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Dillion RL 550 B


Pappy1
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The other day while loading 45 APC,  I noticed some powder had spilled during my indexing. I really don't know what happen, But it was enough of powder to be concern. I had 10 rounds loaded so I decided to remove the bullets to check to see if there was any powder the cases. 2 cases did not have any powder. I can't quite figure out what had happen. One thing, I have a wrap around light. I think what could of happen was the the light  hit the powder arm linkage and may have caused the powder to be spilled. Just really strange., I usually watch every powder charge drop into the case, but sometimes your mind wanders about thinking about other stuff. I know for one thing it is so important to watch that powder drop into the case. And to make sure it looks like a consistent powder charge. I am glad that I caught it. Has anyone else ever dealt with a problem like this.

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There may have been some "contamination" in the powder measure.  I had that happen when a small piece of the styrofoam cap lining from the powder jug made its way into the measure and partially blocked the flow.

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53 minutes ago, Alan550 said:

There may have been some "contamination" in the powder measure.  I had that happen when a small piece of the styrofoam cap lining from the powder jug made its way into the measure and partially blocked the flow.

Thats interesting, I can see that happening. A while back I completely clean the press, lube, clean the primer mechanism. Everything worked great. I did talked to a friend of mine who has the same press. He mention that maybe the powder was stuck together and it did't make its way out into the shell case but spilled on the down stroke.. 

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3 hours ago, tires2burn said:

You could have weighed them. Good catch. Any time I have a problem I clear the plate and start over.

Not going there I cast bullets they vary to much from bullet to bullet.  Not taking a chance. 

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Weighing the round is the least productive way to find a squib. The brass varies a lot between head stamps. The bullet can vary greatly in weight. The only way to safely check is to break down the rounds. Don't cut corners on safety. The only thing you lose is time. 

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I pulled out at least 500 rounds and guess what. One case had no powder in it, it was empty. I am glad I checked, no short cuts on being safe. I surly don't want a gun blowing up in my hands. After getting everything back in order. I reloaded 500 rounds again.  But one thing for sure I never took my eye off that powder charge. I made sure every case had powder in it before the bullet was applied to the case.The press worked just fine this time.

  Lesson learn. Like I said in my post, I always try to make sure that the powder charge is in the case. Some times your mind wonders. I will make sure to try to keep my eye and my mind tune in when I reload next time. Never had a problem  after reloading for over 30 years. I plan to keep it that way.

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1 hour ago, Youngeyes said:

Weighing the round is the least productive way to find a squib. The brass varies a lot between head stamps. The bullet can vary greatly in weight. The only way to safely check is to break down the rounds. Don't cut corners on safety. The only thing you lose is time. 

Exactly. I've seen brass vary as much as 10 grains in weight. When you are only talking about 3.5 grains (or even 5-6grains)  of powder weight, it is virtually impossible to verify from weight alone whether a round has powder in it or not.

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27 minutes ago, GrumpyOne said:

Exactly. I've seen brass vary as much as 10 grains in weight. When you are only talking about 3.5 grains (or even 5-6grains)  of powder weight, it is virtually impossible to verify from weight alone whether a round has powder in it or not.

You guys are right. I have been loading some 300 BO and overlooked he was talking pistol rounds.

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weighing wont work with small charge weights.  but if your loading 223 and have 25 grains of charge you can find em that way.

 

Pappy what did you do with the cases you unloaded? did you resize them again? I pulled 100 45 last summer and loaded the cases again and found they all lacked sufficient tention and many of them the bullets could be pushed down easily. I had to check 2500 rounds to find all of the 100 i reloaded

 

I find with the 550 you have to be very focused, its easy to get out of sync and lose track especially in the first dozen or so rounds. I added a 650 with BF and CF so when I go back I notice this even more. Start slow and build speed once the rhythm is ingrained. If you have a thought "did I miss that last move?" clear the plate and put them in your pull box.

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make sure your measure doesn't have static in it that can sometimes make the powder bridge up wipe it with a bounce sheet to help get rid of it and check your powder make sure its not collecting moisture that to will cause powder to bridge up 

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1 hour ago, m700 said:

weighing wont work with small charge weights.  but if your loading 223 and have 25 grains of charge you can find em that way.

