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Old 03-26-2020, 10:45 PM
Casper223 Casper223 is offline
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Default Dillon 550C Brand New Troubleshooting Question

I've been reloading on Mec's, RCBS's, Spolar Gold's for a long time, mostly shotgun and rifle cartridges other than a wildcat round, but I'm no expert by any means.

Just purchased a Brand New in the Box Dillon 550C, with the intention to load 38 wadcutters, and 357 home & Self Defense, and perhaps 9mm and 40 Cal later. I spent the afternoon mounting the Dillon to a quick change plate, and strong arm mount, and the majority of my time reading through the manual, putting everything together, being I've never used a Dillon, I've even watched a few youtube videos.

I started loading, got to the fourth handle pull, and on the upswing of the handle, The primer block sticks in place. I've checked the two Allen screws under the block to make sure they weren't to tight, I've looked over the block and it is just stopped, so in working the handle, and bumping the primer block, it finally jumps back into place, and at the top of the handle pull it seats the primer. So I missed 2 primers before I realized when it sticks, its not seating a primer either. In 60-65 rounds, it's stuck a half dozen times. Of course I don't truck the powder measure, so I'm weighing out about every 5th round on my Ohaus 10-10 scale.

Has anyone else had this problem? might have an idea on a fix?
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:57 PM
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Where the rod go's from the plate to the top is adjustable. Pull the leaver down and adjust right or left or up and down and you can tell by the pressure on the primer plate when it feels less drag.<The direction the rod moves puts pressure on the powder bar>
With the handle up loosen the two screws on the bottom of the powder bar. When the power bar centers and you can see the primer tighten the screws. <had to edit because of a phone call when typing >

Last edited by 4barrel; 03-26-2020 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:05 PM
hotshot357 hotshot357 is offline
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You might try taking the primer assembly apart and check for dirt, powder, and maybe a burr on the plate on the bottom of the primer slide.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:05 PM
M29since14 M29since14 is offline
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Yes. But I have the B model. Check the primer slide to make sure it has no nicks or burrs. If both sides of it are dead flat, you might mic it to see that it is not tapered. If everything checks out ok, you might need to file in a tiny bit of clearance so that when everything in cinched down the slide moves easily. (Of course before you do anything, make sure everything is clean.)

My slide would jam now and then with both screws hand tight. I got tired of fiddling with the screws and filed in a tiny bit more clearance and havenít had any more trouble. If youíre not sure what is going on, you can mark the surfaces with a sharpie or something like that and look for the interference.

If youíre leery of filing, call Dillon and they will probably send a different slide. Theyíve always been great about helping when Iíve called them about problems, which has only been a time or two.
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:34 AM
fxdrider fxdrider is offline
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call Dillon and they will probably send a different slide. Theyíve always been great about helping when Iíve called them about problems, which has only been a time or two.
THIS! Dillon's customer service is reputed to be second to none. They'll help you.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:04 AM
Casper223 Casper223 is offline
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THIS! Dillon's customer service is reputed to be second to none. They'll help you.
Not trying to be negative "fxdrider", but remember back in the day RCBS was like that, "Second to None" dang, I enjoyed those days, but since they sold out, cannot get anything from them. I have several Ohaus 10-10 scales, I have four of them, and I've been a hoarder of them just in case, because you can't get parts, thankfully not much goes wrong with them.

I guess what's scaring me is a Google search for Dillon 550C primer bar jam. Seems like I uncovered the weakness of this machine. I see a bunch of after market ideas designed to fix the issue, and developers saying that after several attempts of dealing with Dillon, that Dillons solution didn't fix their issue. I was leery to have 6 jams in 60 rounds, but really feel I'm dealing with an alignment problem. Primer bar slides out towards me (Front of the machine) but on the upswing of the handle, stops. As I look into the jam area, I can see the slide stopped and can't get under the primer catcher, so as I press down "Again" on the handle, just a little, the primer bar will jump under the catcher, and slide into place. At first, I was thinking a weak return spring, Then thought maybe I'm going to fast thus forcing a timing issue, but in the end I'm thinking alignment issue causing drag on the bar. I'm thinking if this slide gets this dirty in loading 60 rounds, its going to be a long day trying to load 1,000 rounds. I followed the manual instructions, and cleaned the bar with rubbing alcohol, and that helped.... as I punched out another 100 rounds before it jammed again. Of course when the primer slide bar jams, being a responsible reloader, I weight the powder under station 2, then follow up again as I rotate the shell plate with the next round, making sure both are right, because I've taken my eyes off the powder drop. making sure I do due diligence.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:07 AM
growr growr is offline
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Call Dillon..........they are fantastic!!

