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Old 04-13-2011, 19:41   #1
justinsaneok
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COL consistency?

Dillon RL 550 with Dillon Dies. What is this machine capable of? I'm getting some very different lengths. I load 9mm and .40 and both have the same problem. When I load 9mm I'm going for a COAL of 1.15 and am getting anything from 1.14 to 1.19 in .40 cal I'm gunning for 1.20 and getting anything from 1.17 to 1.22! How close should I be getting to my mark with this press. I was told this is okay by two people at Dillon. Am I being OCD with this? I was really excited about cranking ammo out on this bad boy but don't want to waste bullets loading ammo that isn't as accurate as it could be. Is there a certain person I need to talk to there?
To rule out a few known possibilities
Shell plate is tight, dies are all tight,
seater is die is clean,
I'm using the round nose stem for round nose,
I set the dies with cases in the shell plate,
I'm using all the same Winchester brass,
I pull the handle the same( all the way down till it stops)every time,
my sizing die is screwed down finger tight to the shell plate (I had tried it with the die just off the shell plate too with same results),
I took out all the slop from the seating stem by putting a o ring under the clip to hold the stem up all the way,
the press is mounted firmly on a sturdy bench thats mounted to the wall and screwed to the floor,
I can't find any slop in the machine anywhere,
ram head seems to be straight,
I will not accept this as okay or even close to okay. I was told by two different people that I'm off 5 thousandths and thats really good. I told them the lengths over the phone as I measured and didn't catch the mis communication on the hundredths and thousandths. I called back and read the numbers again and he said that was great. I'm good at under 5 thousandths so I told him after the decimal point the first number was the tenth and the second number was the hundredths and the third was the thousandths he was talking about. I said it's 5 hundredths and it wasn't good at all.

Last edited by justinsaneok; 04-25-2011 at 21:25..
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Old 04-13-2011, 19:45   #2
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your die presses against the ogive, instead of against the tip of the bullet? If you have inconsistency in the bullet's shape, about in the range of the .03" you are listing, it could be that your bullets are the same length in relation to where the ogive contacts the rifling/chamber/however-you-have-it-set. If your ammunition shoots well, cycles your gun, and doesn't show pressure, then I'd say just leave the load be and continue loading it.
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Old 04-13-2011, 19:52   #3
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It shoots good and cycles good out of two guns I tested it in. Gen 4 G17 and a RTF2 G22 with lone wolf conversion barrel. It is Rainier 115 gr over 4.6 gr of 231 I figured if it got in the lone wolf and out of the Gen 4 17 it should be good but was wondering how close you can get on a progressive like the 550? Is anyone getting them dead on every time?
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Old 04-13-2011, 20:03   #4
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First make sure when you adjust you dies that you use the same type of brass and when you tightened them down all stations have sheels in them and the ram is fully raised. Secondly ensure yoou have enough flair prior to seating bullets so that they seat as straight as possible. Try those recommendations and report back.
FYI, I use a Redding competion seating die and Dillons in the rest of the station. My OAL varience is 0.002 +/- with FMJ's 0.005 with Moly covered lead.
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Old 04-13-2011, 20:12   #5
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Originally Posted by Boxerglocker View Post
First make sure when you adjust you dies that you use the same type of brass and when you tightened them down all stations have sheels in them and the ram is fully raised. Secondly ensure yoou have enough flair prior to seating bullets so that they seat as straight as possible. Try those recommendations and report back.
FYI, I use a Redding competion seating die and Dillons in the rest of the station. My OAL varience is 0.002 +/- with FMJ's 0.005 with Moly covered lead.
^This^ The bullet ogive will vary, even w/ the best bullets. Your OAL will also vary if loading mixed brass. New brass has more csae neck tension than old brass & thick brass resists mroe than thin. You will never get them perfect. The best you can do is use a seating die w/ hollow seating plug, so it seats using the ogive & not the noe, use all the same headstamped brass all fired the same number of times. That will get you withing 0.005". Also taking the slack out of your tool head will help.
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Old 04-13-2011, 20:16   #6
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Have you tried measuring the bullets? Last time I measured Rainier bullets I was not impressed with their consistency.
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Old 04-13-2011, 20:25   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxerglocker View Post
First make sure when you adjust you dies that you use the same type of brass and when you tightened them down all stations have sheels in them and the ram is fully raised. Secondly ensure yoou have enough flair prior to seating bullets so that they seat as straight as possible. Try those recommendations and report back.
FYI, I use a Redding competion seating die and Dillons in the rest of the station. My OAL varience is 0.002 +/- with FMJ's 0.005 with Moly covered lead.
I might be guilty of not enough bell. I am using the same once fired brass and set the head up with shells in the plate and the plate in the raised position.
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Old 04-13-2011, 20:27   #8
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Have you tried measuring the bullets? Last time I measured Rainier bullets I was not impressed with their consistency.
I measured the width, only on the base. Never measured length.
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Old 04-13-2011, 21:00   #9
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^This^ The bullet ogive will vary, even w/ the best bullets. Your OAL will also vary if loading mixed brass. New brass has more csae neck tension than old brass & thick brass resists mroe than thin. You will never get them perfect. The best you can do is use a seating die w/ hollow seating plug, so it seats using the ogive & not the noe, use all the same headstamped brass all fired the same number of times. That will get you withing 0.005". Also taking the slack out of your tool head will help.
Oh, I do use a Uniquetek toolhead clamp kit but following directions in my first reply will get you just as close.
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Old 04-13-2011, 21:06   #10
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Originally Posted by justinsaneok View Post
Dillon RL 550 with Dillon Dies having COL ranging from 1.1350 to 1.1650? I want perfection. Is it possible? I pull the handle the same way every time. FWIW I have a Centech Digital Mic and I'm using the flat part above the machined edge. What the heck is going on?
Thats a .030" Difference. Something is very wrong. Very, very wrong. My cheap arse Lee dies give me .005" variance with mixed brass and my own cast bullets. Same results with Montana Gold bullets. Your variance would be easy to see with the naked eye. That is not normal at all. Are you pulling the handle FULLY every time?
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Old 04-14-2011, 15:33   #11
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Thats a .030" Difference. Something is very wrong. Very, very wrong. My cheap arse Lee dies give me .005" variance with mixed brass and my own cast bullets. Same results with Montana Gold bullets. Your variance would be easy to see with the naked eye. That is not normal at all. Are you pulling the handle FULLY every time?
Yes I am.
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Old 04-14-2011, 16:21   #12
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Then you need to figure out why. No reason for that at all. Check the seating stem.
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Old 04-14-2011, 17:16   #13
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Then you need to figure out why. No reason for that at all. Check the seating stem.
I did look at the stem looks fine not even dirty. I thought I had the thing backwards because it is made for two bullet shapes. Not the case.
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Old 04-14-2011, 17:28   #14
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My 550 oal
is good to. 005"ish easy
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Old 04-14-2011, 17:44   #15
justinsaneok
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My 550 oal
is good to. 005"ish easy
Thanks Ron. Are you using Dillon Dies?
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Old 04-14-2011, 19:39   #16
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Thanks Ron. Are you using Dillon Dies?
I started off that way, and still had the same results. I am currently using a Lee resizing die, as I think it sizes the base a little better. Also using the Redding Micrometer seating die, primarily as it's so easy to "dial in" a desired OAL.

