mnguy51
mnguy51
8 posts
Joined December 2015

Powder spills

Reloading .223 and occasionally when i raise the handle on station 2 a lot of powder will spill out all over the press. Is this caused by a case being mis-aligned on station 2? bad shellplate?

This happens on about 5-6 cases out of 100. So then i have to stop and clean up the mess and cuss a little bit.

I am using CFE-223 powder

All the locator pins have '3' stamped on them.

I would appreciate any guidance on fixing this as powder is hard to find now days!

thanks
mnguy51
mnguy51
8 posts
Joined December 2015

RE: Powder spills

Edit: I lower the handle to raise the ram and the case in station 2 goes partially into the funnel. At that point it will either fill normally or powder will flow all over the shell plate.

I am loading 25.5 grains of CFE 223 with 55 gr hornady sp on once fired range brass. Brass has been through the small base sizing die.
tet301
tet301
56 posts
Joined February 2016

RE: Powder spills

When I first began reloading .223 several years ago I ran into the same problem. I'm not certain if the cause of mine was the same cause as yours, because I have never loaded CFE-223. The cause of my problem was because the powder I selected (and I can't remember which powder that was) was the extruded tubular kernel powder which is prone to "bridging" in the case mouth of smaller diameter cases like the .223. By "Bridging" I mean that the little granules would collect at the throat of the case and by bunching up, very little would enter the case. The bridging did not occur when loading this same brand of powder in my larger thirty caliber cases. If CFE-223 is this type of powder (tubular kernel), then I suspect it is the source of the problem. I switched to Win 748 and Accurate 2520; each is a round ball powder, meters much easier and eliminated my spillage. Please let us know what you finally determine and I am not at all insulted if my analysis is incorrect.

Best

Terry
mnguy51
mnguy51
8 posts
Joined December 2015

RE: Powder spills

Hi Terry, thank you for your reply. I forgot to add that the press is a 550c. The CFE 223 rifle powder is a spherical powder.

I don't think its a bridging deal as much as a case being mis-aligned maybe where the edge of the case throat hits the edge instead of center of the powder dispenser. This causes the powder to dispense all over instead of into the center of the case.

I am unsure how to test that theory. But i have put the cases that this happened on to one side. Maybe try them again, perhaps a Dillon Admin can reply about this mis-alignment theory also.

Steve
tet301
tet301
56 posts
Joined February 2016

RE: Powder spills

Okay, this one has really got me thinking. I've been playing with my .223 tool head, with the powder funnel and a couple of pieces of brass. In order for my casing to actually move the funnel and open the powder measure, the case mouth has to catch on the very edge of the funnel, and where I can position the casing for this to occur, the entire shoulder of the casing is visible below the bottom of the powder die. Where the casing properly enters the powder die, the entire shoulder is fully inserted into the powder die. Thus, if you have been setting these aside, I wonder if they share a common head stamp? If so, I'd be interested in knowing what it is. But regardless, I think it still possible to utilize this brass with perhaps a slight change in your hand placement when loading so that your left hand helps to guide the casing into the powder die at station two. I know that I sometimes need to use a similar technique at the sizing die on station one where I begin to run into casings that are not properly aligned, even with the retainer spring in place.
Like you, I'd be interested in seeing what Dillon advises on this one. Other than the additional steps associated with case preparation, this caliber remains one of my favorites to reload and shoot.
Good luck

Terry
mnguy51
mnguy51
8 posts
Joined December 2015

RE: Powder spills

Thanks Terry, I have opened a support case with Dillon. I also tossed the cases back in with the others so I screwed up there until I run into them again.

I will report what Dillon's response is.
jforwel
jforwel
82 posts
Joined November 2007

RE: Powder spills

Two steps to do that might help. Clean out the entire powder bar system and wipe down with a bounce dryer sheet and each time you raise the ram tap the powder bar a couple of times over the case to help the powder flow. Hope that helps.
mnguy51
mnguy51
8 posts
Joined December 2015

RE: Powder spills

No response from Dillon on my support case submitted by email on 9/25. Sent them a reminder email a few days ago but they must be swamped.

Probably try the phone support this coming week
Fishobaby
Fishobaby
109 posts
Joined December 2017

RE: Powder spills

Bases on very limited information, it sounds like you might have some gunky gunk built-up inside the shellplate "semicircles" where the case rim fits. This can cause the case to be off-center a bit. It might only be one of the positions. An easy way to test for this is to pull one of the locator pins and run the pointy end of a zip tie through each groove as you index it. A little case lube makes it sticky in there and some powder sticks to it, then more case lube, and more powder then next thing you know the case is pushed outward from where it needs to be. I hope this is your easy fix!
Fishobaby
Fishobaby
109 posts
Joined December 2017

RE: Powder spills

I had another thought. It could be a chewed-up or misshapen case rim keeping the case from properly entering the shellplate and centering. I always check that the bottom of range brass fits easily into a case gauge backwards, which always finds several problem cases.
mnguy51
mnguy51
8 posts
Joined December 2015

RE: Powder spills

Thank you for the insights FishOBaby. I will have a look at the shellplate grooves.

And i will try eyeballing each case as it goes up on station 2.