New Dillon 550 rig finally up! [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Beanie-Bean
08-20-2011, 02:18
Day 1

OK, so the calipers were the very first part of this setup to arrive, but that was last week. Here we go…

RL 550B arrives from Graf & Sons

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g64/Beanie-Bean/Reloading/IMG_0793.jpg

Gotta wait for the bench parts to arrive from Amazon.

Beanie-Bean
08-20-2011, 02:19
Bench parts arrive from Amazon, so I head over to Lowe's to get some 2X4s and some MDF for the worktop and shelves. I had the Mensa Int'l worker cut the lumber (because it was going to be free…) so that I could have this thing up and running today!

Started putting the bench together in the closed-off garage in this 100+ degree heat, and was sopping wet when I got to the last piece: the worktop. Four more screws. Or so I thought. Here is how far I got when I noticed that the wood was 1" off on one side. I just gave up and took at shower at that point, because it was already midnight, and I know that I made a lot of noise with the hammer drill to put it together up to this point.

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g64/Beanie-Bean/Reloading/IMG_0794.jpg

Everything looks to be fitting OK…
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g64/Beanie-Bean/Reloading/IMG_0795.jpg

Except for this 1" overlap!
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g64/Beanie-Bean/Reloading/IMG_0796.jpg

What a huge let down.

Beanie-Bean
08-20-2011, 02:19
After struggling with the decision to go back to the super-genius dude in the lumber dept and have them cut another piece of wood, I decided to just do it myself. Since I didn't have anything to cut a piece of wood this big, I would have to by a saw of sorts. Well, I ended up taking home a Skil 7-1/4" circular saw w/laser guide. Pretty foolproof. I know, because I didn't go back for more from the fool who cut my lumber yesterday.

Finally, the bench was finished!
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g64/Beanie-Bean/Reloading/IMG_0797.jpg

Day 3, continued

After a quick run to McBride's and Cabelas for ingredients, and receipt of some gear from Brian Enos/Dillon/Midway, I set off to put together the bench.

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g64/Beanie-Bean/Reloading/IMG_0798.jpg
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g64/Beanie-Bean/Reloading/IMG_0799.jpg
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g64/Beanie-Bean/Reloading/IMG_0800.jpg

Beanie-Bean
08-20-2011, 02:20
This is the part that kicked my butt a lot: the toolhead and powder measure setup. I almost gave up, because I didn't know that the powder die was already attached to the powder measure rig, and thought that I was going to have to put the setup on hold until that die arrived. So, I RTFM, and removed the powder die so that I could continue the setup.

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g64/Beanie-Bean/Reloading/IMG_0802.jpg

Here is the final setup much later, after wrestling with the die setup. You know, I will be ordering some extra tool heads and powder dies for the other calibers. I don't want to mess with those settings again if I don't have to. I don't have a bench wrench, so I just used a mid-sized adjustable wrench instead.

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g64/Beanie-Bean/Reloading/IMG_0807.jpg
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g64/Beanie-Bean/Reloading/IMG_0808.jpg

I setup the rig for .45 ACP, with Hornady 185 gr. XTP rounds. I messed up a bunch of brass by creating too much of a bell, and that caused overall length issues after seating/crimping the projectile.

I hope to be able to finally create some shootable rounds tomorrow. This session was finished up shortly before 1:30AM, and I've got to call it quits for now. Just glad that I finally got the Blue Bench setup.

Beanie-Bean
08-20-2011, 02:22
I'd like to thank the good people of the "Reloading" section for their wonderful advice and support during this effort. I wouldn't be getting ready to roll my own without the information that you've shared.

Just wanted to let you guys know that it's all your fault that I'm broke now, and can't afford any more Glocks at the moment :)

-Mike

WiskyT
08-20-2011, 06:00
If the bench wobbles around, shoot some sheetrock screws through the 2x4's into the wall studs.

It looks good.

A lesser man would have waited for his tax refund.

PCJim
08-20-2011, 10:21
Congrats, BB. Remember that you learn from your mistakes, and that setting the next caliber's dies will be much easier.

One thing I've learned over the years - if you're working on something that involves a lot of thought, don't attempt it when you're tired. It will take much longer, and the result will probably be rethunk (like that word?) when you're rested.

Most importantly, don't reload when your mind cannot give full attention to what you are doing.

Colorado4Wheel
08-20-2011, 16:49
Wow, Good luck. Ask for help if you need it.

polizei1
08-20-2011, 17:24
Congrats! If you have questions, just ask! Plenty of people here have helped me get setup and running.

PCJim
08-20-2011, 17:58
Another idea.... Looks like you've 18 or more inches between your benchtop and the breaker box. Thats plenty of room for some 6 or 8 inch deep shelves to provide some additional storage.

n2extrm
08-20-2011, 18:09
Looks great! Congrats again on your new press and on the bench. I personaly would rather see it a few feet or more away from the breakers. Spilled powder and breakers could be a bad mix. Just a thought.

