After 30 yrs my Dillon Square Deal and I are finally getting along.


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aka108
June 13, 2013, 05:49 PM
For all those years my Dillon Square Deal progressive loader and I have had out little problems. Mainly that no matter how many fine adjustments and replacement parts were use the primer system would flip about 5 out of every 100 and they would get inserted upside down. You did not feel this happen nor could you see it happen until the final product was looked at. Now the ones that flipped half way you could feel in press but it also slowed the loading process down. Got to be such a PIA that I stopped using it 5 or 6 years ago even though I have all the supplies to keep it going. Bought ready made ammo for the 9's and 45's. Today I removed the entire primer feeding mechanism from the machine and removed the pin at the priming and powder station. Now I run the cases thru the sizing/decapping station and remove them from the priming station and hand prime with the Lee hand held primer. The slip them back into the charging station and finish running thru the bullet seating and crimping station. The Dillon powder dispenser is about as good as you can get as are the dies. The priming mechanism has never been good to me. Anyhow, the loading process takes a few minutes longer now but no more wasted primes, bullets, cases and that's worth a lot these days.

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cfullgraf
June 13, 2013, 06:01 PM
Me too. I have two SDBs dedicated to 45 ACP and 9x19. I resize the cases on my Hornady L-N-L progressive, then clean the cases, and then hand prime. I prep the cases shortly after shooting and then store them for a future loading session.

The SDBs operate quite well and trouble free without the priming system in play.

45_auto
June 13, 2013, 06:07 PM
Sounds like you guys are doing a lot of extra work. Glad I skipped the SDB and went straight to an XL650 about 20 years ago. I feed it cases, powder, primers, and bullets and get a complete round every time as fast as I can pull the handle.

Eb1
June 13, 2013, 06:14 PM
The Lee Hand Primer fails after about 1000 or so rounds, and as you load primers that piece that rides on the handle will get worn and crater more and more. This makes it to where you are seating the primer less deep into the cup as time goes by.

Then one day....crack! Hand primer broken. If I was going to prime off the press, I would have bought one of the RCBS primers that use the feed strips to prime. Good feel, primers don't flip,and there isn't really anything that can fail like there is on the Lee Hand Primer.

I like the Lee Hand Prime, but I have had two of them, and speak from experience. They fail way to soon, and start to give inconsistent primer feed after the first primer is feed, and continues with each squeeze of the grip.

oneounceload
June 13, 2013, 06:31 PM
I reload both metallic and shotshell on various brands and types of reloaders. The one thing they ALL have in common as their weakest aspect is an automatic primer feed - flipping them, not dropping them, missing the spot where they're supposed to go, etc.

One would think that with all of these companies and their engineers, SOMEONE would have gotten it right after all these decades

RugerBob
June 13, 2013, 06:36 PM
I have done 8000+ with my lee hand prime with zero issues. I also removed this stage from my pro 1000 set up.

jmorris
June 13, 2013, 07:02 PM
Out of all my Dillons, the two SD's are the oldest both are close to 30. If I ever have a primer problem I make sure the anvil is fully seated ant the set screw is tight then replace the plastic tip.

I was kind of disappointed to find that the 550 and even the 1050 use the same part, the 650 is the only one that uses a brasss tip.

If I couldn't load progressively on a progressive I would get rid of it and get one where I could.

nix4me
June 13, 2013, 07:27 PM
Send the press back to Dillon - they have a no BS warranty. They will fix it.

Hondo 60
June 13, 2013, 07:41 PM
I agree with hostjunkies.
If you replaced lotsa parts & still have issues, send it back & have them test it.
You pay one way shipping, they fix it & pay to return it.

cfullgraf
June 13, 2013, 07:50 PM
Sounds like you guys are doing a lot of extra work.

Nope, no extra work. The extra work in my book is fixing primers that were not fed and seated correctly. One failure in 1000 is too many for me and you cannot inspect the seated primers until after the round has been loaded. That is too late in my book.

