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550b .40 S&W issues. HELP!


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I have my press set up with a Dillon powder/flaring die, and Lee dies on the other 4 stations with a micrometer seating die. After getting my 550 rebuild kit installed, and a deep cleaning of the press, I suddenly run into problems.

One occasional pull of the handle and I'm not getting at flare on the case mouth at all.

At other pull of the handle and I'm getting bullets come out of the seating die at 1.63ish OAL (I'm set up for a 1.200 max).

Any help to be had with this issue? Before I installed the rebuild parts, everything was spot on. Powder charge was consistent, OAL was exact to .003. Any help in troubleshooting this is appreciated.

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Ok, after running the press one round at a time, everything is as it should be. OAL is consistent, powder charge is consistent, flare is correct.

Not satisfied, I ran it for 10 rounds with a full shell plate and I'm back to no flare, and an OAL of 1.165-1.145, and the powder charge is consistent. Seems like I'm back at square one. I did a very in depth check to make sure my ram was free of obstructions while doing the single round, and the full plate.

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It has got to be the delrin piece....something with it

It's the one on the powder rod that connects to the main ram.

Did you remember to tighten the setscrew for your shell plate bolt that goes into the side of the ram?

I didn't change that out. Never touched it. I don't think that's the issue.

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Sounds like an alignment issue between your dies and the shell plate. Possibly the sizing die is stopping the ram from moving through its full stroke?

Because of the mechanical linkage between the handle and the ram you are dealing with either the handle not moving through its full stroke, or the shell plate/ tool head being loose. Because it seems to work with the 9mm tool head my vote is a problem with the tool head itself or the dies inside it.

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Update- after breaking everything down, including the dies and toolhead, I found the problem.

The individual dies were in great shape, but when I got to the crimp die, I found a huge problem. There was a bullet jammed in the sleeve inside the die itself. After removing the bullet, and cleaning the die out, I put everything back together. Since, I've loaded 50 rounds all consistent to my load needs.

Odd problem, but glad I found it. Thanks everyone for your input, couldn't have done it without it.

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