Taming the Dillon Shell Plate

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Phlier, Jan 29, 2020.

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  1. Phlier

    Phlier Member

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    Over the years, there have been quite a few threads/posts about guys having problems with Dillon shell plates jumping during advancement. This results in either powder getting tossed from brass, bullets from bullet feeders getting tipped over, or both.

    There have been a lot of third-party products developed and sold to lessen this problem. Everything from lighter detent balls and springs to roller bearing plates. Most of these products work to a degree, but from what I've read, most guys are left with at least some shell plate jump.

    I tried the roller bearing plate, and couldn't get it to work well enough to justify the hassle. I was able to get a lighter spring and ball to reduce the jump to where I wasn't getting powder thrown out of the brass, but now that's no longer good enough. I recently added a bullet feeder, and any jiggling of the shell plate at all during advancement is enough to knock the bullet out of squareness.

    So for you guys that are running butter-smooth Dillon 1050 shell plates (and I mean butter smooth... no jiggling at all) what product(s) ended up working for you? I'm not talking about reducing shell plate jump, I'm talking about completely eliminating it, the goal is 100% smooooth advancement, no jiggling allowed. At all.

    There's so many products out there that attempt to get us to that smooth Dillon shell plate Nirvana. Which of them truly live up to the task?

    Does anyone out there have any experience with the Level 10 Innovations Shell Plate Stabilizer? If so, how does/did it work for you? Wasted money? Would buy again? Completely smooth?

    Other products you guys would recommend/avoid?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  2. RodII

    RodII Member

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    I have no problem with spilled powder with the stock parts. I work the shell plate with a easy and even motion, I do not slap it. I do not have a bullet feeder but doubt if it would be a problem.
    My 550 is stock with no upgrades, except for a plastic knob on the powder measure screw. I think most of the upgraded parts available are a solution in search of a problem. YMMV
     
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  3. Phlier

    Phlier Member

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    I should've noted that this was for a Dillon 1050 press, @RodII. Edited the OP to add that.
     
  4. RodII

    RodII Member

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    No problem, people also mention this happening with the 550 and 650.
     
  5. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    ► I have a stock 650 and powder does get jostled, but it doesn't jump out. It's simply not an issue for me. And most of my loading is short cased ammo like 9mm.

    I did see a new thing on Ebay last night. Some little brightly colored rubbery "tires" that go on the 3 "buttons". They apparently touch the shellplate, and spin in place as the shellplate turns. They are claiming that's enough to dampen the shellplate rotation to stop the jostling.
     
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  6. Phlier

    Phlier Member

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    I probably wasn't clear in the OP... I've actually had the shell plate calmed down enough so that it isn't tossing powder out of the case for years now (using the lighter ball and spring), so that's not the issue.

    The issue is that it still jiggles enough that it's upsetting the perfectly square-set bullets that the bullet feeder sits on the cases.
     
  7. AR-Bossman

    AR-Bossman Member

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    What bullets are you dropping? I have to be pretty on the ball watching for tipping if I do my coated lead (9mm) because I'm at .357 min and mess around with .358. The .356 copper bullets go in and you could turn those upside down, they aren't coming loose.
    Also, the Hornady die has an amazing ability to take a crooked bullet and straighten it out before seating.
     
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  8. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I came into a situation where I had to load many thousands of 100 grain hollow base bullets that didn’t want to cooperate and I ended up making a different collator and setting up a different tool head with a dropper style feeder. Because I didn’t want to babysit the press while it was loading, I bought a cheap laser emitter and receiver. I put them on adjustable posts, so if the bullet wasn’t sitting just right, the press would stop.

    I never took it off once I switched back to the regularly scheduled programming but it was at the very tip of the 380 bullets.

    006BFA28-C9D9-4BE7-8366-9A18B99DFFEA.jpeg

    If the tip blocked the RX, the machine would continue, if the RX could see the beam, it stops.

    A2F6EFDC-F46A-4167-8996-8D9150805ED4.jpeg

    I understand that’s not taming the index but a way to ensure bullets that are close in height/width coupled with hollow bases are fed correctly or to stop the machine to not cause a round that needs to be pulled.

