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Dale53
10-09-2007, 11:31 AM
I have loaded thousands and thousands of several different calibers of ammunition on my Dillon 550B. Recently, the case retaining spring (looks like a paper clip that has been reformed) became "tired" (after thirty years or so of use). I called Dillon, and like always the item is in the mail almost before I hang up the phone (absolutely GREAT service from Dillon).

I easily installed the spring, but had some difficulty in getting a satisfactory adjustment (I was loading .32's at the time). Then when I changed calibers to .45 ACP's, still more time for adjustment. What's going on here? I NEVER had that sort of trouble before, etc (to myself). Then, when I tried to set it up for .44's (special and mag) things just didn't want to work. When the case retention spring was correct for holdng the case in position, it interfered with moving the case to the next station. No amount of adjustment would help.

I didn't call Dillon, as this would have been difficult to explain over the phone and I am stubborn enough to try to fix it myself.

So, I quit "fiddling" with it and began to analyze the problem. I should have done that right from the first. It appeared to me that the right angle "leg" at the end of the spring was too long. It's only purpose is to form a "no stick" end on the spring to allow the cartridge case to smoothly move to the next station. Being too long, when I tried to move the case, the "too long leg" jammed against the tool frame.

So, I got out the Dremel and shortened the leg probably 1/16" to maybe 3/32". It now works like a charm.

If any of you are having problems similar to this, this is the fix. If you are not, you have just wasted time reading this[smilie=1:.

It was frustrating while it was happening so I thought than maybe someone else might benefit from reading this.

Dale53

BruceB
10-09-2007, 11:37 AM
Dale;

I found that spring to be more trouble than it was worth. It got deep-sixed at least ten years ago, and I don't miss it a bit....and the machine works fine without it,.

Lloyd Smale
10-09-2007, 12:26 PM
same here.
Dale;

I found that spring to be more trouble than it was worth. It got deep-sixed at least ten years ago, and I don't miss it a bit....and the machine works fine without it,.

45nut
10-09-2007, 12:32 PM
Yea.. after umpteen thousand rounds mine did the same thing and I don't miss it a bit. I also removed the superfluous primer safety thingamajig. It was much more of a pita than it was worth. A Lawyer induced hassle if there ever was one.

Dale53
10-09-2007, 02:50 PM
I find that the spring, properly "adjusted" helps to keep me from inadvertently crushing a case from improper alighnment. However, if it works without it for you, then that's cool, also.

Dale53

happy7
10-09-2007, 06:46 PM
I also removed the superfluous primer safety thingamajig. was one.

Trying to figure out what the primer safety thingamajig is. I will probably feel stupid when you tell me.

I also removed that retaining spring. I found it almost impossible to adjust for 500 S&W and then just figured out it was easier to do it without.

Scrounger
10-10-2007, 12:03 AM
Trying to figure out what the primer safety thingamajig is. I will probably feel stupid when you tell me.

I also removed that retaining spring. I found it almost impossible to adjust for 500 S&W and then just figured out it was easier to do it without.

Lower Primer Warning Buzzer. It lets you know when there's only 2 or 3 primers left in the feed tube.

bmgdad
10-10-2007, 12:59 AM
I have a pre buzzer 550 I use a thin brass rod a little longer than the tube when empty,bend the end into a loop so you don't poke yourself in the eye.Add a flag made out of masking tape insert in primer tube,you can see the primer level by the level of the flag and when you run out of primers the rod falls into the primer punch stopping everything.

Dale53
10-10-2007, 09:37 AM
I have a primer "follower" that represents 100 primers. When the head bottoms out, I know to re-charge. As bmgdad mentions, you can make one from a brazing rod. However, if I run out of primers in the tube, I can easily feel when there is no primer to seat, and I just stop and refill the tube. I don't see this as much of a problem...

Dale53

45nut
10-10-2007, 09:54 AM
I was mistaken.. I was referring to the safety on the powder measure being a pita. I do use the low primer alarm.

AZ-Stew
10-10-2007, 04:51 PM
I got my Dillon from the late Dan Cotterman, former handloading editor for American Handgunner Magazine. Dillon gave it to him to review for his column. Dan sold it to me because he had no need to load large quantities of ammo in his line of work. The press was made, I believe, in the early 80s. I decided to upgrade it to have the low primer buzzer, as well as the powder measure fail-safe mechanism. The primer buzzer quickly became an annoyance, and I realized that I had no need for it in the first place, because I always load my ammo in multiples of 50 rounds each. Load two boxes - the primer tube's empty. Simple as that. Seemed like a good idea when I bought it.

If anyone has a need for one of these gadgets, we can work a deal.

Regards,

Stew

cohutt
10-11-2007, 10:14 PM
The primer alarm basically just scares the shiite out of me right when i settle into the Dillon crank rhythm karma trance.

