Dillon Rant


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Gearhead Jim
September 1, 2014, 05:41 PM
Complaining about Dillon will probably be about as popular as complaining about the 2nd Amendment, but here goes:

There have been gaps in my reloading "career" because my agency was giving me almost unlimited ammo for a while, but those days are over and I'm just an old retired guy trying to save money on ammo.

When the Dillon 650 came out, I bought one complete with case feeder, with a .38 Special setup. I now call it the "650", because I can never get more than about six hundred and fifty loaded rounds before something breaks.

First problem:
Sizing die was (Dillon carbide) was set up to not contact the shell holder. Good. I loaded a couple of hundred rounds, checked them carefully, and then loaded another thousand. After about 650 rds total, the carbide ring in the sizing die cracked and left a very deep but narrow scratch in each of my once-fired cases. So narrow that it was hard to see. The scratch was so deep/sharp that about 1/3 of the cases split upon firing, I had to hand-sort all the fired brass to discard the bad cases. Dillon sent me a new die. Thanks.

Second problem:
Can't even remember what it was, but when I called Dillon they told me that some parts had been upgraded and sent me the new ones to solve it. Thanks.

Third problem:
After about 650 more rounds loaded, started getting scratched case mouths from the taper crimp die. Cleaning the die would only stop it for about 25 rds. Called Dillon and they told me to polish the die, which I did but it went right back to scratching again after about 25 rds. Called Dillon again, they told me that walnut tumbling media can get imbedded in the die and cause scratches. Since polishing was only a temporary fix, they told me to switch to corncob. So I spent half a day "decontaminating" my dies, tumbler, squirrel cage, brass bins, etc. Bought corncob media and problem has not come back. Would have been nice to know that at the beginning.

Fourth problem:
After loading about another (you guessed it) 650 rds, the machine gradually quit belling the case mouths. I figured something at the powder station had slipped, but I had used mild Loctite on everything when I put it together and the Loctite was still intact. Took it apart, readjusted the belling, and it worked ok for about the next 650 rounds. Then...

Fifth problem:
Primer feed stopped delivering primers (Winchester SPP) while the tube was still half full. Very carefully took it apart and discovered that one primer had turned sideways in the "wheel", so nothing would move. Cleared the jam, cleaned it all up, and reassembled.

Sixth problem:
After another 650 rds (yes, these numbers are approximate), the machine again stopped delivering primers. This time, it turned out the little indexing arm for the primer wheel was jumping out of the holes about every third stroke. I couldn't figure out why, but the spare parts kit I had bought from Dillon had a spare primer indexing arm. Took everything apart and discovered the new indexer is drilled for a much larger mounting screw than what's on my machine, no way to use it with making shims and stuff like that. Called Dillon today and after 5 minutes listening to the recording, the phone stated ringing to someone there. And ringing and ringing. After about 50 rings, I gave up and hung up. Maybe they are closed today but don't want to admit it.

Anyway, this machine has been a total PITA for me. Doing some quick math, I could have loaded an equal number of rounds on my old single stage press, quicker than on the Dillon when you count all the troubleshooting/repair time.

Do other people have this many problems with the 650, or did I just get a lemon? I'm seriously looking at just paying the excessive prices for "cheap" factory ammo and ditching the Dillon.

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Maj Dad
September 1, 2014, 06:21 PM
I can't imagine Dillon letting this go - they used to have someone monitoring either this forum or another one (don't recall, more brain cell die-offs) and fixing problems on the fly. I would say give them another chance: call during a non-peak time (not tomorrow morning!) and read them your litany from here, and see if they will stand good. They say no B.S., so call them on it. I have never had a problem with them, not even on things I broke or screwed up. I will add that I almost bought a 650, but decided I really didn't shoot enough and went with the 550 and I have never regretted it. I don't doubt you had problems, and I don't suggest you caused them. But in my time, I occasionally have been snake bit, not matter what I did - hope your issues get resolved without antivenin... ;)

Walkalong
September 1, 2014, 06:28 PM
It is certainly frustrating to have problems, no doubt about it.

