Dillon RL550B Questions - Page 2

Dillon RL550B Questions

This is a discussion on Dillon RL550B Questions within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; OK, somebody already mentioned bullet puller and tumblers (Get a big sucker) .. and don't forget the cleaning media and the media separator!!...

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Thread: Dillon RL550B Questions

  1. #16
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    Array Miggy's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Miami-Dade, FL
    OK, somebody already mentioned bullet puller and tumblers (Get a big sucker) .. and don't forget the cleaning media and the media separator!!
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
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  2. #17
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    Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    A word about the Dillon dies.

    They have a larger radius than most others do at the mouth of the die to aid the cartridge into the die. Although any standard manufacturers dies can be used, it is advantageous to use the Dillon dies. When I got the Dillon I had a bunch of dies from various makers, that I used to save money, I eventually got rid of them and went exclusively to Dillon dies.

    Pistol dies sets have 4 dies whereas others use 3 or even 2. For a progressive press, it allows a bit more control over the seating of the bullet in the case and alot more on the crimp. Dillon uses Taper Crimp dies...which after 25 years of reloading I personally believe to be superior.

    The advantage here is that it tapers the case of the bullet around the bullet and the over all length of the case is insignificant as far at the amount of taper is concerned. A few thousandths difference in length has little effect on the tension used to hold the bullet in the case. As a result of this, trimming pistol ammo is really not needed. Using any other type of taper, being a roll taper or even the highly recommended "Lee Factory Crimp" requires the cases to be the same length or very close to ensure that the crimp is the same...which results in better accuracy. The taper crimpers save you the time and effort that it takes to trim each and every case which is tedious and really eats up alot of time.

    It appears that everything else has been covered.
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  3. #18
    Senior Member Array .45acp's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    You'll want the max cartridge gauge for now as you're loading pistol.
    I know you'll be in a hurry to set this up, don't be. Take your time making very small adjustments to the dies one at a time. I took my time and I'm glad I did.
    I still take my time. The Xl650 is supposedly capable of about 1,000 rounds in an hour, I'm nowhere near that at this stage of the game and don't really care as I'd rather have everything closer to perfect as it can be and if I work up to a consistent 500 rounds in an hour I'll be very pleased with that.

    The real fun will begin soon enough after you test fire your initial batch or two.
    If your range is close I'd suggest starting real slow. Load 10-20 rounds, test fire and repeat process untill you're comfortable with your press and reloading skills then crank out a few hundred and give your pistol reload combo a real workout.

    After that start with the minimum suggested powder charge, maybe 10-20 rounds and work up .2 grains at a time in 10-20 round lots keeping bullets seperate and test fire for accuracy while keeping notes. You'll find the most accurate load for your particular gun this way.
    NOTE-Still being rather new to this myself I stay a good deal (about .4 grains) under max suggested loading.

    Here are 2 after market additions for the Dillon that are inexpensive and worth it in my opinion:
    The micrometer powder bar kit
    Toolhead clamp kit
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  5. #19
    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    All good advice. Get yourself the Dillon PRIMER TRAY, as you'll need to flip the primers to put them into the primer tubes. The tray is large and easy to handle. I like MUCH better than the smaller plastic one I had.

    Pistol cases RARELY need trimming, in fact I've NEVER had to do it.
    I load mostly .38 for cowboy action shooting. My dad was a big time reloader with all the gadgets and gizmos. Rifle cases will need trimming from time to time. With carbide dies , you can load pistol cartridges with no need for lubing. I'd suggest the Dillon dies set, they have a flared bottom, for easier use on a progressive loader and they come apart easily for cleaning, when needed. I also suggest a LEE FACTORY CRIMP DIE. I found them to work the best, SOLID crimp and totally sizes the finished round. You'll need a tool head to mount the dies & powder measure. I've set mine up so I have a complete tool head & powder measure assembly for each caliber. SO MUCH easier than resetting dies and adjusting powder measures. You can set things up for the caliber, then forget it. It is ready to go the next time you want to use it. You'll need a powder scale & calipers to correctly set up the dies. I suggest an electronic powder measure but NOT a PACT, mine is junk. It has rarely worked right, always a problem and PACT has been little to no help. The sliding balance scales can be tedious to weight out small powder charges. BUT, my Dillon scale has always worked and I use it as a back up.

    Midway.com is a good source of reloading gadgets. BrianEnos.com sells most Dillon items CHEAPER than Dillon, so you might want to check that out too.

    Pay careful attention while reloading. It is serious business. You do NOT want to double charge a case. Be sure to wear eye protection, if there is ever a primer mishap, you'll be glad you did.

    Watch the Dillon video that should have come with your press, take your time to learn what you are doing. It is not difficult. If you know someone that already uses a 550, perhaps they can show you the ropes. Dillon customer service is GREAT, be sure to call them with any questions.

  6. #20
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    Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    Get a Electronic Scale

    That shuts off after use ( my stupid battery one I keep forgetting to turn off) I've been through packages of 9 Volt batteriers) or plugs in the wall. Trust me those balance beam things work but they are very slow.

    I know alot of loaders who load to load and make cool performing loads.

    I load to shoot more, therefore, time is more critical on loading. I want max output.

    Thats why I don't load Rifle yet, Only pistol.
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  7. #21
    Member Array Harold Green's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    A couple of comments.

    I agree with sass20485 about not needing to trim pistol cases. The only cases I’ve had “grow” on me are the bottleneck rifle cases. With these, I typically only trim them every third reload.

    I guess I must have had a bad experience with the one electronic scale I tried. I friend bought an RCBS electronic scale when he bought his Dillon, and we had a devil of a time zeroing it. We never could get it to settle down and give us a consistent reading.

    I’ve used several different mechanical scales over the years, and yes some of them can be slow. This is more true of the less expensive scales that either don’t have a magnetic damper or have an ineffective one. However, the higher-end mechanical scales have good magnetic dampers and do work quite well. Keep in mind you don’t have to weigh every powder charge. Once your powder measure is set, you only have to spot check the charge weight its dispensing every once in a while.

    I’ve been using an old Ohas 10-10 scale for over thirty years with very good results. I’ve used it to load well over 100,000 rounds of ammunition of various and sundry calibers, and it’s always worked well for me. Quite some time ago, RCBS bought out Ohas and they still make this same 10-10 scale.
    "A gentleman will seldom, if ever, need a pistol. However, if he does, he needs it very badly!" -- Sir Winston Churchill

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  8. #22
    New Member Array Mulie's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    So Cal
    Good luck with your Dillon 550B. I absolutely LOVE mine!

    I agree with Harold Green concerning the electronic scale. I have a PACT and find it changes zero as it warms up. I try to remember to plug it in an hour or so before I want to use it.

    There are some things that the digital scale does better than the balance beam. Comparing the weight of various items. like trying to find the one cartridge that you think may have not gotten a charge of powder.

    I must confess, I usually use my RCBS (Ohaus) 10-10. I just bought another 10-10 off ebay for my son. They work well.

    Oh, if no one else mentioned it, you will want to get an aluminum funnel for pouring powder from the container to the powder measure and back. Aluminum, because some plastic products have static electricity and the powder want to cling to it.

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