Powder Check Die


September 25, 2005, 03:55 PM
I'm looking for a mechanical powder check die. This will be used on a progressive press to check for potential powder drop problems.

Should I go with a lock out die or just a powder check die?

What did/would you choose, and why? What are your experiences?



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September 25, 2005, 04:35 PM
I use the RCBS Lockout Die with my Dillon 650. It works. It literally prevents you from pulling the handle and advancing the press until the problem round is removed/fixed.

September 25, 2005, 06:53 PM
I chose a desk/study lamp with a bright bulb positioned over the case where the bullet would be placed and seated. I visually verify every case has approximately the same level of powder.

With seperate seating and crimping, the dillon 550 doesn't have an extra hole in the toolhead for any extra dies. Same for the hornady L-N-L unless it uses a modified powder/expander setup. The dillon 650 (maybe 1050) is the only one I know of designed for a powder check die.

September 25, 2005, 06:55 PM
You can use a Lockout Die on an RCBS 2000. I also use a lamp mounted on my 650's casefeeder for inspecting as I go along. Still feels good to have that Lockout Die there, just in case I turn out to be human, after all. ;)

September 25, 2005, 08:18 PM
I use the RCBS Powder Check die on both my Hornady LNL presses, one for .45 ACP and one for .44 Mag. Works great. Wouldn't be without one on a progressive press. Just my .02.

Good shooting and be safe.

September 26, 2005, 11:21 AM
I believe you can install one in station #3 of a 550, but it will necessitate seating and crimping in station #4. Sounds like it would be a royal pain.

September 26, 2005, 09:23 PM
I'm thinking about using a powder check type die on a Hornady AP, but using it on top of/through a Lyman hollow expander die. This would preserve the 5th station for separate crimp.

Anybody try this, or have any thoughts on it? How big in diameter is the rod on the business end of one like the powder cop? Is there a wider "foot" at the bottom of it? For that matter, what diameter is the whole through the 45 cal expander in the lyman die?

Does the lock-out die (rcbs) have two rods that extend down (one to sense case/shellholder position, one to sense powder level)? I can see how the dillon electronic one works, with the sense rod outside the die. Is the rcbs lockout die similar?


BTW, long time lurker; just joined; 1st post!

September 26, 2005, 10:47 PM
You can probably get an idea of how the RCBS Lockout Die works on RCBS's website. The die has a plunger (two different nylon attachments for large and small calibers) that's adjusted to the load you're using. Very much under or over that load and the die will lock the press.

September 27, 2005, 11:30 PM
I checked the rcbs website, and it looks like I had the two types confused. It appears as though the lockout die does not use a second plunger to detect the case/shellplate. There must be something in the die that references the case height (and therefore ram position). Anyway, it does not look like it would work for the way I want to use it (on top of and through a hollow expander die). I think just a powder cop type die, or perhaps the dillon powder check die, would work, if the plunger can be made long enough to reach all the way down through a lyman hollow expander die.


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