Things I learned loading rifle (223) on Dillon 550B




#1
1. Rifle much more labor intensive than pistol (or, straight wall brass at any rate).
2. initial cost set up is way more. due to brass prep - don't cut corners here, buy the best tools you can afford. between Lee and, Lyman I did ok on that front altho - I used the Lyman case prep tool attaching the primer pocket reamer to my drill motor and, pushing the brass into a hole in some wood reamed the primer pockets on the military brass using something close to this method (
) this proved to be not 100% reliable I had about a 5 in 100 fail to seat the primer. Although perhaps going slower may help. after getting a groove on reaming the primer pockets well you all know how it goes. (spoiler alert - primer seating was the only real hang up I ran into, save your self my headache spend money on a good system that works for you)
3. crimping - reading many things. Talking to many people. some crimp some don't. there seems to be no real consensus. So, I went with a real light crimp. splitting the middle as it were.
4. lubing your brass - my beautiful wife was very generous and, bought me the Dillion 3 die carbide 223 dies for Christmas last year. I on my first use I jammed the resizing die up with a case (i did lube it initially but wanted to recheck it after cleaning it) and, jacked the decapping pin and, carbide neck ball all up. To their credit, Dillion sent this fool a new set up free of charge (ya, they are great). I at the end of the day went to the lanolin method altho I was using Ballistol at first and, it was good. - lesson - any time your brass is going to visit the resizing die. no matter the reason -- LUBE IT.
5. I also found (different from pistol) due to the brass being taller you must go slower. It tends to - wiggle - around on my 550B as I move from station to station and, can fall out of the position to the floor or, fall out of alignment as you change stations. at the end of the day - going slower worked well.
5, Once the brass was prepped it is no different than loading for pistol. I graduated the powder in steps of .2grns. I used CFE223 and, started at 25.0 grns then to 25.2 and, so on, to 26 grns. I stopped there because this is for target use mainly and, learning. I found for my rifle (S&W Sport 2) 25.4grns gave me a nice group at 100y.


6. the biggest lesson I can offer to any starting to load rifle. I'm sure 223 isn't that far off from 30.06 (unless your loading for precision then I'm sure these hurdles have already been cleared by you) Is...
Don't cheap out on brass prep. you will save yourself many headaches. of course you have your budget but, do what you can.

I'm not the most talented of writers. So if you disagree don't flame me. I am still learning So constructive criticism is welcome as it may make my reloading life easier.
these, I hope to help others.
 

NYECOGunsmith

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#2
Thats a poor method for primer pocker reaming in my opinion because its next to impossible to keep the tool centered coaxially with the primer pocket. You tilt the drill even slighty and that primer pocket is now an oval.

The cost of a coaxial primer pocket reamer or swager is not that great, go for it rather than ruin brass or have a primer that blows out of the pocket upon firing.
 
#3
Thats a poor method for primer pocker reaming in my opinion because its next to impossible to keep the tool centered coaxially with the primer pocket. You tilt the drill even slighty and that primer pocket is now an oval.

The cost of a coaxial primer pocket reamer or swager is not that great, go for it rather than ruin brass or have a primer that blows out of the pocket upon firing.
upon my recent experience, I agree. I'm thinking to make my life easier I'm going to spring for the Dillon swager ( https://www.amazon.com/Dillon-Preci...&qid=1543804003&sr=8-2&keywords=dillon+primer) although it's a big nut.
are their better and, economical solutions?
 
#4
For miscellaneous once-fired .223 brass, I initially run all thru a RCBS primer pocket swager die. RCBS also makes a stand-alone bench-mount swager. Another thing you might consider is the use of a headspace / length gauge (I use Wilson). Once in a while, in a large batch of once fired brass, you may encounter an out of spec piece. Sometimes, more aggressive adjustment of your sizing die may be necessary to resolve, sometimes you need to throw away if subsequent resizing does not correct (fairly rare).
 

NYECOGunsmith

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#5
I have the Dillion, while expensive it is the best solution in my opinion because it swages the pocket to uniform dimensions rather that removing metal to do so, so pretty much zero chance for the pocket to end up out of spec when you are done, unless of course you somehow manage to to damage the swage punch.
The various handheld uniformers all have the ability to be off center, and the case prep mini lathe styles are just as expensive as the Dillion, but a good bit slower to use.
 

gene(10)mm

Very Active Member
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#6
(y) I have to agree, using a dedicated tool like Dillion's made life a whole lot easier working with crimped primer pockets, and seating primers.
 

TexasJackKin

Breathng Free, at last
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#7
Bottle neck case prep..... I agree, when I was just loading for hunting, I didn't notice how much work that was. Now that I'm loading for my AR, 2 days of brass prep, I need to find a better way.

