Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Reloading Bench Taking Shape

Tonight I installed the Dillon RL550B onto its new home on the bench:

As you can see, I did go ahead and order the strong mount and roller handle and they really change the feel of the machine.

The mount came with simple instructions and installed very easily and is made of some nice solid steel. The cartridge chute that comes with the mount is better and easier to mount than the 550B original which had to be separately bolted to the bench. This chute is bigger, sturdier and lines up perfectly.

Installed, the mount raises the height of the machine and makes cranking the handle a lot more ergonomic - it, combined with the roller handle really does feel better and very, very solid. I'd highly recommend this upgrade if you've got or are planing to get a 550B.

I also took this opportunity during the install to do a bit of preventative maintenance: I lubed the main shaft with synthetic motor oil which made it move a lot smoother.

The little press lying beside its big blue brother is my RCBS Partner Press single stage press, which looks like a toy by comparison.

I'm going to install the Partner Press later, on the right side of the Dillon and use it for rifle reloading, as I haven't reloaded rifle ammunition before. If I start loading a particular caliber in volume I'll switch it to the Dillon and just use the partner press for smaller runs of other calibers. Having not used it for years, the shaft on the RCBS was very unwilling to move, but a wipe-down with a bit of the synthetic oil on a paper towel on the press shaft and that's all it took to get it moving like it was brand new. If you've never oiled your press, give it a try, as I'm pretty sure you'll be pleased with how much easier it moves as a result.

I need to finish setting up the Dillon, add powder and primers and get a reloading session underway.


Murphy's Law said...

Very good.

Six said...

I like the set up Aaron. I have an RCBS single stage and I'm considering upgrading to a progressive. The 550 looks like a good one. Have you used it yet?

Aaron said...


Yes, I've used it for years, just didn't have a space for it for the last few years since we moved until I finally built the bench.

The 550B is rock solid, works great and turns out rounds with ease. Once you get one, you'll likely never go back to a single stage.

On top of that, I've found Dillon's service and tech support to be absolutely top-notch. They do really stand by their product and when they say lifetime warranty they really mean it.

I'd highly recommend a 550B to anyone looking to get a progressive reloader.