Primer issues with Dillon 550B

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by RAJBCPA, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. RAJBCPA

    RAJBCPA Member

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    I just bought this press and I am setting it up for the first run of 9s with the SPPs.

    I'm having some issues with the primer delivery system. Specifically, the shuttle arm sticks in the open position occasionally, and it also occasionaly fails to pick up a primer. In addition, sometimes the primers are inserted into the cases upsidedown or sideways. I've been picking out live primers under the shellplate and along the area where the primer shuttle rides.

    In other situations, the primer is not being fully seated and the shellplate is hard to turn or gets completely stuck. This often leads to a double charge of powder in Station 2.

    I'm pretty sure I'm using the small primer holding tube on the press, the small primer pickup tube, and the small brass fitting that delievers the primer to the case.

    Any ideas why this is happening?

    Thanks...
  2. RAJBCPA

    RAJBCPA Member

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    One thought.

    I do not have a rod or low primer alert system inserted in the primer holding tube. Are these parts necessary to force the new primers down to the pickup shuttle?

    Thanks...
  3. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    I had a similar problem last year with mine....and can't remember
    what I determined caused it...DUH !!!!!
    I did take it apart and clean it really well [shuttle arm sticking]
    I don't know what could be misaligned and mine had me pulling
    out my hair....but after I put it all back, it has been fine.
    As far as the primers flipping, that is most likely caused by
    returning the handle upright too fast.
    If cleaning and re-assembly doesn't fix you up...call Dillon.
    Their customer service will dance you right thru it.

    Tip:
    Keep a toothbrush, or equivalent, handy.
    Clean the primer anvil and the shellplate area often.
    If you use fired brass, you get old powder funking it up.
    It can even dent your primers when you seat them.

    Shellplate not turning.....is the bolt too tight?
    It must be backed out 1/4 turn, although I do mine
    by the feel of it....and when set, tighten the set screw,
    snug only, to hold the bolt. If not, the bolt will move
    as you turn the shellplate.
    [provided nothing is caught under it, like a primer]
  4. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the following rod must be in on top of your primers.
  5. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    If the shell plate is not adjusted properly, and is
    too loose, it will allow the brass and shell plate to 'lift'
    when you seat the primer, therefore not seating the
    primer to the proper depth.
  6. RAJBCPA

    RAJBCPA Member

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    Thx, OZO:

    How tight should the shellplate bolt be fastened? If I use more than a week hand tight amount of torgue, the shellplate cannot be advanced.
  7. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    Is your spring and ball bearing in the hole under the shell plate?
  8. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    If your ball bearing is in properly [for detent]
    then, with the set screw out [the allen screw
    with the brass end that screws in the ram]
    hold the shell plate in place, screw in the
    retaining bolt until firm. While turning the shell plate
    tighten or loosen[center bolt] it until you have it
    just free from binding the shell plate from turning.
    You want it as tight as possible WITHOUT any
    binding. It is just something you have to 'feel' for.
    I think the instructions say snug it, then back it out
    1/4 turn......mine seems a tad too loose that way.
    Keep feeling it....and you will get it.
    It is a bit funky, cause when you check it by turning
    the shell plate, the bolt will turn with it. I do mine by hand
    using only my fingers[center bolt] and don't use the allen wrench.
    When I first set the shell plate down on the ball bearing,
    I hold it down with two fingers, one on each side of the
    bolt hole, then screw the bolt in until snug, keeping the plate
    pressed down at the same time. That is usually too tight, so I
    back it out a little...etc...til it feels right. You have to put the set
    screw in the ram before you go turning the shell plate very much,
    as you setting will change. PITA sometimes having to do that a
    couple of times to get it right. And DO NOT over-tighten the
    set screw, you will mash the brass end.
  9. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    P.S. I also use SBGO on the ball bearing [detent]
    under the shell plate.
  10. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    Another thing on the priming arm - I put just a tiny bit of SBGO (oil) on the bottom and both sides of the "arm" so taht it is lubricated and moves freely. Be sure that the primer tube is properly seated in the larger tube. I had problems with mine putting them in sideways and dropping primers out so I loosened the whole primers tube and looked at the inner tube, it was not seated properly. I had inserted it by feel and I thought I felt it slip into the groove but it hadn't.

    Look it the little plastic "feed lips" on the inner primer tube and you will see a little slot that must fit into the little "nipple" at the bottom of the outer tube. Does that make sense, it does to me, but am I explaining it right??
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  11. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    Gotta love that SBGO......
    just so many places where it works so well.....!!!
    Caution, though, not to over-lube with it,
    especially on the shuttle arm, as it will collect
    crud from de-priming fired brass.
    It don't take much SBGO to get the job done anyway.....
  12. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, does sound like maybe the tube isn't seated properly.
    Easy fix.....
    Any and all trouble areas.....and it won't hurt ya none....
    undo what ya done did, and done did it again....
    it'll just help you get more familiar....albeit frustrating
    to some degree......
    'cause when the 'Blue' works......it is so sweet !
  13. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    If something is wrong with a Dillion 550B it must either be a oriental made bootleg knockoff spraypainted Dillon blue or just a TFF member making a joke, there is simply no way on earth a Dillon would ever experience a design flaw or function issue. After all they are created perfectly and will forever outlast Hornady, Lee, RCBS and all others.
  14. RAJBCPA

    RAJBCPA Member

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    Out of the box, I did remove the small primer holding tube that was installed and shipped from the factory but I thought I reinserted it back into the base appropriately.

