Setting up handloading on Dillon 550

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300BOB
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Setting up handloading on Dillon 550

Post by 300BOB » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:13 am

I have acquired a new to me Dillon 550 and would like to set it up for loading 300BLK. I have previously loaded 45 on a rock chucker so im new to both progressive presses and rifle loading. I have read multiple reloading handbooks and spent a decent amount of time researching the topic.

That said, i want to load 220gr subs for plinking within 50yards and 150 gr supers to take out to 300y

I have hornady sizing and seating dies and a lee factory crimp die. It looks like ill need the Ak powder funnel and can use my existing 223 caliber conversion kit

Has anyone loaded with this setup and can offer some guidance to a newbie?

Also, for loading the subs i plan to use Hodgdon lil gun and Berrys plated 220s. it looks like i dont need to bell the case and just guide the bullet into the seating die? Can i use mixed headstamp for general plinking for subs? also i purchased a WFT in 300 for trimming

Thanks for your help

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wildfowler
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Re: Setting up handloading on Dillon 550

Post by wildfowler » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:57 am

I have two Dillon 550s but mine are set up for pistol ammunition only and I’ve never considered using them to load 300 blackout.

My reasoning is that I personally feel like I would want to pay more attention to brass prep regarding trim length, chamfer, etc and making sure sizing die lube is removed so I don’t see how it Would be better to try and do it all on the 550 in one step.

If it were me I would use your rock chucker to do the basic brass preparation and skip the sizing die on the Dillon press and only use the Dillon for inserting a new primer and then let the rest of the 550 machine take to work from there.

Now if there’s another way to do this, that I’m not understanding I would love to consider making a change myself.
driven every kind of rig that's ever been made, driven the backroads so I wouldn't get weighed. - Lowell George

TRshootem
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Re: Setting up handloading on Dillon 550

Post by TRshootem » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:54 pm

I have cut and formed most of my 2K + brass in the Hornady die. All prep is done to the brass following the forming and final trim. I use the Dillon 550 to run all steps just like pistol calibers. If I'm doing some small test samples, I still use the 550B. When setting up to load a quantity, the brass is laid flat on a towel and sprayed with Hornady One Shot a bit more than lightly. To Form brass from LC and others, the brass is rolled on the RCBS lube pad and wiped off before final trim. Loading plated and lead/coated bullets, a bit of case mouth belling is necessary and is done during the powder drop. Easy to adjust the amount of bell. A friend just bought one of my 550's( had 3), he calls it his reverse, upside down turret press :lol:

300BOB
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Re: Setting up handloading on Dillon 550

Post by 300BOB » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:05 pm

Interesting stuff

Are you using the sizing die on the 550 as well?

And is it the AK powder funnel you are using for the belling and powder charge?

Thanks

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GregP42
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Re: Setting up handloading on Dillon 550

Post by GregP42 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:02 pm

I have mine set up with a 30 carbine funnel as it will give a little flare for flat based bullets. Also works well for cast bullets.

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TRshootem
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Re: Setting up handloading on Dillon 550

Post by TRshootem » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:02 am

Yes, sizing die on the 550, 30 carbine powder funnel that's adjusted for the the amount of bell needed for coated/plated bullets. Lee FCD set to basically remove the flair with very light crimp on the case neck. Jacketed bullets are run with setting with a bit less in the crimp die as well, results in restoring neck tension and closing up the belling...just enough. Once I have fired cases, they are run just like loading pistol ammo. Go for it, you got this.

Flying Turtle
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Re: Setting up handloading on Dillon 550

Post by Flying Turtle » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:14 pm

I do all my resizing on a single stage for rifle. That way I can clean off the sizing lube. I then set up the Dillon with a universal decap die on the first station and a lee factory crimp die on four

TRshootem
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Re: Setting up handloading on Dillon 550

Post by TRshootem » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:01 pm

It's interesting to note the many different ways hand loaders get to the finished product. A journey around the various sites that have reloading sub forums can be both very enlightening and mystifying. However one chooses to create quality loads, do it safely and be open to possible addition to your knowledge base. I do it my way, ain't necessarily the best way....

There are a number of savvy hombres here, after all these years I never pass up a chance to have a new 'ahah' moment. Have fun, be safe 8)

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Re: Setting up handloading on Dillon 550

Post by Smurky » Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:17 am

I use the 550, I use the “home brew lanolin/90%+ alcohol” 9 parts alcohol to 1 part liquid lanolin for size Lube which is the similar to the Dillon Lube with excellent results. A high quality sprayer is necessary, put about 50 brass in a gallon ziplock bag, couple sprays close and shake and roll brass around a couple times, place the brass in a bin and let the alcohol flash off for a few minutes before sizing. I use a Whidden 300 blk trim tool head with the Dillon trim/size die and trimmer. I throw in the tumbler to clean the Lube off. On a Whidden floating tool head, Lee expander die in 1, powder in 2, seater in 3, and Lee factory crimp die in 4. I load mostly Acme 245 gr lead coated bullets, one big hole at 50, a bit bigger at 100.

My priority is not speed, for me this efficiently results in excellent ammo. I have a Forster Co-Ax and my 550 using this process makes ammo on par with the Co-Ax.

The Lube regime I use is well documented on you tube. The bins do need cleaning once in a while as they get coated with lanolin.

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