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Old January 16, 2001, 10:18 AM   #1
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Join Date: April 25, 2000
Location: Delaware, OH, USA
Posts: 279
Hello all.

I use a Dillon SDB with 9x19 dies to load for my 9x23 Win. I have had no problems until now. The brass is kind of stiff, but has worked ok before.

The brass has been fired twice, with light loads (124 gr FMJRN with 5.1 gr of WST, using Federal Rifle primers). It was cleaned up with crushed walnut, so it was in pretty good shape.

I had just converted my SDB from .40 S&W, which involves changing everything out with the exception of the primer feed tube (which Ihad to change from small pistol primers to small rifle primers) and the powder feed. The shell plate and all the caliber specific changes were made. This was done about three days ago, and I successfully loaded up about 200 rounds right after I changed it.

Last night, I sat down after loading 200 rounds of 45 ACP on the other SDB, and started to load on the SDB set up for 9x23 Win. I noticed that it seemed to take a little more pressure to cycle the press, but I thought that this was just due to my being used to the other SDB, which is much smoother due to higher volume of use. After loading the first 10 or so, I noticed that the brass in station three looked very odd, so I removed it. It was bent, or twisted. It was no longer straight. One side of the brass was bulged out and the other side was pulled over. I examined the other cases, and found several others that were also not straight.

By watching the brass at station 2, it appeared that the base plate was not stopping correctly. When I called Dillon, the technical help guy told me to loosen the lock ring on station 2, and run a case up and then tighten the lock ring. This should center everything up.

My understanding was that the lock ring on station 2 was just to hold the expander plug/powder dispenser to the correct height. Is there enough lateral movement to make this fix? If so, should it have wandered off like this?

I hope my description was clear enough. Thanks for any comments or suggestions.

"Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have."
Richard Salant, former President of CBS News

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."
Abraham Lincoln
Casey is offline  
Old January 16, 2001, 03:18 PM   #2
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Join Date: February 18, 2000
Location: Anchorage AK
Posts: 237
I dont know much about the SDB, I use the 550, I would think the problem would be in the auto indexing and what center the shell plate after it is turn, like my 550 has a spring and ball under the shell plate to center it. or maybe your shell plate bolt is to tight and not leting the shell plate index all the way to the next station.
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Old January 25, 2001, 12:03 AM   #3
Join Date: February 22, 1999
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 51
Casey: My SDB experience is that the powder-drop
& bell station is way aggravating. It must be
adjusted just so. Getting the right bell, and having
the powder slide end it's travel just when the handcrank
ends it's travel, can be like trying to nail Jello to
the wall. But I have never seen it mangle cases.
Char923 brings up a good point. I have learned to
never tighten the shell plate bolt. I just screw it in
almost all the way, then a couple-few cranks on the
handle tightens the bolt, just the right amount, for me.
I hope you figure out the problem, and post the
solution for the rest of us SDB owners.
I assume you do remove the shell plate and clean out all
the crap that accumulates under it, occasionally? I use
a vacuum cleaner and q-tips to do this, regularly.
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Old January 25, 2001, 01:02 AM   #4
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Join Date: April 25, 2000
Location: Delaware, OH, USA
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I forgot to update this post!!

After talking to Dillon, I did try to adjust station two the way that they had suggested. I was unable to make any difference, it would still twist and mangle the brass.

What I did do was to very slowly raise a case up in station two and watch what was happening. As the case slipped over the material which bells it out, it would tilt towards the front of the machine. At first, I thought that perhaps it was a matter of not indexing enough, as Char923 suggested. But all of the other stations were working perfectly, with absolutely no alignment problems. In addition, the primers were seating perfectly (which for me, on a SDB, is a miracle of no small proportion).

After studying and thinking for a while, it appeared to me that the station two lock ring was forcing the die over when it was tightened down. I could leave it just a quarter turn loose, and it the case would slip up just fine. When I tighened the last quarter turn (and I wasn't overtighening it, either), it would pull the die off center.

I guess I did the obvious thing, I shimmed the lock ring with a piece of cardboard from a Federal Rifle primer box. What else would you use?? Just one small piece, between station two and the screw that holds the plate on, allowed the ring to tighten down and align perfectly. I have loaded a couple of hundred rounds with it, and it still works fine. Eventually, I will call Dillon and straighten this out, or replace the cardboard with a peice of metal shim.

By the way, the shell plate bolt was a thorn in my side for a very long time. I had continual problems with these, breaking two each in each of my SDB's. I finally figured out that if you use high quality grease on them, and tighten them down tight (but not TOO tight), you will have a lot fewer problems.

The primer feed tubes and the primer seating are far and away the worst problems that I have with my SDB's now. The SDB that I use for 45 ACP STILL has a problem with it's feed; after trying numerous solutions, I finally have the other SDB feeding and seating primers with no problems other than every so often adjusting the tiny allen screw that locates it when you are ready to seat a primer. It won't last, though.

"Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have."
Richard Salant, former President of CBS News

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."
Abraham Lincoln
Casey is offline  
Old January 25, 2001, 09:52 AM   #5
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Join Date: January 29, 2000
Location: Wa
Posts: 922
I would dillon and have them send you a new tool head, lock ring and powder die. Also possibly a new set of dies in that caliber.

Tony Z
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Old January 26, 2001, 08:31 PM   #6
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Join Date: June 30, 2000
Location: Token Creek, WI
Posts: 4,068
Depending on how many rounds you've cranked through your SDB, it isn't a bad idea to get the Dillon 20778 SDB spare parts kit, which has replacement teflon guides, index cam, detent ball, and other small parts. It does a great job tightening up a loose SDB, I use my SDB for .45 ACP, 9mm Luger, 9mm Steyr, .38 Special, and .357 Magnum. It started getting balky cycling, and seating small primers was ticklish. The $12.00 spare parts kit made quite a difference!
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