Dillon powder dispenser


May 12, 2012, 08:18 PM

Dillon powder dispenser with large bar
Powder 4831sc
Charge 56.5 grains
Caliber .270

My problem : The charge varies most of the time from 56.2 to 57.0. Sometimes I get around 55.8 or 57.5.

Is it normal? Is there a solution? I just spent hours to load 200 cases because I had to adjust my charge by hand with my scale. It is quite tedious considering 3-4 grains of powder are about 0.01 grain...heheheheheh

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May 12, 2012, 08:59 PM
I've got multiple Dillon measures that I use. None are off that far. You might consider polishing the inside with Flitz.

FWIW...I use a PACT electronic dispenser and scale for my more precision stuff. For PD hunts with hundreds of rounds, I use ball powders in the Dillons.

May 12, 2012, 09:07 PM
I polshed the inside, the bar is also polished and everything is very smooth.
I do not understand why with this powder I have such variance.

May 12, 2012, 10:10 PM
Try a different large rifle powder bar in your measure.
BTW why did you polish the bar? It has a tefflon coating on it, DO NOT remove that coating!

May 12, 2012, 10:15 PM
I polished the outside only of the bar so it slides better in the assembly.
I do that with all my bars that do not slide smothly. I even had one that was not cycling right and I had to file a bump on it.

Hondo 60
May 12, 2012, 11:27 PM
If polishing doesn't help, contact Dillon.

FWIW, mine almost NEVER varies by more than .1 gr

May 13, 2012, 12:22 AM
Extruded Powders do not work well in the Dillon Powder Dispenser. It should tell you in your Dillon manual about the use of these tyoes of Powders.

May 13, 2012, 10:36 AM
The bar type powder dispenser found on the Dillon works well with ball and most flake powders but are far from ideal for the extruded "stick" powders even the Hodgdon short cut variety.
Many years ago a friend of mine and I split a 100 lb keg of Hodgdon-4831 which sold for 50 cents a lb. We used the old Hollywood powder measure.

May 13, 2012, 11:49 AM
I use a Hornady drum-type measure with a Hornady case-activated kit for all my bottleneck reloading with my 650. I do use the Dillon measure for straightwall handgun reloading. I treated the powder bar with dry moly...the same moly that I used to treat bullets with.

I don't use any extruded powders; much prefer ball.

May 13, 2012, 11:52 AM
I do 4064 and 4895 with no problem with the same powder dispenser.
It is why I asked...
I just tried 4850 (not sure about number) and it does not do that kind of thing. The measurements are good.

May 14, 2012, 11:31 AM
the one failing of dillon's measures is accuracy with stick powders,and even some flake powders,imho.
to get unique to measure well,I give the hopper a knuckle tap or three after FILLING the hopper,and a light knuckle tap in between dumps. I use another measure for stick powders.

May 14, 2012, 11:37 AM
I'm actually impressed that you can get a stick powder to work in a Dillon measure. I've never tried it in any of mine but was wondering how Varget would meter.

Kevin Rohrer
May 17, 2012, 03:08 PM
invest in a Quick-Measure. It handles all powders.


May 17, 2012, 04:42 PM
What is the accuracy with the Quick Measure with stick powders? E.g., Varget or RL 15.

May 17, 2012, 09:11 PM
I love your german cold war signs....

Kevin Rohrer
May 17, 2012, 11:06 PM
What is the accuracy with the Quick Measure with stick powders? E.g., Varget or RL 15.

Here is your answer:

Kevin Rohrer
May 17, 2012, 11:09 PM
I love your german cold war signs....

Those are reproductions. But I was in Deutschland during that time period and saw original versions of the top two.

May 20, 2012, 05:08 PM
To those of you, IT is not stick powder.
That powder bar should work perfect even with extruded. It should cut. Did you check inside the bar, the screw adjustment, make sure the screw and bar are tight inside with no wobble. Is your stroke on the arm firm all the way thru. If not call Dillon and send back.

