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Just Set Up My RL1100 and Have Questions

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I just got my RL1100 set up and I'm getting most of the stations dialed in but this is my first press so I have a few of questions.


My press came with no dies so I went with non-Dillon dies.  The dies all bottom out on the shell plate but they're all nearly at the end of the threads so there's not much room for the lock nuts.  I assume this is normal but I wanted to make sure I'm not missing something.  I've got the Lee U die, Lyman M expander, Redding comp seater, Lee FCD.

At the end of the cycle the handle needs a light push back to complete the plate indexing?  I'm assuming again that this is normal but I don't have any other reference.
My Lee FCD contacts the ejector tab.  Is there any reason I can't just bend the tab back a little?
If I have a bunch of primers in the magazine, is there an easy way to clear them out of the magazine should I need to?  Or at least get it to stop feeding primers?  Same goes for the case feed tube.
Is this enough or too much case belling and crimping?
Any feedback is appreciated.
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Yeah, with Lee dies on Dillon tool heads there are more threads available on the underside.

It is not uncommon to put lock nuts on the underside in this situation.


Consider picking up some Dillon 1" lock nuts. They don't take up so much real estate on the tool head.


The ejector tab will be within a hair of the FCD but shouldn't contact it. I'm using a FCD on an 1100 and as far as I can tell the tab is very very close but does not actually contact it.


Primer feed: the primer feed will keep presenting the same primer until a case accepts it. Then the next in line will drop down and take its place.

Case feed: there are some aftermarket gizmos that will grab the case feed roller and hold the mechanism in a retracted position. You could probably cook up something similar.


For belling I usually go to at least 0.381 but try to keep it below about 0.385. This is somewhat dependent on your bullet and the brass. It takes a bit of experimentation.


For crimping I usually go from a minimum of 0.377 up to about 0.379. Again somewhat dependent. 


Those are ballpark numbers.


From the pics it looks like you've got more than enough belling. You may be able to back off on the crimp as well. What numbers are you getting from your calipers?

Edited by ddc
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With respect to indexing: On the back of the 1100 there is a screw and nut on the back of the frame that is a stop for the mechanism. You can accomplish some adjustments in indexing by adjusting that screw in or out.

One thing that can affect indexing is if the shell plate is too tight. Another thing is that if the index ball and/or the associated spring is gummed up.

Either situation can prevent the shell plate from indexing as far as it should.


With this being your first press there will be a bit of a learning curve but nothing someone with basic mechanical skills can't handle.


One thing to realize is that operating one of these presses no matter which model from whatever manufacturer will not be a one time "set it and forget" kind of operation. Once you get things dialed in it will run fine for maybe quite a while but eventually you will almost certainly have to tweak things to keep it running right.

Keeping it clean is important. Many problems go away when the offending mechanism is cleaned and lubricated.

I would hope that won't happen for a while with a new machine.

Edited by ddc
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I haven't run my 1050 manually for 3+ years, but as long as you have enough bell to avoid shaving the bullet you'll find the sweet spot where the bell "grabs" the bullet base and allows you to avoid tipping the bullet.  Of course this is more of a concern going 1800 rounds/hour with a Mark VII, but the 1050 can be manually run near that hard.

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I don't know why I didn't think of putting the lock nuts on the bottom.  Thanks for the tip.  I'll check out the Dillon lock nuts too. 


My crimp is at 0.3715 and my bell is about 0.384 so I'll dial them back a bit.  Are there official specs for these dimensions somewhere?


Thanks for all the feedback, @ddc @SnipTheDog @iflyskyhigh @RickT

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There are standards published by SAAMI which define cartridge and chamber dimensions.

The actual dimensions of factory ammo and factory chambers can vary a bit as adherence to those standards is voluntary.


My recollection is that the SAAMI spec for the case mouth on finished ammo (9x19, 9mm luger) is 0.380 but it's been a while since I checked.

There is no spec for belling as that is not part of any of the SAAMI definitions; that is just a number that we reloaders have to deal with.


If you have some factory ammo then measure the diameter right at the case mouth to get an idea of what factory crimps are set to.

I'll bet you'll find they will be a little less than 0.380.


Your bell of 0.384 does not seem as excessive as the picture would have led me to believe. The idea is to use the least amount of bell that allows the bullet to sit as RickT indicated.

The crimp of 0.3715 is much more than I typically use or typically see recommended. I think a crimp of around 0.376 is typically as far as you need to go. I seldom see anyone talking about crimping tighter than 0.375 and that only rarely. The numbers I mentioned earlier are fairly common suggestions.

As you can see you have a bit of leeway here; there is a range of what will work.


Of particular interest to you is what will work in your gun. Do a search on "plunk testing". If you get a load that "plunk tests" ok in your gun then that is half the battle.


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Everybody has a point. To make it simpler...the only die that should be lowered all the way to within a hair of the shell plate is the decapping/sizing die.  Do that one first.You want it to size as low as possible without hitting the shell plate.


The belling/powder feed die should be adjusted to give a bell of 0.010 to 0.012 greater than the unbelled diameter. The guy who said minimal to get the bullet inside without scraping the exterior of the bullet is right. Over belling does no good and can immediately or over the longer run crack brass lips.


The crimp die should be set to give a crimp diameter of 0.78 to o.79. Try to keep all the crimps within 0.77 to 0.80. Not all brass has the same wall thickness so sorting by headstamp is a good idea for consistency.  It's not that hard if you don't wait until last minute to load rounds. I'm loading 60-70K rounds per year and I sort brass by headstamp and only keep 6 brands.Sorting by headstamp also improves OAL consistency.


I hate the Lee lock nuts but doing as above will let you put them on top. You are better off using the Dillon lock nuts. 











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8 hours ago, Brooke said:

Everybody has a point

Thanks for the additional feedback.  I played around with the setup last night and was able to get it dialed in fairly close to the suggested numbers.  Hopefully I can get to the range this week to try them out.

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