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Best Dillon press upgrades?


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I think owning a Dillon press is like owning a Harley. Lots of opinions and attitudes and they are vending machines for upgrades and accessories. Done both.

 

While cruising the YouTube videos for set-up information I've run across multiple videos that included some upgrades and accessories, some really great, some not so sure. I thought it would make a worthwhile topic to share some of the best improvements/upgrades/accessories loaders have either found or come up with for them selves. Seems most of the upgrades available are one man shops but from what I've experienced so far, pretty reputable with good service. I have no stake in any of these endouvers but I also own a small eCommerce based company and can relate to what it takes and can appreciate a good job. I like to support the entrepreneurs and small shops when possible so willing to give a shout out to some of the better ones I've found. Let's hear what others have found and opinions.

 

Inline Fabrication:  https://inlinefabrication.com/

I've bought a bunch of stuff from Dan and his service and products have been excellent. Lots to check out and worthwhile. Highly recommend.

 

Dillon Upgrades:  https://dillonupgrades.com/

Have his live primmer catcher and love it. The piece of masking tape on the ski-jump was a PIA. Haven't tried his spent primmer catcher YET but probably will. 3D printed stuff but really nice work.

 

Snowshooze on eBay. No site I know of, just  have to search for Snowshooze.

He has several upgrades that are excellent. I bought the  "Grand Slam" kt as I was interested in all the stuff he had. The two product he has than I have not seen anywhere else are his primmer stop switch and case feed stop switch. LOVE THEM! When I'm working on ladder loads I'll load twenty to thirty rounds and then have to shut down and go through all the powder weight test for the next load. LOVE being able to shut off the cases and primmers while I work on my set-up. The rest of the products were were very good, high quality, the only one I'm not sure about is the low mass detente ball and spring. Seemed like it wasn't as positive of an index as the steel ball so I switched back.

 

Dram Worx:  https://dramworx.com/products/dillon/

Pyrex powder hoppers. Have one on order, haven't received it yet but received a shipping confirmation within an hour of placing the order. One man operation, we'll find out if the glass helps with static in the powder hopper.

 

I know there are more but these are the ones I can think of off hand. Would love to hear from others about what they've found or your own tricks.

Time to share.

 

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Armanov

Plus there is some other eBayitems


I have quite a few.
Snowshooze grandslam
Spent primer shoot
Original primer fix(bottle instead of ski jump
Inline light
Bulletfeeder

One of my favorites was cutting a hole in loads case bin so loads drop into 6 qt bin

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

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I've tested various upgrades on my 3 650's and 3 550's and found most unnecessary. This is mostly personal but I find most upgrades not essential. There are a few useful ones but most are not necessary.

 

Don't get me wrong, if you like your upgrades and they accomplish the intended goals, all the power to you!

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15 hours ago, Gomar83 said:

UniqueTek I love the spent primer chute for the 550 is a excellent upgrade!

 

I'll have to check into this - I didn't realize that primers were made from brass and therefore recyclable, although for no more than I shoot, filling a 2 liter bottle is going to take some time. Still, that's better than simply throwing them away.  So far, I'm not sure I've had any issues with the primer catch cup - I'll pay closer attention to it the next time I reload.

 

A couple of upgrades I think I'd like to get are the powder measure quick disconnect, and the Inline Fabrication lighting system.  I've already got the Inline Fabrication Ultramount, which to me seems to be sturdier than the Strong Mount, although I kind of wish that it had the holes that the Strong Mount has for various add-on accessories.  The top plate I got for the Ultramount has a little ledge on the left with 4 holes to mount the bullet tray, and that seems to work really well, or at least it does for my makeshift bullet tray.

 

A couple of other upgrades I have is the aluminum roller handle, (thinking about maybe getting the Inline Fabrication ergo roller handle) I made a pretty nifty tool head stand for 6 tool heads, and I cobbled together a makeshift bullet tray, but I think I'm going to get the genuine bullet tray for Christmas.

 

Side note on my "bullet tray" - I had an upgrade in service with my Verizon internet, so they came and installed new hardware and a new box where the line comes into the house.  They just tossed the old box, which had a snap-on molded plastic cover.  I cut that cover down to about 1" high, smoothed off any sharp edges with fine sandpaper, and then painted it Rust-Oleum "Oasis Blue" before drilling the holes to mount it to the top plate.   It's not as nice as the genuine cast aluminum and powdercoated bullet tray from Dillon, but it will certainly get the job done.

 

Edited by trickg
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Some of us are familiar with several of the upgrades / options mentioned, others are not. For those that can, photos of some of the modifications would be helpful. One example, the live primer accessories is a very small plastic bottle that screws under the press and catches the primers rather than have them decorate the floor. I'll try and get some photos of my add-ons but might take couple days considering my schedule.

