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Old February 11, 2020, 09:41 PM   #1
Jeryray
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Primers can explode in Dillon 650

I called Dillon today asked them a question about a primer seating sideways.

When I told them I used federal primers, they told me never ever use federal primers on a Dillon 650.

I have been using federal match primers for two years in large pistol and small pistol on my to Dilllon Excel 650 presses.

I got rid of all my CCI primers because I had a problem with the 686 not always firing.

No one ever told me this press is a time bomb and may explode if I use federal primers I've never heard this before.

I have seen pictures of primer tubes that have exploded, I assumed it was operator error not something waiting to happen.

.

TIA
this true any comments would be appreciated now very concerned
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Old February 11, 2020, 10:05 PM   #2
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From the instruction sheet for the new Lee Auto Prime:

Quote:
However, all types of FEDERAL BRAND LARGE PRIMERS frequently caused the entire tray to explode with sufficient force to cause serious and painful injuries. These primers must be fed individually, see step 7, single priming option.
(Note: I bolded the entire sentence because Lee bolded it in their instruction sheet.)
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Old February 11, 2020, 10:37 PM   #3
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Well not sure what to say about that as I’ve been considering getting a 750. Anyone know if this is an issue with it as 90% of what I reload use Federal primers mostly match primers.
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Old February 11, 2020, 10:48 PM   #4
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That has been a recognized risk with all progressive presses and Federal primers for years. My 650 is 20 years old and I was told that by several folks when I bought it. Federal also are the most common brand to ignite when dropped on rocks or hitting the ejector in 1911/2011s.

Never used a Federal Primer in 1M rounds loaded, also never had a detonation.
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Old February 11, 2020, 10:55 PM   #5
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Pretty much all devices use a metal rod to jam a primer up into a piece of brass. I'm not sure how you can blame the mechanism if that fails. I think most everyone agrees Federals are a little more sensitive, sometimes something goes wrong and its a little hard to figure out afterwards exactly what went wrong. I do occasionally get a sideways primer but I figure I'm the problem because I had the last chance to check it before pulling the handle.
All that being said, if I had one go off I'd be second guessing everything.
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Old February 11, 2020, 10:59 PM   #6
Carriertxv
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I’ve gone through over 20,000 Federal large and small primers on my LNL and never had an issue with them. I want to get another progressive and have been considering a 650 but since Dillon brought out the 750 have been considering it.
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Old February 12, 2020, 07:14 AM   #7
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IN over 30 years of handloading I've only ever had one detonation. This as on my Lee Loadmaster. I don't recall the brand for sure, but I think it was an S&B. Other than scaring the heck out of me nothing else happened. It didn't set off any other primers. It definitely gets your attention though.
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Old February 12, 2020, 10:45 AM   #8
David R
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It happened to me a couple times with Lee equipment. Now I use Dillon.

David

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Old February 12, 2020, 11:02 AM   #9
Hawg
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It's because Federal primers are the softest primers you can get. They will explode with anybody's equipment if a little too much force is applied.
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Old February 12, 2020, 06:59 PM   #10
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Federal primers can explode in anyone's press. And any kind of press that primes if used carelessly.

Dillon caution on the XL 650 came from the holes in the primer transfer drum being to close together and if a primer detinated it could cause a chain reaction with the other primers in the drum.
Dillon went to a system like Hornady has been using for years. RCBS has also gone to this system.

Does that mean if you buy the Dillon 750 with the Hornady type priming system that your safe from a detination?

Not only No but Hell No!, if your are careless and don't stop the press when something doesn't feel right with the primer from any company, it could go off.

I have seen several pictures of Hornady primer systems chain firing up the tube because someone horsed the press instead of looking to see what was wrong when something didn't feel right. It shot the primer tube through the ceiling of the house.

Fortunately the blast shield held and other than hearing issues, the operator was alright.

Something you need to do with the tube system is take it off and clean the primer dust out it about once a year. That stuff is lethal.

People have been running Dillon 650s for decades and have not had a problem with the priming system and some of them use Federal primers.

It all depends on how good the operator is. But it can happen on any design of press if someone is that careless.
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Old February 12, 2020, 11:31 PM   #11
Jeryray
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I am very careful and feel the primer seat.
I don't go fast. easy so I can feel both strokes.

"Clean the tube system", sounds like a good idea.

What do you use?

Perhaps a .22 cleaning kit.
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Old February 13, 2020, 02:07 PM   #12
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There is a reason fed primers are packed differently(more space) in bigger boxes. They are known as soft, and more susceptible to sympathetic detonation.
They are favored in gaming/race guns because they have light triggers/springs and those types don't like harder primers.

