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Old 01-11-2020, 11:43 AM
JayhawkNavy02 JayhawkNavy02 is offline
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Photo Escape FailSafe Bracket Kit for Dillon XL650 Reloading Press Review

I enjoy working on my Dillon 650 and in search of the ever elusive and impossible powder throw. After borrowing Greg's Ransom Rest for a prolific period of time, powder amount is the greatest single contributor to the group size I see. Crimp and OAL get adjusted after. That drove me to try and get as consistent of throws as possible. This is a mental game, and I appreciate knowing that the ammunition is good.

http://www.photoescapeinc.com/produc...e-bracket.html

http://uniquetek.com/product/T1677



So, what's the setup?

Dillon 650 secured to a grounded massive bench that is horribly heavy and bolted to the frame of my home. The press itself is grounded, and has been modified with a Dillon roller handle to smooth things out, modified powder through expander as the stock Dillon tends to "stick" on new starline brass and causes "issues" with precise powder dispensing, Hit Factor shellplate bearing kit, Entirely Crimson Index Bearing Cam Block, Entirely Crimson Roller Cam Follower/Camming Pin, and prairie dog powder baffle. This powder dispenser and expander (internally) I used were not polished, unlike my normal funnel. I will pick up some Flitz and get things in order and post an update as I think there will be some gains, but that should apply to both equally regardless. All powder was filled to the same level to start after verifying charges. I used new starline brass at the beginning of each to ensure no grains stuck to the side. The scale is a lab grade, accurate to .02 grains and was left on for 30 minutes to minimize drift and I used batteries to isolate from the home's relatively noisy power.

I selected 3 common powders and threw 20 each. WST, Bullseye and Titegroup. VVN310 to follow once I polish the funnel and get ready to load for some matches and Varget as I want to see how it handles extruded powders for those of us who shoot rifle. Apologies in advance for the incomplete data. So the question I was trying to answer, was, with only modifying one component of my press, the bracket, could I improve my consistency across various powders. The answer is, yes. The data in the table below highlights any charge over .06 gr from the base 4.6 gr charge in yellow and the charges above .08 from the base in red. I then did some basic looks at the information and as you can see the Photo Escape outperformed the Dillon OEM in 13 of 18, tied in 4 and lost in only 1 by a very small margin. Pretty good. I did notice more variation than normal, which may be due to the weather. One surprise was the 4.82 gr throw of WST using the Dillon FailSafe bracket. I've never seen that before, but I measured twice, on two separate scales, so the data stays.



All of this is a little difficult to see, so some graphs to help. Charge amount in the vertical (Y-Axis) and the charge number in the horizontal (X-Axis). Ideally you'll want this perfectly level. So flatter is better. Dillon is in blue and Photo Escape in Orange. These graphs are specific to each powder test.



Not sure if this helps, but I wanted a consolidated view. Again, flatter is better. Same X/Y axis used. When you lay all 60 charges down and compare between the Dillon OEM and the Photo Escape in my view it stands alone. An already very good press is significantly better. No charge was over +/- .06 after installing the Photo Escape FailSafe Bracket Kit across 3 powders.




The Photo Escape FailSafe Bracket Kit for the Dillon 650 is significantly stronger and more well made. It uses forgoes the plastic shoulder washer and has an adjustable machine screw vice the stamped projection in the OEM. The only down side is that I can remove the powder funnel very quickly to dump and with the Photo Escape there are two set screws that you have to remove first. No big deal, I'll take the small delay over the performance. The washer/bushing is very nicely captures via the set screws and seems to be aligned better than the plastic, which has significantly more play. Cosmetic, but the nice stainless finish also goes well with the press.











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Old 01-11-2020, 12:16 PM
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Good stuff. Thanks for posting.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:24 PM
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Pretty amazing!

I'm one that appreciates anything that leads to an increase or gain in consistency but MAN, you are 100 times further down that road than I could ever hope to be!
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:42 PM
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JN02,

A very interesting, detailed, thorough and well presented post.

