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550 case feeder question


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I mainly load 9mm on my 550, but I also load 38 special, 45 acp and subsonic 300 blackout. I have been kicking around getting a case feeder for my 550.  

 

I am am trying to gauge if this is worthwhile or just upgrade to a 650. Seems there are varried opinions on the interwebs.

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I can't see the benefit of having cases fed, but still having to manually rotate the shellplate.

Anything that automates orientation and insertion will speed things up. A 650 w/ case feeder will do that on two fronts.


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I have a case feeder on my 550. Like most Dillon products I have used, the initial setup can be finicky, but once dialed in it works great. I would not hesitate to buy it again. One caveat between my use and the OP's would be that I only load a single caliber (.40) so I never have to mess with it. 

 

It does improve loading speed for me, I'd guess on the order of 15-20%.

 

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i had a casefeeder on the 550.  While it did speed up the process, when it worked, it was a poor investment.  The casefeeder for the 550 is an afterthought and a mess.  If you are to the point of needing/wanting a casefeeder save yourself some heartache and sell the 550 and get a 650/1050

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i had a casefeeder on the 550.  While it did speed up the process, when it worked, it was a poor investment.  The casefeeder for the 550 is an afterthought and a mess.  If you are to the point of needing/wanting a casefeeder save yourself some heartache and sell the 550 and get a 650/1050

Which is a bit of a testament to the 650 case feeder - it comes with the bottom portion on the press, independent of the top, from the factory.

 

The 550 doesn't, nor does the lnl ap - afterthought products.

 

 

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On Thursday, April 06, 2017 at 4:52 PM, bubba04 said:

Ok thanks guys I think I know what I'll do.

I'm a little late, but I am a 550 fan boy and had this conversation with Brian. Pretty much a case feeder on a 550 is not a great thing. If you can afford a 650, it seems that is what the 650 is made for. 550 on a good day you can kick out 500 rounds an hour. If you want more than that and can afford it, it seems a 650 is the way to go...

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I really like the casefeeder on my 550b. I've had it for 4yrs now and it has work great for me.

I load 9mm, 38 super, 38 spec/357 mag, 45 acp, 45 colt, and 44 mag with mine. And can crank 700-800 rds

an hour of each of those rounds mentioned with ease. That is of course as long as I have the primer tubes ready

and powder to refill powder measure handy.

The 650 is a great machine, but for me the auto index just isn't for me.

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On 4/6/2017 at 1:45 PM, CrashDodson said:

i had a casefeeder on the 550.  While it did speed up the process, when it worked, it was a poor investment.  The casefeeder for the 550 is an afterthought and a mess.  If you are to the point of needing/wanting a casefeeder save yourself some heartache and sell the 550 and get a 650/1050

 

Same experience here.  I had a 550 and wanted to increase production.  I thought about selling 550 and buying a 650 vs adding a case feeder.  I bough the case feeder and got frustrated with it and bought a 650. Sold the 550 and used the case feeder on my Case Pro.  550 is a great machine but the case feeder is an afterthought.  If you need higher output sell the 550, buy a 650 and skip the 550 case feeder.  

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I added the Dillon case feeder to my 550B about 6 years ago, and it has worked flawlessly. It allowed me to give my undivided attention to the powder drop and bullet seating operations. It increased my output and made the entire process more enjoyable--and I think safer. I would not want to be without it. Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the continued feedback. I discussed with my little reloading partner (daughter) and was informed I cannot sell my 550 as we have too many memories with it. Soo there is that component to the equation.

 

i recently timed myself and I am pushing 500 rounds an hour pace as is. I am not sure how much I could expect to increase my output by jumping to 650. Then I ask myself if I was to spend 700 on a 650 set up why the hell not double it and get a 1050.

 

 

 

 

 

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Because for the price of a 1050 you can get a 650 with a bullet feeder and a fa primer tube filler. Now orientation/insertion of cases/bullets/primers and indexing are automated, which is where you save the most time.

 

Less time spent reloading for the same ammo quantity = more time with family.

 

 

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I've only had mine for a few months but I wouldn't call a case feeder on a 550 a "mess" at all. As someone noted, it does take time to set up and adjust but once that's done it works. I considered just buying a 650 but I didn't want to spend $1500 or whatever it would take. My production rate has definitely increased; I've had a 550 for many years I think it's a worthwhile upgrade.

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On 4/13/2017 at 9:54 AM, bubba04 said:

Thanks for the continued feedback. I discussed with my little reloading partner (daughter) and was informed I cannot sell my 550 as we have too many memories with it. Soo there is that component to the equation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FYI your screwed... You can't sell that press either.   Nobody wants to be the one that took her memories from her.

