Besides my ammo checker, I also got a few more accessories from Armanov, namely:
I took some time today to install them and take a look at functionality… how did I like them? Read on.
Disclaimer of sources of bias: I received these products at 20% off via a coupon that was being freely handed out at SHOT Show. I also kinda like these guys in general… you’ve got to have some real enthusiasm for what you do to show up at SHOT as a small business (which is an expensive endeavor, doubly so if you’re international). That said, 20% off isn’t that much, so it’s not like I’m going to just give a pass on things that don’t work.
The case feed stop was the first accessory I tried out. This one doesn’t really need much in the way of installation. It’s just a 3D printed piece of plastic that you can insert into your press to stop your case feed from functioning. When you’re not using it, you can snap it to your case feed tube for storage, which quite convenient.
The stop worked well enough, but I did find that I was only able to remove it at the bottom of the stroke, due to some pressure from the case feed dropper mechanism. This isn’t a huge deal. The print itself seems high quality, and it snaps into the case feed tube with authority.
You can print these kinds of stops yourself, but I liked this design because of how it’s stored when not in use. If it breaks, though, I will probably just print another for myself using an openly-available design and call it a day.
The next accessory I tried out was the lighting system. This is essentially a light that you put in the middle of your toolhead, which is powered by USB (USB power adapter provided, which was a nice touch).
On the positive side, the module fit well and provided quite a lot of light on the shell plate area. I also liked the inline button on the cord, which I didn’t expect, but did appreciate. The cord itself is reasonably long, and I didn’t have a problem getting it to a power strip. (Keep in mind that you’ll need some sort of power nearby to run your case feeder…)
What concerned me, though, was some flicker I got when moving the cable. My impression is that the wiring inside the module is not quite as solid as it should be. I don’t think it would interfere while the press was in operation (since the toolhead doesn’t move), but it was worrying. I also found that the cord was slightly intrusive, albeit some cable management hooks were provided.
I will probably contact Armanov to ask them whether the flickering behavior is normal. It’s not a bad product (especially at the price I paid), and I do think the quick change ability of the light is nice. That said, Inline Fabrication makes an illumination system that is the same price, but also has a light on the press frame itself, so I would suggest that Armanov should think about whether they’ve got any other ideas to increase their competitiveness.
Finally, I installed the primer stop switch. The priming system on the Dillon 650 is fantastic (I would never buy a 750 for this reason alone), but one thing I really don’t love is the inability to tell it to stop feeding primers when I’m trying to tweak the dies for whatever reason. Armanov’s solution to this is quite clever, and in my limited testing, seems to work really well.
In order to install the primer stop switch, you need to unscrew the primer arm actuator block from the press, and then screw the Armanov primer stop switch base into its place. Same screw! Once that’s done, you can fit the magnetic actuator block on to the stop switch. With the actuator block attached, your priming system will function as normal. With the actuator block removed, your priming system will not feed or otherwise be manipulated (except for the priming rod pushing whatever primer is already there up into the cartridge).
I was really quite impressed with this system, and I’d consider it almost mandatory for anyone who’s doing frequent caliber switches on their 650. The magnetic actuator block is very firmly attached, but easy to remove. It is also trivial to go back to your old block if you find out you don’t like this system. Long-term durability remains to be seen, but there’s no obvious reason that the way Armanov has implemented their stop switch would result in issues.
All in all, with the exception of some flickers from the lighting module, I thought these were good, working accessories, and reasonable for the price being asked. The packaging for all of them was very sturdy and presented well; I’d have no concerns about it surviving the trip from Slovenia. I would certainly say the primer stop switch is something that every Dillon 650 owner should be investigating, if nothing else.