But, I got lost in all the detail and had a hard time figuring out the "take away". Is it your conclusion that the Photo Escape bracket significantly improves the consistency of your powder drop? Maybe I missed it, but could you quantify the improvement? i.e. 1%, 0.1%, 0.01%, etc.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:45 PM
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I have the same thing on my XL-650
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:37 PM
JayhawkNavy02 JayhawkNavy02 is offline
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Originally Posted by RetiredRod View Post
JN02,

A very interesting, detailed, thorough and well presented post.

But, I got lost in all the detail and had a hard time figuring out the "take away". Is it your conclusion that the Photo Escape bracket significantly improves the consistency of your powder drop? Maybe I missed it, but could you quantify the improvement? i.e. 1%, 0.1%, 0.01%, etc.
Great question. Apologies for not being more clear.

If we look at eliminating outliers, charges at or over .06 gr. Which is my “goal” again I need to polish this funnel and I think I’ll be there, then we go from 11 to 5 or roughly a 45.45 % improvement in consistency. If we look at throws greater than .06 grains, we go from OEM Dillon at 3 to 0.

Now if we look at averages, the Median across all 3 powders with the OEM is 4.61 and PhotoEscape is 4.59. That results in a 5% improvement in the median charge. Regarding the less important Mean, the OEM is 4.61 and Photo Escape 4.60, again about a 5% benefit. Very close and I attribute that to a press already modified and a large number of throws.

Average Standard Deviation with the OEM Dillon is .005 compared to Photo Escape at .003. You reduce standard deviation by roughly 60%.

I hope that helps
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:24 PM
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I am unable to order, the buttons don’t work on the site.
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:54 PM
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Interesting test, Thanks for posting the data.

I do have some questions/observations. They are not meant as a criticism in any way, so I certainly hope they are not viewed as such.

The OEM bracket appears to be bent significantly in the photos, thereby forcing the failsafe rod to operate at an angle through the bushing.

Of course, an advantage of the aftermarket bracket is that won't bend, or is more resistant to bending that the OEM piece. The question is did the OEM part bend that much in use, or has it been damaged, perhaps in shipping? Mine is not bent.

Last question out of curiosity. Did you happen to ensure that the spring was operating at the same installed height for both brackets during the testing?
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Old 01-11-2020, 03:11 PM
JayhawkNavy02 JayhawkNavy02 is offline
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Originally Posted by snow View Post
I do have some questions/observations. They are not meant as a criticism in any way, so I certainly hope they are not viewed as such.

The OEM bracket appears to be bent significantly in the photos, thereby forcing the failsafe rod to operate at an angle through the bushing.

Of course, an advantage of the aftermarket bracket is that won't bend, or is more resistant to bending that the OEM piece. The question is did the OEM part bend that much in use, or has it been damaged, perhaps in shipping? Mine is not bent.

Last question out of curiosity. Did you happen to ensure that the spring was operating at the same installed height for both brackets during the testing?
No criticism perceived and all valid questions. If there is an error, criticism is deserved and desired.

It may be a function of lighting (on my part) and not tightening the screw for the photo above. I have another on the way anyway so I can verify/compare. Its the same shape as when I received it. In the lower photo it does look bent, but I need to verify. I did adjust the OEM tension properly between runs. I’ll check it out when I get back as well. If there is deformation it reinforces why the Dillon part could be improved IMO.

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Originally Posted by snow View Post
Of course, an advantage of the aftermarket bracket is that won't bend, or is more resistant to bending that the OEM piece. The question is did the OEM part bend that much in use, or has it been damaged, perhaps in shipping? Mine is not bent.
Absolutely. No worries with this bracket and I appreciate there is one less thing I have to verify/check while I am reloading that can result in poor quality ammunition. I think the 650 priming system or bolts that connect the fail safe would shear before the Photo Escape would bend. It’s a beefy piece of stainless steel unlike Dillon. It’s hard to tell when the stamped part is out of spec, not a worry with the aftermarket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snow View Post
Last question out of curiosity. Did you happen to ensure that the spring was operating at the same installed height for both brackets during the testing?
The spring isn’t going to be in the same position. The OEM and Photo Escape are slightly different. If they were the same I agree that would be a better comparison.
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:15 PM
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I agree that the aftermarket part is stronger and extremely unlikely to bend, that alone makes it a better part. I like better parts

Sorry if I was unclear on the spring "installed height" question. Let me ask it another way; Did you tighten the spring the same amount (as close as you could tell) for both units during the test?

