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Who's Driving The Dillon XL-650?

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Old 12-18-2011, 04:22 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Southwest Alaska
Posts: 88
Who's Driving The Dillon XL-650?

I am going to buy one sometime next week for volume reloading of .40, .45ACP, .223 and .308. The precision stuff I'll still do with my hand dies and my RCBS Rockchucker (works better than those silly little arbor presses).

Just need to know quirks of the machine. I'll be using the auto case feeder and a Mr. Bullet Feeder too.

I really wanted the xl-1050 and a P-W Auto-Drive but couldn't drop +$2k right now, so the 650 will have to do.

Thank you for any recommendations/opinions.
You can piddle with the puppies...or run with the wolves.

Better living through chemistry.
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:45 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Townsend, Montana.
Posts: 7,822
Re: Who's Driving The Dillon XL-650?

I bought one with all the bells and whistles including auto case feed. The plan is to use it for .223 and 45 acp, ( the spray and pray guns)

The set up looks to be very time consuming , the owners manual is like a phone book. I wish I would have bought a 550 now. But when I have time I will get this one going.

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Old 12-18-2011, 10:31 PM
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Re: Who's Driving The Dillon XL-650?

Tuning in because I plan on purchasing one soon myself.
The Tikka Performance Center Team
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:01 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,232
Re: Who's Driving The Dillon XL-650?

I've had a 650-xl for 9yrs and I love it. The setup isn't that bad, I have a VCR tape around here I can send out if you guys want to watch it.

1) Swapping calibers is a 5-10minute job if they share the same primer size. If you are swapping primer sizes as well, add another 5 minutes or so.
2) Dillon customer service is awesome. I had a little mishap with mine (let the arm drop on it's own from full stroke and it set off all the primers in the primer system) Actually my 10 year old daughter did it after asking "Can I try it?" Customer service had all the parts delivered free of charge 3 days later!
3) I use carbide dies and the auto case feeder. I always clean my brass (Dillon vibratory cleaner) before I load them. I use a plastic tray (12"x9"x6") that I place the brass in and give a light spray of case lube (Lyman I think), then I stir them around and give another light spray. This way some of the brass is lightly lubed. Even though I'm using carbide dies, it REALLY makes the resizing much easier. When you're reloading a couple thousand rounds, making the stroke a little easier means a lot.
4) I have a tool head set-up for each cartridge I reload (with it's own powder measure). That way, I can change cartridges without needing to fiddle with a powder measure, which would add another 5-10 minutes of set-up time. I still verify 4-5 powder drops when I change tool-heads.
5) I've heard from MANY guys that the roller handle is an absolute must, I want to get one someday, but haven't got around to it. After 8-10k reloads in a day, the ball on the end of the handle isn't nearly as comfortable as it should be . With a roller handle, my daughter probably wouldn't have let the handle slip out of her hand. With the round end, you have to let the ball slide in your hand as you move the handle up and down. With the roller handle, the sleeve on the handle rotates over the handle.
6) I use Mobil One synthetic motor oil to lubricate the ram when I start a reloading session. I keep a small amount of silicon grease on the mating surfaces of the case feeder (the part that actually pushes the case into the tool head). I had one of those break and Dillon sent me a replacement free of charge.

The press is absolutely awesome, you guys will love it.

Let me know if you want the VHS tape, I'll send it out for the cost of postage and you can share it around and send it back when your finished with it, or maybe it's cheap enough to just buy one. They probably don't even sell it on VHS any more, probably DVD .

If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.

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Old 12-19-2011, 12:38 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Southwest Alaska
Posts: 88
Re: Who's Driving The Dillon XL-650?


Thank you very much for that information! I have a tube of silicone grease in my toolchest for zippers on the boat cover, it will come in handy on that casefeeder.

That must have been one heckuva shock for a 10 y/o to have all those primers go off. Girls generally do not like loud noises, I know, I have four!

You are right, I do not have a VHS machine, though I should get one considering how inexpensive it is. Let me check around, I think there is a machine at work I could use to burn copies.

And thanks again for that info!!
You can piddle with the puppies...or run with the wolves.

Better living through chemistry.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:32 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Medina, Ohio USA
Posts: 85
Re: Who's Driving The Dillon XL-650?

I have a 550 and used to have a 650. The 550 is cheaper to change calibers and quicker to do so. The 550 is also more forgiving of mistakes as they are faster to correct.

Four things to remember with these presses:

1. Always check to see that a primer has dropped into the primer cup. Adjusting the primer arm so it always catches a primer is a critical weakness of Dillons.

2. Get the powder check die so you always can be assured your cases have the correct amount of powder in them, and always keep a eye on it.

3. If you use The Dillon Lean to load, invest in a Strong Mount.

4. If your hand gets tired using the ball handle, the roller handle works well. There is a 3rdcparty company who makes custom handles that are bent at the end to eliminate the Lean.

5. Lubes: any motor oil or penetrating oil for the ram; I use Breakfree on all my critical tolerance areas and motor oil on non-critical areas. Use a dry lube between the primer arm and the plate it moves on.

This is not a good site for getting equipment help. Become a member of Castbooits, The High Road, Firing Lines, and The Firearms Forum for help.
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