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Old 08-24-2017, 08:53 PM
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Default Dillon loading presses pros and cons

I'm looking to upgrade my loading process. Currently using a Lee Classic 1000 which I love with the exception of the primer loading. Just not fast enough. Been considering a Dillon 650. But open minded. Would like a press to give around 300 rounds per hour which the Dillon should handle easily. Any reviews or suggestions of other brands?
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:20 PM
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The 550 does 300 rounds an hour easy. Lots of pros for the Dillon, the only cons are a couple of members here. TeeHee
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:25 PM
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The only progressive loader I have ever had for metallic cartridges is a Dillon 650. About the only negative is of course the cost .

I did not get the shell feeder because I didn't want the tall device blocking access to my loading bench's shelving and also didn't want a power cord laying on the bench. I found that reaching through the loader with my left hand to place a shell in the feed ramp was easy and certainly fast enough.

I would suggest trying the loader with its standard operating handle before buying a roller handle. I found the roller locked my wrist into one angle the whole way through the rotational cycle, which was uncomfortable for my arthritic joints. The round ball allows your hand to rotate on the ball.

Otherwise, there's a lot to like!

Ed
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:34 PM
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The 550 does 300 rounds an hour easy. Lots of pros for the Dillon, the only cons are a couple of members here. TeeHee
Maybe you can get 300 an hour from the 550 but for only $120 more (without the auto case loader), wouldn't the 650 deliver a lot more bullets with less effort?
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:04 PM
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Dillon 650 is all I have experience with. As mentioned downside is cost. For pistol ammo it is all I think I will ever need. Here's what 2.5 hours can do behind one.



The Hornady LNL crew will be by shortly. I'm sure their equipment works quite well too.

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Old 08-24-2017, 10:07 PM
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Maybe you can get 300 an hour from the 550 but for only $120 more (without the auto case loader), wouldn't the 650 deliver a lot more bullets with less effort?
I hear it does. But, I bought the 550 for easier caliber change out and I don't need faster.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:35 PM
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I load on both a 550 & 650. If you want near bullet proof priming, nothing beats a 650. It really does want a case feeder to be really efficient, but if you only want reliable 400rds an hour, you can do ot w/o a case feeder. It Can always be added.
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Old 08-25-2017, 12:23 AM
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I run the 650 with the case feeder & roller handle. I have no complaints. Did without the case feeder for a couple of months, and I'd never get rid of it now.
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Old 08-25-2017, 01:18 AM
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I've got a Dillon 650. I've had it for almost 20 years. There have been zero issues. It's everything Dillon claims it is. I suppose they have a good warranty, but I wouldn't know. Absolutely nothing has given me any trouble.
Besides the well thought out design, speed of use, and accurate reliable ammo it produces, caliber changes are pretty easy.
The auto index places it well ahead of the 550, for my purposes.

I spent a lot of time at the Dillon booth at an NRA convention, trying out all their presses. The Square Deal is clunky and gritty by comparison, with lousy leverage. No way you could do bottleneck cases on that thing. 550 was OK, but, like I said, the auto index and extra die location on the toolhead really sold me. I did look at the 1050, but caliber conversions are a big headache.

Just my opinions here, but, I hope this helps,
Jim
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Old 08-25-2017, 05:44 AM
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Ok I'll be the first Hornady guy... I know the Dillon press is very good, I know people that swear by them but I couldn't afford one at the time. So I ended up getting the Lock n Load and have been very pleased with it so far. I can make close to 300 rounds an hour if I wanted. But I'm not in the ammo biz..So if I make half that in an hour that's OK. To me it's like a stress reliever. Good quiet time....my little get away. So I guess if you can afford the Dillon then go for it...If not Lock N Load!!
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:11 AM
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I have the Dillon 550 and it works great for all my pistol/revolver loading needs. I still use a single stage press for rifle.
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:52 AM
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I have a 550, and my only reason for wishing I had a 650 is the ability to add a powder check die. I can easily load 300 rounds per hour on the 550.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:11 AM
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I've had a Dillon 550 since the late 80's. Don't know how many tens of thousands of rounds I've loaded on it. So, I've been drinking the Blue Cool Aid for quite a few years.
A couple years ago I purchased a second 550. So, I could have one set up for large primers and one for small primers. I'm quite happy with the 550 , and I can do about 300 rounds per hour on it..

