Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

40 S&W on Dillon 650 excepetable OAL variation?


mjohn
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have loaded my first batch and have the Dillon seating die set at 1.145. I am using mixed used range brass.

I am getting a high OAL of 1.153 and a low of 1.140 when I ran a batch of 50. Also, some did come out 1.145.

1. Is that a problem?

2. What are the consequences of the spread in OAL? FPS Variation? How much?

3. What should I check to correct the problem?

All the completed rounds cased gauged fine, fit in the mag fine and all shot fine. However, I do not have a chrono or access to one so I can not tell if there was any difference in velocity.

Edited by mjohn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

mixed range brass probably,

for this game, just keep plugging away, while making sure what you see now isn't getting out of hand.

get a chrono for sure, and keep the loads according to the book, and you should be safe till then.

Edited by cnote
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies.

After reading the replies, and observing the machine in operation, I noticed that the shell plate had some wobble or spring to it when i pressed on it. I tightened it and hope that that will help. I also measured the bullet component and all the bullets were within .001 of each other. I am using FMJ Flat Point, so the problem is not there,

I think the mixed brass and maybe the loose shell plate account for the problem. I will try to separate some brass this week and then make a test batch and see if that can narrow the spread abit.

I was glad to hear that Robert said that .010 variation did not significantly affect the power factor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies.

After reading the replies, and observing the machine in operation, I noticed that the shell plate had some wobble or spring to it when i pressed on it. I tightened it and hope that that will help. I also measured the bullet component and all the bullets were within .001 of each other. I am using FMJ Flat Point, so the problem is not there,

I think the mixed brass and maybe the loose shell plate account for the problem. I will try to separate some brass this week and then make a test batch and see if that can narrow the spread abit.

I was glad to hear that Robert said that .010 variation did not significantly affect the power factor.

Have you had a chance to see if tightening the shell plate solved the problem? Or sorted some brass by manufacturer and loaded and checked that?

Edited by jmbaccolyte
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, checked the seating die and the 180 gr full metal jacket flat points fits in nice. The platform screws are snug and I have played with varying the shell plate tightness. Now I am around + or - .006 each way of center. I gave some bullets to a friend to load for me on his 550 and he is + or - .002 each way of center.

I have not sorted brass by manufacture. I think the machine will be going back to Dillon as I am sometimes also seeing plus or minus .2 gr powder swings each way of center when being measured on both an electronic scale and balance beam scale. Also, some times a case does not fall into the case insert shell slide plate at station #1.

When the planets are lined up, I can produce some quality and consistent rounds. However, when the force is against, me all is not well.

The bench is solid. Too many side effect problems that I can not seem to get a handle on and leaves me little choice but to give Dillon a call.

Back to shooting from my factory ammo inventory. Ugh.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are fine with the deviation in both OAL and powder drop loading on a 650. It is not a precision machine . The deviation in powder can be caused by the operation of the press. As long as there is no bullet set back you will have safe consistent rounds. You do need a chrono.

Edited by Jaxshooter
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the confirmation JaxShooter.

JaeOne3345, I have only played with the shell plate adjustment. I have not changed the original setting that I did on the OAL. However, when I did my initial setting, the shell plate only had a shell in station #3. I understand what you point is now.

I was hoping to be able to use this ammo for match ammo. Now, not going to happen. I was making a batch of 50 and checking the OAL on each round and then shooting 10 of the rounds to measure performance.. Since the OAL was varying along with the powder drop, I keep making more 50 round batches with the hope that I could get some consistent rounds.

Each batch has been labeled and I hope to go to a chrono and be able to test for velocity.

Thanks for the ideas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Drop ten charges when you are setting your powder drop charge.

If you want 4.2, you would aim for 42.0 grains total on your scale for a 10 charge average. Get it?

Make all OAL adjustments with the shell plate FULL. Always.

