Dillon 550B setup

Posted: December 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

As intimidating as it looks the setup is relatively easy.  It took me roughly 2 hours but keep in mind that was taking picture breaks and helping my wife carry groceries into the house.

First step, we need to get it bolted down. Dillon recommends twelve inches of work space on each side.  Four 1/4 inch bolts are used to hold the press in place.


Bolted down and rock solid.

Next step is to attach the cartridge collection bin bracket. This allows the completed cartridges to be ejected onto the chute and slide down into the bin.  You will need some wood screws or very small bolts to attach this directly to the bench.


Here you can see the chute and collection bin


A side view

After the bracket is set into place we need to apply the shellplate, the index ball and spring, the index sprocket, and set screw.


All assembled it should look like this.


With all the parts assembled you need to run the press to the top of its stroke and insert the set screw into the side of the shaft.


Here you can almost see the set screw in this horrible blurry picture.

With the set screw tightened and the shell plate moving freely on the index ball we are on to tackling the priming system. First you need to know the kit comes set up for large primers. I will be setting mine up for 9mm and .223 so I needed the small primer bar installed (included) which added one extra step which, surprisingly this was much easier than I expected and the Dillon instruction manual outlines it really well. After the bar is installed you need to install the operating rod between the two white rollers. The kit includes an alarm for the primer tube that will sound when the tube becomes empty. Simply slipping it on to the tube and installing the battery completes this step.


When completed the priming system should resemble this.


Primer tube alarm

After this step the lower half of the press is completed. I added one step that wasnt in the Dillon instruction manual….. have the wife make cookies.


mmmm…….. cookies

Starting with the upper half we need to get the dies into the toolhead. I didn’t add any good photos of the assembly of this since its pretty self explanatory. To get the dies adjusted properly refer to the instructions with your dies. Any standard 7/8 x 14 die will work with your Dillon press. For example, I am using Lee dies for my 9mm and RCBS for my .223 and both work fine.

The powder will be assembled by placing the powder measure on top of the die. A little trick is to leave the powder assembly a little loose on top of the die so it will be easier to adjust the die with it on top. After installing the powder bar, which is very simple and nearly self-explanatory, that is all that is left.  I haven’t tightened down my dies yet since I’m still waiting on my projectiles to show up.


Finished up

Everything went smoothly and I didn’t run across anything the instruction manual didn’t cover. One thing I went out of my way to do was label my pickup tubes that are included with the kit. The tubes are color coded but I would rather read small or large on the tube then try to remember what color stands for what. I can’t wait for my projectiles to show up so I can get this thing rolling. As soon as I put around 1000 rounds through it I will be back with a full report and review on the function. Any questions between now and then just stick a comment on this post or send me an email and I will try to get you an answer as soon as possible.


  1. […] received a Lee Precision Carbide 9mm 4 die set for Christmas last year to complement my new Dillon 550b. I had a little problem with it last week when I was loading some extra ammo for the START class. […]

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