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Thread: Lee auto disk on a Dillon?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    Lee auto disk on a Dillon?

    I know this has been brought up before, but I can't find the thread now (of course).

    I have a Dillon 550 and want to set up for .45acp. Dillon makes a great powder measure but they're kinda spendy. Will the Lee Auto Disk work and is it difficult to set up in place of the Dillon measure?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    From what I remember about the threads regarding this in the past is that it works fine, will probably require the Lee powder through expander die though.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Need the die, expander and measure. Maybe a riser.

    Why not just move the Dillon from one toolhead to the next. It's not that bad. Also, Uniquetek makes a nice microadjuster if you want to save settings. Or just buy a different powder bar for each caliber. I much prefer the Dillon Measure for it's adjustability. But they both work fine. Lee will run out of powder pretty quick at the pace I load on a Dillon.

  4. #4
    +1 on moving the powder measure between toolheads.

    On my primary toolhead is the full Dillon die set and Powder Measure.

    On the secondary (38 special) toolhead is the Lee sizing die, Dillon powder die and Lee seating/crimp die. These are full time on that toolhead.

    The powder measure moves back and forth from toolhead to toolhead.

    Have the right extra funnel handy, if needed, and you are good to go.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I use the Lee Pro measure on one of my Dillon tool heads and it is simple, affordable and works flawlessly.

    You can make a case for pulling the Dillon measure off and stuffing it on another tool head: no cost but time in that solution.

    Once you get dies set just right on a progressive, one tends not to want to tear things apart and go into rebuilding a tool head.

    However to answer you question: The Lee measure works just fine (Pro Model) and you need the powder thru die and riser as stated.

    Its far cheaper for me to have tool heads for different calibers using a Lee measure than to use Dillon measures. Thus the cost of a 9mm tool head set up is 80 bucks cheaper to have on hand. It could be even more cheaper if I re used my Dillon mesure off my 45acp tool head but convenience of the 30 buck Lee Pro measure won out for me.

    In sum; cost you time if you recycle Dillon measure and no money. Costs you little if you go the Lee Pro route but its a convenience issue.

    Parting Shot: If you are rolling so fast on a progressive that you don't notice powder levels, then you are in auto pilot and its time to stop racing that machine. You must be aware of all things going on when using a progressive ! Speed is not good in reloading and it will cause consequences.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by milprileb View Post
    Once you get dies set just right on a progressive, one tends not to want to tear things apart and go into rebuilding a tool head.
    Just to be clear. Once the 4 dies on the Dillon toolhead are adjusted you can swap the powder measure and never adjust the dies again. Of course you would need to have the powder measure die for every tool head but that is not a big deal for most people.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    I've used the Lee auto-disc measure quite a bit on my Dillion 450b. Works great.

    Dutch

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Mike Kerr's Avatar
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    I have used the Lee Pro Auto Disk Powder set up on one of my dillons by utilizing the Lee expander die and it worked without flaw. I have also moved my Dillon Measures between tool heads and changed the powder bar.

    Either way can have savings. I formerly loaded for six handgun cartridges and I felt it was extravagant beyond my reasonable budget limits to have a Dillon measure set up for each one when some of them sat for months at a time. Too many hundreds sitting for me to be comfortable.

    It does look funny in a photograph to see all that blue with a red powder hopper.

    regards,


  9. #9
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    Honestly, I actually prefer the Lee for many of my handgun calibers with my 550. Because you are using set holes, repeatability is virtually guaranteed. All you have to do it write down what size hole you used in your loading manual and you can go straight back to that any time you want to. And that actually makes it pretty easy to move the Lee from toolhead to toolhead. Also, all you do with it is unscrew it, while with the dillon you have to deal with the allen head screws and the one screw of course you can't quite get too straight on with the allenhead wrench... While the dillon measure works well, changing settings on it is rather fiddely. Also the Lee powder measure is not nearly so tall for storing or so top heavy.

    One tip for using the Lee is to get the micro powder disk for measuring flake powders with light charges. Using a short wide hole on the micro measure keeps the powder from bridging compared to the thin, long holes on the normal disks.
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    Dillon "V" shellplate for 550 press

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado4wheel View Post
    Just to be clear. Once the 4 dies on the Dillon toolhead are adjusted you can swap the powder measure and never adjust the dies again. Of course you would need to have the powder measure die for every tool head but that is not a big deal for most people.
    Exactly right. I also prefer the Dillon because of the positive-mechanical return. I've worn out to many actuators on the Lee auto-disks. Then the spring return can hang up and cause problems, like squibs. At least it happened to me.

