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Old 02-20-2012, 12:46 PM
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Default Any reason NOT to get the Dillon XL 650?

Okay, just one final reality pinch before I head to Dillon in Scottsdale. Believe it or not I actually got the wife to agree (she loves her new 9mm CZ75B) that it's time to step up the ammo production. With her and both daughters now shooting too, the ammo pile goes down FAST. I need a progressive, and preferably one setup for eventually adding a case feeder (maybe a bullet feed down the road).

Is there any reason I should be looking at the 550 or 1050 over the XL 650, or is there some "better" progressive? Like the Hornady ammo plant system?

I leaned toward the 650 due to the powder check stage - the one concern I have had with a progressive. I know I could do spot checks with the 550.. but the cost isn't really that much more. Just thinking out loud (figuratively).

I'm planning to get the plates/die sets/powder measures for .357/.45/9mm so I can do quick ammo changes, without having to completely reset it up.

Keeping that in mind.. is there a "better way", or am I on the right track here?

One thing I really like about Dillon is they are a 25 minute drive door to door. But if this is a not-great idea considering other options... I'd forego the locality.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:53 PM
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The only reason not to buy 1 XL650 is to buy 2 or 3.
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:41 PM
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550B here for me because I wanted maximum flexibility and prefer manual indexing. With auto-indexing, if you get part way through a stroke and something goes wrong, you can't just back out of it. You have to disassemble, clear and then reassemble. If you are doing pistol calibers, I'd recommend getting a dedicated 450 for each caliber, but that's a whole other story. Dillon all the way. If I lived 25 minutes from them, I'd probably be there daily...
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:51 PM
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I can think of one...

Hornady Manufacturing Company :: Reloading :: Metallic Reloading :: Presses and Kits :: Lock-N-Load® AP™

Just say'in...
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:12 PM
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I recently decided to step up from my turret press into a progressive setup, and so faced the same quandary as you. I asked around and scoured the web looking for comparisons, and found them...lots of them.

I will post the URL to the best comparison I was able to find on three popular reloaders. I didn't write this article, but I certainly appreciate all the great points he makes concerning the Dillion 650, Hornady Lock N Load, and Lee Autoloader.

After doing a lot of research, I ended up going with the Hornady Lock N Load AP press. And so far, I haven't been sorry. It's a great press, and doesn't cost as much for caliber conversion compared to the Dillion, according to the numbers I could put together.

Bottom line is the Hornady and Dillion are both great presses, and except for the money there is not much difference in them. And as far as the powder check goes, I have one on my Hornady. It is the Hornady Powder Cop Die, RCBS also offers a lock out die for this.

Good luck with your decision.

http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillon...Comparison.pdf
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spearcrow View Post
I recently decided to step up from my turret press into a progressive setup, and so faced the same quandary as you. I asked around and scoured the web looking for comparisons, and found them...lots of them.

I will post the URL to the best comparison I was able to find on three popular reloaders. I didn't write this article, but I certainly appreciate all the great points he makes concerning the Dillion 650, Hornady Lock N Load, and Lee Autoloader.

After doing a lot of research, I ended up going with the Hornady Lock N Load AP press. And so far, I haven't been sorry. It's a great press, and doesn't cost as much for caliber conversion compared to the Dillion, according to the numbers I could put together.

Bottom line is the Hornady and Dillion are both great presses, and except for the money there is not much difference in them. And as far as the powder check goes, I have one on my Hornady. It is the Hornady Powder Cop Die, RCBS also offers a lock out die for this.

Good luck with your decision.

http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillon...Comparison.pdf
Thanks for a great post and PDF. I got a lot of good information. Don
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:17 PM
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Because you are 20 minutes round trip from them, no, there is NO reason, other than available cash, as to not get the XL650.

I have two, one RL450B, 3 Square Deal Bs and a Lee Classic Cast Turret press. All of them function just like they are designed.

The ONLY complaint I have about the XL650 has to do with the primer system and an empty "hole". The primer apparatus still advances. After two or more, the primers fall on the floor.

I am working on a fix. When I get a good one, I will post it. At present, not so much! (Read, not duct tape, electrical tape! )

Now, I am NOT saying it is THE best press out there. Not saying that at all, period BUT, since you live so close, it makes it a no brainer.

The Hornady LNL AP is a great press too from all I have seen. Bob sure likes his and he is a great guy! They are red though, just so you know!

All kidding aside, you will not be sorry that you bought the Dillon. You will be out a bunch of cash but, they are well worth it, in my opinion.

