Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

SgtDave

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I just bought a new Dillon 550 that is set up with .308 Redding FL sizing dies, brass, and bullets. I was planning on using Varget but after reading all the issues with the metering I now want to steer clear of using it. I am an experienced loader and have a XL650 for my USPSA pistol ammo so I know how to set the machine up. I have never loaded any rifle ammo so this is a new venture for me. The rifle is a Remington 700 AAC-SD. I have some 175 gr. SMK's that came with the loading gear that I plan to use. Should I try the Ramshot Tac that a couple of guys on the Enos forums suggested or another powder that meters consistently from a Dillon powder measure? Thanks in advance and I look forward to assistance. And Yes I have used the search function several times and I see several suggestions but I would like to hear if there is a new powder I haven't heard of yet.

Dave
 

memo43

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Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

Have you considered Reloader 15. Pretty close to Varget and meters with ease. I use both and they are pretty close to each other when it comes to charges of same load. Also share the same temp sensitivity.
 

SgtDave

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Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

Excellent! Thanks guys. I have read some threads about Re15 so I will give it a try. I will also be loading for a Larue OBR 18" rifle that I bought for Heavy optics division in 3 gun. I will stick with 150 gr. bullets for the Larue .
 

colt933

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Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

I use Varget in .308 on my 550, but I use an RCBS charge master, not the Dillon powder measure, for my precision loads. But for blasting ammo with ball powder, the Dillon powder measure works fine.
 

Hookman

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Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

+1 I use same setup - powder funnel, Bump die and Micro seater for precision load. Works great!

DSC_3341.jpg


<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: colt933</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I use Varget in .308 on my 550, but I use an RCBS charge master, not the Dillon powder measure, for my precision loads. But for blasting ammo with ball powder, the Dillon powder measure works fine. </div></div>
 

223ai

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Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

Consider a Johnson Quick Measure rather than the Dillon meter.
 

RoosterShooter

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Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

I would use IMR 8208 XBR. I'm a big fan of it. It meters well, is not temperature sensitive, and is consistent out of my Hornady LNL Powder measure with a .1 gr. variance over 50 drops.
 

jet_lagged

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Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

If you already have the Varget, give it a try. If you haven't bought it, I would probably lean toward the 2000MR instead, but have yet to test mine out. Or maybe the 8208 XBR.

I don't see huge variation when using Varget or IMR 4895 in the Dillon 550. I did take the powder system apart and polish the metal parts up with a buffing wheel on the dremel tool, to make them smoother. Takes you 10 minutes. You can find references to here on the 'hide.

Fill 20 primed cases or so without seating, then weight the charge to see what your charge variation really is, and what your tolerances are for your use.

I think the biggest variation really comes from how smoothy and consistently you operate the press. If you have to jerk the handle back up because of sticking brass, or similar, I think that is what gives you powder variations. And keeping the powder hopper at least half full may also help. So if I am full length sizing, I do that as separate step. Then prime, fill, seat, all in a smooth "progressive" mode.
 

fireguyty

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Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

What about trimming, chamfer and deburr?

I wanted to go to a 550 but I test run my pet 223 load with and with out these case prep steps....results were terrible.

So do you guys just go with out?
 

rrflyer

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Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

Most of time you'll reload in two steps.

1. Deprime and resize


2. Is reprime, powder, seat bullet.



I suppose if you were neck sizing you could do it in 1 pass.
 

bunsen27

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Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

I reload started reloading my .308 precision rounds fully on a Dillon 550, but now only do the priming, expanding, and bullet seating. The Dillon measure just doesn't throw extruded powders well. It does however throw ball powders extremely well! I currently have 8lbs of IMR-4895 to use up so I didn't want to switch to any ball powders right now.

The deprime/resizing steps I do on a SS press, trim on a Forster, tumble to get the sizing wax off, prime on the 1st stage of the Dillon (I have a universal depriming die in place to clear an media from flash holes). I them weight/throw charges using a Lee powder measure. Then back to the Dillon for the bullet seating which goes very quickly. It's not as fast as running the 550 in the "normal" order, but it is still a lot faster than using just a SS press.

There are several different ways to utilize a 550 to reload .308 it ultimately depends on the type of powder used and the state of the brass you want to reload though. I also use if for .223Rem with W748 and once fired M16 brass that doesn't need trimmed. I can <span style="font-weight: bold">REALLY</span> crank out some rounds per hour (~325) when operating it in the "normal/intended" fashion. Good luck.
 

tt350z

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Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

I use my 550B to reload my .308

I have 1 die plate just for my FL die. I know others have a single stage press just for depriming, but this works for me.

The other plate has my Lee universal deprimer, powder thrower, and seater.

1. Deprime all brass
2. Tumble to clean brass
3. Swap die plates
4. resize brass, trim if necessary
5. quick tumble to clean brass
6. seat primer
7. rotate shell holder and throw powder
8. dump powder on scale and trickle up, insert prepped brass into empty station 1, prime and rotate
9. seat bullet
10. repeat as required.
 

Hookman

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Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: fireguyty</div><div class="ubbcode-body">What about trimming, chamfer and deburr?

I wanted to go to a 550 but I test run my pet 223 load with and with out these case prep steps....results were terrible.

So do you guys just go with out? </div></div>

I use a Giraud case trimmer.
 

Hookman

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Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: rrflyer</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Most of time you'll reload in two steps.

1. Deprime and resize <span style="color: #FF0000"> on a single stage press to keep my Dillon free of crud.</span>

2. <span style="color: #FF0000">Bump shoulder/neck size die</span>, reprime, powder, seat bullet.

I suppose if you were neck sizing you could do it in 1 pass. </div></div>

This is how I do it. ^ I also dump VARGET with a Charge Master then manually pour in through the funnel. It's really a sweet setup and rather efficient.
 

SgtDave

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Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

I also won a basic Dillon 550 at a USPSA match a couple of months ago that doesnt come with any dies or priming system. I thought about selling it but since it was free I might use it with a trimmer and resizing die to prep all my brass before I move it to the 550 that is set up to load. All I have to do at this point is figure out a way to explain to my wife why there a 3 blue Dillon presses in the loading room now.
 

noahmercy

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Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

Ramshot powders have performed quite well for me in the limited amount of testing I've done with them. TAC is my go-to powder when loading 223 on my Dillon. It meters like water and is cleaner burning than a lot of other powders. When I begin loading my 308s on the 550, it will most likely be TAC in the measure. Black Hills has a reputation for manufacturing very accurate ammunition, and much of it contains Ramshot's offerings.
 

turbo54

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Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

I load my precision ammo on a Dillon 650. I have a thread going about how I do it - although its nothing special. I throw a charge with an RCBS uniflow, weigh/tune the charge on an electronic scale, then dump it into a funnel in station 2.

I use Varget. If you would like to avoid weighing charges, consider using IMR 8208xbr its a ball powder and meters great.
 

ChrisGarrett

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    Re: Reloading .308 on Dillon 550

    RL-550b reloader here.

    Target ammo:

    Tumble all brass clean in a CV-500 for 1:00-1:15.

    Lube brass with RCBS CaseLube II or Redding Imperial Sizing wax.

    Decap and neck size and/or FL size, with the appropriate (to brand of brass) bushing.

    Trim if needed.

    Prime cases, then charge cases via RCBS ChargeMaster 1500, or if I'm jonesing it, the Dillon powder measure.

    Seat bullets.

    Have fun blasting away.

    The RL-500b makes terrifically accurate ammo.

    VV-140, VV-150, IMR-4895, Varget and RL-15 are what I use to run the gamut for various weights of 308 Winchester.

    Chris