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  #51  
Old 11-03-2010, 11:28 PM
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Skip, I don't much care for the feature on the 650 that advances the primer even if a ctg. case isn't present to accept the primer. But at least they do now have a little trough that they collect in. The early ones just dropped those primers on the floor. I would like to see this loader prime the way the 1050 does; on the downstroke of the operating handle. This would prevent the need to make sure the primers were properly seated on cases with a tight primer pocket. They absolutely positively would be properly seated. No guessing, just as it is on the 1050.

The SDB; I would like to see a couple of things changed. There needs to be a shell retainer at station one where the brass is inserted. Something like on the 550. This would allow production of another 100 rds. per hour IMHO. I found if you tried anything like speed the ctg. case would often slip back and the brass be ruined as it was out of position. I would also like to see this press available in many more calibers that what it is. I would also like to see a SD Super that would load some of the shorter rifle calibers like .223 and 7.62X39, maybe even .308.

The 550 and the 1050 I wouldn't change at all. Well actually I would like to see one thing different on the 550. Spent primer residue tends to accumulate where the primer slide moves back and forth. No biggy because I can just blow it off with compressed air but it would be nice if the priming system was changed to allow for priming on station two.
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  #52  
Old 11-04-2010, 09:15 PM
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Thumbs up No experience with a 1050!

Maybe when I get independently wealthy I'll be able to afford a 1050!
Until then, I will have to trust someone else's opinion about them. Priming on the up stroke, hummmm. Gotta think about that one.

The SDB does need something at station one. I have had my wife there on more than one occasion! She was my automatic case feeder when I first got them. She worked pretty good to until I pinched her finger a time or two!

I think an automated case feeder could be simply made. Load some tubes, much like the Lee presses or use a modified primer like system. I saw a guy on youtube that had something like that for his Star Luber/Sizer. He made it himself, I think. Add a pneumatic cylinder and the case would be held in place during the up stroke and released on the way down allowing the press to index.

The short rifle cases are an interesting thought. I have a tool and die maker that I could ask to make some mock ones up for the 223. Going to take some measurements in the morning.

Although I have never used a RL550, I have absolutely NO desire for one. I know lots and lots of folks use them and I say, more power to them. It isn't that they don't work. They work just like they are designed and they do it well.

It's just the thought of having a press that costs as much as an RL550 and not having an auto index function. I just really see that as an unneeded distraction while trying to reload. I have known folks that have forgotten to index their RL550 and had double charges in some of their loads. They didn't find it until they fired them. Thankfully, the firearms were strong enough to handle it as they were really light target loads to start with.

Like I said above, I have no problem that others like the RL550. If everyone was the same, they would only sell one kind of press! How boring!

Thanks for you comments, Jessie. I know they come from experience. I think you are the one that told me that they got an honest 1200 rounds per hour off of a 1050. That seems almost impossible to me.

While the little woman and I could really crank out the rounds on the SDB, we never got even close to that fantastic rate!
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  #53  
Old 11-05-2010, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowpower View Post
Apologies for my rant...

I began this reply with my apology then began thinking about the things wrong with the Dillon. I've owned both the SDB and the 550B.

Suffice it to say I understand you like to tinker with things and that's great. I do not plan to argue the issues I have had with these products but it does go back to profit/customer service. Here's why.

I should not call the fine folks at Dillon and get two different answers for the same question. To be fair one question had to do with the SDB and the other had to do with the 550B. Both were regarding the adjustment bolt on the charge bar. In the 1st instance I had mentioned, in chatting with them, I could turn the charge bar adjustment bolt with my fingers. They said that's a no-no and they would send me a new charge bar. In the 2nd instance this time with the 550B I got a different response. This other fellow said thats ok!
So which is it? It all started because of crazy powder drops that were all over the place.

Ok then, problem child. Powder drops being very erractic.
Response..different powders can cause inconsistancies in the charge.

How long have these folks been in business? Why can I go on line and find "fixes" for this problem? If there is a fix for a more accurate powder drop and Dillon is charging an arm and a leg because its a great product why don't they go back to the drawing board and fix it instead of charging big bucks for additional accessories?

Instead I get inconsistant answers to something that should not be an issue in the first place.

What does it all mean? A 550B is supposed to load how many rounds per hour? It's not what is advertised unless you don't care how much of what is in that cartridge you just dropped a charge into.

Here's a Co. that makes miniguns!

How about turning a little bit of those big bucks they charge for reloading things back into the actual equipment and fixing it instead of sending out the same old loader parts over and over.

Tinkering is fine in it's place but I don't feel I should have work up a fix, pay and/or wait due to a Co that, from what I see, isn't really interested in its customers.

I've only loaded around 6000 rounds in the 550B to date, to include 30-06, .243, .308, 6.5X55, 9MM, .38, .357, 44Spec, .44 Mag, .45ACP. I could'nt really say how many in that SDB but I'd bet it was only around 8000 9MM's and >45ACPs.

I get great CS from Dillon and have for over 25 years I also check this site for Q&A regarding Dillon products.