I purchased the second 550, rather than a 650, because I have loaded thousands of rounds on it,, and can probably operate it in my sleep. Plus IF something happens, I have a backup.

I few of my shooting buddies have 650's and seem to be quite happy with them too. One guy has a 650 , and recently got a deal on a 550. He said the 550 is slower and more work than the 650, and prefers the 650.

I load most of my rifle ammo on a really old RCBS single stage.

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Old 08-25-2017, 09:24 AM
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Well I have quite a few progressive presses.. A locknload and an ammo plant(no it ain't) I also have 3 Dillon 1050s 2 650s and believe it or not no 550s The 1050s are great especially for handgun rounds. The 650s are not quite as fast as a 1050 but are easier to dp rifle rounds on. I used to use a 1050 in 223 but it was just too much going on at one time for rifle ammo. So I load 223 and 308 military(I hate that tactical word) Load 44 spec and 38 on the 650..oh and 45 Colt. When I load 9mm I also use a 650. They are one of the easiest progressive presses I have ever used..including shotshell progressives(except the Spolar with hydraulics...oy vey!!) I had a 450 many years ago and being dislexic a bit it was a challenge for me as would the 550 I am sure. I have another new in the box 650 sitting here in the loading room...but haven't figured out what to use it for yet..The LnL and Ammo Plant are going on ebay soon.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:30 AM
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I'd say the only con for 650 is the price tag 650 is also known for spilling powder (fixable pretty easy). I've had 550 for a little over 5 years, couple years ago added 650. Conversion kits for 550 much cheaper. 650 has 5 stations so one can add powder check or bullet feeder die.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:43 AM
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I have owned both Hornady and Dillon presses
Hornady uses a Drum style powder measure which I consider superior to the slide bar
The dillon 550 is not auto indexing, get distracted and throw a double charge in a case... KABOOM
If you do not use a case or bullet feeder consider this... The Dillon you insert cases and run the handle with your right hand and insert bullets with left, The Hornady your right hand stays on the handle, inserting empty cases with your left hand on the down stroke and then grab a bullet and insert on the up stroke.
Hornady uses a spring to hold cases in place in the shel holder... just slide out until the case clears the plate and you can check powder weight or whatever... dillon uses those darn little buttons that you need a different size for each caliber
My friends that use Dillon are the kind of guys that like to throw money at a situation, my friends that reload with Hornady tend to try and figure out why something happens and then find a solution,,, both are happy with their presses
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:57 AM
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My Dillon 550 doesn't spill powder (but my Mec 9000 does). I like the 550 because it can load the widest assortment of calibers, more than the 650. I can load about 350 rounds an hour, but prefer going slower, far more relaxing. I usually do about 250-275. Once to test it I did 370 rounds an hour but that took the fun out of it.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:25 AM
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My friends that use Dillon are the kind of guys that like to throw money at a situation, my friends that reload with Hornady tend to try and figure out why something happens and then find a solution,,, both are happy with their presses
I don't know about your friends , but for nearly all my life, I've gone to the trouble of finding out why something happens. I have a tendency to research the max, for just about anything I'm interested in. That includes history, products, etc. Could be the reason I've never sent a single firearm back to the manufacturer for problems. I did buy the Dillon 650, based solely upon this never ending quest of immense, time consuming, reading of the why's, and why nots, as well as so many videos available on the web. I am very happy with my purchase. The only money I throw at it, is for some of the excellent add on products, such as the case feeder.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:39 AM
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I've got a Dillon 650. I've had it for almost 20 years. There have been zero issues. It's everything Dillon claims it is. I suppose they have a good warranty, but I wouldn't know. Absolutely nothing has given me any trouble.
Besides the well thought out design, speed of use, and accurate reliable ammo it produces, caliber changes are pretty easy.
The auto index places it well ahead of the 550, for my purposes.

I spent a lot of time at the Dillon booth at an NRA convention, trying out all their presses. The Square Deal is clunky and gritty by comparison, with lousy leverage. No way you could do bottleneck cases on that thing. 550 was OK, but, like I said, the auto index and extra die location on the toolhead really sold me. I did look at the 1050, but caliber conversions are a big headache.

