Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

rdinak

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Many years ago I owned a Dillon 1050. Now I want another one. The idea of a built in primer pocket swager for .223 is attractive. The dream of producing match grade .308 at a decent rate is even more appealing. I already know what this jewel can do in .45.

Question is anyone here turning out match grade ammo on a 1050? Please share your thoughts and experience.
 

jasonk

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

They've got built in primer pocket swagers.....great, one more thing on the "need" list.

I've got to imagine that Federal and Black Hills aren't loading their "match grade" ammo on a single stage.

J
 

Larry Burchfield

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

The best match grade ammo should be loaded one at the time. The 1050 will probably load consistant ammo but not match grade. You might gt better loads if you change the Dillon powder to something a little better. It doesn't meter stick powder very well.
I also don't think that Federal or Blackhill's use Dillon loaders as they have to have more production than the Dillon.
MHO
larryj
 

Nocalphoenix

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

Im using the 550 and have no problems getting suffifiently precise loads. My runout is .001-.002 depending on the quality of the brass to start with. I measure the powder about every 50 rounds (varget) and do not see much variation. My vertical spreads are within expected limits of the gun so I dont think accurate powder charges are an issue.

If your concerned about the accuracy of the powder you can switch to something like Ramshot TAC that flows much better.
 

Michael

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

any precision rifle round loaded with a dillon powder dispenser is going to be sub par at best.

Unless you have a really cheap definition of "Match Grade".
 

gunrunner

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

I think 1/2 moa is a good definition of match grade ammo, all loaded on a Dillon 550B with the Dillon powder measure at the rate of 300 rounds an hour.
 

gunrunner

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

1/2 inch group at 200 yards.

Hornady 50 grain V-Max, five rounds, RRA Varmint with 24-inch 1:8 twist barrel. It will do this about every time I shoot it.

3/4 inch groups at 200 yards.

Sierra 65 grain BTS, five rounds, RRA Varmint
Sierra 65 grain BTS, five rounds, Savage 10FP
Hornady 155 grain A-Max, five rounds, Savage 10FP
Hornady 50 grain V-Max, five rounds, Savage 10FP

1 inch group at 200 yards.

Hornady 75 grain A-Max, five rounds, RRA varmint

1.5 inch group at 200 yards.

Sierra 165 grain BTS, five rounds, M1A

9/16th of an inch group at 100 yards

Sierra 69 grain BTHP, five rounds, Savage 10FP

I have other rifles that will shoot similiar groups with the same loads. These are the groups I recorded while chronographing these loads. From time to time I have shot better groups. I have found that shooting ten round groups is a
waste of ammo and time so I just shoot five round groups.
 

Greg Langelius *

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

Michael;

The dispenser has its problems with consistency, especially with stick powders, but match grade loads can be made using it, you just don't trust the measure to drop the charge perfectly every time. For several years, all the ammo used at the Palma Nationals was handloaded on a Dillon.

So, you do a few things. In honesty, I'd be doing these things with any dispenser, I'm not big on trusting machinery where match ammo is concerned.

First, the dispenser's powder path works better when it's clean and polished.

Second, static is one of the key villains in this piece, and providing the press with a dependable electrical ground does a lot to put that villain in the hoosegow.

Thirdly, for just about every stick powder, there's also a ball powder that gives pretty similar performance. Use the ball powder. This is where Winchester and Ramshot propellents shine.

Next, charge weigh consistency improves considerably if you make some effort to keep the powder level in the dispenser near the top, bottom, middle, somewhere, but wherever it is, try to keep it consistent. I like to keep it nearer the top; but everybody get low eventually, so just be aware that the level makes a difference.

Finally, you don't try to drop a perfect charge, you drop one that's consistently over. Since I weigh each charge anyway for match ammo, a consistently overweight charge can be adjusted by taking a pinch out of the powder pan, and trickling some back to achieve the desired charge weight. Excess goes in a small recepticle, to be added back to the hopper periodically.

Yes, you have to make some allowance for the dispenser. But I dont trust any dispenser, and I'd be doing the same for match ammo, no matter what dispenser I was using. I don't assume, I know.

Greg
 

Michael

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

Gunrunner,Greg,
This is what happens when we think different levels of that elusive term "match grade". I'm guilty as hell of doing that.

To me it's 10 consecutive shots in 10 inches at 1000 yards, which would give the guy a chance at placing in the finals at a match. That's just my definition and means nothing to anyone but me. We know from following NRA 'F' class comps in the last couple years that even that is a loose standard of acheivement.