Let me be clear, I am impressed with the part and your presentation. Thanks for sharing it.

Your results have shown an improvement using the Photo Escape part.

The question then becomes "Why is it better, why are we seeing the improvement?" The answer has to be that it is stronger with less flex, better alignment with the rod, which means less drag and smoother operation. All of those things add to consistency, which is the goal of course.

Granted photos can be deceiving, but the Dillon part appears to me to be bent in all of the photos. If the factory part is indeed damaged, then drag and misalignment is occurring that would not otherwise be happening.

On the other hand, If the factory part is commonly bending during usage, then I think this would be a good upgrade for anyone. Mine is not bent (yet??). But I'll keep an eye on it going forward. Thanks for posting.
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:38 PM
JayhawkNavy02 JayhawkNavy02 is offline
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Originally Posted by snow View Post
Did you tighten the spring the same amount (as close as you could tell) for both units during the test?
Yes, but the adjustment itself is imprecise. I used the same method for both in accordance with the Dillon manual. A gap/feeler gauge would probably be superior. However, the return should be adequate to function regardless.

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Originally Posted by snow View Post
The question then becomes "Why is it better, why are we seeing the improvement?" The answer has to be that it is stronger with less flex, better alignment with the rod, which means less drag and smoother operation. All of those things add to consistency, which is the goal of course
Absolutely, but the rod will still generate more drag than I would prefer due to the thread height. If I could add another feature it would be a custom rod with threads further down to allow the rod to move more freely. That said, I don’t think it matters as long as the bar is returned to its original position fully and shouldn’t be a problem.

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Originally Posted by snow View Post
Granted photos can be deceiving, but the Dillon part appears to me to be bent in all of the photos. If the factory part is indeed damaged, then drag and misalignment is occurring that would not otherwise be happening.
Absolutely. When I get the new part I’ll update the post of what I find. It is bent. I appreciate Dillon’s warranty, but would prefer not to use or need it, especially when it comes to my ammunition performance being degraded as a result. I probably should have also replaced the shoulder washer with a new one as well. I will re-run the test with VVN310 when the new fail safe bracket comes in and throw a larger sample size.



This is from the Photo Escape Website. The Gentlemen who runs it does a lot of testing with a Ransom Rest to validate his findings.

“As a continuation of my pursuit of more accurate charge drops, I felt, that having FailSafe Brackets that fits two of my Dillon XL650 presses, and provides for consistent return of the powder bars, is a necessity. OEM bracket easily bent when something goes wrong during bar return, i.e. worn white plastic insert (shoulder washer, per Dillon's manual) drops down, and then catches bracket by its top, instead of sliding all way in, or simply wing nut being over tightened. Once OEM bracket bent / unbent couple times, it starts flexing, which in turn creates inconsistencies on powder bar return. This in turn necessitates further tightening of wing nut, and ultimately call to Dillon, requesting replacement. I have a clear understanding, that with Dillon's EXCELLENT warranty on the XL650, the need for the part proposed here for many is non-existent. I, by myself, always keep a kit of spare parts, and a failsafe bracket is in it. However every time I had to replace it in the middle of loading of the batch of few hundred rounds (that is when it happens most of the time, because I'm going at the "max" speed), I would lose time unscrewing, unbending, resetting, re-measuring, etc. But most importantly, I would doubt - "do I have undercharged cases"! That is right, - a bent safety bracket means insufficient powder bar return, subsequent undercharge, and a potential squib. Obviously a squib is an extreme case, however accuracy could be affected. So I manufactured a batch of about a dozen brackets made of stainless steel, complemented it with a shoulder washer made out of brass, installed and tested on both presses and much happier now. I can go full speed without worrying that bracket would bend, flex, or else. Set screw prevent shoulder washer drops, and powder bar returns to the same spot every time. Resulting rounds produce more accurate targets, standard deviation is lower by 4-6 in comparison with previously loaded rounds of the same charge.
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:07 PM
jmorris jmorris is offline
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Now you just have to test the original Dillon linkage and springs to see what they do. No failsafe rod at all, see attached black oxide crank.