Randy
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:46 AM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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When I upgraded from 450 to 550b the primer magazine screws allowed slight adjustment left and right of the primer bar. The line of travel was very picky, like .002 or .004" of wiggle room, but it sure made a difference in smooth primer feed.

Ivan
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Old 03-27-2020, 12:26 PM
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I had a few issues with it sticking in the beginning. After having to clean it after 100 rounds, I decided to slick it up with some 1600 grit sandpaper.

After a few minutes, all the touching parts were mirror smooth. The hanging up or jamming disappeared.


Prescut
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Old 03-27-2020, 12:29 PM
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I can't comment on the C model, but on the B model having the primer slide jam is very rare.

When it does happen, it's the result of grit getting under the slide or under the plate below the slide, or it's the result of a serious mis-alignment issue.

When I swap from large to small primer slides, or vice versa, I just leave the screws under the primer assembly slightly loose until I lower the shell plate over the primer cup. With the shell plate in the lowered position I then snug up the screws with an allen wrench with finger pressure on the short arm to "torque" it.

Mine never needed any filing, nor did it require loose screws. In terms of cleaning I brush the whole area clean when ever I change shell plates or switch primer slights with a small brush, like the small paint brushes I use to remove swarf on my lathe - just without cutting oil on them.

There are third party primer slides available that use a roller bearing that are probably less likely to jam due to dirt, but I've never seen it as a large enough problem to bother getting one.

----

I've owned my 550B for about 20 years and it's seen between 10,000 and 20,000 rounds per year.

The only issues I have had are:

- a screw under the tray that feeds the shell plate periodically loosening so that it would not allow the shell plate to go all the way down, resulting in high primers (it was hard to diagnose the first time it happens, the other two times I knew exactly where to start);
- the plastic cracking on the clamp for primer alarm (which was no big deal as I never found it to be useful - you can feel when you don't seat a primer and the visual indicator from the follower is plenty of warning, no audible warning is needed);
- dirt, or a spent primer falling in front of it, interfering with the primer slide; and
- the cotter pin that serves as a hinge for the spent primer chute getting bent and preventing the chute from pivoting(you'll find better replacements in the form of a small nail, a 4-40 bolt, or even a heavy duty paperclip).
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Old 03-27-2020, 12:46 PM
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Been using Dillon for Decades, almost 4. Call Them!!!!
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Old 03-27-2020, 12:55 PM
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I got a new 550C about 6 months ago. It has been fine, so before I started filing or replacing parts, I would do some more investigation to make sure the mechanism is clean and assembled correctly.
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Old 03-27-2020, 12:56 PM
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Call Dillon..........they are fantastic!!

Randy
Not in my experience
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Old 03-27-2020, 01:01 PM
Casper223 Casper223 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BB57 View Post
I can't comment on the C model, but on the B model having the primer slide jam is very rare.



When it does happen, it's the result of grit getting under the slide or under the plate below the slide, or it's the result of a serious mis-alignment issue.



When I swap from large to small primer slides, or vice versa, I just leave the screws under the primer assembly slightly loose until I lower the shell plate over the primer cup. With the shell plate in the lowered position I then snug up the screws with an allen wrench with finger pressure on the short arm to "torque" it.



Mine never needed any filing, nor did it require loose screws. In terms of cleaning I brush the whole area clean when ever I change shell plates or switch primer slights with a small brush, like the small paint brushes I use to remove swarf on my lathe - just without cutting oil on them.



There are third party primer slides available that use a roller bearing that are probably less likely to jam due to dirt, but I've never seen it as a large enough problem to bother getting one.



----



I've owned my 550B for about 20 years and it's seen between 10,000 and 20,000 rounds per year.



The only issues I have had are:



- a screw under the tray that feeds the shell plate periodically loosening so that it would not allow the shell plate to go all the way down, resulting in high primers (it was hard to diagnose the first time it happens, the other two times I knew exactly where to start);

- the plastic cracking on the clamp for primer alarm (which was no big deal as I never found it to be useful - you can feel when you don't seat a primer and the visual indicator from the follower is plenty of warning, no audible warning is needed);

- dirt, or a spent primer falling in front of it, interfering with the primer slide; and

- the cotter pin that serves as a hinge for the spent primer chute getting bent and preventing the chute from pivoting(you'll find better replacements in the form of a small nail, a 4-40 bolt, or even a heavy duty paperclip).