    I do like to load fast though, which is why I spent the money for a progressive in the first place.
    Last edited by 357shooter; 09-02-2011 at 05:26 AM.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I use a Pro Autodisc on my 650 and it is the bee's knees. I can buy 2-3 Pro Autos for the cost of a single Dillon powder measure and I also have custom made Lee powder through expanders that I can't use with the Dillon measure. Mine is spring returned and I have not had any issues with it at all.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master Mike Kerr's Avatar
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    Smile Lee & Dillon "together again"

    357Shooter wrote:

    " Exactly right. I also prefer the Dillon because of the positive-mechanical return. I've worn out to many actuators on the Lee auto-disks. Then the spring return can hang up and cause problems, like squibs. At least it happened to me. "

    __________________________________________________ _____________

    It has happened to me as well on the "Pro Auto Disk" while using the spring return. Its also happened on the ancient Dillon measures without the failsafe rod.
    It is not talked about a lot but that is one of the main reasons Dillon went to the "Failsafe Rod" (and its multiple advances) and why Lee touted their "pull back chain" (which many people bad mouthed because they never installed it correctly) .

    Now I guess I'll get slammed for stepping on someone's favorite powder measure - but I can't help it - nearly every advance in reloading equipment design seems to have its roots in prior equipment failures.

    I was and am very leery of the "spring only" return systems - because than can stick- even if only a little bit which seems to contribute to a missed charge or bridiging with a partial charge. Now I guess a good mechanical type would figure out how and when and where to lube or grease the offending linkage but I know so little about such matters except from seeing the results that I like either the failsafe rod or the chain.

    In using the Lee measures with a chain on a Dillon you have to be a little inventive in rigging a return post or fastner on the bottom of the shellplate base ( like the primer depth adjustment screw on the old 450's). I guess folks who have never had a spring return mishap would not agree but I think its worth the effort.

    regards,


  13. #13
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    Well I have used the Lee measures a lot and have never had a failure to function. Their spring is a LOT stronger than the dillon springs. I will be doubly on my guard about it though after hearing the above reports. The old dillon types hung up on me regularly. I can tell you I was getting pretty frustrated till they came up with the fail safe bar. Of course this was quite a while back. My point is that in my experience the Lee measure with spring only is a lot more reliable than the dillon ever was with spring only.
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    4 Cavity Lyman 358344
    Dillon "V" shellplate for 550 press

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Mike Kerr's Avatar
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    Happy7:

    My negative experience with the Pro Auto Disk was also a long time back and considering the strength of the Lee spring I never did figure out how or what caused binding. It sure is not lack of spring strength. Maybe what 357 shooter said about the actuator binding or wearing out? Don't know - but I was "bitten" - now I'm shy. You are absolutely correct about Dillon Springs - even when doubled up.
    regards,

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    For the record, I did not consider installing Dillon powder thru die base on my tool heads and just transferring Dillon measure : that will work nicely but its still a tear down of the Dillon measure and expanding die. I have a Dillon complete tool head for 45acp for Round Nose 230 gr bullets set up and one with 45acp dies and Lee Pro measure for 200 gr SW H&G bullets. Its a quick set up with convenience in mind. It was cheap and it works so be it.

    Now I have had the Dillon hang up (yes it has the return rod) and I have had the Pro Measure hang up. My 650 powder level alarm jolted me every time but I don't trust that as the fail safe. I got a LED light rigged to shine down on the bullet seating station and I visibily check powder level as the final QC.

    Yes that takes a nano second, is contrary to the young among you who want to crank a progressive at light speed and spit out tons of bullets. What my anal eye ball check does is check and verify. You cannot put a price on great ammo, less volume and no grief !

    But to the point: The Lee Pro can be used on a Dillon with success. Its not necessary if you got on issue tearing off your Dillon measure and
    adjusting it for next tool head and mission.

    Over a life time: a few pennies spent on things that make reloading easier and less work pay for them selves. Or.. if you got little life time left, it makes
    the few years you got less tedious at the bench

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I had a %%) and am probably the only person on earth that did not like it. I have since swithced to Hornady progressive(non LNL). I use my as a semi progressive because I still do not trust anything,lol. However it did speed me wayyyyyyyyyy up on reloading.
    I wanted a measure to drop a small amount of ball powder. A buddy of mine swears by lee. All I ever did was swear at them. I gave one a try and another one was given to me. Both have worked very well for me. FYI, I am using the powder through expander/belling die on both. I did have to polish up the expander part to make me happy. I have read since then that the jiggling of the expander was made that way in order to shake all of the powder out of the die. I have never had ball pwder bridge and don't trust but my B&M measure on big stick powders.
    The lee auto disc has worked well but if I were to buy another I would go ahead and buy the adjustable teflon coated measure. Even though I seldom switch caliber on two of the three Hornady progressives.
    jeff

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    my Pro are teflon coated and work slick.

    any other Lee powder products: measure, scale are not on my buy list
    as they are not up to snuff for my needs. I cuss at them.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by milprileb View Post
    For the record, I did not consider installing Dillon powder thru die base on my tool heads and just transferring Dillon measure : that will work nicely but its still a tear down of the Dillon measure and expanding die.

    It's not a tear down of anything. You loosen two bolts, and remove the measure and reinstall it on the other die. That is it. Simple. Takes literally 1 minute. No adjustments lost. Nothing difficult at all. On the new style you remove the return rod while the handle is in the down position. Again. Not exactly hard.

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
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