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Old 08-18-2020, 05:00 PM
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Default Camera to visually confirm charge?

Ok, so Iíve got my 550B up and running after a few hiccups. I changed over from a Lee Classic Turret...night and day, let me tell you! Anyway I have no trouble visually checking charges in .45ACP, .40S&W, 10mm, 38Spec. and .41Mag because of the wide mouths and short cases, but in .357Mag and especially .327FM itís a real pain because of the tall skinny cases and no good line of sight. I normally check at station 3 right before seating the bullet, but even looking just after the drop at station 2, itís hard to see even with a mirror. My question is: does anyone use a small WI-FI or Bluetooth camera mounted on the frame to get a good view? Iíve got the LED light that fits in the center hole of the tool head and thought that would be a good place to put a camera for a birds eye view, then use the strip LED ďufoĒ lights to light the area. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-18-2020, 05:26 PM
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I use a small goose-neck flashlight and can see in most of my cases without issue. I have a friend that takes a 1/4" dowel rod and after he gets his loads right, he cuts the dowel rod and drops it into a case with powder. He then uses a Sharpie and draws a ring around the rod and then very quickly drops in it all cases to make sure of his powder drops. Pretty nifty and as my eyesight gets worse may resort to the same method.
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Old 08-18-2020, 05:42 PM
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I have read of folks using a mini borescope connected to their phone with the appropriate app.

Or one of these:

Robot Check
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Old 08-18-2020, 06:09 PM
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Hornady powder cop is an alternative.
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Old 08-18-2020, 08:53 PM
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I am relatively new to reloading. My power measure hasn't be very consistent so I bought a digital scale...I set the primed, empty case on the scale and zero it... charge it with powder and put it back on the scale. I trickle powder in or out to keep the loads consistent... i wish I didn't have to do it this way, but until I can justify tje cost of a better system, this gives me confidence in what i am loading

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Old 08-18-2020, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CW3Mike View Post
I have read of folks using a mini borescope connected to their phone with the appropriate app.

Or one of these:

Robot Check
Yeah, thatís exactly what I had in mind. Thanks for the link.

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Originally Posted by raljr1 View Post
I am relatively new to reloading. My power measure hasn't be very consistent so I bought a digital scale...I set the primed, empty case on the scale and zero it... charge it with powder and put it back on the scale. I trickle powder in or out to keep the loads consistent... i wish I didn't have to do it this way, but until I can justify tje cost of a better system, this gives me confidence in what i am loading

Robert
Drop consistently is good with the Dillon, especially with ball powders like 2400 that I use mostly. I did have iffy drops with my Lee...just one of many reasons I went with Dillon. My issue is not being able to see down into the tall skinny cases.
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Old 08-19-2020, 12:54 AM
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For many years, I always charge powder as a separate operation, then visually check the powder level in all the cases using a small flashlight or in bright sunlight before bullet seating. I haven't ever had any problems seeing powder levels in either rifle of handgun cases.
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Old 08-19-2020, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by harvester1 View Post
Hornady powder cop is an alternative.
I agree, it removes all human mistakes.

Off all you have is a camera I see no reason not to use it.
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Old 08-19-2020, 02:48 AM
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Iíve loaded both the 357 Mag and the 327 Fed Mag. With the loads I use, it would take 3 or 4 charges to overflow the case. Accurate and pleasant loads, but just about impossible to see on a progressive press.

I use a RCBS Powder Check Die but was never fully comfortable relying on any mechanical device alone. When I load 9mm on my Hornady LNL progressive press, I use a powder check die. Plus, I can visually check the powder level since I can see inside the case. Very safe with 9mm, as long as Iím paying attention.

Even though I loaded many thousands of rounds of 357 using a powder check die on a progressive press, I reverted back to my Lee Turret Press for 357 using it as a single stage. The powder is dispensed by a powder measure and then put in a loading tray and visually checked using a flashlight. I also randomly sample one or two powder drops and check it on a scale.

