Still very new and will consider myself a newbie until I’m at 10,000 or more rounds loaded. I’m looking to make my Dillon a little smoother and stay a little cleaner.
Currently only loading 9mm for the foreseeable future. Then another handgun and maybe .223.
Current setup is mounted on an InLine fabrication strong mount bolted to two layers of 5/16 sandable ply glued and screwed. The bench is built with 4x4 legs shimmed for stability and 2x6 shelf supports. 3” wood screw along back board into each wall stud along the length of the bench. Dillon carbide dies and no lube.
The powder measure throws great, set at 4.2 and gets 4.17 to 4.23 on the outside. I’ve ran multiple attempts at 5 or 10 charges and the average is as good or better, so that part seems smooth.
I do however get a little jump right as the shell plate clicks into the station and an occasional hard stick on the upstroke of the handle. When it happens, it’s usually after the brass is clear of the dies/powder measure. For curiosity, I did install a thrust bearing and washers but I don’t think it did much.
I’ve cleaned and greased the areas and played with shell plate tension.
Any thoughts? I do think I need to adjust the ejector spring as that binds a little occasionally.
Secondary, is the time it takes to decamp prior to placing in the case feeder worth it? I need to install a spent primer tube for sure. I’m loading HiTek coated cast and get a little mess from that though I’ve adjusted the flare so that’s probably going to stay that way. Plated is much cleaner but a little more money so I’m still deciding.
Try cutting 1/4 to 1/2 a coil off the detent ball spring. I cut off I think 1/2 a coil and it made a noticeable difference. I still get a little jerkiness, but I haven't cut off any more yet. I usually set the bullet in the case just as it has come off of the powder checker, but before it hits the seating die. Kind of in the middle and then I'll ride it with my finger slowing down the plate slightly (hope that makes sense). I was depriming before tumbling (I wet tumble) but found that I don't really need to. I wet tumble and then put my brass in a dehydrator for a couple of hours. If you haven't already, get an MBF funnel. Makes seating the coated bullets much easier. I was having trouble with shaving the coating, no matter how much I adjusted at station 2. Went to the MBF and it has been nearly flawless. I say nearly because I still get some shaving, probably 2-3 out of 100 rounds. I believe that is brass related though....CBC for example.
What to you mean by a "hard stick"? Is it not releasing from the powder funnel? Do you wet tumble? If so, that is going to happen. I do lube my pistol brass with One Shot. That does seem to minimize the sticking seen with wet tumbling.
Sometimes on the funnel, but sometimes it seems like something is in the way. I can’t find anything so it’s probably just the powder funnel. I’ve cleaned it off as well.
Pretty much been using all Blazer Brass I’ve sot in my guns and the occasional Winchester ends up in the mix as I’m new and wanted to eliminate variables to start.
try highly polishing the bell on the powder drop tube.
I used a cloth wheel and some mothers polish,made it a mirror finish many years ago.
I loaded 200 44 mags this am on the 550 and no sticking,
Also when you need lube on moving parts use Imperial wax.
There are a whole host of specially made improvements for the 650 availably on eBay:
I ordered some of them, found 2 or 3 of those very useful, and the remainder went back into my cabinet.
The best made items all seemed to come from Hit Factor Shooting Supply, things like a bearing to go under your shell plate (to reduce jiggling as it rotates), and easy adjusters for your powder feed. I ended up using three items, the low mass detent ball (under the shell plate), and the replacement for the "ski jump" primer catcher. This catches unused primers in a little bottle, rather than having them go on the floor. Also I used the attachment for spent primers, which consists of a bracket and plastic tube, so you can direct your spent primers to a bottle under your bench (or anywhere else you want).
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When it sticks look at the station 1. At times the case isn't positioned correctly to rotate to station 2. As the two cases move (one trying to move forward and the other stuck going into station 2) cause a hesitation and subsequent jerk of the shell plate. Thus causing the powder spillage.
Also check your indexer return spring. Sometimes it binds up and needs replacement even prior to breaking.