I am curious of what your load, components, firearm, testing equipment (noticed all of your measured hundredths values were even) and range along with the difference in accuracy though, I am a sucker for quantitative data.

The projectiles are the #1 factor for pistol bullets by far, much more than a few hundredths of a grain in charge but the matches I have won using pistols are not near as demanding accuracy wise as long range rifle matches.

FWIW the bracket bent above is because you tightened the wing nut too much and coil bound the spring, bending the stamped steel bracket. You make that stronger, you’ll either break your measure, bend the rod, start effecting your primer seating or a combination of the three. See page 23 of the manual for proper adjustment.

If you don’t have a copy you can find it here. https://dilloncdn.com/manuals/dillon...al-english.pdf

The important part is,

Quote:
...tighten the blue wing nut until the spring is partially compressed.
Because the spring is not as strong as the bracket.
Attached Thumbnails
BA97F3D6-7D54-4240-B96E-8CC99A33F98B.jpeg  

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Old 01-11-2020, 06:56 PM
JayhawkNavy02 JayhawkNavy02 is offline
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Now you just have to test the original Dillon linkage and springs to see what they do. No failsafe rod at all, see attached black oxide crank.
I wish. That looks like the old system which I’ve heard is better. I can’t get my old man (who hasn’t reloaded in 23 years) to give up his 550 with that setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
I am curious of what your load, components, firearm, testing equipment (noticed all of your measured hundredths values were even) and range along with the difference in accuracy though, I am a sucker for quantitative data.
Apologies in advance but I’m not sure what the question is in the first sentence. Regarding the scale it’s accurate to .02 gr and reads in those intervals. It’s advertised resolution is: 0.001g | 0.001dwt | 0.02gn. I had it sent to the factory for calibration and verification. It’s still a strain gauge so I let it sit for 30 minutes before use.

I’ve been talking to some professional shooters and I think loading 3 rounds 1/10 under, the exact load and 3 1/10 over and then compare to 9 exactly at the charge weight would be a way to control the +/- 1/10 debate for comparison. 9 shots is an odd group size but it should do.

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The projectiles are the #1 factor for pistol bullets by far, much more than a few hundredths of a grain in charge but the matches I have won using pistols are not near as demanding accuracy wise as long range rifle matches.
Yes and no. You can win with LSWC in Bullseye, assuming they’re quality (Zero/Brazos/Magnus). The Zero/Magnus JHP (185gr) are the best 45 ACP bullets and Hornady 115/124 XTP for 9mm currently made. For Distinguished Revolver it may be the 158 gr Zero based on my testing and I’ve tested a lot unfortunately. There are some out of production lead bullets like Star and Remington that are better for some calibers, but hard to find and not always available. With the wrong charge a great bullet won’t hold the x-ring, but agreed you don’t need benchrest precision either. A charge within +/- 1/10 is considered adequate.

Where the Dillon powder funnel struggled is with super light charges some folks use for 32 ACP in the Pardini and Walter pistols, etc. Star reloaders are still popular with Bullseye shooters because they meter better supposedly. I don’t have one.

Where that goes somewhat sideways is charge. I see factory pistols as much more sensitive out of the Ransom Rest (typically) a Range Officer I tested yesterday had groups nearly double in size with 4.6 gr of BE than 4.5 gr.

Assuming the bullet is good enough to hold the x-ring, the next biggest impact is powder charge. Some calibers seem to be more sensitive than others. 45 ACP seems to be the easiest of those I compete with and 38 special the most challenging. I hear 32 is the worst but I don’t use that for Bullseye. Full disclosure I’d like my modified Dillon to outperform the Star mafia. Tough because that’s a great press and I would like to know (for myself) that my ammunition is 100% for mental confidence. Shooting at Nationals or other high level competition isn’t the place to second guess your equipment or ammunition. So it gives me a certain level of peace of mind that I appreciate.

After that I work on crimp and OAL. I use Federal GMM primers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
FWIW the bracket bent above is because you tightened the wing nut too much and coil bound the spring, bending the stamped steel bracket. You make that stronger, you’ll either break your measure, bend the rod, start effecting your primer seating or a combination of the three. See page 23 of the manual for proper adjustment.
That’s a great point. I think I’m willing to experiment with this and see if there are any issues. I’ve used the manual to adjust the spring and talked to Dillon on the phone who said to leave a “business card” width between springs. Apparently that may be too tight. I doubt anyone banged up my press or it shipped that way.

