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Old 09-12-2021, 09:07 PM
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BB57 BB57 is offline
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Iím also a 550 fan. Itís the most flexible.

You cam operate it as a single stage press, as a turret press or as a progressive press.

You can load just about any rifle round on it as well as nearly all pistol rounds.

You can run it with the auto powder measure or run it with a manual measure of your choice.

Caliber conversion kits are comparatively inexpensive and third part after market options abound.

I prefer the manual index feature as it is much easier to stop and correct anything that might go wrong on the shell plate.

Speed wise it will do an honest 500 rounds per hour with pistol rounds, and about 110 rounds per hour for rifle rounds with manual powder measure and weight verification.

Operations wise, for pistol rounds I:

1) pick up a bullet with my left hand while I operate the press handle with my right hand;

2) After the handle stroke, with the bullet between my thumb and forefinger, I index the shell plate with the tip of my thumb, and then position the bullet on the case at the seating station.

3) While that is going on, my right hand picks up a case and places it on the shell plate.

4) my right hand then pulls the handle again with about 500 repetitions per hour without any heroic level effort or frantic pace.

The pace for precision rifle rounds is a lot slower if you are using a long grain extruded powder that wonít measure to within .1 grain. For powders like IMR4064, 4895, etc I use a BR-3 measure with the 3/4Ē adapter:

1) pull the handle with your right hand;

2) index the shell plate to the next station;

3) pour the powder on the scale;

4) put a new case on the shell plate at the priming station;

5) at this point the scale is stable so trickle the charge up approx .1 grain to the desired weight;

6) put a funnel over the case and pour the powder back in the case;

7) put the case back on the plate at the seating station and put a bullet on top of it;

8) pull the handle, rinse and repeat about 110 times per hour.


Using a Widden floating tool head and clamp kit and standard dies my runout is around .001Ē.


For .223 rounds where I use ball powders like BLC-2 or H335 the auto measure does a great job within .1 grain accuracy so I run it just like I do for pistol rounds. Production rate is slower at around 300 rounds per hour as I run the cases over a lube pad 20 or so at a time.

But still, 300 rounds per hour isnít bad at all.

Last edited by BB57; 09-12-2021 at 09:19 PM.
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