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Dillon makes great reloading products.  They're simple, efficient, and intuitive.  Unfortunately, the Dillon website is anything but.  Nik is right, if Dillon had you working their site for them their online sales would double.  I'm forwarding this thread to a friend of mine who just bought a 550 and is trying to decide what he needs to get going.  This will help him out a lot.

   

I did notice one little thing in the Strong Mount section you may want to correct.  The new footprint with the mount is over ten inches, not ten square inches.  It's a very small point but I was reading all the advice so closely that I spotted it.

Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

John

(Edited by Patches at 2:34 pm on Dec. 7, 2001)

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I own a Dillon RL 550 B and I am very satisfied with it!!!!! Before buying it I thought about buying a LEE but now I am a believer ... Thank you Mr. Dillon!

Yes, I own this heavy duty primer tray which is heavy enough to knock down an elephant at 15 yards. Before buying it I thought that I don´t really need it but now I am very glad that I bought it.

Yes, I use the dillon case lube.

Yes, you can buy everything you need from dillon. It´s rock solid and worth the buck!!!

No, I don´t want a LEE anymore!!!

be,

is this price for the dies correct (49$)? I have seen them for about 199 Marks in Germany. Thats about 90$!!!

(Edited by Peter K at 9:26 pm on Dec. 7, 2001)

(Edited by Peter K at 9:44 pm on Dec. 7, 2001)

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I learned on a Square deal (not my own), then loaded between 25 and 50k on my 550.

This year I upgraded to a 650 and wish I had done so long ago.  On a good day, I could load 700 rounds per hour of pistol ammo (9, 40, 10, 45) on the 550.  I can load twice that with the 650.  Less time loading, more time shooting.

I subscribe to the mass quantity method of loading.  Once I've found a combination that works, I load a gazillion of it, and then depending on how much I shoot, I may not load again for up to 6 months.  This way, I'm not changing calibers on the press very often.

In my experience, the roller handle, strong mount, powdercheck, and case feeder are MUST HAVES.  The powdercheck has made the occasional squib load extinct.

The non-self-indexing of the 550 was my main complaint, and reason I went to the 650.  If you aren't paying attention, you can load squibs or double-charges on the 550.  With the self-indexing and powdercheck features on the 650, those two problems are virtually impossible (never say never, though).

If you are thinking 550, spend the extra $$$ on a 650.  You'll cry only once, and you'll love the 650.

SF

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I wholeheartedly second SF's call on bypassing the 550 for the 650.  I foolishly bought the 550 instead of the 650 based on bad gun store advice.  ("You'll never need that casefeeder!!")  Guess what I'm getting ready to do?  You guessed it!! I'm spending the money twice.  

If you shoot competitively or ever plan to.  Just cough it up now and get it over with.  You'll be glad you did.

Eric  

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have had a 550 for about 14 years (and still use it) and a 650 for about 2 year. IMO you will learn more about reloading with the 550. Also I think the 550 is more beginner friendly. Going too fast on any loader is a formula for disaster. Work toward consistancy, rythm and speed will come with experience.

If I have 10 primer tubes loaded in advance I can load 1000 38 Super loads in about 1 hr. & 15 mins. on my 650 and that is stopping once to get powder and bullets. Thats fast enough for me.

I would rather have 100% good reloads than a bunch of rejects because I tried to go for speed instead of quality.  ;)

As for the case lude issue, I use the Hornady One Shot and love it. That is some great stuff. I also do like the other guys and do not tumble or wipe it off. ;)

(Edited by Philip Dedmon at 1:42 pm on Jan. 6, 2002)

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Phil,

Very good points.  But I think one can learn just as much about loading with the 650 sans casefeeder.  The only real difference is the extra staion.  The 650 only costs about $100 more and once the user progresses, they can add on and get more speed.  The 550 is an entry level machine - once your needs exceed it's capabilities, you're stuck.

God knows the 550 revolutionized reloading, but there's a better mousetrap now and those in the market for a loader should strongly consider it.

My $.02,

Eric

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  • 4 months later...

Brian,

Found this post as we had talked about on the phone, Thursday. Very informative and helpful. You have a great site here and I can see I am going to be poking around quite a bit. Thanks for the help and I will bet getting back to you next week about an order!

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Buy a reloading press like you a gun safe, buy more than you need and you'll save money in the long run. I bought a Dillon 650, my first press, more than a year ago and I don't see the need to buy a 1050, I might buy another 650 though one of these days, twin 650's in my reloading room would make me the king of ammo, lol. One tip, buy it in a caliber that you don't plan on shooting for the next few weeks, that way you have to tear it apart and do a caliber conversion, that will teach you more about the machine than anything else.

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Yeah, I used to think "This 650 is all I'll ever need..." and indeed, it probably is, but that doesn't stop me from plotting where to put a 1050 when I finally get some room and cash in the same place. For serious cranking-out-rounds in one caliber, even the 650 can't keep up.

(and for my 550-owning lurker-friends on here, I'll keep the 650, so put down that mouse and stop making me an offer on it..)

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The best Dillon is?

One of each. I've got everything except the 1050.

But I am working on it. But the lady of the house keeps interfeering, she wants me to actually pay the Mortgage and buy the kids something called food!!!!!

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Brian's post is awesome and absolutely correct. I bought a 650 - (Dillon suggested I start with a lower model but I'm so glad I didn't. Yes, there were more problems initially learning how the whole process works, but it was worth it).

I also use the auto primer feeder. Worth its weight in gold. I easily load 1,000 - 1,200 rds per hour. That doesn't include wiping the lube off (I still have leftover Dillon Lube) and putting them into 100 count boxes - where I visually check for high primers.

Everyone else at the club uses lesser machines and I think they think I make-up the amount of rounds I load. They usually talk with glee about 5-600.

I now load about 1,000 rds per/week and that one hour goes by like nothing at all.

Can't talk about any of the others but I love the 650 Dillon

Mark

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  • 3 months later...

I just finished setting up my second 650 last night , I wish we could post pics, and I was right, 2 of them on one bench rocks!!!! The Hornady lube is the shiznit for case lube,  I've been helping 2 of my friends get there 650's lined out and I tried loading some brass that hadn't been lubed and after I smacked the new Dillon owner around a little I made him go outside and lube the cases.

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  • 2 months later...

At the risk of appearing to be a heretic, I'll confess that I own a Hornady Projector with Hornady New Dimension dies and have had good service from it for 10 years. I load 38 special, 44 Mag and 45 ACP and am somewhat amazed at the loading rates quoted here. I guess the Projector is comparable to the 650 (sans case feeder), but I can only load around 300 an hour. I include in this time the time required to fill the powder measure, check powder weight, load primer tubes and pack load rounds into ammo cases. I also inspect each case for spilts or faults and operate the powder measure manually. I also usually load all three calibres each session. Are these tasks (and lubing?) included in the 1000 rounds an hour for the 650 or is the time from starting to pull the lever to stopping for that calibre??

Also, I can relate to Tapper's comments as I never even considered using lube because I started when Carbide dies were new and being advertised as "no lube necessary" and all the experienced loaders were retiring their lube and buying the new dies. Not that I'm knocking the idea, it just never occured to me that it was required, and I've loaded tens of thousands of rounds without even considering the possiblity. The 38s and 45's load smooth as silk but the 44's can be a trial when new, so maybe I'll try lubing them.

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