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Old December 2, 2018, 12:29 PM   #15
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 17,188
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
Semantics, I guess. To me, if it doesn't automatically advance the shell plate it's not a "progressive" press.
Not semantics, just a wrong definition. Progressive doesn't mean automatic. If it did, you couldn't call a press progressive if it didn't have automatic case and bullet and primer feeders and automatic powder dispensing, but past progressive designs have lacked all those features. "Progressive" just describes a loading operation in which cartridges are loaded by progressing through a series of loading stations rather than the dies being moved to one station for each operation. You could actually set up a series of single-stage presses in a row and have an operator at each one that does his operation and hands the cartridge to the person at the next press and so-on and that would still be a progressive loading process. It just wouldn't be a progressive loading machine, as the latter is expected to make all the stations work for just one operator.


Oddly, if your friend has all his problems related to advancing the shell holder on his 550, he might do OK with a press that has a fifth station for a powder check die, like a Dillon 650 or a Hornady LNL. The powder check die will tell him if he either double-charged or failed to charge a case or, in the case of a lockout die, it will actually stop the press from operating. You could put one of those on the 550, but it will mean using a die that seats and crimps at the same time back on station 4, and he will have to insert his bullets there, which is inconvenient.

A stack of stuck bullets in a barrel suggests there was either a very reduced quantity of powder in every case or there was powder in all but the first round, with the subsequent loads jamming the multiple bullets into the bore. A primer doesn't normally have the strength to push four bullets forward at once, and I've seen sectioned revolver barrels at gun shows with up to six rounds in them, all fired with powder, but with the gas escaping out of the barrel/cylinder gap. In every instance, the barrel was bulged and not salvageable. You can apply calipers to the outside of the barrel at several places to see if that has happened in your friend's case. If so, a replacement barrel is needed.
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