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Old March 25, 2007, 02:57 PM   #9
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 15,509
To sort it out a bit:

Station 1 is at the right front position. The Dillon 550B will decap and resize at station 1 on the up-stroke of the ram (down-stroke of the handle), so this is where the sizing/decapping die goes. It is, therefore, also the station where you first insert your fired brass. When you push the handle down, in addition to sizing, you will observe the primer shuttle slides back to pick up a primer from the primer tube. (You did put the right inner primer tube in place for your primers, then fill it from a primer pickup tube?) When you lower the ram (handle back up), the primer seating ram will raise the primer, and you will have to push the raised handle forward to seat the primer all the way into the case. You will feel it.

Next, let go of the handle, advance the shell holder one position clockwise (looking down from above). This moves your case to station 2 (left front, facing the handle). You may now also place the next case in station 1.

Station 2 gives you a choice. Use the Dillon automatic powder measurer or don't. If you want to use the Dillon powder measure, you will need to have a correct size powder drop tube for it. You will have to order this from Dillon if you didn't inherit the right size with the press. Dillon drop tubes function as both the case mouth expander and the powder measure operating rod, causing the measure to pick up a charge of powder on the ram upstroke and dispense it down the drop tube on the ram down-stroke. (I'll let you remember that the ram and handle move in opposite directions simultaneously). The expander function of the drop tube in this setup will substitute for the use of your RCBS expander die, and station 3 (left rear) will be the seater and crimper, and station 4 (right rear) will be left empty.

If you don't want to use the Dillon Powder measure, but want to weigh your charges or dispense them from a manual measure, put your RCBS expander die in station 2. I've forgotten whether the RCBS expander is hollow for case charging like the Lee? If so, you would add your powder manually through it when the ram is in the upstroke position. If not, you will need a powder funnel with a drop tube. You will leave station 3 empty, and will dispense powder into the case using the funnel through the threaded hole in station 3 when the ram is in the upstroke position. In this arrangement, the seater/crimper die would be in station 4.

The last arrangement will be slow, both because of the manual powder dispensing and the fact the same hand (right) will place cases in station 1 and bullets in station 4. The loaded round catch bin will be a little in the way of smooth bullet placement in this setup, but it is by no means a show stopper. In the normal Dillon arrangement, station 3 is where bullets are seated, and a separate crimping die is on station four.

As far as I know, being a heavy revolver round, the .480 Ruger always employs a heavy roll crimp. If you use the Dillon measure and want to minimize lead shaving off cast bullets during seating by having a separate crimping step, try this arrangement: Set up your RCBS seater/crimper die in station 3, with its die body turned in just far enough to remove the case flare the expander caused. This leaves the sides of the case straight. You may then use a Lee Factory Crimp die in Station 4 to crimp without driving the bullet further in. If you plan on shooting a lot of reduced target loads that don't require a heavy crimp to keep the bullets from backing out, you can get Lee to make a custom taper crimp version of that die for you, so the cases last longer.

One additional option is to setup and use the Dillon measure for expanding and dispensing, and install a powder checking setup in station 3. Ask Dillon if theirs from the 650 and 1050 can be adapted? If not, it isn’t hard to devise your own. Just a stick with a level mark works. In this arrangement you would put the seater/crimper die in station 4.
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