Just my opinions here, but, I hope this helps,
Jim
Read the fine print....Square deals are only for PISTOL cartridges.....They were out there LONG BEFORE the 650 was invented....I have 2 and 6 caliber changes......Bought it over the 550 because I wanted auto indexing.....Great machines.......All Dillons.......Sadly Mike D passed on earlier this year..........
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:43 AM
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I have the Dillon 550B and thinks it's the cat's meow. Some note it doesn't have he auto indexing, but I find and feel more in control being able to manually index and go back if something doesn't feel right (usually station #1 and primer). Yes it's possible to double charge but if you watch what you're doing and pay attention, it should not happen. Oh, never watch "Judge Judy" while reloading, it could be dangerous!
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:46 AM
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The Dillon vs "everyone else" has been beat to death in many threads. I chose Dillon because over 98% of competition shooters use Dillon, that told me a lot. Now for the reason I chose a 650 over the other 3 options. I already had many die sets so that eliminated the Square deal. There were a couple of things I liked about the 1050 (primer seat on the downstroke and primer pocket swage), but the complexity of the press put me off. I wanted 5 toolhead spots, so I got a 650. I've heard the cost of a Dillon being a negative, but when you amortize the cost over the years of use (unlimited with the lifetime warranty) it doesn't add up to much, maybe a penny a day over 20 years. When I got my 650, I didn't get a case feeder, it comes with the tube that connects to the case feeder so the statement that you have to load each case by hand is made by someone who never used a 650. You can load 22 empty cases at a time. The reason I did it this way is that after 40 years of marriage, my wife is always bugging me about birthday and Christmas presents. So I got a case feeder on my next birthday, and a bullet feeder a few holidays later (I didn't mind loading the bullets by hand until my left hand started cramping up after loading more than 400 at one sitting.) One positive about a 650 (or 1050) is that it's almost impossible to get a double charge (I said almost because there is no impossible. I've tried to make it throw two charges but haven't been able to do it, but maybe I haven't tried everything) Regarding the powder metering, I've had nothing but accurate throws from the Dillon measure, but I only use ball powders, so I have no experience with extruded or flake powders. I've loaded over 200K rounds so I think my 650 as proved it's worth. I've broken a couple of small parts, but I got the spare parts kit when I bought the press so I replaced the part, contacted Dillon and they sent me a replacement part (actually multiples of the part) so I could replenish my spare parts kit. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-25-2017, 11:19 AM
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The Dillon vs "everyone else" has been beat to death in many threads. I chose Dillon because over 98% of competition shooters use Dillon, that told me a lot. Now for the reason I chose a 650 over the other 3 options. I already had many die sets so that eliminated the Square deal. There were a couple of things I liked about the 1050 (primer seat on the downstroke and primer pocket swage), but the complexity of the press put me off. I wanted 5 toolhead spots, so I got a 650. I've heard the cost of a Dillon being a negative, but when you amortize the cost over the years of use (unlimited with the lifetime warranty) it doesn't add up to much, maybe a penny a day over 20 years. When I got my 650, I didn't get a case feeder, it comes with the tube that connects to the case feeder so the statement that you have to load each case by hand is made by someone who never used a 650. You can load 22 empty cases at a time. The reason I did it this way is that after 40 years of marriage, my wife is always bugging me about birthday and Christmas presents. So I got a case feeder on my next birthday, and a bullet feeder a few holidays later (I didn't mind loading the bullets by hand until my left hand started cramping up after loading more than 400 at one sitting.) One positive about a 650 (or 1050) is that it's almost impossible to get a double charge (I said almost because there is no impossible. I've tried to make it throw two charges but haven't been able to do it, but maybe I haven't tried everything) Regarding the powder metering, I've had nothing but accurate throws from the Dillon measure, but I only use ball powders, so I have no experience with extruded or flake powders. I've loaded over 200K rounds so I think my 650 as proved it's worth. I've broken a couple of small parts, but I got the spare parts kit when I bought the press so I replaced the part, contacted Dillon and they sent me a replacement part (actually multiples of the part) so I could replenish my spare parts kit. Hope this helps.
This helps a lot. I started this post because I value the opinions here more than any reviews I read. My work takes me to Fayetteville, NC a lot and I've been getting some opinions from some soldiers who load a lot as well. I've heard negatives about other brands with primer feeds, powder feeds and the most common statement is the other brands do great as long as you keep everything adjusted which I'm sure is true with all brands. However, the only negative I've heard about Dillon presses is the cost and it's really not that much different especially as you pointed out after dividing out over several years and lots of rounds doesn't equate to much at all. One thing I've enjoyed hearing is the customer service seems to be great from all of the manufacturers and that sadly is not the way companies seem to be doing business today.
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Old 08-25-2017, 11:31 AM
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Ok I'll be the first Hornady guy... I know the Dillon press is very good, I know people that swear by them but I couldn't afford one at the time. So I ended up getting the Lock n Load and have been very pleased with it so far. I can make close to 300 rounds an hour if I wanted. But I'm not in the ammo biz..So if I make half that in an hour that's OK. To me it's like a stress reliever. Good quiet time....my little get away. So I guess if you can afford the Dillon then go for it...If not Lock N Load!!
Glad you like the lnl, but they are not really much cheaper, if you decide to go case feeder. Priced the same, the 650 is about $75 more, really a pitance considering the total cost & what you gain with a 650; bullet proof priming & superior case feeder. If i never wanted a case feeder, the lnl is a decent press.
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Old 08-25-2017, 11:40 AM
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The more automation, the greater the setup time. I shoot half a dozen calibers, and like to load 400 rounds or so at a time, then switch. A 550 takes less than 15 minutes to change over, and another 5 minutes with a change in primers.

