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Looking Into a 550


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So I am getting into the world of reloading and I have 3 calibers id like to load. 9mm, .223, and .308. I'm looking at a 550. Id imagine i'll load mostly 9 followed by .223 and .308. I'd it be best to just get separate toolheads and leave the dies set. Would separate powder measures also be worth it?

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It depends how often you are swapping. Life will be easier with one powder dropper per caliber. If you want to save a dollar you could do one for 9mm and one for rifle. I'm assuming you shoot higher volumes of 9mm and both rifle charges will use the large charge bar.

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If your budget runs to it, why not?
However, in view of the rifle calibres, you will also need to invest in things like a trimmer (also mounted on a toolhead), so you will need to budget for that.
How about starting on 9mm (since this is what you load most of and is the most straightforward - you can "learn" to run the 550 on this calibre) and then invest in toolheads for rifle in due course?

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I do like 2 toolheads per rifle one for size/deprime and a trimmer if you eventually go for a motorized one.

But starting with a 9mm Dillon essential kit would get you going and then you could add accessories and toolheads later

How many of each caliber do you plan on loading?

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Three tool heads, yes. The powder hoppers change pretty easily, but you would need to adjust/change the powder die everytime you changed calibers. It would be best to have dedicated tool heads and powder hoppers for every caliber you plan on reloading. Having a tool head and powder hopper for each, it only takes 1-2 minutes to change between small primer rounds, and probably no more than 5 minutes to change between large primer rounds.

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1 hour ago, GrumpyOne said:

Three tool heads, yes. The powder hoppers change pretty easily, but you would need to adjust/change the powder die everytime you changed calibers. It would be best to have dedicated tool heads and powder hoppers for every caliber you plan on reloading. Having a tool head and powder hopper for each, it only takes 1-2 minutes to change between small primer rounds, and probably no more than 5 minutes to change between large primer rounds.

 

What he said !

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9 minutes ago, jschroep said:

Is there even space on the 550 for a trimmer? 4 spots, I'd need prime/deprime, powder, seating, crimp. Does trimming get done on a separate machine?

You could do it in a separate operation on same machine no?

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24 minutes ago, Sarge said:

You could do it in a separate operation on same machine no?

Run all the brass through once and then load? Do most of you who load rifle just have a case trimmer? I don't have to trim pistol brass at least from what I've seen right?

Edited by jschroep
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8 minutes ago, jschroep said:

Run all the brass through once and then load? Do most of you who load rifle just have a case trimmer? I don't have to trim pistol brass at least from what I've seen right?

 

 

No need to trim pistol brass. I have a dillon 1200 for rifle.

 

Run 2 heads for each rifle, 1 for prep(size/deprime and trim) Clean in between and run all other prep then run head 2 (powder,seat, and crimp)

 

Alternatively you could get locking die nuts. But said and done the head may be the same price. Ebay has aftermarket heads for 16-25 each I have a few of these and haven't noticed any issues

 

How many rounds of 9,223,308 a month do you plan on loading?

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13 minutes ago, jschroep said:

Run all the brass through once and then load? Do most of you who load rifle just have a case trimmer? I don't have to trim pistol brass at least from what I've seen right?

Not uncommon, regardless of machine, to process rifle brass in one pass then reload it. As far as pistol - I'm sure someone out there trims pistol brass, but most of us don't.

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2 hours ago, jschroep said:

Run all the brass through once and then load? Do most of you who load rifle just have a case trimmer? I don't have to trim pistol brass at least from what I've seen right?

I run all my rifle brass through in two separate steps, first is the decap and size/trim toolhead then I’ll load up in a separate session, set up on a separate toolhead. I keep the trim die/trimmer set up on it own toolhead as well so I know the sizing and trimming will always be the same. I am loading on a 650 however.

Edited by mveto
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9mm  at least 1K/month
223 4-500
308 1-200.
 
If I shoot more 9 I might just get a dedicated press.
At those numbers the 550 will be great I was just making sure you werent planning for a lot more

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Looking at your estimated numbers my prediction is you’ll be wanting the 750 very soon.  Unless your budget is really tight go right to the 750. I also predict, considering you will be loading 9mm and 223 it won’t take long to desire the swaging capability of the 1050/1100. I tried the add on swager when I had a 650 and the press really isn’t designed for it.  
 

Allow your budget and count dictate which one you purchase. 
 