Currently, I shoot mostly 9mm and not as many 357 as I used to. Iím very comfortable with this approach. I also donít have to reset the Hornady LNL progressive press from 9mm to 357 and back. Once that press is working, Iím afraid to touch it. But, that's another story.

If I continued to load the 357 on a progressive press, I would use a powder check die with a very bulky powder. One that just about fills the case, so I can see. Lots of light is also important. A camera may work but I never tried one. I have a shooting friend that uses an automated 1050 with a camera to load thousands of 9mm in a single session with some success. But that is 9mm.

Good Luck!

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Old 08-19-2020, 06:09 AM
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I use a bore scope camera hooked to my phone, I will try to post pics when I get a chance.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raljr1 View Post
...I set the primed, empty case on the scale and zero it... charge it with powder and put it back on the scale. I trickle powder in or out to keep the loads consistent...
Way too time consuming. You need two things. A set of Lee powder measure dippers ($16) and a Lee Powder funnel ($7). Set up and prime all brass. Using a brass reloading tray ($6), set 50 primed rounds in the tray and using the scale powder pan and the proper size dipper, you will soon be able to reliability and quickly fill each case using the powder funnel. If you have a standard powder and load, cut off that piece of wood dowel and mark the dowel using a filled case. Mark the dowel with caliber and powder charge and you can use it forever without any worry about double charging.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by glowe View Post
Way too time consuming. You need two things. A set of Lee powder measure dippers ($16) and a Lee Powder funnel ($7). Set up and prime all brass. Using a brass reloading tray ($6), set 50 primed rounds in the tray and using the scale powder pan and the proper size dipper, you will soon be able to reliability and quickly fill each case using the powder funnel. If you have a standard powder and load, cut off that piece of wood dowel and mark the dowel using a filled case. Mark the dowel with caliber and powder charge and you can use it forever without any worry about double charging.
RCBS little Dandy powder measure also works quite well in this process.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:59 AM
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. . . but you are talking about $16 versus $50 cost. Since I use a wide variety of powders, especially shotgun flake powders, the accuracy and/or operation of mechanical powder measures can be questionable.
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Old 08-19-2020, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by cracker57 View Post
I use a bore scope camera hooked to my phone, I will try to post pics when I get a chance.

We need pictures


Sounds like a great idea.
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Old 08-19-2020, 10:53 AM
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I know that this won't solve your problem, but that extra hole in the Dillon 650 for their powder check die is worth whatever difference their is in the price from the 550. I have both presses, but the 650 with the powder check die gives me a lot of peace of mind.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:39 PM
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I know that this won't solve your problem, but that extra hole in the Dillon 650 for their powder check die is worth whatever difference their is in the price from the 550. I have both presses, but the 650 with the powder check die gives me a lot of peace of mind.
A 650 Would be nice, but itís just not in the cards for at least a year. Okay...maybe Christmas at the earliest! Until then, Iíll make do with my lowly 550B. Man, itís such an improvement over my Lee turret that Iím still pinching myself. Anyway, Iíve been researching bore scopes and picked one. It should be here by tomorrow night if Amazon keeps their word. Iíll get it set up and report back with some pictures and maybe a video of it in action.

This is the one I picked:



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Old 08-20-2020, 11:12 AM
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I use ball powders, 231, AA5,AA7, AA9 and it flows so well, and my Dillon 550B powder measure has been so accurate I only spot check. I've been loading on this press around 20+ years and haven't had an overcharge ever and the only squip I ever had was when I assembled the powder bar incorrectly, which was quickly discovered. Have you ever seen a factory production loading in action? Millions of rounds produced without individually checking.
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Old 08-20-2020, 02:49 PM
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I use Universal and my 550 is very consistent for my 357's
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Old 08-20-2020, 05:05 PM
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For everyone suggesting weighing individual charges or using a flashlight over the loading tray to check the charges in quantity - the OP is using a Dillon 550. Those suggestions are fine when using a single stage press, but are contra-indicated when using a progressive.

