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Old May 22, 2000, 04:42 PM   #1
El Rojo
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Join Date: February 4, 2000
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I was excited to reload another 100 rounds of my Hornady VMax with some 4895 yesterday. As I was setting up, I noticed what seemed like an excesive ammount of powder spilling out of the powder die as I lowered the platform on my RL 550B with Dillon powder measure.

Here is my concern. I might have been living with this powder spillage the last hundreds of rounds I have loaded and have only now only really noticed it. What was once not a real big deal, I am now thinking is a mighty big waste of some powder. I spent hours trying to figure out a way around this thing. I read in the manual where it said the IMR pencil leads don't load very consistant with Dillon powder measureres. I tried tapping against the powder measure as I slowly lowered the platform, but that made every other charge excessive.

What are your suggestions? Was I fine all along and just now noticed I was spilling a little bit of powder and there is nothing I can do about it? Or should I try some of the ball powders? If ball powders, I need some suggestions. Thanks all.
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Old May 22, 2000, 07:59 PM   #2
Bud Helms
Join Date: December 31, 1999
Location: Middle Georgia
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El Rojo,

The IMR powders are fantastic in every respect except flowing through a powder measure. That's why I have avoided using them for the past ten years. Winchester, Hodgdon , Accurate and now Vihta Vouhri (sp?) all have ball powder or short extruded powders to substitute at most every burn rate you could want.

On the other hand, it sounds like the powder bar may be sticking. I'd check it for "dry and clean" and make sure both return springs are in good shape.
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Old May 22, 2000, 11:08 PM   #3
Steve Smith
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I'm a real newbie at reloading, but I recall my local Dillon rep. telling me that if I ever had problems with powder flow, try putting one of those foot massagers on the table (running) while you're loading. Maybe I'm way off base with your needs, but maybe I can help.
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Old May 22, 2000, 11:13 PM   #4
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In the past, I loaded both 30-06 and 308 ammunition, using 4895 on a Dillon 550. Never noticed any powder spillage. Also used 4350 for the 30-06, which is "worse" than 4895.

As for 4895 and the Dillon measure, or most any other powder measure for that matter, extruded powders, due to their "sticklike shape" simply do not feed all that well, especially compared to ball powders.

The "problem" is nothing that cannot be "lived" with however.
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Old May 22, 2000, 11:52 PM   #5
El Rojo
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Thanks for your help. I think I will send off a letter to Dillon too to see what they say. I think I have been dealing with it all this time, just yesterday for some reason it was suddenly the most horrible event in history. What a shame to waste away my whole day worrying when I should have been spitting out VMax bullets.

Anymore opinions would still be appreciated.
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Old May 23, 2000, 08:49 AM   #6
Art Eatman
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If you're loading for .308, there are lots of powders which work very well as to velocity and accuracy and also function through a powder measure. IMR powders just aren't "built right" to be uniform through a measure.

Best luck, Art
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Old June 1, 2000, 02:01 AM   #7
El Rojo
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To follow up on my powder spillage for any of you Rl 550B owners. I had the bolt and nut that holds the powder measure bar in too tight. As a result, when I started to lower the platform, the powder measure would stay in the up position until the little return bar started to pull it back down. At this time the rest of the powder was coming out of the measure cup as the .308 brass was way below the powder bell. This caused the powder to spill out onto the bench. I just loosened that bolt and nut a little and the powder measure came down on its own gravity, pushing the rest of the powder charge out and into the .308 brass instead of all over the bench.

Let me tell you what a relief it is to find out you are an idiot and that your machine is not broken. Live and learn.
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