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Covfefe

Wife approved an XL 650 !

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So my wife said she was fine with me reloading. I’m about half way through studying how to set up. Normally would dig in and take months researching myself but I need  to get this thing bought before she hears what reloading entails or what it costs!

 

-Shoot limited but may go to open one day 

-So 9, 40 are primary objectives. Maybe 45 and 223 as well. 

-I prefer to “buy once cry once”

-Reloading in garage

-Shoot two matches a month and practice. So probably on lower side of round count for this site.

 

Target System and expected costs

XL 650- $580

Die set 9mm- $60

Strong mount- $45

Scale- $100 digital or lever? 

Handbook- $25

Calipers- $30

Flip tray- $30

Case loader - $580 with one extra cal. Worth it? Buy at Double Alpha? 

Media tumbler- $50 recommendations?

 

Inputs

Bullets

Primers

Brass

Powder

Case lube

 

Thoughts on where to buy the system and components?

Am I missing anything?

Making a common pitfall? 

Are there Mega Black Friday sales worth waiting for? 

 

Thanks! 

Edited by Covfefe

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Minus the primer flip tray.... add (1) Frankford arsenal vibra-prime. No extra primer tubes needed. yes, get the case feeder.... Also get a bullet feeder if it is in your budget.

 

If you order from Graf and Sons the shipping is like $7. If you call them and explain that you are new to reloading they can walk you through what to buy, or they did for me and it was a great experience. 

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As far as sales, Dillon stuff doesn't really go on sale. Prices are fixed.  You might get lucky and have the bullet feeder go on sale over the holidays. 

 

I would 100% get the case and bullet feeder. Watch a lot of videos and go slow to start. 

 

If you end up going with the 650 I would buy the shell plate bearing kit, spent primer fix (goes to a bottle of your choosing), live primer catch (the stock ski jump literally shoots primers across the room). All mods I wish I bought immediately. 

 

I would only get the stuff for your main caliber to start. Once you have a really good understanding of the machine operation and getting good ammo out THEN get conversions. 

 

I assume you are shooting 40 in limited so I don't have any die advice for you, but could definitely help you out with the 9mm set up when you come to that.

 

My list for a 650 would be: xl650, case feeder, bullet feeder, strong mount, inline fab roller handle, (pick a lighting kit of your choice- I like my inline fab, others like the UFO lighting system), the "fixes"I mentioned before, 100 round case gauge (easier to spend $100 now then $20 now and $100 later), vibra-prime, digital scale, calipers, and a chrono (unless you have one you can borrow from a fellow shooter when you need to), vibratory tumbler (i think the frankford arsenal kit which includes a media separator is a decent starting kit), and a kinetic bullet puller. 

 

If you run into problems and can't find a fix with the search function, just throw a post out, someone will help. There are thousands of years of reloading experience on this forum. It also helps if you can find a local experienced reloader to help you get started. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Covfefe said:

So probably on lower side of round count for this site.

You probably won't need a bullet feeder right away but definitely get the case feeder. Also, the bullet feeder takes up a station that some would otherwise use for a powder check.

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3 hours ago, jaques said:

Sneak a bullet feeder in there.

 

Another Double Alpha bullet feeder? Runs another $450 right?

 

Given that Dillon stuff is never on sale, what’s a Smoking deal for the two feeders? May get everything but them and hope Double Alpha does Black Friday. 

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The only other thing to consider is that Mark7 is offering $650 trade in for a 1050 with an autodrive.....  Its only a few more $$$.... :)

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12 minutes ago, Chris777 said:

The only other thing to consider is that Mark7 is offering $650 trade in for a 1050 with an autodrive.....  Its only a few more $$$.... :)

 

Oh man, the voice of temptation is here! 

 

I really do think that the 650 is good enough for me...and I prefer the old world feel of fewer electronic gadgets (feeders excepted).

 

Seems like pulling the lever and feeling the press work would be gratifying in a weird way. 

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2 hours ago, Covfefe said:

 

Another Double Alpha bullet feeder? Runs another $450 right?

 

Given that Dillon stuff is never on sale, what’s a Smoking deal for the two feeders? May get everything but them and hope Double Alpha does Black Friday. 

You don’t need 2 feeders. Just the 1 complete feeder set up from daa and a conversion kit. 2 bullet feeders are not needed unless you have 2 650s. 

A great way to save money is what I did. Buy only the dropper die caliber you want to load for and a plate. Dropper tube assembly can be moved to each tool head. I have 3 pistol tool heads for my 650 and the dropper dies for each caliber and the one tube assembly that came with the full kit. Saves some money vs buying complete conversion kits. 

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No. The case feeder is $225, the bullet feeder is ~$450ish.

 

Again, I would not worry about conversions right away. Pick up stuff for your main caliber only. Get that going well. THEN purchase new tool heads/dies/case feeder plate/bullet feeder conversion for your other calibers. The difference between buying now and later is 7$ in shipping if you purchase from somewhere like grafs where shipping is a cheap fixed rate.

 

***also something I forgot to mention in my first post. Not something you need right away, but I would strongly suggest the whidden clamped tool head for the xl650. Not that expensive and made my OAL more consistent***

Edited by MHitchcock

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Congrats on the 'decision' (allowance :) ) to get a 650, great machine!

