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Dillon RL 550B Tool Head:
Clamp down on precision!

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If you have been involved in reloading for more than about ten minutes, you are no doubt familiar with Dillon Precision Products, Inc. and their incredibly popular line of progressive reloading presses. I'm the proud owner of a Dillon RL 550B Reloader fully decked out with all the available accessories to feed my very hungry Glock 22 (40 S&W). My 550B is as pictured at right, except I have the aluminum roller handle instead of the plastic roller handle shown in the image.

The 550B produces consistent and accurate ammunition for all but the most demanding applications, and its quick change tool head design makes for rapid changes between calibers. However, the quick change tool head presents a problem when extreme precision levels are required. The trade-off for caliber change speed is that the tool head to frame rail (and locator pin to locator pin hole) tolerances are loose enough that there is "play" side-to-side, fore-and-aft, and in the vertical axis. It is my theory that this "play" may be partly/largely responsible for the variances in OAL/seating depth, bullet alignment, and some other consistency anomalies I have observed when trying to load test ammunition.

In order to test this theory, I had to devise a way of eliminating all tool head movement. I've done this, and I think you will find the solution intriguing. Read on...




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Revised: March 03, 2006 .