Dillon Precision Reloading Equipment - Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

When I first started shooting SASS in 1988 I was reloading around 50,000 rds a year on my 450/550/550b (upgraded the same machine).
I am now using 2-650's. and the same OLD 550b. They are great.
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  #54  
Old 11-05-2010, 12:19 PM
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I have an old SDB and a later 550. I wore out the SDB and rebuilt it, and keep it set up just for 9x19 now. I know of no changes I'd make to the SDB, other than to warn purchasers that Dillon really doesn't intend for SDBs to be used by true volume reloaders, loading multiple calibers. Only change I'd suggest to the 550 would be to the priming system. I'm not sure just what all is needed, but all of the problems I've had with my 550 have been with the primer feed. Granted, no machine is perfect, but I think this could be improved. Otherwise, the 550 is a marvel of engineering.
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  #55  
Old 11-05-2010, 01:28 PM
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A decade or so ago I had a Hornady Pro-Jector. It was a good press, but the primer feed and changeover from large/small was somewhat of a pain as well as dies changes.

Everyone said 'get a Dillon' so I tried a few that belonged to friends. I didn't see any particular inprovements over the ProJector in those areas so I held off. When the Hornady L-N-L AP came out, the later ones that had the plastic primer part replaced that kept breaking, that seemed to be the ticket. Never looked back and have 2 of them now.

The Dillon 650 looks comparable, but it is still very time consuming for primer and caliber changeover compared to the L-N-L AP. That is an area that swayed me away from them and an area that needs to be fixed. Dillon makes a good quality, durable press, and backs it up, but they seem just a bit old-fashioned, and not in a good way, compared to what has entered the market lately. Make a more efficient primer feed/changeover system, or even better a universal system, and some means to change the dies easier and they are competitive again.

As far as the SDB goes, it was a good press in it's day, but I can't see where it has any advantage over the Lee Classic Turret today. Especially since the latter handles rifle cartridges easily and it can be both bought and operated more inexpensively.
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  #56  
Old 11-05-2010, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAdoublegunner View Post
As far as the SDB goes, it was a good press in it's day, but I can't see where it has any advantage over the Lee Classic Turret today. Especially since the latter handles rifle cartridges easily and it can be both bought and operated more inexpensively.
The main advantage to the SDB is that once full of cases, every pull of the handle produces a cartridge. The Turret, and I have one of them and like it, takes 4 pulls of the handle to achieve the same thing!

That is a big difference, friend.
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  #57  
Old 11-05-2010, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookE View Post
I don't like the idea that DILLON quit furnishing parts for his 1050, because he said it is a commercial loader. Well, I have one and I don't load for anyone except myself. The reason I bought it is because I would rather be SHOOTING than RELOADING. I can load a 1000 rds. in 40 min. on my 1050. When he first started selling the 1050 he guaranteed everything on it. Now, when something breaks I HAVE TO PAY FOR IT. I WISH HE WOULD RE-THINK THAT AND START SHIPPING PARTS FOR 1050'S AT NO COST TO ME..................ONLY MY OPINION.
CookE
I too have a 1050, bought it used 7 years ago. Think I may have spent $60 to replace parts that were missing or broken. That press has reloaded countless numbers of cartridges and never broken anything in 7 years. It's a tank!

Reality is it will load 1200 rounds an hour. I'm sure it's capable of more then that but my arm gets tired long before the press hits maximum speed.

The only parts that I believe can be broken are the powder feed, at least that's where I've had problems on a 550 and 650. When it happens I'll tell them it's for my 650.

Sure I have to pay for parts because it's a commercial press. But $60 worth in 7 years, that ain't bad.

I've enjoyed the 1050 so much that I kick myself for buying the 650. I paid $900 for the 1050. May have paid $550 for the 650, then the case feeder, bullet trays, strong mount and handle. Total price in the 650 is probably close to $700. Shoot, all those extras are standard on the 1050.
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  #58  
Old 11-07-2010, 09:01 PM
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I would agree with the OP about the 650 priming setup, it leaves a lot to be desired.

The SDB had a superior priming setup; I only had large pistol primer guns when I had a SDB, so I never had to change the priming to small, but it's a nuisance on the 650, even with a complete small/large assembly to swap out. Without a spare assembly, it's a complete headache.

I also think the case "locater" spring/lever on the priming assembly is fairly lame as well; I keep mine so that it bascially presses the case into Station 2 -- the manual says not to do this, but I find it feeds and primes fine and it eliminates a lot of adjustment. I ultimately had to add a couple of washers as the "adjustment" seems too small and the screw that holds the arm tends to work out.

And while we're complaining, the spent primer cup on a 650 catches, what, maybe 66% of the spent primers? The rest being evenly sprayed on the bench and the floor.

The one other thing I liked on the SDB was that I don't remember the dies using lock rings, they used the delrin layer in the toolhead to hold the dies in place. This made for easier "fitting" adjustments than dies using lock rings that take wrenches and more futzing to get set. I wish *all* the dies needing adjustment could be adjusted like the Redding Competition Seating Die. It's all I use anymore for seating.

All this being said, the 650 with casefeed is a fabulous machine. You can knock out a case of ammo real quick.
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  #59  
Old 11-08-2010, 06:24 AM
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There are a couple of easy solutions to the spent primers "issue".