I also shot a note to the owner of photo escape to see what he thinks about the 2nd/3rd order affects mentioned. I know that they worked this with some very serious precision shooters, one especially knows his way around Dillon presses and went through quite a bit of testing vs OEM using a better scale than mine, a LabRadar Chronograph and then looked at 20 shot Ransom Rest groups. End result was more consistent throws produced better 50 yard groups of 20.

From the manufacturer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Photo Escape
The post implies that the wing nut can be over-tightened to such an extent that it would cause these problems (break the measure, bend the rod, effect primer seating, or a combination of the three). This indicates a reloader that may lack experience, or knowledge on proper setup. This is unlikely, the weakest link in the above mentioned components is the insert in the wing nut on the bottom of the rod that holds spring and nut. The force required to cause the described issues will exceed the tolerance of the insert, and the reloader will hear a clicking sound as the wing nut slips on the rod threads. That is the reason I was specific about breakage of other parts on the press for this product. It is on the bottom of the page for the product. The fundamental issue is with the OEM bracket. Reloaders are forced to add a turn or two every so often and the bracket can slowly bend, not necessarily due to a singular over tightening, but that can be the case as well. There is no need to do so with mine. With proper adjustment it should maintain the correct tension.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Photo Escape
The post implies that the wing nut can be over-tightened to such an extent that it would cause these problems (break the measure, bend the rod, effect primer seating, or a combination of the three). This indicates a reloader that may lack experience, or knowledge on proper setup. This is unlikely, the weakest link in the above mentioned components is the insert in the wing nut on the bottom of the rod that holds spring and nut. The force required to cause the described issues will exceed the tolerance of the insert, and the reloader will hear a clicking sound as the wing nut slips on the rod threads. That is the reason I was specific about breakage of other parts on the press for this product. It is on the bottom of the page for the product. The fundamental issue is with the OEM bracket. Reloaders are forced to add a turn or two every so often and the bracket can slowly bend, not necessarily due to a singular over tightening, but that can be the case as well. There is no need to do so with mine. With proper adjustment it should maintain the correct tension. (end quote)


Well, there went the neighborhood

JMorris, may lack experience or knowledge of proper set up??? REALLY????

Bahahahaha

But then Mr. P.E. later says "but that can be the case as well"
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:16 PM
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JMorris, may lack experience or knowledge of proper set up? REALLY???
I think he was referring to me unfortunately. I pre-flight my press before using based on any past errors and a redacted/reduced version of the manual, which I've read closely enough to find multiple errors in, and sent to Dillon. I don’t have a fraction of the knowledge JMorris does, never will as a reloader, and I’m sure he’s seen it before. My myopic viewpoint is a precision pistol shooter/competitor.
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Old 01-11-2020, 10:04 PM
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I think he was referring to me unfortunately. I pre-flight my press before using based on any past errors and a redacted/reduced version of the manual. I donít have a fraction of the knowledge JMorris does, and Iím sure heís seen it before.
No Brother, Mr. P.E. was clearly referring to post 12 in his comments. He obviously does not "know" Brother Morris as we do Perhaps we should chalk it up to a poor choice of words on his part and give him the benefit of doubt that any offense was intended.

One never knows where these threads will go. Sometimes, I'd be better off if I just kept my big mouth closed Sorry for any derailment on my part.

Your test is valid for your press. You changed to an aftermarket part and observed a definite improvement. You presented very nice graphics to demonstrate the improvement.

The issue that I seen was that you were comparing a new straight aftermarket part to a damaged OEM part. I suspect that the results seen were more likely due to issues caused by the bend in the bracket, than the fact that a thicker bracket was installed.

That said, I do consider the thicker bracket to be an improvement, providing one does not over tighten the wing nut.

