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Got a 550, what else do I need?

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My Dad gave me his 10 year old 550. It's never been used. I want to load 9mm for USPSA and 25-06 for antelope. So, I have the press, a Sierra manual, a bench and a 5 gallon bucket of brass. I know I'll need primer tubes, powder, bullets, primers, a tumbler and media. What else should I order to get myself started?

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Unless it got lost in those 10 years - you will need a tool head to screw the dies into and a powder die (one for each different caliber is nice). The caliber conversion previously mentioned will have the powder funnel (goes inside the powder die) for the caliber you are loading (9mm) that will also bell the brass. Highly recommend the strong mount, aluminum bullet tray, and the aluminum roller handle - not critical to get started - but nice to have. Brian sells them in a package - think it is the "as it should BE" upgrade. You didn't mention the powder measure either - clamps on top of the powder die.

Recommend before you do too much, you scour this forum for FAQs, do searches on the 550, and read what some very experienced loaders have posted about your model of press. For example, I believe there is a thread on lubricating Dillon presses. After 10 years in a box, I would imagine that yours needs some fresh grease on the moving parts.

When I first set up my 550 and had a few glitches, I searched this forum and found the answer to every problem I ran into.

Good luck and have fun - you will enjoy your 550.


Guess we were typing at the same time - some of the above may be very obvious - was not sure how familiar you were with the 550 press

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Depending on your budget, you may want to go with a digital scale. They make life so much easier and our host sells a couple of nice ones on his site (brianenos.com).

For lube, I'd prefer Hornady OneShot. It dries, so you don't have to re-tumble the brass after sizing to clean it off.

On your primer tubes, you'll need both large and small.

I may have missed it: I don't know how many toolheads you have with the press. If you're gonna load 9mm and 25-06, I'd have two toolheads so that you can leave the dies set-up in them and just change them out as needed. I'd also want TWO powder measures, since the 9mm will use a pistol charge bar and the 25-06 will use a large one. Not too excrutiating to change them out, but danged nice if you don't have to.

Since the press is a little older, you might want to check your existing powder measure. Does it have a spring return system on the powder bar or the newer system with the rod attached that positively pulls the bar back? If the press is not set up for the "Failsafe System", the newer powder measures will not work until the press is updated (a simple one-time process that can be done by anyone with a modicum of handiness...)

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