As to your questions: I decap pistol cases in station 1. Lubing your brass (while not needed with carbide dies) makes the process faster and smoother, even with carbide dies.
dillon upgrades offers several good options. I find the ski jump fix better than others. The spent primer upgrade is good but get the longer tube as the little container is not durable. I replaced it with a larger container and it works great.
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As noted, clip 1/4 coil off the detent spring & it will stop the shell plate from snapping into place.
If you are wet cleaning your brass, that is always going to cause sticking at the powder thru, one reason I don't wet clean my brass, just makes everything work harder on a progressive.
IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
Also make sure you don't have to much bell on the case. It can cause the case to hang up on the powder funnel.
I'm only loading 9mm mostly with new brass.
For what it's worth, I tumble my brass - even new brass - with walnut shells for about 30 minutes and it solved the same issue you describe here.
Thanks. Maybe I tumbled too long. I’ll clip a bit off the spring. I’d really rather not mess with lube for pistol brass.
Riley, if you use One Shot, it isn't that involved. I take a small, shoebox sized plastic container, fill it with enough brass to cover the bottom and spray away. I make sure the brass is laying on its side first. I also use Armor All Wash and Wax when I wet tumble. That helps as it leaves a light film of wax on the brass, but the One Shot really smooths things out.
Keep it clean and wiped down.
I also keep a can of compressed air on hand to occasionally blow off the tiny bits of debris/powder that seem to appear out of nowhere.
Duty is the sublimest word in the English Language - Gen Robert E Lee.
One Timken NTA-815 thrust bearing and two washers.
Can make them index like this.
I tried the washers and bearing from McMaster Carr, from a link on SigForum. Didn’t seem to help plus requires bending the ejector spring. I haven’t bent the spring yet as I removed the washers and bearing.
I’ll try the detent spring next I do a run.
Put the thrust washer back in and clipped a touch off the detent spring. Smoother now, but occasionally sticking on the powder thru die. Most notable on certain Brass headstamps. CBC is horrible so they get sorted out for now. WIN is okay, RP is okay, Blazer is pretty good.
Even though you are probably using carbide dies give your clean brass a light spritz or two of case lube spray. It just helps everything to move MUCH more smoothly. And you won't even notice it when your done. So no need to remove it from the finished loaded rounds.
For years I didn't lube "because I was using carbide sizing dies". For a few years now I have lubed, and it makes all the difference in press stability. I go the traditional route, though, and lube them on a teflon cookie sheet, then tumble briefly (15 minutes) with corn cob after loading.
The note above from El Cid 92 is also important, to keep the shell plate area and components clean. Since I already had my garage piped for compressed air, I just extended it over to the reloading bench with a new manifold. I keep the regulator turned out to about 25psi.
Steve nailed it on the "sticky" part: Cleaned (tumbled) brass will eliminate the problem. I really don't think the lubrication methods given (for pistol brass) are a good idea.
The "jump" may be caused by an accumulated grit under the shell plate and the bearing.
Have you called Dillon and asked? They've been very helpful over the 25 years I've used their products.
I never had a problem of "jumping" from the downstroke on brass that was simply tumbled clean. Lubing just lessens the effort (greatly) and helps an aging reloader.
There are other areas to look at for jumping. One, as you mention, is crap under the shellplate. Keep it cleaned out with the use of low psi compressed air. Other areas for improvement are offered by Hit Factor Shooting Supply. I have tried all of their offerings, and ended up only using two, but they definitely help. One I use is the low mass detent ball with reduced power spring. You can also try just clipping a coil off of the stock spring, but the synthetic ball seems to help even without the reduced power spring. The other item I use is the camming pin with ball bearing. That's the long steel rod that sticks down and rides the case feeder ramp. The stock one is simply rounded off and the ramp requires lubing. The replacement has a ball bearing on the end that makes that ride much smoother. Their little improvements are relatively inexpensive. I lost my low mass ball, (one of those things that once it falls to the floor you never see it again), and they sent me a bag of four more gratis.
I tumbled well. Pretty clean cases though not new or wet cleaned.
Clean shell holder and below. I’ll check again on the indexer and it seems there is no issue with a case going into station one.
I did find that the CBC headstamp brass is a pain but Blazer (my preferred), Win, R-P all seem to be fine.
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