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You should read the owners manual thoroughly, it covers a lot of items and is well done. Most problems can be solved by reading the manual. Make sure you complete each cycle of the handle, pause slowly on the downstroke. If you ever try and back off on a downstroke you will break the primer transfer tray. Almost everyone breaks at least one until they learn this, that's why Dillon includes an extra with the machine. I've never had a problem with crushing hulls or seating the primer. The manual should explain the adjustments necessary to correct these problems. If you ever are stuck, just call Dillon. They offer wonderful customer service and parts are always free. I've had mine about three years now, loaded a lot of shells and went through a learning curve too but it is a very good machine and I am completely happy with mine. Like with any reloader, you need some mechanical capability. Don't try and set any speed records with it. It will load a lot of shells in a short time but if you are spilling powder and shot you have some problems to clear up. If you cannot figure it out from the manual, better call Dillon and they will have you up and running in a short time. I would not suggest a Dillon for someone's first reloader but they will work very well with a little experience.
 

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If you are new to reloading you have jumped up front with a very good loader. I suggest that you load one shell at a time until you understand the system. Primer feed is the most difficult over time. When you have the experience you will be able to tell when a primer is there by feel. Keep your machine clean and you will avoid most of the normal problems. Dillon is an excellent source for problems. Not all primers feed the same way. If you pause a little at the bottom of the stroke, it will allow the primer time to drop and give you a better feel of the machine. Good luck and if you have a specific problem, come back on the forum. George Miller
 

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Powder all over the place? The only way to drop powder is to not have a primer in place. Feel the primer as it seats. and, just watch the little notch on the primer feed to make sure one has moved into it.

Echoing the other poster, pause at the bottom of the stroke, and that lets the primer drop correctly. Then raise the handle and FEEEEEL it seat. No feeling re: seating? Stop, pull out the shell and make sure it has seated.

Just fiddle with the little switch and you'll get it right in no time.

If shells hang up in the feeder (1) you probably overstuffed it with shells so (2) reach up, turn the power off, watch the shell plate "relax" and the shell either drop into the tube or you can easily reach up and release it.

Primers all over the place? A trick at least one of the Dillon techs had never heard: turn the box of 100 primers over on the platform and slide the cover back. BUT, only far enough to let 50 out. Lift up the release arm and let them slide into position. The turn the box around, slide the cover off allowing the last 50 primers out. If you do that, NO flipped, or sideways primers.

Bob
 

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Nsxer: Swirls are caused on the pre-crimp station. Raise pre-crimp up 1/4 turn at a time until the swirl is gone. But, some people like the swirl. The case feeder will hold 80 shells or 85 with the tube empty. More than that and you will generally get a jam.
 

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I did not have good luck with mine - even after Dillon "tuned" the head. I could not get a "factory" shell out of it. I also found it markedly slower than the PW (with case feeder) I was more used to. The hull feeder is ridiculously small. Dillon service is outstanding.

Each machine has its quirks and it is best to find one that has quirks you can accept.

My PW800+ will not always pick up a primer (2/100). I have adjusted to it.

My Spolar has the same quirk. I have adjusted to it also.

Don
 

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When I sold Dillon presses, I had to buy back the four SL900's I sold. I stopped stocking or selling them, and always recommend the Mec 9000 series for one wanting a progressive press.

Dillon's 650 and 1050 are among the finest METALLIC progressive presses made.

Most of the other presses seem to be metallic presses adapted for shotshells.

The Mec is made from the ground up to load a shotshell, with all its peculiarities.
 

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Dear Goose

This thread is about the learning curve for the SL900, or how to get it to load shells and how to stop breaking parts on it.

I was a Dillon distributor for years and am very familiar with their warranty and customer service. I currently own both a 650 and 1050, and am very happy with them.

I was also a Mec distributor and am very familiar with THEIR warranty and customer service. I own several 9000's, and am very happy with them.

Mec's customer service is second to none. They do NOT have a lifetime warranty, but their press does not cost nearly $1000, when outfitted with a mediocre case feeder that holds maybe 80 hulls. The Mec also does not have a mediocre primer feed system that will break if one needs to clear a press or reverse it.

The Mec is not a converted rifle press, but is indeed made from the ground up to load a shotshell.

If you cannot tolerate some one with a different opinion borne from decades of experience, oh well.

BTW, I routinely load a flat of high quality shotshells on my Mecs in around 22 minutes.
 

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Hey Steve, I found that installing a 20 ga powder drop tube (if your loading 12 ga) really helped the wad seating and didn't catch the side of the hull. I also got one of those big baking trays (about 13"x17") with the little lip around the edge and put it down on the bench then drilled and bolted the loader on top of it. That way when you do have a hick-up it will catch most of the powder and shot before it falls all over the floor. I always thought my vacuum cleaner was going to explode :)
I've busted a few parts along the way and Dillion always sends 'em out at N/C, you can't beat their service. I've loaded alot of shells on mine, it just takes a little while to get used to it. Good luck....

Cheers,

George
 

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back in my metallic days I dealt with Dillon and they used to send over one of the gals from the blue press to set up the machine. I guess times change.
 

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NSXER
All the gentlemen have given you some great tips. Early on I had an ocasional problem with a hull not being aligned properly, and that caused a thump when I seated a primer, or a hull not being under the wad/shot station properly. I finally figured out that it happened every fifth hull. The cause was a shot pellet got wedged in the shell plate groove and would'nt let the hull seat properly. So when you have shot where you should'nt,clear the grooves in the shell plate before you jam a few no. 8s where they should'nt be. I suppose if I used 7 1/2s I be writing this. Also go for the Whiz White "magnum powder hopper" mine is 25 inches tall, complete with a Dillon powder warning system.
Just remember,with any progressive loader, slow is fast.
 
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