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Old 07-28-2011, 09:45 PM
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Question whats the best reloading press?

Hello everyone. I am looking to get into reloading i am looking for a press for pistol ammo. I have been told by a friend to get a dillon square b progressive press, but i had another friend say he hated it because it never loaded right and had alot of weak bullets jam. Is the dillon square b the best choise or is there something bette out there. I'm looking around right now. but looking to spend $500 maybe a little more if would be the better way to go. Thanks!
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:57 PM
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I don't know about Dillon's Square deal but the 550 & 650 are top of the line. After that, but real close, would be Hornady. Weak bullets? Sounds like weak powder charges and that's controlled by the operator.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:04 PM
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If you are new to reloading, and plan on loading for more than one caliber, I would strongly suggest that you not start off with a progressive press.
Start with a basic single stage press. You need to learn the process of reloading before you jump into a complicated machine. There are many concepts that will become clear as you go, concepts that are harder to grasp with a progressive.
I have to state that I have never owned a progressive press, I've been loading since 1980 on an RCBS 'Rockchucker', it has loaded tens of thousands of rounds of pistol and rifle ammo and is still going strong. A single stage will satisfy almost all your reloading needs (unless you are a high volume competion shooter), is more versatile and cheaper than a Dillon.
I've never regretted owning this press, actually I have two now, one I use for belling/expanding and the other for all other steps.
As for model, that is kind of like asking which is the best car, hard to answer. Personally I would stick with an RCBS or Redding press, don't start with a cheap press it is the foundation you'll build on. Get a quality machine, you'll be happier with it longer. Quality never goes down in value, economy never comes up.
Others may disagree on the model of SS, but I think the consensus for a beginning reloader will favor the single stage over the progressive. You can always move to a progressive if you get into the hobby of reloading, but I think that starting out with one will confuse and aggrevate you, especially if you want to change calibers often.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithhound View Post
If you are new to reloading, and plan on loading for more than one caliber, I would strongly suggest that you not start off with a progressive press.
Start with a basic single stage press. You need to learn the process of reloading before you jump into a complicated machine. There are many concepts that will become clear as you go, concepts that are harder to grasp with a progressive.
I have to state that I have never owned a progressive press, I've been loading since 1980 on an RCBS 'Rockchucker', it has loaded tens of thousands of rounds of pistol and rifle ammo and is still going strong. A single stage will satisfy almost all your reloading needs (unless you are a high volume competion shooter), is more versatile and cheaper than a Dillon.
I've never regretted owning this press, actually I have two now, one I use for belling/expanding and the other for all other steps.
As for model, that is kind of like asking which is the best car, hard to answer. Personally I would stick with an RCBS or Redding press, don't start with a cheap press it is the foundation you'll build on. Get a quality machine, you'll be happier with it longer. Quality never goes down in value, economy never comes up.
Others may disagree on the model of SS, but I think the consensus for a beginning reloader will favor the single stage over the progressive. You can always move to a progressive if you get into the hobby of reloading, but I think that starting out with one will confuse and aggrevate you, especially if you want to change calibers often.
RD
I totally agree 100%. Single stage allows you to take your time and learn the process. Last time I looked, RCBS equipment was on ebay at very reasonable prices. Don"t skimp on the dies - they're the heart of your outfit. As a matter of fact, I'm going to dig out all my equipment from storage and start reloading again - there are some bad times ahead, and ammo/components may be too expensive in the very near future.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:45 PM
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Default Presses

Single stage is the way to get your feet wet and learn the steps it takes to prouduce good,safe ammo. I persnaly use Lee cabide pistol dies,a single stage breech lock cast press for my rifle ammo and a classic cast turret press for my pistol rounds. Like anything else it comes down to what you feel comfortable using and what fills your needs.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:51 PM
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Get a Lee Classic Turret and learn to reload using it as a single stage. Then just put the indexing rod back in and run it as a turret. You should be able to get about 250 rds an hour down once you get going good with it. That should be engough for most people.

