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Newbie Question:Consistency of powder drop in Dillon 650

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by TwoRavens, Jan 10, 2006.

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  1. TwoRavens

    TwoRavens Member

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    Hi,
    I got a Dillon XL650 for Xmas :)) ) and am totally new to reloading...(so be nice :rolleyes: )

    A friend of mine who has his own reloading business came over and helped me set up, so I think everything is built OK; but here is my issue:

    I'm reloading 308s with VihtaVuori N135 (and Hornady 168gr BTHPs), aiming for 38.9 gr of powder, however the drop seems to vary quite a bi: e.g

    38.9
    38.5
    38.3
    38.3
    38.0
    38.0

    Is this normal? Is it because N135 is extruded? Anything to check?
     
  2. Sheldon

    Sheldon Member

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    The extruded powders will do that. The smaller grained powder and ball powders will be more consistant than the larger grained ones.
     
  3. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    i've got the 1050, but i think they use the same powder measure/die. the only problem i've ever had with variation, even with extruded powders, is when i over-lube bottleneck rifle cases and the lube builds up in the powder die, causing the powder to stick to it.

    take a pipe cleaner and shove it up the powder die and see if it comes out with powder on it. if it does, clean the die thoroughly and see if your variance settles down


    btw, extruded powders still meter pretty well, they just make a highly annoying crunching sound.

    and your variance there is "quite a bit" to say the least. definitely fix it before you shoot. also, it might be your scale, not your loader. calibrate your scale and try again
     
  4. georgeduz

    georgeduz Member

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    thats no good
     
  5. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    You need to do a number of drops, especially with extruded powder. Also, establishing a rhythm is important. With Varget, I don't get consistent charge weights until I drop maybe the first 10 charges or more. I don't even bother to weight them, just take the case and pump it right back into the hopper.

    Some guys complain that the Dillon makes the "clunk". I try to adjust mine so that it clunks pretty good so that the powder settles between charges.

    Keep the hopper mostly full. I assume you have the baffle in the hopper. I think it takes a number of cycles to get powder worked under the baffle
     
  6. TwoRavens

    TwoRavens Member

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    Thanks for the replies!

    I found a few specs of powder in the die, so I cleaned it. For now, I think I'll switch to Win 748 for my first batch of 308, and try the ViHt later.

    I noticed that after my friend set up the hopper, it was pretty loose on the die, even wobbly. My friend said is worked best like that. Any comments...?
     
  7. Aneat

    Aneat Member

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    A wobbly powder measure doesnt sound good. On my 1050 I run my powder measure nice and snug. If there is any doubt call Dillon to verify.

    Adam
     
  8. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Yeah. If Dillon wanted it wobbly they would have designed it wobbly. You're probably not getting consistent movement. The little socket head screws are there to tighten, not leave loose

    I suspect Dillon designed it to clunk. Bench rest shooters usually tap the handle once or twice at the end of the stroke to settle the powder. I suspect the clunk does the same

    All I know is that, when mine's set right, it will stay +/- .1, and that's on several different units and that's with extruded powder
     
  9. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Member

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    I take the new powder measure's and add the double return springs around the charge bars from the original dillon setup. They'll give them to you for free if you ask. Seems to make the measure work better. (IMHO)

    FWIW - my powder measures don't wobble at all on my powder dies. Might double check that the little clamp thing on the measure is actually sitting down in the grove on the powder die. (Just a guess)

    Regards,
    Dave
     
  10. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    i concur with the previous two... get rid of the wobble.


    i'm not sure what "clunk" you guys are talking about. maybe i never noticed it.


    oh, and probably a subject for a different thread, but i've noticed a lot of powder dispenser instructions say specifically to NOT tap the handle on the top or bottom of the stroke as it will make more variance, not less. it would be interesting to know how that tapping thing got started.
     
  11. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    If the cam retaining screw on the side of the measure is snug, the cam hesitates, then the measure drops down. If it's a little looser, the powder bar slides smoothly.
     
  12. YellowLab

    YellowLab member

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    Volumetric measures will always vary with extruded type powders. The grains will never be the same in two throws, so you will always have a different number of grains in each 'volume'. Plus the length of extruded powders are not exactly the same etc etc.

    Ball powders will meter most accuratly.... a ball is a ball no matter how it 'lies' in the volume. Flake can stand on end or lay flat, or diagonal accros other flakes... so variation will be present. Extruded, well, figure it out....

    Taping the side of the measure will 'settle' the grains more or less, I'm not sure why that would be a bad thing.

    Definately clean the measure... as someone has already pointed out case lube and accumulate and cause issues... mainly bridging.
     
  13. 30Cal

    30Cal Member

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    I get +/- 0.2 or 0.3grs with extruded powders and a dillon measure (on a 550--I think it's the same measure if not similar). If you operate the press inconsistantly, it will throw inconsistantly (go figure). A smooth, repeatable stroke is what you're looking for. If you bang the press or jam a shell up against a die, then the next drop is going to be heavy by quite a bit.

    It'll take 3-4 drops after adjusting the powder measure before the charge weights settle in. When you're trying to dial it in, make sure you are operating the press the same way. If you're production run is charge then seat, make sure you are at least attempting to simulate--charge-charge-charge will give you different weights than charge-seat-charge-seat.

    I get most consistant results if I put only one shell on the shellplate at a time and size as a completely seperate operation (i.e. I size them all, then charge and seat). Rapping the side of the powdermeasure prior to running the shell up into the powder die also helps.