May 20, 2012, 05:52 PM
FWIW...I've got a Hornady rotary mounted on my bench. I find it less consistent than my Dillons.

I offered to give it to my S-I-L. After using it, he declined.

Actually, I guess I should sell it as I never use it and most likely never will.

Maj Dad
May 20, 2012, 11:15 PM
Unless you are in some kind of marathon shooting sessions, I would load my rifle rounds on a single-stage press. I load 5.56/.223 for ARs, 7.62/.308s for my M14, and .30-06 for Garands on the 550, but not from start to finish (I size/deprime on SB dies on my Rockchucker then tumble clean, and sometimes use my Lyman 55 to charge cases). Since you are using 4831SC, it would meter pretty well through one of the conventional (Lyman, RCBS, Hornady, etc) powder measures. You just cannot control the powder charge on the 550 like you can with the others, so if accurate powder charges is your goal, you should seriously consider single stage reloading. If ball-park is o.k., drive on... :scrutiny:

May 21, 2012, 02:01 AM
When I bought the Dillon RL550B, the first powder I tried was 3031. I had set the Machine up and was ready to reload. I worried with it deep into the early Morning and finally gave up. I never could get it to thro a consistent charge. I am in a different time zone than Scottsdale Arizona. When I had it fiqured out that Dillon was open for Business, I called. I explained my problem, he laughed long and hard. It p**sed me off. I asked him to tell me what the Joke was, so I could laugh with him. He told me to turn to page so & so in the instruction Manual and look on a certain part of the page. I did. There in plain English was a statement. Do not use extruded powder with this Powder dispencer, or something to that effect. I understood the Joke then. Since this was the only Powder I had, I had to buy another pound. I bought Win. 748. Worked like charm. Since then I have only used Ball Powders. I bought a Lyman 55 and use it to charge all of my large Calibers. I realized early on, I was missing out on alot of good Powders. It may work with some of the short cut stuff. My problem was, it bridged in the Powder Funnel.

May 21, 2012, 12:07 PM
I've not used 4831sc in the Dillon measure, but I have used several other extruded powders. Keep the powder level half full or more. Be very consistent with operation. Treat the measure with graphite, moly or a ball powder. Make sure the collar that attaches the measure to the die is tight.

May 21, 2012, 02:26 PM
I would expect this powder to meter within +/- .2-.3 grain. Be sure to start with the hopper 2/3-3/4 full, throw 10-15 charges and dump them back before you begin weighing. It should take one full second to move the powder bar from one side to the other. Be sure the powder bar is moved completely over to the far side at the same time the handle bottoms out, and at the end of the upstroke the coil spring above the blue wing nut on the return rod should be partially compressed.

Maj Dad
May 22, 2012, 10:30 PM
I believe Dillon sells an adapter to allow you to use your non-Dillon powder dispenser in the 550 - I had thought about getting one, but I just do not load enough rifle cartridges in large numbers that use extruded powders. Even the Garands using stick powder I use the Lyman 55 & it works out well considering that I like to tumble the cases after sizing/depriming (and the 55 has issues with stick powders, too - they all do: that's why they sell & I have a powder trickler). Like I said before, unless you're loading for some specific reason that makes it necessary to crank out hundreds of 270s, re-examine your priorities. Nothing does everything perfectly, and the limiting factor is powder metering here - work with it & make it work!
George J.

May 23, 2012, 08:41 AM
I'd like to second Maj Dad's point.

I shoot Highpower and go through 4-5 thousand rounds a year. For the 'short range' - 200 and 300 yard stages - I just use the Dillion measure as is.

For the 600 yard stage, which also has the highest accuracy requirements, I simply use the Dillion but weigh each throw. Ones that are 'on' are put back into the measure. The ones that are on are put into cases in a loading block.

Because most practice goes into the Offhand position, the total number of rounds loaded for 600 is about 20% => 800 to 1000 per year.
For me, this is better than buying a separate measure and trickling each charge.
The key is that I'm just using what I've got.

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