Plus you can save engough $$ over the Dillon to go by a new gun
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:02 PM
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How many rounds do you currently shoot in the course of a month, and do you plan on shooting any type of competition? The progressive press is great if you are shooting large quantities of ammunition, but a single stage press is a good start for the casual shooter. Remember you will need more than just the press. You will need a good scale, primer flip tray, powder funnel, calipers, and a few loading manuals just to name a few items. RCBS offers a starter kit which includes most of these items. for about $350. If you go with the Hornady Lock-N-Load, just the press will run you about $450, and you will still need to buy a scale and calipers. If money is not a huge issue, and you are shooting enough to justify the cost of a progressive, you can always buy the progressive press and use it as a single stage until you get the hang of the reloading process.

If you choose to go the progressive route, you can't go wrong with either the Dillon or Hornady. I currently use the Hornady, but have thought about buying a Dillon to keep set up for .45's. Keep in mind that the Hornady offers auto indexing, meaning that it automatically advances the cartridge to the next station with each pull of the handle. This feature helps to eliminate the possibility of a double charge of powder. I believe you need to step up to the Dillon 650 before you get auto indexing from Dillon. I seem to recall that the lesser Dillon presses need to be indexed by hand. If you forget to index the press, you could throw a double charge of powder. So be sure you are comparing apples to apples when you compare price. The other advantage the Hornady offers is the ease of caliber changes. I load 9mm, .38 special, 40 S&W, .45ACP, .41 Magnum, and .44 Magnum. The Hornady is a better fit for me since I change calibers fairly often. One last point, is the famous Dillon "No BS warranty". For some reason Hornady doesn't make a big deal regarding their warranty, but they are every bit as good as Dillon in this department. Any time I needed a replacement part, it was always sent out that day or the next, and always sent at no charge. The customer service people have always been very courteous and helpful. Oh and by the way, almost every time I needed a replacement part, the broken part was my own fault.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:19 PM
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I agree with a single stage press & carbide dies. Rest of the things come naturally, scale, powder measure, micrometer, case trimmer,etc
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennjed View Post
Get a Lee Classic Turret and learn to reload using it as a single stage. Then just put the indexing rod back in and run it as a turret. You should be able to get about 250 rds an hour down once you get going good with it. That should be enough for most people.

Plus you can save enough $$ over the Dillon to go by a new gun
I agree, a Lee Classic Turret Press is the best of both worlds. Remember, I said "Classic", not "Deluxe" press. For a few dollars more the Classic press is well worth the money and so is the Pro Auto-Disk powder measure over the standard powder measure.

You will be very happy with that turret press. With handgun ammo I can safely load between 180 to 200 rounds per hour with it and it can easily be used for rifle rounds without the auto-index rod installed. The price is right too, look HERE. For $212 including the Pro Auto-Disk upgrade you get most of what you need including a set of dies of your caliber choice. Add a scale, load manual (or two or three) and set of calipers with a tumbler and you're fairly well set up.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:34 PM
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I would NOT recommend the RCBS Rockchecker Supreme and others that have been enlarged to handle the newer magnum rifle cartridges. They require a very long stroke for handgun ammo. Unless you're going to load large rifle cartridges look for a smaller press or one of the Dillon progressives.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:49 PM
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Buy the most versatile single stage press to start with. You can load handgun and nearly any rifle cartridge you would want down the road. Redding Ultra Mag “The largest and strongest press available for the toughest reloading chores…” -- HANDLOADER Magazine, No. 148
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:47 AM
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How much ammo do you use? What type of shooting do you do? $500 in a dillion won't buy you much. The cost of the machine itself is just a start as with any machine tool. Search some threads for more info.
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Old 07-29-2011, 01:57 AM
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Personally, I see nothing wrong with using a progressive to start off with. There are some minimum requirements though that eliminate it form being the first choice for everyone.

How mechanically adept are you? That is the first thing that needs to be answered. How do you learn new things best? Can you read manuals and work things out or do you get frustrated and give up on stuff? Is there anyone in your area that can help you in person should you get into trouble?

If you find yourself answering no to more than one of those things, get a simple press to start with. Learn the process. What is the first step, second, third and fourth and fifth and........Go slow and learn.

That would mean that it would be better to get a single stage press or a Lee Classic Cast Turret press. I lean very heavily on the latter, here is why: It can be used very simply as a single stage but it will hold all of the dies in one tool head and after you get it set up and running right with your components, it will stay set up. Not only that, they are less expensive.