Since i prefer to clean cases after resizing and before reloading, no big deal. I can hand prime 100 cases as fast as filling a primer tube. I can inspect every seated primer and make corrections immediacy before loading the case. But, i almost never have a poorly seated primer from the hand priming tool.

By separating the resizing and priming process from reloading, the reloading process is slick and trouble free and I can concentrate on powder throws and bullet seating.

By resizing and cleaning cases shortly after shooting, the batches are small and only take a few minutes. I do not wait until I have thousands of cases to wade through.

Finally, I do not really need the production that most folks expect out of a progressive. I just want a bit more efficiency and minimize some of the less enjoyable tasks of reloading. It has been over a year since I reloaded 45 ACP and 9x19 although I am low on inventory and need to have a reloading session. I have been busy shooting other cartridges and guns.

When I bought my Hornady L-N-L, I researched the Dillon 650 and the Hornady. I determined the Hornady fit my reloading better than the Dillon. I made the correct choice for me.

I bought the Dillon SDBs to get the Dillon experience and be able comment intelligently about it . Less than notable in my opinion. I do like the SDBs for how I use them. I do not plan on moving 45 ACP or 9x19 back to the Hornady or a single stage operation.

So, different strokes for different folks.

Hangingrock
June 13, 2013, 08:22 PM
I have two SDB units. The priming system has never been a problem on either one. The RL550B is trouble free also. Both the SDB units were bought used. My SDB units are also used for the 9mm Luger and 45 ACP. I've mainly used Winchester primers and now & then CCI.

Bush Pilot
June 13, 2013, 08:37 PM
I can't imagine loading thousands of handgun rounds on anything but a Dillon, the thought of using anything else gives me a headache. If there are issues you can't fix, send it to Dillon, the press will come back running better than new.

jstein650
June 13, 2013, 08:50 PM
My SDB is the only progressive I've ever owned. I've done hundreds of rounds at a time with nary a hitch. It's when changing from LP to SP primers (or the other way around) that headaches start. That little stop pin adjustment is critical! I've had to mess with it a lot until it's just right, and yes if it's not, big PIA - flips or spits out primers and is a mess. Once it's perfect, I've had no problems. I do think it is sensitive to primers that are more rounded at the cup. Win. primers have worked well for me, some others take some serious tweaking. Even so, it's been a very good machine, and the Dillon folks are excellent for customer service - they have gone above and beyond for me. Of course, until things ease up, they are quite backlogged in all areas.

dentkimterry
June 13, 2013, 09:05 PM
I've found the best use of a Dillon SDB is to set it up for one caliber and leave it. Mines priming system used to give me problems until I started giving the primer cup a shot of case lube before each reloading session. No more problems. Not sure why that is.

jstein650
June 13, 2013, 09:14 PM
Something else I've discovered recently after bringing mine out of moving storage, is that the aluminum tube on the primer feed and those supplied for picking up primers to load, can develop a nasty bit of oxidation on the inside that can cause a stack of primers to jam up in the tube, either causing a hesitation to drop, or worse if you try to apply force to push them. A tight patch wetted with silicone spray and run through the inside (and outside) does absolute wonders, and will last a long, long time to keep things sliding along.

Eb1
June 13, 2013, 10:03 PM
Wow, RugerBob. You must have the toughest plastic, soft aluminum hunk of ;hand primer; in the world.
Maybe it is 9001 that you'll see the crater in the pivot, and the top snap off.

cfullgraf
June 13, 2013, 11:17 PM
If there are issues you can't fix, send it to Dillon, the press will come back running better than new.

If it is not broken, why send it back to Dillon. My SDBs are not broken.

Maybe Dillon's warranty is so good because it takes them two or three times to get it right.:)

It is my personal preference to hand prime my cases even when using a progressive. I never said it is the only way to run a progressive.

Other desires like cleaning cases after resizing affords me the opportunity to use a hand primer in place of the press mounted priming system. By separating resizing from reloading, the reloading process operates slick and easy with minimal problems.

