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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had a coffee can of .223 brass that I polished this year and was waiting for a slow time to reload them, and so I started in on them using my Dillion 450 progressive reloader which my brother and I purchased in 1977.

Pretty soon it quit seating the primers and after a short inspection I realized crack in one of the components

Wood Electric blue Auto part Hardwood Composite material


My first though was to take it to the shop and attempt a weld, but then over lunch with the Mrs. I remembered they had a lifetime guarantee so I got on the web site and after several minutes on hold got ahold of customer service. He took my name, address, email, and told me the part was in the mail on Monday. He told me that the current part may not work in which case I may have to mail my entire press into the factory where they would rebuild it for free and send it back in working condition.

I told him my serial number was 6334 and he laughed and said yes more than likely the part wouldn't work but the offer still stands.

I watched the video on the newest press they had

Dillon Precision: Reloaders, Reloading Equipment, Bullet Reloading, Bullet Reloaders

And decided to upgrade since mine is really a dinosaur compared to the new models, plus if the world collapses tomorrow I don't want to be down a reloading press.

My point is this is a great company to work with and after almost 4 decades of successful reloading this is the first problem I've had.

I don't need a lot of room to reload, here is a pic of my reloading bench

Shelving Wood Gas Machine Engineering
 

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get it fixed, its now a generational item (they don't make em like that anymore)

(maybe persuade them to send you a loan unit)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
get it fixed, its now a generational item (they don't make em like that anymore)

(maybe persuade them to send you a loan unit)
I actually am thinking of trying to weld the break, I'm not sure of the metal content so I will wait for the free part and see if that can be adapted.
 

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it looks cast (from the photo) if you can straighten it up, and any good with the welder, a good challenge for you, the crack has caused it to stop loading your primer.. so it must be way outside engineered tolerance... tbh I wouldn't do it (well I would but don't expect it to work like new lol)
 

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Or get it fixed and sell it to recoup some of your cost in the upgrade. Either way it's a win/win. That press certainly doesn't owe you anything. Any idea how many thousands of rounds you've loaded on that press? I would love to own a Dillon and if I ever go to a progressive it's probably what I will buy but it's just not in the cards right now, nice to hear a success story though.

-Infidel
 

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If I was going to fix it I would braze it using brass rod. It is a lot easier than trying to nickel steel weld the cast and it is actually stronger unless you have furnace welding equipment in which to weld it.
 
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Just got a Dillon 550, and I hope mine lasts as long as yours. Of course, by then I'll be long gone and it won't be my problem!

I would definitely repair or adapt the new part for the old press and keep it going too. Set up one press to reload your most often reloaded caliber and use the other for the rest. Good luck and let us know how the repair/adaptation works.
 

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I actually am thinking of trying to weld the break, I'm not sure of the metal content so I will wait for the free part and see if that can be adapted.
Right welder can fix it most likely use a nickle rod or nickle rod with gas brazing.
 

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It is cast Aluminum a real pain to fix. I do find it hard to believe that someone at Dillon Precision wouldn't know what part to replace it with.
I can vouch for them from personal experience that they will make good on their promise to fix or replace it.
37 years old most likely most around the place never saw one .
 
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Cast aluminum is bad. You can weld it with a TIG welder but the metal has fatigued over it's years of use and it will never hold. Any other parts made of aluminum on that press have also degraded over time and it is likely that they will fail next. I much prefer steel or cast iron because it won't fatigue unless it is stressed beyond its limits. Aluminum fatigues from its first stress at any level and continues to do so until it ultimately fails. With steel parts you build to handle the loads and it will last until someone overloads it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My plan is to use the new one, and if necessary send the old one back to Dillion for a backup

2 is 1, 1 is none if you now what I mean.

I still have a few hundred .223 to load, I'll give an update when I have a chance to mount it and do some reloading.
 

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Cast aluminum is bad. You can weld it with a TIG welder but the metal has fatigued over it's years of use and it will never hold. Any other parts made of aluminum on that press have also degraded over time and it is likely that they will fail next. I much prefer steel or cast iron because it won't fatigue unless it is stressed beyond its limits. Aluminum fatigues from its first stress at any level and continues to do so until it ultimately fails. With steel parts you build to handle the loads and it will last until someone overloads it.
Exactly that is what some people don't understand Aluminum fatigues. Steel has a stress limit that below that point the number of cycles have no effect on it. Other structural metals such as aluminium and copper, do not have a distinct limit and will eventually fail even from small stress amplitudes.
 

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Thanks, Montana Rancher, . . . been nasty cold, lousy, couldn't get out weather here today, . . .

I needed a "feel good" story to pick me up, . . . 37 years, . . . that'll do it.

'Course we coulda harped on you and reminded you that if you had gotten a Lee aluminum single stage back there, . . . it probably wouldn't have broken, . . . :lol:

May God bless,
Dwight
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, Montana Rancher, . . . been nasty cold, lousy, couldn't get out weather here today, . . .

I needed a "feel good" story to pick me up, . . . 37 years, . . . that'll do it.

'Course we coulda harped on you and reminded you that if you had gotten a Lee aluminum single stage back there, . . . it probably wouldn't have broken, . . . :lol:

May God bless,
Dwight
Sure Dwight, make me feel bad, you should see my fathers "Herters" single stage press, it would even put yours to shame as he 1. still uses it and 2. it was purchased in the 60's.

Anyway an update, I got my Dillion 550 in last week, mounted it up and as my North Dakota wife would say... "MANO SMANO" this baby kicks out the rounds!!!

It took a few cycles to get used to and that is saying something as I am VERY familiar with Dillion presses, but after a few tweaks I am running 2x times the rate of my 450.

I usually full case resize my .223 as I fire them in several different weapons and so neck sizing isn't realistic.

so I need to lube each case before I resize it which I like to then wipe off the cases then they are done so the lube isn't present when the case is loaded into the clip.

For those that reload that should make sense.

My feeling is if I am only neck sizing which requires no lube, I could do 5-600 rounds an hour with this set up.
 

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I'm Jealous, I've been wanting a Dillon 550 for a number of years but it's always been something that I've had to put off for one reason or another. I may have to move this plan to the front burner soon, probably within the next 2 years or so since I have other things I need to do first. Congrats on the new press I'm sure it will serve you well for hundreds of thousands of rounds.

-Infidel
 
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