Now, the fact they are less expensive should tell you something. They are NOT the machine that the Dillons are. The Dillon press is the best there is on the market right now. As has been stated, the Hornady LNL is a good one too. After that presses in current production and quality falls off drastically. Stay away from the Lee progressive presses unless you have a death wish. (Just kidding) They take a lot of tinkering with to make work right.

If you don't learn the process properly, all a progressive will do is allow you to make bad ammo faster.

I have 3 Square Deal presses and 2 XL650's too. Make the evaluation on my aforementioned criteria though and you should do well.
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Old 07-29-2011, 02:49 AM
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I started out with a single stage press long long ago.

About 25 years ago i purchased a Dillon 550B.

I would suggest starting with a Dillon 550B - it is very versatile!

With the proper dies and shellplates it will handle most any handgun or rifle cartridge.
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Old 07-29-2011, 02:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennjed View Post
Get a Lee Classic Turret and learn to reload using it as a single stage. Then just put the indexing rod back in and run it as a turret.
Jed, ya stole my thunder.

Thirty years after I started reloading, I'm still using my 3-hole Lee Turret press, and it's still cranking out ammo that shoots better than I do. And I practice a LOT. I've tried a couple of progressives, just didn't see them as a step up, just a slightly different way of loading ammo.

If I was getting started now, knowing what I know, I'd get the 4-hole Lee Classic Turret press and a half-ton of bullets and go have me a time.
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:31 AM
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I fully second, third, or forth (whatever the count is up to at this point) the Lee Classic four hole turret press.

The only other one I would look at is the Dillon BL 550 that will do the same thing for more money, but has the bonus of being buildable into the RL 550B down the road.

And before you buy anything, buy and read two or three times the "ABC's of Reloading" now in its 9th edition. And read it over again. And again.

And again.
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Old 07-29-2011, 02:18 PM
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Another one to make your head spin. The CH-4D 444-X Pistol Champ.
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
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I fully second, third, or forth (whatever the count is up to at this point) the Lee Classic four hole turret press.

The only other one I would look at is the Dillon BL 550 that will do the same thing for more money, but has the bonus of being buildable into the RL 550B down the road.

And before you buy anything, buy and read two or three times the "ABC's of Reloading" now in its 9th edition. And read it over again. And again.

And again.
Well kind of. A turret press still require 4 pulls of the handle to make one round, the 550B is a manual indexing progressive that produces 1 round everytime you pull the handle, that would make it at least twice as fast as any turret.
I like the LCT, most reloaders really do NOT need a progressive of any kind. At an easy 200rds/hr, the turret keeps up with most shooters. If you shoot 200rds a week, easily done on a LCT. If you go much beyond that & have limited time, then a progressive by Hornady, RCBS or DIllon will certainly save you time but at a cost.
My only rub w/ the SDB back when I bought my first 550, was it used Dillon only dies & I already had 4-5 dies set. So A 550 was what I ended up with & it is a great progressive to learn because it easily loads one round at a time or 4 at a time. It will also accept any dies set, so if you decide to load something later, like rifle rounds or the 357sig, it can be done on the 550B, not a SDB. If you are only going to load pistol, the SDB is a solid progressive that will last you years. If your friend was making bad ammo on one, he needs to look in the mirror.
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:47 PM
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RCBS Rock Chucker. Period.
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Old 07-30-2011, 12:48 AM
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I started out reloading on a rcbs rockchucker this was the only press I owned at the time. Rifle or pistol all were done on that press. When I started fooling around with cast bullets the mean green rockchucker was still there. However when I started shooting steel plate matches I also started with the rockchucker, but it seemed like almost forever to turn out 300 rds for the match. On the advice of some fellow shooters
i bought the dillon 550 for my 45. Instead of spending 3-4 hours getting 300 rounds ready It was more like 1.5 hours. Hey I'm not as fast as everyone. So about once a year I take it apart clean and lube and away I go. The single stage is slow, but mistakes are easily spotted and corrected. I prime separately before the cases go into the dillon. I use that time to better inspect cases and any that are messed up get binned. Now the rockchucker has been replaced by the lee classic cast and still is used for cast bullet loading and rifle cartridges. Frank
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Old 07-30-2011, 01:22 AM
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I started reloading on my friend's Lee Loadmaster. I bought the Hornady LnL a few months later. He bought the LnL 4 years later and wonders why he spent all that time working on his press instead of making bullets.