It never ceases to amaze me that the Dillon-ophyles, including some of the techs at Dillon, cannot understand that there are other ways to operate a progressive than the stereotypic method of fired case through loaded round.

I enjoy reloading, so a little extra time at the bench is pleasurable for me. I load more rounds on my progressives than i can expect to shoot in the short term, why should I worry about making more. I hate re-work more than trimming rifle cases. Every time I have a glitch on my progressive, that is more rework. Not only might I waste time fixing rework, but I lose production time fixing the glitch. Glitches are not limited to the priming systems.

Finally, I spent much of my working career working on improvements on high speed consumer good manufacturing equipment. There are some operational problems that just defy efforts to improve them. I am not really wishing to continue that work in my retirement and the priming systems on progressives seem to fit that description. So, a work around suits my current desires just fine. The "manager" that is upset with the line's production rate is ME not some wet behind the ears manager type.

I do not expect everyone to agree or change their methods of operating their progressive presses, just understand there are other ways to skin this cat.

jmorris
June 13, 2013, 11:48 PM
If it is not broken, why send it back to Dillon. My SDBs are not broken.

If its not broke, it works. If it doesn't work, it's broke

If you chose to use it as it wasn't designed that's OK too. Many do this at some point or on all the time.

Don't suffer in silence I think was the point. If it doesn't do what you can reasonably expect it to do there is a problem that you should fix or have fixed for you.

I have sent my SD's back over the years for the free rebuilds, came back with all new stuff and only cost shipping one way.

0to60
June 14, 2013, 12:54 AM
If you're happy with the way you're doing it, that's all that matters. It is a bit disappointing, though, that its not working as it should. Me, I'd call Dillon and ask if I could send the primer system back for warranty work/replacement. Its easy enough to pull that whole system out.

I got my SDB in 1992 or so and I've done tens of thousands of reloads with it. The primer system definitely causes me to raise my eyebrows. I can't imagine it working, but for me it does. The only thing that doesn't work is the automatic indexing of the shell plate. It always seems to get hung up on the primer insertion thingy and I have to help it along with my thumb.

The powder delivery system is phenomenal, though. Once you dial in a charge, that's it. Check it 500 rounds later and its still dead nuts. I have yet to see that thing make a mistake.

Eb1
June 14, 2013, 02:24 AM
I am saying the same thing. Even though it might not have come across that way. If it is working for you then that is great.
I am glad your stress level has lowered, and you can get on with loading ammo stress free. Here's to a long stress free life of hand loading now that you have worked out your priming woes.

I am a recent Dillon 550b owner. Just this year as a matter of fact, and I had to call Dillon regarding the priming system. We got it worked out, and I am loading not pretty stress free. Being new to the progressive style loading, but not to hand loading I am watching myself like a hawk. This is limiting my round output, but I want to make sure me and the press are on the same side before I start going full throttle.

jmorris
June 14, 2013, 02:38 AM
I'll add that my decades old SD's were up graded to the latest and greatest every time I sent them in. Fail safe, brass link arm bushings, etc.

No other customer service, from anyone even comes close.

If they were a restraunt they would feed you again for free next time you were hungry. If Ford followed the model we would be driving model T's with fuel injection, ABS and anti lock brakes.

45_auto
June 14, 2013, 07:57 AM
Out of all my Dillons, the two SD's are the oldest both are close to 30. If I ever have a primer problem I make sure the anvil is fully seated ant the set screw is tight then replace the plastic tip.

I was kind of disappointed to find that the 550 and even the 1050 use the same part, the 650 is the only one that uses a brasss tip.

Hey jmorris, where do your 650's use brass in the primer system?

Only place I can imagine you're referring to is the spring-loaded primer seating pin that screws into the bottom of the frame. Mine are solid steel (they're just over 20 years old), did they make a design change?

caz223
June 14, 2013, 07:59 AM
I developed a similar workaround.
First, I bought an additional dillon 550b, and leave 1 set up for each primer size.
Then I bought a Lee loadmaster, and use it to deprime/resize. It's fast and easy with the case collator. Since I ONLY deprime on it, I didn't even install the priming system, and don't care if the works get all gummed up, as long as it stays running.

