Dillon 650XL reloading press - notes

So… Been tinkering with Dillon 650XL last couple of evenings. Thought I’d share a few learnings and I am guessing a few of you will contribute to this post as a living Dillon 650 wiki sort of…

Dillon spanner - definitely useful. I did not get one, I bought a variable spanner today which is pretty small to fit on the busy toolhead.

Emptying powder hopper after use is a c*nt. entire toolhead needs to be taken out, tipped and shaken and what not. Not a fan. I will print me one of this (when I get around to it):

Since I am using powder check system, I am a station short and need to seat and crimp in one step. Read the manual and set-up DAA (Double Alpha)( 2-in-1 seat and crimp die, nice. Works well. Following the instructions helped. Feel dirty now.

Everything works well so far.

Took apart DAA bullet dropper die, why? Because I can’t help myself and need to see how it works. Anyway, ballbearings went everywhere. Not a big deal, but had to read the manual (again) to know which holes BBs need to go into (varies based on calibre).

Setting up powder thrower, always a prick. I started by using knob that came with kit (more on that later), I took it off, I figured it’s very easy to nudge and you only set it rarely. Better safe than wasting time readjusting. Knobs I found to be useless, for me anyway, but a very nice touch to include them with the kit.

Setting up powder check system was pretty easy, watch this video, it’s great:

After market roller bearing

Smoothed things out a bit.

Hit Factor Ultimate Bearing Kit For Dillon Xl 650

Knobs, meh, described above

Thumb (set) screws also came with the kit, I did not like them, using standard hex bolts. Could be your thing, but not my thing.

Using Camming Pin Bearing surprisingly made a big difference.

…then added new spring, bearing and bearing washer. Again, smoother things out quite a bit. I went pretty fast when I was testing stuff and wanted to see if there’s any powder spillage - went very smooth with zero spillage.

Tonight, will finish hopper adjustments and try to load a hundred or so rounds.

After setting everything up, there is no way in hell I am changing this, this is how they draw you in, damn it! So I’ll be getting another couple of things to make calibre conversions easier. That said, just from loading dummy rounds and doing dry runs, I can see how I can achieve in 20 minutes what used to take me at least a couple of hours.

That’s it for now.

thanks @1Fatman for doing heaps of research on this :smiley: I just reaped the fruits of your labour.

p.s. heaps of really cool stuff on Thingiverse.com for 650 - tomorrow is 3D printer day.


Very good write up and your welcome :star_struck:
I like the idea of the powder draining system and might have to chat about getting one printed up at a later date.

This is the knob that I ordered to make adjusting the powder measure easier, might be able to find a 3D printer version.

It has clicks so you can be more precise.

I got to admit that I had a giggle when you said that you pulled the DAA bullet dropper die apart, typical you :rofl: :rofl:

Glad that all the recommended parts worked out well.

It’s not so much about “clicks” or any other tactile (or other) feedback. It’d definitely be easier, but once it’s set, it’s set, so I figured I am good. Once it’s set, it’s set. It’s not like you are going to tinker with it. And for that price, I’d rather just pay more and buy another head and thrower…

If you don’t want to change the settings then you will have to buy another thrower etc for when you change calibres.

That’s the plan. It’s not so much the thrower, it’s everything. Seater, crimp, thrower, expander (in thrower) - although this one was very easy with DAA thrower funnel that came with 9/38 bullet feeder kit.

More learnings…

Decided to make a few rounds tonight, being a little unsure of everything, I did it in two steps as a first pass:

  1. prep and prime
  2. the rest (just yank FL die out)

So with prepping and priming, what did we learn? We learnt that if you short stroke it, it will look like the case is coming out but it will remain in the bushing. Which in turn will not seat the primer and throw it into live primer tray, weeeeee, like a freaking waterslide.

Solution (for now):

…for now, gaffer tape! Will swap for proper catcher when printer is running.

What else did we learn? We learnt that short-stroking it may double feed and do all sorts of crazy stuff, basically don’t short-stroke it.

On that note, roller handle, definitely would be easier on the hand, but I am used to pain… So no roller handle just yet.

Powder check alarm - very useful! Very! With everything happening, it’s easy to overlook something. Same for primer alarm. Necessities.

I also learnt that I need to keep an eye on bullet feeder (and case feeder), to switch tubes or a charged case without a bullet will fly into ammo box. Messy.

Will shoot what I made and then start cranking everything out in one go.

Also, feeling primer tubes is annoying. Will need to make a tool to automate that business.

For now, quite happy.

Case gauge is also a necessity. Tested every round, 3 failed.

If you want to do it quicker you can look at the Dillon RF100 Primer Filler but you will have to blow the moths out of your wallet to get one.

Not sure if there is a quicker way to fill the tubes.

Just looked and they are around $500

I knew you were going to post this… No freaking way I would pay for that. I would feel like a total knob.

Well that might do the trick.

1 Like

Hope so. Will science the heck out of it LOL

Forgot to mention that there are a couple of fixes for this problem, some use a small bottle for them to go in but I got this one.

Should be able to find it on Thingiverse.

Seen bottle solution. Like it the most.

I use the bottle one. Think i picked it up cheap on eBay. It works really well.

I put the roller handle on mine straight away so can’t compare to stock but am very happy with it.

If you’re doing caliber conversions and want to speed up the primer assembly change, you can buy the entire unit as a spare part. Just needs two bolts removed to swap from large to small primers then rather than stripping it down to swap out the wheel.

I’ll grab some pics of the other mods I’ve got on mine.

will have a look into that thingiverse primer filler too.

1 Like

Another handy to have though I think it is a must have is the LED light that goes in the empty center hole on the toolhead.

It lights up the shellplate really well and allows you to keep an eye on everything.


Inline Fabrication make a kit that just drops in and can be swapped out between toolhead. It comes with an LED strip and on/off switch and plugs straight into the power point.

I also found that when setting up dies or powder weights etc it is handy to have a primer shut off switch. This replaces the factory ramp on the upright at the front and can turn the primer system on and off as needed.



Gentle reminder that we are hanging out to see photos of your mods. :laughing:

1 Like

After dislodging ejector spring a couple of times, thanks to @1Fatman for pointing me to an improved design, baked a new one. Seems to work well. I still need to put it through a proper test, but it worked very well with a handful of test cases and dummy rounds.

Also reprinted a spent primer chute in better material.

1 Like

So… Some Dillon 650 practical notes…

Quick evening run…

500 rounds loaded.

Out of 500:

1 case crushed. Dillon is not magic.

3 primers crushed due to crimped primer pocket cases - happens.

…and one little c*nt started its life as Berdain and ended up as Boxer on the way out.


Lee decapping pin 1, case 0. Just noticed the head stamp - MF, must stand for mother fucker!


Found this $13 wrench at Bunnings a while ago (https://www.bunnings.com.au/trojan-150mm-wide-mouth-adjustable-wrench_p6110657).

Seems to have the perfect jaws to get to any die nut on the toolhead with anything in the way, especially powder check system.

Thought I’d share this, I found it very useful.

Maybe some will find it interesting.

Dillon XL-650 VS XL-750: Differences Explained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh3Kl7JX1oo

From what I can see from the vide and from reading other stuff, the priming system seems to the main difference. That said, I have recently did a swap, to load stuff with large primer… Entire conversion for someone who hasn’t done it before took, maybe, 5 minutes. So yeah, there you go.