Caliber Conversion for a Dillon XL650 Progressive Reloader from .223 to .308

Caliber Conversion for a Dillon XL650 Progressive Reloader

The following is a summarized account of converting a Dillon XL 650 Progressive Reloader from a Small Rifle Primer (SRP) in a .223 Remington, to a Large Rifle Primer (LRP) setup for a .308 Winchester. As always, the first thing you should do is ensure the XL 650 is empty of cartridges, powder, and primers (however if not steps will be provided to include their removal). If at any time you require detailed descriptions on a specific stage, consult your Dillon Owner’s Manual. Also consider when performing a complete caliber conversion, you may want to clean and/or lubricate all the necessary parts being removed or replaced as it provides a perfect opportunity to get inside all the components.


1. Empty the Case Feed assembly and remove any casings from the Drop Tube.

  • a. Remove the Drop Tube

2. Remove the Powder Check System

  • a. Remove the Failsafe Rod
  • b. Remove the retaining Set Screw
  • c. Lift and remove the Powder Check System

3. Remove Powder Measure

  • a. Remove the Powder Charge Guide Rod
  • b. Remove the retainer clamp screws
  • c. Lift and remove the Powder Measure
  • d. Empty the powder back into the appropriate can, then manually cycle the powder bar to ensure it is empty

4. Remove the Tool head Assembly

  • a. Remove the retaining pins
  • b. Remove the Tool Head

5. Adjust the XL 650 press from .223 caliber to .308 Winchester

  • a. Remove Shell Plate
  •     i. Raise the ram
  •     ii. Using a 1/8” Allen wrench, loosen the Shell Plate Set Screw located under the Shell Plate on the left side.
  •     iii. Lower the ram
  •     iv. Remove the Shell Plate Bolt located on the top of the Shell Plate in the center.
  •     v. Remove the Ejector Wire
  •     vi. Lift off the Shell Plate ensuring not to dislodge the detent ball underneath.
  •     vii. Remove Station 2-4 Locator Pins
  • b. Raise the ram halfway
  •     i. Remove Station 1 Locator for .223
  •     ii. Reinstall Station 1 Locator for .308 Winchester
  • c. Lower the ram
  • d. Adjust the Priming Assembly from SRP to LRP
  •     i. Remove the allen screws next to the Primer Feed Tube
  •     ii. Remove the entire upper assembly
  •     iii. Remove the Top Guide of the Primer Feed Tube
  •     iv. Empty the SRP Primer Tube of any primers and remove it
  •     v. Remove the SRP Rotary Dial at the bottom of the Primer Assembly
  •         1. Loosen and remove the retaining nut and clip
  •         2. Remove the SRP Rotary Dial while ensuring to not displace the detent ball underneath
  •     vi. Install the LRP Rotary Dial
  •         1. Place the LRP Rotary Dial down while maintaining pressure
  •         2. Reinstall the retaining nut and clip
  •     vii. Transition the SRP Tube with the LRP Tube
  •     viii. Reinstall the Top Guide to the Primer Feed Tube
  •     ix. Replace the primer punch assembly for small primers to large
  •         1. Raise the ram
  •         2. Remove the spent primer basket
  •         3. Under the ram remove the spring-loaded primer punch assembly for small primers using a 9/16” wrench
  •         4. Install the large primer punch
  •         5. Reinstall the spent primer basket
  •         6. Lower the ram
  • e. Reinstall the upper portion of the Primer Feed Assembly
  •     i. Re-secure using the two allen set screws
  • f. Reinstall the Shell Plate
  •     i. Place the Shell Plate on top of the ram and ensure proper alignment for all stations, and the detent ball is properly oriented
  •     ii. Reinstall the Shell Plate Bolt sufficiently to allow the Ejector Wire to be reinstalled
  •     iii. Continue hand tightening the Shell Plate Bolt and cycle the XL 650 press to ensure proper tension while still enabling the press to completely function from full to aft positions
  •     iv. Adjust the Shell Plate Bolt slightly if needed, to ensure the Shell Plate is free-floating adequately without binding when cycling the XL 650 press
  •     v. Raise the ram
  •     vi. Using a 1/8” allen wrench, tighten the Shell Plate Set Screw located under the Shell Plate on the left side
  •     vii. Lower the ram
  • g. Reinstall the new caliber specific locator pins in Station 2-4
  • h. Transition caliber specific Case Feed parts from .223 Remington to .308 Winchester (these pieces come with the conversion kits)
  •     i. Remove the Drop Tube (if still connected)
  •     ii. Remove the .223 Case Feed Adaptor
  •     iii. Remove the .223 Case Feed Arm Bushing
  •     iv. Remove .223 Body Bushing
  •     v. Reinstall caliber specific case feed parts for .308 Winchester
  •         1. Install the .308 Case Feed Adaptor
  •         2. Install the .308 Case Feed Arm Bushing
  •         3. Install the .308 Body Bushing
  •     vi. Reconnect the Drop Tube

6. Adjust the Case Insert Slide Cam (long side for pistol, short for rifle)

  • a. Adjust the Camming Pin to retain positive connection
  •     i. Loosen the locking nut
  •     ii. Using a 9/16” allen wrench (and a cartridge with a spent/loaded primer) adjust the Camming Pin as necessary to ensure the Case Insert Slide has fully pushed the cartridge into Station 1 when at full stop

7. Adjust the Station 2 Locator Tab

  • a. Place the cartridge (with the primer) into Station 2
  • b. Using a 5/64” allen wrench, adjust the Locator Set Screw on the side of the primer assembly so that the Locator Tab either retains positive connection or just clears the cartridge when fully inserted into Station 2

8. Install the tool head for .308 Winchester (refer to the Owner’s Manual for setting the various dies)

9. Reinstall the Powder Measure (according to the Owner’s Manual)

  • a. Reinstall the allen screws on the collar of the Powder Measure
  • b. Reinstall the guide rod

10. Reinstall the Powder Check System (according to the Owner’s Manual)

11. And done…whew


2 thoughts on “Caliber Conversion for a Dillon XL650 Progressive Reloader from .223 to .308

  1. ” 11. And done…whew” is an understatement! This post was a lot of work:-)
    Your set up looks great. Thanks for the motivation to do a little tidying up this weekend. (I wouldn’t be willing to post a pic of our press right now.)

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