The dealer I purchased the Dillon from, who knows me from other reloading I do, suggested this 550C, said it was bullet proof. I trust that, and heís been so busy with his wife and chemotherapy, I just hated to call him, but heís repeatedly asked me to if I had problems.

This morning I hit him up, described the problem, he said the exact same thing about the primer chute, he asked I replace the cotter key with a heavy duty paper clip, then smooth the edges with sandpaper. In his shop heís got every Dillon set up for the customers to view, and he personally loads on a 550C, but owns a 650 also. His selling point was I could load my .270 max ammo on this press, which is straight up wildcat. You mentioned the alignment of the primer bar as well. Iíve assembled this press from the box, but it was set up for small primers, thus 38ís. So I didnít have to go into the powder bar, but now I want to approach this issue with a shotgun approach, you know, check & replace cotter pin, check alignment of the slide, make sure the slide bar is clean, smooth off any rough edges, then resume operation, and see if any or all of that solves my problem.

In agreement with my dealer, folks have loaded 10ís of thousands of rounds on this press without switching to ball bearings etc.... Iíd like to solve the issue, then upgrade later b/c itís beneficial to saving me time, not to fix a problem with a band aid or masking it with an aftermarket part. Myself, I love to reload, and find it therapeutic to getting my mind off of everyday problems like this Corona Virus, and after years of working on Mecís from single stage to progressive, I like the challenge of troubleshooting the issues, but I get stumped time to time. I really have owned this Dillon 550C literally 3 days. So Iím still discovering itís quirks, and you guys owning this machine are very beneficial. I just hope I can return the favor sometime for yíall with a machine Iím more familiar with.


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Old 03-27-2020, 01:51 PM
cfplinker cfplinker is offline
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It sounds like the problem could be occurring when the primer feeds from the magazine tube into the primer holder on the slide. Try taking the magazine tube out of the blast shield, cleaning it, and making sure that it is properly positioned into the block when you put the cap on the blast tube. Don't put any pressure on the magazine tube when you tighten the cap down.

Make sure the primer holder on the primer slide is clean.

If you are using the plastic follower in the magazine tube consider adding a little weight (45acp case) to it to make sure it can press all of the primers down.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:45 PM
Casper223 Casper223 is offline
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Update on Dillon 550C:

My Dillon distributor called this afternoon to check on me, and after a short discussion of the problem, suggested I remove the press from the strong arm mount and bring it to him. I did just that, and he immediately set it up in his shop, pulled the handle a couple of times and viola, "Jammed" He immediately pointed out that the operating rod was not aligning correctly, midway through the down stroke, the operating rod jumped out of the Chanel in the white roller, and the bottom roller was pushed out of alignment forcing itself to lock on the primer slide bracket. He removed the rod and checked it against a new one, and found it was bent from the factory. He replaced the operating arm, then tweaked the knurled block on the primer tube just a hair, and ran it through at least a hundred handle pulls without incident. The paper clip like holder going into station 1 was not right according to him, so he adjusted it, and generally went over the whole machine. When the handle was in the full up position, the rod aligned beautifully with the rollers, but when pulling the handle, the rollers jumped the rod, and misaligned. It took him 30 minutes in all to check, recheck, align and tweak all of what he felt needed it, as he's been selling these machines since 2000.

I got home, remounted the press in minutes, and loaded about 250 rounds without a hiccup. Definitely an alignment issue, although in this experience, it allowed my dealer to also walk me through several areas to keep an eye on, and I have to say, This Dillon Press is just as smooth and reliable now as my Spolar Gold. Absolutely awesome. Anyway with all the feedback, ideas etc... I wanted to come back and go through the cause, effect, and fix. Thanks Much for your time, ideas, and feedback.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:32 PM
hotshot357 hotshot357 is offline
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Thanks for the feed back. Glad you got your problem fixed. Sounds like you are in "good hands".
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Old 03-28-2020, 01:55 PM
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.../

/...
I got home, remounted the press in minutes, and loaded about 250 rounds without a hiccup. Definitely an alignment issue, although in this experience, it allowed my dealer to also walk me through several areas to keep an eye on, and I have to say, This Dillon Press is just as smooth and reliable now as my Spolar Gold. Absolutely awesome. Anyway with all the feedback, ideas etc... I wanted to come back and go through the cause, effect, and fix. Thanks Much for your time, ideas, and feedback.
You might need to make some minor adjustments to the same items in 10,000-15,000 rounds, but that's about it. They really are pretty bullet proof.
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