It did occur to me that some of the best HP shooters throw loads for everything but 600 yards, then take some care for those loads and weigh them. Under 500 yards yeah, you can run stuff through a Dillon or other thrower and it works just fine. Bench resters can't tell you what their powder charge is, but can recite the number of 'clicks' on the Herrels measure they use.
1000 yard bechresters can tell you to the 0.0 grain what their charge is.

Greg, to your point on using the dillon measure to throw heavy then adjust......ain't that counter productive to the concept of pull the lever and mass produce?

Didn't the palma game get alot tighter when competitors got away from mass produced ammo and started loading their own by weight and not volume? Not beating on you, just saying that you can do a bunch of things to acheive a goal, but sometimes there's a better way.

Also, point taken on tuning the dillon measure. I forget who published the detailed account of tuning a unit here on the hide, but I did that on my pistol and 223 set ups, and the resulting increase in consistancy was dramatic.
I use a Dillon (I have 4 each 550's) for my bolt rifle and M1A, but the charges are weighed then dumped into the powder funnel. 100 quality rounds per hour is fast enough for me. I'm at the tail end of the slow group anyway
 

kraigWY

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

I dont have a Dillon 1050, but I do have the old Dillon RL 1000, a forerunner. I've put out some pretty diecent ammo on it. I load mostly for High Power and found it more the satisfactory.

I found the slide bar power system on the RL 1000 more accurate then my RCBS cylender messure.

When I was running the AN NG marksmanship unit, there was a shortage of match ammo during the switch over from M118 White Box and the M852. I held back the M118 brass, bought 168 SMKs and 4895 Power and the Dillon pumped out a lot of ammo that shot as well as the 852 stuff.
 

Greg Langelius *

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

Yes it is counter, but I'd be doing the same thing with a single stage. That's simply my 'trust but verify' approach.

As for Palma, my exposure to the discipline was peripheral and only the once (SOA 2002), but the impression I was getting was that those folks would not accept anything that was both mandatory and allowed one comeptitor any advantage over the other.

Palma was once fired with issued ammo, and that issued ammo was milsurp/milspec ammo. The Dillon period represented a quantum advance in ammo quality.

The point was that everyone had the same ammo to use, it was a key common denominator. By allowing multiple sources, that part of the playing field has developed a few bumps.

I can't be sure about your info source on tuning the dispenser, but it could have been me. I share whatever distinction may apply with some others here.

With regard to F Class 1MOA/1000yd, I honestly believe that primo equipment is essential, but without wind savvy, no firearm/ammo system will deliver that accuracy requirement.

Because of such niceties, you and I share similar outcomes.

Greg
 

Nocalphoenix

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

Michael,
Agree on the loose terms of "Match grade", I get 1/2moa to 300 and 1moa to 800 but that is pretty much the limits of me and my rifle. I hope I did not imply it was comparible with wilson dies and a benchrest style approach.

At first I was sceptical the dillon would allow enough precision for match rifle rounds but my requirements centered around reliable ammo, runout less than .002 and powder charges with no more than .1 grain and the dillon has met that. I have stayed away from the longer stick powders and when using something like H4831 I have seen charges vary up to .5gr and hand weigh all of the charges.

I might be wrong but I though Tubb indicated he was using a Dillon for all of his match ammo.
 

AZHUNTER

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

My dillon 550 would not through consistent enough charges for me to trust it until i googled (dillon powder measure tips) I think?? But anyway I polished the parts specified and now my 550 throughs nearly perfect Varget and Benchmark charges every time!! worth checking out.

Good shooting,
John
 

Hoser

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

Do a search for Dillon and Varget or Dillon Powder Measure Tips.

Here is what I have done to make my Dillon powder measures throw more consistent charges with all powders. Not just coarse grained powders like Varget, 4198, ect…

First remove the plastic hopper from the measure. If its yellow and cracked, order a new one.

If you look inside you see how rough the inside of the measure is. Its just a aluminum casting.





I start by hitting the inside with some 440 wet/dry sandpaper to take off the high spots. I also break the edge where the hole is in the bottom. Then I fire up the Foredom (AKA Dremel) and start polishing. I use a small Scrotchbrite wheel for the majority of the work. After it starts looking better, I start up with the felt tips and polishing rouge. Once it looks like a good mirror finished feed ramp, I apply some car polish. Several coats just to make sure it stays pretty and more importantly, slick.





It is a royal pain to get inside the track where the adjustment bar slides, but it seems to help. Using a piece of flatbar, I just knock off the highspots with some 440 sandpaper. Then using a large diameter felt wheel, I polish the bottom and left (side away from lever linkage) side. Just polish, don’t remove any metal. Try as I might, my camera wont focus that close.

