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Buying a Dillon advice

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I have been reloading for the past couple years and shoot 10-15k/yr. I’m finally tired of spending more time fixing my press than loading. I am considering a Dillon, probably a 650. I was wondering where/who was the best to buy from? And everyone’s opinions about which press to get. 

 

I load 9mm (currently working on), 40SW (stock piled for next season), and the occasional 223 and 45acp. 

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With the caliber changes I really like the 650. Upgraded it with the mark 7 auto drive and slicked it up a bit. Runs very smooth, hardly ever have a problem. 650 will serve you well, especially with multiple calibers. Lots of incremental upgrades you can do to it too.


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Really a function of:

 

i.  how much time do you want to devote to reloading

ii.  how many $$$ do you want to throw at the reloader ?

iii. how many calibers you want to reload ?

 

If you spend $1,100 for a 650, and then another $700 for the dies

necessary to reload three other calibers, you have almost $2,000

in.

 

If you can remove the .223 (not much savings to reloading .223, unless you're

going for precision long range ammo), you can order a SDB for $435, and

two other calibers for another $250 (total $700), instead of $1,800.

 

Reloading 15,000 rounds/year is 300/week - you can do that with a SDB

in an hour and a half a week, or 6 hours/month.     :) 

 

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I bought a 550C about 6 months ago, including all the accessories for 3 different calibers.  I had a steep learning curve, but now feel pretty competent.  The one thing I found when buying stuff, is that I couldn't find any discounts on any Dillon stuff.  I was told that Dillon is pretty strict about retailers discounting their stuff.  The best I found recently was when one of my  small retailers moved their store into a larger space and had a 10% sale on everything.  I bought quick change kits, caliber conversions kits and dies for a couple of new calibers I want to try and appreciated the discount.  I'm not saying you can't find a dollar or two difference on items,but I wouldn't invest a lot of time price shopping.  Look for a good retailer who you can talk to.

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I started on a single stage. Then a 550B which I still have.

Now use  a 650 with casefeeder, bullet feeder and a Dillon primer filler. 100 rounds in less than 4 minutes without trying too hard

 

You can definitely learn on a 650 and save the time of realizing that you want a 650 (or 1050) but the learning curve will be steeper.  If you are patient or have a reloading mentor, go for the 650.  If not, get the 550C and you will have no regrets.

 

If you read Brian Enos' Dillon pages, he really does not recommend the SDB:  "The only time I ever recommend a SqDeal (over the 550) is if you have loaded on a friend’s SqDeal and liked it."

 

I tried a friends, and did not.  A cheaper progressive press without a casefeeder, small size and limited dies is penny wise/pound foolish

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Check out Bobcat Armament, he gets used 650s in every now and then.  Also there are definitely some deals to be had on used presses, check out Facebook, Armslist etc to see if there are any close.  The great thing about buying the 650 used is you can send it back to Dillon to be "re-freshed" if you have any questions or concerns with it.

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I skipped from a Hornady LNL progressive to the Super 1050. While I do not have experience with any other Dillon, I can say the 1050 is a dream come true. The speed, and more importantly, quality, at which it loads made me re-think my loading schedule for the year. I shot about 12,000 9mm last year, and it was a chore I did not look forward to. I bought my 1050 this past fall and I casually loaded 15k rounds in about 2 months. Done loading 9mm until 2020 :)

 

I also load .45 and .223 and while the change over is a good bit of work, if you are at all familiar with setting up presses, its really not that bad. I only have 1 toolhead for now, 200 bucks is a lot for convenience, and it does not even save you from changing powder bars, swage system, or primers. Just saves you the die setup, which is the easiest part of setting up a press if you have lock rings or just marks on your dies. I also load for a whole year of shooting, per caliber. Set up for .45 now, and once I load 10k of those, I'll set up for .223 which will take a bit of load development for my rifles, and keep it that way until I need more 9mm next year. 

 

The only reason I'd say not to go 1050, would be if you don't shoot much, and in just 1 caliber. Even if I only shot my 12k 9mm and nothing else, the money I spent on my guns is more than the 1050, the money I spent on my ammo components is more than the 1050, the match fees last year were about 1/3 the cost of a 1050, and add the time I slaved over the Hornady, and the top of the line press sounds like a no brainer at this point. That not even taking into consideration the fact that you're likely going to do this for a few years, and that's a lot of time loading at 600/hr compared to 1000+. 

 

buy a 1050 :)

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buy once cry once...  I started on a 650 and moved to a 1050... 

I wish i would have bought a 1050 first.. especially if you are already and experienced reloader  get the 1050 if you can afford it. 

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I own a 650 and have used a friend's 1050. I now realize that I should have started there in the first place. Which is now all the more reason to have both a 650 and a 1050. 

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