 

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4 hours ago, HesedTech said:

Looking at your estimated numbers my prediction is you’ll be wanting the 750 very soon.  Unless your budget is really tight go right to the 750. I also predict, considering you will be loading 9mm and 223 it won’t take long to desire the swaging capability of the 1050/1100. I tried the add on swager when I had a 650 and the press really isn’t designed for it.  
 

Allow your budget and count dictate which one you purchase. 
 

 

What about the Hornady Lock N Load progressive? Attachment wise it's the same. What would the pros and cons be between the two?

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5 hours ago, jschroep said:

What about the Hornady Lock N Load progressive? Attachment wise it's the same. What would the pros and cons be between the two?


Probably would be fine, but unless you’re on the side which resists the “blue” fan club I think you will find the available aftermarket accessories, help, warranty and just general satisfaction much greater with the Dillon 750 or 1050/1100.

 

But we all have our opinions just giving you mine. 

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Yes, you could choose blue or you could choose wrong. :)

Both work. And the AP ends up, once loaded up with accessories, similar in price to a loaded 750. I've noticed that my friend, who loads less than me, has more parts break than me. I've had 2 small parts go in 15 years between my 550/650, he has a few a year. Mine are free replacement his usually are not.

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So I am/ was in the same boat as you. I shoot USPSA and 3 gun, looking to primarily load 9mm and 40, but branching out to a few others eventually.

 

My plan is to end up with both a 550 and a 1050/1100. I wasn't in a huge rush, so I was waiting around to see which press I could find a great used deal on first, ended up being a 550.

 

I like the simplicity of the 550 to learn on and the ability to pump out serious ammo of the 1100. Eventually I'll automate, so that's another win for the 1100. Conversions are a lot cheaper with the 550 so catridges I wasn't really planning to reload I may consider after I get the 1100.

 

Initially, I wanted a 650 but felt that for not a lot more, I would be happier with the 1100 in the long run. From discussing the topic on here, seems like no one that has a 1050 regrets their decision but many with 650s with they had the bigger press.

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3 hours ago, Intheshaw1 said:

So I am/ was in the same boat as you. I shoot USPSA and 3 gun, looking to primarily load 9mm and 40, but branching out to a few others eventually.

 

My plan is to end up with both a 550 and a 1050/1100. I wasn't in a huge rush, so I was waiting around to see which press I could find a great used deal on first, ended up being a 550.

 

I like the simplicity of the 550 to learn on and the ability to pump out serious ammo of the 1100. Eventually I'll automate, so that's another win for the 1100. Conversions are a lot cheaper with the 550 so catridges I wasn't really planning to reload I may consider after I get the 1100.

 

Initially, I wanted a 650 but felt that for not a lot more, I would be happier with the 1100 in the long run. From discussing the topic on here, seems like no one that has a 1050 regrets their decision but many with 650s with they had the bigger press.

 

I might be one of those. Loaded on a 550 for years. Only moved to a 650 less than a year ago for 9mm only (everything else still on the 550).

 

This winter I decided to load 20k 9mm so that I do not have to reload in a hot garage all summer. For this volume in a short time, I'm not loving the 650. If I spread out the reloading over the course of the year, I probably wouldn't have the same opinion. The press does it, but I'm used to a more manual press (the 550) with less idiosyncrasies. I ultimately decided against a 1050 in favor of the 650, thinking that I was not likely to need a 1050 if I ever got out of the sport. Probably should have done it anyway and sold it if that situation ever occurs.

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Honestly, spend the extra hundred bucks or whatever and get the 750. You may not need the volume, but, you can load just as many rounds, in a shorter time. Which means more time shooting, or, in my case, a less angry wife, because I'm not spending as much time reloading to load the same number of rounds.

I have one powder drop, but a toolhead and powder die on each toolhead. It's easy enough to switch the drop between toolheads, and easy to change bars off press. At most, I think I'll just get more bars so I can switch each out. I see no need, for me, to have a bunch of drops taking up room when all I need are the bars.

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Honestly, spend the extra hundred bucks or whatever and get the 750. You may not need the volume, but, you can load just as many rounds, in a shorter time. Which means more time shooting, or, in my case, a less angry wife, because I'm not spending as much time reloading to load the same number of rounds.

I have one powder drop, but a toolhead and powder die on each toolhead. It's easy enough to switch the drop between toolheads, and easy to change bars off press. At most, I think I'll just get more bars so I can switch each out. I see no need, for me, to have a bunch of drops taking up room when all I need are the bars.

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The 550 is better in my opinion for small batch stuff so eventually it's nice having both


Measures are 90 and come with 2 bars. The bars are 35 each. If you needed both your 20 bucks more for the whole extra measure.



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