Since I get interrupted a lot, it's easy to leave a 550 in a state which won't make a double fill (or squib) when you return. I manually advance it to the next stage, leaving an empty case under the powder funnel. If leaving the station for more than a few minutes, I run the table dry.

Always run off two powder dumps on resuming, and check the weight. It's very easy to remove the stop pin on a station, to remove or insert an empty case under the powder funnel. Unlike the Lee, there's no spring retainer to fly across the room.

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Old 08-25-2017, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Hairtrigger View Post
I have owned both Hornady and Dillon presses
Hornady uses a Drum style powder measure which I consider superior to the slide bar
The dillon 550 is not auto indexing, get distracted and throw a double charge in a case... KABOOM
If you do not use a case or bullet feeder consider this... The Dillon you insert cases and run the handle with your right hand and insert bullets with left, The Hornady your right hand stays on the handle, inserting empty cases with your left hand on the down stroke and then grab a bullet and insert on the up stroke.
Hornady uses a spring to hold cases in place in the shel holder... just slide out until the case clears the plate and you can check powder weight or whatever... dillon uses those darn little buttons that you need a different size for each caliber
My friends that use Dillon are the kind of guys that like to throw money at a situation, my friends that reload with Hornady tend to try and figure out why something happens and then find a solution,,, both are happy with their presses
A few valid points then you poop your pants with the last line. Again, cost diff $75, hardly throwing money at a situation. Priming is the single quirky point of any progressive, why the 650 beats them all. In more than 40k rds, never a flipped primer or poorly seated primer. Then the case feeder, just flat more reliable.
My machinist buddy had to have a lnl. He has loaded maybe 50k rds on it. He is the type that measures everything; run out gages, everything. He has basically rebuilt his machine for better alignment, smoother primer feed, etc, hours, on the phone with Hornady. Then he bought a box stock 650, bolted it to the bench & started running it. He admits he should have just bought the 650 to start.
Yes, personnal pref, but lets keep the facts in play. The lnl is a decent press, especially if you never want a case feeder. They sell it w/o feeder parts to keep it cheaper. The 650 comes with most parts for the feeder, as it was designed to run that way. So it cost more. Price them with all the parts, $75 diff. I do wish the powder measure were like the hornady, but hard to complain about 1/10gr accuracy of the dillon.
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Old 08-25-2017, 11:48 AM
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The more automation, the greater the setup time. I shoot half a dozen calibers, and like to load 400 rounds or so at a time, then switch. A 550 takes less than 15 minutes to change over, and another 5 minutes with a change in primers.

Since I get interrupted a lot, it's easy to leave a 550 in a state which won't make a double fill (or squib) when you return. I manually advance it to the next stage, leaving an empty case under the powder funnel. If leaving the station for more than a few minutes, I run the table dry.

