Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

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Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by spyer40 on 2/11/2018, 4:14 pm

I've got (3) Square Deal B's in .40/9MM/.45 and thinking about trading them all for an XL650 with a case feed system/caliber conversions.  The SDB's have done well but looking for a speed increase so I spend less time at the bench and more time at the range.  Watching the videos it does appear that the 650 is just smoother/faster.  I will mostly just be changing back and forth between 9MM and .45 calbers.  Been doing a lot of searching/Googling/reading/watching YouTube and have a few questions.

How much trouble is it to change out the casefeeder plate/does it require a lot of fiddling?
Do you find the powder check system useful/worthwhile?  Currently just eyeballing the cases after powder fill and occasionally check weighing
Is it worth buying a second priming system to speed up change out?  Doesn't look that bad to change but...
Seeing aftermarket CNC machined toolheads on eBay, do you use OEM or aftermarket?
Watching all the videos it looks like there are several "upgrades" that make things smoother/stop powder spills. How many have done these?  Looks like snowshooze seller is generally recommended for the parts
   Rotocam acutator for one with a roller bearing
   Roller cam follower with one that has a roller bearing
   Add a thrust washer bearing on the shellplate bolt (seeing bronze oiless and needle bearing models)
   Live primer catch bottle
Have you added LED lights to your press and if so what brand?  Looking at Inline Innovations but UFO also seems to have a following.

Thanks in advance for input!

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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by Wobbley on 2/11/2018, 5:02 pm

I can’t soecifically say how fast caliber changes can be made on a 650 as I’ve never used one.  But I have used 550s 1050s and Hornady ammo plants.  All these of these progressives can be fussy to change calibers.  The toolheads are only part of the task.  With experience, you can make a caliber change in the same primer family ( large or small) in an hour or less.  Add a full hour when you swap primers sizes.  It isn’t the re-configuration, it’s the adjustments needed and the futzing that goes with.  That’s why I generally recommend a machine setup for one primer size especially in the 1050.   So bear that in mind.
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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by scheibenpistole on 2/11/2018, 5:44 pm

I've had my XL650 since 1999.  Never once have I had a problem.  I got it after seeing the Dillon booth at the Charlotte NRA show.  They had all their stuff set up, and being it was early on a weekday, they let me play around and load dummy ammo to my heart's content.
My takeaway was that the 550 and 650 were quality machines, with the latter offering auto index and an extra station on the toolhead.  The Square Deal was, by comparison, pretty much a dud.  The leverage was truly inferior; it was just hard work to use.  It also felt gritty.  The 1050 was pretty awesome, but not enough so to warrant the extra $$$ at the time.  Plus, caliber changes looked pretty daunting.
Anyhow, I got the 650 and love it.  Caliber changes, even to rifle, is pretty straightforward, maybe 20 minutes work.  My routine is sort of my own style based on years of previous reloading experience.
After a tumble cleaning, I run everything through once to deprime.  Then, I do my case inspection.  Then, load as usual.  To answer some of your questions:
-I don't bother with the powder check.  The charges I use are so small, a visual inspection is better for me.
-I don't bother with any of the aftermarket gadgets.  I have an LED lamp over the right side to watch powder charges.  
-I was pretty baffled by the appearance of the spilled primer / spilled powder add-ons.  I have never experienced either problem!
-As for those bearing kits, I prefer to simply be careful how I adjust the shellplate bolt.
Now, I did copy the spent primer tube idea from my old RCBS A2 press, and "borrowed" the idea of the clear plastic drop tube.  Simple little lathe project.  But, otherwise, it's pretty much stock. 

I can't tell you rounds per hour, or anything like that.  I load very leisurely, yet still yield a ton of ammo quickly.

I hope this helps you,
Jim

One more thing: I don't use the case feed gizmo.  Instead, I made a big funnel from an old 2L soda bottle and drop in my brass headstamp down.  Refill by hand every 30 rounds or so.


Last edited by scheibenpistole on 2/11/2018, 5:51 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Extra info)
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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by robert84010 on 2/11/2018, 7:14 pm

I bought a 650XL a little over a year ago. No extra stuff. It is a great machine.  I would recommend buying an extra primer system instead of any of that other stuff since you are changing between large and small primers. I don't change primer size's, only large primer cartridges but if I did I would get another complete primer setup. I do change the case feeder plates and it is easy.
I had a SDB for a bit and I found it clumsy and not smooth. I think you find the 650 a huge improvement.


