Newbie Question:Consistency of powder drop in Dillon 650


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TwoRavens
January 10, 2006, 03:08 AM
Hi,
I got a Dillon XL650 for Xmas (:) ) and am totally new to reloading...(so be nice :rolleyes: )

A friend of mine who has his own reloading business came over and helped me set up, so I think everything is built OK; but here is my issue:

I'm reloading 308s with VihtaVuori N135 (and Hornady 168gr BTHPs), aiming for 38.9 gr of powder, however the drop seems to vary quite a bi: e.g

38.9
38.5
38.3
38.3
38.0
38.0

Is this normal? Is it because N135 is extruded? Anything to check?

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Sheldon
January 10, 2006, 06:36 AM
The extruded powders will do that. The smaller grained powder and ball powders will be more consistant than the larger grained ones.

taliv
January 10, 2006, 10:30 AM
i've got the 1050, but i think they use the same powder measure/die. the only problem i've ever had with variation, even with extruded powders, is when i over-lube bottleneck rifle cases and the lube builds up in the powder die, causing the powder to stick to it.

take a pipe cleaner and shove it up the powder die and see if it comes out with powder on it. if it does, clean the die thoroughly and see if your variance settles down


btw, extruded powders still meter pretty well, they just make a highly annoying crunching sound.

and your variance there is "quite a bit" to say the least. definitely fix it before you shoot. also, it might be your scale, not your loader. calibrate your scale and try again

georgeduz
January 10, 2006, 02:36 PM
thats no good

redneck2
January 10, 2006, 06:06 PM
You need to do a number of drops, especially with extruded powder. Also, establishing a rhythm is important. With Varget, I don't get consistent charge weights until I drop maybe the first 10 charges or more. I don't even bother to weight them, just take the case and pump it right back into the hopper.

Some guys complain that the Dillon makes the "clunk". I try to adjust mine so that it clunks pretty good so that the powder settles between charges.

Keep the hopper mostly full. I assume you have the baffle in the hopper. I think it takes a number of cycles to get powder worked under the baffle

TwoRavens
January 10, 2006, 06:12 PM
Thanks for the replies!

I found a few specs of powder in the die, so I cleaned it. For now, I think I'll switch to Win 748 for my first batch of 308, and try the ViHt later.

I noticed that after my friend set up the hopper, it was pretty loose on the die, even wobbly. My friend said is worked best like that. Any comments...?

Aneat
January 10, 2006, 06:56 PM
A wobbly powder measure doesnt sound good. On my 1050 I run my powder measure nice and snug. If there is any doubt call Dillon to verify.

Adam

redneck2
January 10, 2006, 07:53 PM
I noticed that after my friend set up the hopper, it was pretty loose on the die, even wobbly. My friend said is worked best like that. Any comments...?

Yeah. If Dillon wanted it wobbly they would have designed it wobbly. You're probably not getting consistent movement. The little socket head screws are there to tighten, not leave loose

I suspect Dillon designed it to clunk. Bench rest shooters usually tap the handle once or twice at the end of the stroke to settle the powder. I suspect the clunk does the same

All I know is that, when mine's set right, it will stay +/- .1, and that's on several different units and that's with extruded powder

dmftoy1
January 10, 2006, 09:15 PM
I take the new powder measure's and add the double return springs around the charge bars from the original dillon setup. They'll give them to you for free if you ask. Seems to make the measure work better. (IMHO)

FWIW - my powder measures don't wobble at all on my powder dies. Might double check that the little clamp thing on the measure is actually sitting down in the grove on the powder die. (Just a guess)

Regards,
Dave

taliv
January 11, 2006, 01:13 AM
i concur with the previous two... get rid of the wobble.


i'm not sure what "clunk" you guys are talking about. maybe i never noticed it.


oh, and probably a subject for a different thread, but i've noticed a lot of powder dispenser instructions say specifically to NOT tap the handle on the top or bottom of the stroke as it will make more variance, not less. it would be interesting to know how that tapping thing got started.

redneck2
January 11, 2006, 07:45 AM
If the cam retaining screw on the side of the measure is snug, the cam hesitates, then the measure drops down. If it's a little looser, the powder bar slides smoothly.