This should solve your issues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been getting variances in the OAL in my .40 rounds loaded on my 650 as well; Zero 165 jhp with 1x fired Remington brass. Shooting for 1.180 and I get oals from 1.175 to 1.185. Everything's tightened on the press... guess I have to just live with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the confirmation JaxShooter.

JaeOne3345, I have only played with the shell plate adjustment. I have not changed the original setting that I did on the OAL. However, when I did my initial setting, the shell plate only had a shell in station #3. I understand what you point is now.

I was hoping to be able to use this ammo for match ammo. Now, not going to happen. I was making a batch of 50 and checking the OAL on each round and then shooting 10 of the rounds to measure performance.. Since the OAL was varying along with the powder drop, I keep making more 50 round batches with the hope that I could get some consistent rounds.

Each batch has been labeled and I hope to go to a chrono and be able to test for velocity.

Thanks for the ideas.

I think you are expecting way too much. The OAL deviation you are getting, or the 2/10th of a grain variation is not going to keep you from making match grade ammo for an action pistol match. We are not looking for bench-rest quality rifle ammo. I would rather take your press and load my match ammo, than to have to use factory ammo. I do use a 650 to load all of my pistol ammo, and any progressive press requires some getting used to, and learning the adjustments and idiosyncrasies of the press. Range brass can vary to a great extent on how much pressure it takes to re-size a case even within the same brand, if it was fired in different guns. This pressure variation can have an effect on the OAL of your cartridges since there is some flex in the press. Are you lubing your brass to reduce sizing pressure? Overall I think the 650 is a very solid press and doesn't flex much, but there is always some. If you are loading JHP bullets, there is significant deviation in the points that can easily cause .010 variation in cartridge OAL. Check some of your bullets with a caliper to see if the OAL of the bullets are consistent. If they are not, don't expect you cartridges to be, because most seating dies don't just push the bullet from the tip. Now I am not saying that there couldn't be something about your press that is not exactly right. If the head that holds the shell plate is not solid to the ram, that could definitely cause a problem. However, you need to keep these other factors in mind and realize exactly how small the variations you are seeing are, for the type of ammo we need.

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nathan, yep the bolts are tight.

Blaster, glad I am not the Lone Ranger or the only one going the wrong way on a one way street concerning the OAL.

Croomider, nice detailed reply. I understand about mixed and used brass to cause some variance. I measured 30 the Zero 180 FMJ FP and the caliper read .591 for the OAL about 95% of the time with a high of .5915. Not a lot of variance there. I have not lubed the brass and I am planning on trying that. Today I just got some lanolin oil and need to get the ISO HEET so that I can make my own and highly recommend case lube. I am anxious to give that a try.

My worst fears are to have the rounds go through chrono that are are the extreme ends of the variable scale, which would be light on powder and long on length and could (?) combine to cause me to fail to meet power factor.

I know that pressure rises logarithmic and not linear. However, since I can not measure pressure, I have to use some loading data to try and make sense of everything. So..... Sierra's reloading guide states for VV320 180 JHP has a range from 4.1 to 5.2 grains with FPS from 850 to 1000. Therefore, and I understand that this is not an absolute, but it is the best that I can come up with, each .1 grain is worth 24.5 FPS. 1000-850 = 150 FPS. 150 FPS / 1.1 grains (5.2-4.1) = 24.5 FPS. 24.5. FPS x .2 (grain deviation in loading) = 49 FPS. Or in worse case .4 grain deviation from high to low = 98 FPS. To me, that could be enough to fail chrono. So if you load to 950 FPS (which equals a 171 PF) you will fail chrono by powder deviation itself. Add the factor of variation of OAL and the risk factor increases.

So, to me then you would need to load to 180 power factor to help insure against failure. Then we are back to factory ammo velocity.

