Monday, August 4, 2008

UniqueTek 550/650 Toolhead Clamp Kit Review

UniqueTek 550/650 Toolhead Clamp Kit
Product Review

UniqueTek, of Gilbert, AZ, is a firm specializing in producing innovative reloading products. Most of their product offerings are geared toward reloaders who use Dillon Precision reloading equipment. Specifically, UniqueTek’s products are meant to enhance both the precision of loaded rounds and/or the speed of production using Dillon’s already excellent equipment. UniqueTek’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Lee Love, recently sent over a sample of one of their up and coming new products designed to enhance the Dillon 550/650 series of presses.

The product in question is UniqueTek’s 550/650 Toolhead Clamp Kit. Conceptually, the toolhead clamp kit is designed to “lock down” a toolhead in the Dillon 550/650 line of presses. According to Lee the thinking behind the toolhead clamp kit originated from the standard Dillon press and toolhead for the 550/650 series having relatively loose tolerances due to the manner in which both the toolhead and the press toolhead slot are machined, as well as the use of the stock drop-in pins to secure the tool head in the press. In a nutshell, Lee believes that, combined, the effect of the play between these two parts can cause appreciable variation in loaded cartridge overall length (OAL) due to the toolhead moving vertically and/or horizontally when the shellplate fully inserts cartridge cases into the toolhead’s dies at the top of the press stroke. This is not to say that the design of the standard Dillon 550/650 series toolhead and press is any way flawed, just that by their manufacturing tolerances they can contribute to OAL dimensional variation in reloaded cartridges. Likely this variation will be negligible, or have negligible effect on the performance of reloaded rounds. However, in the case of modern high-pressure cartridges, particularly certain handgun cartridges which seek to combine smaller case sizes with major caliber bullet velocities and energy levels, OAL variation needs to be minimized for safety’s sake.

to read the entire review.

- Greg

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