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Old 04-08-2010, 22:15   #1
Kwesi
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Dillon 550 : Sizing die issue

After my 2nd time loading 9mm we found too many rounds that would not fit in the case gauge due to a slight buldge. We had adjusted the sizing die per the manual.

We found that my screwing it down 1 more turn that then the brass would fit properly and the primer was seated correctly.

Any problem this newbie should be aware of with this adjustment?

Thank you!
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Old 04-08-2010, 22:17   #2
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What does the adjustment of the sizing die have to do with primers seating?
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Old 04-08-2010, 22:32   #3
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Kwesi, I believe you are misnaming the die you are referring to. The sizing die is in station one on your 550b, the sizing/depriming die. Station 2 is your powder thru die and powder throw. Station 3 is your bullet seating and crimping die. If you bought a Lee FCD, it is probably in station 4.

Primer seating is performed without a die - it is the backstroke while a case is in station 1.

If you are referring to the sizing/depriming die in station 1, it should be initially adjusted such that the shell plate touches the bottom of the die at the bottom of the press stroke. Set each of your dies as per directions, then place a case in each station position and readjust as needed for a final tweeking.

If the sizing/depriming die does not touch the shellplate, it is not fully sizing the casings and can leave a slightly wider bulge at the base of the case. Might these cases be those that were ran thru the smg?
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Old 04-08-2010, 22:41   #4
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Originally Posted by PCJim View Post
Kwesi, I believe you are misnaming the die you are referring to. The sizing die is in station one on your 550b, the sizing/depriming die. Station 2 is your powder thru die and powder throw. Station 3 is your bullet seating and crimping die. If you bought a Lee FCD, it is probably in station 4.

Primer seating is performed without a die - it is the backstroke while a case is in station 1.

If you are referring to the sizing/depriming die in station 1, it should be initially adjusted such that the shell plate touches the bottom of the die at the bottom of the press stroke. Set each of your dies as per directions, then place a case in each station position and readjust as needed for a final tweeking.

If the sizing/depriming die does not touch the shellplate, it is not fully sizing the casings and can leave a slightly wider bulge at the base of the case. Might these cases be those that were ran thru the smg?
PC: I am referring to station 1 using my Dillon carbide dies. We initially adjusted it per the manual then later gave it one more turn. We found a case that would not fit in the gauge then ran it thru after the above adj. It then fit fine! I thought this add'l adjustment might affect the primer seating properly which is why I made note of it.

Don't yet know if the brass was from the smg. I've been collecting several thousands of cases over the past 2 years. Easy enough to verify and I'll get back to you.
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Old 04-08-2010, 22:46   #5
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What does Dillon say about setting up the sizing die? I screw the die down until it touches the shell plate. That seems to work fine. If you set the die down any firther, you do run the risk of cracking the carbide insert.
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Old 04-08-2010, 22:51   #6
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Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
What does Dillon say about setting up the sizing die? I screw the die down until it touches the shell plate. That seems to work fine. If you set the die down any firther, you do run the risk of cracking the carbide insert.
fred: the instructions say to screw it down until it touches. I plan to call Dillon tomorrow and run it by them. Sure would make things really go smoother if they give it the ok. I have at least 2 dozen rounds to pull.
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Old 04-08-2010, 22:53   #7
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+1 on fredj338, I have seen several carbide dies cracked over the years when I worked at a gun shop. All but one were set too low and hit shell holder, one was dropped on a concrete floor.
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:39   #8
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Dies

Sometimes it's necessary to lower the station #1 a little bit to make sure "head space" is correct. I don't believe lowering a turn would cause noted breakage.
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:16   #9
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Go with what Fred said. Dillon dies have a beveled base. So you cannot have a space between the shell plate and the die.
Check too see if the rounds you loaded well chamber in the gun if they do, go ahead and shoot them.
With Dillon dies in station 3 you seat the bullet and station four is your crimp die
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:26   #10
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I got rid of my Dillon sizing die and got a Lee due to the same issue you described. After much googling, I found evidence that the design of the Dillon die doesn't size the base of the brass quite as good as the Lee.

Since the toolhead has play in it, I think just screwing it down until it touches the shellplate isn't quite good enough, you do need to go down slightly more. I followed these instructions from Steve (Colorado4Wheel):

1) Raise the ram and lower the die till it contacts the shellplate
2) Lower the ram a touch and lower the die a touch more.
3) Raise the ram again slowly, watch the toolhead/dieholder as it moves up. Watch the shellplate to see if it moves at all (they don't move as much).
4) Lower the ram and lower the die in toolhead again, repeat step 3 till you feel additional pressure in the handle. At this point STOP and loosen (raise) the die a touch. You will be able to get a good amount of movement down on the die before you notice any increase in pressure at the handle. Obviously, it's important to not have too much pressure on the die. Just enough to take the slack out of the press. Properly adjust you will feel no additional pressure in the handle then when you have the die just touching the shellplate and not taking the slack out of the toolhead/press.
5) Put a case in the shellholder and raise the ram, tighten the die lock ring. This will actually raise the die just a smidge as well.