Give Dillon a chance, they'll make it right.

g.willikers
September 1, 2014, 06:31 PM
No, Mr. Btfsplk, it's just you.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Btfsplk

Nobody is perfect.
My old Square Deal has had a few issues, too.
Dillon always knew the fix and sent the necessaries without charge.
Not without a flaw or two, but I'd buy another Dillon.

OrangePwrx9
September 1, 2014, 06:41 PM
I'm sympathetic, Jim. Never owned a Dillon, but had a similar experience with Lee. Between troubleshooting the press, cleaning up messes, and tearing down doubtful ammo, I finally determined I'd be better off with my old single stage.

In my case, I'd reload in spurts. Would crank out what I needed over a few evenings and then not use the machine again for a couple of months. When I went back to loading, it took a couple of evenings before the press ran smoothly again. A lot of what I ran in the meantime was questionable.

As a mfg. engineer I finally realized I'd seen the same problem many times before. Production lines never run smoothly when re-started after a lengthy shutdown. Goofy little glitches are the order of the day and tolerances vary all over the lot. So, in my case, it was simply the nature of the beast.

May have been fine if I'd loaded a hundred or so every evening. As it was, I doubted even a Dillon would've done much better.

wlkjr
September 1, 2014, 06:43 PM
Today is Labor Day and most businesses are closed for the Holiday.
You may want to consider selling the "650" and going back to your old loading system. Or maybe get a Hornady AP.
I have had a few problems with my primer feed but after taking it apart and cleaning it had no other issues. Dillon had replaced the parts that wore out or broke for free. I have loaded at least 5000 or more since November and this was on my well used 650 that I bought on the outdoor trader.
It does get frustrating but nothing is perfect.

Walkalong
September 1, 2014, 06:53 PM
Jim, please let me know when you get an answer from Dillon, and I can re-open the thread.

Gearhead Jim
September 2, 2014, 09:13 PM
Thanks for re-opening.

Today I phoned Dillon and had to wait about 30 minutes. With a cordless phone on Speaker, that's not a problem. In addition to being the day after a long weekend, it turns out that they also transitioned to a new computer system last Thursday and it was taking the reps longer than usual to get things done.

The rep I spoke with was efficient and knowledgeable. I didn't bother to detail the previous problems, just told him that the machine had been a chronic PITA and now had the primer feed/clip problem. He asked me a couple of questions about the machine and then said "You've got one of the very early versions, you're going to have lots of problems with it." I certainly agreed.

His solution was to order a complete new "platform" (everything on top of the ram, I think) and a complete new primer feed assembly, no charge, which should be here within a week.

That leaves me with mixed feelings.
Happy that he understood the problem and is getting the parts to me in a hurry, at no charge.
Unhappy that I had been attacking the problems piecemeal, without ever being told that an upgrade could have probably saved me a lot of time and frustration. My address has not changed, if they had sent me a letter explaining the upgrades, I would have gladly paid them some money for the improvements.

It will probably be about a month before I have time to install the new parts, adjust everything, and try loading more than 650 rds (j/k) at a time. I'll report back after that.

Thanks for your comments and support.

GaryL
September 2, 2014, 10:36 PM
Glad to see they took care of you.
As far as Dillon pro-actively contacting you, it's hard to say. Machinery can be really funny, especially as tolerances come into the equation. A high failure rate might only be 10%, and a few small design changes fixes everything. So 85% could have perfectly functional machines, 5% have occasional issues, and then there are the ones where everything is going to be an issue. I've never seen a new piece of equipment that couldn't use a few tweaks, and the auto industry is a classic example of that.

bds
September 2, 2014, 11:33 PM
Jim, thanks for posting this.