    I will check this again. If the silver threaded top to the black primer holding tube is able to be screwed down to the max, does that mean the holding tube that is inside has been inserted properly into the base that is used to feed the primer shuttle?

    thanks....
  15. RAJBCPA

    RAJBCPA Member

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    ...from what I can tell, the large detend ball and related spring is installed properly. I put some vasoline on the ball and it seemed to accumulate some spilled powder during operation, so I assume it is seating into the shellholder OK.

    What is kinda weird is that when I index the press, the shellholder bolt seems to tighten and then cause an index binding issue. It seems like I need to continually back out the bolt tension as the press operates.
  16. BillM

    BillM Active Member

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    Yup---and an empty 45 acp case will friction fit over the knob
    on top of the rod and give you a little extra push.
  17. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    There is a small set screw on the ram that you must tighten when you get the shell holder where you want it. If you do not tighten that set screw the the bolt will turn when you index the shell holder forward. That set screw is on the left side of the ram at the top near the shell holder. If you pull the handle down so the ram is lifted, look near the top of the ram, you should see the set screw.

    Attached Files:

  18. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    RAJBCPA:

    I know you got more help here than you might be able to digest but I'll offer more as, on occasion, I have suffered some of the same problems. To be clear I have been using my RL550B for over 25 years and love this press. To start with re-read your manual several times. There are many importantdetails hidden in those instructions. Ab feel free to call Dillion. Their techs know this press and can help but most importantly they want to really help.

    First is the shell plate. Tighten the main bolt then test the shell plate by rotating it through a full 360 degrees. It will be tight somewhere in its rotation so back the bolt out until you just fell no binding anywhere in the complete rotation of the shell plate. Then lock it down with the allen bolt on the ram (as pictured above). After a couple hundred rounds are loaded re-tighten the central large bolt and again set it with the allen bolt in the ram.

    When installing the primer system do it with the press handle all the way down and compressed so the primer cup and punch extends then tighten the two retaining bolts. Release the handle and operate it so the primer bar has to move into position (full travel each time) and so the cup and primer punch extend into the shell plate. If you detect any catching of the cup on the shell plate loosen one of the primer system retaining bolts and push the system into alignment. Do not reload until the bar will travel and the cup will rise in the shell plate without scrapping or dragging on the sides of its hole in the shell plate. This is a fiddly adjustment! If there is any scrapping or dragging on the sides of its hole in the shell plate then the primer may flip sideways in the cup during delivery. After a couple hundred rounds you may have to go through this adjustment again. Over tightening the primer system bolts can tweak it out of adjustment. Once set the primer delivery should be fine for several hundred rounds.

    Some addition checks: Is the little scoop that catches the de-primed primers free to move to catch the primer that just came out of the case? Its pivot is a cotter pin and it can cause it to not operate, dumping the de-primed primer into the mechanism. Also as I rotate the shell plate I use a hand on each side to assure the ball detent is really seated in the shell plate. Gentle, again.

    When loading the primer system I fill the loading tube using a flip tray. I then stick the long plastic rod into the pickup end, place the other end on top of the press primer tube, stand the loader tube vertical and pull the retaining pin. The primers will fall into the press primer tube, followed by the plastic rod. The rod tends to keep the primers together so that they don't flip when entering the press primer tube. Then the long plastic rod goes in on top of the primers to keep a little pressure on them to assure the delivery mechanism works correctly.

    When operating the shell plate to advance it, be gentle or you will throw powder out of the case on the table. Don't ham-fist operate the press. Smooth is the way.

    As for lubrication on the priming system, I put a very light coat of powdered Teflon (Hoppe's) on the top of the plate the primer bar moves on. Anything else just attracts dirt. I use the Dillion grease on the ram and in the provided lube holes on the lever arms and pivots.

    The RL550B is not perfect... nothing mechanical made by man is. You just have to figure out how to stay ahead to it and when to readjust it. Once you get that figured out the press is very easy to live with unlike other presses I have used.

    LDBennett
  19. zant

    zant Active Member

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    Started having a problem feeding small primers yesterday-Thought what would be easiest thing to check-yep,took off primer tube,turned upside down-replaced red plastic piece(had 01 marked on it),reassembled-200 primers down flawlessly..Only problem I've had with Dillon in last 5yrs.
  20. RAJBCPA

    RAJBCPA Member

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    ...tried everything to fit this issue.

    ....still getting primers that are flipping upside down. As far as I can tell, this is happening at the bottom of the primer holding tube where the shuttle rides and picks up primers....

    Sometimes the shuttle comes up empty, somethimes the primer is OK and other times the primers are upside down....

    What does the adjustment hex bolt do to the shuttle?
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