Dillon 550B question
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:52 AM   #1
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Default Dillon 550B question

Howdy guys,

I'm getting ready to start settin up to reload and the big question is what kind of press to get. My neighbors reloaded for 10+ years and swears by his Dillon 550B. I've looked on their web site and it can be ordered with all the dies I'd want to reload in the future ( .30 carbine, .303 Brit, 30-06, .308, .40SW, .45ACP, 9mm) I was wonderin what y'all think of them.

Are they worth the money, 450ish new?

Customer service? Again I've only ever heard positive about them.

It comes with 1 set of dies, would any set of dies fit this machine?


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Old 05-12-2014, 06:20 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by t_humm View Post
Howdy guys,

I'm getting ready to start settin up to reload and the big question is what kind of press to get. My neighbors reloaded for 10+ years and swears by his Dillon 550B. I've looked on their web site and it can be ordered with all the dies I'd want to reload in the future ( .30 carbine, .303 Brit, 30-06, .308, .40SW, .45ACP, 9mm) I was wonderin what y'all think of them.

Are they worth the money, 450ish new?

Customer service? Again I've only ever heard positive about them.

It comes with 1 set of dies, would any set of dies fit this machine?

Sent from my iPhone using Firearms Talk
A Dillon 550B is a great deal and definitely worth the money to set up. Their customer service is the best in the world and they mean it. There are other things you'll need besides the loader & dies, like a tumbler, media, etc., but you can get started with just the loader & dies and get whatever else you need a little along the way. Other companies' dies will fit and I use some with my 550, but that's only because I had them to start with. If I were starting new, I'd get all Dillon dies. Their customer service reps know their stuff so ask any question you want about their equipment & they'll fix you up. Switching tool heads is quick & easy and the ammo it turns out works every time. I'd start with the pistol calibers & learn some before tackling the rifle calibers since you may have to trim & prep the cases before loading them, but that's the same procedure regardless of loader brand. Go Dillon - you won't regret it!
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:28 AM   #3
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Therhuk, thanks for the insight!

I'll keep that in mind and start with a pistol cartridge and work my way up.

I know there's a lot more to purchase to reload but the press seems to be the most important/expensive, and everyone has a favorite, or one they hate.

I noticed Dillon has removable heads that hold the dies and powder to easily switch to a different round. Do you have any experience with them? Or is it better to just change out my dies?

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Old 05-12-2014, 10:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by therukh View Post
A Dillon 550B is a great deal and definitely worth the money to set up. Their customer service is the best in the world and they mean it. There are other things you'll need besides the loader & dies, like a tumbler, media, etc., but you can get started with just the loader & dies and get whatever else you need a little along the way. Other companies' dies will fit and I use some with my 550, but that's only because I had them to start with. If I were starting new, I'd get all Dillon dies. Their customer service reps know their stuff so ask any question you want about their equipment & they'll fix you up. Switching tool heads is quick & easy and the ammo it turns out works every time. I'd start with the pistol calibers & learn some before tackling the rifle calibers since you may have to trim & prep the cases before loading them, but that's the same procedure regardless of loader brand. Go Dillon - you won't regret it!
I agree completly with therukh's post, I love mine.
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Old 05-12-2014, 07:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by t_humm View Post
Therhuk, thanks for the insight!

I'll keep that in mind and start with a pistol cartridge and work my way up.

I know there's a lot more to purchase to reload but the press seems to be the most important/expensive, and everyone has a favorite, or one they hate.

I noticed Dillon has removable heads that hold the dies and powder to easily switch to a different round. Do you have any experience with them? Or is it better to just change out my dies?
By all means get the tool heads! Once you set the dies in them, you never have to change the settings. They used to have little stands to set them on for storage and I've got all mine on them. I also bought (a little along) powder measures for all my tool heads. As a competitive shooter also, once I get my load set, I don't change unless it is absolutely necessary. It is worth it not to have to try and use one powder thrower for all my different calibers.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:02 PM   #6
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I have found that its better to have each caliber set up in their own tool heads, instead of reseting all of the dies/powder measures etc. If you go out and buy each and every caliber change, its going to cost you alot of money. When I first started reloading (It was a 550b), it became apparent that the large volume calibers (rounds that we shot the most) needed their own setup. So as time went on, we prioritized each caliber and slowly over the years purchased the caliber conversions where we ended up with each one having their own setup. It becomes even more critical when you move into rifle calibers. For each caliber you need 2 setups - the prep setup and the loading setup. On the prep side you size/decap, and Trim your cartridges. Since you have to use a lot of case lube, you really need to clean the brass again to remove the lube before reloading. On the load side you need to insure the prime pocket is cleared (Corn cobs get stuck in the flash hole), you prime the brass, load the powder, set the projectile (COAL) and crimp.

So you see that you need two setups for each caliber round.

I now have a 650, which forced me to do the same thing again. Sold most of the 550 conversions (Note that with a Dillon setup, you will always get at least 85% of the value back).

There is a lot of stuff to buy. Good luck.

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Old 05-13-2014, 02:42 AM   #7
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Thanks guys, seeks like it's going to be a big investment. But hopefully overtime be able to save a bit per round.

It's all going to be new thing for me and certainly a learning experience. I'm excited to get started.

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Old 05-13-2014, 05:37 PM   #8
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You dont save money by reloading. What it gives you is more rounds for the money you spend. A vastly greater option on what bullets you can use. The ability to tune cartridges to a given firearm. And access to a fulfilling hobby.

The xl650 gives you an extra die slot over the rl550. It also eliminates one manual step in the process practically eliminating the chance of double charging a case.

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Old 05-13-2014, 07:00 PM   #9
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Dillon has very good case gauges necessary for your rifle cartridges, digital scale, and spray lube. Neck size dies for bolt rifles and full size for semi auto.
This is a whole new world and just like acquiring firearms it never ends.
The parts kit is very handy with spare springs etc. to keep you in business.
I use a light bit of motor oil on the main shaft, and penetrating oil on the link pins as needed.
The 550 replaced the 450 that I have used for over 40 years.
Please take it slow. Watch what you are doing.
Oh, no texting while reloading.

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Old 05-13-2014, 07:27 PM   #10
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Dillon has very good case gauges necessary for your rifle cartridges, digital scale, and spray lube. Neck size dies for bolt rifles and full size for semi auto.
This is a whole new world and just like acquiring firearms it never ends.
The parts kit is very handy with spare springs etc. to keep you in business.
I use a light bit of motor oil on the main shaft, and penetrating oil on the link pins as needed.
The 550 replaced the 450 that I have used for over 40 years.
Please take it slow. Watch what you are doing.
Oh, no texting while reloading.
I use tetra gun grease over oil. It doesnt migrate to the work surface which can cause primer or powder contamination. I tear my 650 down once or twice a year for a good cleaning and lube.

Im not saying you cant or shouldnt use oil. Dillon recommends grease
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