Primer issues with Dillon 550B

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

  1. BillM

    BillM Active Member

    659
    Jan 16, 2010
    Amity Orygun
    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.
     
  2. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    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:


  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    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
     
  4. zant

    zant Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2009
    S.Al
    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.
     
  5. RAJBCPA

    RAJBCPA Active Member

    606
    Sep 27, 2012
    ...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?
     
  6. Bud0505

    Bud0505 Member

    73
    Dec 5, 2011
    Florida
    Are you sure you have the small primer magazine tube installed correctly??
     
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    RAJBCPA:

    The primer feed tube has a plastic end that holds the primers for the bar to pick up. There is also a little spring loaded white plastic rod that sits under the installed primer tube in the primer system body, stopping the primers from falling out of the tube when the primer tube is installed in the primer system body. The little spring loaded white plastic rod holds the primers until the cup on the bar pushes the little spring loaded white plastic rod out of the way and a primer falls into the bar's primer cup. You have to be using the correct tube (there is one for the large primers and one for the small primers). And the tube's plastic end is indexed to fit in the primer system body. The tube must seat all the way down until the plastic end on the primer tube almost touches the little spring loaded white plastic rod. You must use the weighted plastic stick in the primer tube to assure the primers move down by gravity.

    When setting up the primer bar you have to shine a light onto the primer cup on the primer bar when it is under the tube all the way and look down the tube from the top and see that the cup of the primer bar is in perfect alignment with the plastic tip of the primer tube. The allen screw and nut are the way you adjust that end of the primer bar travel to get this perfect alignment.

    Have you read the instruction manual? All of the adjustments, I believe, are covered there (??).

    LDBennett
     
  8. RAJBCPA

    RAJBCPA Active Member

    606
    Sep 27, 2012
    THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP

    Problem solved; the press had the wrong size primer tube and primer shuttle installed.

    After a swap, it now works great.
     
  9. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Just to be clear:

    This was a user error problem, not a real Dillion problem.

    Our friend stev32K had to send his Hornady LNL progressive press back to Hornady. Now, that is a Hornady problem, not a user problem.

    LDBennett
     
  10. marinedoc

    marinedoc New Member

    2
    Sep 18, 2016
    Midwest & Florida
    A lot of good advice here. I would like to add that I was having an incredibly frustrating problem after setting my 550b up getting the primers to fall correctly into the primer seating punch on the primer slide.. Took the machine apart and put it back together several times before realizing that the slide was not returning all the way back into the "loading" position. This was due to the misalignment of the operating rod and large roller. Once aligned all worked perfectly.
     
    dbcooper and woolleyworm like this.
  11. dbcooper

    dbcooper Well-Known Member

    thats the case with Dillons. They are precise machines
    if you set them up correctly, they just work!
     
    crystalphoto likes this.
  12. marinedoc

    marinedoc New Member

    2
    Sep 18, 2016
    Midwest & Florida
    Had trouble until I started to look into what really made it work. Saw the primer bar wasn't going all the way back and that the guide rod had to be readjusted, CORRECTLY, to slam it all the way to the rear. A simple change and all went smoothly after that. Read a comment here to "read the manual carefully; there's a lot of information in the book". Went back and re-read the part on primers, and that helped put it all together. As someone else said, take it apart and put it back together. And do it all over again. If nothing else, you'll get to know your machine better. And no truer words were spoken. Have a 650, and not sure I'll use it again, although it's set up for .45 acp, because of all the time I've spent with this550, would not hesitate to take it apart and set things up for .308, .45 or any other caliber I want to shoot. And dbcooper is right; Dillon has been around a long time. If set up correctly, they work.
     
    dbcooper likes this.
  13. dbcooper

    dbcooper Well-Known Member

    I wished that I had more time to use mine
    Somtimes its several weeks and I come back to where I left off
    Thats why I started keeping a loading session diary of sorts
    I always have my notes to go back on
     
  14. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Part of my setting up my Dillon RL550B press for a particular caliber is to get the right primer bar on the press. To check the primer bar I cycle the ram to the top of the stroke, shine a flashlight on the primer cup, look down the empty primer tube and verify the cup is in perfect alignment to pick up a primer.

    On another note, I NEVER leave powder in the powder measure overnight. Even if I am mid session and have to stop for the day, I remove the powder measure and pour the powder back into its canister or bottle. I NEVER have more than one powder canister on the bench at one time and it is ALWAYS the powder canister for the powder that is in the measure.

    LDBennett
     
    Pawpaw40 likes this.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Anyone have issues with Federal primers in Lee loaders? Jan 30, 2012
The Ammo & Reloading Forum 38 special primer seating Nov 16, 2016
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Primers - Storage and Containers Nov 3, 2016
The Ammo & Reloading Forum long term storage of primers Nov 1, 2016
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Primers getting scarce. Oct 26, 2016