Just dove in on a vanilla XL650. Any must have upgrades?
Posted 23 October 2018 - 09:38 AM
Been looking at the Armanov powder throw adjustment knob, cause I hate pulling out a wrench for painfully small adjustments. and the led lighting ring, cause I refuse to put a bulky shop light up on my workbench.
Not ready for automated loading, so I’m skipping the expensive quality of life attachments....for now.
Posted 23 October 2018 - 12:50 PM
I can't figure out why I would want a bullet feeder, but the case-feeder is pretty valuable. I also got an inline fabrication mount for mine, with their handy trays on the left side for bullets (and allen wrenches), and a roller handle. that pretty much covers it for me, but I'm not really a gadget guy, and I hate screwing with stuff to keep it running. I just load 100-200 rounds at a time almost every day, and then do other stuff, and leave the press set up all the time.
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Posted 23 October 2018 - 02:49 PM
Somewhat agree with what has already been said...
Roller handle is worth it.
Some type of bullet tray is good.
Casefeeder is practically a MUST on the 650.
Configuring some type of tubing system to funnel spent primers into a catch basin.
Powder knob is a win; powder bar micrometer is NOT a necessity at all, IMO.
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Posted 23 October 2018 - 06:10 PM
- Foam cover + roller handle = cadillac of non-automated set up
- LED lighting for the after the powder drop
- Canned air for all dust, spilled powder and gunk that gets caught in the shell plate
Posted 23 October 2018 - 06:57 PM
Went ahead and put the order in for the roller handle, interior led lighting setup and powder adjustment knob to start.
Case feeder will probably be a Xmas present to myself. Will give me time to get in the habit of checking powder drop on the scale and measuring OAL at certain intervals since adding cases forces me to stop every 15-20 rounds while I re-up.
Far as the live primer ski jump, I just cut off the finger of a latex glove and covered it up while I explore options.
Posted 23 October 2018 - 08:29 PM
I have too many different calibers/loads for that approach to be economically feasible. I have the micrometer settings for each load recorded to allow me to easily set my adjustment. That said I load in big batches so I don't have to set up as often.
I have multiple powder measures for different tool heads. Once I chrono a lot of powder I never touch the powder measure again.
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Posted 24 October 2018 - 08:49 PM
You don’t need the live primer catcher. I would be lucky to have one live primer ejected in 3,000 loaded rounds. It’s a non issue.
Spent primer tube into a big bucket is not only easier but keeps the press cleaner.
Me bullet feeder is the #1 upgrade. And if you get it then you don’t need to blow money on a strong mount or bullet tray.
I mount mine on a piece of pine sleeper then clamp that to a big solid bench. Rock solid.
Inline fabrication light kit is awesome.
Dillon rollers handle with the uniquetek foam cover is excellent.
I do like shell plate bearing with 1 washer and the delrin detent ball.
Bullet feeder is a must have.
Posted 26 October 2018 - 08:47 AM
I’ve taken to loading 1000 rounds at a time because I really don’t like going out to the garage every other day and loading a few hundred just in time for a practice session or match.
Posted 26 October 2018 - 10:14 AM
I started with the basic 650 and have put a number of updates into mine. I love it. Occasionally I wish I had gotten a 1050, but honestly a 650 does everything I need it to do. I do drool at the new Mark7 Revolution (here), but again, the 650 is doing its job by making me about 15k to 20k rounds a season.
Here are the upgrades:
Thumb Screw Knob for the Powder Bar (here)
- I thought of getting the micrometer, but you will find the bar is not that accurate. There is a "feel" and that a 1/16 turn doesn't always measure the same way when adjusting it (ie. the micrometer is overkill). You will still be adjusting it back and forth to get the measure you want anytime you change the drop.
Roller Handle - can't imaging reloading with out it. Absolutely necessary
Bullet Tray - can't imaging hand reloading with out it. You will develop a rhythm with grabbing a bullet from within the tray and placing it on the next case. Don't overload it, grab from the top of the tray, you'll have a feel and position the bullet correctly in your fingers. The flow will come, trust me.
Light kit or what I did was just get an adjustable LED lamp to shine down into the shell plate. LED to reduce heat.
Buy extra Primer Tubes. I got 10. It allows you to load up 1000 in a single sitting from a standard box. Trust me, it just makes things easier and flows better in the whole process.
