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How to improve powder dispensing in a 550

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zanemoseley
1911a145
Sa-tevp
Dulcmrman
PhotoEscape
rbwillnj
djperry2
samtoast
Skid
Wobbley
jjfitch
BE Mike
orpheoet
shooter1450
Soupy44
tomd999
Amp
Rodger Barthlow
L. Boscoe
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How to improve powder dispensing in a 550 - Page 2 Empty How to improve powder dispensing in a 550

Post by L. Boscoe 3/26/2024, 4:54 pm

First topic message reminder :

lately I have ignored my 45 and shot a lot of 38spl in my SW52.  I was cronographing the difference between
plated HBWC and lead HWBC with the same powder load:  the plated give at least 50fps more than  the lead.
Not a surprise. Then comes along a 500 fps and a 550 fps in the groups of 10 or so from the lead.    My usual speeds with2.7gr of 231 is 675 to 725, with the occasional
785.
It is either the loader person Sad or the 550's powder dump is not consistent. I thought of a vibrator for the powder
hopper, and a friend uses produce rubber bands to snap the powder tray back in place.  I see where some have a weight on top of the powder- what's the best solution?

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Post by 1911a145 4/9/2024, 11:42 am

Buy a star

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Post by Sa-tevp 4/9/2024, 8:02 pm

samtoast wrote:
Sa-tevp wrote:... I also electrically ground my presses to drain any static electricity...
Can you please share a photo of how you electrically ground the press (or explain how)? Thanks in advance

Since I have a lot of experience wiring aircraft and bonding testing, I used an AMP ring terminal, 18 gauge Tefzel insulated plated wire* to a banana plug that goes in the ground socket of a wall electrical outlet. My house is wired to code so the ground is good. I connect to the frame of my press but made sure the powder dispenser has good continuity to the electrical outlet end of my grounding circuit. I also wiped the inside of the powder tube with laundry anti-static fabric.

The goal was to avoid static electricity build up and powder clumping. The other goal was to make me comfortable based on experience with dope and fabric aircraft covering and fuel tank diving where static electricity draining is a big safety issue. Does it all matter for cartridge loading? Maybe, maybe not.

*I had it on hand, and prefer it to auto store copper wire with PVC insulation.

Stephen
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Post by rbwillnj 4/10/2024, 7:56 am

PhotoEscape wrote:
rbwillnj wrote:Sorry, but Star owners are laughing to themselves about this discussion topic.
Bruce,
As a Star owner, I hear what you are trying to say, and as well what you don't.  And that would be topic for another discussion.  Yes, Star presses have two major advantages in comparison with Dillon's or any other progressive press on the marker regardless of the powder measure type they use.  Very specifically, Star presses 
1. do not have case activation mechanism, and hence are not susceptible to case length variations;
2. have shell plate that functions as just a rotator of cases, while cases bases seat on solid base as opposed to wobbley (no pan intended, Ashley!) shell plates on other progressives, that are affected by pressures from each die on each station.   
However accuracy of powder charges on Star presses (powder hoppers and powder bars) are affected by same "Silo effect" as all others.

Alex,

In addition to the advantages you mentioned, Stars have a built in jiggler that insures that the powder slide hole is consistently filled and emptied with each stroke.   Stars powder magazines also have a built-in baffle which all but eliminates the "silo" affect.    I have measured powder drops from top (full) powder magazine to the bottom (about 1" from bottom) and get consistent drops throughout.

None of this is meant to knock Dillons, I have never owned one and have no idea what it's capabilities are.
rbwillnj
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Post by PhotoEscape 4/10/2024, 10:07 am

Alex,

In addition to the advantages you mentioned, Stars have a built in jiggler that insures that the powder slide hole is consistently filled and emptied with each stroke.   Stars powder magazines also have a built-in baffle which all but eliminates the "silo" affect.    I have measured powder drops from top (full) powder magazine to the bottom (about 1" from bottom) and get consistent drops throughout.

