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Dillon RL-450

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It looks like I am getting the Dillon RL-450 with stuff to reload .38/.357

I currently have the Lee Classic Press. I have Redding and Forster dies to reload .223 and .308.

I have never reloaded, this is my first attempt. I do not plan on progressive reloading, single stage only.

Do I need to upgrade this 450 to a 550?

What do I need to purchase from Dillon to make this 450 the ability to reload for .223 or .308 or both? Should I setup the Lee to do one caliber and the dillon another?

Thanks in advance for the suggestions.

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I believe you can reload decent shells with the 450 as is as long as ya have the right caliber conversion and dies... it will not be as fast as the 550 but you say you do not need or want to progressive reload yet so it may be that the 450 might be a better start than ya think!

I believe for the cartridges it is as I said- the right shell plate and the right dies. I am not sure if the powder measure will throw the charges you want but I believe it should... someone with more experience may change that... dillon will help you out too!

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Depending on the age of the 450 and what upgrades have been done to it, you may want to purchase some upgrades before starting with the 450. You will probably want the early primer warning kit, the auto eject kit, the auto prime kit, and the auto powder system. As for the frame upgrade, that could wait until you want to start loading a bunch of different calibers to make switching calibers easier with the removable toolhead.

Just be careful on purchasing old 450s, if it is the real old style with no upgrades, by the time you add all the upgrades you're almost at the price of a new 550.

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Before you purchase the 450 make sure it is complete as Dillon no longer services a lot of the parts for this one. As mentioned above if you do a lot of upgrades you will go over the price of a 550. Check an owners manual to make sure the press is complete and a Blue press for the price of upgrades before you purchase it, I believe you can view both on line. The 450 will do a fine job for you without upgrades.

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if you decide to go this route,..

powder upgrade first... if you forget a primer it will "snap" at you when the shell comes off the empty primer ram.. powder is harder to find a miss and more potentially destructive..

the primer system upgrade should get you all you need for the auto eject and priming they make one for this situation should be under the 450 to 550 upgrade package page..or call Brian !

.223 and .308 only need the caliber conversion kits.. (powder funnels and shell plates/pins) and adjust your powder drop die as needed. BTW the .308 will allow .45ACP and a host of other calibers based on the .308/.300-06 family

as far as the 550 being faster than a 450... for the caliber conversions yes as the 550 has the tool head. But for actual round count once you upgrade the powder and primer it would be dead even..

One could argue the Potential for the 450 to be more consistent as the dies are fixed and the toolhead could induce variances ( there is/was a company offering a setscrew conversion to lock the toolhead down and also machined toolheads at tighter tolerances )

so if you setup to load in batches,which a progressive is good at, it comes down to if you want to change calibers in 2 minutes vs. 5-8 mins.

I drank the "Blue Kool-aid" years ago so I can not attest to the LEE ,.. I do however have an old Gray Lyman Spartan press for smaller batches of "odd"calibers I load on occasion..

Welcome to the forum,..and a new addition to your addiction..:cheers:


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I do not have the post count to link pictures =(

But you can find them at alliancerifleclub.us/documents/Jeff/Dillon%20RL-450/

looks like that 450 has the old powder measure, old priming system, no primer early warning system, and its not clear but I don't see the auto eject system either. Just for those items you're looking at 260 bucks for upgrades... Then if you wanted to use toolheads, its another 95 bucks. At that point its only another 85 bucks to get a new 550, WITH a caliber conversion you could use.

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I finally got a chance to look at the pics. This is a 450B which appears to be complete and in excellent condition as the powder measure reservoir tube is still clear, some parts are still in their plastic bags and the hard to find parts are in the pics. I can see the brass buttons in the head but do not know what cal. it is set up for. The only thing you might need to load 357 is a correct conversion kit and dies. I recomend Dillion but others will work. The only thing you will need to do with this press is read the maual, set it up, adjust it, lube it, and enjoy it. The 450s were incredibly simple, bullet proof, and will turn out as much ammo as you can shoot quickly. If the price is right I would buy this one. I would buy it myself if the price was right.

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Thank you for the reply. I did not send the pictures to Dillon, but I did send them an email and this is their response.

It is not necessary to upgrade your 450 to a 550. You can load 223 and 308s on the RL450.

As is, you need dies and caliber conversion kits:

223 conversion kit #20128

308 conversion kit #20130

223 die set #10839

308 die set #15574

Case lube #13733

Thank you,

Dillon Precision Products, Inc.

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Good for you, they are great presses and yours looks almost new in the pics. Just one last suggestion, use a light on the powder drop station so you can visualy check the powder and level before you set the bullet. There are some good threads here on good lights. Enjoy your press and if you have any questions just ask here.

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