Reloading .223 and .308 on a Dillon 650.

dcmdon

NES Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
13,664
Likes
3,507
Location
Central NH and Boston Metro West
Feedback: 33 / 0 / 1
Hi all.

I'm reasonably experienced reloading pistol cartridges on my 650. I've been doing it for about 8 years now.

I'm also reasonably experienced reloading rifle cartridges on a single stage or turret press. I'm familiar with the joys of case prep and all that good stuff.

My recent excellent experience with TAC powder and my Lee powder drop has me thinking of reloading .223 on my dillon.

Up until recently I had always measured every charge individually. When I saw the tiny grain size of the TAC, I decided I had to try a volume based drop. And it worked fantastically.

So now I'm thinking that I may want to bring one of my XL 650s into play to load some .223.

I'm looking for any thoughts, tips, advice on doing this.

One very specific question I have is around case lubrication. I've never had good luck with "batch" lubrication of cases. I typically do them 1 at a time now to avoid stuck cases.

Can anyone suggest both a product and a method of lubrication that would allow me to just dump clean cases into the 650s case hopper and have the resize smoothly.

Thanks,

Don
 
I throw a bunch of cases into a ziplock bag, squirt a few sprays of Dillon case lube (basically lanolin and alcohol) in there and shake it up...has worked for me for years. I've never had a stuck case for lack of lube.

Some people line a couple of dozen cases side by side on a paper towel, spray some lube on them and roll them back and forth a few times. I've used both methods (spray/roll and spray in plastic bag and shake) and both ways worked fine for me.

That being said, back a few months ago I was having issues with stuck cases...I found it to be a dirty resizing die...I swabbed the inside with some Hoppe's #9 and all was well again.
 
Last edited:
I used the RCBS case lube die for a while, it deprimes and lubes. down side....it sucks to refill and lubes about 100 cases.
 
Timbo - when I load one at a time, I do the spray and roll method.

The bag sounds like a good way to go for use with a 650s case feeder.

Have you tried using bulk lanolin?

Funny you should mention the bulk lanolin thing...there are those here that roll their own using lanolin. If you poke around on here you'll probably find several threads on it. I was going to make my own when my Dillon lube ran out but the stuff seems to last forever. I seem to remember a 10% lanolin 90% alcohol ratio...but my memory may be off.
 
Last edited:
I throw a bunch of cases into a ziplock bag, squirt a few sprays of Dillon case lube (basically lanolin and alcohol) in there and shake it up...has worked for me for years. I've never had a stuck case for lack of lube.

Same here, but with hornady one shot aerosol stuff. No issues.

Edit: Brain fail, I forgot 650 incorporates a case feeder, so your situation is different than mine. No stuck cases in the sizing die on my 550 anyways :)
 
Last edited:
Two things I've learned since reloading rifle rounds...one, make sure the inside of the sizing die is spotless. I think the lube attracts crud and it will cause cases to stick. I usually run a swab with Hoppes #9 on it in and out a few times before I start sizing cases (lesson learned a few months ago...I was surprised how much crud came out when I swabbed it).

The other thing I learned is to make sure you give the cases enough time after they've been sprayed for the alcohol to evaporate away. The guy that I learned from told me this. It only takes a minute or two.
 
Last edited:
The Dillon lube has been working great for me for a long time. I have an old cardboard box from a 24-bottle case of water. (The kind that's shallow and shrink-wrapped in plastic to hold the bottles together.) Dump the cases in, a few sprays of lube, shake the box like I'm panning for gold for 15 or 20 seconds, let the excess alcohol evaporate, and go to town.
 
For .223, I dump about 100 cases onto an old towel, spray with Dillon or FA case lube, roll them around a few times, then dump them into a clean bucket, then repeat. When the bucket is full (3000 or so cases), I run them through the press. I tumble them after they're loaded for a half hour to get the lube off.
 
Thanks Eddie.

What's FA case lube?

Now that I'm thinking about things, I'm really not that interested in making .308 on my Dillon. Most of my .308 loads use heavy bullets and stick powder, which doesn't meter well by volume. Also, I don't really load "plinking" .308 ammo. I try to make it as accurate as I can.

Although I'd still like to not have problems with stuck cases even if I'm loading on a single stage.

Don

For .223, I tumble them after they're loaded for a half hour to get the lube off.

Wet or dry tumble? Just kidding.
 
Couldn't get the cases to feed reliably. Did speak to Dillon CS got replacement parts and just couldn't get cases to feed. Finally gave up and went to my single stage.
 
My .223 goes through my 650 twice.

Once, after I've lubed them via methods already outlined here (sprayed in a bag with One Shot), for deprimed/size.

Wet tumble, trim with a TriWay.

Into the 650 again for priming, powder dump, bullet seating. Done.

It's very accurate ammo. We have a tendency to overthink things.
 
My .223 goes through my 650 twice.

