BB gave good advice, but don't throw away the Dillon just yet! I would suggest learning on a single stage. The Dillon can and will produce just a accurate ammo as a single stage will, it just takes some know how.
Thanks for all the help guys. With regards to the stuck case, I compounded the issue and hack sawed the end of the bullet off thinking I would be able to manipulate it better and get it out, that being said I couldn't and called redding, they are going to get it unstuck for $6 return shipping and polish it up, I'm sending them 5 shot cases to try in the die to make sure the die isn't the problem.
I order the Imperial wax and will try that, also considering buying a single stage press like the rockchucker or something just to do the belted magnums, even though the Dillon tech guy laughed at me and said he's been loading magnums on his for years and the HSM ammo I have was loaded on a dillon as well (probably a commercial grade one though, not the 550b IMO)
The Dillon can and will produce just a accurate ammo as a single stage will, it just takes some know how.
Ditto. Don't scrap the 550 - it's a good press, & fully capable. For the record, you can get enough leverage out of it, to rip the rim clean off the case - if that's your goal. Don't ask me how I know...
Couple of suggestions. Make sure your cases are nice & CLEAN, before sizing. That would include the case neck - inside & out.
I think the Imperial will make a big difference. Did for me. It's amazing stuff, & you don't need much of it either. I anneal case necks, brush the heck out of 'em, & use a tad of Imperial on the ID. Yeah I know, gotta clean it out after, but they size like a hot knife through butter now.
Except for auto-pistol ammo, I hand measure charges for everything I load on my 550. You can get older model powder dies from Dillon, that are made for hand measuring - & will work well w/ the 550. The nice thing about it, is that you can still do it while loading progressively. It's fast, & eliminates mechanical powder charge error.
I sometimes think about adding a Forster Co-Ax press to the bench, as I have a strong preference for their bench rest dies - & use 'em on my 550 when possible. I think they offer a top notch product. As long as I can squeeze it in next to the Dillon, I might - one of these days. Again though, only as an addition - not a replacement...
"Sometimes you make eight / Sometimes you hit dirt"
I'm sending my die back to redding to get the case unstuck and then I should be ready to try everything, I'm likely going to get the Larry Willis collet die to resize my cases back to .510 or close to it, then the FL redding die won't have to work so hard to get it back to around .507. Right now I think it is a bit much to get the cases back to .507 from like .514 (I think my chamber is looser than most from what I'm reading).
Maybe it was all a lube problem who knows. Hopefully it runs smooth when I get the die back and try the imperial wax. Can't wait to see how my 208 gr AMax bullets fly at 1000 yards, was using HMS 185 gr bergers, but that is a big expensive just to target shoot. 12 boxes was enough for me lol.
I've read that around 76 gr of the H1000 using the 208 A-Max is a good starting point. I know that experimenting with measuring .010 off the lands makes these bullets about 1/4 inch longer than the factory HMS ammo, and that was pretty accurate, so I'm hoping it will really hammer once I get a good load with my dies working properly. I have lots of once shot brass to use!
I'll let you know how I make out, probably be over a week by the time I get it all back and working again. I think I have to get a different neck bushing too, measured it mid neck instead of right by the mouth, so I'm like .002 or 3 too large.
If I read you right, you'd cut the case head off with a hacksaw? That may make a difference to Redding when they go to extract that case, since the head needs to be present for the standard stuck case removers to work. All the major makers sell these, and most are pretty similar. They involved drilling out the flash hole and then tapping it. A cup goes over the base of the die and an allen head cap screw passes through that, and threads into the tapped case. from there, the case can be easily backed out with an allen wrench. You need one of these, even if you only use it once or twice. Think of it as the eraser on the end of your reloading pencil.
Don't sell the 550, either, they're great presses. However, they're definately not the first choice for this sort of reloading. Someone else mentioned using it as a single stage press until you get a handle on things, and that's good advice. If at all feasible, I'd recommend getting another press, single stage, probably an O-frame or something like the Forster Co-Ax for laoding the magnums. It'll turn out better ammo and make your life much simpler in the process. As I said, I truly love Dillon presses, and they have some of the best customer service in the industry. And yes, you absolutely can reload belted magnums in progressive presses . . . but they're really not the best choice for this sort of thing. For what it's worth, I load rifle ammo, even some short range match ammo, on both Dillon 550s and a 1050. However, they cases I start with have already been sized (on a single stage press), cleaned thoroughly, trimmed and inspected before they ever hit the Dillons. In essence, all I'm doing on the Dillons is primer pocket swaging (in 5.56mms, anyway) repriming, powder charging and bullet seating. Not exactly a "true" progressive operation as Dillon might envision it, but it's a process that works well for my needs.
The Dillon powder measures work great for many powders, not so hot for extruded tubular powders. I normally use a Redding BR measure on my Dillons when loading rifle ammo, especially with stick powders. They sell an adapter to do this, though it is a manual operation to throw the lever (which I like anyway). As has already been mentioned here, all this is irrelevant if we're talking long range match ammo; you'll want to weigh that to get the best accuracy.
There's a lot more here, but you'll bump into all that in due time.
Hope this helps,
Last edited by Kevin Thomas; 09-09-2010 at 05:07 PM.
Do you guys think a Lee Classic 4 hole turret press would be good to do these 300 win mags? Or are single stage presses better for leverage/power?
You have been given some great advice from some of the posters on here. BUY!! a Rockchucker single stage and learn to load ammo with it. Progressive presses can be a little fickle to set up, let alone to learn with. After 35 years of reloading I have found there is always something new to learn.