Progressive Press Preference?
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:46 PM   #1
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Default Progressive Press Preference?

I recognize that when it comes to reloading presses opinions are varied and vehement but I'm going to ask anyway. From your experience, what are the relative advantages and disadvantages of the Hornady Lock N' Load AP, the RCBS Pro 2000 Auto Index, and the Dillon R550-B? I've never reloaded before but am about to take the plunge and get into reloading for a number of calibers (9mm Luger, 45ACP, 223, 257 Roberts, 270 Win, 30-06, 30-40 Krag, and 338 Win Mag) so will be sinking a pretty good chunk of cash into equipment and want to get as much of the straight skinny as I can from those of you who have been using these things for a while before I drop my cash on the counter. Thanks.

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Old 01-02-2011, 08:10 PM   #2
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Been using Dillons for over twenty years. I highly recommend them. I don't need to bash another brand to recommend them either. You know of course there will be those that say you shouldn't start out on a progressive. But I say I did it and had no trouble what so ever. Look out for all the negativity about your post cause it's coming. Buy a Dillon and read a few manuals watch what you are doing and have fun.

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Old 01-02-2011, 08:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2inchpattern View Post
I recognize that when it comes to reloading presses opinions are varied and vehement but I'm going to ask anyway. From your experience, what are the relative advantages and disadvantages of the Hornady Lock N' Load AP, the RCBS Pro 2000 Auto Index, and the Dillon R550-B? I've never reloaded before but am about to take the plunge and get into reloading for a number of calibers (9mm Luger, 45ACP, 223, 257 Roberts, 270 Win, 30-06, 30-40 Krag, and 338 Win Mag) so will be sinking a pretty good chunk of cash into equipment and want to get as much of the straight skinny as I can from those of you who have been using these things for a while before I drop my cash on the counter. Thanks.
I have been shooting for well over 20 years, but like you I am new to reloading. I just purchased a Dillon 550B. After doing a lot of research I found that many reloaders prefer the Dillon and they have a No BS warranty. I also believe that thier product is 100% U.S. made, where the RCBS is cast in China and finished in the U.S. I have not heard many good things about the Hornady, but I don't own one and cannot say. When my Dillon gets here next week I will let you know how easy it was to set up.
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:08 PM   #4
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Default I know which I bought...

Unlike others, I have used a 550, a 650, and the Hornady L-N-L (including all the variations Hornady has brought out in the past 25 years or so)
1) The 550 is manually indexed. This means that you have to remember to advance the press. Forgetting can lead to a double charge.
The Hornady is auto-indexing, so as you lower the ram, the shellplate automatically advances.
I have a hard time getting used to manually indexing and I see no advantage in it.
2) The 550 has 4 stations and the Hornady has 5 stations. Back in the late '70s, the Hornady was the first 5 station press that was affordable. I think that Dillon had the 450 out at the time.
5 stations gives you an extra station. My normal set-up is:
Resize, Expand and Charge, RCBS Lock-Out die, Seat, and crimp.
3) The Dillons feed the empty cases in from the right side. The Hornady keeps all case and bullet handling in the left hand. Without a case feeder or stopping to fill a case feeder tube, the Dillon's are awkward to use.
4) You have to "get up" to look at the powder charge in the case with the Dillon whereas the Hornady puts station 4 right under your nose.
5) To change calibers, all you need with the Hornady is a shellplate. With the Dillons, you need a conversion kit for a LOT more money.
6) With the Hornady, you can get 500 free bullets, plus 100 bullets for each die set you buy.

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Old 01-02-2011, 09:45 PM   #5
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i recomend the dillon but get the 650 auto indexing is really nice. i like the ease of setup with the 650 especially caliber conversions. ive got a rcbs single tage rock chucker and the xl650 from dillon. been using the dillon for over a decade now. if i had to buy again i would get the 650 again. dillon tech support is pretty good they are available weekends as well as weekdays. i got nothing but good to say about them.

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Old 01-02-2011, 09:48 PM   #6
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well if you have to take your hand off the press to put in another piece of brass that will pretty much tell you if you haven't indexed the shell plate. Might not be as fast as auto indexing but that wasn't the issue. If you do have a case feeder for your 550 I garuantee you won't double charge because you can't operate the press with two pieces of brass at station one. You can't use the case feeder with rifle on a 550 but it isn't difficult to get it out of the way if you need to. Or the other option is buy the 650 if you want a case feeder for rifle and pistol it has 5 stations and auto indexes. With either of my dillons I have never had a case that didn't get charged. I know some guys that like the hornady powder measure better and use them on their dillons. I have never had a failure with either of my dillon powder measures so for me it isn't even a problem. Both companies have good customer service. I lost a sizing die once during a move and called dillon to order a new one and they sent me the new one free of charge even though I told them I lost it. Now that's a no BS warranty policy! as far as dillons caliber conversion kit goes it's a shell plate and a powder funnel. I understand why some people don't like dillons and that is fine with me. We can't all like the same things but it never fails when this topic comes up all the guys that use something different have to bash everyone elses equipment. If you have to trash all the other manufactures equipment to make your choice look better maybe your choice isn't all that good. I have equipment from Dillon, RCBS, Redding, MTM and Lyman and it's all good stuff I imagine the Hornady is too.

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Old 01-02-2011, 10:07 PM   #7
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Had my Hornady L-N-L for about 9 months now and have loaded around 15,000 rds of 9mm, 45Auto, and .223.
Haven't had any trouble with the press itself.
You cant really compare it with the 550 even though it is in the same price range. 5 station with Auto index that is really smooth moving since it indexes half a station on the upstroke and the other half on the downstroke of the handle.
Doesn't spill as much powder from full cases as other auto indexing presses can.
The powder dispenser is extremely accurate and changing calibers quickly doesn't require buying another toolhead. Just change the dies and shellplate, and adjust the powder measure. 5 minutes, maybe 10 if you are also going from small primer to large or vice versa.

Hornady's customer service has been outstanding in the very little that I've needed it. i picked up the wrong shell plate after misunderstanding which plate I needed for the 45 Auto. They updated and added a shellholder #45 that was supposed to be smoother ejecting when they started the new EZ Eject setup.
I didn't know that when I picked up the old #1 instead. Sent them an e-mail saying that I screwed up and bought the wrong plate by accident and the ejection was hanging up with the #1, was there anything i could do(exchange, etc?)
They said don't worry about it and then sent me the right plate free of charge and told me to keep the other one I had bought in case i ever needed it for another caliber.

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Old 01-02-2011, 10:07 PM   #8
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I realize that there seems to be quite a temptation among some reloaders to bash the manufacturers of products that they are not using. That's really not what I'm interested in here. I appreciate the input from those of you who have used more than one of these machines and, in the case of those where there is only experience with one of the brands, I appreciate the details you are providing regarding why you made your decisions the way you have. Doing my best to soak it all up like a sponge. Thanks.

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Old 01-02-2011, 10:18 PM   #9
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one other thing. typically the stock shell plate spring on the dillons will make the indexing snappy. i trimmed my spring a bit at a time till it indexes without snapping from one station to the next. this pretty much eliminated powder popping from the case on near compressed loads.

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Old 01-02-2011, 10:21 PM   #10
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OK, so help me to understand because I'm getting confused... The Dillon 550 is a 4 stage manually indexed press and the Hornady is a 5 stage automatically indexed press. If, as I'm gathering from input on this and other forums, the customer service of each of them is not only comparable but very good to boot so the brands are pretty much moot, I guess the question is, is there an advantage to one of these setups over the other?

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