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Discussion Starter #1
Too late to call Dillon, maybe someone knows the answer.

My 550B arrived today. The Powder charge assembly is loaded automatically with the small powder charge bar.

In the manual it says that whenever possible, always use the large powder charge bar. But I'm pretty sure that one of the guys at Dillon told me that the small powder charge bar is plenty enough for 45 acp.

Anyone know what the small powder charge bar is rated at?
(from how many grains min to how many grains max)
 

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The standard small powder charge bar is more than adequate for any of your current or future .45 acp reloading needs. You do not need the standard large bar unless you are going to be loading rifle cartridges. Dillon also makes a extra small powder bar as well as a much larger magnum powder bar. Stick with the standard small that your machine came with and you will have no issues.
 

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What Bullseye said....Plus
About the smallest charge the rifle bar will drop is right around 11- 12 grains or so but will vary a tad depending on the powder used. So magnum pistol stuff can use the Large powder bar. But for 45acp, as Bullseye said, stick with the small bar that came with the press.....You will have no problems with the small bar at all.

Here is little warning on a NEW 550. At this time of year with people turning on the HEAT, sometimes this makes your home very dry and STATIC. Static electricity will effect your plastic powder measure TUBE-----make sure it isn't making powder stick to the sides of it. Maybe even wipe the inside down with a anti static piece from your wifes laundry supplies.
Also you can buy a spray can of anti static (for vinyl records) from Radio Shack. After awhile the black stuff(graphite) from the powder will coat the tube and inner parts of the drop area and you will have no more problems-----this is just something to watch out for on a NEW press or in a very dry (static electricity) home.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
condo-
I appreciate that tip. In south LA, I don't have too much of a problem, and my press is in the garage too. But it's good to know of a solution like that.
 

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Just a hint. If you are going to use that same powder measure for different caliber setups or even change from one powder to another with more than a small difference in charge, measure the gap at the back of the powder bar in front of the adj. screw when it's set perfect for that charge with your calipers. Write it down in your log book. You can return almost on the button to that charge without alot of tweaking just fine adjustment.

I change from 44mag which I keep set up most of the time to rifle calibers which I load seldom with a difference in charge weight of over 25 grains and get it within .5 grains easy this way.

I leave the setup for 45 ACP alone as it uses the small powder bar.

Dog
 

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I am throwing 10.0 grain loads with

the small bar, with great repeatability and no problems. The only time a charge is likely to be off (and it's always high) is if I've waited a while between throws; say, refilling the primer tube.

The only time I use the large bar is when I'm loading rifle cartridges.
 

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Another tip that may or may not be news to you:

I keep an appropriately sized socket on the bench to fit over the powder charge bar adjustment nut. It's easy to turn the socket by hand this way. There's probably an easy way to attach the socket to the nut semi-permanently, but I haven't bothered yet.
 

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Go to a Home Depot, Lowes, good hardware store or someplace similar and obtain the following little plastic piece for about eighty-cents.

This piece is made by Crown Bolt Incorporated, Cerritos, CA 90703 and should be available in many different markets. The package is marked:
Knob - Round
White
5/16"
79
Plastic
DR# - 24 Bin - P
Dr# - 970 1 Pcs

SKU#: 3069977998 (may be a Home Depot SKU number?)

This knob is one inch in outside diameter and has a knurled plastic edge on it. There is a small little plastic bump located in the very center of the knob that needs to be ground off - very easy to do. This little bump is about .157" in height and about .280" in diameter. When this little bump is removed this knob fits onto the adjusting nut on the end of the Dillon powder bars like a glove - Nice and snug and does not slip or pop off. You can even add some calibration lines to the inside visible portion of this knob to use as a guide when making adjustments if you like. Very handy, works fine, is always in place and cost is minimal. Have been using these on my 650's for several years and still have not had to replace one.
 

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I keep a 7/16 nut driver for adjusting the powder, it gives a little visual (from the grip) how far you're turning - Craftsman to Craftsman (one revo), etc...
 

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Yes Condo, and thanks to you, I purchased a couple of them. They work great and press on with no modifications. Looks OEM to.
Bronson7
 
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