That being said, while there are a few incidents with 650s blowing off a tube of primers, it is not always federals, and it is not the fault of the press outside of the primer wheel making it easier for more than one going off when the user does something dumb.

Dumb, meaning not paying attention and pulling the handle through when it does not feel right, not keeping the primer carousel blown out. If you just blow out the old primer gunk and powder flakes after each session the chances of this happening drop way down.
Here is something people don't hardly ever do, clean your primer tubes, dust does come off new primers and can make hang ups occasionally happen in them.
Mount that thing as solid as you can, a primer turned sideways and not felt is usually what sets it off as it is crushed when it gets in-station.
If you keep it all reasonably clean and solid, you don't need a very heavy weight follower in the tube to keep them feeding, either(people like to put extra weight on the primer tubes to help primers from getting hung up).
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Old February 13, 2020, 03:27 PM   #13
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Jeyray,

I have some oversize cotton swabs I use on both the primer feed tube (primer magazine) and the primer pickup tubes. Push them through with an airgun cleaning rod. Alcohol is all you need.
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Old February 13, 2020, 06:38 PM   #14
Jeryray
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Very informative information.

I will be cleaning the primer tubes, pick ups and presses in general.

Thanks guys.
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Old February 13, 2020, 08:40 PM   #15
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Reloading component and equipment companies are diligent regarding the potential dangers of working with primers. Lee and Dillon (and perhaps others) have gone a step further and have recommended not using Federal primers in equipment they have made and marketed.

Meanwhile loading data that utilize Federal primers continues to be published, and shooters often prefer Federal primers in their loads (especially 150s and 215s). To me, designing and selling reloading equipment that is not suited for use with those primers seems short sighted. But that's a decision for the manufacturer.
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Old February 15, 2020, 08:14 AM   #16
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I have heard of detonations, but have never met or talked to anyone it has happened too. Im not saying you should strive for this: But I have crushed several primers that went in sideways (not anymore) but it has happened. I have used hundreds of thousands of CCI, Win, and federal in 550's and 650 dillons.

Federal primers may indeed be the most likely to do it, and i wont try and argue with the people who say it can happen or the equipment manufacturers, but in my experience, if you are not trying to go really fast, i would not expect a primer to detonate. Also, even if it did during seating, i cant see what damage it would do (as long as you are not looking down in the case with no safety glasses on). I dont recommend doing this, but many years ago when i was a teen i set some primers off with a ball pen hammer, sounds like a black cat firecracker, otherwise not impressive.
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Old February 17, 2020, 01:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
There is a reason fed primers are packed differently(more space) in bigger boxes. They are known as soft, and more susceptible to sympathetic detonation.
I have wondered for years why Federal primers were sold/packaged that way. I assumed it was a marketing gimmick, (bigger box = better deal). Slow on the uptake I guess.

Good thread/discussion.
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Old February 17, 2020, 01:54 PM   #18
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I can't tell you how many Federal primers I've used in my Dillon 650. Probably well over 30K without ever having a problem.

If your primers are going in sideways you need to adjust the primer mechanism. And remember never to force the press to feed a primer.

Common sense should prevail. If you don't know how to adjust your primer feeder call Dillon.

For the light actions I have in my revolvers Federals are the only primers I use.
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Old February 17, 2020, 06:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
I can't tell you how many Federal primers I've used in my Dillon 650. Probably well over 30K without ever having a problem.

If your primers are going in sideways you need to adjust the primer mechanism. And remember never to force the press to feed a primer.

Common sense should prevail. If you don't know how to adjust your primer feeder call Dillon.

For the light actions I have in my revolvers Federals are the only primers I use.
+1 ^^^

OP,
You have to train yourself to stop immediately when something doesn't feel right.
Is it irritating, yes it is, but you just have to remember that you have a high explosive in the priming tube and a highly flammable powder just inches away.
(It makes me wonder how many reloaders don't put the lid back on their powder measure after filling it.)

anyways,
That's enough to make me rethink things when my press feels different than it should.

Quote:
I am very careful and feel the primer seat.
I don't go fast. easy so I can feel both strokes.

"Clean the tube system", sounds like a good idea.

What do you use?

Perhaps a .22 cleaning kit.
It sounds like your off to a really good start and if you practice good common sense you won't have any problems with your 650 XL.

I've never blown a primer in 48 years of reloading.
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