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Old June 13, 2012, 01:21 AM   #1
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Dillon powder check system

I was looking for a powder Check setup and found this one and it seems to be less demanding than the others due to the audible alert. I know that the lockout die doesn't really do activate with smaller variations say something like a grain. Would the powder check system be able to do this or not?

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Old June 13, 2012, 03:03 AM   #2
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I believe the Dillon +/- is 2 grains but I could be wrong.

The RCBS lockout die needs no adjustment on my press on a +/-2grain which make me a little uneasy but it catches no charge or double charge every time.

An added benefit to the Dillon is it can be used with rifle cases and the RCBS cannot.

If you do not load rifle now it's no big deal but 2 or 3 years from now you may want to load rifle and the Dillon powder check will be ready to go.
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Old June 13, 2012, 03:26 AM   #3
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For near max loads I set it to buzz with 0.5 g over charge, so with most handgun loads it will not buzz unless the case is almost empty on the low side. The theory being if the worst happened, I can deal with a squib load a lot easier than an overload.
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Old June 13, 2012, 08:04 AM   #4
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It depends on the powder and case/mandrel you are using but some combinations will alert within +-.5 grains.

So you can visualize why powder, case and mandrel would make a difference, think of a 38 spl case using trailboss. With the mid sized mandrel, bulky powder and tall skinny case there is a lot of movement in height of the powder collum with small changes in charge weight.

On the flip side look at something like the 223 SSWM and 748. You have to use the small mandrel to fit inside the case mouth but then you have a very wide case and dense powder by weight. To move the collum the same .1" takes not only more volume but more weight (per unit volume) as well.
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Old June 13, 2012, 03:56 PM   #5
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The Dillon powder check ...measures depth of the powder in the case ( its a free floating plunger that goes into the case - and measures the depth ) ...and then alerts you if its high or low....

on handgun calibers like 9mm ( using Hodgdon Universal ....the min is 4.4 grains and the max is 4.8 gr ...) and my target drop is 4.7 ...the powder check die will alert me to 0.1 grain difference it will pick up at 4.6 or 4.8 .... so I'd call it " plus or minus 0.1 grain " ....way better than most other options.

It does not lock out the press just alerts you to an issue. Its a big reason to go with the Dillon 650 ( vs the 550 or SDB ) in my view/that do not have the room for a powder check die to be installed in their tool head ...when you're reloading large volumes of handgun ammo. Its another layer of safety in your procedures...and I like it a lot. I've been mentoring and teaching my older sons ...and now my grandkids to do some reloading ...and they like it , and like shooting their own ammo ....and having the powder check die installed means if it beeps / everything shuts down ...vs me hovering over their back a predator ... I can be 2 or 3 steps away in the shop ...and still hear the beep ...and then walk over and inspect what they're doing ...

The powder check also alerts you to issues ...I had a bolt / nut on the powder measure come loose at one point ...and I was loading about 6,000 rds for an upcoming class....and it started alerting me to an issue ...but one time it was low, then it was high ....( in a .45 acp ) case where I couldn't really see a visual difference in the powder with the eye....after 5 or 6 alerts ...and weighing everything ...we shut it down and found the problem. But because we had the powder check die installed and adjusted properly ...we knew, that 100% of the ammo that we had run thru the press was right on with our powder drop goals.../ we did not have to wonder or worry about any of the rounds that had gone thru the press prior to the issue showing up ...that issue sold 2 of my buddies on the 650 with the powder check system.

Last edited by BigJimP; June 13, 2012 at 04:06 PM.
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