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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, my first post here at Sniper Central.

I have been loading handgun ammo for about 6 years on a Dillon 550 progressive press but now I want to start loading some .308. Is it possible to load quality precision match grade .308 ammo on a progressive press? I hate to go buy a single stage set-up when I already have the Dillon if it can produce what I need.
 

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You can use the 550B like a single stage if you wanted. I like to trim and prep my brass and also weigh each powder charge so a progressive wouldn't work to good although I also have a 550B. Also depending on the powder some don't meter too well through the powder thrower like the stick powders.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks,

That is something I was thinking. To keep from buying another press and taking up more room on my smallish bench, just get my conv. kit, dies and another toolhead and use the 550 as a single stage. Trim, prep and manually charge each case as you normally would and only use the 550 to size and seat. Does anyone else here do this?
 

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I have never loaded .308 in a progressive, but I have done .223 . I have a Steyr SL that will shoot .25 MOA when I do my part on ammo I have loaded as a single stage with ordinary RCBS dies. I have a Lee Progressive 1000 I used to load up a bunch of SHTF .223 and no matter how I prepped the cases, I was never able to get it under about .75 . Now, that may have been the equipment, or some other factor.

I have noticed the exact same thing when loading 9mm and .45 in the progressive. It is fabulous for doing plinking and "high volume" ammo, but I personally wouldn't try doing match grade ammo in a progressive. I just think there are too many variables like shell plate mis-alignment, powder charge inconsistencies , etc.

For precision/match ammo, I would never use anything but a good quality single stage press. My RCBS Rockchucker still turns out all the stuff I shoot for accuracy.
 

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I have a DVD around here someplace showing Daid Tubb loading match grade ammo on his Dillon 550.... I guess if it was good enough for him to shoot.

I've loaded 223Rem, 243Win, and some 308Win, on my Dillon 550, and all shot very well. Better then I could shoot with the rifles used.



Scott (just need more practice) B
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys... I think I'm gonna give it a try and see how it works. At least if it doesn't work out then I won't be out any money and can then go get a single stage. Turns out the locator buttons and shellplate on the 550 I have for 45 acp is the same as .308 so I won't need a conversion kit after all.
 

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You should have no problems using the 550 as a single stage. Just use the first position to do everything you would do on a single stage press. It works just fine.

While the shellplate and buttons work you probably need a different powder tube for the .308. That is if you plan on trying it in full progressive mode.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Rob01 said:
You should have no problems using the 550 as a single stage. Just use the first position to do everything you would do on a single stage press. It works just fine.

While the shellplate and buttons work you probably need a different powder tube for the .308. That is if you plan on trying it in full progressive mode.
Thanks Rob, I'm not even gonna use the powder die. I'm gonna manually measure it. All I'll be using the Dillon for is sizing and seating.
 

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I prep my brass so all I am doing is priming,charging and seating bullets on my Dillon. I use a Forster Benchrest seater in the toolhead and my ammo will hold 1/2 moa at 200yds. You are somewhat limited in your powder selection because the Dillon powder dispenser doesn't like stick powder.
 

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In Femster's book, "Black Rifle" he did a small test comparing .223 ammo to be used in Highpower matches. Tests wer FL-size vs neck-sized vs FL on a Dillon IIRC. The Dillon came out on top.

Another article in "Precision Shooting" years ago showed how to set on up for match grade ammo.

Quite a few HP shooters use Dillons for their practice and short-range ammo and then single-stage for the 600-1000 yds stuff.

All that said, what appears to be the common way of using one is: single stage size, tumble, the go to the Dillon with a universal decapping die to clean out the flash hole, trim, prime, charge, seat.

IMO I wouldn't save much, if any time, using one for LR match-type ammo but would for high volume practice or short-range matches.

YMMV
 

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It's all in the prep, and consistency.

A recent story:

I attended a Police Sniper school recently. My Dept. ordered the ammunition 6 months out--175 grain GM Match, 500 rounds. Well, it was time to go, and no ammo! Time for the contingency plan.

I regretfully raided my primo stash--Lake City 06 Match brass in .308; sized, trimmed to an OAL of 2.000, chamfered and deburred. I had uniformed the primer pockets and cleaned them in crushed walnut until they gleamed. I had 500 cases.

I then loaded them with 42.0 of RL15 under the 175 grain MatchKing. I did cheat a bit--ctg. OAL was 2.890, which was optimized for my rifle.

Here's the kicker--I loaded them all on my Dillon 650!

I did have to take care to make sure that the powder dropped, and pause at the top of the stroke to make sure it all got into the case. No crimp was applied.

At the school, my four round groups averaged .75 at 100 yards, and I had some screamers at 150 that you could cover with a nickel.

So yes--it CAN be done!

For the record--the rifle is a Savage 10FP-LE2A, with the Coate Ultimate Varmint stock, 26" barrel and Accu-Trigger. No modifications, other than a Limbsaver recoil pad. Optic is a 8-32x56 Nightforce NXS.
 

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hey

Hey guys, I have a dillon 550b and a dillon square deal. Both are awesome progressive machines and i have loaded some awesome ammo with them. The 550b can be used as a single stage if you really want to also, but it is actually really accurate in loadings. I like the way they are built. They are a life long lasting machine that will give you years of service. And there no BS lifetime warranty is awesome. My square deal has to be close to 15 to 20 years old and we had one problem with it ever, sent it back to dillon and well lets just say they basically rebuilt the whole machine for free. The 550 is awesome because of the caliber conversion setup. Just switch the block and there you go you have a new caliber to reload. Yes they are a little expensive but well worth it in my opinion and they load great ammo.


stephen
 
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