Always run off two powder dumps on resuming, and check the weight. It's very easy to remove the stop pin on a station, to remove or insert an empty case under the powder funnel. Unlike the Lee, there's no spring retainer to fly across the room.
I have both 550 & 650, truth, if i had to sell one it woyld be the 650. I can easily run off 400rds/hr on the 550 & its stupid simple to swap calibers, very little to adjust. The priming system is finicky though, more so as the machine ages, but i make it work. Why i would probably consider a lnl if i never wanted a case feeder.
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Old 08-25-2017, 12:08 PM
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I have had a 550 since the 80's and my second one since the 90's. Nothing but good things to say about both the presses and the company.

One thing I recently learned on their web site. If you take some time to dig around on there, they have a calculator that you plug you component costs into. It will then give you the round counts needed (ammo you load) to pay off the machine. Pretty neat stuff.
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Old 08-25-2017, 12:14 PM
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I've been loading on a 550 for around 30 years. I can easily exceed 300 rds per hr. For the most simple set-up/change over when setting up for a different caliber the 550 has it all over other loaders. For ease of operation and clearing any mis-feeds you may do the 550 shines.

I have helped set up a Hornady and it was one of the more complicated machines I have worked with, and when it comes to clearing a mis-feed, at least 15 - 20 minutes gone.

Price wise, for your volume I don't think a 550 can be beat.
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Old 08-25-2017, 12:30 PM
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I started reloading with an RCBS JRS press, so I have a number of die sets. I bought a Dillon Square Deal B for 38 Special, then started looking at prices when I started loading more cartridges. Sometime in the mid '90s, I bought a 550B, with the intent of loading both pistol and rifle cartridges. I learned real fast that 550Bs and stick powder don't function well.

Today, I am loading my rifle cartridges, and the occasional 357 Magnum or 41 Magnum on the RCBS. For the 38s (WC and SWC/RN), 9mm, 380, and 45s (SWC and RN), I use the 550B. My handgun ammo production is limited by the number of cast bullets I have on hand. 95% of my shooting utilizes my own cast bullets, so when I am in a loading mood, I am either casting or loading. I am content, plus all of my equipment is paid for. Barring something catastrophic, I am content and happy with my set up.
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Old 08-25-2017, 01:08 PM
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I have a Dillon 550 and a 450 converted to a 550 ( free from Dillon) that I use for all handgun rounds except 475 Linebaugh.
Over the last 25 - 30 years I imagine several 100K of Rounds as I shot IPSC for 15 years and Magnum handgun for 20+ years. The Dillons have been great machines and I really like the hand indexing. I have great lighting and position My chair so I can see into the case after the powder is dropped. Haven't double charged yet.(knock on wood) I load rifle and 475 Linebaugh on a RCBS #2 or a Rockchucker.
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Old 08-25-2017, 01:23 PM
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I had a Dillon 650 at one time. Cost is definitely a major downside; after that, it has the same issue I have had with every progressive press - whether for metallic or shotshell - and that is the primer feeding area. If there is one weak link where every maker has a Gremlin, it is it. If you can get that dialed in so it always feeds, never flips, etc., then Dillon will work as well as any of the others. They have a great warranty - as does RCBS - and that is comforting to some folks.

Buy whatever brand - not for the name - but because it does EXACTLY what you want it to do - every single time without fail. Red, Blue, Green, they all make good stuff.
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Old 08-25-2017, 01:56 PM
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I load my match ammo on a 650. I had a few others years ago . Way too much tinkering to make them run rite hornady, rcbs...The dillon is great if you actually want to make quality ammo in volume the answer is dillion. I've loaded about 25-30k on this 650 and it'll be going in this year for a FREE REFURBISHING,,,That is why you buy Dillon.
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Old 08-25-2017, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by 6string View Post
I've got a Dillon 650. I've had it for almost 20 years. There have been zero issues. It's everything Dillon claims it is. I suppose they have a good warranty, but I wouldn't know. Absolutely nothing has given me any trouble.
Besides the well thought out design, speed of use, and accurate reliable ammo it produces, caliber changes are pretty easy.
The auto index places it well ahead of the 550, for my purposes.

I spent a lot of time at the Dillon booth at an NRA convention, trying out all their presses. The Square Deal is clunky and gritty by comparison, with lousy leverage. No way you could do bottleneck cases on that thing. 550 was OK, but, like I said, the auto index and extra die location on the toolhead really sold me. I did look at the 1050, but caliber conversions are a big headache.

