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550B Priming Problem


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Folks,

This may have been discussed before. First time posting on the forum.

I have a 550B with the case feeder. All alignments have been looked into twice. My problem is with the priming station. I feed brass in and deprime. When I go to back stroke to seat a new primer,the brass moves out slightly. I have to double pump (short strokes) the handle to get it back over center or move it by hand. Most times I have to move it by hand. All screws are tight and the primer cap is centered the hole on the shell plate. I hear from FB sites that this is a problem on a 550B with the Case Feeder. There is no clip to hold the brass in place anymore as is w/o case feeder. Any help would be appreciated.

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If you have the 550 casefeeder manual, your problem is covered on page 11. 'Fine Adjustment of the Cam'

http://www.hitfactorshooting.com/support/RL550-Casefeed-Manual-May-2007.pdf (Can't find it on Dillon's website???)

Had the same problem, watch the ram that sends the case into the shellplate, if it goes to hard against the case/shellplate there is a deflection that causes the case to bounce out of the shellplate. Adjust your case feeder bracket.

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  • 1 month later...

@DaGov: I'm wondering what adjustment(s) you made to your case feeder and whether they solved the problem.

I have the same problem with my 550b and case feeder. And if you've been able to solve this problem, I would surely appreciate knowing what you did. Thanks for any feedback.

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If you have the 550 casefeeder manual, your problem is covered on page 11. 'Fine Adjustment of the Cam'

http://www.hitfactorshooting.com/support/RL550-Casefeed-Manual-May-2007.pdf (Can't find it on Dillon's website???)

I had the same issue when I started messing around with my case feeder. PMT is right, its in the cam adjustment, however I had to sightly open up the holes on the the bolts that cam uses to bolt to the bench, but my cam has been modified so I can load .223/.300AAC on my 550B with a casefeeder. The back hole was my troublesome one. Not much, maybe 1/32" was all it needed and it has been great. Just set the cam where the case feeder plunger just pushes in the case and when it retracts no bounce, sometimes less is more. You make you self crazy adjusting the cam until you figure it out. You don't want the case doesn't bounce back, and also make sure the case feeder plunger tip it is clean, when mine gets a bit of case lube build up, it acts like a glue and cases "stick" to it.

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@Walnut: Thanks for responding. I want to be sure I understand your instructions before I begin making adjustments.

The Problem: When I lower the operating handle, the casefeeder plunger moves the case into the shellplate and the case enters the deprime/resize die without a problem. However, when I raise the operating handle the plunger touches the the case a second time (presumably to ensure that the case is correctly positioned in the shellplate). This second touch knocks the case off-center with respect to the underlying primer/primer cup. Then the case must be nudged slightly forward in order to align the primer pocket with the primer/primer cup.

I only load 9mm on this machine, so I am not changing caliber conversion kits. I have tightened the shellplate, hoping that it would put enough tension on the case rim to keep it from moving--but that has not solved the problem. I recently installed a new shellplate, detent ball, detent ball spring, indexing sprocket, and shellplate bolt in the hope that this would solve the problem; it did not.

Question: Based on what I have told you, do you think the cam needs to be readjusted? In order to adjust the cam, I will need to loosen the 2 bolts/washers that attach it to the frame of the 550b. The cam should "just touch" the roller that protrudes from the the side of the plunger. Is my understanding correct about this?

JW, thank you for helping me. I have spent hours on-line and on the phone searching for a solution. You have offered more help than all those others folks combined. I appreciate your time and effort.

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Sorry for the delay, family duties, church etc

Yes, you will most likely need to adjust the cam and decrease the travel of the casefeed plunger. You might be able to loosen the nut closest to you, tap it away from the machine, tighten it up and test it.

Don't worry about the bearing "touching" or not touching the cam. Just make sure it aligned with the cam when you raise and lower the handle.

This is how I adjust my cam. To make things easy, get rid of the lower tube but keep the casefeed adapter in place. I will keep a few cases in the adapter and start making my adjustments.

I'll start off with a case in the shell holder. loosen the cam nuts and then raise the handle enough where the casefeed plunger is in the complete forward stroke, the center of the cam track. I'll loosen the cam and put the cam up against the bearing, tighten the nuts just enough so it won't move. I don't like the cam super sloppy when I am adjusting it, I like to tighten nuts a tiny bit with nut driver so when I want to adjust them, I have to tap on the cam to make it move. Now I mark the cam plate legs that sit on the 550B frame with a sharp pencil so you can see how much you are moving the cam. I like to start by moving the cam (imagine you are standing up looking at the machine straight down) towards the 4:30 or 5:00 o'clock direction just a bit, toward the cam ball bearing, your shortening the casefeed plunger stroke, then tighten the nuts up. I want it to short stroke the cases going in the shell holder at the beginning. I like to start with it a little out of wack, so I can start to move it in. Kind of see "where I am to where I am going" thought process. Go ahead and cycle the handle, case should stop short and NOT go into the shell plate completely. I usually will make sure the Casefeeder plunger face and station one locator track is clean and grease free.

