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Decision: 550 or Square Deal


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Moving into my first progressive. Trying to decide between these. I will primarily load .40 &.45. I have Lee die sets for these as well as a few others. I have a square deal .40 conversation, so if I order it in .45 I'll be set.

Shoot a bit of idpa, so 1k per month or so

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Like others have said, you can not use normal dies with the SDB. So you won't be able to use specialized dies like udies, or micrometer seating dies, etc. I'm glad I got to look at an SDB before I bought my first Dillon. SDB is a very small confined work space. The 550 and 650 are much bigger and more open to get your hands in and out of there.

For me personally, the lack of die versatility alone is a deal killer for the SDB.

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Get the SD-B. You said yourself you will be shooting 40 and 45. No offense to the lee fans, but use them for saltwater weights (or sell).

I have SQ-B, 550 and 650. (and others) The little SQ-B will just churn out pistol calibers all day long. That is what it was made for and it does it well. Can you get a case feeder? No. Can you get a bullet feeder? No. But if you accept the fact you will use the Dillon dies and make about 300-350 quality pistol rounds an hour it cannot be beat for the money and simplicity. If you order it in 45 you can be reloading in just a few minutes after bolting to bench. Simple Simple.

If you are going to be reloading 40, then I strongly recommending getting a Redding X-Die. It sounded like from your post you have some kind of single stage press? Put the X-Die in the SS press and process your 40 offline. I do this regardless of what press the 40 is going to be used in.

Now I will put my other side on:

Get the 550. Still toss the Lee dies and get Dillon. Still process the 40 offline on a SS. Sell the SD-B 40 conversion.

Why did I present two points? You must ask yourself what will be your future for reloading? If you are only going to shoot the two pistol calibers then I stand by my first statement. BUT, if you think, at all about messing with rifle or such, the 550 is a workhorse.

Frankly, speed wise - I see no different between the SD-B and the 550. You can index the 550 plate and place a bullet before your right hand can place a case in either reloader.

I keep my SD-B simply setup for 9mm to churn out one load on demand.

Think about your future and hopefully welcome to the Dillon world.

RT

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Currently reloading on a RCBS single stage. Why process .40 in a Ss?

The 40 is a bit of a unique animal from where the brass comes from. If you are going to reload "once fired" brass out of who knows what you will want to do this step. The 40 will develop a ring near the base/web area that will not correctly size in a normal die. If you are shooting a glock or such you may not have problems, but if you are shooting some kind of 2011/1911 40 you will eventually have issues. Trust me, I went for years shooting 40 and then bam, had problems with brass supply.

Note: I am not talking "Glock Bulge" This is the bulge that looks like a wart on the side of the case. It is destined for the garbage bin. That will happen almost in ANY gun that was shot not 100% in battery. But Glock took the heat for this, but that is a whole other thread!! Search and you will find soooo much on this. BTW - I have seen this in 9 and 45.....

The X-Die resizes the outside of the case all the way down. It is a 100% pass through die. Check it out on their site. http://redding-reloading.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&Itemid=15&id=121%3Ag-rx-carbide-die-set

Go with the Carbide Set.

I lot of people, I will not argue against, swear by the EGW or Lee dies to size and have no problems with this setup. But, I like the X-Die process. The other benefit is you are inspecting your brass as it goes through the die. When my 40 passes the X-Die I have little worries about split cases and other such fun things for you will catch it.

I tumble my brass. Spray with One-Shot and send to X-Die. If I go straight from the X-Die station to the main press I do not One-Shot. If it is several days later, I hit the brass again with a little more of One-Shot.

I have an older RCBS RockChucker (great SS press) setup just to do this. I have also done the processing on a Redding T-7. I just don't want this type of turmoil on my progressive systems. You do this a while and you will know what turmoil means. You will hit some normal looking brass that during pass through you will be like, WTF?

Rt

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Thanks for the explanation. .40 is a relatively new one for me. I had noticed on my resizing die that it stops about 1/16th inch from the bottom and there was no more adjustment to get it there.

Loading both presses into the shopping cart, looks to be less than $100 difference between the square deal and the 550, including flip trays and extra pickup tubes.. I figure I can get $50 easy out of the square deal dies that I have, so it really is a bit of a no brainer. No looking to reload rifle, but who knows?

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Note, the 550 comes with caliber conversion but no dies. Did you check this? You will need dies. Your current dies may work, but the lock rings and length could be an issue. My 550 works well with Dillon and RCBS dies. I did use some Lee 30 Carbine dies and the Lee lock rings would not work correctly because of the O-Ring engagement area. I have seen this in 223 also. Spend Once, Cry Once - then enjoy.

Whatever press you get, also add a parts kit. Dillon is the best on warranty, but you will not have the little plastic thingy at 10:30 Friday before a match. Murphy is out there. I ran a SD-B one night with a ball point pin spring for primer return. It happens. The spring did not break, but I was futzing around with the primer bar and sent the spring to Pluto in shag carpeted rental.

RR

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LEE dies are great dies and pretty much everybody throws the LEE rings away and replaces with Dillon rings. You put the ring underneath the tool head for the sizing die since it sets in their pretty deep.

LEE dies size much lower on the case than Dillon dies as well.

