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njl

SDB vs RL550B

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A friend has finally said he's interested in seeing what goes into reloading pistol ammo, wants to come watch me load some, and was asking questions about press pricing. He's only interested in loading 2 or 3 handgun calibers, so the SDB would likely be the cheapest [Dillon] option. I'm curious though. I've only ever loaded on my RL550B, which has been setup from day 1 with the roller handle. The 550 starts out with the handle offset to the user's right, and the roller handle increases that. How much different is it using the SDB with its center-mounted handle (and ball instead of a roller)? Trying to imagine using that, it really doesn't seem like it'd be anywhere near as ergonomic as the 550.

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If he's only loading 2 or 3 cals but in volume then I'd suggest the 650 is an even better choice. More flexibility with 5 stations. Comes with case feed capability, auto index, better priming system over 550. Still simple enough to learn on.

Otherwise if he only shoots a little then 550 is a good option.

On the sdb you just sit or stand a little more to the left of the machine. It's not ideal but not too bad.

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Actual I prefer loading pistol on the 550 b.I have big hands and placing bullets on the case with the square deal slows me down even tho it auto indexes I can run a little faster with the 550.Changing calibers is quick with the 550b adjusting dies and powder are easier also as it don't auto index so my shell stays in the same station.The quick changes are gonna be about the same also,so for 50.00 more you will also be able to load rifle calibers.

Edited by doctordan70s

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I feel the SDB is a better option for loading a few pistol calibers. It takes up less space and is self indexing, and still has the lifetime guarantee. I own a SDB, with all the common pistol calibers, and have also loaded ammo on the 550. I guess you can get used to about anything, but I found loading pistol ammo on the 550 a PITA, compared to the SDB. The drawbacks of the SDB are the cost of the proprietary dies, $90, and you cannot load rifle cartridges, if you are considering that in the future. They are both quality press, and it comes down the the features you like. There is no wrong choice here.

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They are both good, the 550 is more versatile and definitely beefier. I have an early 550 and a SD that I got as product 16 years ago. If you are only going to have one, get the 550. The roller handles on mine are from a guy on ebay, like $25.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Roller-Handle-Works-With-Dillon-RL-550-XL-650-Square-Deal-Presses-/272186027612?hash=item3f5f8d2e5c:m:mmD0NE4F2Yjg3GX_Gs_JWYA

image37165.jpg

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He's only loading 2 or 3 handgun calibers

I've been using a SDB for 20 years, and never used a 550, and

don't see any disadvantage to the location of the handle on the SDB

(it's what I'm used to). :closedeyes:

Either should be fine, unless he's loading .40 Major - then I'd

seriously recommend the 550, so he can use a tighter sizing die. :surprise:

(Bullet setback can be a serious problem with heavy bullets and

fast powders in .40 Major - and the SDB is not optimum for that). :cheers:

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My vote is for the 550. If price is a factor, I believe adding calibers to the 550 is cheaper than the sdb. With the 550 your dies can always move to most any press (but a sdb). The one thing I really love about the 550 is that you can use it a 4 single stage presses when needed!

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Price really isn't a factor, but I don't think he'll shoot enough to justify a 1050 or even a 650 with case feeder. Other than price, is there really any reason to go with the SDB? AFAIK, the biggest differences between it and the 550 are auto-indexing and the need to use proprietary dies (only available in whatever pistol calibers Dillon produces). One advantage to the 550 is we'd have more or less identical presses, so whatever he learns from mine would directly apply to his.

9x45, what's the deal with that funnel setup on your 550? Is that catching finished rounds and sending them into the plastic container below?

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Price really isn't a factor, but I don't think he'll shoot enough to justify a 1050 or even a 650 with case feeder. Other than price, is there really any reason to go with the SDB? AFAIK, the biggest differences between it and the 550 are auto-indexing and the need to use proprietary dies (only available in whatever pistol calibers Dillon produces). One advantage to the 550 is we'd have more or less identical presses, so whatever he learns from mine would directly apply to his.

9x45, what's the deal with that funnel setup on your 550? Is that catching finished rounds and sending them into the plastic container below?

I'm wondering the Samething

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njl, yes, the funnel is the drop chute. It's a really old press and never had a chute. Works good though. It's a funnel from Pep Boys, like $5.

image37160.jpg

image37159.jpg

Edited by 9x45

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This is a slight thread drift, but...

I have a question having never loaded on a 550. My question is, what's the point? I see zero point in having a non indexing "progressive" press. Isn't the point of a progressive to bot have to mess with the dies or shell plate? Isn't the 550 really just a 4 station turret press at that point?

I wish the SDB used regular dies (does anyone know why it doesn't, other than they get to make more money?), it seems like an excellent press for handgun calibers. I wish it could have a case feeder though.

Edited by Gooldylocks

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I have been using the SDB for a few years. It's great for me because I never intend to reload anything other than 9's and 45's. As far as the round knob handle, I just loosen it up a few turns and it rotates as I cycle a round.

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As Mr.Dillon explained it to me, a square deal compared to a 550 is like a car with automatic transmission or a stick. I just kicked out 500 rounds in little over an hour. I own a old jeep with a manual trans so I have no problem working a 550.

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The Square Deal is a Toyota Corolla automatic, the 550 is an old school Chevy K5 Blazer, no comparison. You can stay on the black top, or roll over the rocks....

Edited by 9x45

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This is a slight thread drift, but...

I have a question having never loaded on a 550. My question is, what's the point? I see zero point in having a non indexing "progressive" press. Isn't the point of a progressive to bot have to mess with the dies or shell plate? Isn't the 550 really just a 4 station turret press at that point?

Big thing for me was cost and the 550 is sufficient for what I reload without all the extras of the 650. For me, the 550 won over the SDB because when I start loading rifle, I'm all set press-wise.

