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Old January 1, 2007, 10:57 PM   #1
Join Date: February 20, 2005
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Dillon 550 for Rifle Reloading

Have had a new Dillon 550 bolted to my bench for a year but never took the time to get it set up. I just kept on using my Rockchucker because I was accustomed to single stage reloading.

Finally took time today to set up the Dillon. Took about three hours to do final assembly and set up the dies. What a fun machine to operate! I don't know why I waited so long. Loaded up a batch of 38 special in short order.

My question is how many of you reload you rifle loads on a progressive? I may decide to retire the single stage press.
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Old January 1, 2007, 11:22 PM   #2
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This is my 650 set up for .223. I also load .308 on it.

I use the Hornady measure with the Hornady case activated linkage,(old model). I've heard of people using the dillon bar type measure with good results.

There's no reason why your 550 won't work for rifle, others have used theirs to load rifle.
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Old January 2, 2007, 08:30 AM   #3
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I load .308 on a 650 without a hitch. You will want to keep your single stage
for working up loads etc.
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Old January 2, 2007, 08:38 AM   #4
Join Date: February 20, 2005
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Thank you for your suggestions. I also love to see the pictures of reloading setups. I forgot to mention that I found that the Dillon powder charge funnel die had developed some rust over the year of unuse. I put it in the tumbler and cleaned it up. Is this piece more prone to rust than other die components?
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Old January 2, 2007, 11:15 AM   #5
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I'm still jacking w/ this new camera I got, but I'll hopefully post some pics shortly of Benchmark powder. You'll see from the size of it, it will meter as good if not better than ball powder. It's about the same size, but is a true extruded powder, which as you may or may not know, is very resistant to temperature variations. It's a great 308 and 223 powder so I'm told. Mrawesome 22 and I have each bought a can and had excellent results out of our 22-250's. You'll want to use a fine powder so you get a consistant powder throw out of that 550. Also, you need to work it just a tad slower than your pistol rounds, because the larger charge is going to take a bit more time to drop into the case.
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Old January 2, 2007, 01:28 PM   #6
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I load .223, 6MM Remington, .30-30, .308, .30-06 on a 650 Dillon.

I like to resize,decap, and wash the lube off in a separate operation before loading.

After washing and drying the brass, I spray lube, then resize/deprime in the Dillon with only the sizing die in the tool head. I then wash and dry to remove the lube, and load normally.

I use the Dillon powder measure, and since I only use spherical powder and I use the Dillon powder checker, I only weigh a charge every 100 rounds when I refill the primer tube.
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Old January 2, 2007, 02:40 PM   #7
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Take a look at the pix I posted showing the size of Benchmark powder. It is extruded, but about the size of ball powder.
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Old January 3, 2007, 01:42 AM   #8
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I still use my dillon kinda like a single stage even though I have everything set up on it. The dillon powder measure was giving me inconsistant charges, so I have a separate powder measure and trickler. I weigh every load for my rifles. That has helped out my accuracy a lot. Loading for my 44, I just set the powder measure and go like normal on a progressive.
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Old January 3, 2007, 01:56 PM   #9
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I use my 550B for the following:

.223 Rem
.38 Special
.357 magnum
.40 S&W
.45 ACP
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Old January 3, 2007, 02:08 PM   #10
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550 operation

I do my rifle reloading in 2 pulls of the handle
hand lube case
1) deprime, size then bell the case mouth for cast bullets (lyman M die) - using 2 slots.
tumble to remove case lube
2) finish loading using all 4 slots at once
a - prime
b - drop the powder charge (either hand weighed (extruded) or by measure)
c - seat bullet
d - crimp or smooth out belling
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Old January 3, 2007, 06:56 PM   #11
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I handload 12 different rifle cartrides for the past 46 years. I have both the 550 and The Hornady LNL Auto. The only cartidge I load on a progressive is the 223, and I prefer to load it on the Hornady with ball powder.

The dillon powder measure is not as accurate as the LNL powder measure, when using extruded powders. Neither is accurate enough to meet my standards for an accurate charge in a rifle. In addition, I broke the 550 shell plate when I didn't put enough lube on a 223. Since that happened, I resize all 223 cases on a single stage press. I reload the other 11 rifle cartridges entirely on the single stage and weigh each powder charge.
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