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Old March 7, 2012, 10:28 AM   #1
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Dillon Press dimpling primers?

Just started reloading with my new Dillon RL550B a couple of weeks ago and noticed it is putting small indentations in the primers. Is this normal/OK?
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Old March 7, 2012, 10:40 AM   #2
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Check you primer ram and see if any foreign matter is on the face of it. If no foreign material like a flake of carbon from de-priming is on it, check to see if the metal face itself is flat and smooth.
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Old March 7, 2012, 02:29 PM   #3
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What primers are you using? I found that the harder CCI primers have a tendency to shave off little slivers when seating in the case. Sometimes they're hard to see in the cup, but, they'll leave halfmoon indentations in the next primer. I use a small artists brush to get them out. Sometimes I miss them, but I don't worry about the indentations all that much. I'm going to dent them good when I shoot them!
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Old March 7, 2012, 03:00 PM   #4
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If you notice the indentations in your primers while the finished rounds are dropping from the press, there's an easy way to check the primer stem:
Advance the shell plate, as usual.
Leave station 1 empty.
Press forward on the handle, as if you were priming.

It makes the primer seating stem visible, and allows easy cleaning.

If the primer seating stem is not dirty, check the other stations for debris on the ram platform. Lots of different contaminants like to find a way to get stuck to the platform. Some of the most common particles are carbon chunks, lead shavings, brass shavings, and tumbler media.

Lastly... make sure you are using the large primer seating stem for large primers. Using the small stem will leave dimples, crescents, and other funky shapes.
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Old March 7, 2012, 06:01 PM   #5
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also check that you do not have the small primer seating ram installed for large primers as they can dent in the primers as you seat them
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Old March 7, 2012, 07:24 PM   #6
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What you're seeing is not normal ....

Check your setup ...make sure you are not using a small pistol primer system - for a large pistol primer round...( I've done it by mistake ...forgot to change it out ) well as the primer punch you have installed - make sure its for small pistol vs large pistol ...

I keep a can of "compressed air" on my loading bench ...squirt a little air around the shell holder once in a while to make sure its clean.

Check your setup ...

Remove the primer system from your press - disassemble it / clean it out - make sure there is no debris in there...

Call Dillon ...and discuss with them ...they're good folks ...
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Old March 7, 2012, 08:20 PM   #7
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Checked the setup and it is indeed the large pistol primer system.Took things apart, rubbed the face of the ram lightly with some emery paper, cleaned everything, and put back together. So far so good.
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Old March 8, 2012, 08:37 PM   #8
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I've had a 550B for 4 years. Debris (foreign matter) on the primer ram will do it everytime. I don't have a problem with that little crescent shaped sliver mark on the primer unless I'm running military brass & didn't get the primer pocket swaged before priming.
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Old March 9, 2012, 12:50 PM   #9
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Even a flake of powder will dent your primer if you seat a primer against it. I give it an occasional wipe with my finger while loading to ensure it stays clean.

As for the crescents, oddly enough, this does not happen to me with my 550B. It does not happen to me because I make sure that I am using the proper size primer slide, and that I seat the cases all the way into the shellplate.

If you're getting crescents on your primers, slow down or develop better handling habits of your brass as you feed in a new case.
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Old March 9, 2012, 01:50 PM   #10
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I've been using a Square Deal B for many years. One of the common little problems are that a particle of tumbling media that remained in the brass case drops down on the anvil that seats the primer. This causes dimples or small dents on the primer. I just periodically wipe off the top of the anvil to clear the detritus. Not a real problem, just something else to look for while reloading.

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Old March 9, 2012, 02:33 PM   #11
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Aside from all of the things mentioned above (powder, case cleaning media, shavings, etc.) I had a manufacturer induced issue. The large primer ram I received had "tit" about .03 dia. and .015 or less high (didn't measure) right in the center of the ram where it had not been machined flat. Of course this caused dimples in every primer seated. Being a "do it yourself" type like most everyone that reloads, I simply removed the ram and carefully filed the tit flush with the rest of the ram's primer contact surface.....problem solved.
Just wanted to offer another possible cause for the dimple can happen.
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