You still have to mess with dies and a shell plate whether it's auto indexing or not. SDB included.

The manual index isn't a big deal once you figure out your workflow. Much, much faster than a single stage and Dillon claims the 550 is faster than the SDB with auto index.

I've never used a turret but it only has one station that the dies rotate around. With the 550, once all the stations are filled, each station has something going on.

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This is a slight thread drift, but...

I have a question having never loaded on a 550. My question is, what's the point? I see zero point in having a non indexing "progressive" press. Isn't the point of a progressive to bot have to mess with the dies or shell plate? Isn't the 550 really just a 4 station turret press at that point?

I wish the SDB used regular dies (does anyone know why it doesn't, other than they get to make more money?), it seems like an excellent press for handgun calibers. I wish it could have a case feeder though.

The 550 is a manual indexing progressive, not a turret. It was the 2nd Dillon progressive after the 450. Turret presses do not have indexing shell plates, rather they are like a single stage with a rotating turret above the ram. The operator has to index the turret to each station, and pull the handle for each station, whereas the 550 runs 4 stations for each manual index of the shell plate. The SD die station spacing is to close to use standard dies, but then it's reflected in the cost. Course if you have enough $$$, you could just buy a Camdex AutoLoader, they start around $35,000. But then if you have that may dollars, why reload..

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This is a slight thread drift, but...

I have a question having never loaded on a 550. My question is, what's the point? I see zero point in having a non indexing "progressive" press. Isn't the point of a progressive to bot have to mess with the dies or shell plate? Isn't the 550 really just a 4 station turret press at that point?

I wish the SDB used regular dies (does anyone know why it doesn't, other than they get to make more money?), it seems like an excellent press for handgun calibers. I wish it could have a case feeder though.

The 550 is a manual indexing progressive, not a turret. It was the 2nd Dillon progressive after the 450. Turret presses do not have indexing shell plates, rather they are like a single stage with a rotating turret above the ram. The operator has to index the turret to each station, and pull the handle for each station, whereas the 550 runs 4 stations for each manual index of the shell plate. The SD die station spacing is to close to use standard dies, but then it's reflected in the cost. Course if you have enough $$$, you could just buy a Camdex AutoLoader, they start around $35,000. But then if you have that may dollars, why reload..

I know that it isn't actually a turret, I was just using that for comparison. To me it just seems odd to want to have a non indexing progressive. I like my 650, but I haven't drunk the blue koolaid nearly as much as some of the people on this forum to think that Dillon is the only press worth it's salt. You can get an auto indexing press for the same or less money as a 550, and remove that whole step.

This is a slight thread drift, but...

I have a question having never loaded on a 550. My question is, what's the point? I see zero point in having a non indexing "progressive" press. Isn't the point of a progressive to bot have to mess with the dies or shell plate? Isn't the 550 really just a 4 station turret press at that point?

Big thing for me was cost and the 550 is sufficient for what I reload without all the extras of the 650. For me, the 550 won over the SDB because when I start loading rifle, I'm all set press-wise.

You still have to mess with dies and a shell plate whether it's auto indexing or not. SDB included.

The manual index isn't a big deal once you figure out your workflow. Much, much faster than a single stage and Dillon claims the 550 is faster than the SDB with auto index.

I've never used a turret but it only has one station that the dies rotate around. With the 550, once all the stations are filled, each station has something going on.

No? The only time I touch either of those things is to change calibers. I just pull the handle and set a bullet on each case. But your reasoning for getting the 550 is sound enough to me, if you don't want or need the extra speed.

What I am getting at is more that the point of a progressive, to me, is to eliminate as many steps as possible. I think that having a case feeder of some variety is an absolute must. I think anything that doesn't auto index is kind of silly. You can get both of those things for 180 bucks for a Lee Pro1000, so I just think it is odd that these other presses cost so much more for fewer features.

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I have a SDB in 9mm. I can reliably make 200-300 rds per hour (mistakes included). I spot check rounds, and get zero variation. I would just buy another whole SDB press if I wanted to do another caliber. I'm the third owner of this SDB and it's needed minimal inexpensive parts or repairs. Dillon would charge $65 to refurb it for me when needed. I'm happy.

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When loading rifle ammo on my 550, sometimes I'm thankful it doesn't auto-index, so I can apply some finesse when the bullet seating gets dodgy, and advance carefully for those compressed loads..

When loading pistol ammo on my 550, I usually wish it indexed, but most of the time it doesn't bother me.

I suppose if I had a 650 I'd find a way to deal with the rifle part.

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No question, the 550b. I have both a 500b band SDB and like both for what they are. I have had the 550 for decades (really) and recently picked up the SDB in a trade just to have a progressive set up for 9mm all the time. The SDB is a fine press if you are only going to load one cartridge and not do a lot of load development and stuff. Anybody that does not understand the idea of a manually indexing progressive probably has not loaded on one. I load just as fast on the 550 as the SBD.

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So, for those who've used both, other than lower cost of the press, is there any real advantage to the SDB vs the 550 if you're only planning to do a couple of handgun calibers? He thinks he'd only do 9mm and .45acp. I suspect if he goes down this path, he'll end up loading .38spl and .380 as well.

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Not positive, but I seem to recall that if you're going to reload 4 calibers

it might be less expensive to get the 550 and four sets of dies, than to

buy the SDB and 4 sets of dies. :surprise:

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RHe may gain a slight edge in speed with the square deal b I run pretty close to the same speed on either press you get so fast on the

550 indexer that you don't even think about the indexing it just happens.One thing tho is it can be easy to double charge a case if you get distracted and don't index the case if I'm interrupted (usually by the wife or friends )I tell them to hang on a minute and I run out what's on the press the auto index on the square deal helps prevent this.

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