Do a search and you will probably find 162 threads on the subject.;)

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I loaded on my 550 for the last four years. It was my first press. When I got it I swore that all I'd ever load was .40. Nope. Slowly but surely other calibers crept into the mix and I ended up with all of them. I now load on a 650 but already miss the simplicity of the 550. I think there's a total of 2 springs on a 550 and one resides under the shell plate. It's also easier to clear a malfunction than on an auto-indexing ammo plant. Would I go back? No, I'm too proud. And the 650 looks like a BAMF on my bench. But I would never buy an SD.

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I'm working on the same decision. Size is what keeps me wavering. I don't care if it auto indexes or not, and as long as the SDB dies work I don't see the problem with them being proprietart

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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LEE dies are great dies and pretty much everybody throws the LEE rings away and replaces with Dillon rings. You put the ring underneath the tool head for the sizing die since it sets in their pretty deep.

LEE dies size much lower on the case than Dillon dies as well.

Do a search and you will probably find 162 threads on the subject. ;)

Not to argue, but to a new guy, putting the lock ring underneath is very strange at best. I know what this does, but the OP is new. How much do really save by using the Lee dies versus the Dillon in the long run?

My Dad was a Huge Lee guy and I have inherit parts everywhere. 5 years before his passing I purchased him a SD-B for 40. It sat in a corner unboxed for two years then he mounted it. His reaction "What was I thinking..." He loaded a ton of Rifle on an old Lyman American and I never question it or tried to push a 550.

Just Saying....

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Joelh,

This will fall very fast into a ford chevy thing. I am guilty already.

Do some research. This site is awesome just for that. You have to find the direction you want to go with the best info you can find.

The best part is, if you fall into this game, you make some mistakes and move forward. Then you will have True Direct knowledge and you can then pass it along! That is the best way to play it forward thing you can do.

SD-B or 550, there is no bad choice.

RT

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650

I have owned all 3 (550, 650 and SDB)

Get a 650, get a case feeder

buy once, cry once or whatever

Sold 550 for 650

Still have the SDB to just load 45, and 650 is just set up for 40. I hate loading on the SDB so much so compared to the 650 that I am switching to having 40 single stack guns so I don't have to load 45.

Just get a 650 and you will be very happy that you did

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This is coming from the mouth of a person who has never owned either a SDB or 550... Is there a particular reason you are limiting your choices to these 2?

If you are loading 1k per month, I would recommend a 650 (or maybe a 1050). If it is due to financial reason, can you wait a few months and save up a little more? I really think you would be happier upgrading to a 650/1050.

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LEE dies are great dies and pretty much everybody throws the LEE rings away and replaces with Dillon rings. You put the ring underneath the tool head for the sizing die since it sets in their pretty deep.

LEE dies size much lower on the case than Dillon dies as well.

Do a search and you will probably find 162 threads on the subject. ;)

Not to argue, but to a new guy, putting the lock ring underneath is very strange at best. I know what this does, but the OP is new. How much do really save by using the Lee dies versus the Dillon in the long run?

Just Saying....

Absolutely not arguing either. :) I don't know if I had a bad die or what but my dillon size die was not sizing all of my brass enough to ensure good neck tension. I went to the Udie from EGW but after reading more tried the regular LEE and it works well. But I think I am still sold on the Udie.

As for a newbie not being able to fathom a nut on the bottom of a die, I suggest they stick to a single stage press......

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LEE dies are great dies and pretty much everybody throws the LEE rings away and replaces with Dillon rings. You put the ring underneath the tool head for the sizing die since it sets in their pretty deep.

LEE dies size much lower on the case than Dillon dies as well.

Do a search and you will probably find 162 threads on the subject. ;)

Not to argue, but to a new guy, putting the lock ring underneath is very strange at best. I know what this does, but the OP is new. How much do really save by using the Lee dies versus the Dillon in the long run?

Just Saying....

Absolutely not arguing either. :) I don't know if I had a bad die or what but my dillon size die was not sizing all of my brass enough to ensure good neck tension. I went to the Udie from EGW but after reading more tried the regular LEE and it works well. But I think I am still sold on the Udie.

As for a newbie not being able to fathom a nut on the bottom of a die, I suggest they stick to the Walmart ammo case......

FIFY
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LEE dies are great dies and pretty much everybody throws the LEE rings away and replaces with Dillon rings. You put the ring underneath the tool head for the sizing die since it sets in their pretty deep.

LEE dies size much lower on the case than Dillon dies as well.

Do a search and you will probably find 162 threads on the subject. ;)

Not to argue, but to a new guy, putting the lock ring underneath is very strange at best. I know what this does, but the OP is new. How much do really save by using the Lee dies versus the Dillon in the long run?

Just Saying....

Absolutely not arguing either. :) I don't know if I had a bad die or what but my dillon size die was not sizing all of my brass enough to ensure good neck tension. I went to the Udie from EGW but after reading more tried the regular LEE and it works well. But I think I am still sold on the Udie.

As for a newbie not being able to fathom a nut on the bottom of a die, I suggest they stick to the Walmart ammo case......

FIFY
Bwahaha
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I always buy more machine than I need. The faq's on be,com are great and I learned a lot reading them way back when. But if I strictly followed that advice I would have bought a SDB or 550. Instead I went with a 1050 and just bought a second. Sure the little press would have worked 4 years ago but it wouldn't grow with me as my needs changed.

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Thanks for all of the advise. I sold the SDB dies for the price difference between the two presses so will be ordering the 550b shortly. Unsure about the strong mount. May try it without it and add it later

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