 

I use my 650 primarily to load 9mm and .40 for USPSA.  Here's some thoughts/suggestions:

  • Get some experience under your belt before adding complexities of case/bullet feeder. 
  • Dillon case feeder will run ~$250, the small pistol plate will run 9mm and .40 just fine...no adjustments needed between calibers
  • Get a case gauge in both calibers
  • I have both DIllon and Lee dies.  They both do a good job, however the Lee 4-die set can be purchased for ~$35-40.
  • Grab a few ammo boxes/cases, they are $2-3/each.  Better to order them with other stuff to absorb shipping costs
  • Another recommendation to skip the primer tray and get a Vibra Prime unit.  Comes with a flip tray in the event you want to manually hunt/peck the primers
  • Order a 'quick change' setup from Dillon.  This will allow you to dedicate a tool head, dies and powder dispenser to each caliber.  Which in turn makes  for quick/easy caliber changes
  • The press will be setup for 1 caliber, you'll need to order a caliber conversion kit for the other caliber you want to load
  • Powder & primers I normally order from either Powder Valley or Grafs.  BTW, Grafs stocks a lot of Dillon stuff.  Their prices are slightly ($1 or 2) higher than Dillon, however they have flat rate $7.95 shipping.  So if you need to order powder and need a Dillon part or two, add it to your order and save a few bucks.
  • Bullets- lots of choices here.  Pick the type (coated, plated, jacketed) that works for you and your budget.

Last but not least, good luck in your reloading adventure! 

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Congrats on the 650. You will love it. I purchased one several months ago. IMHO the case feeder is a must have.  Simple to set up and basically plug & play. I only load @ 1500 rds a month or so thus no bulletfeeder yet, but it's on the list. 

 

I also got the roller shell plate bearing kit and low mass ball. Helps to smooth it out. I only load 9 in major & minor so no idea on caliber change. I also got the Redding micrometer seating die. Simple to change OAL's between loads. 

 

For primers I just use the flip tray. I have 5 spare primer tubes and it only takes a few minutes to fill them. I may move to the vibra prime unit later but no more than I load now I don't think it's necessary. 

 

I'm also going to look into the clamped tool head that Hitchcock mentioned above. 

 

The posts above cover pretty much everything but 1 other thing you may want to pick up is some more bins. The machine comes with 1.  I purchased 8 more off  Amazon  that are slightly shorter in length but otherwise the same deminsions and hook on the machine the same way. I only load about 50 then change bins just in case I find a problem. 

 

I'm very happy with mine. They are pretty impressive in their construction and operation.  Happy loading. 

 

Also I didn't go the permission route. My wife thinks mine is for sharpening lawnmower blades. I'll ask for forgiveness in a year or so. 

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17 minutes ago, Part_time_redneck said:

...

Also I didn't go the permission route. My wife thinks mine is for sharpening lawnmower blades. I'll ask for forgiveness in a year or so. 

 

Oh man, that’s too funny! 

 

Thanks for the feedback. 

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A 650 is a great choice, especially for loading more than one caliber, I load on a case/bullet fed 650 and really love it.

 

Have you built your bench yet? If not you really don't need to buy a strong mount as you can build a sturdy bench at whatever elevation you want.

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Also, get an extra set or two of location tabs and remember to NOT vacuum them off the shell plate when you're cleaning up. Most of us have learned that the hard way :rolleyes:

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1 hour ago, kneelingatlas said:

A 650 is a great choice, especially for loading more than one caliber, I load on a case/bullet fed 650 and really love it.

 

Have you built your bench yet? If not you really don't need to buy a strong mount as you can build a sturdy bench at whatever elevation you want.

 

Have not built bench yet. Had read that the mount was still useful because it can hold the  bins for completed rounds etc....

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I don’t use a strong mount built my bench a little higher. The catch bin still slides on the bracket it just sits flat on your bench instead of hanging off the strong mount. 

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Personally I think if you have never hand loaded ammunition, the 650 for your first press is a mistake. I spent 15 years loading with a single stage and turret press so when I finally bought a 650 I had a firm understanding of the process. Even with the experience I had, it took almost a year before I could effortlessly produce quality ammo on a 650.

 

That being said, I would recommend the OP adds an inexpensive Lee auto indexing turret press or single stage, and chronograph to the list. Load development on a 650 is challenging. My comprehensive list of equipment needed to effectively load with a 650 is probably in excess of $2k. 

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And I think he’d be fine. I started with a 650. It’s 2017. The amount of sources for information on how to load is endless. Having a progressive for your first press should no longer be considered taboo

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1 hour ago, Covfefe said:

 

Have not built bench yet. Had read that the mount was still useful because it can hold the  bins for completed rounds etc....

 

The bin for the completed rounds sits on the same surface as the press.

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3 hours ago, Nathanb said:

And I think he’d be fine. I started with a 650. It’s 2017. The amount of sources for information on how to load is endless. Having a progressive for your first press should no longer be considered taboo

 

I shot a match yesterday with someone who was running ammo he produced on a 650 he just bought as his first press. He had high primer, long load, AND squib load failures, all from the same loading in a single match. While you are correct about the infinite amount of information sources, new reloaders get to learn the fundamentals of hand loading while trying to sort out the intricacies of one of the most complex presses on the market. I have no doubt someone can learn to hand load on a 650 but the learning curve is significantly steeper.

 

No sense in belaboring the point, OP is going to buy a 650. My advice is to find a cheap second press to work out the load development while he gets up to speed on the fundamentals. A single stage press is also helpful for troubleshooting ammo down the road (primer seating, case mouth expansion, crimp, etc). The chronograph is a major part of that equation too. 

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3 hours ago, kneelingatlas said:

 

The bin for the completed rounds sits on the same surface as the press.

 

Unless you buy a larger bin and chute extension. The small Dillon bin hold about 300 loaded rounds of 9mm or 200 rounds of 40SW and ends up straining against its own weight. Larger bins sit to the side and below the press if the press is on a Strong Mount.

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I don't think load development is particularly difficult with the progressive once you have the initial setup completed. Only the initial setup is a pain. Just work one die station at a time, and don't use the case feeder until you've found your load.

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