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04-02-2011, 10:10 PM #1
Dillon Precision Casefeeder Review
Dillon XL650 Case Feeder
Source: Dillon Precision
For those of you that are running XL650s, or even the RL550s and other compatible machines, Dillon produces an automatic case feeder that can be outfitted to your existing rig. The kit includes a mounting bar, hardware, hopper assembly, one turntable (the "wheel"), and about a 5' power cable attached to the hopper and can be purchased from your local dealer or straight through Dillon. When you order it you specify the type of wheel you need; in my case a small pistol wheel. Other options include large pistol, small rifle (e.g. .223 Remington), large rifle (e.g. .250 Savage), and 12 / 20 gauge shotshell wheels (for the SL900).
Installation is incredibly easy ... just make sure you have ample space above and behind your machine prior to installing it. It's pre-setup by Dillon and involves a couple nuts and bolts to install. If you have trouble with this step then reloading is not for you, perhaps you should stick to competitive badminton with the East Angola National All-Stars.
Initially I was kinda interested if the machine would continuously run since it has a three position switch for the motor; slow, fast, and off. I was scratching my head thinking I was going to have to load like a demon on a meth high to keep up to my slave driver of a case feeder. Fortunately that was not the case (ha, I make pun), as the feeder has a simple physical contact switch to shut off the motor when brass fills the feed tube. I found that the high and low speed settings to kinda be a bit of a redundant feature as I just leave it on high. Perhaps for the other larger cases the low setting works better, but for the time being I am using it for 9mm Luger with the small pistol wheel.
So how do I like this thing? It's the best upgrade you can possibly do to any Dillon machine, ESPECIALLY the XL650. Quite honestly Dillon should only sell the XL650 with this option, as it is a pain in the ass to hand feed the XL650 compared to the RL550. I thought I was special to pound out 400 rounds of 9mm in an hour, but with this case feeder I am as productive as 20 children in an Indonesian shoe factory. I loaded 300 rounds of ammo in about 30 minutes of actual loading time (including filling primer tubes). If you had a buddy on hand to tumble brass and reload primer tubes while you place bullets and work the machine I bet you could easily knock out 700+ rounds in an hour.
The only issues to date is when you toss about 20 lbs. of brass in there ... it slows the plate down too much and/or doesn't let it move. The machine works best with about 100 - 300 cases in there, so every third primer reload just toss in a small bucket of brass. You can hear when it is getting low on brass, so there's no real need to eagle eye it.