 

m700: I'm familiar with the modification you mentioned, others might not have any idea. Pictures would help.

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13 hours ago, RGA said:

I've tested various upgrades on my 3 650's and 3 550's and found most unnecessary. This is mostly personal but I find most upgrades not essential. There are a few useful ones but most are not necessary.

 

Don't get me wrong, if you like your upgrades and they accomplish the intended goals, all the power to you!

 

Enquiring minds want to know what you've found useful.  Are you keeping those secret or just like making snarky remarks while bragging about your harem of presses?

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On the 550 the spent primer chute is very useful.  I think mine are from Uniquetek  http://uniquetek.com/product/T1346-550

I made my own primer slide extension years ago, but now you can buy them on Ebay  https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dillon-550B-C-Primer-Track-Bearing-Plate-W-Ball-Bearing-/231783630462

I prefer the KMS Squared UFO light for my 550's over the Inline Fabrication Skylight although I have both I generally don't put the Skylight into the press because the UFO provides enough light  https://kmssquared.com/ufo550.html

 

On the 650, I sold it and bought another 1050.

 

On the 1050's I use the Reloading Innovations Starlight light system, only downside is it mounts to the toolhead so you need one for each toolhead.  https://reloadinginnovations.com/products/dillon-1050-press-lighting-kit

I made my own primer chute using a .223 case stuffed into the primer hole in the press.  I cut off the case head and rim, then used some pink (I think it started out red, but it's so old it turned pink) tubing to an old empty 700x 8 pound metal keg.  I've had to empty the keg twice. 

I really like the Entirely Crimson power measure disconnect on the 1050, but don't use it on the 550 because I just remove the entire toolhead. https://entirelycrimson.com/products/quick-disconnect-for-dillon-powder-alarm-1?variant=23047842758737

I also have a case feed stop from CSWA that I really like.  When not in use it clips to the case feed tube.   https://cpwsa.com/collections/670-2156-dillon-rl1050-super-1050-case-feed-stop.html

 

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1 hour ago, Ming the Merciless said:

 

I prefer the KMS Squared UFO light for my 550's over the Inline Fabrication Skylight although I have both I generally don't put the Skylight into the press because the UFO provides enough light  https://kmssquared.com/ufo550.html

 

 

I've got the KMS light as well and really like it. It's worth buying the complete kit IMO, as you'll spend just as much for the power adapter somewhere else, and the KMS unit comes with a handy switch. 

 

On my 550 I installed a washer in the shellplate indexer that's made from teflon-impregnated bearing bronze; it was only about $1 from McMaster Carr and made the indexer a little more consistent. It seems to give the same effect as the roller bearing upgrades but doesn't require any modification to the indexer. I could look up the part number if anyone wants it. 

 

I've machined some precision toolheads that are an exact fit to the press for rifle accuracy loads, but don't think it's really worthwhile for most pistol ammo. 

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Yondering:  How does the diameter of the bronze washer match up to the diameter of the shell plate bolt?  Picked up a similar bronze washer through Snowshooze with some of his other stuff and washer is a perfect match to the bolt head. Doubt he's making his own so he could possibly be getting them from the same place.

 

Ming: Thanks for the links, this is the kind of info I was hoping we could share!

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On 10/9/2019 at 6:21 PM, DIYguy said:

Yondering:  How does the diameter of the bronze washer match up to the diameter of the shell plate bolt?  Picked up a similar bronze washer through Snowshooze with some of his other stuff and washer is a perfect match to the bolt head. Doubt he's making his own so he could possibly be getting them from the same place.

 

 

It's pretty much an exact fit (1/2") on the ID, and slightly larger than the bolt head on the OD but still a loose drop-in fit in the indexer. 

I used this one, McMaster Carr part #7421K4: https://www.mcmaster.com/7421k4

 

Edit - my mistake earlier, I wrote 5/8" which is incorrect.

Edited by Yondering
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Inlinefabrication and range panda’s 3d printing are my go to places for press upgrades. They have stuff for non Dillon presses also and prices are very reasonable. The locator pin tabs, powder thrower adjustment knobs, primer tube holders, plastic bin dams, and the light kits are amazing.

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Inline Fabrication has some pretty nice stuff - before all is said and done, I'll have a couple more of their products, but particularly their lighting setup - that seems to be a pretty nice addition to a 550 press.

 

Edit:  Never mind about the Inline fabrication lighting kit - I think I'm going to go with the KMS UFO lighting setup - I just looked up lighting systems, and the KMS setup throws a ton of light!

Edited by trickg
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1 hour ago, trickg said:

Edit:  Never mind about the Inline fabrication lighting kit - I think I'm going to go with the KMS UFO lighting setup - I just looked up lighting systems, and the KMS setup throws a ton of light!

 

Yes it really does! This is mine with the KMS light. (The LEDs are not visible from a normal loading position, this is just the angle of the camera.)