I tried to keep the paper clip on the case when i adjusted it for a while, caused many problems. Read the manual again and backed it off a bit as instructed. Works or at least doesn't get in the way and cause problems now.

mister gizmo
10-13-2007, 10:03 AM
A lot of people found that the powder fail-safe mechanism was a pita and most of them removed or disabled it and went back to the older, spring return.

Fortunately, I had two springs from my old 350 and hooked them up in a jiffy, wrapping them around the powder funnel barrel and the stud at the rear of the slide. Haven't had a problem yet.

Dale53
10-13-2007, 11:30 AM
I kind of like the powder fail safe mechanism. On one powder measure (Dillon) I used heavier springs to return the powder slide. Dillon's later, tefflon covered, powder slides are MUCH less apt to stick. On the old style without tefflon, I would disassemble from time to time and spray the powder slides with DRY tefflon spray. That helped a LOT.

Even tho' I am using the powder fail safe, I don't believe that I have had a sticking slide since the tefflon coated powder slides have been installed. I do tend to use powders that meter well in both rifle and pistol loads.

Dale53

50 Caliber
10-18-2007, 06:52 PM
Pitched mine as well. works fine with out it.

jar-wv
10-19-2007, 09:00 AM
So whos got a fix for sticking primer slide on Dillon 550? I've run out of things to try. tried cleaning everything with alcohol, worked for less than 50 rounds. Fiddling with screws, leaving one loose, flat filing, and a few other things. Still sticks. Called Dillon and didn't get any more info from them that I hadn't already tried.

jar

robertbank
10-19-2007, 10:32 AM
Stand on one foot with tongue forced into left cheek with eyes crossed seems to work ok for my until I reach around 300 rds then the karma fades and I have to clean under the primer slide thingy.

I placed a belled .45acp case on top of the plastic primer rod and that seems to help with primer feeds, Looks kinda cool too.

Thanks guys for the comments regarding the pimer/powder alarm. Didn't think I needed to add those to my press and now I know I don't.

Take Care

Bob

exblaster
10-19-2007, 11:31 AM
Jar WV I use paraffin to lube the primer slide on my Dillon. Remove slide clean with a solvent like alcohol and rub paraffin on moving part of slide. Works for me.
Exblaster

Nueces
10-19-2007, 12:35 PM
I had a lot of trouble with mine until I took the slide out and looked it over with a magnifier - found some small burrs and abraded spots on the spring-loaded part, where it had been rubbing on the aluminum tower. There were matching bright spots in the tower slot. I used a fine file to deburr and smooth these areas on the primer post and this made a great deal of difference in operation. So, I polished all reachable sliding surfaces, too. No more sticking or jerky moves that had been throwing new primers around. It still needs occasional cleaning.

In other news, I got fed up with the balky Dillon powder measure and set up the press to work with a manual Redding measure. I didn't lose enough speed to worry about, but, for me, I gained much reliability. There is a small LED spot light that shines into charged cases for powder charge confirmation. The same time interval encompasses the powder throw and visual check.

To continue this hijack (sorry!), I have further reduced the Dillon duties to exclude case sizing, which is done on the A-3, followed by other processes, such as PP cleaning or trimming. I put a Lyman M-die in the Dillon sizing station, which I think does a much better job of case expanding than does the Dillon powder die.

So, it's 1) expand and prime, 2) charge, 3) seat with Hornady sleeve seater and 4) crimp. I've started using Dillon crimpers - they offer a much more uniform and heavy crimp than even the Redding Profile Crimpers.

Fine ammo, no duds or double charges. I'm a field shooter and not feeding a competition habit, so output is plenty for me.

Mark

Snapping Twig
10-19-2007, 01:00 PM
So whos got a fix for sticking primer slide on Dillon 550? I've run out of things to try. tried cleaning everything with alcohol, worked for less than 50 rounds. Fiddling with screws, leaving one loose, flat filing, and a few other things. Still sticks. Called Dillon and didn't get any more info from them that I hadn't already tried.

jar


I had the same issue for 20 years, so I finally had one of the screws strip out of the bottom of the primer column assembly and I called Dillon. Gary sent me a new one, new primer holder assemblies large and small, and the bottom plate ( the black plate) and now my primer feed is flawless. I **** near get awed every time I use it now. I can't believe I waited so long to call them.

Ask for replacement/upgraded parts.

dillonhelp
10-19-2007, 05:27 PM
JAr-wv,
Remove the operating rod, pull the handle down. Now manually pull the primer slide back, see if the return spring pulls it forward easily. If so, then clean & lube the top of the operating rod where it enters the bracket. If not, does it freely move until the cup goes into the primer feed body, or does it continuously drag? If continuous, call Dillon, ask for gary at ext.311, and ask for replacement primer slides and shim. If only when the cup goes into the feed body, measure from the underside of the primer slide to the top of the cup using calipers. Should measure 1.215"-1.220". If too tall, use a clamp or vise to reset, then retighten the set screw. If at correct height, replace the magazine tip.

50 Caliber
10-19-2007, 07:49 PM
Powderd graphite! Works great, no mess, slip and slide and sont cantaminate primers.