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550b issue


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i seem to have a lot of problems with my 550b when loading 223 brass. Fairly often, when on the second stage, loading powder, the brass will rock away from center and the neck of the brass will be ruined and the powder dropper will activate and make a mess of spilled powder. When centered perfectly it works as advertised. Any helpful hints?

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Are the primers fully seated? I'd do a little investigating to figure out why they are rocking...they should be sitting flat on the shellplate base.

I load 223 on a 550 and what I notice is that I need to take it a little slower to let the 25gr of powder fully drop. I haven't experienced the cases rocking away from center when in the powder drop. However I have forgotten to put the locator pin back in after measuring the powder drop and that will allow the case to become eccentric to the powder die which will crush the neck.

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Because of spring pressure, the detent ball under the shellplate 'lifts' the shell plate right next to station 2. This causes an increase in the clearance available between the bottom of the shellplate and the shellplate platform in this area. This increased clearance can be sufficient to allow a case to tip when near station 2, especially a tall skinny one like .223

A possible fix:

Tighten the center bolt that holds shell holder plate. Don't forget to loosen the locking set-screw in the side of the ram.

If that 'straightens up' your cartridge, but makes it too hard to advance the shell plate...

Remove shell plate and take out the detent ball (use a magnet to get the ball out). Replace shell plate.

If you can get the cartridge straight -and- the shellplate loose enough to turn easily -at the same time- start clipping small sections of coils off of the detent ball spring until you get the detent ball spring tension 'just right'.

You may want to have a spare spring before starting this project.

You may be able to find a similar spring at a decent hardware store to start out with.

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I checked the plate and pins and they seem correct, but still looser than I would expect, however, on my 1050, the 9 mm brass is loose also , but since it is short it does not cause issues I suppose. I tightened the center bolt as advised and it is definitely better. I think I just may be in the 1050 mode(fast) and the 550 with tall cases does not lend itself to this.

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