Dillon Powder Measure

Dillon Powder Measure

This is a discussion on Dillon Powder Measure within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Just moved 223 Rem to the Dillon RL 550C this past week and had some issues with the powder measure. I was hoping that maybe ...

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 26
Like Tree7Likes

Thread: Dillon Powder Measure

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    804

    Dillon Powder Measure

    Just moved 223 Rem to the Dillon RL 550C this past week and had some issues with the powder measure. I was hoping that maybe somebody here could give some ideas.

    I am using the Dillon powder measure and Ramshot TAC powder. When I lower the ram, I noticed that there were a few grains of powder sticking around the mouth of the case and after a few rounds, I noticed small amounts of powder spilling onto the shell plate. By the time I got to the end of 100 rounds, I had blown off the shell plate a few times and even had to remove the shell plate and clean it, along with the top face of the ram. When I moved the Lee Pro Auto Disk Powder Measure from the Lee Classic Turret to the 550, no more powder leakage.

    I had no problems with 9mm, but there I was using BE-86 which is a flake powder while TAC is a fine spherical powder. The other difference is that these cases were lubed with Dillon Case Lube, where that is not needed with the pistol cases.

    After reading what I could find on it, I have settled on two possibilities. The first is that the Dillon powder measure just does not handle the fine spherical powders well. The second possibility is that I have too much lube on the cases and that is causing powder to stick to the powder funnel until it falls down onto the shell plate.

    If the problem is that the Dillon powder measure just does not handle fine spherical powders well, then I can use the Lee powder measure until I run out of TAC and then look for another powder that will give me what I want and is handled by the Dillon powder measure, however, the ideal is that I can continue to use TAC with the Dillon powder measure.

    And, no, I have not called Dillon yet. I am planning on calling them sometime this week. In the meantime I thought I would see if anybody here has seen any similar issues with the Dillon powder measure?

    Thoughts or ideas?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array M1911A1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Northwest Washington State
    Posts
    588
    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJack View Post
    ...Thoughts or ideas?

    Thanks.
    Yeah.
    Call Dillon.
    Steve
    Retired Leathersmith and Practical Shooter

    "Qui desiderat pacem, pręparet bellum."

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    4,404
    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJack View Post
    Just moved 223 Rem to the Dillon RL 550C this past week and had some issues with the powder measure. I was hoping that maybe somebody here could give some ideas.

    I am using the Dillon powder measure and Ramshot TAC powder. When I lower the ram, I noticed that there were a few grains of powder sticking around the mouth of the case and after a few rounds, I noticed small amounts of powder spilling onto the shell plate. By the time I got to the end of 100 rounds, I had blown off the shell plate a few times and even had to remove the shell plate and clean it, along with the top face of the ram. When I moved the Lee Pro Auto Disk Powder Measure from the Lee Classic Turret to the 550, no more powder leakage.

    I had no problems with 9mm, but there I was using BE-86 which is a flake powder while TAC is a fine spherical powder. The other difference is that these cases were lubed with Dillon Case Lube, where that is not needed with the pistol cases.

    After reading what I could find on it, I have settled on two possibilities. The first is that the Dillon powder measure just does not handle the fine spherical powders well. The second possibility is that I have too much lube on the cases and that is causing powder to stick to the powder funnel until it falls down onto the shell plate.

    If the problem is that the Dillon powder measure just does not handle fine spherical powders well, then I can use the Lee powder measure until I run out of TAC and then look for another powder that will give me what I want and is handled by the Dillon powder measure, however, the ideal is that I can continue to use TAC with the Dillon powder measure.

    And, no, I have not called Dillon yet. I am planning on calling them sometime this week. In the meantime I thought I would see if anybody here has seen any similar issues with the Dillon powder measure?

    Thoughts or ideas?

    Thanks.
    I'm not familiar with Ram TAC, but I use Ram True Blue. It's the finest powder I've ever seen. In fact, it's a true spherical powder (most shericals are actually flattened balls), and if poured on a slightly crumpled sheet of paper, the balls will roll around until they find the lowest point. I called Dillon, and they sent me a special powder bar. This ended my reloading dilemma using True Blue. I think the small balls (True Blue) were acting like miniature ball bearings and jamming the standard powder bar.
    OldVet and ETXhiker like this.
    NRA lifetime member

    Flint

  4. Remove Advertisements
    DefensiveCarry.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    NE, KS
    Posts
    2,893
    Are you cleaning the lube off prior to loading?????

    I too load .223/5.56 (3GUN and blasting ammo)off of a Dillon 550 using TAC, buuuuut I:

    Resize using a separate tool head with just a sizing die, clean the lube off, then perform my normal brass prep. Once brass is prepped and checked, then I load on the 550, skipping the sizing station.

