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First 100 rounds through XL650 and first impression


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So, I am having a heck of a time with this machine! First 100 rounds where nothing but painful - makes me want to go back to a single stage. Case feed plate binds in the hopper, I adjusted clutch and still rubs on metal part of hopper, took plate out and added spacer to clutch even though manual said not need for 10mm. Still rubs a little on the metal part of hopper...

Brass will not drop every time into the casefeed arm (#6 page 50 in manual) casefeed arm bushing (#5 page 50 in manual), when they do not drop they catch on the casefeed arm bushing and cause it to bind with shell halfway in between the casefeed adapter and the casefeed arm bushing distorting the casefeed adapter. I have backed out the casefeed arm stop pin as much as I can, called Dillon technical help twice (they act like I am a idiot, even if I am - not the best way to make your customers feel) - not much help, but they did verify I am using the correct adapter and bushing (red). It seems to hangup the brass about every second or third pull, so I am basically using it as a glorified single stage press.

Powder measure is inconsistent at best! I am currently using Alliant BE-86 (extruded flake formulation - seems to be a powder that most feel meters well). I am still taking every 5th shell off the plate and measure on beam scale and seems to be a +/- 0.2 grain swing (two out of the 100 were much higher). I'll try some Hodgdon Longshot next (spherical powder) and see if it works better.

Do these machines need a "break in period"? I thought they were supposed to be close to perfect out of the box. Sorry to say I feel like $1222.49 was wasted at this point.

I guess this is a frustrated rant, but if anyone has any suggestions I am open, I really would like to make this thing work for me...

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Do you have someone who is experienced with that machine, to help you start? That would be the best way. A friend of mine just got his days ago, and he is totally happy, so I doubt it is the quality problems. They usually do indeed work right out of the box, if the installation is done properly - I had three of them.

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Mine came tuned and has been running perfect through my first 300-400 rds so far. Did you go step by step through manual, exactly as is states, during setup? Even though I know how to set dies, etc...I took it slow and did everything by the book. I love this press...ordering a 2nd this week.

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15 years ago I felt the same way.. Stop read the book,do things one at a time. I was trying to do to many things and all wrong,so I just quit..went to the river cooled off ,went to work next day.. When I came home I started all over,one thing at a time.. Couple hundred thousand rounds later fifteen years have gone buy and it's still the best reloading Mach out there...

So dont let it gift you all worked up over nuttin...

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Here is an image of the most important issue I am having, where the brass gets caught up on the swing arm and doesn't fall into the arm, then doesn't get dropped to the shell plate on each pull. I will still look to get a video later, but I had this image already.

xl650_brass.jpg

On the first call with Dillon they said to back out the set screw until no threads are showing, but it still does hang, not as often though.

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the case insert slide cam, part number 97082, is the adjustment point for the problem you are having. loosen it up with the allen screw on the front and slide it toward the left or right 1/8 inch or so. then try it and readjust as needed. Left for more, right for less. the picture looks like it is set too far left, but I can't be sure.

It is also necessary to totally remove it and turn it around when changing from pistol to rifle or rifle to pistol loading.

jj

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the case insert slide cam, part number 97082, is the adjustment point for the problem you are having. loosen it up with the allen screw on the front and slide it toward the left or right 1/8 inch or so. then try it and readjust as needed. Left for more, right for less. the picture looks like it is set too far left, but I can't be sure.

It is also necessary to totally remove it and turn it around when changing from pistol to rifle or rifle to pistol loading.

jj

Forgive me for asking a dumb question, but when the shell plate is all the way at the bottom position it doesn't "look" like that component (97082) is engaged in any way with the casefeed arm? I'll definitely loosen it up and try to move a little and hopefully it will solve the issue. What appears to me is that the casefeed arm is free to go through the whole range of motion when the shell plate assembly is at the very bottom and the casefeed arm is just not swinging wide enough to let the brass fall straight into it (line up with the drop tube from the case feeder).

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As I posted in the other thread...http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=211898...There is a small hole with a set screw in it next to the slide rod adjustment nut. See picture 1 of the jmorris post. The screw threads may be low and can cause the case feed swing arm to hang up and not travel all the way. Slowly back out the screw and it will fix it. If you go too far the arm will swing out all the way. That's ok. Just push it back and slowly adjust the screw until it just holds.

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As I posted in the other thread...http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=211898...There is a small hole with a set screw in it next to the slide rod adjustment nut. See picture 1 of the jmorris post. The screw threads may be low and can cause the case feed swing arm to hang up and not travel all the way. Slowly back out the screw and it will fix it. If you go too far the arm will swing out all the way. That's ok. Just push it back and slowly adjust the screw until it just holds.

I'll go a little further, but I am almost at the point where it doesn't capture the arm (and the Dillon rep told me not to go past the threads).

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Go til the arm swings out if you have too. There may be a burr on the bottom of the screw that's holding the arm. That arm is not supposed to be adjustable. The screw just holds it at the end of it's travel.

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What color is the plastic adapter at the bottom of the clear plastic case feed tube, orange or red? It should be red.