None of this is meant to knock Dillons, I have never owned one and have no idea what it's capabilities are.
I only mentioned fundamental differences.  Dillon's powder measures also have baffles and some sort on "knocker" (my term) to aid with filling cavity of the powder bar.  Unfortunately baffles do not completely eliminate silo effect on any platforms, as it takes place throughout entire hopper.  That's where attempts to add some sort of agitator come from.  I am guilty of experimenting with it as well, and use small $6 engraver from Harbor Freight rubber banded to hopper.  However I do it only when I load flake type powders.  For a fine grain powders (BE, N310/320/340, WST, etc.) I check charges every so often using methodology I described on one of the posts (that includes Star too), and if I feel a need I "wack" the powder measure with my hand to remove any silo effect obstructions.  Using inline measuring allows me to run hoppers until they empty and trickle in/out powder if I want all charges to be within +/- 0.01 / 0.02 gr.  That's the limit of my FX-120i / GemPro 250 scales.

AP
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Post by zanemoseley 4/10/2024, 10:16 am

1911a145 wrote:Buy a star
Or a Hornady LNL AP. Also had quick change inserts to quickly change your drop.

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Post by Rodger Barthlow 4/11/2024, 9:52 am

I have 3 Dillon presses. A Square Deal B, a 450 (predecessor to) converted to a 550 and a 550-B with several tool heads and powder measures.
The 450 is my dedicated .45 acp press, The Square Deal B .38Special and the 550 is for whatever else I want to load since I can change out the tool heads without any major adjustments.
All of my powder measures have the Extra small powder bar since I learned from my experiences with the Square Deal it was necessary for loading .32 long for my Hammerlli SP.
At one time I owned 4 Square Deal presses in 4 different calibers to save time when wanting to load something else. I actually had to send one back for an overhaul because I wore it out changing calibers.
The extra small powder bar is the only thing I did to correct the problem of trying to get accurate powder charges for light powder charges.

Here's a couple of pictures of the powder measures mounted on a press, the 450/550 and a 550BHow to improve powder dispensing in a 550 - Page 2 Image011
How to improve powder dispensing in a 550 - Page 2 Image211
How to improve powder dispensing in a 550 - Page 2 Image310
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Post by Rodger Barthlow 4/11/2024, 9:56 am

One more that wouldn't fit on the last post.How to improve powder dispensing in a 550 - Page 2 Image410
In the pictures you can see the bell crank that operates the powder measure and the small return spring that Dillon says isn't necessary but I use it so the bar snaps back when the when the bar is released by the bell crank. You can see the spring in one picture and the powder baffle in the hopper tube. I have never had the silo effect as others have mention even on the Square Deal which the powder measure is slightly different.
I would like to get a couple of the adjustment screws the PhotoEScape makes since I'm tired of using a small wrench to turn the adjustment screw.
Rodger Barthlow
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Post by bruce martindale 4/11/2024, 3:35 pm

How to improve powder dispensing in a 550 - Page 2 Img_1810

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Post by bruce martindale 4/11/2024, 3:37 pm

RCBS match grade pistol rotor stuffed into a Lee powder thru die. This is my 32 setup. No resize but for Hornady profile crimp die.

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Post by Rodger Barthlow 4/11/2024, 4:01 pm

bruce martindale wrote:RCBS match grade pistol rotor stuffed into a Lee powder thru die. This is my 32 setup. No resize but for Hornady profile crimp die.
Thanks for the info Bruce. I sold the SP 20 years ago when I picked up my 208. I primarily used it in the .22 configuration which was heavier than the 208. The excess weight was the reason for selling it.

I have tinkered with the idea of trying to stick a Hornady powder measure on the 450/550.
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Post by Timefliers 4/25/2024, 7:41 pm

I lapped the powder bar components together to a mirror finish with some jewlers rouge and covered everything with graphite off of a pencil, way smoother actuation and i can keep my 4.0 of bullseye within .05 grain drop to drop. I also added a bounce to the bottom of my downstroke when the case is fully into the toolhead/dies. That seemed to solve any wild inconsistency before i went to the step of lapping the bars. That was mostly to see what would happen, ymmv if it’s worth the effort for the marginal gain.

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Post by Multiracer 4/25/2024, 8:01 pm

The extra small powder bar did the trick on my 550. Use Bullseye, WST and VV310

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Post by chuckt5247 4/26/2024, 6:57 am

We’re do you get an extra small bar ?

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Post by Rodger Barthlow 4/26/2024, 8:29 am

chuckt5247 wrote:We’re do you get an extra small  bar ?
Dillon makes and sells them. Just give them a call and tell them what you want.
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