If you are going to shoot a few hundred bullets a month you might be OK with a single stage. If you are going to shoot 2-300 per week you are just kidding yourself.

Learning on a good progressive is simple. I've taught a few guys on mine. Set it up. Insert the dies. Load one round. Watch it go through all the stages.

You cannot do that on a single stage press.

After you have loaded a few, maybe a few hundred, load two at a time. Most of my friends are comfortable going to two after 50-100 rounds of singles. Load three until comfortable. Load four, load five.

I like the LnL because it auto indexes, advances the shell plate with the pull of the handle.

Go slow. I routinely make 200 per hour including the filling of primer tubes. I can make more, but it feels like work, and it is a hobby.

One of my friends was loading for pistol on a single stage. He came over to my house and ran my press. He ordered one that day.
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Old 07-30-2011, 06:46 AM
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I have been reloading since 1962, using mostly RCBS presses.

I started with the "Junior", then the "Rockchucker", then the A2, A3, and A4("Big Max"). The big winner turned out to be the Rockchucker. That was the best value among them, which is the only one of that group that is still in production. The A2 was the heavyweight, useful also for case forming and swaging, but was replaced by the A3. The A3 had the shortest life, and was replaced by the Big Max (A4). The A4 was a giant, but had design flaws and some weird annoying features.

In my opinion, the 2 best quality ones were the original Rockchucker and the A2. The later Rockchuckers are not as well made as the early ones. The older ones can be identified by the dull green powder rough surface coating. Later ones have the shiny green paint. If you can get one in very good used condition, GRAB IT! Then clean it up like new, and check the fittings. It will last forever.

Start out with single stage reloading on a Rockchucker, and learn SAFETY, checking powder charges visually. Don't watch TV or chat while reloading, for the same reason not to drive a car and use a cell phone at the same time.

Later on, use an inexpensive Lee turret press for faster pistol reloading. A Rockchucker and Lee turret are a good combination to have.

Dillon presses are expensive, and only necessary for shooters that are engaged in very high volume shooting in a few calibers. However, Dillon itself is fantastically great in backing up their products and customers.

Now for the elite of them all ----- Redding. The Redding turret press is a compact and heavy press that can do it all. If strength and quality is what you want, this is the Rolls Royce of reloading presses. It is in the $300 range. The turret is rotated by hand, so you can use it as a single stage or as a progressive method press. RCBS and Lyman make similar presses, but they are wimpy compared to the Redding. If you buy the Redding Turret press at the start, you don't need either the Rockchucker or the Lee Turret.

It comes with one turret head that handles 7 die stations. You can buy additional heads for about $50 each, and they each have 7 die stations. It takes about a minute to change heads, so you can leave the dies in each turret head, similar to the Lee Turret. The Redding can easily do case forming, sizing, pistol, rifle, etc. It has solid, rigid alignment, and power.

By the way, Redding makes the best dies of all. Hornady is #2, and RCBS trails. RCBS used to be the best, before the original Huntington family sold the company years ago.

On accessories, Redding and Sinclair are the quality leaders. Sinclair has some very exotic gadgets, like micrometers, neck thickness gauges, etc. Both companies have beautiful FREE color catalogs. Call them on the phone, and you'll get the catalog in 3-4 days.

Good luck,
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Old 07-30-2011, 07:12 AM
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I started with a simple single stage press in 1967 and it's still going strong. I have no idea how many rounds it's loaded but it's in the tens of thousands. Buy the best dies, powder measure and scale you can afford they are the most important components!
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Old 07-30-2011, 07:59 AM
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Default Lee Classic Turret

You can run it as a single stage or semi progressive. Will deliver 150+ rounds /hour if you need it too. Very well built and thought out.
I sold my square B to buy mine. Square B was troublesome and used only dillon pistol dies. Teh Clasic Turret will even do rifle .
Read the reviews and you will be convinced.
Lee Classic 4 Hole Turret Press - MidwayUSA

btw> The Classic Turret is 1/2 the cost of the Dillon and comparable in cost to a single stage.
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:12 AM
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my $.02 that is worth what you paid for it...

I greatly DISLIKE single stage presses. If I started reloading on one I would never continued, I would have given up and never did it again.

I started with the Dillon Square Deal and I still like the press. I have moved on to a 650 but the SDB is a great machine.

