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FromDust

New xl650. Wanting zero runout.

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Just received a new xl650, and I’m currently loading for a precision 224 Valkyrie. I want to buy equipment to get me the least possible runout, but I don’t know where to start. 

Should I get a floating tool head? Should I get a mandrel die? Is it possible to use a Forster ultra seating die with a floating tool head?

i don’t want to turn necks if I don’t have to, so a mandrel die seems like a good choice. However, I think that would mean getting a separate tool head for the resizing process, which I feel kind of defeats the purpose of the 650. If I got a floating tool head, I’ve read sizing does with a floating stem don’t work very well. Would I then use my standard does?

no one I know has ever used a progressive for rifles, and I’ve only worked with my rock chucker. I’m in the dark and slightly overwhelmed. Please. For the love of guns....help

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Posted (edited)

Hi FromDust,

 

It is kind of an ongoing project and sport for me trying to load the most concentric/consistent/accurate ammunition (.223, .308 and 6BR) as possible on Dillon 550's and 650's. I've tried several methods and tools over the last decade and this is what works best for me (on a 650). I do not neck turn my brass (mostly Lapua)

 

1) Clamp the toolhead and float the dies (I prefer the Whidden floating toolheads and Uniquetek clamp kit).

2) Forster FL sizing dies with expander ball installed produce less run out than any other FL dies I tried and also less than using a seperate mandrel for expansion.

3) Forster seaters work very well on the Dillon toolhead, no problems floating them either. Same goes for the much more expensive Redding comp seaters.

 

If believe that the Dillon powder measure is the limiting factor if you are looking for the best consistency for medium to long range shooting. Most serious (competition) shooters weigh their individual charges for 600 and beyond.

 

Fwiw, long range champ John Whidden uses a Dillon 650 (sans the powder measure) and there are several others who use (slightly modified) Dillon 550's like living legend D. Tubb.

 

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2018/07/243-winchester-the-forgotten-long-range-cartridge/

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mmk8tv8yrk7vii7/12.23.15-Dillon-Prometheus-Article.pdf?dl=0

 

I hope this helps.

Edited by RGA

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With trimming and all that is involved with rifle reloading, including lubing before sizing and removing that lube before loading, I don't see any other way than to use two heads; one for processing, and one for loading.

 

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I agree with RiggerJJ on that one.

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If you want "zero" runout, the two steps you need to consider are sizing and seating. Don't pull your cases through a sizing die button and fully support the bullet while seating in a floating type setup so the bullet and case can align during the seating process. Neck turning is about neck tension and not about alignment. If your weapon is a gas gun/AR platform, the act of feeding can cause some alignment issues but it is unlikely that bullet alignment is that big of a deal. Anneal your brass for neck tension... play with seating depth... don't try to push the load too hard and use a powder measure like a redding master for more consistent powder throws. The 650 is a perfectly good press for alignment 99% of the time. If your going for real precision then loose the AR/gas gun platform and use a Forster A-Max, don't full length resize and weigh everything out individually. Precision is about preparation not assembly. You wont achieve zero runout consistently on a progressive press ever. A few rounds here or there... yes... every time ? No way.

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........Forster A-Max?? I guess you are referring to the Co-Ax.....

 

😉

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LOL.... yes.. that is correct.... somehow in my geriatric fog I confused bullets with presses. Thanks for the correction. It could be worse though... we could be discussing toothbrushes and toilet brushes,

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47 minutes ago, dirtdarte said:

LOL.... yes.. that is correct.... somehow in my geriatric fog I confused bullets with presses. Thanks for the correction. It could be worse though... we could be discussing toothbrushes and toilet brushes,

🤣

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In addition to the great advice above, I've found that a sizing die with a "floating" expander that expands after the neck is completely pulled out of the neck-sizing area of your die is a big part of the solution - such as the Forster, but other brands can be modified. Additionally, using one of the VLD chamfering tools will also help when looking for better bullet alignment. Wilson has been doing that on their inside neck reamers for decades, and it really helps.

As far as using your 650, I'd resize as a separate operation; then check for case length (cases stretch during sizing), concentricity, etc. Then run them back through the 650 without a sizing die for the rest of your operation. 

As always, YMMV. Good luck.

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After reading the article at this link a while back -https://www.dropbox.com/s/mmk8tv8yrk7vii7/12.23.15-Dillon-Prometheus-Article.pdf?dl=0 

it really opened my eyes as to the ability of the 550 - I run a 650, but I think a lot of what is in that article could be done on the 650 as well.

I haven't ventured down that road yet but might later this season. I will still be weighting out charges on a separate powder drop though. Note that they are sizing and loading in one process/toolhead. I would think that the possibility of sizing and loading in one run would be determined somewhat by bolt or gas. Gas needing more sizing, which means more case stretching, which means more trimming.

 

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The interesting thing to me about this discussion is the OP's desire to produce zero runout to increase accuracy. The assumption being that a perfectly strait cartridge will sit in the chamber perfectly strait. This revels a fundamental misunderstanding of what the actual mechanism is that allows alignment of the cartridge in the chamber to the bore of the rifle. Sure, a zero runout round of ammunition will contribute to accuracy, however, that goal should be considered a secondary priority to the fundamental imperative of proper sizing to allow proper alignment to begin with.  The case headspace's off the shoulder. A properly sized case will naturally align in the chamber provided the case isn't over-sized (shoulder pushed back too far) and the bolt can close on the cartridge. As long as your rifle is built correctly (strait, square etc) alignment problems wont be a problem. With a gas gun (semi-auto) it is necessary to size to factory spec (or close to it) to allow feeding/chambering. A major limiting factor with a gas gun.  You must work within the limitations of your platform. A progressive press is a ammunition assembly machine. If you move the precision reloading steps off the progressive press and use it (the progressive press) as a assembly tool, you can assemble extremely accurate ammunition. 550...650...both are great. As far as powder and a progressive... in most cases it's simply not going to matter if you use a powder that flows well. The benchrest guys load by VOLUME not weight,... and frequently load at the shooting bench during the match... that should send a message. A smooth flowing powder through the powder measure will give you very good consistency. If you find you need more, you wont be using a progressive press anyway... you'll be further down the road at that point.

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I've gone down this road a while ago (run-out of ammo) but never used a progressive for the test. Gotta give it to you on trying with the progressive though. I'm more of a 600 yard Benchrest shooter and don't go through tons of ammo during a session so my needs are different than yours.

 

I do have a 6.5 Grendel set up as an expensive 600 yard Benchrest toy and was pretty successful it getting it to be consistent (I still have it, but haven't played with it in years). Other than tuning the rifle, my main headaches in ammo was making my powder charges exact. There's a whole bunch of stuff going on in an AR when it goes boom and making the boom part the same made to bullets land closest to each other. Make no mistake, the other parts of loading were the same too, but I didn't worry about spinning my loaded rounds on the expensive contraption anymore (NECO tool for me). Not saying you shouldn't though.

 

Again, I give you a thumbs up on the challenge. My shooting partner said it best when he said AR's are like high priced whores, no matter how much money you spend on them, they'll always break your heart.

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