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550 w/ Casefeeder Owners Poll

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I'm thinking Dillon's Casefeeder for the 550 has been in the field long enough to get some good feedback on it.

On the "how happy you are with it" - I'm looking for an overall impression of quality, installation, and function - if you are glad you bought it.

Also, if you are loading more than one caliber with it, does the speed increase from it justify the additional time required to change calibers.

And the other thing I'm particularly interested in is the rounds/hour increase.

My initial vibe was that it wouldn't provide the speed increase like it would on a 650, because of the 650's auto-indexing. But when talking with Jason (one of the testers) at Dillon, he said the 550's manual indexing really didn't slow him down that much at all.

Thanks in advance for helping current and future Dillon owners make the right decsions.

be

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Initial setup was a bit tricky, but after that it ran fine for the most part. Had some problems with cases tipping in the slide mechanism and I'd have to back up a bit on the handle to get them straight enough to enter the shell plate. Increase in production was about 150/hr, and it's well worth the money to speed things up that much.

Manual indexing isn't a problem, as I do that with my left hand just before placing the bullet. No reason to let go of the handle really makes it easier to get some speed out of this old work-horse of a press. I got the press in the mid 80's and added the casefeed not long after they came out. The press already had over 50,000 rounds loaded on it and it's still running like the Energizer Bunny! :cheers:

Alan~^~

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Initial setup was a bit tricky, but after that it ran fine for the most part. Had some problems with cases tipping in the slide mechanism and I'd have to back up a bit on the handle to get them straight enough to enter the shell plate. Increase in production was about 150/hr, and it's well worth the money to speed things up that much.

Manual indexing isn't a problem, as I do that with my left hand just before placing the bullet. No reason to let go of the handle really makes it easier to get some speed out of this old work-horse of a press. I got the press in the mid 80's and added the casefeed not long after they came out. The press already had over 50,000 rounds loaded on it and it's still running like the Energizer Bunny! :cheers:

Alan~^~

I agree with Alan. Loading 40's has been a breeze...9mm not so much. It took some real tweaking to get it running right with them.

Not only does the casefeeder save time but for me it just saves on the confusion factor. I now can keep my eye on the powder loads much better since my right hand stays on the handle. I simply verify the powder drop, index and place a bullet on. Before I always felt like I was missing something and had to always double check. (then again I am Sloooow) :roflol:

The caliber change over is a breeze. Not really a factor in my opinion. It takes maybe 30 seconds to remove and replace the tube and slide.

Round count - with the 40's I would have to say it has almost doubled for me. I can flat out fly loading them. The 9mm's...maybe a 1/3 more as I continue to have to reset as they enter the base plate. A steady and smooth speed seems to help but for some reason it just acts up from time to time.

Edited by Bigpops

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Thanks for all the votes everyone!

Bigpops -

Depending on when you got your Casefeeder, I know Dillon made some improvements to it after it was released specifically for 9mm. So if you got an earlier one - maybe contact Dillon if your haven't already.

be

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I bought My 550 with the case feeder and had moved up from an 80's era Lyman turret press. I like the casefeeder a LOT. As Alan said, manual indexing isn't a problem. I pick up a bullet on the downstroke, after seating the primer I index and place the new bullet.

The few problems I've had have been minor. A few jams every now and then.

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Initial setup can be a little tricky. My problem was cases coming partway out of the shellplate and getting crunched by the size die. Or to keep them from getting crunched, reaching in and pushing them back in each time. This was happening every 2nd or 3rd case. When it's doing

that, it's a lot slower than no case feed. Eventually I got it working fairly well, tho it still does it about every 20 rounds or so. Maybe a

paperclip type spring like it has without a case feed would fix that. I could go a lot faster if I didn't have to watch out for those. It's

a nice convenience item. Overall I like it. It probably adds 100 rounds an hour to the speed.

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Thanks for all the votes everyone!

Bigpops -

Depending on when you got your Casefeeder, I know Dillon made some improvements to it after it was released specifically for 9mm. So if you got an earlier one - maybe contact Dillon if your haven't already.

be

BE,

Thank you! I did not know that and I will contact Dillon.

What I really want to do is set up a new 1050 for 9mm only. Since mama is loving this sport she is going through 9mm like kids go through M&M's. I almost have her sold on the idea so expect an order soon. I just have to learn that Wife Jedi Mind Trick (WJMT) where they convince you it was your idea! :roflol:

BP

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I had some issues with mine not pushing the case in. It would tip the case slightly forward so when it retracted the case would tip back a bit and some would smash into the resizing die. What I did was increase the travel of the ram by milling out another 1/8 in of the track... this let the ram move forward a bit more, and even though the case was tipped, it had a chance to push fully into the shell plate. After I did that there were no more issues with 9mm hitting the resize die. I also cut the tube a bit so there is a gap of 1/4 between the tube the the green plastic piece below it, This allows me to lift up and tip out the green piece when I get a 40 case in there or a piece of media. I just lift up and tip out, dump the offending brass/media and then slip it back in. That way I don't have to rip stuff apart, nor do I have to be hyper vigilant about not getting a 40 in the hopper.

