550B not picking up new primer


January 27, 2007, 05:00 PM
I did a search first and tried some suggestions I found. I added some weight to the primer tube follower rod and I tried pulling back on the bar manually to see if I could pick one up. No luck. When I completely lower the operating handle, I can't pull the bar back any farther.

It looks as if the Primer seating cup is positioned right under the red tip of the primer magazine. I checked the tolerances for the seating cup and spring.

Any thoughts? :banghead:

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January 27, 2007, 05:33 PM
I have had that problem before along with several other people, and it is easy to solve. Remove the long metal primer arm and give it a slight bend at it's curve. Bend it towards the ends JUST slightly and reinstall and things should work properly. You may have to try a second time also. Dillon told me that after many cycles that arm loses some of it's tension and causes primers to misfeed. If you still have problems, call Dillon and they should replace that part at n/c.

January 27, 2007, 08:04 PM
There is a small allen head screw that controls how far the primer bar/cup can move back into the primer magazine. Adjust that screw out until the primer will drop. The operating rod/wire is not the problem if pulling the primer bar back by hand won't work. The primer cup is not being allowed to come back far enough to press on the plastic tip at the bottom of the primer tube (releasing a primer). When I had a 550, I adjusted that setting slighty each time I changed the primer size.

January 27, 2007, 09:31 PM
Take it apart and clean it up with some alcohol, it needs to be clean and dry. If that doesn't help adjust the allen screw, the slide cup should go back slightly past the primer magazine tip, about .030" is a good goal. Check the little white plastic piece that stops the primer until the slide comes back, it needs to be clean and dry also.

January 28, 2007, 12:27 AM
Talk with Dillon before you touch that allen screw. It is locked in on purpose and is NOT to be adjusted and if you do, your whole primer seating sequence will be thrown off. Take it from someone who has been there and down that. If you desire not to take my original advice...PLEASE CALL DILLON and ask them! Good luck:banghead:

January 28, 2007, 01:03 AM
Dillon is going to tell him to set it .030" past the magazine tip if he calls.

Master Blaster
January 28, 2007, 09:27 AM
Did you take it appart and clean it??? Clean it really well and polish the slide with some 600 grit emory paper. You may also need to replace the plastic tip of the feed tube if its got 50,000 or so rounds on it, but clean the tube also. Some times a small bit of spent primer material, a burr, or dirt buildup will prevent it from goin all the way rearward and getting the primer.

Dont bend anything or adjust any screws till you dissassemble clean and polish.

January 28, 2007, 09:40 AM
It's a frustrating problem but a relatively easy fix. 1) remove the primer tube assembly 2) take the primer slide (the bar holding the primer cup) out and very lightly with some emory cloth polish the sides bottom and top. 3) with some alcohol or Hoppes clean it real well. Put in back in and it'll work just fine. I found the slight amount of friction was stopping the rail from coming all the way back. Cleaning it up made it work flawlessly every time. You're going to love the 550B once you get the new unit quarks out of it (they all have em'). Good luck and have fun.....:D

January 28, 2007, 12:08 PM
Thanks guys. It looks like I'll try to clean/polish it before I mess with the screw. It's brand new, so I didn't think cleaning would be the problem-fixer.

January 28, 2007, 04:20 PM
OK, question:

I took the primer assembly apart so I could get to the slide bar to clean it as you folks suggested. I'm looking at where the primer dispenses out of the magazine. It looks as if primers are supposed to come out of the magazine and sit on top of the little white plastic stopping pin. Then when the slide moves under the magazine, it pushes the white pin out of the way and a primer is supposed to drop onto the cup. Is this how it is supposed to work?

If so, I have problems. The primers won't come out of the magazine to sit on top of the white plastic pin. They aren't getting that far. I tried to make that happen manually by pushing the white pin completely out of the way and failed . Any thoughts?

EDIT TO ADD: I wanted to take a look at the primer magazine to see if it looked alright. The thing was really jammed in there. I couldn't remove it by hand and had to pull with a pair of pliers. The red end cap came off the magazine and is still tightly lodged in the bottom of the tube. That can't be normal, right?

Master Blaster
January 28, 2007, 05:33 PM
Poke the red plastic tip out with something but wear safety glasses in case there is a live primer in there. In nine years of owning and operating a 550B I havent run across this issue. I would put your spare tip on the magazine tube, and try it again, make sure you have the right size tube and tip for the primers you are using. Make sure you orient the red tip with the split forward so it seats in the magazine tube easily.

Did you put it in backwards by accident and then force it down??? If so that would be the cause of the problem and it being stuck. as you put the tube in the magazine turn it gently you will feel the split in the tip seat then gently press down

If this doesnt work call Dillon tomorrow and they will talk you through the issue.

January 28, 2007, 06:25 PM
I'll give that a try. The large primer magazine (which is what I need for 45ACP) came already installed from Dillon. I didn't insert it. Thanks.

January 28, 2007, 08:18 PM
If you don't have some extra primer tubes (or extra plastic tips), get some and make sure you have some on hand

For whatever reason, some tips will feed real well and some just tend to hang up after a number of loads. I guess the plastic distorts and doesn't let the primers drop. This usually only happens after you've loaded a lot of rounds, and it doesn't sound like you're there yet.

As above...

there's an indexing notch on the plastic end on the tube. It should drop into place easily, and this points the slot in the tip towards the primer cup. If you force it, the tip isn't indexed correctly. The slot should point to the primer cup.

Edit to add....

The slide should come back far enough to pick up the primer when the handle is pushed forward. If you can pull the slide back manually while the handle is pushed forward, you need to work on the activating rod. If the slide won't pull back enough by hand, the set screw needs adjusted. You can watch the flat spring on the back on the primer assembly. The spring will flex when the primer slide pulls rearward and moves the pin out of the way so the new primer can drop into the primer cup.

I'd second the thing about keeping the slide clean. If you've had a powder spill, it can get into the slide and keep it from moving rearward enough to drop a primer.

When my press was brand new, it wouldn't drop the primers consistently. I didn't clean the primer slide (which probably would have helped a lot). I just cycled mine maybe a hundred or more times without primers or powder. You could see at first that the primer slide would hang up, then snap loose. After a few minutes of fast cycling, it loosened up and cycled fine.

January 29, 2007, 02:21 PM
Your primer tube tower is screwed in too tight. Just tighten it to where it is snug, with your fingers, that should be good enough. If you get it too tight, there is too much friction on the bar's movement.

Good Luck!

Master Blaster
January 29, 2007, 04:03 PM
Yep thats another gottcha with the Dillon primer system dont overtighten the cap screws on the bottom or it will slow down the slide. Also make sure the primer cup and punch is centered ion the shell plate BEFORE you snug down the screws, the hole in the Shell plate is what sets the alignment of the primer feed.

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