I recently got a used XL650 in very good condition with the case feeder setup for 45ACP and after reading your original post, was curious if Dillon's Lifetime "No-B.S." Warranty was B.S. After a thorough check, about the only thing that was broken on the press was the primer early warning system switch lever (Part #13864 $2.70) so I will be testing the "No-BS warranty" soon but no rush as there was an entire new unit in the spare parts box.

But from what I read, each time you contacted Dillon, they seemed to have addressed your problem by sending you new parts or making suggestions for the fix which worked.

And for your latest problem, following was the outcome.
His solution was to order a complete new "platform" (everything on top of the ram, I think) and a complete new primer feed assembly, no charge, which should be here within a week.

Happy that he understood the problem and is getting the parts to me in a hurry, at no charge.
I don't know how old your 650 is but from what I read, there was a design change since 1993 that requires base change for the upgrade. Looks like Dillon offered you a rebuild of 650 at no charge and timely too.


Do other people have this many problems with the 650, or did I just get a lemon?

Unhappy that I had been attacking the problems piecemeal, without ever being told that an upgrade could have probably saved me a lot of time and frustration.
Well, if you do a search for reloading press related problems, you will find many threads, including for Dillon.

Below is a partial quote from Mike Dillon and sounds like he has delivered on his "No-B.S." warranty multiple times for you - http://www.dillonprecision.com/about_us.html
No warranty cards, registration or serial numbers are necessary. Whether you are the first owner, or the seventeenth, all our hobby-level reloading machines have a lifetime warranty.

If you break, damage or wear out anything on them, it will be fixed or replaced – whatever is necessary to restore the machine to normal operating condition.

We are only a phone call, FAX or E-mail away.

I'm seriously looking at just paying the excessive prices for "cheap" factory ammo and ditching the Dillon.
I think there are many here who would gladly take that troublesome machine off your hands ... ;)

Gearhead Jim
September 3, 2014, 10:28 AM
bds-

IIRC, last time I had a problem with my primer early warning system (didn't mention that in my previous posts), they said that the warranty did not apply to electrical components, and I had to pay. Not a big deal. Perhaps you'll be luckier.

My rating of Dillon's customer service/warranty is "outstanding".
My gripe is that I have to use them too often.
One of our cars is a relatively high performance machine that we love. But it has been an experience like Dillon- great warranty and great service/repairs from the dealer. The annoyance is that we keep having to go back because things keep breaking. Not exotic engine or transmission parts, but simple switches that quit and stuff like that. So overall, I'm a very dis-satisfied customer with the car. At the moment, I'm feeling similar toward Dillon. But that can change, I'll update this thread after using the new parts for a while.

bds
September 3, 2014, 11:24 AM
I felt the same way when I initially learned to reload on progressives after a crash course on a single stage press. My reloading mentor used Dillon 550/Lee Pro 1000 and pointed out the common issues with both machines so I could avoid them or address them as the issues came up. When I got frustrated, he said, "They are just machines. You just need to learn how they operate instead of forcing things." Like driving a car with manual transmission, forcing the shifter will grind gears. Learning how and when to "nudge" the shifter will allow you to change gears without grinding (I know, some will say some cars shift smoother than others).

To be honest, I think all progressive presses have issues due to many moving parts and complexities of the operations. I have loaded over 400,000 rounds on several Pro 1000 presses and have not experienced any actual parts breakage (other than bead chain which was due to user error - forgot to use the spring at the bottom). I have replaced nylon gears, hopper wipers, pins and primer feed attachments but due to wear and not from parts breakage.

I never had a carbide ring crack on my Lee dies but reading various threads on press issues, I guess they do happen. Other than parts breakage, I think issues you experienced with your 650 don't seem too far exceptional as to what some progressive reloaders experienced and posted on various threads. Good thing is Dillon seemed to have addressed your issues each time to resolution.