RustyFN
08-20-2011, 18:33
Just wanted to let you guys know that it's all your fault that I'm broke now, and can't afford any more Glocks at the moment :)

-Mike

Glad we could help. :supergrin: Congrats on the press.

Beanie-Bean
08-20-2011, 18:41
I appreciate all the words for encouragement and help--I setup the bench to get the 550 going, instead of letting it just sit in a box in my office.

I'm probably going to move it to the other side of the garage, away from the breaker box, and over next the fridge where it'll be somewhat shielded from any stray basketballs. I have a goal setup just outside the garage, and the kids like to play with the garage door open sometimes, and I'd hate for the rig to get damaged in any way due to a stray ball. The main press could take it, but I'm thinking that the powder measure would be toast!

Again, I wouldn't have taken the leap of faith over to The Dark Side, if not for the great people here. Shoot, one of our own even invited me to have a look at his own 550 rig. I lurk a lot here and read as much as I can/search for as much as I can before asking--sometimes, other sections of GT can cause you to grow a thick skin or perhaps even drive you away because of some of the comments I've seen left on the board for someone who was simply asking.

I know that I'll be just fine here, and that someone here will know how to help me get back up if I stumble along the way.

Sincere thanks to the many of you whose posts I read daily--almost hourly, to make sure I'm not missing anything I should be paying attention to that may potentially be a life saver.

**

The shelving is next--that was part of the workbench kit, but I took a breather today from the project in order to enjoy the kids at their respective basketball tournament games today.

I also noticed that I'm missing some other powders and bullets, and a few more caliber conversion kits, toolheads, and dies...:)

The dummy rounds passed COL and cycled just fine from the 10-round G30SF magazine.

Following Hornady's load info, it was 1.225" OAL, with a .473 crimp at the edge of the casing. I removed the barrel, and all three rounds fit without issue, and fed/ejected fine manually. I'm still bothered by the huge bell I'm creating at Station #2, but it seems to turn out OK after the bullet seating and crimp areas.

I'll get the powder measure working tomorrow, along with the priming system, and I hope to get to the range sooner than later to give the homebrew a whirl!

IndyGunFreak
08-20-2011, 19:39
If the bench wobbles around, shoot some sheetrock screws through the 2x4's into the wall studs.

It looks good.

A lesser man would have waited for his tax refund.

That Finely workbench, is very very solid(at least in my experience) I'm guessing as long as everything is level, he's not gonna have a problem.

Once it has weight on it from the shelving, and has weight from various boxes of components, etc.. It's not gonna move.

IGF

blastfact
08-20-2011, 20:19
Good looking bench and press setup!

Enjoy,,, Happy Loading to you. :)

1911ShooterDude
08-21-2011, 07:19
Nice! IMO, progressive reloaders are made for 45ACPs. You shoot 45s alot, the cost savings is high, and the brass is large enough that handling them is not a chore (unlike 9mm).

Just 2 thoughts
1. You might want to relocate the press towards the middle of the bench. You'll be feeding the press with brass with your right hand and will need more space to hold your empty brass.
2. Invest a small into a single stage reloader. Rock Chuckers are cheap on Ebay, and are the way to go for reloading rifle cartridges.

Remember, don't drink and reload at the same time. :whistling:

biggun1911
08-21-2011, 07:46
I asked Dillon how much bell is needed and I was told .015 greater than the finished load. In your case it would be .488. I hope this helps to check the amount of case bell during your loading process.

Knellysford
08-21-2011, 08:16
Looks like you have the press mounted back from the edge of the bench. Are you able to lower the arm fully? Might have to carve out a bit off the top edge of the bench. Don't ask me how I know.:whistling:

unclebob
08-21-2011, 08:20
Looks like you have the press mounted back from the edge of the bench. Are you able to lower the arm fully? Might have to carve out a bit off the top edge of the bench. Don't ask me how I know.:whistling:

Or just move the press forward and to the left.

wdphillips
08-21-2011, 08:54
Look great. Have fun!

Had you reloaded before this setup?

1911ShooterDude
08-21-2011, 11:01
I had the Mensa Int'l worker cut the lumber (because it was going to be free…)

I once had a Lowes kid cut me about 20 feet of rope. He grabbed about 30 feet and cut, then measured the 20 and cut off the excess. I started laughing, and he asked what was so funny. Nothing I replied as I grinned and walked to pay for my rope.

1911ShooterDude
08-21-2011, 11:07
Another tip. If you have an air compressor, keep it handy and blow the area every 50 rnds or so. My biggest hassle was keeping the primer bar moving smoothly as powder residue really gunks up the mechanism, at which point you about have to stop, pull it all apart, clean it, and reassemble again.

One more, clean your casings. Get a tumbler that will rotate the walnut shell grindings. Clean casings also make for better, smoother and faster reloading.

It's when you have to stop and fix something (even minor things) that you lose your concentration and make a mistake.

bush pilot
08-21-2011, 12:49
Another tip. If you have an air compressor, keep it handy and blow the area every 50 rnds or so. My biggest hassle was keeping the primer bar moving smoothly as powder residue really gunks up the mechanism, at which point you about have to stop, pull it all apart, clean it, and reassemble again.

