Dillon RL550B Questions...


May 16, 2008, 11:57 AM
I have a new 550B.
So far I have loaded .223 Rem. useing Dillon dies and 9mm Luger useing Lee dies. Before using the dies and tool heads I degreased and cleaned them with a mild citrus-orange degreaser then very lightly lubed the threads and installed/adjusted them per the Dillon die installation sheet.
For some reason once in awhile and all too often with .223 and 9mm when I pull the handle to load the powder charge I get powder spilling out of te powder die like the case is not lined up. I also noticed with .223 the powder die will often nick even dent the edge of the case mouth.
The shell plate bolt is adequetly snug and the brass buttons are in. Brass is Rem-UMC once fired & resized, powders are VihtaVuori N135 and TiteGroup...Why is this happeneing?

While seating bullets in resized .223 cases the die puts a ring-dent around the bullet where the die contacts the bullet. No matter how lightly I pull the handle some ring occurs. I've also tried re-adjusting the die but the dent still happens.
Anyone else have ring around the bullet problem?
How do i eliminate this dent?

I have a a hammer type bullet puller and have tried to pull a .223 bullet from a case that had been what appeared to be lightly crimped. The bullet did not want to come out. WithOUT a crimp the bullets are seated to what I think is very, very tight and no crimp is needed.
Having never loaded on any other machine I have nothing to compare to. I do know trying to pull a seated bullet from a resized case with Frankford Arsenal hammer type puller is almost impossible. I fact after pulling several bullets the aluminum collet is done and will nolonger hold a case in place tighe enuff to work. The same thing happens with Winchester once fired & resized cases.

When seating .223 bullets in once fired Rem-UMC brass the cartridge OAL varies from 2.251 to 2.264. Is this due to differences in cases?

Yhank You For Your Time

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May 16, 2008, 08:00 PM
Using a hammer-type puller with 223 ammo is not going to work well. They work good for pistol ammo and rifle ammo with heavier bullets. Typically, a collet-type puller is used for rifle ammo with light weight bullets. A collet die in the press locks onto the bullet then the ram is lowered pulling the case down (and the bullet out). This is best done on a single stage press; I'm not sure about doing it with a progressive.

The OAL variation is mostly in the bullet tips themselves. The ring you are seeing is where the seating punch (in the seating die) pushes on the bullet to force it into the case. The length should be consistent between the base of the brass and the ring on the bullet where the seating punch touches it.

The ring is a result of the pressure needed to seat the bullet. That pressure comes from the size of the case neck versus the bullet diameter. The ring shouldn't hurt anything.

I would make sure the powder funnels are clean with no sticky residue or lube on or inside them. That would encourage powder to stick rather than flow freely through the funnel. On 223, try allowing a little more time for all of the powder to flow through the funnel. 223 has a small neck and it takes time for 25 grains of powder to flow through it. If N135 powder is a stick-type powder, it could be bridging in the funnel. Slowing down at the top of the stroke can help stop bridging.

If the necks are getting dented, with the ram up and a case in the powder die, loosen the lock ring and retighten it. If that doesn't solve the problem, the shell platform may need to be aligned. Call Dillon and get a PAT (primer alignment tool) and instructions on using it. It makes sure the primer hole in the platform lines up perfectly with the decap pin which also lines up the shellplate with the other 3 dies. The PAT is typically used after taking the ram out of the press for a major cleaning and relube.

The shellplate bolt should be tightened down slowly until the shellplate will not turn at all then back it off slightly (1/8 of a turn) until the shellplate just rotates without binding. I have found it easier to keep the allen wrench in the bolt head while setting and testing the shellplate tension. That keeps the bolt from rotating with the shellplate. A little lube where the shellplate and bolt touch makes it move smoother. Once the bolt is adjusted, don't forget to tighten the small allen screw in the side of the ram.

Call Dillon with questions like this. They'll help you work through any setup issues.

May 16, 2008, 08:42 PM
Great advice on the RL-550B

May 17, 2008, 06:38 PM
If you have a Dremel, you can get some small polishing bits and a stick of polishing compound to polish the inside of the powder funnel, especially where it funnels down to the drop tube. That will make it a little harder for the powder to stick to the sides and hang up.

May 17, 2008, 09:02 PM
Thanks everyone.

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