YellowLab
January 11, 2006, 11:54 AM
Volumetric measures will always vary with extruded type powders. The grains will never be the same in two throws, so you will always have a different number of grains in each 'volume'. Plus the length of extruded powders are not exactly the same etc etc.

Ball powders will meter most accuratly.... a ball is a ball no matter how it 'lies' in the volume. Flake can stand on end or lay flat, or diagonal accros other flakes... so variation will be present. Extruded, well, figure it out....

Taping the side of the measure will 'settle' the grains more or less, I'm not sure why that would be a bad thing.

Definately clean the measure... as someone has already pointed out case lube and accumulate and cause issues... mainly bridging.

30Cal
January 11, 2006, 02:44 PM
I get +/- 0.2 or 0.3grs with extruded powders and a dillon measure (on a 550--I think it's the same measure if not similar). If you operate the press inconsistantly, it will throw inconsistantly (go figure). A smooth, repeatable stroke is what you're looking for. If you bang the press or jam a shell up against a die, then the next drop is going to be heavy by quite a bit.

It'll take 3-4 drops after adjusting the powder measure before the charge weights settle in. When you're trying to dial it in, make sure you are operating the press the same way. If you're production run is charge then seat, make sure you are at least attempting to simulate--charge-charge-charge will give you different weights than charge-seat-charge-seat.

I get most consistant results if I put only one shell on the shellplate at a time and size as a completely seperate operation (i.e. I size them all, then charge and seat). Rapping the side of the powdermeasure prior to running the shell up into the powder die also helps.

FWIW, consistancy of charge weights is highly overrated. You can easily exceed factory match ammo with +/-0.3grs variation.

Ty

redneck2
January 11, 2006, 08:06 PM
I get most consistant results if I put only one shell on the shellplate at a time and size as a completely seperate operation (i.e. I size them all, then charge and seat). Rapping the side of the powdermeasure prior to running the shell up into the powder die also helps.

I kinda do the same thing, but I take one piece of brass and run it thru the entire cycle and end up with one loaded round.

If I do this, my charge weights are real close, even with extruded, and it's simple because I don't have to segregate my rounds between steps. When the rounds kicks out, it's ready to shoot.

Rockstar
January 11, 2006, 09:56 PM
Sounds like your friend erred in setting up the power drop. Tighten that mother up with those hex screws. If you'll use dry moly and coat your charge bars, they'll work smoother. I'd suggest that you review your entire setup, per Dillon's manual, considering the obvious lack of knowledge of your friend.

BenW
January 11, 2006, 10:49 PM
I take the new powder measure's and add the double return springs around the charge bars from the original dillon setup. They'll give them to you for free if you ask. Seems to make the measure work better. (IMHO)
+1

I can't find my link to it, but there's a thread on brianenos.com about this.

30Cal
January 12, 2006, 01:45 PM
I kinda do the same thing, but I take one piece of brass and run it thru the entire cycle and end up with one loaded round.

I have to FL resize which seems to be pretty variable in effort depending on how much lube a particular case gets, so I get better results if I do sizing as a separate op. Also, I have to trim and clean primer pockets (gasgun).

Ty

scott5
January 12, 2006, 09:07 PM
TwoRavens said:"I'm reloading 308s with VihtaVuori N135 (and Hornady 168gr BTHPs), aiming for 38.9 gr of powder, however the drop seems to vary quite a bi: e.g

38.9
38.5
38.3
38.3
38.0
38.0"

I have a 550B and my drops never did vary that little. In ten throws they always were up to two grains, scatered all over the place, and the powder would stick at the bottom of the hopper and crush my brass.:banghead: :fire:

My solution was to size and prime every case then use the Lyman 1200DPS to dispence every charge then seat the bullet then crimp.

When I called Dillon about my problem they just told me to use ball powders. Well I didn't have ball powders at that time, I still have a bunch of the stick powders to use up.