And of course the Dillon PTX (powder through expander).
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Old 04-14-2011, 19:57   #17
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I get +/5 mils with lead bullets, and +/-3 with FMJ's. RL550, with Dillon dies. Is your base plate too loose?
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Old 04-14-2011, 20:06   #18
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Case tension should not matter in regards to overall case length. Resistance maybe, but not affecting oal. Case length is going to be the distance from your case holder to your seating die and theoretically will never vary by much. Unless it gets dirt or buildup in the die. You have a mechanical problem somewhere in the seating process. Since your die is locked tight you got to look at the moving parts something is inconsistent and not doing the same thing each and everytime.
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Old 04-14-2011, 20:09   #19
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Something is wrong with your seater. Call Dillon.
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Old 04-14-2011, 20:13   #20
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.030 deviation is going to definately open up your groups at the range as well. Unless you mic the rounds after you are done and group them by length. If it's just general range time, no biggie, but if you want precision, that ain't precision. Also if you are at the high end of your loads that .030 could lead to some over pressure.
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Old 04-14-2011, 21:27   #21
justinsaneok
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Something is wrong with your seater. Call Dillon.
I called they told me to make sure my sizing die is firmly screwed down into the shell plate by hand. Asked me if the seating die stem moves up and down where the clip is. It does so he said to put an o ring between the stem and clip to hold the stem up in the die. I can't really see how the slack in the seating die wouldn't be taken out when the bullet is being pressed in. I guess it might bind and not go up every time. ????
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:55   #22
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I called they told me to make sure my sizing die is firmly screwed down into the shell plate by hand. Asked me if the seating die stem moves up and down where the clip is. It does so he said to put an o ring between the stem and clip to hold the stem up in the die. I can't really see how the slack in the seating die wouldn't be taken out when the bullet is being pressed in. I guess it might bind and not go up every time. ????
I really don't follow your post here, but the part I bolded sounds to me like you think that the seater die alone controls the OAL. I've found that always having a case in station 1 (resizing) is crucial to getting consistent results at the seating station.

I *always* have a case in station 1 if I'm doing adjustments to the other dies, and while running rounds through while reloading. Even at the very end, when I'm out of primers, I'll have an empty case in station 1 while running that last case around the other stations.
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Old 04-15-2011, 19:20   #23
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I should have been more clear when I started this thread. I followed instructions when setting up my press and tool head. I always keep the shell plate full of shells, pull the handle the same way, all the way! I am using the same brass and even If I didn't keep the shell plate full I would only have like 4 , well 2 that would be different from the rest. Doing all the things Dillon told me to do this is my results loading 200 .40 cal.
1.11750 to 1.12350
About 100 where between 1.11950 and 1.12150
The other half where outside this spectrum 1.11950 and 1.12150
Thats piss poor In my book!
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Old 04-15-2011, 19:32   #24
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I really don't follow your post here, but the part I bolded sounds to me like you think that the seater die alone controls the OAL. I've found that always having a case in station 1 (resizing) is crucial to getting consistent results at the seating station.

I *always* have a case in station 1 if I'm doing adjustments to the other dies, and while running rounds through while reloading. Even at the very end, when I'm out of primers, I'll have an empty case in station 1 while running that last case around the other stations.


Me too I keep them all full . About the seater die, there is a clip that holds the stem in the die that had up and down movement and I was told to take out the movement by Dillon with an o ring under the clip and was told it would help. My thinking is the slack in the stem is taken out every time a bullet is pushed in the case by the stem. The slack is first removed so it should make no difference whether it is held up by a o ring or pushed up by the bullet seating in the case. UNless it is binding sometimes. So If you kept the slack out by adding the o ring it can't possibly not go up because it's already there in the up position. I don't think it holds true but did it anyway to see if it helped. It didn't.
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Old 04-15-2011, 19:36   #25
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I was just looking at my press set-up and Dillon dies. The only thing that I could possibly think of is your either camming on your sizing or seater die just slightly causing you issue. Are you sure that either of those dies are not hitting the shellplate when in the up position?
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