Happy Shooting
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Old 01-11-2020, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by snow View Post
One never knows where these threads will go. Sometimes, I'd be better off if I just kept my big mouth closed Sorry for any derailment on my part.
Nope, glad you did inject. You identified something that I didn't see when I was focused on knocking this out. Good catch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snow View Post
The issue that I seen was that you were comparing a new straight aftermarket part to a damaged OEM part. I suspect that the results seen were more likely due to issues caused by the bend in the bracket, than the fact that a thicker bracket was installed.
Agreed, when the new bracket comes in I'll re-run the test with WST for both. That gave the OEM the most trouble. If the results aren't conclusive I'll push to Titegroup, which while it didn't have the most outliers (above .06 grain deviation) it had the most +/-.06 gr deviation of the three powders tested.

I also want to test (time dependent) super light loads of VVN310. That has the most interest to me as I know it can be challenging.

Unintenitally, I guess we'll find out what the impact of an out of spec failsafe bracket is with a "before and after"....oh well.....
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Old 01-12-2020, 05:06 AM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is online now
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Consistent powder measure drops with a Dillon powder measure.....

I shot NRA outdoor bullseye for over ten years, and found that powder and accuracy varied from lot# to lot# from most all mfgs. A group of my friend's and I tested various powder lot #s of the same brand of powder in a Giles accurized 1911 using a Ransom Rest with targets at 50 yards. When we found a lot# with superior results, we would call the mfg and order several kegs of the same lot#.

I know that Dillon powder measures are claimed to be accurate within one-tenth of a grain, however, there is a big difference in the granule shape of powders. Ball powders usually meter better and more accurately than most flake and stick powder granules.

For pistol powders, I simply try the various lot#s of my powder choice to find the most consistent and accurate load. For my large caliber rifles, I have used stick powder granules, but trickle charge and hand weigh each powder charge, since stick powders do not meter very well in a Dillon powder measure with the large charge bar. However, since I only load about 20 rounds of large caliber rifle ammo at a time, it is not a big deal for me..... I load on a Dillon 1050 and use a Dillon 550 for working up new loads, and seldom if ever have issues with my Dillon powder measures.....

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Old 01-12-2020, 08:33 AM
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I wish. That looks like the old system which I’ve heard is better. I can’t get my old man (who hasn’t reloaded in 23 years) to give up his 550 with that setup
All you need are springs (I used rubber bands for RC aircraft years ago when I broke a spring) and lock out the fail safe part with a small Ziptie or safety wire. Keep an eye on it though, they added both for a reason. The rod is to ensure you can’t throw a squib and the “clunker” linkage is so you don’t throw doubles.

Quote:
Apologies in advance but I’m not sure what the question is in the first sentence. Regarding the scale it’s accurate to .02 gr and reads in those intervals. It’s advertised resolution is: 0.001g | 0.001dwt | 0.02gn. I had it sent to the factory for calibration and verification. It’s still a strain gauge so I let it sit for 30 minutes before use.
Just wondering, I have a <$20 Gem 20 that is .02gn and an A&D FX120i, both claim the same accuracy, the cheap one is simply not repeatable.

The other stuff is curiosity about what firearm you are testing with, how fart away the target is and how much is an improvement of three hundredths of a grain in charge SD is as far as group size is concerned.

Quote:
With the wrong charge a great bullet won’t hold the x-ring, but agreed you don’t need benchrest precision either. A charge within +/- 1/10 is considered adequate.
What accuracy is needed and what do the winners of the sport use? I have ways to drop some powders to +/- a single kernel accurately but I use volume charges for my 6mm PPC benchrest rifles and if I do my job one hole at 100 yards is what we’re looking for. Lot of others do the same, the winner at a match is the one with the smallest hole.

I’d go with they banged into your bracket when they boxed it up or something similar. I have hundreds of thousands of rounds on my 650’s alone and many more on my SD’s and 550 all having stamped brackets for failsafe rods (guess the SD’s didn’t come with them but have been on them for the last 25 years or so, since they invented them) and none are bent.

The 1050’s do have a more robust design though but I don’t notice an accuracy difference between accuracy of the measure vs what press they are on.

One other area that might be worth looking into is a controlled vibration on the measure itself to see how much that can uniform compactness in the charge bar.

Quote:
I would like to know (for myself) that my ammunition is 100% for mental confidence.
Having it is key to winning. If you have to weigh each charge to get it, it would be worth it even if everyone else is just throwing them.

