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Thread: Dillon RL 300

  1. #1
    Boolit Master jimkim's Avatar
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    Dillon RL 300

    I have recently become the owner of a new-to-me Dillon RL 300. Any troubleshooting tips would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Well lest see. I have THREE of them. I've talked to Dillon about them for years. They have alluded to me that only 300 of them were ever made. I find that hard to believe but if that is so then I own 1% of the total production run. I got my first one in 1981. It was real complicated for a mechanically challenged guy like me so I called Dillon in AZ. It was 1900 in Phoenix and darned if Mike Dillon didn't answer the phone and help me out!!

    The press is hell for stout. I have only broken one part on it and that is the little collared insert that the center bolt butts up against. I ended up getting some bushings from Dillon for a RL-1000 handle set up that fit into the hole and got me in business. Dillon does not have anymore of them.

    I run Lee Auto Powder Measures on two of the presses as I have set them up for 45 ACP and 38 Special and never change the loading on those. The third one vacillates between 223/6X45 and 9 MM. The regular powder measures do fine on them but , of course, you can't use the safety snatch rod like on the new presses.

    Shell plates are the same as the 550 so you are GTG there fore conversions. I have used every type of primer in the press with no issues.

    Production rate with the auto measure set up really jumped up from the manual powder system. It runs opposite to the 550 and 650 in the progression of the shell plate as the powder measure station has a raised insert/collar that was set up for station #2, the one on the right. I load around 325 rounds/hour with it.

    The biggest complain that some had was that it tends to drop decapped primers on the floor if it misses the cup. I got press #3 because a friend of mine couldn't stand it doing that. It just breaks my heart to run a vacuum cleaner every few months if I'm too lazy to pick up the odd primer on the carpet.

    I got into PPC big time in the early 80's. One 21 period I loaded 1000 rounds each evening and shot 1000 each day for practice. 21,000 rounds loaded, zero misfires or failure to chamber in my PPC revolver. Oh, I won my class that year!! LOL I'veloaded untold thousands of rounds of PPC ammo on that one and thousands of 45 ACP on the other.

    I think you will like it. It's not as fancy as the new preses but it will do you well for many years.

    Greg
    The best gun for self defense? Any loaded one will do.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Triggerhappy's Avatar
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    Anyone got a pic of the 300, I've never seen one.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Man 32ideal's Avatar
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    Dillon 300 jpg

    Found this on THR, had one no problems but traded it for SQ-D over 20yrs ago
    32ideal
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  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    If you look real close there is three of 'em in the middle.




    Greg
    The best gun for self defense? Any loaded one will do.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master UNIQUEDOT's Avatar
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    There was two of them on gunbroker for a while with lots of extras, but the seller took them off the block due to lack of interest.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master jimkim's Avatar
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    My buddy GAVE me this one. He has three left. He bought the extras so he would have spare tool heads. Now I have to scan this one, and make a few heads for him. I keep thinking I might make a head that holds a single die in the middle, and make an adapter to hold a shellholder for the ram. It is mighty danged beefy.

    US Govt mantra. if it's moving tax it, if it's still moving regulate it, if it stops moving subsidize it

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by 32ideal View Post
    Found this on THR, had one no problems but traded it for SQ-D over 20yrs ago
    32ideal
    Just for kicks, you notice anything wrong in the picture?

    Greg
    The best gun for self defense? Any loaded one will do.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master 7of7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GLShooter View Post
    Just for kicks, you notice anything wrong in the picture?

    Greg
    Now that you mention it,.. the primer, powder, and seat arrangement don't seem right, but I have the 550 and the rotation of the shellplate is clockwise... it may be correct if it is counterclockwise....
    Last edited by 7of7; 10-29-2010 at 10:44 PM.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7of7 View Post
    Now that you mention it,.. the primer, powder, and seat arrangement don't seem right, but I have the 550 and the rotation of the shellplate is clockwise... it may be correct if it is counterclockwise....
    The set up is actually correct for the 300. It rotates counter-clockwise in progression of the loading. The fitting of the "star" to the shell plate is a retro fit. If you look at the start you notice the the arms are curved but they are actually curved for a clockwise rotation ala 450/550. I tried it on one of mine and it was not that big an improvement.

    I suppose one could reposition the set up on the tool head and load the other way. I might actually play with that as I have a 550 also. The biggest issue would be the area to work with in seating the bullet would get very crowded on the left side of the priming mechanism.

    I use the Lee dispenser on two of mine as I can custom cut the charge weights and am basically loading a stock batch of ammo for my matches at one setting and rather than recalibrate the measure like a normal type it was much easier to do i that way. When the Dillon measure became available I put one of those on my rifle designated 300's and it has served me well. It is quite an improvement over having to run the powder drop bar by hand each round.

    Greg
    The best gun for self defense? Any loaded one will do.

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    Dillon 300

    What do extra tool heads cost?

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakoman View Post
    What do extra tool heads cost?
    I've never seen extra tool heads for sale. To swap one out you'd have to undo the large bolts on each side and that would be a real pain on this design. These were never designed with that concept as an option like the 550 etc.

    The preses have not been made since about 1986 or 87 I believe so anything out there would be a tough one. A guy with time and skill could make one but for the $$'s it would be cost prohibitive to have a custom one made up IMHO.

    Greg
    The best gun for self defense? Any loaded one will do.

  13. #13
    Actually, the RL300 was replaced by the RL450 about 1982. I do have exactly one RL300 shellplate bolt that was cut so no bushing is needed, if someone is missing a bushing.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by dillonhelp View Post
    Actually, the RL300 was replaced by the RL450 about 1982. I do have exactly one RL300 shellplate bolt that was cut so no bushing is needed, if someone is missing a bushing.
    I knew it was the early 80's. Hard to believe that so many of them are still going strong. Heck I still wear the Dillon shirt that Mike gave me at the USPSA Nationals in Phoenix in 1985 when I won the US revolver title.

    Greg
    The best gun for self defense? Any loaded one will do.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master



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    I need a Dillon spent primer cup like the ones you can see in post #5 above. Anybody have an extra?

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    I would go crazy and call Dillon. You never know what the back room might hold!! That being a bust you could make one up out of a small tomato sauce can by cutting the slot for the screw hanger.

    Greg
    The best gun for self defense? Any loaded one will do.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    I bought a 450 in 1982, when they were brand new. Just sold it about 6-7 yrs ago when
    I had owned my second 550 for a few years and the 450 wasn't getting as much use.
    I had upgraded it to full 550 specs - obviously not the tool holder top, tho.

    Bill
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Artful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimkim View Post
    My buddy GAVE me this one. He has three left. He bought the extras so he would have spare tool heads. Now I have to scan this one, and make a few heads for him. I keep thinking I might make a head that holds a single die in the middle, and make an adapter to hold a shellholder for the ram. It is mighty danged beefy.
    Actually if you made a head that replaced the 300's with one that would hold the 550 toolheads

    - it would be more efficent for you and him, and some of us RL-300 user's would welcome that upgrade and you'd have some orders.
    Last edited by Artful; 02-05-2011 at 03:21 PM.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master



    Alvarez Kelly's Avatar
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    "Actually if you made a head that replaced the 300's with one that would hold the 550 toolheads ..."

    THAT is a brilliant idea!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by GLShooter View Post
    I would go crazy and call Dillon. You never know what the back room might hold!!

    Greg
    I called 'em. They don't have any of the old style, but said the 550 cup would work. I really like the "look" of the old cup. Anybody have a spare?

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

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
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
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
GC Gas Check