I think the 550B has some inherent "slack" in it, as Steve said.
I have much less sizing issues now. All my WIN and Blazer brass drop into my hand gauge just fine. Some of the "mixed" brass I have hangs up, but that brass is more beat up with a few burrs and such. I used to remove those burrs with a file, but if it's only that last 1/16" or so it won't drop in, it'll still shoot out of the Glock. And it's my practice ammo anyway. And NO fault of the sizing die.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:21   #11
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On all my toolheads, after initially setting the dies, I load the shellplate up with four casings and readjust the dies as necessary. I do believe that there is a minute amount of play in the 550b, as Ron stated and I alluded to in my initial post. Making your final adjustments with a loaded shellplate (as the press would be operating while in full production) will insure everything is properly set.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:43   #12
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On all my toolheads, after initially setting the dies, I load the shellplate up with four casings and readjust the dies as necessary. I do believe that there is a minute amount of play in the 550b, as Ron stated and I alluded to in my initial post. Making your final adjustments with a loaded shellplate (as the press would be operating while in full production) will insure everything is properly set.
It's quite simple to remove the tool head "slop"; either shim or turn the tool head over & dimple the key so it needs some force to go back in the press. I don't use Dillon dies for the 9mm (RCBS), but do for the 40 & 10mm, 45acp, 44mag, 45colt, 357mag, 357sig, all are adjusted to just touch the shell plate. All size the cases reliabley to pass case gage & chamber checks (although the only Glocks I have are 9mm).
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:11   #13
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Add a Lee FCD in stage 4 and quit worrying about it.

I shoot 20k+ 9mm a year and stopped checking after I changed out the Dillon seating and crimp dies for the Lee. I do still use the Dillon sizing die because the beveled edge feeds better than the Lee.
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Old 04-09-2010, 13:36   #14
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I contacted Dillon today and was told that the extra turn on the sizing die is NO problem as this is often needed. After removing the bullets/powder (for the rounds that did not fit in the case gauge ) we put them back thru ( sizing die ) after first removing the stem and we saved 75% of the cases w/primers.

Dillon wanted me to make sure that we were not over crimping and thus causing the bulge. We had minimal crimp.
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Old 04-09-2010, 15:56   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kwesi View Post
I contacted Dillon today and was told that the extra turn on the sizing die is NO problem as this is often needed. After removing the bullets/powder (for the rounds that did not fit in the case gauge ) we put them back thru ( sizing die ) after first removing the stem and we saved 75% of the cases w/primers.

Dillon wanted me to make sure that we were not over crimping and thus causing the bulge. We had minimal crimp.
Would those rounds that would not pass the case gauge fit in the gun?
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Old 04-09-2010, 17:02   #16
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I don't like the random "just add a turn" idea. Do the work that was posted above and you will know it's right and as good as you can make it.
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Old 04-09-2010, 18:30   #17
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Would those rounds that would not pass the case gauge fit in the gun?
I did not have my G17 barrel to check. The smg probably is not as tight as the G17.
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Old 04-09-2010, 18:31   #18
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Originally Posted by Colorado4Wheel View Post
I don't like the random "just add a turn" idea. Do the work that was posted above and you will know it's right and as good as you can make it.
What problem do you see it causing? We followed the manual but had too many that weren't sized correctly. Remember that I'm a newbie to reloading.
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Old 04-09-2010, 18:36   #19
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I did not have my G17 barrel to check. The smg probably is not as tight as the G17.
Glock have a very loose chamber. The rounds that you pulled would probably would have worked in the Glock barrels. Just because they well not pass the check gauge does not mean they well not work in a Glock I have yet too find a round that would not pass the case gauge, But everyone work in the gun.
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Old 04-09-2010, 18:43   #20
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What problem do you see it causing? We followed the manual but had too many that weren't sized correctly. Remember that I'm a newbie to reloading.
Too much stress on the die or shellplate, as was alluded to in some of the early responses.

"Adding a turn" isn't quite as *exact* as the instructions posted. They seem difficult, but shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to execute. They insure that you're getting the right "fit", without putting too much stress on the die or shellplate.
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