Just my $0.02

BigJakeJ1s
January 12, 2006, 10:21 PM
Dillon offers an adapter to use other manufacturers' PMs (manually activated) on their presses. Also, both RCBS and Hornady sell case activated linkages for their powder measures that screw into standard die holes. Hornady is even coming out with powder through expanders for their linkage (their linkage would work with rcbs too, and probably redding. Generally speaking, measures that fill from the end of a long cavity tend to do better on extruded powders than those that fill from the side (dillon). Whether even they work well enough is a matter of some debate.

Andy

taliv
January 12, 2006, 11:20 PM
scott5, there's got to be more to that story. if dillon sold a measure that varried 2 GRAINS, i can't imagine they'd tell you to piss off like that.

snuffy
January 13, 2006, 04:57 AM
Dillon offers an adapter to use other manufacturers' PMs (manually activated) on their presses. Also, both RCBS and Hornady sell case activated linkages for their powder measures that screw into standard die holes. Hornady is even coming out with powder through expanders for their linkage (their linkage would work with rcbs too, and probably redding. Generally speaking, measures that fill from the end of a long cavity tend to do better on extruded powders than those that fill from the side (dillon). Whether even they work well enough is a matter of some debate.

Andy

http://photos.imageevent.com/jptowns/terrysoops/websize/image9.jpg

This's how my 650 is set up. That's the hornady case activated powder die and the hornady measure. Here's a pic with the powder sensor removed to show the linkage.

http://photos.imageevent.com/jptowns/terrysoops/websize/image2_2.jpg

I use surplus wc-844 ball powder to load my .223's. I'm sure if I used a stick powder, it would stay within a couple tenths either way, which is good enough for what I'm loading.

redneck2
January 13, 2006, 07:28 AM
Do Dillon powder bushings work, or do you have to get something from Hornady??

something I don't understand is, when I used both my Hornady measure and Dillon with the same powder (AA 1680 IIRC), the Dillon was more accurate. The Hornady appears better made in every way, so this was puzzling. The Hornady was new, so maybe there was lube built up. All I know is, I had a heck of a time getting the Hornady anywhere near consistent. Dunno

YellowLab
January 13, 2006, 11:59 AM
When I called Dillon about my problem they just told me to use ball powders. Well I didn't have ball powders at that time, I still have a bunch of the stick powders to use up.

Just my $0.02

Now that is some good tech support... its not OUR MEASURE.. its YOUR powder! Was it worth 2x the cost of a press to be treated like a child? :neener:

I wonder if anyone at Dillon even understands why the charge it varying.. they didn't even tell you why.

From what I read, volumetric case actived measures are a Lee patented gizmo.. call them, they'll probibly know more about it.:D

TwoRavens
January 13, 2006, 02:14 PM
Snuffy: Very cool. Where did you order it from? How easy is it tom move from tool head to tool head?

scott5
January 13, 2006, 02:51 PM
YellowLab wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott5
When I called Dillon about my problem they just told me to use ball powders. Well I didn't have ball powders at that time, I still have a bunch of the stick powders to use up.

Just my $0.02


Now that is some good tech support... its not OUR MEASURE.. its YOUR powder! Was it worth 2x the cost of a press to be treated like a child?

I wonder if anyone at Dillon even understands why the charge it varying.. they didn't even tell you why.

From what I read, volumetric case actived measures are a Lee patented gizmo.. call them, they'll probibly know more about it.




I called Dillon twice.
The first time was in the shop standing in front of the machine and describing the problem to them, that I was loading for 6mm Remington and that the powder was varying all over the place. The thing that I forgot to tell them was that the powder was building up in the bottom of the despenser for a few drops and on the third drop it would crush the case.
The man told me to use ball powder.:confused:

A few weeks later I went over to my favorite gun shop, a place that sells Dillon presses, and was telling them my problems and they had no answers exept to call Dillon and hand me the phone.
The man on the other end at Dillon told me the same thing, use ball powders:banghead:

So now when I reload for rifle, I size and prime in one step, then put the shells in a loading block and have my Lyman 1200 weigh each charge.:neener:

Then with all the shells in the loading block with the right amount of powder to within +- 0.1gr. instead of +- 2.0gr., I seat the bullet useing the Dillon for the rest of the process. I have two Dillon powder drops and accesories that I don't use anymore because of the of the above problems.:(