Now, that said, I put a Hornady powder-cop die in the third position on my 550b, and moved the seating die to the 4th position. And set the seating die to just barely straighten the bell out. I then run every round back through the press with the crimp die only installed in a second diehead. Yes, it's a second run through the press, but after finding a squib load the hard way, even though I (thought I) was looking in every case after the powder drop, I'm willing to run the extra step. With the P-C die installed, the last batch I did was a bit over 200 .45ACP rounds in about an hour, so still much faster than using a single stage press.

I've only used the P-C die on the .45ACP rounds since I got it. Going forward, I won't load handgun ammo on the Dillon without it. Rifle ammo? I can use it or not. I probably won't, because I actually like the assurance of the following method.

Here's the process I used for semi-auto rifle rounds, like .223 blasting ammo without the P-C die. The powder charge in these rounds is sufficient to more than offset any variations in empty case weights. I add the grain weights of the shells, bullets and primers. For illustration purposes, lets say the components sans powder weigh 200 grains. Using 24 grains of powder per round means that if I set the beam scale to 435 grains, I can quickly put two finished rounds on the scale, and if together they weigh more than 435gr (sufficiently below the weight of two loaded, primed rounds to account for variations in individual shell weights), both shells have powder. If either or both were to be missing its powder, they wouldn't tip the scale. This doesn't prove that they both have a perfect powder charge. If I'm keeping the powder hopper full then I'm assuming the 550b is dropping the proper charge each time I pull the handle. If I want "perfect" charges, I'll go back to weighing individual charges and using the single stage press. But for blasting ammo, this works for me.
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Old 08-20-2020, 07:16 PM
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Received the camera. Looks to be pretty good quality for 50 bucks. I didnít have time to set it up and try it out on an actual reloading run, but here is a picture of my tablet I linked it to just to give you an idea of the view. This is just with the camera placed in the center hole where my light usually goes. Definitely some tweaking to do and I need to work on a semi permanent mounting, but the view is really good. It looks like it will work better than I had hoped.
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Old 08-20-2020, 09:20 PM
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Made a quick video too. I ordered the KMS ufo lights also, so it should improve the picture even more.

Dillon 550 camera - YouTube
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Old 08-21-2020, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by harvester1 View Post
Hornady powder cop is an alternative.
I think the Dillon Low Powder warning die that gives a loud buzz when the powder is too low or too high in a case is superior to the Hornady die. The RCBS lockout die is also superior as it actually keeps the press from operating when the powder level in a case is too high or too low.
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:13 AM
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Made a quick video too. I ordered the KMS ufo lights also, so it should improve the picture even more.

Dillon 550 camera - YouTube
This is with camera mounted in the center hole? If so, I likey
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Old 08-21-2020, 04:07 PM
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This is with camera mounted in the center hole? If so, I likey
I havenít actually mounted it yet. I just stuck it down through the hole and pointed it at station 3. Iím still thinking about ways to mount it semi permanently, so I can remove it as needed to use for another task. Iíve thought about drilling a hole in each tool head between station 2 and 3 near the edge and slightly angled toward station 3. The tool heads are hollow on the bottom, so thereís only an eighth of an inch or so to drill through. Another alternative would be to mount it horizontally above station 3 and use the right angle mirror attachment. I just need to make sure thereís clearance so nothing hits the camera on the upstroke.
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Old 08-21-2020, 04:29 PM
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I havenít actually mounted it yet. I just stuck it down through the hole and pointed it at station 3. Iím still thinking about ways to mount it semi permanently, so I can remove it as needed to use for another task. Iíve thought about drilling a hole in each tool head between station 2 and 3 near the edge and slightly angled toward station 3. The tool heads are hollow on the bottom, so thereís only an eighth of an inch or so to drill through. Another alternative would be to mount it horizontally above station 3 and use the right angle mirror attachment. I just need to make sure thereís clearance so nothing hits the camera on the upstroke.
I'm thinking zip ties
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Old 08-22-2020, 04:30 PM
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I'm thinking zip ties
For the really deep skinny cases, I think it would put it too far off axis to get a good view. Ideally, looking straight down on station 3 would be best, but that would not be possible without using one of the threaded die holes.

