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Old April 16, 2012, 07:19 PM   #1
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Sticking 550 primer slide

Hi, all.

I tried searching on this issue before I posted this, so if anyone else has posted this previously, please feel free to post a link to it. Before I call Dillon on this, I thought I would ask the folks here on TFL.

I'm having an issue with my Dillon 550b. The primer slide seems to stick at about halfway on the return stroke, after picking up a new primer. I've taken the assembly apart and cleaned it, ensured that the screws have been adequately torqued down, but the problem persists. I'm not sure why this is happening.

It only recently started doing this, and for the past 11,000 rounds the press has been operating flawlessly.

Has anyone had a similar experience with a 550b?

Thanks in advance,
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Old April 16, 2012, 07:36 PM   #2
Semper Paratus
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Take the primer feed assembly loose by removing the two screws from the underside and clean all of the running surfaces with alcohol or similar. After that many rounds may take a little persuasion for all the gook and foreign material to go away and then lube with one of the dry lubes (teflon or powdered graphite) reassemble and try with a few primers....If better your done....if not call Dillon they will walk you through solving any problem and if necessary send you the replacement parts.
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Old April 17, 2012, 07:54 AM   #3
Misssissippi Dave
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Make sure you clean under the spacer plate under the bar (both sides). I don't tighten the screws all that tight and have been using the air compressor to help keep things clean. I do clean mine every time I switch from small to large primers. That happens about every other month. That would put me cleaning a couple of times before hitting 10k.

The above post is the best place to start.
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Old April 18, 2012, 07:27 PM   #4
Kevin Rohrer
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After cleaning the spacer plate, lube it with a dry lube. And don't over-tighten the set screws that hod the spacer plate in-place.
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Last edited by Kevin Rohrer; April 19, 2012 at 08:30 AM.
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Old April 18, 2012, 09:16 PM   #5
John D
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What everyone above said. I lightly rub very fine steel wool on the parts to make sure there are no burrs and then use dry graphite. Your return spring isn't "sprung", is it?
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Old April 19, 2012, 07:15 AM   #6
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As the posts above say, clean it, and lube it with a lube that dries (so as not to migrate to primer area). That is all that is necessary to keep it working without sticking (from dirt, debris from spent primers).
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Old April 19, 2012, 09:54 AM   #7
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If you only have 11000 rounds through it, then yours should not be worn out.

My first one wore on the left side, got slightly off axis on the return stroke, it would hang.

Had to buy a new one.

Before you do that, clean it, the plate, the recesses.
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Old April 19, 2012, 01:17 PM   #8
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I've had a devil of a time with my 550B primer slide. I cleaned it and lubed it, and still it would stick. I bought a second one, and STILL it would stick.

I finally decided that the predominant reason for the sticking is the fact that the actuating rod sits so far off center from the slide that it wants to cock in the primer tube raceway as it moves to the rear, and that makes it stick. Accordingly, I bent the bottom leg of the actuating rod to the left, so that as the slide moves back the actuating rod and roller moves inwards more towards the slide itself.

And that finally fixed it.
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Old April 19, 2012, 10:00 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the suggestions, folks!

I failed to mention that I bought the press used, and that the 11,000 rounds was only what I made with it, absolutely no idea how old the press is, or how many rounds were made with it before I bought it. My guess is the press is around 15 years old, with many thousands of rounds through it. Since I've had it, it has been disassembled, cleaned and lubricated regularly.

Today I disassembled the primer assembly again, and I noticed that the two Allen bolts holding the primer assembly in place were pretty tight (don't know how that happened!). I backed them off a little (while still keeping them snug), and that seemed to free up the slide a little. I compared the tension of the return spring on the press with the spare spring from the spare parts kit (which I was smart enough to order a while ago!), so I replaced the return spring with the spare spring. I haven't had a chance to try this yet, but I'm hoping that the mounting screws and the spring will help solve the problem.

I will definitely take a look at where the actuating rod sits and adjust it if necessary, thanks for the advice.


Last edited by McClintock; April 19, 2012 at 10:14 PM.
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Old April 20, 2012, 01:05 PM   #10
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Follow-up #2

This time I replaced the return spring, and cleaned up the slide again. This time I noticed a couple of small burrs on the slide, and I have no idea how they got there. A little steel wool and they were all smoothed out. I also adjusted the actuator rod a little, ran a quick test of 100 rounds of 9mm, and the machine operated flawlessly, so I think it's all good, with no need to order a new primer slide.

Thanks to all who offered their assistance, it is greatly appreciated.

Thanks again!

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