Im sorry TwoRavens for hyjacking your thread. Just my $0.02

snuffy
January 13, 2006, 04:16 PM
Do Dillon powder bushings work, or do you have to get something from Hornady??

something I don't understand is, when I used both my Hornady measure and Dillon with the same powder (AA 1680 IIRC), the Dillon was more accurate. The Hornady appears better made in every way, so this was puzzling. The Hornady was new, so maybe there was lube built up. All I know is, I had a heck of a time getting the Hornady anywhere near consistent. Dunno

No. You get the whole powder die from Hornady, it includes the linkage and base die. You can get the base die seperately, so the upper can be removed, with the measure and linkage to move to another tool head.

This linkage is being replaced by a newer one by Hornady. I doubt you could even buy it anymore. I got this one from Midway, and I got another base die from them also so I could move it to the .308 tool head.https://www.hornady.com/shop/ That link should take you to the hornady website and their powder measure page. Since it's new---midway doesn't have either the old one or the new one. So for now you'd have to order dirrect from hornady.

RN2, when I was using my horn measure to charge cases dirrectly, it was quite accurate even with long grained extruded powders. I since have gotten a pact/RCBS dispensor, so I don't use it for measuring dirrectly except for the dillon application. Since your measure was new, it might not have had time to "settle down". By that I mean getting a coating of graphite from the powder to ease passage of the powder. Static could be a factor as well.

redneck2
January 13, 2006, 05:41 PM
Since your measure was new, it might not have had time to "settle down".

I could buy that. Again, dunno. I guess I was just expecting miracle things from the "new and improved" measure over the "garbage Dillon", and it turned out the other way around. Could also be static or maybe storage lube.

Hey, if anybody's got any of those crap Dillon measures they want to get rid of, I'd be interested.

I'd still like to know how a Dillon can be off by 2 full grains. Maybe .2, but not 2 grains. All of mine throw to +/- .2, and usually right on even with Varget.. When I use AA5, H110, etc. it's almost always dead on.

Signed "Confused in Indiana"

taliv
January 13, 2006, 06:25 PM
Static could be a factor as well.

excellent point; bears repeating. i hadn't thought of that. this is the time of year for shocking the crap out of yourself every time you touch a doorknob

YellowLab
January 13, 2006, 06:53 PM
The weight of the charge will always vary (your scale may not be THAT sensitive to catch every .1 grain) with volumentric measures. Sometimes under .1gr so your scale will not indicate it, sometime .5+ grains that is OBVIOUS.

Powder can bridge (ie fall in such a way that the grains clog up the drop tube rather than go through it) but that generally easy to see... when you lower the shellplate, the bottoming of the press causes all the power to fall out onto your press. Making a mess.

Some general tips:

Clean EVERYTHING with isopropyl alchohol.. NOT RUBBING ALCHOHOL. 99% is best... it will eat any oil on the mechanism (ie case lube) and will dry with no residue. Get the drop tube and inside any dies. You'll be suprised how dirty it is in there.

You can use Bounce dryer sheets to remove any static cling on plastic parts. Flake popwders are afected the most by static.. but it can affect larger grain powders also (see bridging above).

If you lube cases lube sparingly... shells should not drip with lube. Lube from the case will build up on the inside of your powder die and cause irractic things to happen.

Once you clean, de-static, and reassemble the measure.. throw some charges and weigh them. If you measure is consistantly boucing around then you may have a defective/poorly machined part in the works.

Switching to Ball powder is not fixing the problem. Getting a powder throw to throw reasonabily consistant charges is fixing the problem.

Lastly I cannot stress enough.. if your measured throws are +/- .2 grains I would consider than 'normal' for a progressive volume powder measure. If you are trying for dead on weights every time, then use a ball type powder. But you have to realize that volume throws are cannot be accurate every time.

30Cal
January 13, 2006, 09:55 PM
Polish the inside of the powder funnel and you'll never dump powder on the press again (at least due to bridging). I've loaded about 10k rounds since I polished mine and it hasn't bridged yet. I use 4895, Varget and 4064 almost exclusively.