Have fun, be safe, don't wait any longer to get started. Buy a manual, get a set of dies, get components or something, but wait no longer.

Time will never be better to start.

FWIW
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:30 PM
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I'll pitch my opinion in too. Best reason not to get an XL650 is the Hornady LNL.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:10 PM
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One thing about the LNL AP that I love is the half index on the up stroke then the other half indexing on the down stroke. Smoooooooth!!!!

No stutter or jumping that makes for powder jumping out of a case. Of course a 550 could be turned by hand nice and smooth, but they are four station presses. No matter what, go to:

Ultimate Reloader

And watch all the videos. Oh, and: Powderfunnels.com -- Fully Featured Powder Through Exapnder
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:41 PM
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I have seen one in action and that is one of the things that kind of "freaked me out" about it really. There is a whole lotta movin' goin' on all the time. The only other thing that is a minus in my opinion is that the tool head is nonexistent. I know there are bushings but, if I count right, that is a minimum of 5 movements to get them out. 2 pins on the XL650 and you are done UNLESS you don't purchase an extra tool head. $15-$20 used through ebay.

Just sayin'......................

Both are great machines and capable of producing a bunch of quality ammo in a hurry. Neither one should be put down. They just have differences is all. The ONLY thing that makes one better than the other is personal preference, period.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:43 PM
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M.O.N.E.Y.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:47 PM
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It would seem that the only reason people dont buy the Dillon is, the price.


If you can afford it buy it dont look back...

Did anyone ever say, I am sorry I bought the Dillon?
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:53 PM
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wheel, yep, one guy that I know of. That press is now in my basement setup with the very caliber and dies as he said wouldn't run.

I bought it off of ebay but it was at a local gun shop on consignment. The guy was a doctor and absolutely could not get it to run. He took it to Kempf's in Michigan City, dropped it off and asked for a Lee progressive, they sell them, and told them to get what they could for it. It had several extra things with it. And, I got if for a fair price.

If you could find that guy, I expect he would say that he was sorry he bought the Dillon. I can almost guarantee if you did find him, and asked him about the Lee, he would say the same or worse about it though!
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:55 PM
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Check out Brian Enos's FAQ page for a lot of good info on the Dillon presses. He recommends the 550 if you plan to change calibers often. Also, the additional setups for the 650 are more expensive. But the 650 with a case feeder is certainly faster. I've been running the same 550 since around 1985, and I like the manual indexing and the ability to back up the process to check the powder charge or pull a problem round out of the production line. Check out the Square Deal B while you're at the factory. Some competitive shooters have one in each caliber, and they're pretty fast and Dillon-reliable. Good luck.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:57 PM
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I got to mention service after the sale for Dillon. I lost a part of my Dillon powder scale and managed to break the powder hopper off of the base. I contacted Dillon to find out the cost to replace/repair the items, the gentleman said "No Charge". It does not matter if your the first owner or fifth, they make it, they will fix it. I have a model 550B and have thought to upgrade to the 650.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:12 PM
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I've got the Hornady L-n-L. Very pleased with it. Haven't used the Dillon.

Differences, as far as I can tell...

Hornady can load handgun and rifle on same press.

FIVE stations. I need them all for 45 acp. Allows for a separate seating and crimping station (say if you want to use a factory crimp die for instance.)

1000 free bullets with the Hornady. Don't know if they're still running this promo...

Hornady has positive auto indexing. You cannot turn it backward and produce an inadvertent double charge. (Well, ok, you can do something like that, but it's not easy. You won't do it casually without thinking. You have to work at it by fiddling with the half index system. Remember, NOTHING is foolproof.)

Individual rounds can be easily removed and re-inserted into the shell plate without tearing the setup apart.

The stations can be advanced multiple times without ejecting primers. If they're not seated into a case, they stay in the primer "thingy".

Changing calibers is less than 10 minutes. If you buy extra collets dies can be left set up ready to go. Pop one set out, pop another set in. Same for seating different bullets if you care to but extra seater dies. (About $5 each at gun shows.) I load 3 different bullets for 38 spec.

Micrometer powder charging adjusters are available making powder charge changes very quick. If you remember to record the setting you used last time for that powder.

Two years and 15000 rounds. Nothing has broken yet.

It's red.

______________

Disadvantages of the LnL. Remember, I've not used a Dillon.

Primer seater has to be kept clean. This will slow you down if you don't. Best I've found is to blow out the primer seater w compressed air every 100 rounds.

Dillon primer pickup tubes have a lighter feel than Hornady's. Try to find a few used ones at a gun show. They fit fine into the Hornady.