A big part of adjustment repeatability is the addition of the <span style="text-decoration: underline">Uniquetek</span> adjustment knob. With absolutely zero backlash, turning it to X.XX on the dial equals what it did the last time you used it there. Before installing the Uniquetek, I polish the powder bar also. I lightly break the sharp edges on the corners. Try not to remove much metal. Just get it slick. Don’t forget to polish the little notch where the square plastic washer rides. Once installed, consider adding a *very* small amount of grease on the backside of the washer. Probably cant hurt, might help. Here is what the measure looks like with the Uniquetek installed.






I have a grounding wire running from my 1050s to an outlet to keep the whole machine grounded. I also keep anti static spray close by if I see powder sticking to the side of the measure. Some guys tape a static cling sheet to the outside of the powder hopper, but then I cant see how much powder I have left…

I also polish the inside of the powder funnel that rides inside the powder die and also where the powder flows through the measure itself. If it is for 223 or another case where compressed charges are likely, I heavily polish the hole and make it as much of a taper as I possibly can. This allows the powder go in the case faster and keeps spilling down to a dull roar. With a good taper and polish job, I can throw 27.0 gns of Varget in a Lake City 223 case without occasional spilling. Before, 26.6-ish was about it.

Don’t forget to grease the outside rear of the measure where it rides up and down. That is the only place where grease/oil *should* be used.

After doing all this, I can throw 10 charges of Varget and only have a 0.2 (0.3 on a bad day) variance, 0.1 either side of the desired weight.

As a technique, I pull the handle down somewhat fast and smooth, stopping abruptly at the bottom of the stroke. Every time. This keeps the powder settled so even amounts get dropped. I go up much slower as I am using an auto indexing machine.

I don’t use any graphite or other dry lubes on the powder bars. It can build up and make the powder bar bind. Gunpowder has enough graphite-ish stuff in it to keep things moving.

Don’t leave powder in your hoppers, it attracts moisture and can klump up leading to powder “jams.” Fine grained pistol powders are really bad about this. Ask me how I know.

Lastly, I hate the Dillon low powder sensors and powder check dies and don’t recommend them.
 

rsplante

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Norcal Phoenix</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Michael,
I might be wrong but I though Tubb indicated he was using a Dillon for all of his match ammo. </div></div>
You are not wrong. On p. 415 of Glen Zediker's book, Handloading for Competition, he shows a picture of David Tubb's highly modified RL550. It has a Prometheus powder measure permanently attached to it.
 

Jumper

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

You might try fitting Hornady's case activated powder measure to the 1050. It should work. Its a very accurate measure. I would think it would dispense Varget and other stick powders to within .2gr's. For me with ball powders and pistol powders its less than .1gr variation.
 

problemchild

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

There is no way you can get accurate loads from a dillon.
Dont believe what they say. You can get good accurate loads with a few mods to the press. Polish the powder horn like shown above. I did not use the mic adjuster I just got a big blue knob off ebay. I also switched to a powder that seems to throw well out of the dillon. Varget does not meter well.

I used unique tec cnc head with floating die holders and screwed the head up tight to the press so it doesnt float around.

http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1389
]

http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1230

One last thing I do is use reddings floating carbide neck expanding ball on my comp sizer die.






 

rsplante

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: problemchild</div><div class="ubbcode-body">You can get good accurate loads with a few mods to the press. ...I used unique tec cnc head with floating die holders and screwed the head up tight to the press so it doesnt float around.

http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1389
]

http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1230

</div></div>

+1 on the uniquetek cnc toolhead w/floating die holders. I have also had good luck with another mod from uniquetek. Their TURBO-BEARING goes under the shellplate allowing you to tighten down on the bolt to reduce play (and presumably inprove concentricity). I say presumably because it sounds good in theory (I'm an engineer); however, I unfortunately made three changes in close succession. Between the three of them, they tightened up my concentricity by a factor of 10. (as checked with a Hornady Concentricity gauge upgraded with a Starrett 0.0001" dial indicator) I don't want to "undo" my working setup merely for science. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The other two changes were the UniqueTek toolhead, and replacing the Dillon bullet seating die with the Redding Competition bullet seating die.

http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1281

http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1282


 
G

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

An unmodified Dillon 1050 is quite capable of producing highly accurate match loads.


Mike
 

rsplante

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

Great looking site. I just spent the past half hour there. I would buy from you, but with the amount of money I have invested in loading tools, my wife would kill me. (She still keeps asking me if I am really saving money by reloading. I haven't told her that I don't save money, I just shoot more, and much more accurately.)
 

boomfab

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Re: Does anyone load match grade ammo on a Dillon 1050

I load all my match 69gr .223 3gun ammo on a 1050.

I get 0.75" 10-groups with it at 100 yards.

I use Varget and found that using a tapered reamer on the powder funnel helps greatly as it keeps the powder from ever bridging.