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High/no powder alarm on progressive press?


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Even if you can hear the powder check alarm, I think you can get numb to noticing it when you're rockin & rolling, especially if you use a Mr. BulletFeeder. And, that being the case, a visual look at the pointer is necessary for me.

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On 12/31/2020 at 9:42 PM, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

I tested the range of detection on at least 2 of my 3 RCBS LO Dies, and found if I calibrated to my target load (say 4.7 of powder), the low lock would occur at 20% below the target (about 3.7) and the high lock would occur at about 20% above target (5.6 grains).    Sounds like that LOD may be dirty or malfunctioning on the high lock side, and not locking up.    I catch the occasional case (1 out of 100 or so) that is a light load (3 to 3.5 grains).   And I intentionally double charge a case about every 250 rounds or so, just to make sure it locks up on a double.  I have had a few drops that I caught that were about 6 grains.  Try soaking the LOD body in rubbing alcohol or electronics cleaner (to avoid damage to any plastic parts).  Then test (or reset) until you CAN detect at least a double charge. 

 

It also sounds like, if you are seeing quite a bit of WST weight variation, that your measure is getting dirty.  I'd take the bar out and clean the bar, the chamber, and the metal of the measure body with rubbing alcohol and let it dry.  WST throws on my target (4.7) with not much more than 0.1 grain variation high or low.  Lightly lube the measure activation linkage on outside of the Dillon measure too.  And check that the bar is going full stroke without dragging.

 

Red Dot is a pretty large flake powder - great for shotshell bushing drops, but on the edge of accurate "dropability" in the Dillon measure with the small chamber bar installed.  WST though usually flows like water!

 

Good luck, GJ

Joe,

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. Thank you for the info.

So to clarify:

This 650 is dedicated to making my practice 45 ACP ammo. That is all I have loaded on it for the past 10 years. I've run 8 to 10 jugs (8 lb) of Red Dot/Promo through it with no problem, until this last jug of Red Dot. The only reason I used the Red Dot/Promo was it was considerably cheaper. My match ammo has always been loaded with WST on a 550 so I could visually verify each powder drop.

When I started getting light charges I did two things. First, since Red Dot and Promo are no longer cheap, I switched to WST for all my 45 ACP loads. Second, I put a new powder measure on the 650. So far so good.

Now to the lockout die. I am amazed that you are getting that much sensitivity with yours. From the day I installed mine new, 10 years ago, it was 3 grains above and 3 grains below the ideal charge. That's 6 grains from low lockout to high lockout; and that's with an ideal charge of 4.2 of Red Dot in a 45 ACP case. I remember how disappointed I was when I first installed my lockout die. For some time, I re-adjusted it trying to get more sensitivity on the lower end. It was still 6 grains of Red Dot from lockout to lockout. When I switched that machine to WST last fall, I went through the same process again. To pick up a 3 gr or less charge of WST, that meant I had to move the range upward, 3 gr low lockout and 9 gr high lockout, not ideal. My lockout die has never been as sensitive as yours. I'm sure that in a 38 spl case the lockout range is much narrower. But my RCBS lockout die over a 45 ACP case is not very sensitive.

What I have learned from this thread is that the DAA checker is adjustable and is sensitive within .2 gr above or below. When they come back in stock I want to try one.

Thanks,

JFN

 

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12 hours ago, J. Frank Norfleet said:

I'm sure that in a 38 spl case

 

I was citing experience loading my .45 auto cases, just for clarity.  :)

 

GJ

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Have an low primer alarm on one Dillon 550. Need another. Don’t load fast enough to merit a powder alarm. 

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My normal match load was 17gr of APP with a 200gr RNFP over it in .45c.  Since I’m going to Dark Days on the Santa Fe at the end of the month I thought I’d load 50 rounds with 25gr of APP (more smoke = more fun).  Yesterday I realized that if I continue with the 25gr load I’ll never have to worry about a double charge :ph34r::rolleyes:.  So I guess I don’t need powder check, if I can’t see the powder when I set the bullet on it then I’ll know it’s low.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 1/1/2021 at 3:58 PM, Max Payne said:

I suspect the DAA powder check may be easier to set up than the Dillon. Getting the nuts tightened on the plunger while maintaining the correct setting takes me multiple tries. It appears that problem goes away with the DAA. I almost ordered the DAA, but since my Dillon p checks are already set up & the nuts adjusted on multiple plungers, I decided to save that money.

 

My backordered 9MM dies arrived so I had the opportunity to setup a new tool head with the Double Alpha Academy Magnetic Powder Check.

 

Your suspicion the DAA would be easier to setup compared to the Dillion was correct!   Screwed it down until a empty case sets off the audio/visible alarm.  Lock nut in place.  Load a case with the correct powder load and use it to adjust the magnetic to silence the alarm.   Done!

 

I extremely dislike false alarms.  No more false Dillon alarms when there is no case at that station.  No more wonder which alarm, powder checker or out of primers alarm.  Love it!  Anyone interested in a used Dillon powder checker...:D

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I have a few different ways of handling quality control on my reloads, option 1, powder charge and check with a flashlight off press.  I do this when I'm batch processing my ammo instead of progressive loading.  Option 2, select a load that will overflow and get all over everything if there's a double charge, then I batch weigh the final product to check for no powder, 10 at a time, if one batch is lower than the rest, I look for the offending cartridge.  Option 3, I use this when loading small amounts of smokeless in large cases where a double charge is possible, I shake the loaded rounds as I'm moving them into my ammo box, if I can hear powder sloshing around, it's good, if it's a double charge I won't be able to hear the grains moving and if it's a squib, I won't be able to hear the grains moving.  this last method gets harder the more my 2 year old doesn't get her way...  

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43 minutes ago, El CupAJoe said:

Option 3, I use this when loading small amounts of smokeless in large cases where a double charge is possible, I shake the loaded rounds as I'm moving them into my ammo box, if I can hear powder sloshing around, it's good, if it's a double charge I won't be able to hear the grains moving and if it's a squib, I won't be able to hear the grains moving.  this last method gets harder the more my 2 year old doesn't get her way...  

If you hold the loaded round on the edge of a funnel ( I’ve found aluminum works best) and shake it next to your ear, the funnel will amplify the sound of the powder inside. 

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On 2/3/2021 at 12:22 PM, Matthew Duncan said:

 

My backordered 9MM dies arrived so I had the opportunity to setup a new tool head with the Double Alpha Academy Magnetic Powder Check.

 

Your suspicion the DAA would be easier to setup compared to the Dillion was correct!   Screwed it down until a empty case sets off the audio/visible alarm.  Lock nut in place.  Load a case with the correct powder load and use it to adjust the magnetic to silence the alarm.   Done!

 

I extremely dislike false alarms.  No more false Dillon alarms when there is no case at that station.  No more wonder which alarm, powder checker or out of primers alarm.  Love it!  Anyone interested in a used Dillon powder checker...:D

Okay, I'm gonna have to get one & try it out. Thx for the report.

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I started reloading only a few years ago, and have always used the Dillon powder check on my 650.  It has no doubt saved several squibs.  I highly recommend it and wouldn’t reload without it, (or something like it if there is such a thing).

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