I've got a Forrester case trimmer, which was the gold standard when I bought it back in the '70s, but wow, it's slow (but very accurate). I've got a RCBS primer pocket swaging die, but it seems to be hard on the press, as you really have to bang it at the bottom of the stroke, to get the case of the spud. I'll need to look into the Dillon stand alone unit. It seems like all the high speed trimmers (that work well) are expensive, at my age, I'm not sure that's a good investment.....

I load all my straight walled stuff on my Hornady LnL-AP, and am very happy with it, after doing some minor "Tune Up" work. But I still do all my bottle neck stuff, on my old Rock Chucker.... I'm retired, so I guess I shouldn't be too concerned about how long things take.....

@MCD I feel your pain, but heck, it's a hobby right?
 

4x4Brit

Worktruck Driver
#8
I’ve used the Dillon swager. I think it’s worth the price if that’s the kind of brass you use all the time.
 

gixxer760

Domestic Terrorist aka pa
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#10
Dillion swager with the spring to eject it. I burn through 308 fairly quick while watching TV.

WFT chucked into a drill press glove and go. Though I forget why o bought the Giraud in 308. I think it had a smaller chuck so I could use it inside the house as well.

Case prep center allows me to sit there and hit the case mouth changer and debur. Eventually you end up with 5 million tools lol
 
#11
Dillion swager with the spring to eject it. I burn through 308 fairly quick while watching TV.

WFT chucked into a drill press glove and go. Though I forget why o bought the Giraud in 308. I think it had a smaller chuck so I could use it inside the house as well.

Case prep center allows me to sit there and hit the case mouth changer and debur. Eventually you end up with 5 million tools lol
Ya, I was beginning to get a little overwhelmed at the start with all the tools I was building up just for case prep. big step from straight walled stuff.

WFT2 is the way to go $$ wise for bulk case length trimming. 20+ cases a minute once in a groove.

Tom
I almost pulled the trigger on that. at the last min, I went with LEE. because I wanted to spend the extra money on a single stage press just for case prep. It is working fine atm.
 
#13
Ya, I was beginning to get a little overwhelmed at the start with all the tools I was building up just for case prep. big step from straight walled stuff.


I almost pulled the trigger on that. at the last min, I went with LEE. because I wanted to spend the extra money on a single stage press just for case prep. It is working fine atm.
I do that for prep. Lee breech lock single stage along with the optional bench plate mount. Cheap and works good. I use it for resizing, etc. (Brass prep.) Then unbolt the plate and tossed it under the bench to be out of the way when not needed. My turret press is used only for loading and is not used for any prep steps. Keeps all clean and simple.
 

gixxer760

Domestic Terrorist aka pa
Forum Supporter
#14
As in wearing a glove while holding items for the drill press? That gives me the chills.
i hold teh glove so if the brass catches it spins in the glove and not my hand.... had that happen once (probably from me doing something wrong lol) so now i just use the glove i wear around in pinch the brass with it. After the welding glove my teacher had on display in college.... no gloves with spinning power tools... the good news was they go to him before the entire thumb was ground off...
 

NYECOGunsmith

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#15
A short piece of an old leather belt, pinch the shell between thumb and forefinger, with the rough side of the belt against the shell, will give you plenty of grip and if it grabs opening the two fingers releases the small scrap of leather, which is too small to harm any thing if it goes flying.
 
#16
I do that for prep. Lee breech lock single stage along with the optional bench plate mount. Cheap and works good. I use it for resizing, etc. (Brass prep.) Then unbolt the plate and tossed it under the bench to be out of the way when not needed. My turret press is used only for loading and is not used for any prep steps. Keeps all clean and simple.
Exactly what I did as well. seems to work like a champ.
 
#17
I have the Dillion, while expensive it is the best solution in my opinion because it swages the pocket to uniform dimensions rather that removing metal to do so, so pretty much zero chance for the pocket to end up out of spec when you are done, unless of course you somehow manage to to damage the swage punch.
The various handheld uniformers all have the ability to be off center, and the case prep mini lathe styles are just as expensive as the Dillion, but a good bit slower to use.
I just received mine in the mail. is there any tip's to the initial set up? seems pretty straightforward the instructions say trial and error to get the pocket right. any thoughts on that from your experience?
 

akholic

uber n00b
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#18
I just received mine in the mail. is there any tip's to the initial set up? seems pretty straightforward the instructions say trial and error to get the pocket right. any thoughts on that from your experience?
you really need the ballistic primer gauge to set it up correctly it really makes it easy and keep you from over swaging the primer pocket
 

akholic

uber n00b
Forum Supporter
#20
I just received mine in the mail. is there any tip's to the initial set up? seems pretty straightforward the instructions say trial and error to get the pocket right. any thoughts on that from your experience?
heres how i have mine set up i bought this add on from super swage mod by leviathan i dont know if hes still around but it really makes it nice being iam a old fart i have my set up so i sit while doing it
 

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