    I do get some powder bleed through the measure with TAC, but it's worse with some other fine powders. So I maintain a mini-shop vac and just suck it up periodically. (note remove locator buttons prior to using shop vac...ask me how I know).

    Based on flintlock62's response, I'm going to give Dillon a call. My last 3Gun match for the year was yesterday, so now's the time to load for next season. That means a chitload of TAC AND vacuuming......
    homo homini lupus est

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array CavemanBob's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Kalirado
    Posts
    1,632
    The dribble of fine powder by the Dillon measure is a well-known issue. Depending upon the age of your powder measure, I believe Dillon has made available a bar which is slightly larger so has less dribble issues.
    gasmitty likes this.
    The best citizenry is an informed citizenry

    NRA Patron member
    Gun Owners of America
    Electronic Frontiers Foundation https://www.eff.org/ - defending digital privacy and free speech including forums such as this one

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    The Florida Twilight Zone
    Posts
    32,304
    Quote Originally Posted by CavemanBob View Post
    The dribble of fine powder by the Dillon measure is a well-known issue. Depending upon the age of your powder measure, I believe Dillon has made available a bar which is slightly larger so has less dribble issues.
    My wife says I should call Dillon, and I don't even own their powder measure.
    Chuck R. likes this.
    Retired USAF E-8. Curmudgeon on the loose.
    Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth

  8. #7
    Senior Moderator
    Array gasmitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    18,871
    Quote Originally Posted by CavemanBob View Post
    The dribble of fine powder by the Dillon measure is a well-known issue. Depending upon the age of your powder measure, I believe Dillon has made available a bar which is slightly larger so has less dribble issues.
    Dillon powder measures "dribbling" or leaking is a popular topic on the Brian Enos forum. Small flake and fine ball powders do it, stick powders not so much. So yes, call Dillon and they'll set it right.
    Smitty
    AZCDL Life Member
    NRA Patron Member
    NROI Chief Range Officer

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    804
    Yup,I had planned on calling Dillon this week anyway, but I am glad to hear that I am not off track and that there may be a fix for the powder leakage.

    I know that there are other powders out there that I could use, but the reason that I have settled on TAC is that it gives me what I am looking for in both 223/5.56 and 308. The only other powder that I have seen that will also give me what I am looking for is AR-Comp. Although I do admit that part of that is because of the powder measure. The Lee powder measure is mostly plastic and does not handle extruded powders very well. If it turns out that Dillon is unable to help me resolve my issues with TAC, I just might have to go back and look at at alternate powders.

    Thanks.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    804
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck R. View Post
    Are you cleaning the lube off prior to loading?????

    I too load .223/5.56 (3GUN and blasting ammo)off of a Dillon 550 using TAC, buuuuut I:

    Resize using a separate tool head with just a sizing die, clean the lube off, then perform my normal brass prep. Once brass is prepped and checked, then I load on the 550, skipping the sizing station.
    .
    No, I do not clean off the lube. I leave the lube on because I do run the case through the resizing die again while reloading. I have thought about setting up a separate tool head with just a sizing/depriming die, and then maybe adding the electric case trimmer at some point down the line, but have not given it any serious consideration yet.

    When you do clean off the lube, how do you do it? Do you wipe the cases down? Run them through a tumbler, dry or wet? spray them with something like Gunscrubber? What I am doing now is running the finished rounds through my tumbler with either corn cob or walnut after reloading. I used to use Hornady One Shot and it was nice not having to clean it off, but I didn't like using the aerosol spray and it is not available in a pump spray. I suppose that I could also try going back to One Shot and see if that makes any difference, but I think I will call Dillon first. If they have a fix that will allow me to continue to use the Dillon Powder Measure with TAC and their spray on lube, That would be the ideal for me.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    NE, KS
    Posts
    2,893
    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJack View Post
    No, I do not clean off the lube. I leave the lube on because I do run the case through the resizing die again while reloading. I have thought about setting up a separate tool head with just a sizing/depriming die, and then maybe adding the electric case trimmer at some point down the line, but have not given it any serious consideration yet.

    When you do clean off the lube, how do you do it? Do you wipe the cases down? Run them through a tumbler, dry or wet? spray them with something like Gunscrubber? What I am doing now is running the finished rounds through my tumbler with either corn cob or walnut after reloading. I used to use Hornady One Shot and it was nice not having to clean it off, but I didn't like using the aerosol spray and it is not available in a pump spray. I suppose that I could also try going back to One Shot and see if that makes any difference, but I think I will call Dillon first. If they have a fix that will allow me to continue to use the Dillon Powder Measure with TAC and their spray on lube, That would be the ideal for me.
    I normally load 1-2000 .223 at a time, so my method might not work. The majority of my .223 loading is range pick-up brass from matches & classes.

