Anyone reload 357mags on a Dillon 550B?


December 13, 2010, 09:07 AM
If so I have a quick question for ya.

I set up a tool head for 357mag yesterday. I am using Dillon dies on it. First thing I found was that in some cases the punch pin would not push the spent primer out all the way. I adjusted the die a little lower and that seemed to fix it (I had one or two still do it later) I am worried that the die is all most up against the shell plate on the up stoke of the press. I still have small clearance on it.

The next thing I ran it to is it seems like the resizing die and the shell plate are not in line with ecach other. The shell seems to have to move to the left a bit and then they line up. I ended up cliping and crushing several case because of it. Some would go right in and some wouldn't. Case fault or do you think there is a line up issue?

Brass was mixed multi fired and a little 1 time fired. Wolf small pistol primes (thats another story all to gather) and Unique powder at 5.5grns.

Thanks for any thoughts. (I will call Dillon CS later today)


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December 13, 2010, 09:22 AM
Wildbillz: When I bought my first Dillon 550 some 20 years ago, I ordered it with dies and shell plates for the 38/357 and 45 ACP and have easily loaded 10K rounds on it. I have never once seen the dies or shell plate out of alignment, so w/o making suggestions, I would definitely call Dillon this morning and have them to resolve your problem. The Dillon people are some othe greatest people in the industry. No I do not not work for Dillon!

December 13, 2010, 01:39 PM
The dies are supposed to be adjusted up against the shell plate.

From Dillon

Adjust the sizing die by screwing the die
body down until it contacts the shellplate and
snug the lock ring. The decap assembly should
be screwed fully into the die at all times.

December 13, 2010, 04:29 PM
Also, be sure you are using the correct shellplate. If you bought just the dies and not the caliber conversion kit, this may be the problem.

December 13, 2010, 06:29 PM
my 550b will crank out .357 mag like it was made for it....

It does not do well with W296 so i use my uni-flow for that

other than that you should be good to go.

I'd really like to try lill' gun and 158 grain bullets next time i do a run of .357 mag

December 13, 2010, 10:40 PM
Snug that sizing die so it is touching the shell plate.
Make sure the shell plate is tightened down so that it stops sharply when the ball under it moves into the next hole on rotation.

Good Luck

December 13, 2010, 10:58 PM
1) On my Dillon dies the inner decapping spindle is independently adjusted from the outer sizing die. Just make sure the decapping spindle is run down far enough. I have also found that rounding the tip of the pin helps it find the primer hole faster.

2) The little hair spring that looks like a Gem clip there on the first loading station has to be micro-adjusted for each different size cartridge case. I find that if the spring isn't applying a small pressure, then the case doesn't seat all the way back into the shell holder and can miss the die. Try a new spring position that applies a tiny bit more pressure. A move of .020" is all it takes.

Once you get it set, you can run millions.

December 13, 2010, 11:39 PM
Make sure you have the shellplate adjusted properly. I hand tighten the bolt till the plate locks up then back the bolt off by 1/32 of a turn (it don't take much). Then I'll tighten the set screw and turn the shellplate by hand feeling for any binding.

I've had problems on my 450 with case alignment if I didn't have the shellplate adjusted as tight as possible without binding. It seems to be the most touchy with .357, go figure.

December 14, 2010, 11:56 AM
if the main carrier was ever removed or is loose, the machine will lose center with the shell plate. when you call dillon, ask them about the alignment tool used to ensure correct alignment of the shell plate, primer feed, and dies.

December 14, 2010, 12:07 PM
I agree with the last two entries. Sounds like the shell plate is way to snug.

December 14, 2010, 07:45 PM
I think I got it. The shell plate was not down far enough, and the little spring on the first station was putting to much pressure on the case and tilting it. Made some adjustments and it seems to be running fine.

Dillon also said to try locking down the index set screw with a shell in the sizing die and the ram all the way up.


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