hankousmc
hankousmc
9 posts
Joined October 2013

Shell alignment

All,

I have a 550B, and for the most part am quite pleased with it.  I am closing in on 5,000 rounds reloaded.  There is one problem that has become so annoying that I must ask for help.  Whenever I reload 30-06 or 270 ammo, the shells are occasionally not lined up to fit into the die at station 1.  I have to manually fiddle with the shell and cause it to line up properly.  This happens about every fourth shell, and adds significantly to the time it takes to reload, while decreasing the enjoyment of the process.  The shell plate is as tight as it can get and still turn.  I have disassembled the mechanism and cleaned all parts thoroughly even though no need was seen for this.  This happens with different shell plates and dies, so it seems isolated to the mechanism itself.  If I am not careful, I can easily dent the lip of the brass.  This never happens while reloading any pistol cartridges (.45 ACP, 9 mm, .44).  When I reload 308 ammo, this happens much less often, so it would seem the length of the cartridge is a contributor to this problem.

Any suggestions are welcome!

dillon
Administrator
dillon
3,222 posts
Joined July 2007

RE: Shell alignment

First, be sure the number stamped on the shellplate is visible on the top.

Next, it helps if you tighten the die lock rings with cases up in the dies. This makes sure the die is straight. Push down on the edge of the shellplate between stations 2 and 3. If it feels springy, then the shellplate bolt needs to be tighter. It helps to grease the underside of the head of the shellplate bolt, where it goes into the recess in the top of the index sprocket.

hankousmc
hankousmc
9 posts
Joined October 2013

RE: Shell alignment

OK.  Shell plate is right side up.  Although I just thought of something that may be important.  All the sizing dies that exhibit this behavior are neck sizing dies.  It's as if the problem is occurring when the carbide button is entering the shell mouth (or trying to).  When the resistance is felt, there is quite a bit of movement of the shell within the die.  These dies were adjusted per Redding instructions.  I will tighten down the die with the shell inside per your advice.  Thanks for you very fast response.
hankousmc
hankousmc
9 posts
Joined October 2013

RE: Shell alignment

Hello,

I believe this problem has been solved. I realigned the spring that holds the shell in place such that the force it exerts is pushing the shell straight back into the shell holder, rather than pushing it against the side of the shell holder. This lateral force was the cause of the occasional shell misalignment.

Thanks again for your quick response

Hank
x9QLL3g28mH
x9QLL3g28mH
6 posts
Joined July 2010

RE: Shell alignment

I have had this problem with both 550b's I have owned.  I just set up the press for .45 ACP.  I had to fiddle with the lower plate alignment in order to get the large primer punch to line up with the shell plate's primer hole.  This process took several hours.  Now that the primer punch is centered, I see that the cases are not centered on the resizing die.  Cases are centered perfectly on the other 3 stations.

I realize that the sizing die has the smallest opening, but the misalignment is more than can be remedied by tightening the die with a shell and ram all the way up.  Tightening down the shell plate center bolt to eliminate springiness makes the process of turning the shell plate very hard - but the tensioning ball bearing is approximately opposite station #1, so that method has some bearing on the problem.  I am using 2 nuts on the resizing die with an O-ring underneath.  This gives some extra play in the die as the case feeds into it.  This whole process took the better part of 2 days to resolve, even though I have a dedicated tool holder, dies and powder measure.  Not amused.
dillon
Administrator
dillon
3,222 posts
Joined July 2007

RE: Shell alignment

The bent paper-clip looking spring should not quite touch the case. Adjust this so it is within .002-.004" of touching the case.