Frankenlöder – 9mm with Hornady-RCBS Bullet Feeder Setup on Dillon XL-650 – Part III

In this third installment of the Frankenlöder 9mm Dillon+Hornady+RCBS series, we’ll build on what we talked about in the first post and second post. We’ve seen what it takes to setup the Dillon XL-650 with Hornady 9mm dies, and also modified the drop tube from the RCBS Pistol Bullet Feed kit in order to get all of the parts to match up. That means, it’s time to test everything out, make some tweaks and then proceed to mass production reloading!

When I first tried this setup together, I noticed that I had some issues with tipping cases. I found some comments on the Brian Enos forum regarding tipping cases, bullet feeders, and the discussion centered on the modification of the powder funnel (the part below the powder measure that expands the case mouth and lets powder pass through when charging the case). By changing the profile from a cone (producing a trumpet shaped bell on the case) to a two-step profile (like Hornady’s PTX expanders) I was able to expand a section in the brass that would let the bullet slightly press in a ways (less than .100″ down into the case).

Here’s a picture of the modified powder funnel for 9mm (bottom) next to an un-modified powder funnel for 38/357 (top) that shows the difference. I thought I would polish the working surfaces while I was at it on the metal lathe.


Modified 9mm Luger powder funnel (Bottom) next to un-modified powder funnel (top) - Image copyright 2011 Ultimate Reloader

This ended up solving the tipping bullets issue. I was then happy with how the bullet feed system was working. It was then time to load a few hundred rounds to make sure everything was going to function reliably. I was happy to see the press moving smoothly, the previously mismatched components acting as a whole.

Here’s a video showing the entire assembly working together:

Well, that was a fun project! I’ve been pondering this one for about a year, so it was satisfying to see it come together. What should the next Frankenlöder project be? Perhaps you can help me decide. 🙂

Once again, here’s a picture of the entire setup:



11 thoughts on “Frankenlöder – 9mm with Hornady-RCBS Bullet Feeder Setup on Dillon XL-650 – Part III”

  1. I just installed the Hornady bullet feeder on my L&L press. I am still having sticking problems when pulling the handle down with cases coming out of the sizer and the PTX expander diew. I just barely have enough expansion for a bullet to seat. Is there a difference between the PTX expander that came with the press and the one that came with the 9mm bullet feed die? Does the expander die need to be polished? I have resorted to running all my brass through a single stage press to deprime and resize in hopes to take some of the pressure off the L&L. My press is bolted solid to 1/2″ steel plate so it is as solid as I can make it. Any ideas? thanks

  2. Gavin, I really enjoy all your videos, they are informative and I am constantly referring to them for advice and tips on reloading. I am currently using a Lee Classic Cast single stage press for my 223 and a Lee Classic Cast 4 hole turret press for my 9 mm. I am very proficient with these presses and have loaded thousands of rounds now in both 223 and 9 mm. I have considered moving up to a progressive press and I like the Dillion 650XL however cost is a factor. I was wondering if there would be a way for you to take a look at the Lee Loadmaster and make some improvements on this press?
    I currently use a RCBS Charge master 1500 for metering the 223 loads and I use a Lee Pro Disk Powder measure on the turret press. Both throw all my loads reliably however I am not all that confident on the Lee Loadmaster doing the same? I am not a big fan of the chain on the powder dispenser, I would like to see this corrected, perhaps with a different powder measure? I would like to see a powder check system and of course the bullet feeder as well as a electric case feeder might be nice. Thanks for the time and all the great work.

    David Gill
    Wyoming Antelope Club RO
    Largo Florida

  3. Question, could you use the Hornady powder measure with the Dillion xl650? That way you use the PTX exoanders. I kinda like like the hornady powder measure better with the micro adjustment rotor.

  4. Great Vid, always love your projects, How about a bullet and case feeder for the Dillon 550b. There are thousand of those blue machines cranking out bullet, help use speed up the process.

  5. Great video series. They really helped me go through the Blue, red and green “wedding” process.
    I am having the bullet tipping problem. I do not have a lathe or the skill to use one so my solution is to order the 9mm MAK powder funnel from Dillon. It has a .364 expander section which is almost the same as the Hornady one supplied with my bullet feeder die. I’m also ordering a the 44.40 funnel for the .40 cal feeder.

  6. Gavin,
    Could you please post the dimensions or simple drawing of your modified Dillon expander for 9mm?

  7. How bout attaching a cantilevered arm to a eccentric disk attached to a veritable speed motor drives by belt system to allow for a hands free loader ?

  8. I was wondering where can you buy the modified Dillon powder funnels {if they are made} im upgrading to a 650xl from my 550 and want a bullet feeder make loading large amounts of pistol ammo much faster do a lot of teaching to my 3 kids they love reloading to so the 550 is being handed down to them

  9. On long cases (30-03 303 Brit) with small carges of piotsl powders(red dot unique)I uses a piece of wood dowel thats two inches longer than the case and as close to the inside dia. of the neck that will go in. I put the charge of powder into the case and then drop the dowel in and mark the dowel at the top of the neck with a sharpie pen. Then mark the dowel with a red sharpie for about 1″ below the top the neck line. I then mark the case-powder-charge(30-06 unique 8grs)on the dowel. After I throw a tray of cases with powder I drop the right dowel in and if I can see red there is something wrong.

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