Edited by JThompson

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JT,

Any chance you could post a picture of your green tube modification? I think I understand what your saying....but a picture sure would help.

Thanks,

BP

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JT,

Any chance you could post a picture of your green tube modification? I think I understand what your saying....but a picture sure would help.

Thanks,

BP

pops.jpg

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To Brian's Q:

I load twice as many with the case feeder depending on how fast I feel like going. I slowed way down from what I used to do. I really like to "feel" every round and I think you need to go at a metered pace to do so. I can tell a lot about the piece of brass on resize. I don't presort the stuff, so I've learned to "feel" if it's something I want to load or even seat a primer in on resize. You can't do that going as fast as you can. It would be less of an issue for some, but I used every piece of crap I find. I must be doing something right because I rarely ever haver an issue.

I give the casefeeder a 90% mark, and with the tweak I did to mine I give it a 99%. I have a couple ideas online for it as well, so I don't want to talk about the areas I think can be improved.

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Thanks for all the votes everyone!

Bigpops -

Depending on when you got your Casefeeder, I know Dillon made some improvements to it after it was released specifically for 9mm. So if you got an earlier one - maybe contact Dillon if your haven't already.

be

BE,

Thank you! I did not know that and I will contact Dillon.

What I really want to do is set up a new 1050 for 9mm only. Since mama is loving this sport she is going through 9mm like kids go through M&M's. I almost have her sold on the idea so expect an order soon. I just have to learn that Wife Jedi Mind Trick (WJMT) where they convince you it was your idea! :roflol:

BP

There ye go. It's definitely my fault!

:)

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The only complaint I have with the 550 Casefeeder is trying to load a caliber without the setup for the caliber. With the feed mechanism in place its very hard to use the press manually until you get the correct slide and feed guide. Now I just have to order the parts to convert mine to large case since I have gone back to 45s.

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I just got my casefeeder last week from Brian along with caliber conversions, dies, etc. for 9 mm. After reading the set-up instructions and all the posts I could find on this Forum, I had my 550 set-up and running in about 2 hours including setting up a new toolhead, changing primer system and installing the casefeed assy.. I couldn't be happier with this purchase!

The casefeeder has worked flawlessly. The only mis-feeds I have had with it have been when a couple .380 auto cases found their way into the hopper full of 9 mm. Those don't work so well! I've loaded a thousand rounds with it so far.

I've had 2 problems with my 550 w/casefeeder set-up. The first is that after loading thousands of rounds without it, my muscle memory is so ingrained that I can't make myself leave my right hand on the handle. I keep trying to grab a case to insert in station one! The second problem which is keeping me from going faster is that I keep watching the cases fall down the plastic tube and then watch the plunger push a case into position. I guess I better practice some more. Maybe some dry firing!

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I had one, and subsequently sold it.

I purchased a case feeder about 6 months after they were released, and when it worked, it worked great, but more often than not, I was trying to make it work.

I was using it for 9mm, and for some reason, the cases would either get hung up on the aluminum feed ramp, or they wouldn't seat into the shell plate all the way. both instances resulted in many many crushed cases. Dillon sent me everything from new feed ramps, to an entire new shellplate platform for my 550, and it never did get up and running very well.

This was the one time I was sorely dissapointed with Dillon and felt that I had wasted my money. When it would properly work however, it gave a great improvment in load rate, so much so, that when I sold it, I bought a 650 with a casefeeder and I have never regretted it.

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I just got my casefeeder last week from Brian along with caliber conversions, dies, etc. for 9 mm. After reading the set-up instructions and all the posts I could find on this Forum, I had my 550 set-up and running in about 2 hours including setting up a new toolhead, changing primer system and installing the casefeed assy.. I couldn't be happier with this purchase!

The casefeeder has worked flawlessly. The only mis-feeds I have had with it have been when a couple .380 auto cases found their way into the hopper full of 9 mm. Those don't work so well! I've loaded a thousand rounds with it so far.

I've had 2 problems with my 550 w/casefeeder set-up. The first is that after loading thousands of rounds without it, my muscle memory is so ingrained that I can't make myself leave my right hand on the handle. I keep trying to grab a case to insert in station one! The second problem which is keeping me from going faster is that I keep watching the cases fall down the plastic tube and then watch the plunger push a case into position. I guess I better practice some more. Maybe some dry firing!

Try this to improve speed and consistency. As you are picking up a bullet to set on the next case, peripherally, locate the bullet you will pick up next. Then look right at the case mouth where you are going to set the bullet (in your hand). As soon as it's in place, your vision will go right back to the next bullet you already located peripherally. And repeat.

I had one, and subsequently sold it.

I purchased a case feeder about 6 months after they were released, and when it worked, it worked great, but more often than not, I was trying to make it work.

I was using it for 9mm, and for some reason, the cases would either get hung up on the aluminum feed ramp, or they wouldn't seat into the shell plate all the way. both instances resulted in many many crushed cases. Dillon sent me everything from new feed ramps, to an entire new shellplate platform for my 550, and it never did get up and running very well.

