Last Updated :: 6/17/2010 12:10:22 AM EDT
Things you need to set up the Dillon RL550B manual advance progressive press
Contributed by our esteemed member TheStupid
I have decided to write down my experience to help others, so this is my starting point.
I did quite extensive research on those items and cross-reference them with eBay and other sources for prices, so, i think I did ok.
Try to order them all in one shot so that you don't pay shipping on Dillon stuff and only pay 1 shipping on Midway order. I ended up paying over $80 of shipping because I didn't know exactly what I want.
When to go buy a Dillon RL550B?
I think if you are into large volume shooting, such as 300+/month, you should buy the Dillon or at least a progressive machine.
Brian Enos has some great info, but I think one should get a Dillon RL550B regardless. If you want to shoot for volume, it is there; if you want to shoot for precision, just take off the powder measure and use a scale to measure your powder.
What do I not like about the RL550B?
1. No auto-indexing - auto-turning the cartridge holder. This would be a great feature and help a lot to avoid double-charge, but it's not there.
2. Requires 100 different Allen wrenches and 2 adjustable wrenches to make changes. Literally need a rack to keep all those tools. I think the majority of them can be combined into just using 1 wrench.
3. Instruction manual is OK, but the video is terrible. Information is so outdated and it's not even funny - it's dangerous. And who still uses VCR? But, you still need to watch the video because it does help a lot.
Editor's note: This information was originally posted 8 April 2007, hence the prices listed are likely not up to date. AeroE
Here's a list of things for setting up a Dillon RL550B:
Dillon stuff: Brian Enos or eguns (eguns may be cheaper)
1. RL550B, this is optional! *laugh
2. Caliber die, for EACH caliber, must have
3. Caliber conversion kit, for EACH caliber, must have
4. Strong Mount, if the hight is not enough
5. Bullet Tray, if you buy the strong mount
6. Primer flip tray, very handy and must have
7. 4-pack pickup tubes (2 small/2 large) must have
8. 1" wrench, must have if you don't already have a tool set, buy a tool set and a adjustable wrench 1" from Home Depot. The one from Dillon is so-so and you need more than 1 wrench with a different size to make adjustment - *faint.
9. 550 Spare Parts kit, must have. I bought two packs
10. Case gage, for EACH caliber must have
11. 550 Instruction Video, must have or you can wait till I convert it to avi.
12. VCR, if you don't already have, must have
13. 550 Toolhead & Powder Die $25.89 "Non-Powder Measure" version of Delux Quick-Change, 1 set for each ADDITIONAL caliber (the machine comes with one set), strongly recommended if load more than 1 caliber and don't want to go through the trouble of adjusting everything. This is a real time saver.
14. Additional powder bars, the little aluminum bar that goes into the powder measure, 1 for each caliber. Again optional but time saver. Once you set it at the proper charge weight, you can just use it without making much adjustment on powder charge weight. Pistol (small) and rifle (large) cartridges use different size bars
Dillon Powder bar upgrade
Other accessories:] [/b Midway USA]www.midwayusa.com]Midway USA
445053 1 $19.99 EJS Primer Pocket Uniformer Tool, used to clean primer pocket, very handy, a must have if you load rifles ammo
501588 1 $8.99 Hornady Primer Pocket Reamer Tool, only if you use military brass
176759 1 $8.99 Hornady Primer Pocket Reamer Tool, only if you use military brass
438512 1 $6.99 Hornady One Shot Case Lube 5.5 oz, buy more than 1 can, but only works with pistol cases
269638 1 $53.99 Forster Original Case Trimmer, eBay some times sells it cheaper, but...
430184 1 $3.89 Forster Case Trimmer Pilot #2, 223 - 224 Diameter
231096 1 $9.09 Forster Case Trimmer Pilot #452, 452 - 456 Diameter
648715 1 $9.09 Forster Case Trimmer Collet #1
440250 1 $3.89 Forster Case Trimmer Pilot #30, 308 Diameter
630146 1 $15.79 RCBS Pow'r Pull Impact Bullet Puller, I broke this one though!!! Only hit on - hot girl -, not steel or concrete surface. Wood and plastic surfaces are better.
364181 1 $12.99 Forster Chamfer and Deburring Tool
604242 1 $32.99 Frankford Arsenal Electronic Caliper 6" Stainless Steel, used to be 9.99, but I bought a similar one from eBay, must have
713372 1 $29.99 Frankford Arsenal Micro Reloading Electronic Powder Scale, must have
450403 1 $81.99 Lyman Turbo 1200 Case Tumbler with auto sifter, must have
519525 1 $6.99 Imperial Case Sizing Wax 2 oz, must have for rifle cases or the next one
479231 1 $3.19 RCBS Case Sizing Lube-2 2 oz Liquid, for rifle cases
165907 1 $60.99 Hornady Bullets 22 Caliber (224 dia, 55gr) (plinking)
467431 1 $14.99 Winchester Bullets 30 Caliber (308 dia, 150gr) for 308 Win (plinking)
1. skip primers
The most problem I had was the machine often skipped primers. I use the following two solutions:
a. Put a small 15/32 socket on top of the primer feeding rod.
b. There's a screw right above the little plastic tip at the bottom of the primer feeding tube. Move it all the way out.
Buck_Naked recommends this thread at 1911FORUM.com about tuning the Dillon measure for better performance -
Dillon Measure Tuneup]forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=154783]Dillon Measure Tuneup