I think you should certainly give your 650 "rebuild" a chance. And if you run into any issues, instead of getting frustrated, give Dillon a call or post on THR. Even for the humble Pro 1000, since the support thread was started, we don't seem to see too many members posting issues with their Pro 1000 and whatever issues that are posted, we have been able to address them to resolution - www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=507454

Who knows, if your problems continue, we could always start a support thread for Dillon 650. :D

Blue Thunder
September 3, 2014, 02:33 PM
I have a pair of SDB's and have had minor issues with both and have gotten fast no cost replacement parts for them. They have the old style powder return spring version and every 4-5 years I have to replace the pair of springs. Also had issues with primer feeds when changing from large pistol to small pistol, but experience fixed that. Both are in storage right now as I am building my retirement villa and have 2000 9MM and 1500 40Cal and 1000 45ACP reloaded to hold me over until the new Reloading Facility is completed early next year. Both presses will get a complete cleaning during reassembly before the first round is reloaded.

Gearhead Jim
September 16, 2014, 09:39 PM
Well, I've been working to install the new parts and (rant continues here), it's been a big PITA just like everything else with this machine.

The box contained a new platform, other associated parts, a new primer assembly, and a new 650 manual.
Plus an instruction sheet that tells how to align the new platform. Good.
Unfortunately, the instruction sheet does not explain how to install everything, nor does the main instruction manual. The two versions sometimes use slightly different terms for the same part. I'm doing a lot of jumping around, using both instructions and sometimes just having to figure it out for myself.

The alignment could not be accomplished as precisely as the sheet insists is needed, so I spent another half-hour on hold and had the rep tell me that the alignment I could achieve was good enough and not to worry about it.

There are numerous loose parts in the bag, most of them I can figure out but a couple are a complete mystery.

The new platform will not accept my old spent primer catcher or "overflow" new primer catcher. Neither instruction explains how to mount these items or which of the handful of loose screws to use.

In total, I've spent a full day on this project and am only about half way to being able to load ammo again. I do a fair amount of wrenching on my cars, have been to a couple of factory armorer schools and do a lot of work on my guns; I'm not Mr. Wizard but certainly know my way around machinery.

Without a doubt, I never would have bought the 650 if I knew how many hours of frustrating work would be needed to keep it running.

I'll report back when I get it going again.

arizona98tj
September 16, 2014, 11:39 PM
Been running a 650 for a number of years. Have yet to break a part....never had to call Dillon to ask how to make it work. I set it up per the manual on the 1st day and it has ran well since then except when I let a friend use it. Never let a friend use your stuff, especially lawn mowers and power tools. ;)

A couple of months ago, I added a case feeder to it. My only regret was not doing that several years earlier. :D

FWIW, I write software for a living. Been doing it now for almost 30 years. One thing I will never do.....NEVER EVER buy the 1st release of any software. Wait until it's been used by the general population for a while and revised once or twice....then buy it assuming it is still available. That pretty much applies to most things in life, IMO.

Good luck on your 650. Sorry to hear you've had such a problem with it. Did Dillon mention you could send it to them and have them set it up?

bds
September 16, 2014, 11:45 PM
You know, there are some of us who could use a first, second or third 650 ... ;)

Just in case you get tired of wrenching.

Gearhead Jim
September 17, 2014, 01:17 PM
Arizona-
They did not mention that I could send the machine to them for setup. I would have done that in a heartbeat. May still end up doing it, if I can't finish the setup myself.

bds-
My plan is to get it working and start loading ammo. If it works well, I'll keep it. If the problems continue, you'll see it on Craigslist or Gunbroker. Or in my trash can out at the street.

arizona98tj
September 17, 2014, 01:51 PM
Jim,
Just got my monthly Dillon catalog in the mail today. In the "We READ our Mail!" section, the 1st entry was from a guy who had "sent back my old, very sick Square Deal B" press. They overhauled it for free and had it back to him within a weeks time. He indicated it worked like it was brand new.

Before you ramp up your frustration level any further, consider letting Dillon get it all working correctly.

