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Why no Dillon brand bullet feeder?


Smeeg

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Sometimes it's as little as "Why reinvent the wheel?"

I seriously doubt that. If that were true there would only be one brand of anything. There is little doubt that Dillon could leverage their brand to out market anybody in the reload press business, especially those who own Dillon presses.

So why not have a bullet feeder? Maybe a broad blocking patent to a critical part of a reliable mechanism. Much more likely is that Dillon is unable to achieve the reliability that they require to market a product. This could be especially true when you consider the range of calibers and bullet weights that they would need to load reliably. Aftermarket providers can serve niche markets of weights, calibers, conversions between those, and overall reliability. They market to users who match their capability. A major equipment maker has a broader responsibility. I've seen that many times at my own well known employer.

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My "opinion" is that fundamentally Dillon presses aren't designed for bullet feeders. I believe Dillon would have to redesign their presses to add a powder check station before any bullet feeding station. The only real solutions to the problem on the existing presses would be combining the crimp and bullet seating into one station (not recommended) or use a GSI-like redesigned head to feed the bullets at the bullet seating station (unnecessarily complicated).

With Dillon recommending a powder check on the 650 and 1050, I would think they would need to release new models to add an extra station to the current 650 and/or move the powder drop station on the 1050. Maybe one day we'll see a 750 and an 1150 model that would allow us to add bullet feeders safely but I'm not holding my breath.

With that said, I love my Mr. Bulletfeeder on my 650 but I wouldn't recommend it to a new loader. I think new loaders should use a powder check die for the first 30-50K rounds to learn exactly how the press works. Once your press is running smoothly you can keep your focus on each and every case as it comes out of the powder drop.

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The story from way back is a long time ago somebody nearly took their own finger off demonstrating a bullet feeder / press automating thing right in Mike Dillon's office.

That resulted in a "no-bulletfeeders" edict.

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I guess that means they need to come out with a new 550 too so a powder check can be added if they are that important.

Nah... The 550 is a completely different beast. The press only advances when you consciously move the shell plate. The simplicity of the 550 means there's very little to go wrong and leaves you free to check the powder level of each case.

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It might be tough to put Dillon's warranty on Mr Bulletfeeder w/o costing them a bunch in support calls and parts for the feeder itself, as well as the feeder working with the presses at the reliability level of the Dillon. Certainly would be more convenient to the customer if they did.

A logical extension to that question might also be why no auto-drive Dillon, from Dillon?

It will be interesting to see if a few years from now if someone designs and supports a press that anticipates and works well with all of case feed, bullet feed, auto drive, error checking (powder, bullets, primers, jam, etc), sold/supported from a single source for the customer.

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Some would say it's easier to get a double charge on a 550 vs 650 or 1050 since it doesn't automatically advance when loading.

I would think everyone would say it's easier to get a double charge (or no powder at all) on a 550. I'm not suggesting there be any major changes to any of the current Dillon presses but rather suggesting that adding a bullet feeder in place of the current powder check station probably wouldn't helpful to new loaders. (And you know there would be a slew of newbie hand loaders buying 650's and 1050's with ALL the options)

I had long since quit using my powder check station before adding my bullet feeder but it was comforting to have it when I was learning how the 650 loads (and no, the powder check never "saved" me from a disaster... not once).

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I tried the powder check on my 650 as well but it just made a mess when loading 9 major since the case was so full. Besides after loading for 20 years on my 550 without an issue I didn't think I was missing anything by getting rid of it. I've also added MBF to my 650 so don't have room for the checker even if I thought it was worth having.

I agree, I don't think you will be seeing any changes or new stations added to Dillon loaders, but you never know...

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I also quit using my powder check in leu of Mr. Bullet feeder. "BUT" I have a video system on my loader that I can see physically each brass shell leaving the powder drop to assure a powder drop. Personally I prefer the visual check to a maybe sound buzzer.

I do agree, new loader need to learn what they are doing and how the machine works in their sleep. It makes better and safer bullets.

JMHO

:cheers:

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Xavier Gonzalez owner of GSI spent over 21 years working at Dillon Precision in design and project development. There was also an artical in the Blue Press about it, I remember the collator on it in the artical looked very different than what they wound up producing.

Either his idea fell on def ears or he decided he could make more money on his own.

I use the PC when I can. I also eat right and go to the doctor, wipe my butt and take showers, being redundant never hurts and just might catch something you miss.

In the case of my autodrive conversions I wouldn't use them without it.

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