Once, after I've lubed them via methods already outlined here (sprayed in a bag with One Shot), for deprimed/size.

Wet tumble, trim with a TriWay.

Into the 650 again for priming, powder dump, bullet seating. Done.

It's very accurate ammo. We have a tendency to overthink things.

Very similar process here, with a couple unimportant differences. My ammo is more accurate than I am.
 
I had never really thought much about reloading rifle on the Dillon. Until I saw how well TAC powder metered. Now I just have to remember how to change it out. No biggie.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
I had never really thought much about reloading rifle on the Dillon. Until I saw how well TAC powder metered. Now I just have to remember how to change it out. No biggie.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I use reloader 15. Plus or minus a couple tenths of a grain isn't going to show up on the target unless you're shooting bench rest or something.
 
My .223 goes through my 650 twice.

Once, after I've lubed them via methods already outlined here (sprayed in a bag with One Shot), for deprimed/size.

Wet tumble, trim with a TriWay.

Into the 650 again for priming, powder dump, bullet seating. Done.

It's very accurate ammo. We have a tendency to overthink things.

That is how I do it as well. I have a plastic bin I throw the cases in and I shake the bin and push them into a corner and they tend to stand up. A few hits with the Dillon (I make my own with Lanolin and alcohol), let it dry and run it through the 650 to deprime/resize and trim if necessary. I have an extra tool head I use just for necked cartridge case prep - it is easy to change out with the sizing die for whatever caliber I am working on. Then into the tumbler to clean off the lube. Then I put in the caliber specific tool head for loading and have at it. TAC meters great in the dillon and performs well.
 
I haven't posted anything like this at all on this site since I joined the forum like 8 years ago. So here goes nuthin':

Loading at Higher Volumes
I load 308, 30-06, 30-30 and 45-70 with an XL650. I also use the XL650 to size and trim 223/5.56 but load that caliber in a 1050. I use Dillon trimmers and I have one set up for each caliber due to the volume I load. The trimmer set up is a Dillon carbide full length size die in station #1 and I put the Dillon trim die and trimmer in station #4 (set up to just stabilize the shell case as it has already been sized). I use a plastic tub with a lid to lube the brass with Dillon spray lube and shake the tub for about 10 second with about 350-400 223 or 200 or so 308/30-06 to get the lube spread around. I don't wait for the lube to dry...I toss it into the case feeder while it is still wet. With this set up I can size and trim 1000 223 or 6-700 308/30-06/30-30 in an hour. 45-70 doesn't grow much and I haven't had to trim that at all over the years. I load that like it was a very large pistol round. After sizing and trimming I toss the brass into a large Dillon tumbler (Dillon has been very good to me for almost 15 years, so yeah, I use a lot of Dillon stuff) with plain corn cob and tumble the brass for an hour or so to get the lube off. From there I decap and swage 308/30-06 military crimped primer pockets if necessary then chamfer and deburr with a RCBS Trim-Mate with carbide cutters (they last forever). With 223 I chamfer for match loads but for ~M855 and ~M193 I don't as the Dillon trimmer trims the cases clean with virtually no burrs at all and the 1050 has a swager built in (at station #3 of 8 stations). When I load these calibers I always neck size them with a sizing die in station #1 of the XL650. Because I have no idea what rifle these are going to wind up running through I taper crimp every round...even the match loads.

Other good habits are to sort all your rifle brass by manufacturer's head stamp. It does make a difference. ALWAYS take a random sample of the lot you just loaded and test it...run it through a chronograph to see what is going on. Always label your ammo with the obvious. Always keep notes about powder & primer used and other load stats (I keep all that stuff in Excel...along with costs, taxes I have to pay and a very meager margin). Always use multiple published sources for load data and be wary of some interesting differences you will find from book to book. For rifle loads I tend to use the Sierra book to validate load data from the Hornady book or the Accurate book, etc. It has never led me astray.

Well, in general, that's the way I do it. Hope you find some of what I do useful. I've loaded around a half million rifle rounds with the above method over the last 10-12 years or so. Haven't had any complaints but for one and I refunded that gentleman his $$.

YMMV
 
Wow. Thanks.

Do you reload commercially?

I expect you use dillon dies. Is that right?

Yes. It is a part time thing. 06 FFL, MA Lic to sell ammo, ATF comes by every once in a while (nice guys actually). http://qmmo.net

I use Dillon dies wherever possible. There are some calibers Dillon does not make dies for so they usually offer Redding dies on their site and in their catalog. For perspective, my xl650 is about 15 years old and has about 2 million cycles on it (give or take a 100,000). I have had to replace some major parts over the years but it wasn't big money (commercial use <> free lifetime warranty I guess..,) and the press plus all the set ups for all the calibers has paid for itself a few times over. I can't make a living doing it but the extra dough helps pay for that nice vacation every year or 2.
 
Back
Top Bottom