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Thread: eratic C.O.L problem

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Default eratic C.O.L problem

    Well, finally got off my Butt to do some reloading. Been along time. Now I know why, PITA!

    I set up my Dillon 550b to reload some 10mm. I have a set of hornady new dimension dies. I know that I have used them in my Hornady L-N-L press with good results. Now when I went out to find them they were in a Dillon tool head, but Im not sure I got as far as reloading them with it, but probably cause they were set real close, and I kind of seem to remember reloading some 135 grainers (just a few though)

    Anyway, I have burnt up about 50 cases trying to figure out why in the heck I cant get a consistant COL for each round. Every round is anywhere between 1.255 and 1.266!

    Here is what I have checked
    1. Dirt on the shellplate
    2. Proper adjustment of the seater die. (including all lock rings tight)
    3. Consitant brass and bullet lengths
    4. proper seating of primers
    5. consistant powder charge
    6.cleanliness of the seater die.
    7. proper adjustment of all the other dies
    8.proper bell
    9. chamfer case mouths.

    One clue is that there is a nasty ring on the nose of the bullet. And it seems that alot of pressure is required to seat the bullet. Im half suspicious that the die is crimping the bullet before it is seated, but it shouldnt be. But if that is the case then its because I cant adjust the die correctly because of its bodies long length and the shortness of the seater adjustment.

    ANd no Im not trying to crimp with that seater die. I have a seperate crimp die Im using.

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    Well....... When I start a sentence with well it means I'm thinking, not that I have a thought but that the wheels are turning. At my age that is a good thing, just let me bask in the glow for a moment and enjoy it.......Thanks.

    I haven't used everybody's dies in the Dillon press but..... The seating stem of the Hornady dies may be too short to screw down enough to seat to your depth without screwing down the body enough to crimp.

    Also, there is some play in the rotating shell plate that could cause the .011" in seating depth variation but not likely that much.

    I have only used Dillon, RCBS and Redding dies in the 550 press. I have on occasion run into problems with seating on this machine with some dies but don't recall specifics. ( I told you it doesn always work.)

    The Dillon company will have an answer for you. In general if I have a problem with the Dillon presses it is an adjustment problem. These presses are the best design of their type and will work as they are supposed to when properly adjusted. Dillon does recommend Dillon or Redding dies for use with his presses.
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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Well I busted out the Dillon manual. In its description of what station 3 does, it states " "You need to refer to a loading manual for Overall length of the completed round. Overall length may vary up to .016 and this is normall"

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    Quote Originally Posted by rimfirematt View Post
    Well I busted out the Dillon manual. In its description of what station 3 does, it states " "You need to refer to a loading manual for Overall length of the completed round. Overall length may vary up to .016 and this is normall"

    So it is normal slop in the mechanism? Where have we heard that before?

    So it is that much. Hmmmmm.



    Also, there is some play in the rotating shell plate that could cause the .011" in seating depth variation but not likely that much.
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    I pretty much cut and pasted my post here in an email to dillon, here is what I got for a response

    "Adjust the seat die with a fired case in station one, to push the toolhead up at the sizing die. If you do this, any variation is either in the bullets themselves (which is very normal? And is also caused by using mixed brass."

    The only flaw In this is that I measured a dozen bullets and they were all exact and I measured my brass too wich was exact.

    Also I tried the seat die in my single stage Hornady Lock n load press. THere were variences there in OAL also but not as extreme. just a hundreth or couple of thousandths.

    I called Hornady today, and was told to try removing the rubber washer in the die and trying it that way.

    Ill try both dillons and hornady suggestions tonight and report back.

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    Mr. Rimfirematt. The problem they refer to is differences in ogive. Unless you are set up with a couple of different tool it vary hard to measure a ogive. Unless of course you have a pantograph.

    Different ogives in the same boxes of bullets can cause you a lot of headaches.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rimfirematt View Post
    I pretty much cut and pasted my post here in an email to dillon, here is what I got for a response

    "Adjust the seat die with a fired case in station one, to push the toolhead up at the sizing die. If you do this, any variation is either in the bullets themselves (which is very normal? And is also caused by using mixed brass."

    The only flaw In this is that I measured a dozen bullets and they were all exact and I measured my brass too wich was exact.

    Also I tried the seat die in my single stage Hornady Lock n load press. THere were variences there in OAL also but not as extreme. just a hundreth or couple of thousandths.

    I called Hornady today, and was told to try removing the rubber washer in the die and trying it that way.

    Ill try both dillons and hornady suggestions tonight and report back.
    I think they are saying use the sizing die downward pressure to take the slop out of the plate so the seat will be more consistant in seating depth. That makes sense but I doubt you could get all of it out as you could on a solid frame. I do think removing the rubber ring will help also.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    I think they are saying use the sizing die downward pressure to take the slop out of the plate so the seat will be more consistant in seating depth. That makes sense but I doubt you could get all of it out as you could on a solid frame. I do think removing the rubber ring will help also.