As others have stated it does matter about the users mechanical ability and reading and understanding technical manuals. Some folks are better at this than others.

To me reloading is a simple process that can be a challenge to master, if you will. It is like many things a skill and like most skills they can be learned and improved upon.

After many years of using the SDB and 650 some one locally was selling a Rockchucker. I somehow felt I was missing out on something by not having one. So I bought this machine set it up and decided to make some 45 acp on it. My goal was 50 rounds, I got them deprimed, sized then lost interest. Way to tedious for me to even think about.

On my 650 I have loaded everything from 38 S&W to 30:06. I find it easy to set up and use.

I did sell off my SDB, when I bought the above Rockchucker I got another SDB from the same guy. That little press is a joy to use, heck I made about 500 rounds just having fun using it. There is something about the SDB that is nice to use. I traded this machine off, but Id buy another one in a heart beat.

heres a funny you tube video

‪Dillon Square Deal B 45 ACP‬‏ - YouTube
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:20 AM
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550B is the best all around press you can buy
and it will hold up its resale value.....Id avoid the Square Deal press

I started with a lee and felt like I wasted my time and money
and went right to the 550......now I wish I had a 650 but thats another story......

Go progressive or go home
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:23 AM
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Each tool has it's proper place in the scheme of reloading. There is NO real one size fits all here.

Shooting needs, mechanical aptitude, personality and a host of other things make our choice of press a personal one. That is one reason that some feel so strong about the one that they have chosen.

I have loaded TONS of ammo on the 3 Square Deal B presses that I have had. All of them set up at the same time on the same bench too! Why? Ease and extra money at the time, plain and simple. I was loading for two that were shooting weekly competition though so I had an excuse!

My point is that that scenario would not suffice for the fellow that shoots Military Rifle competition on the same schedule because the press, while a good choice, cannot do rifle cartridges at all!

For some, pulling a handle 4 times to get 1 bullet is relaxing. Okay, I got it. When I want to head to the range though, I want that 1 pull to give me a bullet.

Now, all of that being said, when I get a new to me caliber, I am really thankful that I have a single stage to build them on. It slows me down and makes me pay attention to every detail. Something that should be done always but especially when building or working up a load for the first time.

Again, my 2 cents and like WG28, you get what you pay for!
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:44 AM
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Thanks for all of your thoughts and opinions i am in compition shooting doing about 6 different shoots a month and firing around 600-800 rounds at them alone not including practice. so i'm really wanting a progressive and im not into rifles shooting. don't even hunt with a gun Tradition bow hunter/compition. man do hobbies cost alot. I did go to a friends place and learned and used his dillion progressive 650 and if I have questions i have someone close by that can help. Once again thanks alot
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Old 07-30-2011, 10:03 AM
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For the Dillon to work fast you have to pay the helper.

‪Reloading‬‏ - YouTube

I prefer the Ammoload Mark X
Surprised Skip doesn't have one??


‪Ammoload Mark X Loading 9mm for EvergladesAmmo.com‬‏ - YouTube
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Old 07-30-2011, 10:45 AM
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I'd buy a dillon 650 with powder check. Simple.
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Old 07-30-2011, 11:24 AM
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I bought my first single stage press in 1971 and tried several makers C-type presses in the first five years. Then I discovered Forster's Co-Ax press and quickly came to believe it's the best single stage press available.

Along came Dillon with his first progressive press. I bought one of the first 450s for pistol rounds. When the 550 came out Dillon offered an upgrade kit for the 450s.

I use the Co-Ax for rifle and small batches of pistol rounds and the Dillon for large batches of pistol rounds.

These presses have served me well for over 30 years.
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Old 07-30-2011, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Rule3 View Post
For the Dillon to work fast you have to pay the helper.

‪Reloading‬‏ - YouTube

I prefer the Ammoload Mark X
Surprised Skip doesn't have one??


‪Ammoload Mark X Loading 9mm for EvergladesAmmo.com‬‏ - YouTube
I did have one, the wife. She or I did real well until she would slow down and I didn't!

After 2 or 3 times of getting her fingers pinched, she suggests I get an XL650! Now I have two of them!

