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Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!

need some blue kool-aid

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Long story short - I have a Lee Turret that is awesome but slow for pistol production. I stepped "up"... more like stepped on IT,,, and bought the Lee Toadmaster. I went whole hog and got all the gee-gaws too. It was a turd. I went to Mike and got the full-monty of upgrades - it is still an unreliable finicky POS and I am finally just DONE with it. It'll run anywhere from 10 to 200 rounds and then hard lock up and destroy parts in the priming system. In 80 rounds last time I went through two priming troughs and 4 sliders. The time and frustration is just not worth it anymore. I want a Dillon 650!

Startup price has always been my problem with the Dillon. So, I'm wondering if the collective can help me put together a package on the cheap? I am a bit overwhelmed by all of the options on the Enos site, and I am trying to pare down to the bare essentials for a starter package that I'll upgrade as I can.

I load 9mm, 41 mag, 45acp, and 460 Rowland in pistol. I do .243 and 30-06 in rifle. To keep down the initial cost, I can start off with just pistol in 9mm and 45 I suppose (460 R uses the 45acp setup anyway, so that's cool). I'll load for the others on the turret and single presses for now.

I see a bunch of tool heads, caliber change kits, etc etc. ASSuming that I will load a few thousand 9mm, then a few thousand 45, then... etc. I don't care if it takes me 1/2hr to change calibers if I don't buy some optional parts. For now I'll trade labor for cost, and upgrade as I can.

So, if you guys/gals are able to guide me through this, I'd sure appreciate it!

Thanks in advance!


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I'll take a stab at this. I just recently purchased a 1050, but the process should be about the same.

Here's what you'll need at a bare minimum to get started with the 650 in 1 caliber:

- press

- dies (unless you want to reuse your existing ones...nothing wrong with that)

That's it to get started with 1 caliber. Some nice-to-have-but-not required additions include:

- case feeder system

- conversion kit(s) for any additional caliber(s) you want to load (this will include the shellplate and other bits/bobs needed for that specific caliber)

- additional quick change toolhead(s) (includes the powder feed setup with the toolhead)

- powder check system (gives an audible notification when you have a too much/too little powder situation)

- Brian's "as it should be" upgrade

You can go totally minimal or full-bore....it's really up to you and your budget. Regardless of what you decide, you'll be happy with it. In the short time I've had my Dillon, I've learned it's FAR superior to anything else I've tried (Lee, RCBS, and Hornady.)

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Remember that the 650 has a case feed tube, so you load ~22 cases of 9mm in the tube, then just pull the lever with the right hand and feed bullets with the left. I am thinking you can get or make additional case tubes (or make a long one like others on this forum) - and fill 3-4 tubes before you start loading. I'm not saying not to get the case feeder, just that you can start without it. That would let you spend the money on a caliber conversion kit or whatever else you need to load a different caliber.

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I would think that the 45 acp shell plate would work for 243 and 30-06. You might just just buy the small parts for conversion and save a bunch. Like powder funnel and case feeder pieces. Call Dillon or Brian and they can help u I'm sure

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honestly all you NEED to buy is this:

dillon 650 (buy either the 9mm or 45 version, it only determines which way it come setup, you get all the same bits).

Buy a casefeeder setup for LARGE pistol (it'll work fine for both 9mm and 45 acp).

Now you can use all your lee dies on the dillon. can even use your lee powder measure if you like to save buying more powder through expanding dies.

you will need to buy to following to switch calibres:

the correct case feed body bushing, case feed arm bushing and case feed adapter (one is a steel part case drops through, the other 2 are the plastic bits at the bottom of the case feed tube).

station 1 locator (this is the little part the case slides along to go into station 1)

the correct shell plate for the calibres the press didn't come setup for

the locator buttons that go with that shell plate (there is a chart to figure out what you need/don't need)

if you plan to use only the dillon powder measure then you need the correct powder funnel/expander for each calibre.

you can either buy a toolhead for each calibre, or to save some dough buy hornady sure-loc lock rings (not the quick change bushes). They have a clamp type system so will stay in place on the die once you set them up. so you can remove the dies from the toolhead and later re-insert them without the lock ring shifting at all. they also don't damage threads like other rings that drive a set screw directly into the threads.

So to reiterate. if your pimary goal is 9mm and 45 acp I'd suggest do this:

buy the press setup for 9mm

buy the large pistol case feeder (will work for both)

buy the shell plate, locator buttons, station 1, powder funnel, body bushing, arm bushing and case feed adapter for 45 acp.

you will have to swap primer system between small and large (unless you use small primer 45 brass)

you can do without the casefeeder if dough is really tight but I believe it's worth having. it's a pain to be dropping cases down a tube all the time (possibly could rig up the lee case collator thing onto the dillon though? that might help).

The dillon is definitely a more reliable press than the lee.

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I just took a sip. :cheers: Since I previously bought Lee dies, the only thing I ordered with the press is a pack of primer pickup tubes. I imagine the OP could start out using the Lee tubes?

My plan is to look at DIY case feed tubes and rack, so I can pre-load a bunch of cases and just swap tubes during a session.

Also, I haven't seen much talk about the primer catching system - does the 'ski jump' leave primers all over the floor, or is that something you upgrade (or DIY fix) later on?

Hopefully these are helpful questions/comments - I don't mean to rob the thread.

Edited by StraightSh00ter
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The lee doesn't have primer tubes. It feeds from a tray. That reminds me a 4 pack of tubes is really a must have too. Can use the old lee tray as a flip tray.

The primer ski jump is purely for live primers. If the machine is cycled but no case is primed that primer keeps rotating in the disc the drops onto the ski jump. It's really only an issue when new and you're fiddling around. Once set up and running you might land one there in 1000 rounds. More than half the time for me they stayed on anyway though some did shoot off.

The spent primer mod is a better one but still not needed. The little plastic cup works just fine. :)

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After reading the bench clearance recommendations, taking some measurements and watching some videos I bought the strong mount. I have back/shoulder issues so I might be more sensitive to that.

I also bought the Lee case feeder, if for no other reason than to have 4 extra casefeed tubes. The rotating column seemed like an ok idea at one point, but maybe I was kidding myself. I read that "we will likely have the Dillon case feeder within 3 months" and I have a feeling tjat will be true, especially with gift giving holidays and a birthday coming up. I feel like less time thinking about cases is more time to watch things like powder, crimp, etc.

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yeah the case collator is really worth having. I wouldn't have a press without one. The lee one actually works ok and will hold about 8 rounds in super. in 9mm it may get close to 100 in which case it's not too much of a hinderance as your speed limit on all these presses is primers. basically no matter what you have to stop briefly every 100 to dump in another 100 primers. so with the case collator you just need to chuck a few handfuls of brass in and shake them when you do your primer refil. the electric one is definitely the premium solution though.

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