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Topic: Dillon 550C, UniqueTek Toolhead w/Clamp Kit + Foster Micro Seater = No Fit (Read 159 times) previous topic - next topic

Dillon 550C, UniqueTek Toolhead w/Clamp Kit + Foster Micro Seater = No Fit

Anyone using the above setup?

Moving from RockChucker to Dillon & per Forster (and Redding’s) instructions for their micro seating dies I’m trying to setup the die with the base of the die touching the shell plate. “...Continue screwing the die clockwise until you have fully compressed the sliding Die Chamber. “ The problem is using the lock rings supplied with the UniqueTek head and ram fully up, the the sliding die is exposed about 3/8”. Not enough threads left to screw the die down any further.

I notice the lock rings are “thicker” than Dillon’s, but I need the supplied rings for the pin hole.

I seated about 50 rounds of Berger Hybrids and CBTO varies +- .002 or so, ES .005 at worst. Wondering if not being able to fully seat the die might be part of the problem.

Thanks for any help.

(At least I’m getting better at ensuring the ram is up and a case inserted before I hand pour powder!)

The clamp screws below are not installed.

My planned setup is powder in station 1 ( auto thrower/trickler), powder check in station 2 (Varget in 223 & 4350 in 6.5 CM occasionally bridges & clogs the funnel), seating in station 3 and Redding Instant Indicator in station 4.


Re: Dillon 550C, UniqueTek Toolhead w/Clamp Kit + Foster Micro Seater = No Fit

Reply #1
I think I see what you are explaining. Is there any possibility of raising the height of the shell holder?
Chris

Re: Dillon 550C, UniqueTek Toolhead w/Clamp Kit + Foster Micro Seater = No Fit

Reply #2
Nope, thanks.
It’s the entire shell plate, pretty much just stays where it is.
Really curious if anyone else with a Dillon press and Forster die has run out of threads as well.
Just seated another 50 Berger Hybrids and the +- isn’t so bad at .001 - .0015.
A couple off by .003.

Re: Dillon 550C, UniqueTek Toolhead w/Clamp Kit + Foster Micro Seater = No Fit

Reply #3
Variances in bullet length may account for a little of it. Also variances in neck tension can cause a little variance too.
Grant

Re: Dillon 550C, UniqueTek Toolhead w/Clamp Kit + Foster Micro Seater = No Fit

Reply #4
I haven't tried the Bergers yet, just waiting for my Hornadys to run out. With a Forstner micrometer seating die I observe CBTO variances as much as .004, most are clustered in .000 to .001 with a fair number of .002. On a CoAx press I'm not even close to running out of threads, I think it's mostly bullet variances, slight case head differences and as Grant stated, possibly neck tension differences. I've also learned to keep an eye on the shell plate for any crud or powder grains that seem to come out of nowhere.
Chris

Re: Dillon 550C, UniqueTek Toolhead w/Clamp Kit + Foster Micro Seater = No Fit

Reply #5
DellaDog, did you really mean the CBTO varies by .002 rather than .02?  I am not convinced that locking down the tool head but allowing the individual dies to float really makes a difference.  I understand the principal but don't think the shell holder platform is rigid enough to be any more consistent than a few thousands.

I really tried loading precision ammo on my 550 but after spending hundreds of dollars, I decided it was a great pistol round reloader and there were better tools for precision rifle.  If you want to persist read this: Long Range with a 550

Lastly, and this won't work with what you are trying to do, but for dies that are to short on the Dillon you can put the lock nut on from the underside to get more reach.  You probably already know that.

Henryrifle

Re: Dillon 550C, UniqueTek Toolhead w/Clamp Kit + Foster Micro Seater = No Fit

Reply #6
Thanks Henry, I corrected it, .002.

I’ve read Scott’s paper several times, he makes some great points.

I haven’t measured runout yet, but I think I’ve got it performing at least as well as the Rockchucker. It too would vary +- .001-.002.  You may be right about the shell plate though; that’s why I’ll have an instant indicator at station 4. I’m not going to worry about those that come up short, but if they end up a thousand or two long, I’ll back up and seat it a tad more.

I do think the 550 will speed up my loading process considerably.

