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Tuning Dillon Powder Measures

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mallc, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. mallc

    mallc Well-Known Member

    Here's a link to a great thread on tuning up Dillion powder measures from the Competition forum.

    I worked on one of mine, starting with course scotch brite and ending with 0000 steel wool and soapy water. It made a noticable difference and took about 30 minutes total time. Ten throws came out perfect measure.


  2. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Well-Known Member

    An alternative to tuning Dillon powder measures is to buy either a Hornady LnL measure or a RCBS Uniflow (either one) add a case activated powder drop and put it on your Dillon and not have to tune a Dillon measure for extruded powders when you're loading rifle. And with the toolheads, you'll have a much more convenient system to have extra measures for each toolhead.

    Course, that costs extra, but worth it for the convenience and not having to fiddle with a powder measure tuning it..


  3. mallc

    mallc Well-Known Member

    ??? for Dave

    I found a used Uniflow in a local shop. Where can I find information on retro-fitting it with a case actuated powder drop?

  4. Goose5

    Goose5 Member

    I watched a video on Youtube. A guy was going for 6 grains on his Dillon measure. He threw it 10 times and weighed. He got 59.9. Seems accurate enough for me.
  5. pinkymingeo

    pinkymingeo Well-Known Member

    DIFB's advice isn't bad. I'm aware that with some powder measures you go for an average, but with the LnL you set it and forget it. Every time you check, there's no variation.
  6. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Well-Known Member

  7. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Well-Known Member

    And these setups will go on a Dillon 1050 press in place of the powder measure that comes with it?
  8. 45ACPUSER

    45ACPUSER Well-Known Member

    Your observation was using pistol powder charge of probably a flake powder, and they are usually pretty darn consistent. Especially with the expander of say 45cal.....

    Higher volumes with stick powders ie Varget going through the 22 call powder funnel get bunged up! And, it is hard to get 27 gr of Varget into a case without a drop tube most of the time......it will come up to the shoulder neck junction....

    I like TAC for the 223 bulk loadiing ease through the DPM.
  9. layusn1

    layusn1 Well-Known Member

    I just had to do mine with steel wool. Its shiny enough to be a mirror now..lol. Throws perfect, consistent charges of TAC now.
  10. JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone

    JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone Well-Known Member

    Ford, Chevy, Dodge...

    A guy post a link to something to make something he has a bit better. And all someone else does is say in so many words is 'to make it better, get rid of it or retrofit it with such'n such.

    You know.. The Dillon measure has been on the market for some 30 years. I don't think that the LNL has been. Maybe, but I don't think so. So, you'd think, that something newer -within the same class of product, might be a bit better in ways. Different I suppose.

    That's kinda like .. Well if someone makes a post about thier old hand-me down Model 70win, that there's a Jewel or Timney trigger available or instructions of how to make the factory trigger better. Yet all someone can do is post that it would be best to just buy a new Savage with the Accu-Trigger.

    Not that what was said here was against, Dillon per'se, but an alternative as buying a different measure and adding another component/tool, is like saying that the tuning wouldn't be worth the time. Well, to me, the tuning is certainly worth the money. The Dillon is a good measure. I use a Uniflo too. No complaints about either.

    Not trying to start a feud, but Mallc didn't ask for a measure comparison or what's better than the Dillon. He only posted a good process for tuning a Dillon.

  11. mc223

    mc223 Well-Known Member

    Well said Jack. I just couldn' muster enough restraint to say what you did. Thanks.
    I have done the polishing and more and do get ± tenth of a grain drop consistancy with Varget.
  12. neal7250

    neal7250 Well-Known Member

    All of it is good information, but I see this as great and inexensive way to improve a great time tested powder measure.
  13. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    I have a free standing Hornady that I use when I work up rifle loads. Although it appears to be much better made, the throws tend to be considerably less consistent than my 5 Dillon measures. I have no idea why. This is with Varget and other stick powders. My experience with H-380 and AA5 are that they work well with any measure.

    It's hard to get long stick like 4350 to work well (+/- .1) with anything. Then again, if you look when you trickle, it only takes maybe 2-4 sticks to change the scale with 4320. If I tune them as above, it should get them more consistent. Hey, it's free.

    From what I've experienced, if I could trade my Dillons even up for Hornady's/RCBS I wouldn't do it.

    It's interesting that the same guys who say you should buy a Hornady because it's 50 cents cheaper now want you to spend $125 retrofitting your press instead of doing something that's free. They just can't let it go.

  14. neal7250

    neal7250 Well-Known Member

    Redneck:)You're a man after my own heart. I'm have had some good stuff, and there's some great stuff out there, but when I went to Dillon, I became addicted.
  15. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    It isn't a freaking contest. Buy what you like and be happy. There are a lot bigger problems in the world than what color press someone is going to buy. In the end, I'm sure they all can make either great or crap ammo depending on individual operator's skills.

    I'm quite happy that I have choices. Back in the late 60's, I read a story by a guy that went to Russia. One of the things that stuck me was one of his comments about clothing. Every man had one of three different patterns and colors of shirts. Everything was government controlled, and you were going to like one of those three or do without.

    Appreciate what you have and the choices you can make.
  16. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Well-Known Member


    Yes, they will as they'll go on any press that accepts standard reloading dies. Also, the case activated powder drops makes the operation of the cylinder type powder measures (regardless of brand) extremely consistent. I use a Redding BR30 for single stage and I've found the case activated powder drop has made both my Hornady and RCBS measures more accurate drop to drop than the Redding on my bench.

    If you buy one Hornady LnL or RCBS Uniflow and the Hornady CAPD< you can then buy a quick change powder die Hornady part# 050074 to pretty much eliminate setting the CAPD up on different toolheads. The dies are set on the toolheads, then the powder measure can be moved from toolhead to toolhead without buying a bunch of powder measures. Real handy for adding two or three rifle calibers to a Dillon. Very convenient.

    I think the Redding could also be adapted to the case activated powder drops, making for those that like the Redding measures.



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