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vnboileau

Going from a Lee Turret to a 550?

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I got my first press, a Lee Classic Turret kit, a few months ago.  I like it, and I've really enjoyed reloading, but I'd like something faster. 

 

I'll probably load 1000-1500 rounds a month, mostly in 9mm and 45.  I plan to keep the turret for other calibers and loading smaller batches.  But I'd like to load 300-400 rounds and not have it take all afternoon. I had a chance to see and handle the 550 and 650 at a LGS.  The 650 seems like overkill for my needs.

 

Does a 550 seem like a good choice?

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Have my 550 since 1986, and it will easily do 400 an hour. Now if you need the speed, then you can't beat the 650, or the 1050, with bullet feeders, and even faster with an auto drive.

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I made the same switch a few years back. the lee classic turret almost got me to give up on reloading. 550 has been wonderful


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I have loaded on both of those presses quite a bit, and I think you are making a good call.  I have no experience with the 650 though

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I started on a Lee turret press many years ago.  I switched to the XL650 and haven't looked back. Like you, I still have my Turret and I use it for low volume hunting rounds in 243 and 308.  Maybe this response will help you decide.

 

Here's a response from a guy named "Dyezak" on the AR15.com forum 

"Although one of the tougher comparative decisions, I seldom recommend the 650 over the 550 as your first progressive machine, and even less as your first reloading machine in general. The 650, w/Casefeeder and auto-indexing, is a complex machine compared to the 550. However, a few exceptions for the 650 might be:

You're shooting USPSA or IDPA pistol competition, or are planning to.
You're an experienced reloader looking to upgrade from another brand.
Plan to use the machine to load one or two calibers in high volume.
Are not only tired of messing with your current piece of junk, but in general, would prefer to spend more time either
shooting or hanging out with your wife or kids than reloading.
Price is not an object.
Your're not afraid of a complex machine.
You usually know if you are ready for the 650. Almost always, the 550 is a better choice over the 650 because of the reasons mentioned in the Sq Deal vs 550 comparison above.

Sill not sure: 550 vs. 650; or 650 vs. 1050
Here's another way to help make your decision: How many rounds you will load in one caliber before switching to another caliber? (Apply this logic to ALL the calibers you will load on the press.)

Rounds you will load before changing to another caliber:

550: 100 - 200+ rounds
650: 1000 - 2000+ rounds
1050: 5000+ rounds
It's so easy to switch calibers on the 550 - if you just load 100 or 200
rounds
, you won't mind changing to load another caliber. On the 650 however, I wouldn't want to change calibers unless I'd loaded a minimum of 1000 - 2000 rounds. And on the 1050, that number would be 5000 or more rounds, at the absolute minimum".

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16 hours ago, vnboileau said:

I load 1500 rounds a month, mostly in 9mm and 45. 

Does a 550 seem like a good choice?

 

Nothing wrong with the 550 (I guess - I've never actually seen one) ....    :rolleyes:

 

BUT, don't forget about the lowly SDB    :wub: 

 

For $400, you get everything you need to load 200 rounds/hour, easily.

 

I've been using my SDB for 20 years, and it is fantastic for 9mm and .45

(for .40 Major, I'd recommend the 550, so you can use tighter dies to

prevent the infamous "Bullet Setback Boom in Face Syndrome".

 

But, for 9mm (both minor and major) and .45, the SDB is all you need    :) 

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This past Christmas I received a 550C. I was using the Lee pro 1000 for 223 and 45 for 4 or 5 years.I was always frustrated with the machines priming system problems. After a batch of 223 with no primers, variations in powder charges, etc. I said no more!! I then asked for the 550. It is now very enjoyable to not only make hundreds of bullets without any "tinkering", but caliber changes are very quick and easy. I really enjoy the 550!!

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19 minutes ago, jonw said:

This past Christmas I received a 550C. I was using the Lee pro 1000 for 223 and 45 for 4 or 5 years.I was always frustrated with the machines priming system problems. After a batch of 223 with no primers, variations in powder charges, etc. I said no more!! I then asked for the 550. It is now very enjoyable to not only make hundreds of bullets without any "tinkering", but caliber changes are very quick and easy. I really enjoy the 550!!

 

I was looking at the Lee progressives too, but the reviews are just too mixed.  I kept reading that people were ready to use them as a boat anchor, and I don't want to spend that much time tinkering.