    FWIW, consistancy of charge weights is highly overrated. You can easily exceed factory match ammo with +/-0.3grs variation.

    Ty
     
  14. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I kinda do the same thing, but I take one piece of brass and run it thru the entire cycle and end up with one loaded round.

    If I do this, my charge weights are real close, even with extruded, and it's simple because I don't have to segregate my rounds between steps. When the rounds kicks out, it's ready to shoot.
     
  15. Rockstar

    Rockstar member

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    Sounds like your friend erred in setting up the power drop. Tighten that mother up with those hex screws. If you'll use dry moly and coat your charge bars, they'll work smoother. I'd suggest that you review your entire setup, per Dillon's manual, considering the obvious lack of knowledge of your friend.
     
  16. BenW

    BenW Member

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    +1

    I can't find my link to it, but there's a thread on brianenos.com about this.
     
  17. 30Cal

    30Cal Member

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    I have to FL resize which seems to be pretty variable in effort depending on how much lube a particular case gets, so I get better results if I do sizing as a separate op. Also, I have to trim and clean primer pockets (gasgun).

    Ty
     
  18. scott5

    scott5 Member

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    TwoRavens said:"I'm reloading 308s with VihtaVuori N135 (and Hornady 168gr BTHPs), aiming for 38.9 gr of powder, however the drop seems to vary quite a bi: e.g

    38.9
    38.5
    38.3
    38.3
    38.0
    38.0"

    I have a 550B and my drops never did vary that little. In ten throws they always were up to two grains, scatered all over the place, and the powder would stick at the bottom of the hopper and crush my brass.:banghead: :fire:

    My solution was to size and prime every case then use the Lyman 1200DPS to dispence every charge then seat the bullet then crimp.

    When I called Dillon about my problem they just told me to use ball powders. Well I didn't have ball powders at that time, I still have a bunch of the stick powders to use up.

    Just my $0.02
     
  19. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

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    Dillon offers an adapter to use other manufacturers' PMs (manually activated) on their presses. Also, both RCBS and Hornady sell case activated linkages for their powder measures that screw into standard die holes. Hornady is even coming out with powder through expanders for their linkage (their linkage would work with rcbs too, and probably redding. Generally speaking, measures that fill from the end of a long cavity tend to do better on extruded powders than those that fill from the side (dillon). Whether even they work well enough is a matter of some debate.

    Andy
     
  20. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    scott5, there's got to be more to that story. if dillon sold a measure that varried 2 GRAINS, i can't imagine they'd tell you to piss off like that.
     
  21. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    [​IMG]

    This's how my 650 is set up. That's the hornady case activated powder die and the hornady measure. Here's a pic with the powder sensor removed to show the linkage.

    [​IMG]

    I use surplus wc-844 ball powder to load my .223's. I'm sure if I used a stick powder, it would stay within a couple tenths either way, which is good enough for what I'm loading.
     
  22. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Do Dillon powder bushings work, or do you have to get something from Hornady??

    something I don't understand is, when I used both my Hornady measure and Dillon with the same powder (AA 1680 IIRC), the Dillon was more accurate. The Hornady appears better made in every way, so this was puzzling. The Hornady was new, so maybe there was lube built up. All I know is, I had a heck of a time getting the Hornady anywhere near consistent. Dunno
     
  23. YellowLab

    YellowLab member

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    Now that is some good tech support... its not OUR MEASURE.. its YOUR powder! Was it worth 2x the cost of a press to be treated like a child? :neener:

    I wonder if anyone at Dillon even understands why the charge it varying.. they didn't even tell you why.

    From what I read, volumetric case actived measures are a Lee patented gizmo.. call them, they'll probibly know more about it.:D
     
  24. TwoRavens

    TwoRavens Member

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    Snuffy: Very cool. Where did you order it from? How easy is it tom move from tool head to tool head?
     
  25. scott5

    scott5 Member

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    YellowLab wrote:
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by scott5
    When I called Dillon about my problem they just told me to use ball powders. Well I didn't have ball powders at that time, I still have a bunch of the stick powders to use up.

    Just my $0.02


    Now that is some good tech support... its not OUR MEASURE.. its YOUR powder! Was it worth 2x the cost of a press to be treated like a child?

    I wonder if anyone at Dillon even understands why the charge it varying.. they didn't even tell you why.

    From what I read, volumetric case actived measures are a Lee patented gizmo.. call them, they'll probibly know more about it.




    I called Dillon twice.
    The first time was in the shop standing in front of the machine and describing the problem to them, that I was loading for 6mm Remington and that the powder was varying all over the place. The thing that I forgot to tell them was that the powder was building up in the bottom of the despenser for a few drops and on the third drop it would crush the case.
    The man told me to use ball powder.:confused:

    A few weeks later I went over to my favorite gun shop, a place that sells Dillon presses, and was telling them my problems and they had no answers exept to call Dillon and hand me the phone.
    The man on the other end at Dillon told me the same thing, use ball powders:banghead:

    So now when I reload for rifle, I size and prime in one step, then put the shells in a loading block and have my Lyman 1200 weigh each charge.:neener:

    Then with all the shells in the loading block with the right amount of powder to within +- 0.1gr. instead of +- 2.0gr., I seat the bullet useing the Dillon for the rest of the process. I have two Dillon powder drops and accesories that I don't use anymore because of the of the above problems.:(

    Im sorry TwoRavens for hyjacking your thread. Just my $0.02
     
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