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Reloading .308 with a Dillon 550


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Some time ago I posed the question if anyone was reloading .308, specifically for a bolt gun, with a Dillon 550. I got a few responses that seemed to be folks reloading ammo for their gas guns, not specifically for a bolt gun. BE chimed in and said years ago that Dillon himself loaded up 100 .223 on the 550 and 100 .223 on a single stage and tested them for accuracy. Taking that information, I figured that it could (hopefully) work with a "precision" .308 load.

For a little back story, I shoot a 600yd F-Class match every month or two. I'm looking for a quality load and I DIDN'T want to spend HOURS at the reloading bench. Without further a-due, here is my setup. A Dillon 550b setup as follows:

Station 1- RCBS Neck Only die (will be a Lyman Universal Decapper in the future). My new brass had some dinged necks.

Station 2- Powder drop

Station 3- Forster BR Seating die

Station 4- Empty

In this go round I was using new brass (I'll prep the once fired brass on a single stage in the future and trim with a Giraud), 46 grains of Varget, and a Sierra 155 Palma (the older 2155). While the powder die was just about pegged out, I was consistently getting a 46 grain dump every time. I spot checked every now and then and I might have one or two charges that came out .1g over or under. I should note that every once and a while I would feel the powder die cut some of the powder. Typically those charges were within .2 or .3 so I'd pull that case and toss the powder back in the hopper. I'd also like to note that my OAL was consistent at 2.775. I'm looking to get out and shoot tomorrow to see how these measure up to the same load loaded on a single stage, weather permitting.

At the end of the day, I'm happy. I wasn't in a rush and I loaded 100 rounds of .308 in 21 minutes. That's after I had the powder thrower adjusted and the dies set. This was my first go at setting my dies up on the 550 so I won't have to fool with it next time. I didn't time myself while loading on a single stage, but I know it's much longer. And what even better? I got to do it all with my 3 month old! I've got to get her up to speed early so she can remove the crimped primers in my .223 brass! (I hate removing those things)

Pictures to prove that it happened-






Edited by whiskeytango
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I run a very similar setup for my 308 stuff with one exception, for precision powder dropping (especially Varget), the Dillon drop is 'meh'. I have a bench mounted RCBS drop specifically. So, to make a long story short, what I do is (two tool heads):

Decap on station one

Neck size on station two

Tumble brass.

Change heads

Prime on station one

Leave the position pin out of station two, drop powder into a Lyman Powder Pal, on scale

Back into the 550 for seating one Station three

That make sense?

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