The very last primer out of 100 can be reluctant to feed. But only the last one. Don't let the tube run down to the last primer...

It took every bit of 5000 rounds before I got enough experience to know when it was running well and when there was something needing attention. Suspect this might be the case for Dillon, as well. Steep learning curve on a progressive.

That's all I can think of at the moment...
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:15 PM
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Hi,
The XL650 has 5 stations and can do rifle as well as pistol as well as auto indexing.

About the only real difference as you mention them is the free bullets!
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:07 PM
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Both are excellent machines, just about equivalent in operation and features, although the Hornady may be a bit faster for caliber changes. There is a big difference in price, however, with the advantage definitely to Hornady, and an even bigger difference when considered in light of Hornady's free bullets promotion! Both are high quality, auto-indexing progressive presses, and both offer automatic case feeders and bullet feeders as options. You can't go wrong with either.

You may want to buy on line, though, as sales tax on a full retail purchase at Dillon's store, just north of Scottsdale Airport, will be a whopping huge amount, and the trip up and back on the 101 willl be aggravating (especially southbound through Scottsdale any time after 2:00 PM). For instance, Graf's has the L-n-L AP on sale at about $414 right now, plus a $4.95 handling fee, with free shipping, and you still get the free bullets direct from Hornady! That will be several hundred less than retail for the 650 plus sales tax, even before you consider the value of the free bullets. Just some food for thought. Either will serve you well.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:44 PM
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I like the 550 because I LIKE the manual indexing and control that gives me, but the 650 is fine for most folks. As far as cost is concerned, you'll save enough over the first few months it won't matter. Living so close to Dillon is the best reason to go blue, they are the best when it comes to service.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:44 AM
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I chose the XL650 over the LnL because of locale. The shooting range where I am a member is a Dillon dealer. It has provided me with thousands of rounds of ammunition and has been a trouble-free machine. I don't think I could ask for anything more.

I have never tried the Hornady but I hear it is a fine press as well. I hear the RCBS ain't half bad either.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:31 AM
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As the 650 is an auto-indexing progressive, it is much harder to create squibs and double-charges. Dillon is first rate. I don't have any experience with Hornady, but their progressive machine is in direct competition with the 650 for less money. But Dillon's customer service is legendary and I doubt Hornady can equal it. I think you are making the right choice with the 650 for a first press and Dillon will be right there with you to make your purchase work for you.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:50 PM
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I purchased the XL650, and I did it right there at the Dillon store. I would have had to pay the sales tax either way, and the ride was quite ez, 25 minutes door to door. I took my wife with me, and we went to the arabian horse show that's happening now 1/5 mile away from there, so it was well worth the trip.

I think the LnL beat the dillon out on price, build for build... but I like buying from an Arizona company, employing people in my own state is a good thing. So that and the "no BS" warranty won out. I am sure the Hornady is great too... if both Dillon and Hornady were in Phoenix, it would have come down to which one is closer.

The 1,000 free bullets would have been nice, no question about it. I couldn't even get a free hat out of the Dillon sales! Still, no regrets.

Thanks all!
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Sackett View Post
I have seen one in action and that is one of the things that kind of "freaked me out" about it really. There is a whole lotta movin' goin' on all the time. The only other thing that is a minus in my opinion is that the tool head is nonexistent. I know there are bushings but, if I count right, that is a minimum of 5 movements to get them out. 2 pins on the XL650 and you are done UNLESS you don't purchase an extra tool head. $15-$20 used through ebay.

Just sayin'......................

Both are great machines and capable of producing a bunch of quality ammo in a hurry. Neither one should be put down. They just have differences is all. The ONLY thing that makes one better than the other is personal preference, period.
The LNL bushing system is an advantage over the Dillon/Lee toolhead system because you can easily add/remove/setup dies individually. Makes it easier to adjust the dies - you can concentrate on one without the others interfering.

At the start of a reloading session, I like to remove all of the dies except the powder measure and do a bunch of test throws to verify that it is throwing what I want. Then plug the rest in and start loading.

I also have a couple different seating dies depending on the bullet - one is for wadcutters and is set for almost no crimp. Another is set for full power SWC with heavy crimp. I just swap the one die, and don't have to touch the others.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:03 PM
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John,
I just unscrew the die seating stem and flip the plug over for that scenario.

5 moves of the hand cannot be faster than one, unless you are secretly "Flash"
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip Sackett View Post
John,
I just unscrew the die seating stem and flip the plug over for that scenario.

