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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Dillon 550B press which I am preparing to set up for 5.56, and also 9mm. The set up DVD is on the way, along with a .223 case gauge from Dillon. I am looking for input from anyone with experience setting up and using a Dillon for the .223/5.56, what am I in for? Who uses what brand of dies and why? This will be my first progressive set up, I am a greenhorn at this.
Secondary to this, what sort of case lube are you using? Is there such thing as a good lube that is economical to use?
 

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Well, my 550 isn't set up for rifle, but I do a fairly large amount of reloading for 9mm and 45ACP (45 Colt is still done on a single stage as it doesn't get shot in the amounts of the others and I like to tailor these loads a bit more).

I have used RCBS and Lyman dies with the Dillon and wasn't real happy with the results. Things just didn't seem to "line up" quite right and I got tired of the case mouth bumping against the bottom of the deprimer/sizer die. I strongly usggest using the Dillon dies. I think the Dillon dies just work better with this reloader. Other folks might feel differently about this, as that's only my experience.

I do not use any lube on pistol cases would think that you wouldn't need to with rifle unless there's something I don't know about reloading for rifle. Most dies nowdays are carbide (at least the ones for pistol calibers). The only time I used lube was when I used to reload 45/70. I was using older non-carbide dies which required lube.

I also like using a taper crimp die for pistol calibers. Just gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that it's getting the proper crimp. I use Lee taper crimp dies for that.

As far as reloading 9mm, if you have ever loaded on a single stage, you are going to be in reloading heaven with the Dillon!
 
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I've never reloaded a rifle caliber on the Dillon's. I always go back to my two RCBS RC's. I am a 1/10 of a grain freak on rifle reloading and so each round is weighed. On the 550 you would have an extra station. I would suggest getting a powder measure checker. It is a great way to get a positive read on the charge in a cartridge. They were really meant for the 650's and work with handgun cartridges, but I'm guessing it would be a great way to do rifle cartridges on a 550....

giz
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was thinking so too, Giz. I am looking to set up for a standard NATO 55 gr. FMJ. Any other .223 I produce would be done on my Rock Chucker, like a good soft point for coyote for example.
 

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I have had great success with my Dillon 550 and the .223 but I only am making plinking rounds for my AR. I use two tool heads. One with sizer only.

Wash sand off brass. Shake out excess water Dry in oven 250 F. for an hour or two.
Lube with Frankfort Arsenal spray. Some spray gets in case mouths which is good.
Now through the Dillon first time to size only. I use an RCBS X-Die which eliminates the need to trim. Its a very worthwhile purchase.
Tumble cases to remove lube and shine up.
Now thru the press in the normal fashion with the second tool head This one has a RCBS universal decapper die in place of the sizer in the first station. It knocks out any leftover walnut from the tumbling.
Second station powder
Third station seater
I don't crimp.
My powder load is 22.7 gr of WW 748. Hornady 55 gr FMJ. This powder load is light but my AR functions just fine and like i mentioned I'm making plinking rounds.

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AR
 

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I load 223 on a Dillon XL650. To be honest, I have never bought commercial brass for that caliber and that poses some special problems in reloading it. Crimped primer pockets are the main problem with once fired brass. Getting the primer out with out sticking the case is another problem!

Case lube and a pocket tool, there are many ways to do it, are necessities when loading this cartridge.

Here just a while back there was a thread on the other forum about case lube. People came out of the woodwork with ideas and experiences. Many homemade case lubes have been employed. I have used Mink Oil for boots, Hornady spray, Imperial Wax, RCBS II, Pam vegetable spray, Break Free and other things that I can't remember right now and not all of them work well on this cartridge. I can tell you the Hornady spray isn't going to get used again! The ones that have worked the best, and you don't have to use it on every case, are the RCBS II on an old Lyman Pad and Imperial Wax.

Sometimes I switch between the two as I am resizing them.

If I am reprocessing my own brass I can just clean them and run them on my XL650. If not, I have to run them on the single stage first.

I too load the 55gr bullets. I use BLC-(2) because the case is less full and the XL650 has automatic indexing. If I use an extruded powder they are too full and slosh out as the table indexes.

You won't have that problem with the RL550 as it is indexed by you manually!

Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great info/tips. Thank you all, and please anyone who can add your .02
I'm not sure I see the advantage of carbide dies. Still have to use a lube and then get it cleaned, right?
 
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