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Problem with Dillon 550B primer seating and platform height


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#1 davester00

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 10:50 PM

Problem with Dillon 550B primer seating and platform height.

I am new to reloading and after reliably reloading 500 .45 ACP rounds I wanted to start to babble in the depriming/resizing of .223 rounds.
So I took off the tool head with the .45 ACP setup (did not remove or readjust any of the dies). I removed the shell plate (removal of brass set screw and the platform bolt) and locator buttons and switched to the shell plate and locator buttons for the .223 and a tool head that I designated for just resizing and depriming .223 station 1 and trim on station 2. After I adjusted the resizing die to deprime and create the correct headspace I figured out I was running out of time and I need to start to reload my .45 ACP if I want to start shooting this week.

I noticed once I reinstalled my .45 shell plate and locator buttons and toolhead set up for .45ACP, my the primer seating station seemed to come up too high when handle is stroked all the way forward. If I was to load a live primer in a de-primed case it seems that I would come up high enough to smash a primer and possibly set it off (Picture 1). Also when I when to de-prime a case it seems the platform moved about .1 of an inch up. This .1 of an inch is about the same height as a primer.

So my problems are the platform now moves about .1 in both directions. Direction 1 the seating of primers and direction 2 the resizing, belling, seating and crimping of the bullet.

See picture 1: Does your 550b primer set station go up this high?
See picture 2: Case 1 (Far Left) is what it did before I removed and replaced the shell plate and screwed things up. (middle) is how much far down the bullet is pressed deeper so the difference in height is that of a primer. (right) is the over belling of the case.

I inspected my 550 and there is nothing bent or abused or crooked. There is some thing that I am missing that would systematically throw the platform off a primer height at the top and bottom.

If you have any insight on this problem please help me get my 550b back up and running safely.

Thanks in advance, Dave

Handle in forward stroke(seating)
Posted Image
See middle case for difference in height when handle is pulled all the way down.
Posted Image


#2 Sarge

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 01:01 PM

I'm at work so I can't see pictures. :angry2: But on the aspect of seating a primer, my anvil comes WAY up higher than it needs to to seat a primer. I don't even know for sure if that is what you are getting at. But my handle goes forward almost twice as much with no brass on the plate as compared to when I am seating a primer. The primer stops the forward movement.

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#3 benos

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 02:17 PM

See picture 1: Does your 550b primer set station go up this high?
See picture 2: Case 1 (Far Left) is what it did before I removed and replaced the shell plate and screwed things up. (middle) is how much far down the bullet is pressed deeper so the difference in height is that of a primer. (right) is the over belling of the case.

1. That's how it should be. The punch needs to come that far to allow you to fully seat the primer in the bottom of the primer pocket. You fully seat the primer by feel. Which is best accomplished with a "two-step push": Pause slightly as you feel the primer contact the primer pocket, then with one smooth push, feel the primer cup bottom out in the primer pocket. After some practice you'll get the feel for it.

2. Proably, you just need to back out the seat die until the bullet seats/looks like pic 1.

Way to much bell. A general rule for pistol cases - The widest point of the bell should measure the case width + 0.020".
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#4 Bill Nesbitt

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 02:27 PM

It looks like the 45 shell plate isn't adjusted right. Take it back off and check for something underneath it. It should be tightened down enough that it barely turns freely.
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#5 dillon

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 03:27 PM

1) The primer seating punch is fine. Seat primers and don't worry about it, as long as the slide picks up a new primer when you cycle the handle.

2) Without a bunch more pictures, I would hazard a guess that one of the dies might be down too far, preventing the handle from going all the way down with a case in that station. When the case is at another position, the handle can travel further, resulting in the flaring and seating depths shown. None of the dies should contact the shellplate when the handle is pulled down, though the size die can just kiss the shellplate. I suggest you phone us when you can be in front of the machine for assistance.

#6 chirpy

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 03:29 PM

I'm going to add some to what Bill just said. I didn't re-read the directions to see what they recommend (and I've had my 550 since it was a 450 so I do things automatically) but I adjust my shell plate with brass in each station and turn it completely around to make sure it moves freely and then re-adjust or tighten the allen screw. WFM.

FWIW

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#7 davester00

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 03:43 PM

Thank You everyone for the advice.

The reason I was worried was that I removed the toolhead that was configured for .45ACP that worked well for 450 rounds.
Messed around with a separate toolhead for the .223 decapping and sizing.
Switched back and then I had all these problems.

Now that I know the primer seating is the right height I will re configure my .45 tool head with the correct heights for all the dies.

Thanks for the advice.
I'll let you know how it goes.

BTW.
I was under the impression that if you have separate toolheads and switch them you wouldn't have to reconfigure the die height.

David

#8 bdpaz

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 04:15 PM

BTW.
I was under the impression that if you have separate toolheads and switch them you wouldn't have to reconfigure the die height.


You shouldn't have to make major adjustments after switching tool heads. My guess is that either one or more of the dies are loose and moved during the changeover or that Bill Nesbitt is correct and there is something under the shell plate that is raising it up.

Edited by bdpaz, 22 December 2009 - 04:26 PM.

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#9 dcbridgwater

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 04:39 PM

BTW.
I was under the impression that if you have separate toolheads and switch them you wouldn't have to reconfigure the die height.

David


Thats the way it should work. The only things I can think off is something was a miss when it was first set up, something may have been something wrong with the way the shell plate was in so the rim on the Shellplate Bolt was hitting the bottom of the tool head before the ram was fully up and now that the shell plate was reset when changing calibers the ram is now going all the way up. My other thought is the stop on the crank (the tab on the crank that meets with Left Link Arm) may have cracked. I am no expert just a thought, good luck with it.

Dale

#10 davester00

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 11:27 PM

Thanks for all the input.
I figured out the problem.
The person I purchased the 550b from had mounted the 550 without a strong mount on this workbench.
I was speculating that the presses motion was somehow being hindered by his workbench or lack of strong mount.

Once i took the press home and mounted it on my strong mount which allowed a full range of motion.
I proceeded to load about 100rnds of .45 ACP ammo and since I was new I was unaware that the shell plate platform was being stopped by the sizing/decaping die.
Once I changed the height of the first die everything seemed to have shifted downward about a primer in height.

Anyways wanted to let you guys know that the problem is solved and I am happily creating ammo on my "one armed bandit".
Just wanted to archive this problem in case someone else runs into the same thing if they purchase a used 550b.

David




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