Now make only SMALL adjustments. I move the cam no more than 1/16 to 3/32 movement per adjustment. Tight up, check it again. GO SLOW, because small adjustments make a big difference. I find you can adjust the cam forwards and backwards, but sometimes you twist the whole casefeeder cam clockwise or counterclockwise just a tiny bit. I had to clean up the holes (slightly increase the diameter) on my cam plate to make it work with .380. When I am really close, I have the back nut snug, but loosen the front nut to do the twisting motion to really tweak it in or tighten the front and twist the back. A pivot motion. Watch you pencil marks to know where you are, to where you moved it.

If you hold you tongue just right, you can have it done in 5 minutes. Don't be surprised that you will still make some tiny adjustments in the first 100-200 to get it dialed in 100%. By the way, one trick I have pick up somewhere, put a little dob of grease on the bottom of the station one locator. It keeps it from moving around and acts like a cushion when cases drop on it. I check to make sure it is a bit higher than the shell plate platform.

Now check your shell plate for proper tension. Fill the shell plate with 4 9mm shells (make sure they have good rims) and tighten up the shell holder screw, enough where they rotate freely, but you have taken out as much slop as you can. You can remove the auto eject wire (pull straight up) and then you can spin the shell plate around and around. Easy test when your done adjusting the allen bolt, remove your shells, then touch the shell plate at station 3 (seating). Does it flex up and down? If it does, you probably need to tighten it a bit more. A delicate dance between too tight/binding vs sloppy.

If you lube your brass (I do) just make sure to let them dry and they are not super sticky, that will cause them to stick to the plunger.

OK, clear as mud? I hope I made sense, its late here. If I left you confused, just ask.

Adios and off to bed

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I accidentally came up with the same solution as adjusting the cam. I should have read the manual!

But I figured out that the brass pusher over-pushes the brass and it either bounces or rocks out of the station. So the key (as in the manual) is to adjust the cam so that the pusher pushes the case to exactly where you need it an no further.

I fixed it the dumb way, I added painters/masking tape to the inside elbow of the cam to fine tune the pusher so it would place the case where I needed it and no more than that. I went from using my thumb to push the case in, just before moving my left hand to grab another bullet to ... not having to do that.

Another handy tip in the manual is to pull the handle before turning on the case feeder, otherwise the bottom case will almost always tip over.

I thought I was so clever, and then found the manual online and read the cam adjustment tip, which is the key to success on this case feeder.

Also, keep some needle nosed pliers or tweezers handy, so you can pluck fallen cases or double-fed cases out of station one since it's so cramped.

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I accidentally came up with the same solution as adjusting the cam. I should have read the manual!

But I figured out that the brass pusher over-pushes the brass and it either bounces or rocks out of the station. So the key (as in the manual) is to adjust the cam so that the pusher pushes the case to exactly where you need it an no further.

I fixed it the dumb way, I added painters/masking tape to the inside elbow of the cam to fine tune the pusher so it would place the case where I needed it and no more than that. I went from using my thumb to push the case in, just before moving my left hand to grab another bullet to ... not having to do that.

Another handy tip in the manual is to pull the handle before turning on the case feeder, otherwise the bottom case will almost always tip over.

I thought I was so clever, and then found the manual online and read the cam adjustment tip, which is the key to success on this case feeder.

Also, keep some needle nosed pliers or tweezers handy, so you can pluck fallen cases or double-fed cases out of station one since it's so cramped.

Amen on the needle nose pliers! I have used a wire cloth hanger cut to about 8 inches long with a 90 degree bend that is 1/2" long to make a little hook for wayward brass.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This problem is the most tedious part of my 550. It really sucks to have to make these adjustments between caliber changes. Somehow, "fine tuning" the casefeed plunger by loosening several screws and trying to move it, by hand, in 1/16" increments, and then tightening everything without anything moving, is just a nutty solution. Too bad Dillon -- or some other manufacturer -- doesn't come up with some kind of micrometer adjustment for the casefeed plunger. Or, at least some kind of replacement for the "paper clip" spring that held the case in place before using the case feeder.

My work around is to just pause or really slow down, right in the middle of the stroke that lowers the shellholder (ie, raising the handle). Not much. Ever so slightly. Does not really slow down the process. But, it seems the case does not bounce out then.

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