Last edited by jmorris; 01-12-2020 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:42 PM
JayhawkNavy02 JayhawkNavy02 is offline
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Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
Just wondering, I have a <$20 Gem 20 that is .02gn and an A&D FX120i, both claim the same accuracy, the cheap one is simply not repeatable.
I had the same scale and it was not spectacular and that's being polite. Went back and forth with American Weigh and got the GeminiPRO. I been very happy, but should be at several times the price, although still not expensive, however there are obviously much, much better scales.

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Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
The other stuff is curiosity about what firearm you are testing with, how fart away the target is and how much is an improvement of three hundredths of a grain in charge SD is as far as group size is concerned.
I have several Bullseye pistols. I use those vice factory for testing usually since they're a known quality and I also have the test targets they were supplied with so I know what they're mechanically capable of. They're full custom builds, with the exception of my revolver, which is an accurized/tuned Colt Officer Model Match for NRA Distinguished Revolver, Clark Custom High Standard modified Supermatic, and a 22 conversion on a modified Springfield Range Officer (RO) that is about to be retired as I have a full custom conversion being built.

Targets are all at 50 yards.

I don't have data on what 3/100 of a grain delta will do, but I suspect it would not be major. I do want to eliminate any deviation over .05 gr if possible. If you read above, I'd like to run a test of two groups, one using 9 rounds, composed of 3 charges of .1 over, .1 under and .0 over/under each, and another with 9 round test target at the exact load. I think that would provide some insight on the question of +/- 1/10 of a grain being adequate.

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Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
What accuracy is needed and what do the winners of the sport use?
1.5" group (center to center) with 10 shots at 50 yards from a rest/fixture is considered to be "standard". The slow fire match is 30 shots. I'd like to see all 30 inside 1.5". Most civilian shooters who are not sponsored are loading on a Dillon or Star that I know at the HM level. Of the top folks those with Star presses all of them prefer them to Dillon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
I have ways to drop some powders to +/- a single kernel accurately but I use volume charges for my 6mm PPC benchrest rifles and if I do my job one hole at 100 yards is what we’re looking for. Lot of others do the same, the winner at a match is the one with the smallest hole.
I don't know of anyone in pistol, including 3 national champions, several with standing records loading to that level for pistol, so I think its safe to say that isn't required for the sport thankfully.

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Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
The 1050’s do have a more robust design though but I don’t notice an accuracy difference between accuracy of the measure vs what press they are on.
What I've been told is that the basic design concept is similar to the Star. Because the cases slide on a solid base, and tool head is lowered to the case opposite of the 550/650 there is more consistent performance. That said Mr. Whidden and Mr. Tubbs have won national champions ships (many of them) on modified 550/650 presses. The reloading shops for the military shooting teams also view the 1050 as the superior press in generating ammunition.

I don't have a laboratory scale (yet...need one) or a 1050, both required. A conversation I've had since starting this thread was in regards to deviation that occurred above and would instantiate itself on the 550 as well. The report is that case position on the shell plate can affect the charge amount. If you look i.e. at Dillon’s shell plate for 45 ACP you’ll see a 1 with a circle around it. Some guys use this as a reference location and noticed that certain positions on the shell plate would give base charge +, while another would give base charge -. Platforms on the presses were verified with the Dillon alignment tool, and the shell plate bolt checked for concentricity, etc. It is suspected that Dillon shell plates have excessive variations in dimensions in each cell or the center isn’t straight.

I did a quick test, using Bullseye and 10 charges specific to each shellplate position. This is the result with the same metrics as above. It looks like position 2 is the worst of the 5. I'm not sure I'm ready to confirm the above, but it would be interesting to investigate further. I wouldn’t draw any conclusions from this yet. If I had a 1050 sitting next to a 650 and could do a larger sample and a direct comparison I might have more confidence. More importantly, does it matter, I’m not sure, but suspect the answer is no. Without a machined precision shell plate I don’t think there’s anything you can do to rectify it anyway.