Gearhead Jim
September 17, 2014, 05:45 PM
Thanks for the info. They don't send me the Blue Press anymore, but I could probably get it if I asked.

I'm pretty busy with some other projects, so I'll keep my frustration down by only working on the press for an hour or two each day. And I'll keep their offer in mind if it becomes hopeless.

highlander 5
September 17, 2014, 10:18 PM
I've own a couple of 650s and have had few problems with them. The reason I have 2 is I find changing primer assembly a pain in the butt. I have owned a Dillon press from the 450 and on to the current machines and have had excellent customer service thru out the 30+ years of ownership.

Hondo 60
September 18, 2014, 12:30 AM
My only complaint is that they stopped receiving tech support email.
As they put it:

"Unfortunately, as of 12/19/2013, the tech support website is down until we can rebuild the server."

OK that's been 9 months ago! :(

Being a computer nerd, I know there's no way in heck it'd take that long.
(even if they tried to mess it up).

I tried to call Dillon the other day, the recorded message said I was 17th in que. :what:
I have more to do in life than hang on the phone all day. :cuss: :fire:

Otto
September 18, 2014, 11:30 AM
When the Dillon 650 came out, I bought one complete with case feeder, with a .38 Special setup......
Anyway, this machine has been a total PITA for me.

Interesting.... Dillon introduced the XL650 in 1991.

bds
September 18, 2014, 12:23 PM
And there was a 650 design change in 1993 ... so OP's 650 is pre-93, more than 20 years old machine.

2bfree
September 18, 2014, 12:56 PM
Interesting, last month I called to order a another powder measure and also order another powder tube to replace one that had gotten so dark I could no longer see through it and a hex head screw that has gotten rounded over the years. No phone wait at all. Got my order within a week, NO charge for the tube or screw.

Otto
September 18, 2014, 02:41 PM
And there was a 650 design change in 1993 ... so OP's 650 is pre-93, more than 20 years old machine.

Sounds to me like that this was the first time he's ever used the press since buying it 20 years ago.
On the other hand, if he's been using it why is it suddenly a PITA?

wlkjr
September 18, 2014, 03:29 PM
Questioning his problems is of no help.

Otto
September 18, 2014, 03:35 PM
And neither does ranting.....in case you missed the title of this thread.

Louca
September 18, 2014, 04:48 PM
I also have a Dillon press that I have some issues with (an early production Square Deal, not the SDB), and can sympathize with the OP's rant a bit. I have spoken to them on the phone a did get some help, and some fixes for some things, but also got some disheartening comments from them on one issue.

On station 2 (the case flaring, priming, powder charging station), my press will not always provide a uniform flare around the case. One side might, at times, have more flare than the opposing side. They couldn't answer to what that might be. Whether that is a real problem or not I am not sure.

But I told them I thought that was what contributed to another bigger problem I have of bullets being seated off-axis on Station 3. They actually look like they are slightly canted in the case. And those rounds do not fit in the chamber like they are supposed to (and like most of the other rounds do). To that they said that off-axis bullet seating was normal on that press(!) That bothered me.

The press used to work well in the early years and has only recently started showing the "crooked bullet" problem. But is sounds like I am kind of stuck with the what I have.

g.willikers stated:
My old Square Deal has had a few issues, too.
I am curious as to what the issues were (are). Are they at all similar to mine?

I know a lot of folks here love Dillon, and I am kind of one of them, but for the record, just know there are few of us that have unresolved important issues.

Lou

Catpop
September 18, 2014, 06:54 PM
I love my two SDBs regardless. Since 1973. Catpop

Gearhead Jim
September 18, 2014, 08:51 PM
Otto-

My 650 is one of the very earliest, I used it for a while when new (.38 and 9mm) but then my agency started giving me (almost) as much ammo as I wanted to shoot, so I stopped reloading. Just recently shot up the last of my .38 reloads from 1993.

Between then and now, I would occasionally load small batches for fun or to get a specialized load.

With retirement and no more free ammo, I've started reloading again.