Please do not misunderstand me. I WANT TO RELOAD. However, I am worried about the chrono.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think some of the other posters have given good advice, but there is one more thing to consider. Technique is the one variable that you have not addressed. Making sure you are going all the way up and down on the handle and pausing just slightly as you come to the end of the stroke on the handle (that is when the shell plate is fully upward) might improve your OAL figures. Trying to go too fast might be hindering your goal of consistent OAL results. Even on a 650 (I have two of them), you can get results much like your friend has, with variations more like .002-.003, without the help of angels or such like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mixed brass will not be the problem. Regardless of the lentgh of the brass, OAL should stay the same.

When tightening the shell plate bolt, remember the set screw in the ram that holds it.

Per the case not dropping into #1 position, that's a minor adjustment you need to make.

Edited by willfully armed
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My worst fears are to have the rounds go through chrono that are are the extreme ends of the variable scale, which would be light on powder and long on length and could (?) combine to cause me to fail to meet power factor.

I know that pressure rises logarithmic and not linear. However, since I can not measure pressure, I have to use some loading data to try and make sense of everything. So..... Sierra's reloading guide states for VV320 180 JHP has a range from 4.1 to 5.2 grains with FPS from 850 to 1000. Therefore, and I understand that this is not an absolute, but it is the best that I can come up with, each .1 grain is worth 24.5 FPS. 1000-850 = 150 FPS. 150 FPS / 1.1 grains (5.2-4.1) = 24.5 FPS. 24.5. FPS x .2 (grain deviation in loading) = 49 FPS. Or in worse case .4 grain deviation from high to low = 98 FPS. To me, that could be enough to fail chrono. So if you load to 950 FPS (which equals a 171 PF) you will fail chrono by powder deviation itself. Add the factor of variation of OAL and the risk factor increases.

So, to me then you would need to load to 180 power factor to help insure against failure. Then we are back to factory ammo velocity.

What kind of powder scale do you have, and how accurate is it? Is your Dillon powder measure set up with the small powder bar? As someone else suggested, technique may be playing a part in the variations. A smooth consistent stroke of the handle will give you the best chance of consistent powder throws, but you shouldn't need to be anal about it. You always want to throw back several powder dumps after the machine has been setting for a while as that could easily affect your charge by a couple of tenths. I have an expensive digital scale that will measure to 1/100th of a grain. When setting my measure I check multiple throws and typically expect to see plus or minus 5/100th of a grain in variation, and it's often better. I doubt you will find a powder measure that will throw much more accurately than this and I doubt factory ammo is any better. If you are using a scale that is only good to .05 grain or more, your scale could be indicating more variation than you are actually getting. The chrono is a very important tool to verify your results. You should be able to load to a PF of 170-172 and not have to worry about making 165 at a match.

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the best OAL results on a 650 its best to make sure that the two screws that hold the shell plate base to the ram shaft are tight. Then get the Tool Head Clamp kit from Unique Tek. I also use the Redding Competition Bullet Seating Die, which mainly makes switching between different OAL loads super easy and accurate. I never get an OAL variance of more than 0.005 with this setup and I use mixed head stamp brass all the time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with CHA-LEE on the Uniquetek's tool head clamp kit. I used it and it makes the head dead solid. I also notice when the shell plate is not full that I see variances. Make sure that the powder bar is going all the way forward and if not adjust. I had all of the same problems that you are reporting when I first set my 650 up and was going crazy trying to make it perfect. My loads are within +/- .003 and my powder is usually dead on once cycling. All of my rounds have been extremely accurate so I found myself worrying for nothing. I also separate out my brass by brand but haven't seen any difference in accuracy. Mostly if anything I see a very slight difference in crimp but no impact. I even ran a lot of test loads through my chrono and recorded them to get an average. The velocity did vary quite a bit but with no actual effect in accuracy. I shoot steel so it doesn't matter. I have loaded thousands of rounds now and would buy another 650 in a heart beat. Good luck.

One other thing is to make sure you are using the right shape insert in the seating die if using the dillon brand dies. I like the redding competition seating die the best. Much less aggravating as well.

My 2 cents worth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...