, 09:13 AM   #8
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Same here, wouldn't want anything else!
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Old August 6, 2011, 09:19 AM   #9
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Many thanks for your comments.
Z
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Old August 6, 2011, 02:17 PM   #10
Kevin Rohrer
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I added a Strong Mount and my Dillon Dip problem went away. Now I can sit on my stool or stand and cycle the press w/o having to lean down.

Quote:
IMO the more directly mounted your press is the better (less bench movement and flex)
This could be a consideration if you are FL resizing large cases, but anything =<.223 should not be consideration. I am only loading pistol rounds and the press does not move. The Strong Mount is made of thick, heavy sheet steel and the 1/4" nuts and bolts they include are plenty big. Interestingly enough, the instructions say to drill 5/16" holes, but 1/4" holes work fine.

Quote:
Since its a 550 there is no powder check other than visual and this is harder to do b/c of the angle. That might be a consideration when you're reloading in bulk. I know some folks have mounted lights directly to the press, but the area in the "O" is shadowed so visual inspection is already hindered a bit.
You are right about all this, and it is a problem that I am concerned about; it's why I considered moving to a Star or a PW. A powder check station would have been nice. I wish I could get a 650 w/ manual cycling. The light you see goes a long way to solve the problem, but as you say, with the design of the press, the 'O' gets in the way of visually inspecting powdered cases. One solution would be to move the crimp die to another press and replace it with the bullet seating die, then add a powder check die to the normal bullet seating station.



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Old August 6, 2011, 03:09 PM   #11
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I have a "home-made" strong mount for my 550B. I made it when I was a metal shop high school teacher. Looks quite a bit like a "real" one, finished with black crinkle paint. If one has the resources, one can copy.
I find that the strong mount for a 550B is almost essential. However, the roller handle and bullet container are either not needed or can be alternatives.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg strongmount.JPG (202.8 KB, 358 views)

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Old August 6, 2011, 03:30 PM   #12
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@Kevin Rohrer: 2nd Cav or 11th? I spent a lot of time out on that border from the tri-zonal point up to the Gap.
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Old August 6, 2011, 05:01 PM   #13
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I have strong mounts on both of my Dillon SDB presses and it is the only way I would go. I can sit on a stool in front of my bench and load comfortably. I found a little flex stem light at TSC and clipped it to the primer tube on the press. I flexed the light so it shines in the number 3 spot so I can check powder level in every round as it goes through the process.
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Old August 6, 2011, 06:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l98ster
The only other thing it does besides elevate your press is that it allows you to mount the other optional accessories. Bullet trays and case feeder are to name a few. Can't mount those without the strong mount......
Not really accurate, while it does elevate the press, case feeder and other accessories can be used without one. Problem with a strong mount when used with a case feeder is ceiling clearance height....for those with basement man caves in older homes this can be an issue.

The strong mount is a solution for what I'd call a Dillon design flaw. The linkage geometry is such that to get full stroke it swings under the press mounting base.....if you don't elevate the press your options are to notch out the edge of the bench for clearance or cantilever the mount.

This one is a 650XL but you get the idea.




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Old August 7, 2011, 12:05 PM   #15
Kevin Rohrer
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Quote:
@Kevin Rohrer: 2nd Cav or 11th? I spent a lot of time out on that border from the tri-zonal point up to the Gap.
I was with an MP unit and managed to make it up to the Fence once while escorting the head of the Soviet East European Forces thru West Germany. I saw a couple of those signs and decided to collect replicas. They are a reminder of what we enjoy here compared to what others can't enjoy; things that far too few Americans appreciate.
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Last edited by Kevin Rohrer; August 7, 2011 at 07:23 PM.
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Old August 7, 2011, 12:21 PM   #16
Kevin Rohrer
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Quote:
The strong mount is a solution for what I'd call a Dillon design flaw. The linkage geometry is such that to get full stroke it swings under the press mounting base.....if you don't elevate the press your options are to notch out the edge of the bench for clearance or cantilever the mount.
Absolutely, although I wouldn't call it a 'flaw'. Dillon made a conscious decision to make the 550/650 as versatile as possible while economizing on the design. When it was designed, all presses hung down below the bench and Dillon gave their presses a long stroke to accommodate both pistol and rifle cartridges. Dillon does not make low-quality, poorly designed junk, like some other manufacturers we can name.