    1. I'll clean them throughout the year using a rotary tumbler and steel pins after decapping, store in kitty litter buckets
    2. Anneal them all using a BC1000 auto annealer
    3. Check primer pockets for crimps or loose, swage the crimped ones
    4. Size in Dillon
    5. Clean lube off using vibrating cleaner with corncob, no polish
    6. Run all through a Trimmit 2 on a drill press, that trims and deburs/chamfers
    7. Load on Dillon using loading tool-head

    For about 95% of the stages I use mixed brass. I do keep 1 mag full of "good" stuff for the distance targets.
    homo homini lupus est

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    804
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck R. View Post
    I normally load 1-2000 .223 at a time, so my method might not work. The majority of my .223 loading is range pick-up brass from matches & classes.

    1. I'll clean them throughout the year using a rotary tumbler and steel pins after decapping, store in kitty litter buckets
    2. Anneal them all using a BC1000 auto annealer
    3. Check primer pockets for crimps or loose, swage the crimped ones
    4. Size in Dillon
    5. Clean lube off using vibrating cleaner with corncob, no polish
    6. Run all through a Trimmit 2 on a drill press, that trims and deburs/chamfers
    7. Load on Dillon using loading tool-head

    For about 95% of the stages I use mixed brass. I do keep 1 mag full of "good" stuff for the distance targets.

    I only work in batches of 100 rounds, simply because that is how the primers are packaged and it can be done in a short enough time that I can do a batch anytime I have an extra 20 minutes or so. I find that it takes me about 15 minutes to do 100 rounds on the 550, after I have everything setup with primers in the tube and powder in the hopper. This past week I reloaded 400 rounds in spare time.

    If I understand your process, deprime separately from resizing? Then you have two tool heads setup. One for the initial sizing and another one for reloading. Is that correct? I have thought about doing the resizing and depriming separately and may begin to look at it a bit more seriously. Have you ever had any issues with NOT running the cases through a sizing die when going through the reloading phase? Do you still resize and deprime in a separate step even when it is brass that you have reloaded yourself and know that it is already swaged and within length limits?

    Some of my brass is range pickup, but most of is is once fired LC XM193 brass. I have two tupperware totes, one for the cleaned, but unprocessed brass, the other for sized, deprimed and swaged brass. I have never had to trim any of my brass, some of it has been"on the edge", but none of it has ever been over the 1.76" max length.

    As for annealing... I am not sure that I really understand what it does. My understanding is that it heats the brass and makes it last longer, but not sure that i understand how it works or when it should or should not be used.

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    The Florida Twilight Zone
    Posts
    32,304
    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJack View Post
    As for annealing... I am not sure that I really understand what it does. My understanding is that it heats the brass and makes it last longer, but not sure that i understand how it works or when it should or should not be used.
    Brass hardens when worked (Fired, resized, etc.) and eventually cracks/splits, typically at the neck. Annealing softens the brass again and extends the case life.
    flintlock62 likes this.
    Retired USAF E-8. Curmudgeon on the loose.
    Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    4,404
    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Brass hardens when worked (Fired, resized, etc.) and eventually cracks/splits, typically at the neck. Annealing softens the brass again and extends the case life.
    One thing to add is not to over-bell the case. Bell the case mouth just enough to start the bullet into the neck. Any more than that is unnecessary.
    Last edited by flintlock62; November 3rd, 2019 at 08:49 PM.
    NRA lifetime member

    Flint

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    NE, KS
    Posts
    2,893
    Blackjack,

    I de-cap separate from sizing, so that the steel media can clean the primer pockets. Also I like to run a primer pocket gauge through them before I spend any more time on prepping. Sucks to find loose primer pockets when seating primers.....

    And yes, 2 tool heads for .223. Could just as easily unscrew the sizing die, but I had an extra tool head laying around after adding a Dillon 650. I've never had an issue with sizing in a completely separate operation from loading. It's basically the same process that you'd use on a single stage press. The one advantage is only handling the brass once, rather than:

    Insert
    size
    remove and put in bin.......Repeat

    it's
    Insert
    size
    index..........repeat

    and they drop in the bin when they've gone through the other 3 empty stations.

    On the AR15 brass I know is mine, I still go through the same process for the match and blasting ammo. Honestly the only "extra" steps are the annealing which can probably be done every 3-4th firing and the trimming. For the trimming it's just about as fast just to run them through the Trim-it, than take the time to measure them.

    For my bolt gun, I take a more precision approach and load them on a single stage. AR15 "coyote" ammo goes through the same steps as the bolt gun stuff.
    homo homini lupus est

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    804
    I want to thank everybody for your input, especially Chuck. It has given me "food for thought".

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •