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Thread: Dillon 550b magnum powder bar

  1. #1
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    Default Dillon 550b magnum powder bar

    So this is my first post, and I admit to following the boating section much more than the handloading section... but I haven't found much searching for this...

    I have a dillon 550b that I have reloaded a couple thousand .223 with no problem. I recently started loading my .338 win mag. I am using the magnum powder bar, and throwing (or trying to anyway) a 64.5 grain charge of IMR 4831. Even with the 223 which was very consistent I still weighed about every 10th round. Never had an issue. Loading up the .338 though, I can get almost a grain of difference in weight, up and down. I have run about 100 rounds through the machine. I don't have a different magnum bar to put in, and obviously the small powder bar for the .223 won't dump enough.

    Any ideas? Do I buy another magnum bar? Change powders and try again? Dillon seems unsure, says it is probably my setup. Not saying anything bad about dillon, I have called with some stupid questions, and they have always walked me through to the solution, and have always stood behind their product.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    akboater. I believe 4831 is an extruded powder and that is not ideal running through a dump. There are a couple things you can do that can help. First off, have you settled your powder dump enough. Tap on the side of it and base with a screw driver handle or something until all the powder is settled. This can take a few minutes. You will be amazed how much it will settle if you have never done this before. A settled dump throws way more accurate charges. The second thing you can do is polish the inside of your dump. Dremel tools are great for this. I would only go the polish route if the settling doesn't help and you can't live with the spread on your charges. One other thing, wipe down everything that pertains to the dump with an unscented dryer sheet, static electricity can be a PITA.
    Henry Bowman for President

  3. #3
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    I have not tried tapping on it. I hear you on the static, the 4198 I use for the 223 would stick all over the sides and top of the powder measure, the 4831 doesn't seem too, but maybe I just wasn't noticing it.

    I will have try settling the pile though. Thanks!

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    Go to a Ball powder or at least 4831sc. The large chunk powder just doesn't meter well. A ball powder would give the most even charges if you can find one that is the right burn rate for the 338 with the bullet your shooting.

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    A friend loaned some H4350, and it metered better, but still not good. I have since loaded a few with Varget which seems to go through the powder measure really consistently. (+/- tenth of grain)

    I have not shot them yet though, but if they shoot good, I may stick with it. If not, I will look into some of the 4831sc for sure.

    Thanks!

  6. #6

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    Call Dillon and they will help you.

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    See post one. I did, they seem to think it is my setup. Not so sure I buy that, as with the small charge bar, and IMR 4198 I have excellent results.

    Yes, Dillon is very helpful though.

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    +1 on the 4831sc. Those short cut grains seem to make a differance.

  9. #9

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    I tried RL15 in the Dillon 550, and the powder routinely bridged, short loading one round, overloading the next.

    I put the RCBS powder measure and the RCBS PM auto link and it now works fine for RL15 in the 5.56. No bridging, acceptable range of charge weights.

    OTOH + or - 1 grain may not be statistically signficant to performance in a 338.

    Dillon recommends ball powder.

    As I would suspect the 338 gets shot a lot less than a 223, one could also skip the powder charge on the Dillon and do it off the press. Thanks

  10. #10
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    All good suggestions, but while reading their catalog (dillon) they now have a system setup for 70 plus grains per cycle. Supposedly it will take extruded powder and measure to an accuracy of +/- .3 of a grain.

    So I realize I am probably not going to do better than what I can currently dispense out of the magnum bar.

    Thanks for all the good answers though!

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