This was the one time I was sorely dissapointed with Dillon and felt that I had wasted my money. When it would properly work however, it gave a great improvment in load rate, so much so, that when I sold it, I bought a 650 with a casefeeder and I have never regretted it.

I'm sorry to hear that Jeff. It sounds like you missed out on this.

be

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Brian: Could you talk Dillon into making a case feeder for the Square Deal B? I know they would sell a ton of these. I was going to look at making one but I ended up selling my SDB to a friend to help him out. Thanks, Eric

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I own two, one for my small primer machine, and one for my large. On my .45 set up, I love it. It increases the load rate a ton by not having to take my right hand off the handle. On the other machine, 38 special and 38 Super (taller cases) tend to tip out like JT was saying and end up getting nicked by the resizing die. It seems to have its good days and its bad days, almost like the primer feed bar. All in all, a good add on, but if I had it to do again, I'd buy two 650s with casefeeders.

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I had some issues with mine not pushing the case in. It would tip the case slightly forward so when it retracted the case would tip back a bit and some would smash into the resizing die. What I did was increase the travel of the ram by milling out another 1/8 in of the track... this let the ram move forward a bit more, and even though the case was tipped, it had a chance to push fully into the shell plate. After I did that there were no more issues with 9mm hitting the resize die. I also cut the tube a bit so there is a gap of 1/4 between the tube the the green plastic piece below it, This allows me to lift up and tip out the green piece when I get a 40 case in there or a piece of media. I just lift up and tip out, dump the offending brass/media and then slip it back in. That way I don't have to rip stuff apart, nor do I have to be hyper vigilant about not getting a 40 in the hopper.

JT-

Mind posting a pic of your modified track? Any problems with the ram not retracting fast enough?

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I'm thinking Dillon's Casefeeder for the 550 has been in the field long enough to get some good feedback on it.

On the "how happy you are with it" - I'm looking for an overall impression of quality, installation, and function - if you are glad you bought it.

Also, if you are loading more than one caliber with it, does the speed increase from it justify the additional time required to change calibers.

And the other thing I'm particularly interested in is the rounds/hour increase.

My initial vibe was that it wouldn't provide the speed increase like it would on a 650, because of the 650's auto-indexing. But when talking with Jason (one of the testers) at Dillon, he said the 550's manual indexing really didn't slow him down that much at all.

Thanks in advance for helping current and future Dillon owners make the right decsions.

be

Not to hard to set up. Really speeds loading up. I have used mine for 9mm 38spec and 38 short colt and have had very few problems. I wish they had come out with it a lot sooner.

Jim

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I had some initial setup issues. Once I got things figured out I like it a lot. No more looking for a case while checking the powder level. It's a simplier process now. I use mine for 10mm and 9mm. As far as the idea of modding the green piece to get .40 out, I don't find clearing a jam that hard. I was able to load 100rds at a 550rd a hour rate. The casefeeder makes it a lot easier to maintain that type of speed with out tiring as fast.

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I own two, one for my small primer machine, and one for my large. On my .45 set up, I love it. It increases the load rate a ton by not having to take my right hand off the handle. On the other machine, 38 special and 38 Super (taller cases) tend to tip out like JT was saying and end up getting nicked by the resizing die. It seems to have its good days and its bad days, almost like the primer feed bar. All in all, a good add on, but if I had it to do again, I'd buy two 650s with casefeeders.

Had a revelation tonight... After crushing another valuable 38 Super case, I noticed that the obvious cause of the problem was the ridge between the shellplate and the aluminum adapter that comes with the dillon casefeeder adapter. I had tried blending the seam between the two before with a dremel and sandpaper, and it helped, but not enough. So I figured I'd try another approach and shim the aluminum adapter from underneath to try and get them to line up better. I cut a playing card up into a few small rectangles, and added them under the adapter until the seam was just about even. I loaded another 300-400 rounds without a glitch, when previously I had been nicking the case mouths every couple dozen rounds. I was so pleased with myself that I had to post!

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I'm in love w/ mine... No, really... I've bought more jewlry for it than I have for my wife in the past few months! Just for kicks, I timed myself for 100 rounds and did it in just under 8 minutes. Granted, that was done w/ out any of the primer seating hiccups that I OCCASIONALLY have w/ a misalligned case in the shell plate, and was done @ what I felt was a steady, but not hurried pace. A couple of years ago, before I had ever reloaded a single round, I called Brian and was really intrigued by the idea of a 1050 and cranking out a garage full of ammo as well as the auto indexing. He convinced me that for the amount of shooting I do, the 550 would be more than sufficient for my needs. I ended up getting a great deal on a used one, and loaded on it a bit w/ out the case feeder. It didn't take very long for me to make the decision to install the feeder and I couldn't be happier. I've got it set up for .45 ACP and have purchased toolheads w/ complete set-ups f/ 9 mm and .40. Like I said, I do have the occasional problem w/ case allignment in the priming station, but I think that it's probably operator induced. If I run the handle smoothly and don't try to get in a hurry, it's smooth sailing w/ no regrets what-so-ever.

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