Last edited by robert84010 on 2/11/2018, 7:36 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by Sc0 on 2/11/2018, 7:30 pm

Had a 650 with the bells and whistles and many conversion kits, had a few issues due to incorrect adjustments but all were self inflicted. I never used the quick change primer kit as changing out the primer feed wasn't too bad of an operation.

Am now using a 550BL, for loading i hand prime my brass to ensure zero flipped primers. Out of around 200rds i would the up with at least two upside down primers, assumed it either happened when loading the primer magazine or when transferring primers to the feed tube. Hand priming cases isn't too bad though and still use the primer punch to fully seat them in the cases. I recently acquired a 1050 but haven't got it up and running yet, it is a bit more complex compared to the 650.

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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by weber1b on 2/11/2018, 7:56 pm

I use a 550 and can change primer sizes in about 15 minutes without pushing myself. It really is not a chore. I would imagine the 650 is pretty much the same in that regard.

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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by dronning on 2/11/2018, 8:12 pm

Don't have a 650 but on my 1050 (45 only for now) I have the thrust bearing, primer catch tube dumping into a 30cal ammo can and LED lights.  I have a low ceiling so I have a convex mirror above the case & bullet feeders to see if they are getting low.

I kept my 550 (with case feeder), because of it's quick changeover time.  I use it for everything else and for 45 load development.

If I had the space I'd add a 2nd 550 with a case feeder and have one 550 set up for small primers and the other 550 for large primers.
- Dave
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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by javaduke on 2/11/2018, 9:09 pm

I got my XL650 about a month ago and VERY happy with it. I like gadgets and tinkering with my toys, so a few upgrades were made almost immediately. First, I got a spent primers upgrade from http://www.dillonupgrades.com - this one is probably the best upgrade! 
Then I ordered some LED lights from eBay, https://www.ebay.com/itm/UFO-650-Reloading-Press-LED-Light-Kit-for-Dillon-XL650/332214721778 - they are very bright and I can easily see inside the case - so no need for powder check really. 
Finally, I got a knob for the powder measure - https://www.ebay.com/itm/Clickable-Dillon-Precision-Powder-Thrower-Adjustment-Knob-Assembly-50-clicks/253286026777 - very well made and really helped me to dial in my powder throw. 
Changing between .38 and .45 takes less than 10 min - all you have to do is to remove the entire toolhead, primers assembly, shellplate and the case feed tube adapter and then install the ones for the new caliber. Once you've done it a few times, it becomes really easy process - pretty much like shooting the perfect 2700 score Wink Oh, wait...

The only issue I'm trying to solve now is that one of my powder measures leaks powder, after about 100 rounds the flakes of powder are everywhere, on the bench, on the floor and on the shell plate. So I got me one of these rechargeable mini-vacuums from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0775T6VXQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by spyer40 on 2/12/2018, 7:29 pm

Thanks for the info!

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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by BE Mike on 2/13/2018, 9:22 am

I have a Dillon 550 and 650. I find the low primer warning useful on the 650 since the primer tube doesn't stay in the same position when reloading (it goes up and down). When the primers gets low, it is just not as noticeable on the 650, therefore the low primer warning. I think the powder check is a good tool, as well. You have the extra hole for it; might as well use it. Some folks use the RCBS lockout die, but I have the Dillon.
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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by PhotoEscape on 5/15/2018, 5:35 pm

I have two XL650s - one with for each primer size.  Changing primer system is the most time consuming operation when change is needed.  Changing tool heads for different calibers takes couple minutes for me, and only because I threaded pinholes, and instead of using pins to lock tool heads, I used set screws from the underneath and top of the tool head.  Changing shell plate is another two minutes.  IMHO opinion, the best upgrade is a Bulletfeeder originally from Mr. Bulletfeeder, nowadays from Double Alpha Academy - that will save you a lot of time, and save your fingers too, especially if you want to go fast.  I use my own funnels (somebody here on the forum mentioned my PDUs - it is actually PTU for Powder Transfer Unit), powder charge adjuster bolts, and fail safe bracket kits, - all these are being sold by me on eBay under the same user name as on this forum.  However you can also purchase my funnels from Mr. Bulletfeeder, UniqueTek and several other dealers.  Another good addition is LED Skylight - I bought one of eBay from InLine Fabrication.  I've made several other mods to my presses to assure consistency of powder drop - feel free to ask if you have particular issues, I might be able to help.  AP
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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by lablover on 5/15/2018, 8:14 pm

