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Thread: Dillon 550 owners-

  1. #1
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    Dillon 550 owners-

    My 550 is 35+ years old, and has been rebuilt 3 times. It has slowly been upgraded, and Dillon sent me the mechanical, bellcrank powder measure several years ago. It replaced the double springs powering the powder bar.
    It didn't run very smoothly; my powder bars are hodge podge going back years, and I leave them set for a particular charge. Some were really binding in the powder measure.
    Finally groused to Dillon, and they sent me bunch of current-spec powder bars with the slippery silver coating.
    All the difference in the world; bars ran smoothly, and did that little 'bump' at the end of the stroke. I'm guessing that 'bump' is like what we used to do with the tapper on old Lyman powder measures.
    In any case, measuring accuracy has improved immensely, and the press runs so much more smoothly.
    Don't suffer in silence; talk to Dillon.
    Moon

  2. #2
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    Good to hear they're keeping the customer service level high. I like the double spring powder deal better than the new version for the exact issue you mentioned.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

  3. #3
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    I think there's a thread on Brian Enos' forum about guys retrofitting the older Dillon powder measure, because they liked it better than the new one...

    I know it's heresy, but smearing a touch of motor oil on the powder bars made mine run a lot smoother. I know I don't want oil in my powder charge, but we're talking just enough to make it feel a little oil (not dripping!).

  4. #4
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    They'll also sell you the springs as well.

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    Now that I (finally) got the bellcrank system working, I wouldn't go back to the springs.
    Too, that slippery surface on new production makes a huge difference, and I'm convinced that there was a change in specs.
    Bimmer, know what you're saying about just a dab of lube. I used powdered graphite on the primer shuttle, until, again, the new ones have that slippery silver coating.
    Wish I had a nickel for every round that's come out of that 550. I could drink free for months.
    Wonder how much of modern, high round count shooting developed from progressive presses, priced for the ordinary shooter?
    Moon

  6. #6
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    I only run the bell crank on pistol ammo, and still have yet to get used to the clunky movement of the system.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

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    While I have run 5.56 thru' the Dillon, I am mainly a straight-side pistol cartridge reloader.
    It's my impression that the two bumps (small one going up, bigger coming down) are meant to slightly agitate the powder.
    I mentioned above, the old Lyman measure had a tapper that got two whacks on the upstroke, and two more on the down; I can still hear that 'tap-tap' while filling a loading block.
    Moon

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    I gave all the moving parts of my powder measure a good diamond honing and polish. Disconnected that spring end that causes the clunk and added some wife's hair ties to the powder bar to make it run smooth and quiet. I get much more consistent drops and run it dry as the lube seems to grab the little powder sizes and dust and gums up the operation after a while. Also sand and polish the inside of your powder hopper for smoother drops.

    Uniquetek has a tips and tricks for improving the dillon powder measure, just download the pdf and enjoy

    http://uniquetek.com/free_tips_files
    Last edited by joedirt199; 09-27-19 at 16:22.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfmoonclip View Post
    While I have run 5.56 thru' the Dillon, I am mainly a straight-side pistol cartridge reloader.
    It's my impression that the two bumps (small one going up, bigger coming down) are meant to slightly agitate the powder.
    I mentioned above, the old Lyman measure had a tapper that got two whacks on the upstroke, and two more on the down; I can still hear that 'tap-tap' while filling a loading block.
    Moon
    Between the bullet seating and the crimp die, I've never found the powder measure to need any jogs to get the flow going.... at least with ball and fine kernal extruded. I did have the measure choke up on 4064, but that stuff is like rice, and meters horribly.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

  10. #10
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    I too had issues and they gave me some of the newer powder bars. I have my newest one I bought last year mounted up on my Dillon 300.

    Greg

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