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Old 01-02-2011, 10:27 PM   #11
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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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Old 01-02-2011, 10:29 PM   #12
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The auto indexing is faster. The only disadvantage if any is that it may be harder, more time consuming, to recover from a problem with an auto indexing machine than a manual. However, the auto indexing machine (Dillon 650) does check the powder level to help prevent over/under charge.

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Old 01-02-2011, 10:35 PM   #13
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I've never used a 5 station press never needed anything but 4 stations I do like to crimp seperate from seating but you can do that with 4 stations I would imagine the hornady is a little faster than the 550 being that it auto indexes. although my other press auto indexes but I have a case feeder on the 550 and I can load faster with the case feeder and manually indexing. I don't load as fast as either press is capable of. Just to lazy for that much work. I'm very happy cranking out 300 rounds an hour and that is an easy pace to to do. The 550 with the case feeder will do 5 to 6 hundred rounds an hour if you want to work that fast. I imagine the hornady will do that too. What color are your walls will red or blue match them better?

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Old 01-03-2011, 12:22 AM   #14
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If I do it right and get in a good roll I can squeeze 400 to 450 rounds in an hour.

I prefer the manual index as it lets you get in there and see things and look at things.

Many times I have seen the 650 spill powder on loads that really fill the case up.

I say start with a single stage. I still load most of my rifle on the single stage.

If you just have to have a progressive then I would go with the Dillon 550. The manual index allows you to use it like a single stage.

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Old 01-03-2011, 06:15 AM   #15
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As far as I can see, I am the only person who has used three machines and I explained what I liked. I didn't read where anyone had anything bad to say about the Hornady.
I certainly wasn't bashing anyone, but I NEVER understand the "I bought an xyz and like it, so it is the best and don't even bother looking at anything else."
I taught my son to reload on the Hornady progressive and he picked it up very fast.
I can tell you that I prefer the Dillon 1050 and have three of them, but they ARE NOT for the beginner. If I can't have a 1050, I'll go back to the Hornady. If I can't use a progressive, I'll go back to a Forster Co-Ax.

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Old 01-03-2011, 02:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2inchpattern View Post
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?
The pluses

Hornady: Die change is quick simple and easy. Shel plate and dies and your done. Unless you are going from small to large or large to small priming system. The die sleeves are much much cheaper than Dillons tool heads. You can use 1 powder measure for all you loading. That sucker is CAST IRON. Because of the sleeves you can store dies in the box they came in. 5 station allows you to size, add powder, bell, powder check, seat and crimp. Or size, powder, bell, seat, then crimp.

Customer service is AWESOME.

Dillon: One of the best progressive presses out there. disconnect the powder measure arm and pull two pins and your tool head slides out quick and fast. Nice Blue Color. It can be had with a case feeder (All except the SDB) built like a tank.

Customer Service is AWESOME.

The drawbacks

Hornady: Takes a little longer to do a caliber change. Auto index can spill powder. Have to keep changing your powder settings.

Dillon: COST dillon has tons of gadgets you can add but the price tag is HIGH. You need special stands to store tool heads. Plus you need much more room to store them over the Hornady system.

Find a store that has one or both and go look at them see if you can operate them and see which one you like the best.

The Hornady, Dillon, and RCBS progressives are all quality machines that will out live you and your kids. They will all load quality ammo at a pace to feed just about any shooting habit.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:40 PM   #17
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Thanks noylj. I appreciate your approach and the info you have given me regarding each of the different machines. I also subscribe wholeheartedly to strict avoidance of the attitude that "I bought an xyz and like it, so it is the best and don't even bother looking at anything else." Your input and that of the others who have offered me their objective thoughts on the options I layed out has been very helpful as I try to navigate the hazards of this realoading thing. Per suggestions from you and others, I think my next step will be to drop by a store that carries the models in which I am interested and actually see what it's like to set them up and pull handles etc. I have to admit, at this point I am leaning toward the Hornady Lock N' Load AP as its relative cost and comparable ease of use seem to give it a slight edge over the Dillon 550. The 650, at least according to some of the replies I have received, sounds like it may be a bit more that I want to try handling as a first machine and the RCBS Pro 2000 sounds like it may be just a bit lower in the overall quality category. However, as somebody else mentioned in their reply, all of these machines are high quality machinery, each with its own slight advantages and shortcomings, so at this point basing my decision on whether I want a red, blue, or green machine in my garage is just about as good as basing it on any other criteria. Thanks.

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Old 01-03-2011, 05:56 PM   #18
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Thanks for the input. I appreciate your approach and the info you have given me regarding each of the different machines. I try to strictly avoid the attitude that "I bought an xyz and like it, so it is the best and don't even bother looking at anything else" and am grateful for the input that you all have offered me. The objective thoughts on the options I layed out have been very helpful as I try to navigate the hazards of this realoading thing. Per suggestions from a number of you, I think my next step will be to drop by a store that carries the models in which I am interested and actually see what it's like to set them up and pull handles etc. I have to admit, at this point I am leaning a bit toward the Hornady Lock N' Load AP as its relative cost and comparable ease of use seem to give it a slight edge over the Dillon 550. The 650, at least according to some of the replies I have received, sounds like it may be a bit more that I want to try handling as a first machine while the RCBS Pro 2000 sounds like it may be just a bit lower in the overall quality category. However, as somebody mentioned in their reply, all of these machines are high quality machinery, each with its own slight advantages and shortcomings, so at this point, without actually putting hands on the equipment, basing my decision on whether I want a red, blue, or green machine in my garage is just about as good as basing it on any other criteria. Thanks.

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Old 01-03-2011, 06:24 PM   #19
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Just buy dillon their no bs warranty is all that and simple easy set up!!

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Old 01-03-2011, 09:27 PM   #20
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I've had two Dillon 550Bs in the past, but my next loader will be a Hornady Lock-N-Load.

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