Then I run my brass through my crest ultrasonic cleaner. I have been doing this long before it was cool. This fixes the problems I had with solid media getting stuck in the case flash holes.

Then I use hornady oneshot and run the already spotlessly clean already deprimed and resized lubed brass through the appropriate dillon.
Due to the fact I'm not depriming on the dillon, and the primer dust doesn't fall into the works, the priming system is really reliable. The brass has been cleaned, including the flash hole, and the primer pocket. This keep the dillons clean much longer. Also, due to the fact that the brass has already been resized once and clean and lubed, the resizing operation is really low effort, and you can really feel every stage of the operation with a lot more resolution. You know if there's a problem VERY easily and can address it very early on.

Call me OCD, but it works for me.

45_auto
June 14, 2013, 08:10 AM
Out of all my Dillons, the two SD's are the oldest both are close to 30. If I ever have a primer problem I make sure the anvil is fully seated ant the set screw is tight then replace the plastic tip.

I was kind of disappointed to find that the 550 and even the 1050 use the same part, the 650 is the only one that uses a brasss tip.

Hey jmorris, where do your 650's use brass in the primer system?

Only place I can imagine you're referring to is the spring-loaded primer seating pin that screws into the bottom of the frame. Mine are all steel, did they make a design change?

jmorris
June 14, 2013, 09:25 AM
Hey jmorris, where do your 650's use brass in the primer system? At the tip of the primer magazine, where all of the other Dillons use the plastic tips (I think Dillon calls them the primer tube orifice).

I have read where some use the 650 tube in the other machines but having loaded as long as I have without AD'ing a primer, I would hate to ruin the record.

Hangingrock
June 14, 2013, 09:46 AM
In my opinion some times these discussion's become watering contests dependent on a respondents position. As I previously stated my Dillon equipment has had no functionality problems. Others have had problems. What bedevils me is why those with problems did not resolve the issue with Dillon. I'm not inferring that Dillon is the best in the world but they do support their product and work with customers to resolve nettlesome issues.

Welding Rod
June 14, 2013, 10:28 AM
I wonder if poor primer QC could be an issue?

I only use CCI, and I don't think I have had a primer problem in 20+ years.

aka108
June 14, 2013, 11:20 AM
Appreciat all the responses and glad to know I'm not the only person in the world that has experienced problems with the Dillon priming system. Dillon has been good about replacing any worn parts. I think the priming system is sort of like a Luger pistol. Nicely put together but overly engineered to include so many moving parts that it becomes unreliable. I'll probably leave the SD as is w/o the priming system installed. I generally load about 100cases at a time so hand priming is not a hugh PIA and I'm retired so a few minutes extra time doesn't matter. I also then know that I don't have any cartridges shooting out of the right hand side of the thing with flipped primers.

Waldog
June 14, 2013, 08:53 PM
I have a SDB and a Hornady LNL. Love that LNL. SDB is good but, not spectacular. For the same reasons you guys state.

oldfortyfiveauto
June 14, 2013, 09:54 PM
I have three SDB's, two bought new and one used. I regularly change calibers and primers on the used one. No priming issues to really speak of. The plastic fingers in the bottom of the primer tube need changing once in while and that's been about it.

ljnowell
June 14, 2013, 10:05 PM
The Lee Hand Primer fails after about 1000 or so rounds, and as you load primers that piece that rides on the handle will get worn and crater more and more. This makes it to where you are seating the primer less deep into the cup as time goes by.

SHHHHHHHHH! Don't tell mine that. It has seen easily 15 times that many before I started priming on the press. I know people that treat it like a hand squeeze workout machine and have broken them, but they are pretty solid for normal use.

gordy bordeaux
June 23, 2013, 08:13 PM
I'm going to call them Monday morning..They have a guarantee .that I paid for

If you enjoyed reading about "After 30 yrs my Dillon Square Deal and I are finally getting along." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!