Early lessons of a progressive press

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Texas42, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. Texas42

    Texas42 TGT Addict

    Nov 21, 2008
    I got a new press, dillon 550b, and I've been setting it up for the past few days. I hope I've made every mistake that I'm going to make.

    I was loading some 9mm luger with 4.2 grains of powder. I got about 80 rounds into it, and I look down and see lots of powder. . .something like 6 grains. I dumped it out and loaded it and still got 6 grains. . . . I was pretty sure this was the first one, but I wasn't sure. I looked at the bin of just over 80 rounds of completed ammo. . . .

    Yeah I pulled them all. now I but the bullets in the plastic bins every 10 or 15 rounds

    I also put my primer pick up tube into my primer magazine that was entirely in place. . . . primers everywhere.

    I hope this is the last mistakes I'm going to make with this press, but I like the press a lot. It does seems to spit a little powder everywhere. (could be operator error). I'm also getting a little more variation in my OAL than I'd like. I might have to tighten my dies down a bit more.

    With luck, I'll stay away from any big booms. I work the progressive really slow. probably only about 150-200 rounds an hour, but I'd rather go slow and not blow anything up.

  2. MadMo44Mag

    MadMo44Mag TGT Addict

    Jan 23, 2009
    I've been loading on a Horday Pro-jector for years and before that a Lee 1000.
    It takes some time to get everything set up just right and to learn the press. I found they best way to dial a new progressive in is one station at a time.
    Take 10 or 20 rounds, run them through the de-capping dies only. Check the for size and consistency.
    Then take that re-sized brass and move it into the priming station.
    Prime it and recheck.
    Do this for each station.
    By the time you are finished your press will be dialed in and you as well.
    This allows you to learn the feel of each station without picking up the fell of other stations. Believe it or not, after you learn all the feels (sounds funny) you feel when there is a problem occurring and can tell which station is the problem and head it off.
    You have a lot of things happening all at once on a progressive but learn the sound and feel of each station 1st, then as a group.
    This will save you time, brass, powder and primers and after a while some hair - LOL!!!!
  3. Texas42

    Texas42 TGT Addict

    Nov 21, 2008

    Seems like wise advise.
  4. endersgame

    endersgame New Member

    Aug 3, 2009
    Keep at it Texas42!
    I know what you mean. When I got my 550B I made alot of mistakes.

    I remember powder all over the press when I loaded several 9mm that did not get primers. My priming system was not adjusted right and I did not notice the different "feel" when there is no primer. Powder was leaking out of the flash hole.

    Enjoy the 550. I really like mine alot.

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