Hence, the gaps in my reloading timeline and the relatively low round count on the machine (approx. 5,000)

Gearhead Jim
October 12, 2014, 05:37 PM
Update on the Dillon 650:

The new parts are installed, finally. It was a very frustrating experience as mentioned before, the two sets of instructions (Manual and Alignment) did not cover everything that I needed to do and sometimes used different terms for the same part. Sometimes, I would need to call twice about a problem and would get contradictory answers from different reps. More of the original parts weren't compatible with the new platform, so more phone calls and delays.

During one of my calls, I asked about just boxing up the machine and sending it back to them to do get it working. The rep strongly advised against doing that, he was almost vehement. He also said that I would need to pay shipping to them, and an additional $77 for the work. If I had been offered that deal at the beginning, I would have jumped on it. But by this time I was almost (yeah, right) finished and decided to keep going.

When it was all back together, I discovered that the new platform sits about 1/8" lower than the original, so all of my dies had to be readjusted. It's tough to get the wrenches in there with all the dies installed, I would have been better off to remove them all and start from scratch. It would have also been nice for either the instructions or one of the several reps I spoke with, to suggest that.

Yesterday it was all back together, dies adjusted, everything working properly. Just to be sure, I loaded 100 dummy rounds exactly the same as I would when making live ammunition, except for no primers or powder. My buddies and I will use them for speedloader drills, so not a waste. It was perfect.

So I put in the primers and powder, started loading just like before, and the second case hit the edge of the sizing die- it wasn't getting pushed far enough into station 1. Same thing on the next case.
***, I've just loaded 100 dummies perfectly and the second "live" shell hangs up?
That's a simple adjustment, but...???
Anyway, I fixed it and loaded 100 rds live, everything worked fine.
Next week, I'll do more loading and see how it goes.

Fingers crossed...

lauderdale
October 12, 2014, 06:04 PM
I hope this is the HAPPY ENDING!:) and am glad for you! I also love my SDB! and T-7 TURRET!

ljnowell
October 12, 2014, 06:40 PM
I can't get over the people that get upset and even go so far a to question the honesty of the OP. Probably the same people that feel the need to comment on EVERY thread about a Lee press with unhelpful "buy a Dillon" statements.

Dillon presses have problems too, hate to break it to people.

smetz
October 12, 2014, 06:51 PM
I have a 650 and love it. Zero problems from day one! Somewhere near 10k loaded so far with no issues.

Jim Watson
October 12, 2014, 07:08 PM
I have no experience with the 650. When I wanted to upgrade from SDBs, I looked at the lineup and jumped all the way to 1050 for .45 ACP. Then "backed up" and got a 550 for the other calibers.

Dillon has always been good to me.
They rebuilt my SDB twice, the second time returning it with a reinforced frame that would not be likely to break off the mounting flange again. They can learn. The guy I sold my 9mm SDB to has used it a lot and had it overhauled more than once. The .45 setup kind of disappeared. I think the guy I sold it to flipped it pretty soon after.

My Super 1050 - I got an early one, just after they phased out the original version - was kind of herky jerky in operation, flinging powder out on the shellplate advance. A Dillon rep on this board told me that they had already revised the advance lever and said to call in for one. When I did, the clerk tried to charge me for it. I asked to talk to the guy who had posted here and he sent me one at no charge.

The primer feed, like all Dillons', was very tedious to adjust. This is the weak part of their design. My old CH AutoCHamp progressive has a better primer feed even though troublesome in other areas.

ljnowell
October 12, 2014, 08:01 PM
The primer feed, like all Dillons', was very tedious to adjust. This is the weak part of their design. My old CH AutoCHamp progressive has a better primer feed even though troublesome in other areas.


It seems that the priming system is the weak point in most progressives. The Dillon, LnL, of course Lee. Though Dillon does have a very good system.

