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Upgrading from SDB to 650 - worth it?


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I have been loading with SDB exclusively for 9mm. I have a single stage press for rifle calibers and I don't load them often at all. I do, however, load quite a lot of 9mms - about 500-700 rounds each week. I could reliably casually load 300 rounds/hour with SDB. So each week I spend about 2 hours in front of the press.

Would upgrading to 650 cut that time in half? e.g. loading 700/hour (with case feeder) at casual speed? Or how much time saving we are looking at?

Besides the time saving, what are other advantages to upgrade to 650? Some perks I know about:

1. Powder check station - I visually check each round so I don't think it would be much of help for me

2. Being able to load other calibers - I only shoot 9mm for the past year and probably a few years to come. I would be loading other calibers on single stage due to low to no consumption.

3. Being able to use non-Dillon dies - Not sure if this is an advantage...

Anything else I missed?

Thanks.

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I'm by no means an experienced reloader, but from a cost benefit analysis, it will get down to the value you put on your time given the cost to upgrade. If money is not an issue and your time is really important, I'd recommend doing it. I'm not sure how much time you will save, though it might be significant in the way distant future as there will be a learning curve with the new press. Despite how cool the XL650 is, I'm doubtful upgrading is worth it. Good luck!

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With the 650 and a case feeder, all you are doing is cycling the handle up and down and placing bullets on the cases.

You should be able to sit at your SDB and cycle the handle at the normal rate and simulate placing bullets in order to determine the time savings when working at your normal pace.

I just picked up an XL650 and case feeder and was using a SDB previously. The 650 is definitely faster, but I've only loaded a couple hundred rounds just to see how it works.

I'm definitely not giving up my SDB!

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Just do it cause you WANT to do it. Cost analysis, time saved, that's just merely anecdotal jibber jabber. I got one with most of the bells and whistles and barely load 150 rounds a month, however, I load them with care and style. I wanted it and I got it. I do without other things. Father's Day is just around the corner, treat yourself. BTW, if you do get one, forget about saving money, you'll just shoot more.

Enjoy!

G45

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Doesn't sound like it would make much sense ggiven what you've laid out. If you have an extra grand burning a hole in your pocket then by all means go ahead. You can probably recoup $275-300 out of your SDB.

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Just do it cause you WANT to do it. Cost analysis, time saved, that's just merely anecdotal jibber jabber. I got one with most of the bells and whistles and barely load 150 rounds a month, however, I load them with care and style. I wanted it and I got it. I do without other things. Father's Day is just around the corner, treat yourself. BTW, if you do get one, forget about saving money, you'll just shoot more.

Enjoy!

G45

I'm with this idea. We keep discussing how to save money, then we go out and throw a quarter downrange every time we pull the trigger. (well, half a quarter if you reload). Just get it because you want it. :cheers:

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I made the jump because I found my self shooting more and I really appreciated the speed of the 650. That being said all my 45 I load will be done on the SDB. To many small primer horror stories.

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I had an SDB years ago and now have the 650 with case feeder. I had no issues with the SDB but love to load on the 650 and can load around 900 rounds in an hour as long as I prep the components - mainly extra primer tubes. I think both presses are awesome but really enjoy loading on the 650 and think you will cut your time in half.

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I felt the most struggle I have with SDB is the upstroke to seat primers. Because my bench is not mounted to wall, I have to use the other hand to secure the bench while I do the upstroke, in fear of less force would result in high primers that causes light primer strikes (I had a few due to that).

Does anyone know if the 650 upstroke is easier?

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You could deprime before cleaning cases and then prime with a hand primer. I do this and it makes loading a lot easier. Helps if you have a large amount of brass so you can accumulate a lot of primed cases.

I realize that if you are time limited it's probably better to do all on a "fast" press. But if you have no time limitations it's just as easy to do a lot of brass in steps.

I just don't shoot as much as I once did so no huge rush to load a lot of ammunition rapidly.

Doing the above you can prime while sitting around watching TV and then you just remove the depriming pin from the size die when loading.

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It really depends on what you want to do. The 650 with the case feeder is faster and the 650 takes standard size dies but if you only do one type of round and don't care about the time it takes to load them there is probably no real advantage.

The 650 is a fine machine.

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Does anyone know if the 650 upstroke is easier?

Seems about the same to me.

My SDB and XL650 are bolted to a 1/2" thick steel table that weighs North of 1000 lbs, so nothing moves at all, which makes it effortless to operate the presses.

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the most struggle I have with SDB is the upstroke to seat primers. Because my bench is not mounted to wall

Probably cost you $1,000 to get a fully set up 650 - might be cheaper to make your Bench

more solid. You'll only save an hour a week -

Guess it depends on whether you feel that $1,000 is worth an hour a week.... :mellow:

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the most struggle I have with SDB is the upstroke to seat primers. Because my bench is not mounted to wall

Probably cost you $1,000 to get a fully set up 650 - might be cheaper to make your Bench

more solid. You'll only save an hour a week -

Guess it depends on whether you feel that $1,000 is worth an hour a week.... :mellow:

This.

I added the whole thing into my shopping cart from Ben's store, and realize it is $970 plus shipping. I am going to build a better bench and bolt it to the wall. Hope that helps me with the upstroke issue.

For the speed, I truly hope Dillon could make a case feeder for SDB. That would be awesome.

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Yes...and hell yes...

With the 650:

- you won't have the need to check every round (powder check system) - saving you time...

- you won't need to feed cases into the press (case feeder) - saving you time...

- using non Dillon die like the U-die is great for the 9mm, getting less rejects - saving you time...

I had the SDB and now have 650...

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I felt the most struggle I have with SDB is the upstroke to seat primers. Because my bench is not mounted to wall, I have to use the other hand to secure the bench while I do the upstroke, in fear of less force would result in high primers that causes light primer strikes (I had a few due to that).

Does anyone know if the 650 upstroke is easier?

Sturdier bench setup will reduce the # of high primers.

When you're done loading, put the ammo nose down in trays and the high primers will be easy to spot - just put those rounds back in the priming station and push the primers in a bit farther (I assume this is possible on the SDB, just like it is on the 650).

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I can load 100 rounds on one of my SD's in under 10 min, can load 100 on one of my 650's in under 4 min.

As far as priming goes on the SD, I have always had the ball in my palm and reached around the primer tube with my index and or middle finger and pulled them in that way.

I get a better feel that way.

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I felt the most struggle I have with SDB is the upstroke to seat primers.

put those rounds back in the priming station and push the primers in a bit farther

That doesn't sound safe to me - that is a fully loaded round

with powder and bullet seated - no margin for error. :surprise:

I just use the high primers in practice - most of them go off

anyway. :cheers:

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For me, it translates into 2-3 hours of time saving each month (I load 2k per month).

I guess once I get a good bench in place, I will start saving for a 650. Anyone wanna take a <1 year old SDB for $300 (with inline fab roller handle upgrade)? :)

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I felt the most struggle I have with SDB is the upstroke to seat primers.

put those rounds back in the priming station and push the primers in a bit farther

That doesn't sound safe to me - that is a fully loaded round

with powder and bullet seated - no margin for error. :surprise:

I just use the high primers in practice - most of them go off

anyway. :cheers:

Never heard of anyone detonating a primer on a completed round by fully seating a mostly seated high primer. I'm not ramming the primer with the primer seater, I'm gently pushing it in. It's a gentler operation than the initial seating and I already know the primer isn't going in sideways since we are talking about a primer that is already mostly seated, so I'd consider it lower risk for detonation than the initial priming operation, where I cannot observe the orientation at which the primer is entering the case.

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