DIYguy, you can see the bearing bronze washer under the shellplate bolt head:

 

jaiPcYal.jpg

Edited by Yondering
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On 10/9/2019 at 11:55 PM, Ming the Merciless said:

Enquiring minds want to know what you've found useful.  Are you keeping those secret or just like making snarky remarks while bragging about your harem of presses?

 

😇 

 

Ok fair enough, you got me.

 

The ones I kept are the clamped Whidden toolheads (with floating dies for rifle calibers), the live primer shut off (for the 650), live primer catcher (650), case feeder shut off (650), and roller handles. And I like the Uniquetek micrometers for the powder measures.

 

 

Edited by RGA
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Yondering:  Looks like you have the 550, I have the 650. I purchased my bushing from Snowshooze on eBay as part of the shell plate set which includes a new spring, low mass detente ball and the lubricated bronze bushing. As mentioned earlier n the post I took the low mas ball and spring out and put the original back in. I didn't thing I was getting as positive of an index stop with the low mass. Picture of the bushing on the plate below.

 

Dillon_xl650-plate_washer.jpg

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One of the early upgrades I install and VERY glad I did was the replacement for the live primmer ski jump.

On 10/8/2019 at 3:32 PM, DIYguy said:

Dillon Upgrades:  https://dillonupgrades.com/

Have his live primmer catcher and love it. The piece of masking tape on the ski-jump was a PIA. Haven't tried his spent primmer catcher YET but probably will. 3D printed stuff but really nice work.

For those not familiar, here's what the live primmer catcher looks like.

 

dillon_xl650_liveprimer_bottle.jpg

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Part of the "Grand Slam" upgrade kit from Snowshooze on eBay is the casing rod with a roller bearing and the part I REALLY like, the casing feed shutoff. The top portion of the casing block slides back and locks in place to stop feeding casings. When I'm doing change over or setup I LOVE this option. I use to have to manually remove each case that dropped when checking powder weights for ladder loads. Very worthwhile upgrade.

 

dillonxl650_snowshooz_upgrades.jpg

Edited by DIYguy
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One of the other upgrades that was part of the "Grand Slam" was the primmer stop switch. This was the other upgrade as part of the package that I really wanted.

 

In the photo I'm set up for case prep and have the Dillon RT 1500 case trimmer setup so my skylight won't fit. The primmer stop replace the normal primmer block and slides to the left and locks in place to deactivate the primmer advancement arm. Very cool, works great.

 

dillonxl650_snowshooz_upgrades2.jpg

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On 10/9/2019 at 3:17 PM, DIYguy said:

Some of us are familiar with several of the upgrades / options mentioned, others are not. For those that can, photos of some of the modifications would be helpful. One example, the live primer accessories is a very small plastic bottle that screws under the press and catches the primers rather than have them decorate the floor. I'll try and get some photos of my add-ons but might take couple days considering my schedule.

 

m700: I'm familiar with the modification you mentioned, others might not have any idea. Pictures would help.

 

 

Sorry Im at work but Basically i mean that if you cut a hole in the bottom of the small finished cartridge bin, and you have room on the bench the finished cases will drop into the bin and fall through the bottom into a larger bin. My bins holds about 1500 9mm and its what i use to store ammo until its sorted into match/target. Before this I would stop what i was doing every 200 rounds or so and empty into the same bin.

 

-Snow shooze grand slam kit is a great kit. I would buy it again, it makes the press smoother. and I think it would be very annoying to not be able to stop primer flow.

-I have the bottle catch for the primers and I do like that, accept for when I have to change primer size.

- I have aluminum spent primer adapter hooked up to 8 lb jug on 650 and I drilled and tapped my 550's bin to do the same

-Inline fabrication light kit is great I have the newer one on my 650 and the old one on my 550. the newer one has a light strip added to the inside of the press facing away from you. it does a better job of filling.

-Dillons parts are well made I have roller handles on both , strong mounts, bullet trays I though I would regret the 650 bullet tray considering I bought bulletfeeder, but It always has stuff in it. parts for caliber swap  a few spare bullets or primed cases etc plus its ware I keep my hand

 

I haven't really came across anything didn't like but the only things i couldn't live without are the primer switch/ lighting/ spent primer chute

 

Next time I run through my 223 prepped brass stash I will probably pick up an armanov swage kit for the 650

 

 

 

Edited by m700
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  • 2 months later...

On the 650. If your loading 9major or a round with a high powder charge I would recommend the pins called “spill stop” from  reloading innovations. It basically spins the case into place instead of the sudden stop and having spilled powder.......and I understand that is mainly my error on not being consistent on the handle. 

 

Also thw loght kit from inline fabrication is fantastic 

BBB86EF5-7675-41D8-9A2B-C025E883D2E2.jpeg

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