 

500 per hour each week is 25,000 cartridges per year.  Some long winter afternoons will let you roll a few thousand more.

 

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On 4/14/2017 at 10:53 AM, Livin_cincy said:

FYI your screwed... You can't sell that press either.   Nobody wants to be the one that took her memories from her.

 

500 per hour each week is 25,000 cartridges per year.  Some long winter afternoons will let you roll a few thousand more.

 

 

You are correct sir! There is no way I risk selling the 550 and losing my little girls interest in reloading with me.

 

i am going to take a wait and see approach. My shooting has increased in recent months and if this continues I may decide to spend some cash.

 

It would be nice if I could swing another press set up, but I am not sure if that is in the cards. Thanks again for everyone's comments.

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I have the case feeder on my 550 and it works.   Now having said that if I was to do it over I would have got the 650 with case feeder for 40 9mm and 223 and left the 550 for 45 amd 308.  That along with a bullet feeder in 40 is my long term plan if I can find the old parts off my 550 if not  it will just be 45 and the 308 with still be done single stage.

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I love the case feeder on the 550. I only load 9mm with it right now but was thinking of getting the parts to use it with .40. It allows me to focus on the powder and since you have to index manually, there is no way you can double charge since the 2nd case would jam the press if you forgot to index it.

 

If you reload multiple different calibers I can see it being a pain but it would be the same pain you'd have if you invested in a 650 and sold the 550.

 

My route it to buy a 1050. Keep the 550 for the quick caliber changes (no case feeder) and have the 1050 for the high volume calibers. 

 

650 seems to not be worth the upgrade. I'd only buy a 650 if I started with it. 

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On 13/04/2017 at 11:54 PM, bubba04 said:

Thanks for the continued feedback. I discussed with my little reloading partner (daughter) and was informed I cannot sell my 550 as we have too many memories with it. Soo there is that component to the equation.

 

i recently timed myself and I am pushing 500 rounds an hour pace as is. I am not sure how much I could expect to increase my output by jumping to 650. Then I ask myself if I was to spend 700 on a 650 set up why the hell not double it and get a 1050.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A 650 will do well over 1,000 rounds an hour with a bullet feeder and case feeder. 

 

A 1050 with bullet feeder is more like $2500 and calibre conversions cost around $500 each (toolhead alone is $250). 

 

The 650 will do 800+ with just the case feeder. Calibre conversions on the 650 are similar cost to the 550. 

 

A 1050 also takes a lot of time to change calibres. 650 is easy. Also 650 has the lifetime warranty. 1050 is 12mths so you will be paying to maintain it. 

 

The 650 with case feeder is a significant upgrade over the 550. With a bullet feeder as well it's a whole other level. 

 

I think a 650 will give the bump you want. 

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10 hours ago, BeerBaron said:

 

A 650 will do well over 1,000 rounds an hour with a bullet feeder and case feeder. 

 

A 1050 with bullet feeder is more like $2500 and calibre conversions cost around $500 each (toolhead alone is $250). 

 

The 650 will do 800+ with just the case feeder. Calibre conversions on the 650 are similar cost to the 550. 

 

A 1050 also takes a lot of time to change calibres. 650 is easy. Also 650 has the lifetime warranty. 1050 is 12mths so you will be paying to maintain it. 

 

The 650 with case feeder is a significant upgrade over the 550. With a bullet feeder as well it's a whole other level. 

 

I think a 650 will give the bump you want. 

 

I agree with you. I will want to swap calibers and the 1050 doesn't sound appealing. Thank you for the feedback.

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I have a 550 with bullet feeder and case feeder.

 

You need a seat/crimp die, and some 3/8" aluminum Rod to lower the Bulletfeeder so the spring tube has some slack, but other than that no issues.

 

I've timed it, I can do 100 rounds in 5 minutes (4:40 - 5:10), so I don't feel like I'm losing much speed over a 650, even having to index. Certainly not enough to justify the cost of upgrading.

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 I have a 550 with a case feeder. When you add the case feeder to the 550 that pretty much makes it a pistol cartridge loader other that 223. Without the case feeder you can do some rifle cartridges on it. I bought the 550 over 15yr ago and learned a lot using that machine as is. Then added the case feeder and it does take a little while to get the bugs worked out, learned even more. I have thought about upgrading to a 650 with a case feeder but I don't shoot that much. There have been some circumstances that it was nice that it didn't advance on its own. So as usual its a personal choice. If I were loading for more that myself I would have probably moved to a 650. Loading for just myself and shooting 600-800 a month the 550 with the case feeder works for me.

Brad

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