Still have one Square Deal left but am. Thinking of selling it.
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Old 07-30-2011, 01:25 PM
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Thanks for all of your thoughts and opinions i am in compition shooting doing about 6 different shoots a month and firing around 600-800 rounds at them alone not including practice. so i'm really wanting a progressive and im not into rifles shooting. don't even hunt with a gun Tradition bow hunter/compition. man do hobbies cost alot. I did go to a friends place and learned and used his dillion progressive 650 and if I have questions i have someone close by that can help. Once again thanks alot
At that rate a Square Deal B would be the minimum I would suggest. The fact you have help close by is a big plus. My second XL650 was purchased from a doctor that couldn't figure out how to set it up and run it!

What calibers are you loading? If it is one of the short auto cases, the SDB is perfect for your needs.

The ONLY caution I have is if you go to expand your caliber selection. While you are tie to Dillon for dies, the do come with the caliber conversion that includes everything you need to run the round. The XL650 is not that way. You can use anyone's 7/8x14 dies but the caliber conversion costs around $80, last I checked. So, $130 per caliber change.

The LNL may be cheaper but I have no experience with them.

Sorry, on the iPod, will fix when I get to a pc!
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:10 AM
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OMG! How many rounds an hour can that Ammoload Mark X load? I think I could load a months worth of ammo in a few hours with that but how the heck can you afford to keep it fed? lol
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:57 AM
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When I walk up to my XL650, I am reminded of the old Cadillac commercial:

"When you turn on your car, does it return the favor?"

Dillon - the Cadillac of Progressives
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:06 AM
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"When you turn on your car, does it return the favor?"

Dillon - the Cadillac of Progressives
oh man that gives me the mental picture of Plastic Nancy Pelosi standing next to the press... eeewww....

I think we need to no longer call the presses "progressive". Perhaps "semi automatic" reloading press or "multi station indexing press"

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Old 07-31-2011, 11:09 AM
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Take it from someone with 35 years of experience and a former owner of a Hornady LNL. BUY a single stage press. My preference, Forster co-ax press. There is absolutely nothing wrong with RCBS or Redding products either these are top quality and will provide a lifetime of reloading. I prefer Redding dies but that is me. I could go on and on but, this is a debate that cannot be won on the internet. My advise is to seek out someone local and watch them load a significant amount of ammo, a caliber change, a priming change, a case change, a powder change, a powder charge change.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:19 AM
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Hello everyone. I am looking to get into reloading i am looking for a press for pistol ammo. I have been told by a friend to get a dillon square b progressive press, but i had another friend say he hated it because it never loaded right and had alot of weak bullets jam. Is the dillon square b the best choise or is there something bette out there. I'm looking around right now. but looking to spend $500 maybe a little more if would be the better way to go. Thanks!
DILLON 550 FOR THE MONEY
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:19 AM
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oh man that gives me the mental picture of Plastic Nancy Pelosi standing next to the press... eeewww....

I think we need to no longer call the presses "progressive". Perhaps "semi automatic" reloading press or "multi station indexing press"

That's the beauty of the Dillon. Long after she's gone and the Dem's are calling themselves yet something else, the XL650 will still be cranking out ammo.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:02 AM
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there are some bad times ahead, and ammo/components may be too expensive in the very near future.
Zombie Apocolypse?
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:32 PM
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My first handloads were 45acp using a (used) RCBS Jr single-stage press back in 1983, when Dillons were first starting to become the big thing. I've loaded over 15,000 round since then & never really felt the need to upgrade to a progressive-- still using that RCDS Jr. Nothing wrong with Dillons at all, if you really need to load in volume they're the way to go, but I wouldn't suggest one for a beginner-- too much going on at once & too easy to goof something up because of it.
I have a friend interested in getting started loading for handguns, & I suggested a Lee starter set-- you can get most of what you need for $200 or less. I've always used RCBS dies but this last time around I bought a set of Lee carbide 38 sp dies & while no RCBS's they're not bad. Lee sells a little C-style press-- it's only like $30 & should be plenty enough for handgun cartridges. A set of Lee carbide dies, a Lee autoprime tool, a modest powder measure & scale, a vibrating case cleaner, & a reloading manual, and for about $250 you'll be in business.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:23 PM
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Dillon 550 or 650. A lifetime loader.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:49 PM
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WHICH Reloading Press Model to choose depends upon what you load and how much,
along with a time frame of available time, including your AVAILABLE $$$$$$ BUDGET?