Canned air to clear our the shell plate. I finally upgraded to a small air compressor (here) with a air blow gun (here). This was a great investment and I love it. I don't go through any air cans anymore and I use it for gun cleaning, press cleaning, lots of other applications.
Case feeder. You're speed will increase and you'll need one very soon.
Spare Pats Kit. I can't stress this enough - something WILL break. The 650 is designed for certain parts to break to extend the life of the parts that shouldn't break. From memory,these are key parts to have on hand: Ring Indexer, Primer Indexing Arm, Springs (pretty much all of them but key ones are the indexing arm spring, index return spring, primer support shim), 18086 - the small plastic white bushing at the bottom of the rod from the powder dispenser that connects to the primer housing, and extra Station 1 Locator plates (brass can get jammed in there, it gets pitted up, shells tip more and everything goes to hell). Learn to love this page here and just order a spare parts kit asap (https://www.dillonprecision.com/xl-650-spare-parts-kit_8_3_23824.html) You will understand the first time something breaks and its the week before a match and you lazed out and didn't make enough ammo.
Bullet feeder. I went for years without one. I got the Mr Bullet Feeder a couple years ago. I was upset at myself for not getting one sooner, you will be too. You can ditch the bullet tray if you upgrade now.
Primer Catcher - I upgraded to this (here) and I LOVE it. Never have to deal with primers on the floor. No tubes draping down off the press. And easy to clean up and dump when needed.
Spent Primer Catcher/Upgrade - I originally did the 45 shell case cut trick and attached a clear tube and ran it down to a empty jar under the press. The case would get gunked up pretty fast. I eventually switched to a fabricated fitting very similar to this one (here) however its not 3D printed and I can't locate where I got it long ago. I would definitely recommend this type of upgrade if you're not buying deprimed/processed brass (I got lazy and just buy it processed most of the time now since I shoot 9mm)
Honestly, the BIGGEST upgrade I did was get a Mark7 Pro for it. Yes, its a lot of money. Yes, I should maybe gotten it for a 1050; but I'm not disappointed one bit and CONSTANTLY tell my wife how much I love it. Once you get it tuned and have the BulletSense positioning LAZZERRR and the PrimerStop. OMG, you load it up and watch it go. You can do other things while its reloading (clean guns, clean man cave, think about how you should be dryfiring more) and before you know it, you have 100 rounds done. Repeat as needed. Yes, you keep an eye on it, but with the BulletSense and PrimerStop and all the other features like TorqueSense, the press will stop if something bad happens.
Its a big investment, but I honestly don't think there is a single person out there that shoots the volume we do that regrets getting a Mark7. Start saving. Trust me.
Only other upgrade I'm thinking about is the Dillon RF100 to fill primer tubes, but my wife fills primer tubes while I case gauge the ammo. Its a couples thing, I'm pretty fucking lucky.
"You can give it the old spin."
Posted 27 October 2018 - 09:42 PM
Pro Tip: always end your changes going in the same direction, clockwise or counterclockwise. This minimizes backlash in the system.
While you are at it, don’t use the little thumb wheel screw replacements for the llen screws, use an Armanov Quick Disconnect: https://www.ebay.com...Z4AAOSw7m9a--uy
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Posted 29 October 2018 - 10:35 AM
Go to eBay and pick up the camming pin and the index bearing cam block. Those parts have no business being metal/plastic and plastic/plastic interfaces. Run the roller bearing upgrades and you can run those spots dry so you aren’t getting grease all over you.
Convert the bolt in the center of the shellplate to a roller bearing and run a low-mass detent ball; the “spill stop” system. It helps reduce powder spillage.
Mr Bulletfeeder went on mine after 6 years without it. I’m keeping one on my press forever. Period. This should be purchased the moment you have $500 available. Sell a gun if you have to.
Final upgrade? What I just did to my 650:
Replace it with a 1050.
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Posted 29 October 2018 - 09:42 PM
Make sure you LUBE. Their are some plastic parts that need motor grease on them and if you don't keep it lubed it will mess it up.
Primer drop is a problem and will mess up and back up your machine. Make sure they are being popped out and dropping away from the machine. Use any hacks to fix this.
Canned air is good.
Case feeder now, bullet feeder next.
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