Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

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Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by dsandula on Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:48 am

I'm embarrassed to say I just fired a double charge of Bullseye in a 38 Spc I loaded on my Dillon 550.  I loaded single stage for 20 years with never a problem.  Had the Dillon for a year.  I fire them in a 1911 Colt/Clark/Hebard custom.  Memorable experience and thankfully the gun is intact (other than one wood grip splitting). . . along with the rest of me.  I completely disassembled and cleaned the gun afterwords and it appears to be functioning just fine.  I'm keeping what's left of the exploded casing on my reloading bench as a reminder of the experience.

I'm in the process of disassembling all the remaining 38's I've loaded (just over 500 of them) and will begin again . . . very carefully.  I've not had this problem with the thousands of 9mm and 45's I've loaded on the machine, BUT CAN SEE THE POWDER CHARGE DISPENSED IN THESE CALIBERS.

Other than paying the attention I should be paying while reloading, I will NEVER, NEVER EVER AGAIN STOP AND ATTEMPT TO FIX JAM, ETC. IN THE 550 TURRET.  I WILL REMOVE ALL CARTRIDGES AND RESTART AT STATION #1.

Any other advice from you folks who reload cartridges FOR WHICH YOU CANNOT SEE THE POWDER LOAD IN THE CASE ON THE 550?  Maybe a mirror attachment for the 550 that will allow you to see in the case of the 38 Spc with small powder charges?

Thanks,

Doug Sandula
Saginaw, MI

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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by Wobbley on Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:42 am

Uniquetek sells a mirror for that very purpose.

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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by jglenn21 on Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:25 am

+1

Also a light so you can see better. Uniquetek  also sells those.

They have a whole section of additions to the dillon products.

They also have an article explaining how to use the dillon powder stop on a 550. The downside is you end up seating and crimping at the final station but you may consider it.

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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by joy2shoot on Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:02 am

Wobbley wrote:Uniquetek sells a mirror for that very purpose.
I purchased that mirror but was not able to get it to work for me.  (I have a 550B)

+1 on the press lights.  The one I use is the Skylight LED lighting Kit from Inline Fabrication.

When I have an emergency that requires me to leave the press in the middle of reloading (rare), I do one of two things.  I ignore the emergency long enough and finish the rounds in the shellplate (without adding cases to the resizing station of course).  Or if it is really urgent, I leave the press in the up position, i.e. shellplate is fully up and the handle down.  This way I know the 'state' of each station when I return.



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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by Murphy's Law on Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:26 am

I bought two LED small desk lights (gives off "zero" heat) and really lights up the shell plate on my 550B.  I use a lot of TG powder and even at 3.2 grains I can see clearly inside the brass.  As noted by another, if problems in station #1 such as seating a primer and you try again, a double charge is always possible.  Better to clear station #2 first before pulling the handle again.

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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:29 am

It something sounds or feels wrong I presume that I did something stupid & clear the shell plate.
It takes a lot less time to pull the pins & cases than trying to explain why the gun went grenade.

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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by dronning on Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:34 am

Murphy's Law wrote:As noted by another, if problems in station #1 such as seating a primer and you try again, a double charge is always possible.  Better to clear station #2 first before pulling the handle again.

Just set that primed case aside to load later, don't try and slip it back in to a normal session, wait until your done then you can load the primed cases you have set aside by inserting/starting them in station #2.

- Dave

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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by rich.tullo on Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:19 pm

dronning wrote:
Murphy's Law wrote:As noted by another, if problems in station #1 such as seating a primer and you try again, a double charge is always possible.  Better to clear station #2 first before pulling the handle again.

Just set that primed case aside to load later, don't try and slip it back in to a normal session, wait until your done then you can load the primed cases you have set aside by inserting/starting them in station #2.

- Dave
I do not have a 550 but I like hand priming 38 specials WCs. My process is:

1) Decap, size and bell. On progressive press

2) Hand Prime 

3) Charge Seat and Crimp. On progressive press 

It takes longer but I may shoot 500 38's in a year as compared to many thousands of 45s and 22lrs. 

If you think its a good idea to hand prime then split the process in half you can open up a station for this safety die during step 3:

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/199393/hornady-powder-cop-die

I use this hand primer tool, http://www.midwayusa.com/hand-held-priming-tools/br?cid=19941

I do not tear case weigh powder charges any more which may be the cause of a lot of reloading problems. I clear the press of ammo in production and fill the scale pan with a charge from the powder die making sure not to change the adjustment. My way there is a 0% chance to make a mistake while human error lead to squib loads or doubles. 

RT

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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by DavidR on Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:06 pm

not sure if RCBS sells their lock out die for 38 but they do for 45 and it will prevent a squib or double charge. If it detects too low a charge or too much it will lock the press down and you cant cycle it till you clear the effected round. After having a double charge in 2002 I was very careful but after a second one in 2012 I added the lock out die to both my Dillon and hornady LNL and ended that from ever happing again.

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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by Ed Hall on Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:01 pm

joy2shoot wrote:...
Or if it is really urgent, I leave the press in the up position, i.e. shellplate is fully up and the handle down.  This way I know the 'state' of each station when I return.


+1!  I was going to suggest this, if it wasn't already posted.

A little bit cumbersome, but you might consider making a small level check tool in the following manner:

-Bend a paper clip so a portion of it is in a tight spiral that can rest on the top of the charge.
-Bend the remainder of the clip so it hangs over the edge of the case.
-Mark or adjust the bend so you can tell the difference between the proper amount of powder and too much/little.
Use the tool to check each case just after it gets filled.

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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by dsandula on Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:41 am

Thanks to everyone for the advice.  I wish there was more positive information about the mirror attachment (to help see in to tall cases with small powder amounts) from Uniquetek.  I already use and really like the Inline LED tool head hole light . . . and think Dillon is missing out on not developing their own LED's.

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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by Ghillieman on Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:54 am

The powder check die...

Thats one of the reasons I sold both of my 550's and bought a 650.

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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by joy2shoot on Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:20 am

dsandula wrote:I wish there was more positive information about the mirror attachment (to help see in to tall cases with small powder amounts) from Uniquetek.
UniqueTek has a satisfaction guarantee so if you order it and don't like it, you can return it.  Your 'cost' will be the two shipping charges (from them to you and then from you to them).

I returned mine for two reasons.  I did not like the way the instructions said to set it up.  You have to loosen a die lock ring, insert the mirror's handle under the ring, and re-tighten.  The second reason was I could not get it angled to clearly see inside my cases and trying to see inside my .357 mag case was hopeless.

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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by desben on Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:15 am

Instead of a mirror, you can consider using a camera with an LCD screen. One system designed for reloaders is http://www.ammovision.ca it is fairly expensive however.

Others have adapted car backup camera systems. Some of them are $30-40 on eBay or AliExpress and have built-in LEDs to illuminate their target.

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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by BE Mike on Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:20 pm

Ghillieman wrote:The powder check die...

Thats one of the reasons I sold both of my 550's and bought a 650.
The extra hole in the 650 accommodates either a lock out die by RCBS or Dillon's Powder Check system. They both do a great job of monitoring the powder level.

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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by Jack H on Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:56 pm

Looking for the powder level in a case, no matter how it is done by your eye and accessory, it  is still looking for "indicators" just like the indicators in Zins sighting process.

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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

Post by rreid on Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:40 am

I like WST for 38 spc.  It's accurate, for one thing, but it's also light colored and bulky enough to be able to be seen in the case.  I don't think a double charge would spill out, but it would be noticeable if you were watching.

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Re: Dillon 550 Double Charge Prevention Advice Needed

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