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Which Dillon / Dillon Faqs / Dillon Skus

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In my case, loaded-rounds-per-hour is from a pile of ready-to-load brass, a stack of primer boxes, bottle of powder and a box of bullets, until the last cartridge comes out of the press.   After a few years and a few tricks (see this forum for them), I can reach the Dillon numbers without problem.  The casefeeder is a huge timesaver since one hand is continuously working the operating handle while the other hand feeds bullets.  Likewise the automatic primer-filler-- first it seemed like such a luxury, but now I'd be hating life without it.

I'm not one of those 'pride in each handcrafted cartridge' reloaders you read about in the NRA magazine carefully hand polishing each finished round-- I want ammo, lots of it and I want it now.

(Edited by shred at 7:05 pm on Nov. 11, 2002)

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Hi Shred,

I've been contemplating the purchase of a second press and familiarity and current spare parts have been steering me towards another Hornady, but I have been looking at the 650 and wondering about the loading rates.

So starting from unlocking the powder locker and finishing with the last cartridge after 2 calibre changes (including primer size) and without the case feeder and primer filler, on a pure comparison, how much faster would the 650 be over the Hornady?

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I started loading on a Projector and couldn't get a nasty 'snap' out of the shell plate so I bought my current 650/casefeeder.  I did load a few thousand on the Hornady before switching thou.  If your hornady runs as smooth as the dillon then I would think the times would be pretty similar.  Hornady has a casefeeder now that would make it a pretty head to head comparison.  The dillon does seem to be built with fast reloading in mind.  The hornady seemed to be designed to cycle a little slower, ie...the primer feed and powder drop.  Maybe it was just mine,  and like I said I never really got it running that smooth.

I load pretty slow on my 650.  I'm probably inbetween the 'gee look how pretty my reloads are'  and the 'I want bullets fast ' crowd.  My primer seating doesn't go as smooth if I try for a high cycle time,  and I don't have a powder checker so I like to 'look' at each case as it indexes.  To load a thousand ( my usual session) I fill ten primer tubes ( by hand),  fill the powder and casehopper (I usually only put 3 or4 hundred in at a time,  just seems to run smoother),  and crank the handle.  Then I case check everything and box it up.  This will take at least 2 hours maybe a little more.  Like I said I go pretty slow,  but I would expect the hornady to perform exactly the same.

My .02

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Last night I walked into my reloading room, lubed cases, filled the press and three primer tubes, filled the powder measure, unboxed bullets, filled the casefeeder and started loading.  After threehundred rounds, I refilled the three primer tubes (by hand) lubed more cases and refilled the case feeder, added more bullets, and loaded another four hundred rounds.  Total time for this --- 1 hour.  On my Square Deal B this would have been a two and a half hour project.  I've owned the 650 for about a month now --- and I've reloaded about 5000 rounds total on it.  I'm still finding my speed.....

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Nik and 3/4time, these loading rates are very impressive. How much advantage do you attribute to the case feeder?

I've been looking at the Dillon on-line manual for the 650 and it appears to me that the change of calibre, especially if it is between small case/primer and large case/primer is where the 650 would loose it's time advantage. Also, the fact that the powder measure is not micrometer graduated would make changing powder charges more time consuming. Would you agree with these observations?

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Hi, for the powder adjustment, I do something very simple : I have a bunch of  powder slide bars adjusted for various  powder types and loads...

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The casefeeders importance cannot be overstated.  It makes this press what it is.  However, the 650 is also easier and smoother to operate than the Square Deal B and I think that that contributes to it's efficiency.  I also noticed that fewer rounds fail the case gauge, perhaps 1-2 per 100 now vs. 3-4 with the SDB.  A complete caliber conversion ---- including priming system, shell plate, and top end could probably be accomplished in 15 minutes or less by an experienced operator.  However, in my humble opinion, the way to load on a 650 is to not switch calibers often, i.e. set it up in 9mm, load a few thousand rounds over a week or two, convert to .45 and load a few thousand, then convert to any third caliber.  I shoot .38 Special only occasionally.  With the Square Deal B, I'd convert it to 38, load a thousand rounds and convert back to 9mm.  That thousand rounds has lasted me more than a year.  For the 45, I had a separate press.

As far as adjusting the powder charge goes --- I worked up three different .45 loads this afternoon and loaded 100 rounds of each for testing.  It took 45 minutes from start to finish --- including adjustments, and they were the first .45 rounds I ever loaded on the 650.  In short, you can expect 100 rounds to take 5-6 minutes of operating the press.

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I do pretty much what Nik said but I mainly worry about primer size.  I do all my small primer stuff (.357, .38 Super, .223) and then I switch to the large primer system to do my .45's.

-jhgtyre

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A caliber conversion takes me about 2 seconds, I just step from my 650 for .45 to my 650 set up for 38 super. I wish we could post pics in here.

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I am looking at getting into reloading. I was really looking at the SDB. I see people post bragging about making 1000 rounds in just an hour or 2 with the 650. Is the speed just to get it over quickly? It looks fun and I only shoot 100-200 rounds a week (maybe 300 on a good week). I thought that was a lot until I seen how many rounds everyone makes. I figure I could be on the SDB 1 hour a week. How is changing between calibers? Is it pretty hard? I just dont want to buy the SDB and wish I would of got the 650 later (seems like that is what everyone is saying). An help would be great. I probably will order in a month. I have a 9mm but looking to get a .45 or .40 ..

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Mike,

If you're going to load multiple calibers - and if you ever want to load rifle cartridges - the 650 should be your first stop.  However, there's a lot to be said for a having a dedicated press for your competition ammo.  That's what I've got now - two 550's - and it's super convenient.  Maybe you could find a used SDB now, and get the 650 later if you really get into it.  If not, you haven't lost anything as you'll get most of your money back out of your press.

E

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I think I mention it somewhere in this thread, but it depends on your personality and how you feel about reloading and your free time in general.

Me, I want ammo, lots of the same load, and fast, so I go for the high-volume presses.  When I didn't shoot near so much, had more free time and less space devoted to reloading, I was OK with a SDB.  (I did secretly lust after a casefeeder after a while)

If you believe the NRA magazines, there are folks out there who'll spend what looks like half an hour on each cartridge, polishing this, chamfering that, checking  runout here, turning their necks, reaming their pockets, filling the cases with water, sorting them by weight and exposure to environmental oxygen and what all.  I find that tedious in the extreme.

Figure out where you fit in the reloader spectrum, apply calipers to wallet and make your pick.

(Also note that used Dillon's hold a lot of their original value and are generally pretty easy to sell, so if you do start lusting for a casefeeder, it's not so painful to sell the SDB and get a 650)

(Edited by shred at 12:25 am on Jan. 15, 2003)

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