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Metering Extruded Powders on a Dillon XL650


mgerencs

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I've been reloading ammunition for 35 years starting with a single stage RCBS rockchucker. I loaded pistol, revolver and rifle with this press and weighed every load and the system worked well. Well, since that time I've developed a liking for the AR style rifles and purchased a few and built a few in 5.56x45, 7.62x51 and most recently .300 AAC blackout. All I've used so far are spherical powders.

My interest lies with the .308 and from what I've read hear I need to try Varget and either of the 4895's. I still use the rockchucker to resize all my brass but have upgraded to a Dillon XL650 a few years ago for the reloading and love it. Never having tried any extruded powders in the progressive machine I wonder which extruded powders meter reasonably well for volume loading on this press. It seems 4064 is one I should stay away from but varget and 4895 are a go? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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I've been reloading ammunition for 35 years starting with a single stage RCBS rockchucker. I loaded pistol, revolver and rifle with this press and weighed every load and the system worked well. Well, since that time I've developed a liking for the AR style rifles and purchased a few and built a few in 5.56x45, 7.62x51 and most recently .300 AAC blackout. All I've used so far are spherical powders.

My interest lies with the .308 and from what I've read hear I need to try Varget and either of the 4895's. I still use the rockchucker to resize all my brass but have upgraded to a Dillon XL650 a few years ago for the reloading and love it. Never having tried any extruded powders in the progressive machine I wonder which extruded powders meter reasonably well for volume loading on this press. It seems 4064 is one I should stay away from but varget and 4895 are a go? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Well, in my opinion, Varget is going to vary more than some other stick powders, the grains tend to be longer. But, I can still get it to meter decent for general AR rounds (I don't believe it would be adequate for serious benchrest efforts). I have not used IMR 4064 or 4895.

My experience is related to .223/5.56 so the powders probably are different but I'll share anyway. Overall, I find IMR 8208 XBR to meter pretty good for a stick powder, Reloader 15 alright but not as good as XBR and then Varget third of those three. Vihtavuori powders (N133, N135, N140, N540) meter pretty good as well, similar to 8208 XBR. None of them meter as good as ball powders but if you find the right load, you can tolerate a minor variance (+- 0.2 grains from the desired load).

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I have no idea why you are sizing on a single stage press if you have a progressive but thats your call. Most short stick powders will work just fine in a dillon press. I have used more Rl15 in a dillon 650 and 550 then i can remember without an issue. It does always help to polish the powder measure a little bit. You will get a little more variation in thrown powder weight with stick powders but its usually just fine. I would not try anything like 4198, it might hang things up a little.

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"You don't need to decap before you tumble your cases or size them. "

+1

Tumble, re-size / decap, trim, prep cases, prime,load and shoot.

I'm comfortable that my flash hole is cleared when I reload in that order.

Tumbling after decapping would make me worry a bit unless I ran it through the re-size /decap again. That's not out of the question but not what I'm doing right now.

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Just chrono'd some 308 today loaded with 4064 on a 1050. As mentioned by daunted future the powder measure is polished. SD came out 10.8, good enough for me. Dropped charge is well within +/- .2

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I prefer to tumble after resize to remove the case lube before proceeding with the process. Any potential flash hole issues are discovered during case inspections. On occasion I have found the steel media wedged in the primer pocket.

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I do the same thing SpotHogg except I use a 650. I found a pound of varget yesterday at the local ammo bunker. Loaded 30 rounds to test and it metered very well. Smoother than I expected. I was waiting to have to push through some powder kernels but it never happened. Varget is a much shorter stick then what I remember of the IMR's.

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I had very good luck with varget on a 650, until I ran out of it. When I spot checked loads they were all within .1 of each other. My 308 loads with H335 and 168 amax are running beautifully and I have much less concern about metering consistency than varget.

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When throwing power in a Dillon, especially with stick powders, your technique and consistency will help to uniform your powder charges. I think that if you are NOT SIZING when you prime and load you get a little more consistent results as there is not as much movement and bumping around with the press. A solid mount also help as does maintaining about 1/3 a measurer of powder. Polishing and keeping the guts clean also help.

I am not concerned about corn cob in the flash hole but if one is worried about that then you can run a decapping die in station one when you load. This will knock any media out of the case and ensure you did not try to load a case with a clump at the bottom.

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I load .308 with 4895 (IMR & Hodgon) on a 650. I can hold +/-.1 grain consistently. The only thing that I did was to polish the powder funnel to stop any bridging of the powder. Stick powders have a habit of doing that. I just used a dremel with some polishing compound and made it real shinny.

Rifle cartridge reloading is still a 2 step process with a 650. I size + Decap + Trim and then tumble to remove the lube. Then I can actually load the rounds. Whether you do it on a single stage or a second tool head really makes no difference.

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I do the same anm2_man. I loaded 20 rounds with 43.5 grains of varget ubder a mil-spec 168 grain BTHP and 20 rounds of 41 grains of TAC over the same pill for a start. I was surprised that the TAC grouped significantly better than the varget. My next step is to ladder them upwards and see how they do.

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  • 3 months later...

I'm loading for .308 and having consistency issues as well with my 650. Been getting a lot of variation with H4894 and IMR4064 with SD running from the low 20's to the high 80's. I'm new to this so it could be my technique. I purchased one of those powder baffles but not much difference. I do run 10-15 shots through before starting but I still get +/- 0.4g variance. I have not polished anything yet so that will be my next step.

I have some Varget, RL15 and Win748. Will be trying them next. Maybe the WIN748 since its a ball powder and will see how it does on the range

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