    You can take all the movement out of the shell plate. When you do, you can no longer turn the shell plate. You will remember that the shell plate has to have rim clearance to be able to rotate the shell plate. This is true of all Dillion machines that uses a shell plate. Get it two tight and you can not get the brass to feed into the shell plate.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    You can take all the movement out of the shell plate. When you do, you can no longer turn the shell plate. You will remember that the shell plate has to have rim clearance to be able to rotate the shell plate. This is true of all Dillion machines that uses a shell plate. Get it two tight and you can not get the brass to feed into the shell plate.

    Are you in left field again, Al?

    I'm not saying tighten the plate down. I just mean with a case in the sizer it will help push the plate down (there is more force needed for the sizing operation) and reduce the variation of seating depth. (Which is the difference in distance from the plate to the seating stem of the die.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by rimfirematt View Post
    "Adjust the seat die with a fired case in station one, to push the toolhead up at the sizing die."
    I think Dillon means to push UP on the toolhead......just like they said.

    There's a little slop in the toolhead/press fit, and having a case in the sizing station makes sure the toolhead is pushed up with at least two points of contact (sizing & seating).


    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy
    I just mean with a case in the sizer it will help push the plate down (there is more force needed for the sizing operation) and reduce the variation of seating depth. (Which is the difference in distance from the plate to the seating stem of the die.)
    I don't think the shellplate has much to do with seating depth on the 550. Not in the way you're describing, anyway. On the 550 the case heads do not ride in the shellplate, like they do in the 650. On the 550, the case head rides on the the base plate that's bolted to the top of the ram. The seating depth is the distance between the base plate and the seating stem of the die. On a 550, the shellplate really shouldn't having anything to do with the seating depth, provided everything else is set up properly.



    Out of curiosity, how far down is your sizing die, Matt? Is it bottoming out (hard) on the shellplate? If your sizing die is mashing your shellplate, perhaps it's tilting the shellplate enough and lifting the round in the seating station off the base plate.

    If that's not the case, would you like to try my RCBS seater to see if it fixes the problem?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    You will remember that the shell plate has to have rim clearance to be able to rotate the shell plate. This is true of all Dillion machines that uses a shell plate. Get it two tight and you can not get the brass to feed into the shell plate.
    On the 550, the rim slides under the shellplate, but this isn't the case with the 650. On the 650, the case head slides INTO the shellplate, not under it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan in Alaska View Post
    I think Dillon means to push UP on the toolhead......just like they said.

    There's a little slop in the toolhead/press fit, and having a case in the sizing station makes sure the toolhead is pushed up with at least two points of contact (sizing & seating).



    I don't think the shellplate has much to do with seating depth on the 550. Not in the way you're describing, anyway. On the 550 the case heads do not ride in the shellplate, like they do in the 650. On the 550, the case head rides on the the base plate that's bolted to the top of the ram. The seating depth is the distance between the base plate and the seating stem of the die. On a 550, the shellplate really shouldn't having anything to do with the seating depth, provided everything else is set up properly.



    Out of curiosity, how far down is your sizing die, Matt? Is it bottoming out (hard) on the shellplate? If your sizing die is mashing your shellplate, perhaps it's tilting the shellplate enough and lifting the round in the seating station off the base plate.

    If that's not the case, would you like to try my RCBS seater to see if it fixes the problem?

    Dan, you're right about the shell plate, there should be no play in the base that the cartridge sits on. I guess it is in the tool head and that wouldn't be much. But there does need to be pressure on two points. Good point about the die pushing on the plate, it works like a a play ground teeter-totter.

    Seating depth is the distance from the base plate to the stem and the stem, in the die, in the tool head, has some play.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rimfirematt View Post
    Well, finally got off my Butt to do some reloading. Been along time. Now I know why, PITA!

    I set up my Dillon 550b to reload some 10mm. I have a set of hornady new dimension dies. I know that I have used them in my Hornady L-N-L press with good results. Now when I went out to find them they were in a Dillon tool head, but Im not sure I got as far as reloading them with it, but probably cause they were set real close, and I kind of seem to remember reloading some 135 grainers (just a few though)

    Anyway, I have burnt up about 50 cases trying to figure out why in the heck I cant get a consistant COL for each round. Every round is anywhere between 1.255 and 1.266!

    Here is what I have checked
    1. Dirt on the shellplate
    2. Proper adjustment of the seater die. (including all lock rings tight)
    3. Consitant brass and bullet lengths
    4. proper seating of primers
    5. consistant powder charge
    6.cleanliness of the seater die.
    7. proper adjustment of all the other dies
    8.proper bell
    9. chamfer case mouths.

    One clue is that there is a nasty ring on the nose of the bullet. And it seems that alot of pressure is required to seat the bullet. Im half suspicious that the die is crimping the bullet before it is seated, but it shouldnt be. But if that is the case then its because I cant adjust the die correctly because of its bodies long length and the shortness of the seater adjustment.

    ANd no Im not trying to crimp with that seater die. I have a seperate crimp die Im using.
    As mentioned ogive variations...... or wrong seat adaptor for bullet config.....possible compressed load and diff in case volume (mixed brass)........

    Anyway does'nt matter much, just set your die so that the longest OL will allow magazine feed. I doubt you'll ever out shoot that ammo in your pistol.

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