Just one caliber HANDGUN WITH A STRAIGHT WALL CASE, say a 45 ACP, or a .40S&W, the Dillon Square "D" is wonderful.

The DILLON Square "D" is a 4 station PROGRESSIVE, but it only takes it's OWN "SQUARE D" SPECIFIC DILLON DIES,
that are more expensive than standard die sets and it takes longer for a caliber change.

Most people have them ("SD") for one specific pistol round that is set up and they leave it alone and just crank out ammo.

Mike "DUKE" Venturino, the gun writer, has one Dillon Square "D" set up loading 9MM and one set up for 45ACP
just to feed his WWII submachine guns, along with his other presses for loading rifles and pistols.

If you intend to load many calibers both pistol and rifle, the Dillon 550B
is the machine for you. (You have to MANUALLY move the shell plate to each station though)

If you need a lot of ammo in say 45ACP, 40S&W, or 9MM pistol along with RIFLE AMMO, the Dillon 650 or Hornady LNL
are full 5 station PROGRESSIVE MACHINES may just be right up your alley.

The Dillon 1050 is actually a COMMERCIAL TYPE machine and will crank out a boat load of ammo for you to.
This machine, the 1050, ONLY HAS A 1 YEAR WARRANTY though.

*** For further info concerning DILLON RELOADING PRESSES, you can visit THE BRIAN ENOS WEBSITE.
He has breakdowns to help you decide upon which Dillon press is the machine for you.
The machine limits matched to your actual needs.

The old "STAR" machine (long out of production and difficult to find parts for existing ones) was a great machine.

****Everyone needs a single stage press on there bench also.****

GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR CHOICES !!!!!
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:54 PM
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I'm guessing the OP has already made a decision already, since this thread was started on July 28 2011, and his last activity on the forum was 02/15/12.

Last edited by novalty; 10-08-2012 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:44 PM
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We do have many NEW FOLKS stopping by every day.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:48 PM
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My first press a Lyman SparT. Still have and use. 2nd SDB, sold after 7yrs use. 3rd RL550B, 4th RCBS Rockchucker(old one). I still use the 3 I have. Each has a valid reloading use at different times. I.E., the rockchucker is good for resizing .308 cases fired in an M1A. Takes more resizing effort than feels comfortable on a lessor press. Just my view get what you need to get to do the intended job. That being said you can use a 550 as a single stage, a primer unit only, size and primer only or as intended as a progressive just depends on your particular need at the time.

Last edited by Monticello Marshal; 10-08-2012 at 05:49 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:18 PM
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There is not a "best" press. There are personal preferences and some consider their preference to be "best". I have the 550B and RCBS Pro 2000. I have a preference for the 2000. It has five stations, strip primer feed, and I have added the auto-advance option. I have never needed customer service for either so I can't comment. Eventually I will sell the 550B; the 2000 simply fits the way I work; I am comfortable and confident with it.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:19 AM
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We do have many NEW FOLKS stopping by every day.
You're right, and we still have the search feature.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:28 PM
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I like the LEE turret with auto index cost is 73.00 at midway USA 3 hole turret is 9.00 and that way you do not reset your dies every time or you can get the deluxe kit for 113.00. That way you will have money to buy powder and primers and some brass case tumbler cleaning media and media separator OR you can go with a ultrasonic cleaner Lyman 115.00 cleaning solution 13.00. I have went to this it is a lot faster cleaning the brass. GOOD LUCK
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wee Hooker View Post
You can run it as a single stage or semi progressive. Will deliver 150+ rounds /hour if you need it too. Very well built and thought out.
I sold my square B to buy mine. Square B was troublesome and used only dillon pistol dies. Teh Clasic Turret will even do rifle .
Read the reviews and you will be convinced.
Lee Classic 4 Hole Turret Press - MidwayUSA

btw> The Classic Turret is 1/2 the cost of the Dillon and comparable in cost to a single stage.
A turret presss is just that, not a semi progressive. WHat defines a progressive press is the rounds "progress" thru the process w/ EACH pull of the handle & you get a finished round w/ each pull of the handle. A turret requires you pull the handle for each operation, & rotate the single round thru the processs. 3-4x as much work & 3-4x slower. The LCT is a good press, but never will be a progressive, semi or otherwise.
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