What might be a interesting follow up, would be to confirm a bias toward +/- charges based on position. I could base the charge weight on one station and see if the results repeat themselves. Probably Position 4 or 5. Unfortunately not going to happen soon, back to work





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Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
Having it is key to winning. If you have to weigh each charge to get it, it would be worth it even if everyone else is just throwing them.
Here is an example of why I would like to not exceed +/- 0.1 grain performance - for me, mentally. This Ransom Rest tests below are at 50 yards, 10 shots with a Range Officer resulted in a terrible group with 4.6 gr of BE and somewhat "decent" performance with 4.5 gr of BE. What is important to me is that the group grew by over 1" from 3.96" to about 5" and similarly with 4.4 gr of BE the same occurred. Root cause appears to be an undersized factory slide stop pin (.197), which I'll address. Regardless, I know that 4.4 and 4.6 will spread the group by about 20% and that's quite a bit so I'd like to stay as close as possible to 4.5 gr of BE. I won't be using this pistol, but for a new shooter I want to know it can at least hold the 3.3" 10 ring before I hand it to them.

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Last edited by JayhawkNavy02; 01-13-2020 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:39 AM
jmorris jmorris is offline
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I'd like to run a test of two loads, one with 3 charges (.1 over, .1 under and .0 over/under) and another with 9 charges at the exact load....I'd like to see all 30 inside 1.5".
If you are wanting a larger sample size to be inside 1.5” I would increase your test sample sizes. Not to mention 1.5” doesn’t give you a lot of wiggle room for human error when the X is 1.695”.

Quote:
Because the cases slide on a solid base, and tool head is lowered to the case opposite of the 550/650 there is more consistent performance.
Actually with the SD, 650 and 1050 the cases sit in the shellplate, on the 550 they do not.

I was referring to the 1050’s failsafe bracket mount (see attached).

Quote:
I'm not sure I'm ready to confirm the above, but it would be interesting to investigate further. I wouldn’t draw any conclusions from this yet.
If you retrograde the linkage you could put the powder measure on a single stage and see if it acts differently.

I also attached one of the vibrating motors I picked up to test with as well, I figured if someone thought the tapper on the Lyman 55 was worth the extra cost there might be something there but I haven’t got around to it yet.

FWIW for my rifles, that I expect more out of, if +/-.1 grain in powder charge opened up the group size by more than an inch I would discontinue use of that powder or do a ladder test and look for the node.
Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by jmorris; 01-13-2020 at 09:14 AM.
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  #22  
Old 01-13-2020, 01:50 PM
jmorris jmorris is offline
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Is this the one you have?

https://www.amazon.com/American-Weig...-garden&sr=1-1
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:54 PM
JayhawkNavy02 JayhawkNavy02 is offline
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Yep. Been okay so far but they’re nothing like a real lab scale. Hard to justify. I do have a Lyman-Oahus M5 that I plan to send to Scott Parker. I’ll need to build a foundation for it once he does his magic.

Update from above. The failsafe bracket back screw barely holds the shoulder washer. The front screw is the one that locks it in place. If you loosen/release the front screw and slightly upstroke platform, the washer will fall down the rod can easily be removed. No need to unscrew wing nut. Mine was over tightened in the rear and adjusted properly now. Just as easy, if not more so than the OEM.

https://www.pelletpressdiesets.com/p...RoCYFMQAvD_BwE

Accurate (truly) to 0.001 grams ~ .00154 grains. They have something like this at the USAMU reloading shop and its pretty terrific.

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Last edited by JayhawkNavy02; 01-13-2020 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:33 PM
jmorris jmorris is offline
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Can it detect a single kernel added at various weights?

Like zero and with check weights?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLp9M6VI3gM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvF6WJs1zyY
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  #25  
Old 01-13-2020, 06:58 PM
JayhawkNavy02 JayhawkNavy02 is offline
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Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
Can it detect a single kernel added at various weights?
Lab scales: Terrific, but I'm not confident you could detect a single kernel in all powders (pistol for example)

American Weigh: No.

Lyman - Ohaus M5 tuned by Scott Parker: Yes. This is probably the most economical route for me. I bought the Lyman-Ohaus M5 based on a conversation with Scott and the mission of sending it to him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5r5l-eZN-bA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MRNuQX9pOs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-2l...I&spfreload=10
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Last edited by JayhawkNavy02; 01-13-2020 at 11:54 PM.
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