    The indexing of presses is often just what you input to the handle and what your bench does. A “springy” bench and a case being pulled off an expander can knock just about anything off.

    A video of your issue would help us understand what problem you are having.

    Kind of like this but of your press knocking bullets off.

     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
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  9. BIZERKO666

    BIZERKO666 Member

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    Not a 1050 but on my 650 I've tried the roller bearing, light weight detent bal and spring. Still a little josling but I've learned to keep keep a finger on the shell plate as I'm getting ready to place a bullet on the awaiting round.
    Best upgrade so far would have to be the primer stop switch I got from a guy on Ebay. Works great to stop the primer feed when needed
     
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  10. Phlier

    Phlier Member

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    This one.

    They're sized to .357 after powder coating. I really should take a look at that Hornady die...

    OK, so first off, that's the smoothest running Dillon shell plate I've ever seen. Second, my mind is just blown at all your cool stuff.

    My bench is rock solid... It's lag bolted into wall studs at six spots. I'm 6'2"/220 lbs and I could jump around on the bench without it moving at all.

    I'll see if I can get my son to help me take a video of it today. It's just a typical 1050 shell plate advancement, where it's smooth until the ball kicks in, then it jerks itself into the detent. You guys are probably going to laugh, as the bullets aren't moving all that much, just enough to no longer be completely square on the case. And that's just enough to trigger my OCD... I want SQUARE bullets, and anything less than perfectly square might as well be completely sideways to me. ;) Out of ten bullets set, I'd say five stay perfectly square, three are just barely out-of-square, and two are tipped a bit more.

    If I go really slowly on the upstroke, I can prevent the problem from happening about 90% of the time. But who wants to run a 1050 at 500 rounds per hour? :)

    Edit: I think the problem is exacerbated a bit by the fact that I'm using .357 diameter bullets, and the M die that DAA provides with the bullet feeder is designed around .355 diameter bullets.

    I also forgot to add that since I replaced the Dillon powder-through die with the DAA M-style, brass does get stuck to the expander, often quite hard. I'm sure that's not helping the issue, either. Guess I'll need to take that die out and polish it up.

    I've also found a bunch more products out there that claim to fix this problem. I'm tempted to buy a few of them and see how they work out. If they don't do the job, I can at least do a "product review" post here, and help guys save their money.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
  11. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I have a different brand AP. But setting of the index should behave the same. What I found is that you want to move the shell plate into position. Not doing so the detents will make it snap every time. So adj your index so it travels the full distance and not short like your doing. This should smooth it out.
     
  12. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm member

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    Try adjusting the powder measure down JUST A BIT to give a slight flare to the case mouth.
     
  13. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Are you wet tumbling?

    If so, you might try dry tumbling with polish or just lube all your brass.

    You can shoot it with the residual lube on it but I generally post load tumble in corncob to knock it off.
     
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  14. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I lightly lube all my 9mm just to let everything run smoother.

    When loading FMJ or RMR Plated bullets, I toss them into corn cob, after being cases gauged, for a quick tumble (20mins)
     
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  15. Erief0g

    Erief0g Member

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    Already started but another statement that a good lube really smooths things out
     
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  16. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    Are you using a powder check die? Powder sticks to mine and falls off at random one flake at a time.

    Makes it look like my press is flinging powder everywhere.
     
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  17. Phlier

    Phlier Member

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    Yup, I do wet tumble, but I can chuck them in the wiggler for a few minutes after they come out of the dryer to put a bit of polish on 'em.

    At @9mmepiphany 's suggestion (in another thread), I increased the bell by a bit yesterday. Now the bullets are set onto the brass hard enough at the bullet feeding station that the cases can be held upside down and shaken without the bullet coming off. As such, they're now more than capable of handling a shell plate advancement without getting knocked out of square.

    So the problem has been solved! Thanks for the help and suggestions, gents. Great group on this forum.

    It actually wasn't powder getting flung that was the problem, it was bullets placed by a bullet feeder getting tipped over when the shell plate was advancing from the setting station to the seating station. :)
     
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