Having written that, after having spent years bumping against my Rockchucker, when I expanded my bench to it's present appearance, I made a conscious decision not to have anything hanging down and getting in my way. The Strong Mount solves that complaint I have w/ my 550.
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Last edited by Kevin Rohrer; August 7, 2011 at 07:24 PM.
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Old August 7, 2011, 07:26 PM   #17
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Yes, I have a "Stong Mount" on my 650 and I like it / think its a good value.

It elevates the loader to a level / where I can sit on a stool and reload comfortably - it also allows for proper clearance over the bench top and the loader handle bottoms out.

You can make a homemade stand - but it needs to be good and stiff.
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Old August 7, 2011, 09:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
You can make a homemade stand - but it needs to be good and stiff.
Made mine out of hot rolled plate and weldments. It is rock solid. I built mine by estimating the angles and measurements from pictures.
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Old August 7, 2011, 11:22 PM   #19
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I got the strong mount and I would tell anyone who is looking to get a dillon to buy it. For $40 it is a great piece of hardware.
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Old August 11, 2011, 07:19 PM   #20
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Strong Mount "It's in the name"

The name answers your question. Adding the Strong Mount expands the presses mounting base area. A larger footprint for mounting creates a more stable press.

I have them on my 550 and 650 and never sit to reload. Too much going on to sit even when loading 1,000 rounds. That said, I stand on a thick rug with a thick rubber (spongie) mat under the rug. Comfortable shoes or boots are also a must. I mounted a desk light, the kind with the zig-zag spring loaded arms so I can point it just where I need it.

I store rags in that dead area under the mount!
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Old August 11, 2011, 09:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
CPTMurdoc30 I got the strong mount and I would tell anyone who is looking to get a dillon to buy it. For $40 it is a great piece of hardware.
I just looked on Dillon's web site and they want to charge me $64 for the strong mount.
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Old August 11, 2011, 10:27 PM   #22
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Too expensive for me. I'll just stand and deal with it.
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Old August 11, 2011, 10:59 PM   #23
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Strong mount

I wouldn't own a Dillon press without one.
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Old August 12, 2011, 11:17 AM   #24
zippy13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtullar
Strong Mount "It's in the name"
The name answers your question. Adding the Strong Mount expands the presses mounting base area. A larger footprint for mounting creates a more stable press.
I believe you've been mislead. The stability of the press it determined by the design if the press, not an intervening structure. Please, envision these two scenarios:
  1. We have a ten ton block of concrete with embedded bolts spaced to match the Dillon press.
  2. Now, let's assume the same block of concrete has the anchor bolts spaced for the Strong Mount.
Do you really think adding the Strong Mount between the massive anchor and the press will make the press more stable? Actually, in the second scenario, flexure in the Strong Mount will reduce stability.

If anything, the Strong Mount's larger foot print will reduce the unit stress on the mounting surface. If your bench is under designed, you'll experience some stiffening. For less than the price of the Strong Mount, a large steel plate mounted to your bench top will really stiffen up your mount. If you like, you could paint it Dillon blue and call it a Maxi Mount.
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Old August 12, 2011, 01:10 PM   #25
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Dear Zippy,

According to Dillon Technical Support, among other benefits, the Strong Mount does create greater strength when mounting a press to a bench. You're right, it does distribute the load over a greater area thereby spreading the felt torque while cycling the press. No mention of a ten ton block only a 15 pound press. Ha!
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