 

I don't think I load enough to justify a 650, and I don't think I've read where anyone disliked their 550.

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Lee Classic Turret - I load 200 rnds per hour easily - set up and conservation of motion is important here.

I have a 650 - friends have 550's and for only loading 200-300 at a time, I load slightly faster than they do but I also have the case feeder.

If you ever intend to have a case feeder - go with the 650 - no question.

Finally, if I had to give up one of my presses - I'd sell the 650 before I ever sell that LCT.

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ah 'tis only money...

 

If you can find the wherewithal to get a casefeeder....

 

go with the 650, you will be able to get your monthly needs done in three or four hours.

 

a lee turret press can go along at a good rate...  I find I stop a lot and that costs in round count per hour.

so while I am fairly sure I can get 50 rounds made in less than  a 15 minute time frame

I do not think I can sustain that rate over an hour...  I can see it is possible.

I mention that because I am certain with a casefeeder on a 650,

you can sustain over 400 rounds in an hour.  This does include refilling the primer tubes by hand.

and moving the ammo  loose into boxes...refilling the measure... 

 

no one has ever accused me of being fast.

 

miranda

 

 

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The 550 sucks for pistol calibers. The throw is sooooo long.

 

The SDB is awesome for pistol.

 

When I'm rich I'll have an SDB for each pistol caliber (9mm .38 and .45)

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The SDB is so quick to change calibers just get two, one for small primers and another for large primers. 

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The SDB really wasn't on my radar.  I saw one in person and just didn't like how small/cramped it looked.

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Whichever one you choose, know that Dillon hands down has the best customer service.  You might have to wait on hold for a while to speak to someone, but rest assured that you will be taken care of.

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I just got a tracking number, looks like I should have it Friday

 

Thanks for all the suggestions!

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On 1/22/2018 at 9:41 PM, soundlzrd said:

I made the same switch a few years back. the lee classic turret almost got me to give up on reloading. 550 has been wonderful

+1+1

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On 1/24/2018 at 4:31 PM, vnboileau said:

I just got a tracking number, looks like I should have it Friday

 

Thanks for all the suggestions!

Awesome! Did you get the 550?

Just watch some setup videos on youtube. 76Highboy Reloading has some great setup videos for the 550B (wich is the same machine as the 550C, just grease fittings upgrade). His videos are long but well worth the step by step setup instruction!

Dillon 550 Unboxing 76Highboy Reloading

 

Edited by jonw

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I should be getting the 550 from Graf's tomorrow, and I ordered a mount and a few other things from Inline Fabrication that I should have sometime next week. 

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You can't go wrong with a 550.  Good choice.

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You will find going from a Lee Pro 1000 to a Dillon 550 like going from a Smart car to loaded Impala.  Going to a 650 though would have been like going to a Cadillac.  :)

 

Nevertheless, you WILL like it!

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On 1/25/2018 at 7:40 PM, vnboileau said:

I should be getting the 550 from Graf's tomorrow,

You will like it. But you might want to keep the Lee Classic Turret. I have a 550, 650, and a single stage. Retrospectively, I wish I had gotten the Lee instead of the single stage. My brother has one and it's great for working up different loads. 57K posts on these forums and I believe that is all he uses.

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You'll love the 550, and I assume it's the C model?

The only problem is they're just slow enough that over time you'll be wanting the 650. You get a 650, use it for awhile, then realize it's just a souped-up 550, and once again you feel the need for speed. 

At that point the Fed-EX guy shows up with you new Super 1050, and you're off to the races.

Funny how it works. Do you think Dillon knows something we don't? 

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On 1/28/2018 at 7:10 AM, lgh said:

You will like it. But you might want to keep the Lee Classic Turret. I have a 550, 650, and a single stage. Retrospectively, I wish I had gotten the Lee instead of the single stage. My brother has one and it's great for working up different loads. 57K posts on these forums and I believe that is all he uses.

 

I disagree. When I look across the room there's a 550C sitting next to a Super 1050, and in the middle is an RF100. 

Everything is blue, as far as the eye can see. ;)

 

 

 

 

 

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58 minutes ago, MikieM said:

Everything is blue, as far as the eye can see

Yeah, I have to hunt to find the single press when I need it! Good thing everything is color coded.

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