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Primer Seating Depth on Dillon 550B


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The conventional wisdom is that you can't adjust for primer seating depth on a 550B.

It seems like someone with a decent machine shop could make up some of the primer plungers (13967) that are a little longer or shorter on the top to make this adjustable. Maybe one of the aftermarket add on makers, like Uniquetek, could look into it.

I'd probably buy some just to try alternate seating depths to see if I can get more reliable ignition on lighter springs without having to resort to 100% Federal primers.

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Why do you believe you are not sitting them fully?

The first thing I'd recommend is making sure that the sitting stem is adjusted as per the manual and that your shell plate is sufficiently tight.

Different stems might not even work anyway, as the cup and stem have to fit under the primer tube, and the primer has to fit in the cup. I'd think if the stem was longer/higher you wouldn't be able to pick up primer from the tube.

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My guess would be they would fear the liability of designing something to overseat the primers?

If I had the problem I would find a way to put a small spacer in there

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The design of the head of the primer seating punch allows seating a primer up to .009" below flush. You can verify this by pushing forward on the handle with no primer in the cup, and a deprimed case in station 1. The punch will stick in the primer pocket. Beyond this the tightness of the shellplate bolt has the greatest effect on primer seating depth.

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On a 550, for correct primer seating, you want to learn the "two-stage push" technique. On the downstorke, when you feel the primer contact the primer pocket, pause, then with one smooth push feel the primer bottom out in the primer pocket.

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On a 550, for correct primer seating, you want to learn the "two-stage push" technique. On the downstorke, when you feel the primer contact the primer pocket, pause, then with one smooth push feel the primer bottom out in the primer pocket.

Must be the new prototype 550 - my 10 year old 550 seats the primer on the upstorke.

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