Loading 308 on a dillon 550


June 12, 2011, 12:04 AM
Hey fellas, Im considering buying a DPMS 308 off a buddy of mine. He wants to get rid of it and the price is right to me. I have a pretty much unlimited amount of federal gold medal match brass at my disposal. Does anyone reload 308 on a 550? I have loaded a lot of pistol ammo on mine, but have not messed with rifle yet. I know i'll have to start trimming brass. GMM is not crimped in to my knowledge so i'll be ok there. I have noticed if I had to buy ammo for this gun I wouldnt buy it. Its just to much to shoot. I heard loading it is not very cheap either. Im hoping to find componets off here, and I need to know a powder that meters well in the Dillon powder measure. Hope all is well fellas. Take care

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June 12, 2011, 12:22 AM
Hi. There's no reason not to load .308 on a Dillon 550. The only thing that matters when loading for a semi-auto is that you must full length resize every time, watch the case lengths(trim, chamfer the inside of the case mouths and deburr the outside, as required. The chamfering takes the place of the flaring on a handgun case.) and make sure the primers are seated properly.
"...Federal Gold Medal match brass..." Pay close attention to the primer pockets. Federal brass is known for being softer than other brands. Just means it won't last as long.

June 12, 2011, 12:30 AM
I agree with Sunray- I reload .308 on my RL550 all the time alongside .45. I don't know much about reloading for semi-autos.

The advice I wish I was told before I started reloading rifle- lube. Get good lube (I use Dillon's). Use a lot of it. And then use a lot of it again. You can always wipe it down after. Good luck!

Pete D.
June 12, 2011, 06:29 AM
I load both .308 and .30-06 on my 550 as well as .45ACP.
Lube - Imperial Die Wax.

June 12, 2011, 07:32 AM
.308 and a 550B = fantastic, like every other pistol and rifle round it makes. Dillon lube helps keep things moving right along, as does the use of ball propellant in the Dillon measure. For .308 in my 550B, I like AA2460, WW748 and H335.

Also, should you have a feeling that the 550B is not precise enough for quality "target grade" ammo, I think you will pleasantly surprised at just how well it breaks this myth held by some... Now if we could just get back to reasonably priced components; sure ain't the same as loading .223/5.56 as you mention! Hope you have a lot of fun with your new rig.

June 12, 2011, 09:12 AM
Thousands of very accurate 7.62/.308 through my 550b. When I competed in HP I loaded with IMR4895 for an M1a supermatch. I have also used AA2520 with good results. Bullets were Sierra MKs, surplus fmjs, etc. I use Dillon carbide dies and Dillon case lube.

June 12, 2011, 11:22 AM
I load .204, .223, .243 and .308 on my 550b. The .204 and .223 is mostly for ARs while the .243 and .308 is for bolt guns. For the bolt gun loads, I pretty much only neck size with a Lee Collet die (no lube) but .223 I size and trim pretty much every time.

I size and decap on a single stage using Imperial. Tumble after that to remove lube. Trim using a Forster fixture on a drill press with a 3-way cutting head. I only load on the Dillon. Station 1 of the 550 has a collet neck sizer installed to make sure that the neck is round and consistent between rounds as well as making sure the flash hole is clear of tumbling media. From there everything is "normal-normal." Rounds from the bin go right into whatever storage they're going to with no additional cleaning required.

If you want to complete the entire process on the one press, you'll either need two tool-heads and do it in two passes, tumbling to remove lube between the passes, or get a 1050.

June 12, 2011, 12:09 PM
I own 2 DPMS LR 308s and 2 550s.
(some things are just better in pairs : ))
I have loaded many thousands of .308 rounds on my 550 without any any problems and have produced some superbly accurate ammo.
The LR308 has a 1in10 twist that prefers a heavier bullet. Neither of mine will shoot a 165gr bullet as well as they will shoot a 175-180gr.
Preferred load for me is RL-15 under a 180gr Sierra Pro Hunter and a CCI primer for making things dead or the same powder/primer and a Sierra Match King bullet for punching paper.

June 12, 2011, 12:18 PM
helotaxi has got it down pat.

I'll only add that I measure/trim the first time I re-size the brass and don't mess with trimming any more. I manage this by using the RCBS X dies, which limit case growth after 1 initial trimming. I get the small-base version so I know 100% that the round will chamber in any .308 I may get my hands on. (I strive for as much accuracy as I can get, but I have other standards like reliability that take precedence over accuracy)

For plinking, (and once you shoot your .308 AR you WILL plink) I load Widener's 145gr FMJ's over 42 grains of either IMR 4895 OR Ramshot TAC. I use CCI #34 mil primers (they're magnum primers according to CCI) in mixed military brass and load to .010" or .020" under max magazine length. This load pretty much stays under 1.5 MOA @ 100yds IN MY GUN. It is an older Bushmaster A2 20" w/ 1/10 twist. This is the forerunner of the Rock River .308s and uses FAL mags.

June 12, 2011, 03:21 PM
I load 308 but not on a Dillon.

If your brass is military then in addition to dealing with trimming cases you'll also be dealing with crimped primers. The Dillon Super Swage 600 is best tool I've found for dealing with primer pocket crimps.

The best deal I've found on bullets is here, 2000 145gr FMJBT from Wideners for $266:


June 12, 2011, 05:04 PM
Hey that widener's deal is postpaid too. And like I said in my other post-they shoot quite well if you take the time to work up a load for your gun.

June 12, 2011, 05:11 PM
I'm not anywhere close to an expert but on the M14 forums there are a few guys who won't use federal brass, saying it's too soft, stretches too much, loose primer pockets, etc.

Just some hearsay FWIW

June 12, 2011, 05:26 PM
I dont know, Ive sold about 7k of that gmm brass and all the guys I sold it to said they loved it. I got enough brass that I could load it and never really have to worry about using it again if i really wanted to. I've heard people say that about pistol FC brass also. I'm not going to tell my press and gun that, cause i've got some 9mm fc cases that are on 10+ reloads. I know I wont get that out of rifle brass probably, but I seam to really like FC brass.

June 12, 2011, 06:04 PM
Repeated loadings of Fed GMM rifle brass could be an issue, it's alleged to be soft. If you have an unlimited supply that would be less of an issue. If you're using a semi-auto they're are tougher on brass,,,

I've used Fed 9mmx19 brass, no issues there.

June 12, 2011, 08:28 PM
I will size the cases on a single stage press. I also trim off the press and seat primers by hand. I don't recommend seating rifle primers on a Dillion because you cannot inspect each and every primer to determine that all primers are below the case head. This is a safety issue with semi automatic mechanisms.

If you have a high primer you are likely to toss it back into the ammunition box and shoot it instead of diassembling it before seating the primer.

Ammunition produced on my Dillion 550B, where I dump the powder and seat the bullets, meets all my accuracy needs. Basically that is how I load all my short range ammunition (out to 300 yards). At 500 and 600 yards I shoot maximum loads and I weigh my charges.

This ammunition was loaded on my Dillion and I shot a 200-14X prone in a 100 yard High Power match with it. The stuff will shoot inside my hold.


June 12, 2011, 11:34 PM
Never had a high primer on the Dillon in the thousands of rifle rounds I've assembled. Just like any other primer seating method, there is a feel to it and the 550B leaves plenty of feel on the primer stroke.

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