Just my opinions here, but, I hope this helps,
Jim
As a point of information, the Square Deal is designed to handle straight-wall pistol cases only, and uses special non-standard dies for that purpose. 550s, 650s and 1050s, on the other hand, will handle quite a variety of calibers, and use standard dies.

John
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Old 08-25-2017, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by oneounceload View Post
I had a Dillon 650 at one time. Cost is definitely a major downside; after that, it has the same issue I have had with every progressive press - whether for metallic or shotshell - and that is the primer feeding area. If there is one weak link where every maker has a Gremlin, it is it. If you can get that dialed in so it always feeds, never flips, etc., then Dillon will work as well as any of the others. They have a great warranty - as does RCBS - and that is comforting to some folks.

Buy whatever brand - not for the name - but because it does EXACTLY what you want it to do - every single time without fail. Red, Blue, Green, they all make good stuff.
What priming issue did you have with the 650?
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Old 08-25-2017, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by stavey View Post
I load my match ammo on a 650. I had a few others years ago . Way too much tinkering to make them run rite hornady, rcbs...The dillon is great if you actually want to make quality ammo in volume the answer is dillion. I've loaded about 25-30k on this 650 and it'll be going in this year for a FREE REFURBISHING,,,That is why you buy Dillon.
whats wrong with it? Mine is past the 50K mark, runs fine. My 550 is over 100K, runs fine but I do have to keep the primer slide really clean.
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:20 PM
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Just starting to get wore out. I think I tend to ham fist the handle. The knuckle that the handle attaches to cracked lat year . When Dillon sent the part they included an alignment kit-free of course. However the gentleman I spoke to said the 650 needs rebuilt after around 25k.give or take. Depending on how hard you are on it.
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:52 PM
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I have the 550 and 2 LNLs. I've used the Dillon since the 1980's and have upgraded it through the years including the addition of a number of eBay aftermarket improvements. The 550 a good press and its choice comes down to personal likes and use habits. Personally I prefer the LNL for its auto indexing and because for me it improves on the Dillon in 3 functions:

1. The spring shell retainer allows easier access to station shells vs
Dillon's pin retention system;

2. The LNL Primer feed system is more reliable for me then Dillon's; and

3. The LNL Powder measure/dispenser is more reliable for me and spits less powder.
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:50 PM
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I have (2) 550s and the best part is the no "BS" warranty. It works every time Guaranteed.
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Old 08-25-2017, 04:57 PM
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Just starting to get wore out. I think I tend to ham fist the handle. The knuckle that the handle attaches to cracked lat year . When Dillon sent the part they included an alignment kit-free of course. However the gentleman I spoke to said the 650 needs rebuilt after around 25k.give or take. Depending on how hard you are on it.
Never heard this. I know guys going on 100K+ w/o rebuilding anything. I did have to replace the return spring below the shell plate @ about 25K, hardly a rebuild though.
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:46 PM
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I have the 650, with case feeder, powder check die, etc. and do 400/hr of 9mm easily. I estimated the payoff at 2.5 years (for all the items, tumbler, scale, etc). I haven't recalculated, since I now do .45 ACP, but I suspect the payoff will be the same.

I've only had 3 bad rounds out of 5000. One was the bullet tipped, when I was seating and I wasn't paying attention (describing the press operation to someone, pointing at things). The other two were flipped primers, which I suspect are due to the Vibraprime tool I used to fill tubes. It is really finicky.

Switchover takes about 15 mins from 9mm to 45 ACP (small to large primer).

Really love the press.



So, yes, expensive, but will payoff in a reasonable time
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:08 PM
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What's the rush?
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:55 PM
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What priming issue did you have with the 650?
Failure to drop, the primer "slide" (or whatever it is called) would stick, sometimes stutter in its movement......there were other issues as well, but that is something else.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:42 PM
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Failure to drop, the primer "slide" (or whatever it is called) would stick, sometimes stutter in its movement......there were other issues as well, but that is something else.
Primer slide ? there's no slide in 650 - there's a disc which always feeds and can't possibly stutter a movement - at least not in my experience.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:59 PM
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I'll put in another vote for the 5550B. It's my favorite Dillon.

1) It has a much wider range of caliber options than the 650
2) caliber conversion kits are less expensive than the 650
3) The 550 is manually indexed, and that gives you much greater control over what is happening on the shell plate. If something doesn't go right it's much easier to detect and fix. The set up is much quicker than on the 650, and the non auto indexed operation lets you run the press as a single stage press, a turret press, or as a progressive press.
4) the 650 does have a speed advantage but as others have noted 300 rounds per hour is easy to achieve on a 550, and 400 rounds per hour is do-able if you've got good dexterity and 4 primer tubes, even without a case feeder.

