Spare Parts Kit | RL550 Series
No Gutter Balls! You Gotta Get Those Spares!
By D. K. Pridgen
Renowned trainer Clint Smith famously says “Two is one; One is none.” This means odds favor one of anything being carried to fail, so take this into consideration! If you begin your adventure with only one of an item, be ready to have none.
Taken in that context, carry at least two magazines for your handgun. In the heat of the battle, you’ll probably shoot it dry, dump the magazine and shoot the first spare magazine dry too, or toss one to the wife—more is better. In reloading, more is better too. More cases, primers, powder, bullets—and press parts!
Benjamin Franklin said, “For the want of a nail the shoe was lost, For the want of a shoe the horse was lost, For the want of a horse the rider was lost, For the want of a rider the battle was lost, For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost, And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.” Ben might have been talking about reloading ammunition. In the progressive reloading world, everything can hinge on the smallest of parts—nuts, washers, pins, springs, ball bearings.
What Do You Need?
From my experience Dillon presses are not problem prone but do require occasional maintenance to keep them purring. (Like changing automobile oil regularly.) At that point, you’ll probably do a little disassembly, putting you in the position of handling parts of various sizes.
Yes, “…parts of various sizes.” When something goes wrong, it’ll be at the worst of times. (Is there a good time?) With every tool I own riding in my truck any problem will possibly need one I don’t have. (Its rumored GMC engineers redesigned parts to require different tools every few years trying to stop folks from doing their own repair/maintenance. Every few years, GMC shops had to buy new tools for mechanics!)
One option to determine items you will need for your press is note the tools you normally use, and which parts you might “fiddle with,” especially any you might actually remove or nearly remove. Experience with equipment, priced from $5 to $100,000 leads me to believe anything small or largish, capable of dropping from a hand will. Parting hand, it will fall unpredictably, striking lap, pants, stool tops, shoes and finally the floor, where it will run across the floor to the farthest, awkward to reach spot. (And a mouse, cockroach or gorilla will move it to a different area of your shop.)
I’ve a collection of tools needed for press tinkering and when ordering needed parts I used to get twice the number. Tools and extra would reside in Ziplocs in a nearby drawer. Now I use Dillon’s “better way.”
The folks at Dillon see a lot more parts being ordered for their presses than I could even guess. From experience they have assembled their own parts kits for the public. By my count there are six Spare Parts Kits, four Machine Maintenance Kits and three different packs of 1” die lock rings, one with a wrench.
Prices for the two types of kits range from $20.95 to $42.95. The Super1050 Maintenance Kit jumps to $51.95 but who counts the Super1050, he asked jealously? (Yes, jealously. I don’t own one of those beauties but I hopefully will one day!)
So, is it worth $20.95 and up not to crawl around on the floor too long or to find a divining rod tuned for locator pins? Or how about just waiting “patiently” for the parts to arrive?
The kits sound like a better deal, don’t they?
- 1 550 Brass Tip Set Screw
- 1 550 Index Ball
- 1 550 Index Ball Spring
- 1 Seating Punch (Small)
- 1 Seating Punch (Large)
- 1 550 Primer Cup Spring
- 1 550 Slide Return Spring
- 1 Cartridge Spring
- 1 Bellcrank Cube
- 2 Magazine Orifices (small)
- 2 Magazine Orifices (large)
- 2 Pickup Tube Tips (Large, Green tips)
- 2 Pickup Tube Tips (Small, Yellow Tips)
- 2 pickup tube retaining Clips
- 1 Failsafe Shoulder Washer
- 1 Tinnerman Insert
- 4 Locator Pins(one each #s 1,2,3,4)
- 1 primer cup (small)
- 1 primer cup (large)
- 1 ejector wire, 1 toolhead pin
- 1 dispensing tip (Large)
- 1 dispensing tip (Small)
- spacer bar retaining plug
WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including lead, which are known to the State of California to cause cancer and reproductive harm. For more information, go to https://www.P65Warnings.ca.gov