I don't currently own a Dillon but they do make some fantastic presses. I am planning on a 650 eventually, though another Pro1000 will probably come before then.

grubbylabs
October 13, 2014, 06:58 PM
Yup I agree, I think its possible for every company to put out a lemon every now and again. Quite a few people complain about priming on the LnL and about a few other things with it, but I have loaded a few thousand on mine by now and not a single issue that was not my fault.

And who knows, maybe some one near buy will read his rant and stop by to help him out, and then he will be happy.

Gearhead Jim
October 20, 2014, 09:44 PM
I've now loaded about 300 rds on the rebuilt 650, it generally works well but...

Spent primers occasionally bounce out of the catch cup. I had lined the previous cup with Dr Scholl's Moleskin, which prevented blisters (j/k) and also reduced the "bounce-outs" to almost nothing. Anyone have a better idea?

About 1 loaded round (.38 Spl) in 20 will simply fall over on the platform instead of going down the chute to the catch bin. I never seem to be looking when this happens, any ideas?

More significantly, about 10% of the time there is a "hitch" as the primer gets inserted into the pocket. Not enough to stop my stroke, but enough to make me say "what?". And about once every 100-150 rds, the primer ends up seated sideways in the pocket. I see the potential for a big bang and would like to stop this problem.
The machine was aligned per Dillon instructions, as closely as possible. The entire primer assembly is new and clean, I just cleaned each hole in the primer wheel as it came around. The primer seating punch and surrounding area are clean. The primer punch comes up in the exact center (as nearly as I can tell with a magnifying glass) of the shellplate hole, so everything should be perfectly aligned.
Cases are the same as before the problem started: twice-fired Winchester brass and Winchester primers.
Can't figure this one out.

ljnowell
October 20, 2014, 10:15 PM
I've now loaded about 300 rds on the rebuilt 650, it generally works well but...



Spent primers occasionally bounce out of the catch cup. I had lined the previous cup with Dr Scholl's Moleskin, which prevented blisters (j/k) and also reduced the "bounce-outs" to almost nothing. Anyone have a better idea?



About 1 loaded round (.38 Spl) in 20 will simply fall over on the platform instead of going down the chute to the catch bin. I never seem to be looking when this happens, any ideas?



More significantly, about 10% of the time there is a "hitch" as the primer gets inserted into the pocket. Not enough to stop my stroke, but enough to make me say "what?". And about once every 100-150 rds, the primer ends up seated sideways in the pocket. I see the potential for a big bang and would like to stop this problem.

The machine was aligned per Dillon instructions, as closely as possible. The entire primer assembly is new and clean, I just cleaned each hole in the primer wheel as it came around. The primer seating punch and surrounding area are clean. The primer punch comes up in the exact center (as nearly as I can tell with a magnifying glass) of the shellplate hole, so everything should be perfectly aligned.

Cases are the same as before the problem started: twice-fired Winchester brass and Winchester primers.

Can't figure this one out.


To me one in 100-150 priming failures is still too many. My $175 dollar progressive beats that.

lauderdale
October 21, 2014, 09:42 AM
I would call them on that. I had a problem w/a shell plate.One hole was not centerd and it would turn them also. If I remember correct the shell plate hole was cut off center. They sent me a new one next day. Not saying that's what your problem is but you should not be having any of them issues! I would think! Some one else on THR will prob. chime in. Good luck!

highlander 5
October 22, 2014, 09:13 AM
There's a vendor on e bay that sells a conversion kit that replaces the primer catcher with a piece that uses a length of flexible tubing to drop spent primers into a trash can. Cost was $20.

Jim Watson
October 22, 2014, 09:21 AM
I don't know about 650, but all the others, SDB, 550, and 1050, you have to be really careful to get the priming punch lined up with the holes in the shellplate. It may take repeated tries; my 1050 was the hardest. Of course if you have one hole out of position, it will be impossible.

