From 223 to 300BLK: Insane Dillon Conversion and Loading Setup

Previously we showed how to set up the DA3000 with the CP2000 and convert 223/5.56 brass to 300 blackout. To load the new brass, we have the Dillon RL1100 set up to load 220 grain subsonic 300 blackout ammunition and some machine guns to test it with. This is going to be FUN! 


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The Guns

We have two machine guns to run the manufactured ammo through.

One is a CMMG Banshee 8” SBR. It has been setup to run three-round burst (Ultimate Reloader is an 07 FFL + Class 2 SOT) and has a Phodera Hill Country (full-auto, SBR-rated) 30 caliber suppressor installed. Stay tuned for a dedicated feature covering this rifle!

The other is based on an Aero Precision M4 platform, full-auto configuration with a carbine-length upper and SilencerCo Hybrid can. The goal is to load some validation ammunition, run it through both machine guns, then go to town converting and loading ammunition simultaneously. 

Some differentiating features for the Phodera Hill Country:

  1. 2″ Diameter 9.75″ length design is more hearing safe than most suppressors
  2. Optimized for minimal flash and recoil
  3. Maintenance-free design
  4. Robust design is full-auto SBR rated (most suppressors have limitations on barrel length for full auto)

The 300 Blackout Load

The load used for this loading session was almost identical to what we used in our original Berry’s 220 grain 300 BLK story.

Here’s our updated load:

Use load data at your own risk. Ultimate Reloader is not responsible for errors in load data on this website. Always cross-reference load data with manufacturer’s published data.

Full-Scale Loading

After ensuring the validation ammunition ran flawlessly in both machine guns, I moved on to full-scale loading.

Warning— with several machines running, it can get loud! The first step is to run the start-up sequence on the CP2000 after lowering the toolhead all the way to the bottom position. With the machine powered on, turn on the case trim and the vacuum before pressing start.

While this is running, I loaded on the RL1100, placing each bullet by hand before seating. It is incredibly important to stay focused and keep your eyes and ears open to ensure everything is running properly. This can be tricky with two machines running at once, but results in great productivity! Expediting the loading process is especially nice when feeding machine guns. 

Case Conversion

The first step in this sequence is case conversion. We placed commercial once-fired 223/5.56 brass in the case feed bowl, sprayed it with lanolin, and ran it through the CP2000 with DA3000. The various stations decap, swage, and trim the brass, with a 30 caliber mandrel at the end. We’ve previously covered how these machines work in tandem. Check out that video here:

I did make one fundamental switchover for this loading session, moving swaging from the left-hand side to the right-hand side from the operator’s perspective. This change involved taking the crankshaft out of the machine and moving to the right side swaging eccentric. I did this so I could have better access for the vacuum suction. Also installed is the special lowered trimming head for the Super 1050 and RL1100. This allows the entire trim die and trimming assembly to descend far enough to trim short 300 blackout cases.

223 to 300 blackout trimmed brass

I also enhanced my vacuum setup, adding a slip-on adapter for easy connection and disconnection. When you set up the CP2000, ensure you have the correct shellplate and case feed parts. I am using the #3 shellplate for 223. Essentially, you need the caliber conversion kit for the CP2000 for 300 blackout. Keep in mind that you are feeding 223 cases. I use a different case feed adapter that the drop tube goes into because the opening size from the kits is incorrect for 223. If I were processing 300 blackout, not converting 223 to 300 blackout, it would work fine. 

CP-2000 Die Stations

Here’s how the die stations were utilized on the DA-3000-driven CP-2000:

  1. Case insertion
  2. LEE universal decapper
  3. Hold-down die (top), swaging (bottom)
  4. [Not Utilized]
  5. [Not Utilized]
  6. Case sizing and trimming (Dillon RT-1500 powered trimmer)
  7. [Not Utilized]
  8. 30 Caliber Neck Mandrel

There is some setup and fine tuning involved here! When setting up the dies, lower the trim die until the 223 case shoulder is pushed to the right depth for 300 blackout.

223 to 300 blackout conversion sequence: Left: 223 case before conversion, Middle: Case sized but not trimmed (during setup), Right: Converted case

Use a case gauge to monitor the progress. When I install the trimmer, I screw it down until the trimmer bar stops rotating because it hits the case mouth, then fine-tune!

Use the case gauge to verify proper trimmed length. If you have sufficient sizing and the correct trim length, you’ll get 300 blackout cases all in one pass. The 30 cal neck mandrel in the last station ensures the bullets will have the right case neck tension regardless of neck thickness. 

Be sure your indexing is set up correctly and all the dies are acting together. I started slower and increased the speed as I got more confident. The lanolin makes quite a mess, so we wet tumbled the brass both to eliminate excess and knock off loose burs. 

Loading 300 Blackout on the RL-1100

The RL1100 is the new and updated version of the Super 1050. It is very similar to the CP2000, which doesn’t come with priming and powder charging capabilities. The RL1100 can be set up for both rifle and pistol rounds with large and small rifle primers for cartridges up to 308 cartridge overall length. Here, both the RL1100 and CP2000 use a #3 shellplate, 300 blackout caliber conversion kit, and case feeder with a small rifle case feed plate. 

Die stations used for this loading session:

  1. Case Insertion
  2. 223 Small Base Sizer (focused on base on 300 BLK case only)
  3. Hold-down die (top), Swaging (bottom)
  4. Priming
  5. Powder Charge
  6. Powder Check (Dillon powder check)
  7. Bullet Seating
  8. Bullet Crimping

A note: with the Dillon powder check. You have to add the washer so it will hit the rim of the press frame on the RL1100. This isn’t necessary on the XL650 and 750. 

We’re loading Berry’s 220 grain plated bullets — inexpensive, great bullets for loading subsonic 300 blackout in volume. Here’s our video covering these bullets for 300 Blackout:


It is imperative all dies are properly running in unison. We did make some minor adjustments to the priming system to get it to run correctly. We also cleaned the bottom of the shellplate and fine-tuned the indexing. 

The RL1100 has a locating pin that forces the shellplate to properly index. The primer slider also has a pin that comes down and forces it to be perfectly positioned under the case. We also have a low primer warning sensor and a powder charge warning set up. We tried to set up the bullet feeder the same way, but the 220 grain projectile is so long it was hitting the drop tube extension on the bullet feeder. If you have a solution for this, let us know! 

Get the Gear

Dillon RL-1100 or CP-2000 Short Trim Die Toolhead

Dillon DA 3000 – $2,399 

Dillon CP 2000 – $1979

Dillon RL1100 – $2,200

Hodgdon 110

CMMG Banshee

Phodera Hill Country Suppressor

Berry’s 220 grain 300 BLK bullets are currently out of stock at Midsouth Shooters Supply (as of 1/13/2023) but are directly available from Berry’s Mfg.

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Gavin Gear

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