Charging , seating & measuring becomes a single step, as does sizing and expanding separately with another tool head.

Now if I could just remember to have the ram up and case in place before I pour the powder, I can eliminate the vacuuming powder step as well.


Re: Dillon 550C, UniqueTek Toolhead w/Clamp Kit + Foster Micro Seater = No Fit

Reply #7
della I think to get it dead nuts on any press you have to back the die off a few thousandths seat the bullet... measure it... adjust the die as needed and seat it again...
Grant

Re: Dillon 550C, UniqueTek Toolhead w/Clamp Kit + Foster Micro Seater = No Fit

Reply #8
Grant is correct. The only way around this would be to sort bullets based on ogive to tip of bullet length - PIA!

Re: Dillon 550C, UniqueTek Toolhead w/Clamp Kit + Foster Micro Seater = No Fit

Reply #9
DellaDog, like everyone here, I would measure high on the OCD scale.  Despite that, I can't tell you how many times I dumped powder into the funnel when the ram was down.  Shocking how easy that is to do and the mess and time it takes to clean it up.

I have a .308 with a very wide accuracy node.  Using Varget, which meters a lot better than H4350, I was able to produce some accurate ammo for that rifle using a highly polished and modified Dillon powder measure.

I do have one question.  Do you anneal your brass?  I ask because annealed brass noticeably increases the consistency of the seating depth of projectiles.  It also reduced the force required to size the brass.

Good luck with what you are doing.  Some folks are able to make it work.  I wasn't.

Henryrifle

Re: Dillon 550C, UniqueTek Toolhead w/Clamp Kit + Foster Micro Seater = No Fit

Reply #10
Thanks Henry.
Currently I anneal every 3rd firing, I may step that up to every firing. I think I’ll find a better metering powder for my 223 and use automated drops for it, but stick to manual mode for the CM.

Can you tell me how you polished and modified the die?

I’m definitely going to make this work.

Re: Dillon 550C, UniqueTek Toolhead w/Clamp Kit + Foster Micro Seater = No Fit

Reply #11
Unique Tek offers a micrometer conversion kit to upgrade the stock Powder Bar.  More than anything, this gives you finer control than the standard asjustment bolt offers, so, it is faster to find the midpoint of the charge you want.  They also sell a powder baffle which gives a more consistent throw.  I also added the external powder bar return spring in an attempt to bring as much consistency to the powder measuring functioning as possible.

Using a dremel tool with a soft wheel and jewelers rouge, polish the inside of the powder throw to a mirror finish.  It doesn't take long.  Get down in there as low as possible then clean it really well.

I didn't mess with the powder die as I was not having any trouble with bridging or the like.

I was obsessed enough to try something really different, a Quick Measure with the progressive press adapter.  This did not work with H4350 any better than the stock Dillon powder bar system.  I think I spent as much on that as I did on the FX 120i.

Lastly, and I admit that other than reading on the web, I can not back this up but the AMP Annealing web page says or said (I can't find it now) that 60% of the work hardening occurs on the first firing.  If you are going to anneal, you might as well anneal every firing and just stop keeping track of the last time...

I don't want to hold myself up as a Dillon expert, but I was not able to produce the kind of precision ammo that I now like to shoot.  Dumping powder into the funnel die adapter was painful and error prone.  Neither seating depth or runout could be controlled to the level that I can control it now using a better single stage press and your time advantage is gone with one drop of powder while the ram is down.

When I am on my game, I can pick up 4-6 boxes of 50 cases each that are annealed, cleaned, sized, trimmed and primed.  That takes a lot of the process out of the charging, seating and measuring parts of finishing the cartridges.  For me the key has been more automation of the annealing and trimming processes and a faster more accurate scale.

I do hope you find success.  I think it is possible but I also know it won't be easy or cheap!

Henryrifle

Re: Dillon 550C, UniqueTek Toolhead w/Clamp Kit + Foster Micro Seater = No Fit

Reply #12
Thanks for the detailed response Henry.
For the CM, I’m definitely going to stick with the Autothrow/trickler combo.

After vacuuming countless drops with no case in place or ram up, like shock therapy, the pain is starting to train my muscle memory and I think I’ll learn to only drop when safe.

We’ll see.

Thanks again.