One more, clean your casings. Get a tumbler that will rotate the walnut shell grindings. Clean casings also make for better, smoother and faster reloading.

It's when you have to stop and fix something (even minor things) that you lose your concentration and make a mistake.

A compressor is a PITA to use every 50 rounds. I keep a can of compressed air (for cleaning computers) and use it as need for removing spilled powder etc...

bush pilot
08-21-2011, 12:57
Nice! IMO, progressive reloaders are made for 45ACPs. You shoot 45s alot, the cost savings is high, and the brass is large enough that handling them is not a chore (unlike 9mm).

Just 2 thoughts
1. You might want to relocate the press towards the middle of the bench. You'll be feeding the press with brass with your right hand and will need more space to hold your empty brass.
2. Invest a small into a single stage reloader. Rock Chuckers are cheap on Ebay, and are the way to go for reloading rifle cartridges.

Remember, don't drink and reload at the same time. :whistling:

If he uses a bracket to hold another bin (for empty brass) he won't really find that lack of space a huge problem.

+1 on putting the strong mount closer to the edge, it just looks like the handle is going to hit the edge of the bench.

Colorado4Wheel
08-21-2011, 13:34
I would put the press near the corner. Then you have a larger portion of the bench undisturbed by the press. With a strong mount you don't need much room on the side of the press from what everyone says. Even with out a strongmount my press is on a 2 ft wide bench. Thats it. I even have a LCT on the right corner of the same bench.

Beanie-Bean
08-21-2011, 15:16
blastfact: thanks for the note!

1911ShooterDude: I'm actually good with the reloader at that location, because I was going to mount a big Akro bin off the right-hand side of the bench to hold the cleaned/empty cases. You must have read my mind, because the other side of the bench will be for another press! Regarding the air compressor, I have a small pancake unit, and RRTX11 showed me the priming area on his. Believe me, I'll keep it clean. I have a corn cob media tumbler that I haven't quite setup yet. I have to sort the brass first. What a pain it was to get rid of all the steel casings and .22LR cases I had mixed in with the "good stuff."

biggun1911: thanks for the bell measurement data. I'll be shooting for .488 on that station.

Knellysford: check out the image below--I've got about 1/4" clearance with handle at the lowest position. I had to mount it back further than I wanted to, because of the 2X4 across the front of the bench holding up the tabletop. The washers for the strong mount bolts underneath are HUGE! I was able to clear the 2X4 and leave enough room for those gigantic washers, and still have enough room for the lever.

wdphillips: Have I reloaded before this? No, I haven't. This was my first press. Actually, it was my second. I bought an LCT, but returned it (unopened) in favor of the Dillon.

C4W: I'm OK with the press where it is, just like you said. I've got to leave room for my next one, right?

clearance with the lever in the lowest position:
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g64/Beanie-Bean/Glock/48d862c5.jpg

unclebob
08-21-2011, 15:36
Get a large magnet to get rid of the steel cases. I got one a Lowe’s it is about 2” wide and about a foot long with an expandable handle.
If you have that much powder leaking out of the powder measure. Call Dillon and they will send you a taller powder spacer bar.
If you get a lot of mixed range brass? I would recommend getting a set of brass shell sorters. http://shellsorter.com/
You could have gotten longer bolts and drilled through the 2X4.

Beanie-Bean
08-21-2011, 16:02
Get a large magnet to get rid of the steel cases. I got one a Lowe’s it is about 2” wide and about a foot long with an expandable handle.
If you have that much powder leaking out of the powder measure. Call Dillon and they will send you a taller powder spacer bar.
If you get a lot of mixed range brass? I would recommend getting a set of brass shell sorters. http://shellsorter.com/
You could have gotten longer bolts and drilled through the 2X4.

No leaks from the powder measure. I was responding back to the note about priming/decapping area at Station #1 being all gritty and dirty.

All of the mixed range brass is mine. Unfortunately, I have way too many calibers to shoot. Thanks for the ShellSorter tip. I've got the value pack on its way, and it includes the .380 plate. I've got lots of that expensive stuff to load up, too. I just can't believe how expensive a box of that ammo is every time I see it somewhere.

lowepg
08-25-2011, 21:12
Day 1

OK, so the calipers were the very first part of this setup to arrive, but that was last week. Here we go…

RL 550B arrives from Graf & Sons

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g64/Beanie-Bean/Reloading/IMG_0793.jpg

Gotta wait for the bench parts to arrive from Amazon.

What bench kit is this that you ordered?

Beanie-Bean
08-26-2011, 03:54
What bench kit is this that you ordered?

2X4 Basics:
http://www.amazon.com/2x4basics-90164-Workbench-Shelving-Storage/dp/B0030T1BRE/ref=zg_bs_553602_1

Ridder
08-26-2011, 08:19
I put a small bright LED snake light on my 550.
This way I can check the powder in the case every time I place the bullet, very easily.

I also put a Mr.Dial powder measure knob on mine: works great and looks great.