Hornady Bullet Feeder & Dillon XL650 - Review


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Snowboy
December 31, 2011, 12:47 AM
Hey guys !

I finally finished the installation of a Hornady Bullet Feeder on my XL650 and thought it may interest some of you.

Things to know:

1- The supplied support is not high enough if you have the Dillon strong mount, I found 2 options:

a) You can put a 3/8" metal plate between the 650 and the mount and install the supplied support on it instead of the top of the bench.

b) You can make a custom one and install it on the wall adjusting the lenght of the horizontal arm to the lenght needed to reach your press. This option does not remove usable space behind the press. This is what I did, bringing the original one to a machine shop with my specs.

2- Since the "bullet station" of the LnL and the 650 are not at the same locations on the toolhead and not at the same height, the supplied drop tube is too long, so you have to cut it following your needs (it's like a spring). If not cut, it makes a bend in the middle related to the weight of the bullets in the tube and it stops feeding the die.

I also made another notch in the tube support holder to realign it with the die and bent the arm that support the drop tube to fit the 650 and finally added a tie-wrap for more support when loading 45ACP bullets (9mm 147GR don't need the tie-wrap). I "dremeled" the bottom portion of the hole in the feeder to lower the drop tube to ease the gliding of the bullets in the drop tube.

http://i600.photobucket.com/albums/tt82/Snowboy1234/XL650etBulletFeeder.jpg

3- Setting the wiper springs and the feeding die is quite straight forward as described in the manual. Note that you cannot use the powder funnel supplied with a Dillon powder measure nor use an Hornady powder die.

4- The bullet feeder is working very well (I did 1200 rounds in 60 minutes, primer tubes pre-filled) and the only issue I found until now (using it for the last 3 months) is the high level of noise it makes. Again I tried several things :

a) Duct Tape on some surface to attenuate the sound of the bouncing bullets on the plastic bowl. It helps but noise is still too high, I will try later with rubber sheets glued on the bottom part.

b) Turning the unit off while you empty the drop tube that contains +/- 35 bullets. Since the switch is hard to reach without stopping reloading, I asked a friend to make a device to control it following this calculation: I can reload 21 rounds in a minute and the feeder can under pick 40 bullets in a minute, so since I will continue to reload while it fills the tube, I found that one minute ON and one minute OFF is the perfect setting, it looks like this.

http://i600.photobucket.com/albums/tt82/Snowboy1234/TimerHornady.jpg

If you look at the first picture, you see that the control box is placed so I have an easy access to the 3-positions switch : AUTO, ON and OFF with my left hand while I can continue to move the ram with my right hand. I put it ON for priming the tube and OFF when refilling primers and bullets, rest of the time it stays on AUTO.

The timer setting can be set easily removing the cover.

Hope this review helps, if you have suggestion for the noise issue, they’re welcome !

SB

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markdoddridge
December 31, 2011, 12:50 AM
Nicely done! Have you tried it out? how fast can you pump rounds out now?

Snowboy
December 31, 2011, 12:53 AM
thanks, now I can do 1200 rounds per hour with 10 primer tubes filled, I used to do 700 without it

solman
December 31, 2011, 09:27 AM
Nice set up. What did you make your benchtop out of it looks like 2x4 thickness but smooth top?

jmorris
December 31, 2011, 09:45 AM
If you get a section of tube the right size, you can add a limit switch so it will shut itself off. Cut the spring into and insert the tube into both ends.

Like this but mine only has a spring on one end.

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/reloading/bullet%20feeder/IMG00341-20101213-1504.jpg

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/reloading/bullet%20feeder/feeder1.jpg

joed
December 31, 2011, 10:36 AM
From 700 to 1200 rounds per hour? That's a big improvement. My 650 just doesn't want to put out a high number but it's 9mm and small primer that I'm working with. The best I can do is about 500 an hour. Seems like every time I get going a .380 case slips in or a berdan primed 9mm. Just once I'd like to see what this press does with large primer round.

Snowboy
December 31, 2011, 11:08 AM
- Soleman, it's made out of 2 x 6 with a glued arborite sheet over it

Snowboy
December 31, 2011, 11:09 AM
If you get a section of tube the right size, you can add a limit switch so it will shut itself off. Cut the spring into and insert the tube into both ends.

Like this but mine only has a spring on one end.

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/reloading/bullet%20feeder/IMG00341-20101213-1504.jpg

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/reloading/bullet%20feeder/feeder1.jpg
- jmorris, could you adapt your system with different calibers, I use it for 9mm & 45ACP ?

Snowboy
December 31, 2011, 11:12 AM
From 700 to 1200 rounds per hour? That's a big improvement. My 650 just doesn't want to put out a high number but it's 9mm and small primer that I'm working with. The best I can do is about 500 an hour. Seems like every time I get going a .380 case slips in or a berdan primed 9mm. Just once I'd like to see what this press does with large primer round.
joed, I'm doing that with 9mm and small primers too but I have the case feeder as well. I also use a non-Dillon bearing under the shellplate to prevent powder spilling and bullet falling, it is made by Hit Factor Shooting Supply and really worth the 10$.

I also check my brass and lube it with Dillon stuff before beginning a reload session

jmorris
December 31, 2011, 01:00 PM
My 650 just doesn't want to put out a high number but it's 9mm and small primer that I'm working with. Seems like every time I get going a .380 case slips in or a berdan primed 9mm.


That's not the fault of small primers or the press. Sort your brass better and you can load without malfunctions. 100 rounds in 3 min with a 650 is easy with feeders and no malfunctions.




jmorris, could you adapt your system with different calibers, I use it for 9mm & 45ACP ?

Sure, my 45 one is at the left. The switch holder is painted aluminum instead of copper like the one above but I just use whatever I have at the time. Mine do use different size tubes but you could make a large one that would kill power with a small bullet pretty easy. The same way your case feed collator stops when the tube is full of 9mm or 45 cases. The limit switch for the KISS feeder isn't even bolted on but held with a ziptie (top of white tube).

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/reloading/bullet%20feeder/DSC01472.jpg

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/1050feeder.jpg

joed
December 31, 2011, 02:00 PM
joed, I'm doing that with 9mm and small primers too but I have the case feeder as well. I also use a non-Dillon bearing under the shellplate to prevent powder spilling and bullet falling, it is made by Hit Factor Shooting Supply and really worth the 10$.

I also check my brass and lube it with Dillon stuff before beginning a reload session
I've heard varying opinions on the bearing you're using from friends that tried it. I generally just hold my thumb against the shellplate and that prevents spillage.

The only things that jam up for me are an occasional .380 that slips in and some 9mm cases that have a center hole for a primer and 2 tiny holes telling me they're berdan. They look like boxer but they aren't. Weirdest headstamp too, some foreign country. If this wasn't range brass I'm sure I could get some decent output.

I do have the case feeder, don't think I could live without it. I'm going to have to concentrate on getting better output from this press, but think it's all brass issues.

My 1050 OTOH is a dream. That one does 1200 an hour easily, with my arm giving out after 30 minutes. But that press sees better brass as I bought brass in 4k lots years back, so it's all the same make with no issues.

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