The powder you are using appears to be a variant of Unique, a large, coarse flake powder from Alliant. Unique typically meters within +/- .2 grain , due to flake size. How much powder is in the hopper? We suggest starting with the hopper at least 2/3 full. Throw 10-15 charges to settle the powder under the baffle before you begin weighing charges. Be sure cases are flared at least .010", up to .020" maximum. This ensures the powder bar fully travels.

Can you post a photo of the inside of the bowl where the disc rubs?

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I decap a lot of dirty brass on my 650, and sometimes my casefeed arm will stop returning all the way underneath the drop tube if the top of the casefeed arm bushing gets too dirty. I just pull the bushing out and give the top of it a very light wipe with silicone dry lube and it's good to go again.

I'm sure your press isn't dirty if it's new, but I've read that this can also be caused by tumbling media rather than dirt.

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What color is the plastic adapter at the bottom of the clear plastic case feed tube, orange or red? It should be red.

The powder you are using appears to be a variant of Unique, a large, coarse flake powder from Alliant. Unique typically meters within +/- .2 grain , due to flake size. How much powder is in the hopper? We suggest starting with the hopper at least 2/3 full. Throw 10-15 charges to settle the powder under the baffle before you begin weighing charges. Be sure cases are flared at least .010", up to .020" maximum. This ensures the powder bar fully travels.

Can you post a photo of the inside of the bowl where the disc rubs?

  • Both plastic pieces are red (light, bright red!), sorry the image came out a little off color.
  • Powder hopper is 90% full starting out, and I try to refill at 50%, but it might get down to 40%. I believe when I setup, I went for a 0.015" flare.
  • Below are 3 images of the case hopper:

Trying to get a thin peice of paper around the disk.

case_hopper_1.jpg

Disk touching the metal.

case_hopper_2.jpg

dust/wear on side (I touched it with my finger first!).

case_hopper_3.jpg

I am going to run another 100 rounds now and see if loosening the set screw a little more helped...

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This is not a direct answer to your specific question per se but: I got my 650 last fall and have probably loaded 5-6000 rounds on it and processed a lot of 223 brass with the power trimmer. There is a learning curve for sure. My powder charges with Power Pistol flake powder and 748 ball powder were erratic at first like you are experiencing. But now they are .1 gr off max. I think it is because I am running the machine smoothly.

I have stripped out the helicoil in the slide cam and broken/bent a primer indexing arm. Dillon was very helpful both times. You will get good at unjamming the case feeder quickly and easily as well.

You will get there.

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So, on this round of 100 I only got 15 missed shell drops! working a lot better, but I would like to get 100 cases through without having to have them not drop and miss stations leading to new primers sliding down the ramp. is a 15% failure to get cases in the swing arm about normal? If i tap the clear tube every pull of the handle, the cases seem to always make it through the swing arm bushing and are ready to drop on the next handle pull (set screw was backed out as far as I could where it would still hold the arm from swinging out freely as Youngeyes mentioned).

My other concern around the powder drop is that I was trying to get 8.4 grain drops and I did most of the time, but there were approximately 10% of them that were 8.7 grains. Powder hoper stayed in the 70 - 90% full state.

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You should get almost 100% drop on the brass. I say almost in honor of Murphy. :goof: I would ask Dillon for another plastic bushing. Could be out of round. Have you tried pulling the bushing and reseating it?

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You should get almost 100% drop on the brass. I say almost in honor of Murphy. :goof: I would ask Dillon for another plastic bushing. Could be out of round. Have you tried pulling the bushing and reseating it?

I have reseated the top fill component as it works it's way loose a lot on mine. But not the one in the swing arm.

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So, I did another 100 just for the heck of it (never would have done 300 rounds in one day on the old single stage) and I went back to the Dillon taper crimp die as I noticed my Redding micrometer crimp die was causing a lot of roughness in the up stroke on the handle. I got much better results with only 5 empty station spots through the whole 100 rounds. It also seemed to make the powder drops more consistent with no jerkiness to the full stroke of the handle. Much happier now. Enough for tonight!

die_change.jpg

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Your Redding crimp die should be making no difference, it should only be contacting the loaded round for minimal travel at the bottom of the stroke. Also, the crimp die would have no bearing on case feeding.

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Your Redding crimp die should be making no difference, it should only be contacting the loaded round for minimal travel at the bottom of the stroke. Also, the crimp die would have no bearing on case feeding.

I doubt it made a difference except that it smoothed out the stroke on each up and down of the press stroke. My assumption is the smoother the press stroke the better the operation of the press...

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A couple of things I've found that affect the cases getting hung up on the slide arm/bush.

The little screw. I found adjusting it so that the arm over travels out a little helped.

Make sure the big red bush is seated square/flat. If the casefeeder is rotated a little it can be pulling that tube up on one side.

Make sure press is on a level bench and mounted firmly.

The final one is stroke (and possibly most crucial). I find if you are stroking the press very slowly that's when these hang ups are likely to happen. A faster more positive up and down stroke actually help the press run better. When we start out we are doing everything slowly. Try just running cases through if you like. But do a nice firm and quick up and down stroke. I bet it solves that last 5 in 100 hanging up.

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