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Blue Kool Aid Time...

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by shoe, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. shoe

    shoe Carlton, OR Member

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    Purchased a 2nd Hornady LnL AP about a month ago from a local retailer, after a week of use I snapped the left indexing pin. I didn't use excessive force while using the press, I just heard a small "ping" noise and something metal falling onto the floor. Luckily the retailer accepted this as a manufacturers defect and let me exchange it for a new one.

    2nd LnL AP decided to spill a whole pound of HS6 all over my work area and me during the middle of a session, some Hornady factory worker decided to not slam the powder measure tube all the way in :(. Contacted Hornady and they sent me a new tube just in case. Powder measure is working great again.
     
  2. shoe

    shoe Carlton, OR Member

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    NOTE: Not letting post anything more than five lines

    2nd LnL AP decided to poop on itself and the left indexing pin broke... Retailer can only give me my money back due to the fact these presses can't keep coming back.

    So time for a Dillon XL650, I have played with one before and like it but at first the caliber change over seemed like a pain and the kits cost $70? Do I really have to spend that much just to change calibers over? Or can I just buy specific parts?
     
  3. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Well, you need the conversion kit for a different caliber, and of course the dies. An additional toolhead and tool holder is optional, but nice, as is an additional power dispenser. I believe conversion kits go for around $25...and you can use other dies than Dillon. Hope this helps.
     
  4. XSubSailor

    XSubSailor SW WA Active Member

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    If I could find caliber conversion kits for less than $75 each, I might have bought a 650 myself....I have two LnL APs instead and couldn't be happier. I can change calibers for the cost of dies + $25 for the shellplate if needed.

    IRT the OP, If you're referring to the indexing pawls as the part that keeps breaking...I've worn out a set after about 10K rounds, but never broke one myself. Unless the press jams while indexing, it doesn't make sense that these would break in normal use.
     
  5. saread

    saread Bothell, WA Member

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    There is a compatibility matrix in the documentation for the press, or I think Brian Eno's site has one as well. If the caliber you are changing to has similar parts, you don't have to buy a kit and can just get the parts that you need.
     
  6. shoe

    shoe Carlton, OR Member

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    Never felt any sort of jam, but did feel more resistance out of the new "EZ Ject" system than I do with the old wire eject system. I wonder if that puts more wear on the pawls? I load about 1k 5.56 and 1k 9mm for each weekend so I guess I put close to 10k rounds through the machines before they bubblegum themselves?
     
  7. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I think conversion kits go for $25...where are you looking at them at 3x the cost?
     
  8. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    My bad.....$44.95 per conversion kit on the Dillon website...my head is hanging in shame...lol
     
  9. shoe

    shoe Carlton, OR Member

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    Thats for the 550b, I'm getting a XL 650. Those are $76 :(
     
  10. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    For the 650 the caliber change kits are a little pricey. As for the changeover being a pain, I find it's not all that bad. Only time it's more than a simple shell plate change with a couple of plug in pieces is when changing primer size (unless you have a large and small primer feed mechanism on hand).

    I bought my press several years ago from Brian Enos and he made some suggestions to keep overall costs down with Caliber Changes. Rather than buying the whole caliber change setup that includes the Powder Measure, he suggested just getting a tool head for each caliber, install and set up your dies, then install a powder die on each toolhead, leaving it adjusted for that cartridge. Merely move the powder measure from tool head to tool head, only two screws involved.

    I didn't buy my 650 to see how cheap I could be with my loading equipment. I went that route years ago with a Lee Progressive. I bought it to produce as much ammo as I needed, in as small amount of time as possible, and without constant hassles with ongoing adjustments or break downs.

    Since I purchased the press I have added the remaining items I left off in the beginning. A complete tool head for 9mm, .223, .308, and 30-06, along with powder measure and stand for each. I put a powder die in the powder check station. Changeover to a different caliber now takes about 10 minutes, including the changing of the primer feed disk. I also have time to wipe out the various nooks and crannies with a q-tip to keep everything working good. In short, changeovers don't have to take a long time and a 650 will just keep on making ammo, period.

    There's a good reason that people are buying these presses every day and it isn't to see how cheap they can get a press. The idea of having to replace ANY part after each 10k of reloads is strange to me. My first part replacement didn't occur until well over 100K rounds and Dillon sent me a complete assembly, not the spring inside it.
     
  11. shoe

    shoe Carlton, OR Member

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    Thank you for all the great info guys, I hope the charts are easy enough to read that I don't have to purchase a whole conversion kit for each caliber I decide to reload en masse or if I call Dillon and tell them what I have they'll tell me only what I have to get. Example being I want to load 9mm, .40S&W, .45ACP, 5.56, and .308; hoping something is compatible between those so I don't need to pay $76 per caliber?

    My plan is to have 2 tool heads (one for 9mm, other for 5.56, and maybe another in the future for .40S&W when I find a new carry) and a spare toolhead for rounds I won't usually load (.38/.357, .270Win, .308, .45ACP). But then again I'll most likely do my bench load on my Lee Classic Turret and use a powder funnel, but only time will tell.

    Money isn't a issue, I just don't like to spend money when I don't have to or buy the same thing twice haha
     
  12. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    You may find that the savings from leaving out those pieces that are duplicated will not be all that much. The shell plate is the biggest expense but all the little retainer pins and plastic pieces for the case feed mechanism aren't all that much. I find it nice to have a complete "kit" stored on the shelf with the tool head so I don't have to go checking the chart when changing.

    The most expensive item that is compatible with all calibers is the powder measure. Having powder bars for each load and just swapping them, using the same dispenser assy, can save you about $50 for each "change". If you leave the powder bar adjusted for your "load" and mark accordingly, changeovers go real fast because you don't have to readjust.

    I'm all for saving money too, I've just found that sometimes doing so just adds time and frustration to the process.
     
  13. rodell

    rodell Newcastle, WA Active Member

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    It really isn't difficult to do a caliber swap on a 650. If I have the parts set out, I can do it in two minutes if I have a toolhead ready to go. If not, then figure 20 with adjustments. I always recheck/readjust powder, so that's on top of these numbers.

    I found that most people who complained about it haven't really learned to do it (or may have never done it) and don't have a set of wrenches handy.

    I have accumulated caliber conversions and extra bars/measures over time. It isn't nearly as painful that way. In reality, the overall cost is hardly the roundoff error in my gun/shooting habit and the Dillon stuff lasts forever.
     
  14. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    One of the mistakes I made when ordering my 650 was to not get the tool holder with wrenches. Having the exact Allen Wrenches, along with the "bench wrench" right where you can find it saves tons of time. The "ball ends" on the allen wrenches are also great.
     
  15. Grommit327

    Grommit327 Buckley Active Member

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    Ditto...realized this real fast
     
  16. shoe

    shoe Carlton, OR Member

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    I got a set of allens from Lowe's that has the balls on em, then used a paint marker on each size and marked my dillon allen locations with the appropriate color.