Ty

bevis
January 14, 2006, 03:35 AM
TwoRavens said:"I'm reloading 308s with VihtaVuori N135 (and Hornady 168gr BTHPs), aiming for 38.9 gr of powder, however the drop seems to vary quite a bi: e.g

38.9
38.5
38.3
38.3
38.0
38.0"

I have a 550B and my drops never did vary that little. In ten throws they always were up to two grains, scatered all over the place, and the powder would stick at the bottom of the hopper and crush my brass.:banghead: :fire:

My solution was to size and prime every case then use the Lyman 1200DPS to dispence every charge then seat the bullet then crimp.

When I called Dillon about my problem they just told me to use ball powders. Well I didn't have ball powders at that time, I still have a bunch of the stick powders to use up.

Just my $0.02


scott5 - wanna sell that press ?

scott5
January 15, 2006, 01:18 AM
bevis said:"scott5 - wanna sell that press ?"

I'm thinking about it. I have a friend that wants to buy it.

bevis
January 15, 2006, 01:40 AM
if he doesnt buy it let me know.
im interested

redneck2
January 15, 2006, 07:50 AM
there's something way wrong. Since you're in N Mex, take a road trip to Phoenix and visit Dillon. I've been there. Nice place. Smaller than I would have thought, but still interesting. Bet they could get it straightened out quick

Archie
January 17, 2006, 07:18 PM
It takes a bit of fooling, but this should happen:

When the press is fully 'up', the case should be full up against the 'funnel' and the bar on the powder measure completely at the end of its travel. This is adjusted with the depth of the powder die. (It's too far when the cases start collapsing when charging... BTDT!)

When the press is fully 'down', the charge bar on the measure should be completely retracted, AND the spring at the bottom of the puller linkage should be somewhat compressed. This is adjusted with the lock nut on the bottom of the puller link. The bar has to bottom out on both ends of the stroke. Otherwise you get a partially opening charge hole, which will give variant results.

Having said that; I've used IMR 4895 powder in my Dillon on several occasions. I get a plus or minus .5 grain variation at tops; which in a 50 grain load is 1% variation.

Your range of charge weight is less than 1 grain total. For a 38.9 grain load, that's just over 2%. I don't think you're going to see any particular difference between the 38.0 grain load and the 38.9 grain load. The variation in bullet impact due to drop is nil out to about 300 yards. Nothin' wrong with getting powder charges as uniform as possible, but you'll be surprized how much 'tolerance' there is in this factor.

Shoot a couple groups and see how they shoot. If you're not getting good groups, then you might see about a new powder measure. I can tell you shooting 41 grain loads from a .308 Winchester in a Garand, the variations from 40.5 grains to 41.5 grains do not amount to a hoot in heck. At least, not over the National Match Course.

Rockstar
January 19, 2006, 11:42 AM
I'm using exactly the same setup as Snuffy on my 650, for loading rifle cartridges. Works perfectly. Everything you need, including the powder die, comes with the Hornady $40-or-so kit.

Fatelvis
September 3, 2006, 11:35 AM
Polish the inside of the powder funnel and you'll never dump powder on the press again (at least due to bridging). I've loaded about 10k rounds since I polished mine and it hasn't bridged yet. I use 4895, Varget and 4064 almost exclusively.

30CAL, I've heard this before. Do you have any special methods for polishing the insides? I have 4 measures to do it to, and wanted to make sure I did it right! Thanks-

30Cal
September 3, 2006, 03:45 PM
I don't recall if I just did a shoeshine job using strips of crocus cloth or if I used a dremil tool. There's nothing critical and no precision required. Just make it smooth inside.

Ty

mc223
September 3, 2006, 05:19 PM
I have been using stick powders in my Dillon without a hitch since 96. I find it hard to believe that someone from Dillon would tell anyone to just use ball powders. V V powders drop very consistanly. Drop at least 10 like stated in an earlier post then start weighing.

Clean the drop tube with a dryer sheet and do not lube the slide with dry lube.
Tighten the hex head screws on the measure.

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