Last year about this time I decided to switch over from my current reloading press to a Dillon XL650. Right away I added a Dillon case feeder, Dillon 9mm dies, Dillon Strong Mount along with a Dillon Roller Handle and could not be happier. After thousands of rounds of 9mm I was certain I purchased a near perfect press. My reloading times were cut in half, powder charges were accurate and my finished rounds were consistent. The only problem, this thing is a primer pig! Every time I get done reloading I look at my basement floor only to find spent primers and live primers all over the place. It was time to visit Dillon Upgrades and remedy this problem.
Let's start with the spent primer issue. When the XL650 decaps each case, the spent primers get shot into the spent primer cup directly underneath the decapping die. The problem is the primers get shot out of the case so fast they end up bouncing out of the primer cup or missing the cup altogether. This causes the XL650 to do its best impersonation of a six month old infant eating squished peas for the first time and the primers end up all over your bench and the floor. This really is not a problem with the press, it just becomes a bit of a nuisance and I got tired of sweeping up primes after every reloading session. After spending a little bit of time surfing the web in search of a solution to my problem I stumbled across Dillon Upgrades (www.dillonupgrades.com). Dillon Upgrades is a small company that specializes in upgrades for Dillon presses and from my experience a joy to do business with.
I purchased the XL 650 Spent Primer Upgrade and was very impressed. It really is a simple, yet perfect design that solved my primer flinging problem instantly. Dillon Upgrades utilizes a closed primer system by adding a billet aluminum funnel and tube that mounts directly to the primer cup bracket that is already on the press. I chose to go with the kit that is to be used with a Dillon Strong Mount. This kit includes a plastic spent primer cup that mounts to your Dillon Strong Mount with a plastic bracket that the spent primer cup screws into. To mount the cup you do have to drill three small holes in your mount, but there is a drill hole pattern included with the kit which makes this task very quick and painless. Now when you decap your brass the spent primer will shoot through the funnel, down the tube and end up neatly in the spent primer cup. After reloading a few thousand rounds this kit has been flawless and as soon as the primer cup gets full you just unscrew the cup, remove it from the mount and dispose of the primers. It does not get much easier than that and for only $24.95 it is a real bargain. Dillon Upgrade also offers a kit for those of you reloading with an XL 650 without the Dillon Strong Mount.
Now for my more serious primer issue with the XL650; live primers on the floor. With the way the Dillon XL650 was designed if you have a live primer that does not get used it ends up getting dropped down the missed primer chute. If you search on the web for this problem you will instantly find it referred to as the "Dillon Ski Jump". This pretty much describes the problem perfectly. When the missed primers get dropped on the missed primer chute they end up sliding down the slope and about fifty percent of them get launched across the room. To me this ends up being a big problem, I really did not like the idea of having live primers on my basement floor and finding small pistol primers that were launched all over the place ends up being quite the chore. To fix this problem Dillon Upgrades offers their Missed Live Primer Upgrade for the XL650. This kit is an ingenious design that replaces the Dillon primer chute with an upgraded primer catcher that has a primer reservoir bottle attached to it. Now when missed primers go down the chute they end up falling into the reservoir bottle instead of on the floor. When the reservoir bottle gets filled with live primers all you do is unscrew the bottle and empty them out to be used again. This kit is extremely simple to install and only takes a few minutes, all you do is remove the Dillon chute and replace it with this one. Just like the Spent Primer Upgrade the Missed Primer Upgrade is reasonably priced at $24.99.
This is the first time I have dealt with Dillon Upgrades and they definitely did not disappoint. Shortly after I placed my order I received a confirmation email and a few days later my order was sitting on my porch. Dillon Upgrades does not stop at the XL650, they also have products available for the Square Deal 'B' and the SL900. So if you are getting frustrated with your XL650 spitting primers all over your reloading bench and floor check out what Dillon Upgrades has to offer.