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Old January 16, 2001, 07:54 AM   #1
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For those of you that use a 550B, can you share any tricks or practices you have used to make caliber changeovers quicker? I have obtained several spare tool heads and set my dies up in them, pre-adjusted, and this has definitely helped. I have not as yet gone the route of extra powder measures but this woul probably quicken things as well. Other thoughts?
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Old January 16, 2001, 08:31 AM   #2
Master Blaster
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Hving extra powder dies ($12.50) which can be set and locked to reference the belling adjustment is a time saver. Then you just transfer the powder measure. Referencing the primer seating cup to the hole in the shell plate by lowering the ram BEFORE you tighten the screws in the primer feed gets it perfectly centered. (I switch between the large and small feed when changing from .45 to .357).
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Old January 17, 2001, 08:26 AM   #3
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Dillon 550B caliber changeover tricks?

I have found that the quickest way is to have a powder measure for each set-up (tool head) that you have. I have done this for 8 different calibers and find that the time it saves in setting the charge each time is worth the added expense of the measures.

The slowest part of the operation is changing the primer feed system. The way to get around this is have two presses, one for each primer size. I haven't done this yet but I am seriously thinking of doing so.
Jim - NRA Life Member since '69.
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Old January 17, 2001, 10:00 AM   #4
Join Date: January 3, 2001
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there is a kit that you can get from dillon. its 70 bucks, but it includes everything needed to change over the caliber. I can change it over in less then 5 min.
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Old January 17, 2001, 07:46 PM   #5
Johnny Guest
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Heartily second the remarks by JMC about having additional powder measures. They only run about $40 and the time saving in changeover, and having the measure pre-set for your favorite load, are well worth the expense. I think I have five now, and have resolved to get a couple more.

I only wish I could afford a separate 550B so I could leave one set up for large primers and one for small. One of these days - - - -

But, in the meantime, I find it is SLIGHTLY easier to change just the primer seating stem and cup back and forth, leaving the primer slide in place--Only have to fool with one screw that way. My procedure imvolves a pair of vise-grip pliers to depress the (strong) spring while I run the hex-head screw back into position. You can probably work out your own procedure a lot easier than I can try to explain mine.

Extra tool heads are SO convenient and so relatively inexpensive, it pays you to have a separate tool head for each set of dies you'll use in your 550B.

Also--Dillon dies are well worth the money, especially if you load any lead bullets. They have the easy clean out feature that makes life much easier. They also are specially chamfered at the mouth to allow for MUCH easier progressive loading.

A wish I find myself expressing more and more lately:
I hope you get as much enjoyment from yours (Dillon Progressive, in this case) as I have from mine.

Best regards,
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Old January 18, 2001, 12:10 AM   #6
Keith J
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Switching primer feedf systems

I get it correct the first time by leaving the little coil spring and the advance rod off while I am installing the two screws. I run the press ram all the way down just as if seating a primer. While holding in this position, I tighten the screws and then install the spring and advance rod.

I get perfect alignment and it sure is a lot easier.

Measures, powder dies and primer filling tubes are the most important.

If you have to adjust die lockrings, get a better wrench as the bench wrenches do not have great clearance. I made a crowsfoot wrench from a salvaged socket (pressed metal, not the forged Cr-Mo-Va types)and a bent rod handle. It gets in the tight space perfectly.
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