Is there any other way to order your PTU besides eBay. I hate using PayPal for anything and any of your other upgrades

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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by javaduke on 5/15/2018, 8:20 pm

PhotoEscape wrote:I use my own funnels (somebody here on the forum mentioned my PDUs - it is actually PTU for Powder Transfer Unit), powder charge adjuster bolts, and fail safe bracket kits, - all these are being sold by me on eBay under the same user name as on this forum.  However you can also purchase my funnels from Mr. Bulletfeeder, UniqueTek and several other dealers.  Another good addition is LED Skylight - I bought one of eBay from InLine Fabrication.  I've made several other mods to my presses to assure consistency of powder drop - feel free to ask if you have particular issues, I might be able to help.  AP
Is there any chance you can make a PTU / expander that works with 32ACP. I'm planning to load 32ACP with lead .314 bullets.

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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by PhotoEscape on 5/16/2018, 4:42 pm

Lablover,
PayPal provides me with ability to accept payments via credit cards.  If you are receptive to other methods, i.e. mailing personal check, let me know.  I'll be happy to post WTS in commercial area of the forum.  Otherwise you can order my funnels from UniqueTek.  If you call in, and talk to Lee or Ron, and mention that you want other parts of mine, I'm sure they will be able to address your request.  So is Rick Koskela of Mr. Bulletfeeder.

Javaduke,
I actually have something that might be adaptable to your needs.  My 30 Cal rifle funnel has three expander sizes available - .3085, .3105 & .3125.  It would not take much of effort to make another expander in .3155 - .3165 (for lead you need about + 2 tenth over projectile diameter).  Issue boils down to someone on this forum trying to adopt design for 32ACP and test it first, as I don't load this caliber, and don't have cases, dies, shellplate, etc.  So if you or anyone else load 32ACP with plated up to .312 or lead/coated up to about .311, and willing to give it a go, I'll be happy to work with such person.

Thank you for the interest,
AP


Thank you for the interest, AP
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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by BE Mike on 5/17/2018, 8:01 am

There are a couple of things about the 650 I don't like. It is a little jerky in operation and if you load ammo so the powder is nearly full in the case, you may get spillage. I also get some flipped primers (primers go into the case upside down). I've tried to eliminate the jerk by installing one of those after market ball bearing deals underneath the plate, but it didn't help all that much. Maybe it is just time to disassemble the 650 and give it a good cleaning and lube.
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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by jglenn21 on 5/17/2018, 10:17 am

much of the jerking on any Dillon is the powder bar and failsafe mechanism.

going back to the old spring method smooth's one out pretty nicely . that and a weaker indexing ball spring..
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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by spursnguns on 5/17/2018, 11:24 am

jglenn21 wrote:much of the jerking on any Dillon is the powder bar and failsafe mechanism.

going back to the old spring method smooth's one out pretty nicely . that and a weaker indexing ball spring..

Hello jglenn21,

Do you have a source for that spring?  Last time I checked at Dillon, they were did not stock them.

Jim
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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by jglenn21 on 5/17/2018, 11:33 am

hmm  I don't I simply had some from the old style powder measures that I had kept. 


I did find these

https://www.extremereloadingnv.com/product/dillon-precision-powder-measure-return-spring/
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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by jglenn21 on 5/17/2018, 11:52 am

If you look on the Brian Enos forums you will find lots of info on converting the latest style to one using the springs.
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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by javaduke on 5/17/2018, 11:53 am

PhotoEscape wrote:Javaduke,
I actually have something that might be adaptable to your needs.  My 30 Cal rifle funnel has three expander sizes available - .3085, .3105 & .3125.  It would not take much of effort to make another expander in .3155 - .3165 (for lead you need about + 2 tenth over projectile diameter).  Issue boils down to someone on this forum trying to adopt design for 32ACP and test it first, as I don't load this caliber, and don't have cases, dies, shellplate, etc.  So if you or anyone else load 32ACP with plated up to .312 or lead/coated up to about .311, and willing to give it a go, I'll be happy to work with such person.