 

Pappy what did you do with the cases you unloaded? did you resize them again? I pulled 100 45 last summer and loaded the cases again and found they all lacked sufficient tention and many of them the bullets could be pushed down easily. I had to check 2500 rounds to find all of the 100 i reloaded

 

I find with the 550 you have to be very focused, its easy to get out of sync and lose track especially in the first dozen or so rounds. I added a 650 with BF and CF so when I go back I notice this even more. Start slow and build speed once the rhythm is ingrained. If you have a thought "did I miss that last move?" clear the plate and put them in your pull box.

To your question, I just ran the cases through the powder charge and skipped the first step re- sizing them. I always check the bullet crimp, If I recall, I never had a problem shooting the rounds before. I am sure I will find out some time this week but I surly don't think there will be a problem. I would like to move up to another press. It just that I have 3 tool heads and a little to much money in vested now.  The one thing I like about the other presses is that you have that extra stage for a powder checker.  I wished the 550 had that option. 

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1 hour ago, MRBerg said:

make sure your measure doesn't have static in it that can sometimes make the powder bridge up wipe it with a bounce sheet to help get rid of it and check your powder make sure its not collecting moisture that to will cause powder to bridge up 

Never thought of that. I recently did a lot of maintenance on the press. I always check that slid bar to make sure its functioning correctly. I also keep my press covered when not using it. I will wipe that down during the next time I reload.

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12 minutes ago, Pappy1 said:

Never thought of that. I recently did a lot of maintenance on the press. I always check that slid bar to make sure its functioning correctly. I also keep my press covered when not using it. I will wipe that down during the next time I reload.

You may want to view this classic thread on 550 tips and tricks!

 

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20 hours ago, Pappy1 said:

One thing, I have a wrap around light. I think what could of happen was the the light  hit the powder arm linkage and may have caused the powder to be spilled.

 


You’re thinking backwards.

 

If the failsafe rod isn’t fully cycled by the shellplate, the measure won’t drop any powder. This is designed to prevent a doublecharge: the two gold tabs on the powder measure which the rod sticks through? They have to be pulled fully downward by the rod in order to “reset” the measure. 
 

If your lighting system is interfering with that operation, we’ve probably found your squib. ;) 

 

Edited by MemphisMechanic
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  • 1 month later...

I use a gooseneck lamp over the press and look at every case after the powder drop and before seating a bullet. And have never in 30 or so years with the same 55OB had a squib.

Trust your eyes with good light. 
Don’t be rushed. It’s not a race. 
Don’t be distracted.

Most important for this and most of life’s endeavors ... don’t be stupid. 
 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎4‎/‎8‎/‎2020 at 7:53 PM, Pappy1 said:

I pulled out at least 500 rounds and guess what. One case had no powder in it, it was empty. I am glad I checked, no short cuts on being safe. I surly don't want a gun blowing up in my hands. After getting everything back in order. I reloaded 500 rounds again.  But one thing for sure I never took my eye off that powder charge. I made sure every case had powder in it before the bullet was applied to the case.The press worked just fine this time.

  Lesson learn. Like I said in my post, I always try to make sure that the powder charge is in the case. Some times your mind wonders. I will make sure to try to keep my eye and my mind tune in when I reload next time. Never had a problem  after reloading for over 30 years. I plan to keep it that way.

 

Thanks for posting your experience.

 

It's something to keep in mind.      It's easy to get distracted.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/8/2020 at 3:14 PM, Alan550 said:

There may have been some "contamination" in the powder measure.  I had that happen when a small piece of the styrofoam cap lining from the powder jug made its way into the measure and partially blocked the flow.

This/\

 

I personally don't trust weighing loaded rounds, especially with mixed brass loads. To his own but not me FWIW.

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What powder were you using OP? I've had some episodes of powder bridging in Dillon powder funnels. Once the problem was caused by a few grains of really fine ball powder figuring out a way to jam between the powder funnel and the powder die. In another, I had ball powder cause a micro-momentary hang up in the powder measures slide travel. By the time the powder dropped, the case wasn't there anymore. Then there was the time the bushing in my powder measures pivot arm broke and gave me a number of late drops, some of them sort of trickled out. That was a pain to figure out.

 

So many possibilities

Edited by anachronism
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