I've loaded at least 10,000 rounds (and closer to 20,000 on average) per year for the last 15 years with my Dillon 550 and I've still not worn anything out on it. I have had to tweak the primer feed a time or two to remove burrs that occurred after about 50,000 rounds, and snug up a screw now and then. I also replaced the cotter pin on the primer chute. I replaced it with a convenient paper clip that I straightened, and it's worked great for about 30,000 rounds or so, so I'm not in a big hurry to replace it.

Now, to be fair that round count is spread over 8 different powder measures and about 15 tool heads, and a dozen or so shell plates, and the rounds are split about evenly between the large and small primer feeds, so it primarily refers to the press itself.

If you keep a 550B reasonably clean, lubricate it now and then, and don't force anything that feels funny, it'll last longer than you will.
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:30 AM
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Failure to drop, the primer "slide" (or whatever it is called) would stick, sometimes stutter in its movement......there were other issues as well, but that is something else.
The rotary primer pickup disk can only stick if something gets wedged in it or it isnt installed correctly. Are we talking 550 or 650?
400rds on a 550 is simple, 1 pull every 9sec, pretty leisurely. With a case feeder on a 650, 700rds is easy with loaded primer tubes. Pre load the tubes, you can do 800rds / hr. There are two reasons to own a good progressive; speed of production & reduced work load. If you have limited time to reload, you need to spend some more $$$ and get a good progressive.
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Old 08-26-2017, 12:52 AM
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I have a 550B and it biggest problem for me is.......it makes too much ammo in too little time!!

Randy
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Old 08-26-2017, 02:04 AM
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A lot of guys here gripe about the cost of the Dillon. Fair enough, to each their own.
But, should the day come when you plan to sell, you'll have more people lined up to buy a good condition Dillon 650, 1050, or 550 than any other press mentioned here. Furthermore you'll get a better return on your initial investment. It wouldn't surprise me to find I could sell my 650 for more than it cost in 1999.

(Interesting that nobody mentioned the old Star Reloading Machines... Truly the Rolls Royce of progressive loaders.)

A couple people pointed out my comment on the Square Deal and bottleneck ammo. I'm well aware that the SD is only for pistol. Just tried to illustrate the relatively weak and gritty leverage. Clearly it's a budget machine meant to compete with Lee.

But, I digress. We only get one ride in this life. When it comes to the things I love, my personal preference is to buy the best.
Is that "throwing money at a situation"?
Ha! Going on 20 yrs with no problem, working with a machine that always does what it's supposed to, and...likely to have a resale value in excess to initial cost?
Give me a break! I call it common sense!

But it's a free country,
Jim
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Old 08-26-2017, 01:40 PM
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If your true goal is to load only 300 an hour any of the Dillon presses can handle that.

Now I clean and maintain my doc's 1050, 2each 650, and a 550 and they all can easily do 300 in an hour.

Now as far as pros and cons. The Dillon folks are going to give every pro they can think of, but very few cons. They have to justify their cost some how.

If you really want to find the cons go to WWW.dillonprecision.com and at the bottom of the page there is "form". Click on that. But before you do keep practicing the phrase "Holy **** on a cracker".

Now, I just loaded 100 each of 9mm, .45, .223, and 308.
9mm took me 4:30
.45 took me 4:40
.223 took me 3:55
308 took me 4.55
Now I reload on 4 each Hornady Ammo Plants. Now, do they have any cons? HELL YEA! But they all can be fixed.

I have not seen any 100% Dillon be able to keep up with my 100% Hornady.
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Old 08-26-2017, 03:37 PM
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Have the 550. Should have bought the 650 for the extra station. Either is a great tool.
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Old 08-26-2017, 05:03 PM
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I have a 550 and 650. The advantages of the 650 are the extra hole for powder checker, self-indexing and the case feeder. It's faster than the 550, no doubt. The only drawback is if you load with powder that nearly fills the case, I find the 650 to be a little bit "jerky" and a little powder could come out the top of cases. I've tried just about every do dad and trick to smooth the operation, but the cases still tend to jerk into position.
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