Sure, I'm more than willing to be that guinea pig Smile I haven't received my Pardini yet (it is currently clearing the US customs, so it may take a few more weeks), but next week I'm going to order a set of dies and a shellplate, so let me know when will you be able to make a powder funnel for me. I think .3155 is the right size.

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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by PhotoEscape on 5/17/2018, 12:03 pm

Javaduke,
I actually shipped this morning funnel to one of the forum users.  He loads plated in .311, so it is possible to adopt my 30CAL funnel with .3125 expander.  So, before I turn more steel, I want to make sure that it works, and no design changes needed.  I appreciate you willing to be a guinea pig though.  I'll be posting updates as we progress in our testing.
AP
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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by Wobbley on 5/17/2018, 1:30 pm

If the powder mechanism is causing the jerky operation, you could also swap out your powder measure to the Hornady Case actuated powder measure. I think it’s a way better than Dillon system on many levels.
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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by gregbenner on 5/17/2018, 9:07 pm

PhotoEscape wrote:Javaduke,
I actually shipped this morning funnel to one of the forum users.  He loads plated in .311, so it is possible to adopt my 30CAL funnel with .3125 expander.  So, before I turn more steel, I want to make sure that it works, and no design changes needed.  I appreciate you willing to be a guinea pig though.  I'll be posting updates as we progress in our testing.
AP
 I’m curious, If loading .314 lead in 32acp with a 550, is it better to use a plus size sizing die in stage one, or larger powder funnel in stage 2?  Or both?  Or am I not understanding Shocked

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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by PhotoEscape on 5/17/2018, 10:43 pm

I'll take a stub at the answering, Greg, although I don't load 32ACP.  So my answer would be based on my loading experience with other calibers.  With that said, the first thing is to answer why you are loading .314 lead, and why you are thinking about using plus size sizing die.  Normally selection of the sizer is based on dimensions of the chamber and selection of the projectile, especially when we are talking about precision shooting, is based on the bore diameter of your gun.  Once you know these dimensions, answer comes automatically.  Otherwise your limiting factor comes from diameter of projectile - unless you are sizing and de-priming case as a separate process outside of your 550, and use Lyman's M-style expander on 1st position, you MUST use funnel that will expand case to .3155 at least.  Going back from this point, you need to figure out how many reloads per case you can tolerate before discarding case.  Technically, brass has so much flexibility before rupturing, so if you size it more and then expand it more, the sooner you need to discard such case.  So, logically, if you are expanding case more to seat .314 lead projectile, you want to use least brass sizing (compressing) die possible.
Hope this helps.
AP
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Re: Dillon XL650 upgrade questions

Post by gregbenner on 5/18/2018, 11:24 am

PhotoEscape wrote:

Otherwise your limiting factor comes from diameter of projectile - unless you are sizing and de-priming case as a separate process outside of your 550, and use Lyman's M-style expander on 1st position, you MUST use funnel that will expand case to .3155 at least
Hope this helps.
AP
Thx AP. Although I reload quite a bit, I don’t think I completely understand the intricacies of each stage on a Dillon. Im not sure what function the powder funnel serves in sizing a case? Let me try to rephrase my question.  I am loading .313 lead SWC in 32ACP. My plus 3 Lyman decap and sizing die sizes the brass sufficiently such that with a slight flare in stage 2 i can slightly insert the bullet for loading in stage 3. I do everything in the Dillon, no other steps. Im not using a separate process to de-prime,  and am not sure what a Lyman M style expander is. 

Based on my experience, it “seems” as though if the resizing die is the correct size, does it really matter if the powder funnel is a slightly smaller, perhap .312 or so ( which seems standard).   It seems as though a larger powder funnel is necessary primarily to correct for a too small sizing die?  I’m not asserting this, I’m just a bit confused, particularly since what I have started using seems to be working.  I realize that different reloading presses may be a bit different, which I why I am referring specifically to a Dillon 550.

Hopefully this makes some sense.

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