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It's not the squareness of the punch set up that is critical. It's the punch height that is critcal. The primer will square itself when seated properly. If you have a primer that is out of square on your finished rounds it means your primers are not getting fully seated. It is that simple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
It's not the squareness of the punch set up that is critical. It's the punch height that is critcal. The primer will square itself when seated properly. If you have a primer that is out of square on your finished rounds it means your primers are not getting fully seated. It is that simple.
Good to know. I'll set it up to the max height within the specs.
 

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When I set it up after installing the new primer punch parts, I did check that it was the proper height with calipers.

I set the height by trial and error while the punch assembly was in the machine to try and tighten it down while keeping it square.

Is there a better way of doing this? the primer punch assembly has a lot of wiggle room and is easy to install crooked.
Download the manual. Look at page 52.
I set the height by placing the assembly in a vise with a spent primer in the cup. There are references on the internet on how set the punch and primer slide to the correct height.

 

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What regulates the depth of primer seating is the small screw on the front of the platform (black plate bolted to top of ram). I didn’t see it in the manual linked to (maybe Dillon eliminated it) to but it was on my 450B…later converted to 550B using the Dillon 550 frame kit.
The screw limits platform movement downward at the bottom of the ram stroke. Shortening the effective screw length allows deeper seating, lengthening causes shallower seating. The whole idea is to prevent crushing the priming compound. In reality, I set mine to provide a little crush then set the limit screw to allow just a thread or two more ram travel down. This allows for variations in primer pocket depth, tight vs. loose pockets, and so on.
 

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What regulates the depth of primer seating is the small screw on the front of the platform (black plate bolted to top of ram). I didn’t see it in the manual linked to (maybe Dillon eliminated it) to but it was on my 450B…later converted to 550B using the Dillon 550 frame kit.
The screw limits platform movement downward at the bottom of the ram stroke. Shortening the effective screw length allows deeper seating, lengthening causes shallower seating. The whole idea is to prevent crushing the priming compound. In reality, I set mine to provide a little crush then set the limit screw to allow just a thread or two more ram travel down. This allows for variations in primer pocket depth, tight vs. loose pockets, and so on.
On my 550b there is no such screw in the (13781) Shellplate Platform. The only screws in the bottom of that Platform are those holding the (14280) Roller bracket Shell Platform and the (13885) Return Bracket (for the fail safe rod).
 

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Send it to Dillon, they will fix it.
This is not common, and they would rather that you be happy. Something weird is happening like an extra shim under the shellplate or some odd aftermarket part throwing it off.
 

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It is notable that if Dillon had designed the set-screw to come in at the bottom instead of the side, a bottom set screw would have kept the primer punch from slipping as with its current side arraignment, while at the same time being easier to set to spec.
Working off memory (not in the loading room) but that set screw would be blocked from access, if underneath, wouldn't it?
 

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^^^ It would then require removal of the priming assembly. PITA for sure.
 

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^^^ It would then require removal of the priming assembly. PITA for sure.
The height of the primer assembly is set with the primer slide on your bench. The correct height (via Dillon) is 1.215" - 1.220" from the bottom of the slide to the top of the cup. That is usually measured with the unit in one hand and your dial caliper in the other. The easiest way to set that height, is to put a spent primer in the cup and with the set-screw loose and using a small vise to "squeeze" the assembly to the the correct specification. Some people use a Vise Grip to compress the unit, but I find a small vise on my bench much easier (you can measure the height if you take care of where you put the unit in the jaws of the vise). Once the correct height is attained, re-mount the primer slide in the press. For God's sake! Don't ask me for a picture.
 

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Before I would get to the point of putting any of my press parts in a “vise”, I’m sending it back to Dillon to deal with. I don’t know how this got screwed up, but it is certainly not the norm.
 

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Before I would get to the point of putting any of my press parts in a “vise”, I’m sending it back to Dillon to deal with. I don’t know how this got screwed up, but it is certainly not the norm.
If the Dillon Forum site was still up, you would see many references to setting the primer seating punch height. It is not a major undertaking. However, some of us are mechanically inclined... some are not. Like the line from an old movie: "A man has to know his limitations."
 

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Make sure there is no debris in the primer pickup holder thingie.
 
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