I took an extra tool head and measured the side wall thickness and calculated (mostly by eyeball) a good spot to place a mounting hole and at what angle. The angle ended up being not as important due to the thin top of the tool head I drilled through and because I had to go a little oversized for the camera head which is slightly larger than the shaft. I also had to make sure I didnít interfere with the operation of the locknuts. Ditching the Lee locknuts and going with the 1Ē Dillon nuts makes that part pretty easy. Now I can look down with an axial angle of less than 5 degrees, almost looking straight down. Hereís a couple pictures of how it looks and the view of a 10mm case which is what I happen to be loading right now. After I finish this run, Iíll switch over to .327FM, which will be the real test. Still waiting for the ufo LED light strip; this is just illumination from the camera LEDís and the LED in the center hole.
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Old 08-23-2020, 11:30 AM
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Default Camera with .327 FM

I switched over to .327 Federal Magnum and the camera idea is working very well. Hereís a picture and a video of it in action.

.327 Federal Magnum - YouTube
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Old 08-23-2020, 12:06 PM
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Since I installed the UFO lights, I don't see a need for anything else.
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Old 08-25-2020, 08:55 PM
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Since I installed the UFO lights, I don't see a need for anything else.
I just got my UFO lights in today and installed them. Very impressive! Here are some pictures: 1. Ambient garage light 2. Dillon Skylight only 3. KMS UFO light only
Talk about putting light right where you need it!
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Old 08-28-2020, 12:28 AM
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Have you ever seen a factory production loading in action? Millions of rounds produced without individually checking.
Which is why handloading has such a reputation for improved accuracy.
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Old 08-28-2020, 04:42 AM
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Default That works....

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Originally Posted by raljr1 View Post
I am relatively new to reloading. My power measure hasn't be very consistent so I bought a digital scale...I set the primed, empty case on the scale and zero it... charge it with powder and put it back on the scale. I trickle powder in or out to keep the loads consistent... i wish I didn't have to do it this way, but until I can justify tje cost of a better system, this gives me confidence in what i am loading

Robert
That works for me. I also inspect charged cases with a flashlight.
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Old 08-28-2020, 11:40 AM
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Seems to me, individually checking each charged case, especially putting them in a loading tray, defeats the entire purpose of having a progressive press.
With my powder measure, when you pull the lever the powder is going to drop. Gravity works that way. It has never failed.
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Old 08-28-2020, 09:15 PM
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Now Iíve figured out where this set-up really shines. If you want to sit down and load. Unless youíre literally hunched over your press, you canít see anything. Iíve loaded almost 500 .357 Sigs this evening...from the comfort of my swivel bench chair with lumbar support. Hereís a screenshot of what I see on my ipad screen.
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  #34  
Old 08-29-2020, 10:22 AM
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Did you catch one that the powder didnít drop?
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Old 08-29-2020, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluetopper View Post
Did you catch one that the powder didnít drop?
Hasnít happened yet. Just gives me peace of mind to visually see the charge before I set the bullet. Itís not really needed on bigger shells like .45 ACP or 10mm, just on the tall slender ones like .32 H&R, .327 Fed Mag and .357Mag, except when I load sitting down; then it really works well and saves my back. Loading a lot of ammo and being comfortable while doing it cannot be underestimated!
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Old 09-05-2020, 02:12 PM
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I just started loading .22TCM and this little gadget is really making it easy. Without it (and the UFO lights), itís like looking in a black hole. Iím really getting my moneyís worth out of it.
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