5 moves of the hand cannot be faster than one, unless you are secretly "Flash"
Adjusting the AOL is no big deal - I keep a bunch of dummy rounds for guides - unscrew the stem, put in the dummy, and screw down the stem until it touches.

The crimp is the main reason I keep 2 seating dies - one is set for light, the other heavy. I find keeping the crimp consistent from one batch to the next rather tedious and fussy, so I just use separate dies instead re-adjusting. That, and adjusting the powder measure is where I really like the bushing system.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:11 PM
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I prefer the manual indexing of the 550 over the automatic indexing of the 650.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:06 PM
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I want one, just can't afford it.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:47 AM
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I have been running Dillons since 1984.

FWIW IMHO If you are new to progressive machines I recommend the 550B, If not then go with the 650.

My bench currently hold two (2) 650's and my orginial 550b, which was upgraded from a 450.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:06 AM
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I have had a 650 now for three years. It does what it is supposed to do and does it well. You can turn out a lot of loaded ammo in a hurry.
I enjoy running it and time seems to fly when loading these days. The biggest problem is how to shoot up all that ammo. Seems like everytime the wife has a chore for me I am at the range
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:33 AM
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I see I'm late to this thread since the OP has already purchased the Dillon XL 650.

I was going to ask if you looked at the RCBS Pro2000 before you decided but it's too late.

Out of curiosity, does anyone own or has anyone here used a RCBS Pro2000? I saw it in use on Shooting USA and it looks top rate, more so than the Dillon 550B or XL 650. (but I have never used any of them)
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
I see I'm late to this thread since the OP has already purchased the Dillon XL 650.

I was going to ask if you looked at the RCBS Pro2000 before you decided but it's too late.

Out of curiosity, does anyone own or has anyone here used a RCBS Pro2000? I saw it in use on Shooting USA and it looks top rate, more so than the Dillon 550B or XL 650. (but I have never used any of them)
Waisted the reason for the 5th station, in my opinion. In the Dillon and I think the LNL AP, the case flaring and powder dump are done in the same step. That gives you and extra spot in the XL650 to put a powder check die. The RL550B only has 4 stations and does the flare and powder dump in the same station. This is ONE reason that the caliber change overs are more expensive, they come with the correct powder drop "die", for lack of a better term.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:55 PM
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I use 2 650's, 4 550b's, and a 450. I thought all reloading presses were BLUE. LOL The only place with better customer service is L.L.Bean and even the are starting to slip.
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:02 PM
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My first loads were terrible, they were tumbling, making keyholes on the target. I couldn't chrono them - it's an indoor range I tested at, and I don't have the lighting attachments for my shooting chrony - but I think they were either moving too slow and/or I had too much crimp on them. They were 45 acp loads.

But I had fun and am prepping now for phase two: "Bye Bye Berrys, Let's try HSM 230gr with WST".

Oh - one thing is for certain - I need to loop back and get the case feed. There is waaaaayyyyy too much going on with the progressive, to be popping cases in there too, I've got my hands full.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:50 PM
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You only list pistol calibers in your post, therefore look at the Square Deal. Great machine, will do everything you need to do. Mine is close to twenty years old, and have served me well. Simple, durable, dependable, consistent. As others have stated, the Dillion customer service is unparalleled. Given the age of my machine, some of the synthetic parts have hardened (primer pick up head), and when I attempted to purchase new ones, they sent them out free. When I have lost screws and such, they send new ones, no charge. They stand behind their product like no other. I currently load four different calibers, getting set up for a fifth. I have a Redding Single Stage for the few rifle rounds I load
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:36 PM
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Congrats Mike on your Dillon! I've been running no less than 7 different calibers (9mm through 30-06 Garand ammo) for six years on my 550b. Never had a problem. Sometimes, finding the right load for a particular gun may elude a reloader. So keep at it and enjoy your new toy and saving money or, like me, just shoot that much more!
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:02 PM
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The PRO 2000 was the press I learned to reload on. It was an earlier version without auto-indexing or a casefeeder. So not exactly fair to compare it to the 650 since the newer PRO's have auto indexing and a casefeeder option.

I really didn't care for the PRO. Been years so I can't remember many specifics. I remember not liking the APS strips. I remember having a hard time seating primers below flush. Anyway the PRO 2000 must not have left that good an impression. When it came time to buy my own equipment I went dillon and I'm happy with my decision.

I prefer a progressive press with auto indexing. Manual indexing is another area for human error to enter into things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post

Out of curiosity, does anyone own or has anyone here used a RCBS Pro2000? I saw it in use on Shooting USA and it looks top rate, more so than the Dillon 550B or XL 650. (but I have never used any of them)
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