UniqueTek charges $25.95 for the spent primer tube coupling if you don't ebay.
http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1346-650

Gearhead Jim
October 22, 2014, 11:34 AM
Thanks for the comments!

jmorris
October 23, 2014, 10:33 AM
I have at least one of all of the Dillons and over the last 30 years or so using them can understand the OP's frustration. If I ever get close to that point, I just walk away and come back when "refreshed". They are not really complicated machines once you know how they work but they can give you fits.

jmorris
October 23, 2014, 10:37 AM
For a primer tube adapter you can drill out the base of a .44 case and clamp it between the stock bracket.

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/reloading/primercup/IMG00069-20110424-1355.jpg

On the SD a 38/357 case drilled out and clamped between the failsafe bracket and ram works.

Gearhead Jim
October 23, 2014, 11:18 AM
A good idea and a nice photo, thanks!

grubbylabs
October 23, 2014, 01:43 PM
I have to admit, its kinda odd to see someone with this kind of issues with a Dillion. But like I said every one has an off day, I mean look at ljnowell, it looks like he might have got a Lee that works.:D

ljnowell
October 23, 2014, 01:47 PM
I have to admit, its kinda odd to see someone with this kind of issues with a Dillion. But like I said every one has an off day, I mean look at ljnowell, it looks like he might have got a Lee that works.:D


It's really not that uncommon. I know several people that have issues with their Dillon. They usually go straight to Dillon and never come to the forums looking for help.

Part of that is the people that buy dillons usually buy it for the warranty and that's the first call. Those of us who buy Lee presses usually go straight to the internet for solutions, and usually find them.

jmorris
October 23, 2014, 07:51 PM
We all have had issues. Heck, Superman is dead, no one or machine is exempt from having problems sooner or later.

Potatohead
October 24, 2014, 05:31 PM
Superman is dead? Nobody told me..

Gearhead Jim
April 25, 2015, 09:28 PM
UPDATE:

After months of back and forth discussions, more parts being sent to me that might or might not fit, more adjustments that couldn't be done properly, etc; I sent the machine back to Dillon in early February. I agreed to pay them for a complete rebuild, and also paid them to supply and install a complete .380 setup, adjusted and ready to load. I supplied them with some once-fired cleaned cases, and bullets that I will use. Also, I wrote in CAPITAL LETTERS that we would be out of town on vacation for a while, don't send the machine back to me without verifying that we were home.

Two weeks later, I received a cellphone call that the machine was ready. I said we were still out of town, the rep looked at my letter and he agreed they would hold the machine for about another month until I returned home and called them first. Five days later, I got an email from a neighbor who had noticed a large box marked "Dillon" sitting outside on our porch, did I know what it was? Damned right I did. But he took into his house and I picked it up when we got home.

It's been sitting in my shop waiting for enough time to work on it, today I started. The unpacking and mounting were easy, Dillon included some of the "dummy" rounds they had loaded, but the bullets were seated backwards and looked like full wadcutters. Oh, well...

Here we go again:
The automatic casefeeder works perfectly, just like before (I kept it at home).
The empty cases get inserted into station 1 by the slide, but there's something wrong: about 50% of the cases went "clang" and got a bent lip when they banged into the bottom of the sizing die instead of funneling in properly. So much for "adjusted and ready to load." The cases are visibly off-center as the platform rises, the ones that go in smoothly still need to do a noticeable tilt as they enter the sizing die. I've adjusted the cam and slide as per the manual (so the cases aren't forced to far into the shellplate), but just can't get the cases to go and stay far enough into the shellplate at station one. Whether they are forced in as far as possible, or left with some looseness as the manual specifies, the only thing that changes is the percentage of cases that get damaged. I've got it down to about 10%, but that's still way too high and I never had this problem before.

Suggestions?

jmorris
April 25, 2015, 10:43 PM
Well, you tried. PM me and I will swap you for a brand new in the box LNL.

Walkalong
April 26, 2015, 09:33 AM
Well there you go.

Feel free to start a new thread if something else of interest happens. Just link to the old one.

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