reloading .223 on Dillon 550


November 16, 2008, 09:48 AM
I've got a progressing case on "BRD" and want to start reloading in bulk for my ARs. I've worked up a good load on my rock chucker, and want to move into "production mode".

I'm concerned about stuck cases in the resizing/depriming stage, AND I don't want to end up with greasy cartridges (so prefer not to smother the brass in case lube). What do you folks do to get smooth, high speed production out of your 550, with clean/dry .223 cases? Thanks!

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November 16, 2008, 11:24 AM

I am progressive reloader, just not on a Dillion, that also doesn't like to run lubed cases through my machine. My solution is to process all my rifle brass offline on my Rock Chucker. Yea, I know there is going to be a bunch of hooting and hollering that is inefficient, what's the purpose of having a progressive, and yada yada yada. The way I see it, taking time to clean up a casefeeder and drop tubes isn't efficient or fun either. I found a RCBS Case Kicker for my Rock Chuck that has improved my speed resizing brass so that I can process 100 rounds in about 5-10 minutes., basically all I have to do is place the case in shell holder and crank the handle. I don't like reloading in small batches so I preproocess the brass after every time I shoot and then reload after I have 1000 or more rounds saved up at a time.

November 16, 2008, 11:47 AM
I deprime + size on a single stage RCBS, trim and chamfer, and then prime, powder and seat on a Dillon 450.

Out of curiosity, have you tried Hornady One shot? It's the least messy lube that I know of, and it works like a champ. If I weren't so anal about case trimming for rifle, I'd be doing it all on the 450.

November 16, 2008, 02:50 PM
It's commonly done in 2 stages. First is size/trim/clean. Second is prime/powder/seat/crimp. With removable toolheads, it's easy to use 2 toolheads. With an original 450, a second press setup for sizing might be an easier option.

The other option, if you are sure you won't need to trim the cases, is to load it in one pass then tumble the loaded ammo to remove the case lube. I don't recommend this option, especially to newer reloaders, but it will work if you have a consistent batch of brass being loaded.

FYI it is common for once-fired rifle brass to need trimming before being reloaded the first time. If it's military brass, the primer crimp will need to be reamed/swaged also.

November 16, 2008, 03:14 PM
I love loading .223 on my 550B, but "dry" cases are not part of the plan. I stand them up and give a quick shot of Dillon lube, let dry a bit and go at it. When loaded I dump the rounds on a terry cloth towel, fold over and wipe clean in bulk. No need IMO to have them completely lube free, at least in a IMI Galil ARM.

I personally think propellant selection is a bigger concern for easy progressive loading, and why I like to use nothing but ball for loading .223 on a Dillon. Really hard to go wrong with a mag primer and H335, WW748, TAC, AA2230, AA2460...

November 16, 2008, 03:23 PM
I use the Dillon spray case lube with an old frying pan. Put all the clean and tumbled .223 brass in the frying pan, spritz a few times with the case lube, jostle the brass around to get an even covering, and let it sit so the lube dries a smidgen. Dillon even warns the user to let the lube dry instead of using the brass soaking wet.

That way, you've got enough lube to easily move the brass through the 550's 1st stage sizing dies, and yet not so much as to make a gooey mess of things in the remaining stages or the finished ammo hopper. Over-lubing is almost as bad as under-lubing, and hydraulic lock in a die is no fun, especially the first time one discovers the phenomenon.

November 16, 2008, 08:02 PM
I just loaded a couple hundred .223 last night. The cases were already prep'ed by trimming and primer pocket reamed. One light mist of Franklin case lube, let dry a bit and just start loading. Once loaded, I just wipe them down quickly with a rag. No issues with stuck cases or dripping lube. You just need a touch of lube to ease sizing process.

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