You can either add a piece of folded over electrical or duct tape around the top of the cup to add a little height. The primers are ejected under spring force and they hit hard and bounce around. The "dam" prevents their escape.

You can also make/buy a small piece of brass that you clamp under the cup bracket to which you attach a piece of hose. The primers fall down the hose into a bottle, cup, or whatever you like. Since the system is completely closed you will never have a used primer on the floor again. Some people just use a small piece of brass to make sure the primers are fully directed into the cup.

It seems the most popular 650 mods from my research:

(1) Cut the detent spring 1/2 to 1 1/2 turns - smooths out the shell plate rotation.
(2) Add a thrust washer and bearing combination under the shell plate bolt - smooths it out even more.
(3) Modify the used primer catcher with tape or a hose/bottle
(4) Add a knob or micrometer to the powder measure adjustment
(5) Clamp the toolhead with machine screws instead of pins

Some people also adapt other powder measures - I haven't seen the need.

I don't care for the primer system, but, after changing it over the only real PITA is getting the primer punch out. It is just awkward. The instructions for changing the primer size make it sound much worse than it is, in my opinion.

Last edited by rodell; 11-08-2010 at 06:31 AM.
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  #60  
Old 11-08-2010, 03:21 PM
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I would like to change the handle on the SD to offset like on the 550.

8th
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  #61  
Old 11-08-2010, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodell View Post
It seems the most popular 650 mods from my research:

(1) Cut the detent spring 1/2 to 1 1/2 turns - smooths out the shell plate rotation.
(2) Add a thrust washer and bearing combination under the shell plate bolt - smooths it out even more.
(3) Modify the used primer catcher with tape or a hose/bottle
(4) Add a knob or micrometer to the powder measure adjustment
(5) Clamp the toolhead with machine screws instead of pins

Some people also adapt other powder measures - I haven't seen the need.
I've done the micrometer powder adjustment mod. At a bare minimum it saves a ton of headache when dialing in a powder adjustment. I bought mine from Uniquetek (great people!) and they have an Excel spreadsheet you can use to model the powder charges and get an exact charge with a micrometer setting.

I haven't done this part, but just knowing I'm making a specific, small adjustment beats the guesswork of the stock Dillon bolt. I'm surprised Dillon hasn't made this an upgrade option.

Uniquetek also sell the screw-down-your-toolhead option. I guess I haven't found the need for that level of precision. The .223 I've loaded appears to be as accurate or moreso than I am.

I've only occasionally been interested in the smoother-rotating-shellplate option, usually when loading small cases pretty full (9mm). For other case/powder combos (say, .44 Magnum) it doesn't seem to bother me.

Quote:
I don't care for the primer system, but, after changing it over the only real PITA is getting the primer punch out. It is just awkward. The instructions for changing the primer size make it sound much worse than it is, in my opinion.
I'd like to see it redesigned to:

1) Be simpler and more modular to swap primer sizes. Once piece in, one piece out. I don't want to dissassemble a subassembly and change one part.

2) No empty feeds. If a primer doesn't get seated, don't spit it out.
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  #62  
Old 11-08-2010, 06:36 PM
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My 550b started life as a 450 too!

One day I'll get another one so I can have small primers set up in one and large primers in the other.

That would be bliss.

/c
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  #63  
Old 11-08-2010, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobocracy View Post
I
I'd like to see it redesigned to:

1) Be simpler and more modular to swap primer sizes. Once piece in, one piece out. I don't want to dissassemble a subassembly and change one part.

2) No empty feeds. If a primer doesn't get seated, don't spit it out.
For #1: Just another $78 to Dillon and you get the complete primer mechanism! All you change is two bolts for the entire thing. Are you surprised, there's always one more Dillon part! You still have to do the primer punch, though.

For #2: I completely agree with you. That's really annoying.
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  #64  
Old 11-11-2010, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smith357 View Post
I have a 550b and would redesign the primer feed system. Loading up the tube takes too many steps, There should be some way to just attach a flip tray in place of that tube. Changing from large primers to small is also a real pain. Other than that I would leave it alone.
After shooting competition for years and loading a gazillion rounds on them, I solved the 550B large/small primer switching problem. . . . went down the bench about 3 feet and put on a second 550B; the first is permanently set up for small primers and the second for large. Can't help you on the other
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  #65  
Old 11-11-2010, 02:43 PM
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NFrameFred,
That's the best way I know of! I've been tempted to buy a second 650. Dillon's are pretty nice!

Bob
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  #66  
Old 11-13-2010, 06:42 PM
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I have a 550 - one improvement I want is to move the mount for the spent primer catch outward so the primer catch isn't vertical when the lever is up, and has some chance of dropping back down again to catch the next one when you cycle the lever down.

I have a magnet hanging on the side of it as per someone else's fix on a forum and that works great, but that's not how it comes when you buy it.
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223, 44 magnum, 45acp, 650, carbine, cartridge, coke bottle grips, commercial, detent, hornady, lock, micrometer, primer, rcbs, russian, sass, screwdriver, universal

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