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Old 02-19-2012, 01:00 AM   #1
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Default Think it's time...

Buying too much commercial ammo

Buying from a local commercial reloader has not been as good as I would like, he's gotten too damn popular, and it's been difficult getting my ammo lately.

Everybody I have talked to has said they have either bought or wish they had bought a Dillon. Money is a touch tight, and will start off with two pistol sizes, maybe moving to three later.

Brian Enos kit at $1,200 is more than I want to spend right now. What is the absolute minimum Dillon and accessories to get started? Or should I be looking at a lesser single stage and fall into "I shoulda" camp?

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Old 02-19-2012, 02:46 PM   #2
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To somebody asking the questions you asked, I usually recommend a single stage kit from one of the major mfr's because there is a learning curve in reloading that should be understood mostly for safety reasons. A single stage kit also comes with bare necessities like a loading manual, scale, loading blocks, and lots of other little things to help you get started.
That being said, there are people who have successfully started with a progressive and never looked back. Dillon has a catalog request line 800-762-3844. The catalog of their products will have you drooling in more ways than one. The Dillon press you buy will come with one set of dies for whatever caliber you select, ready to load with. You have to set your powder throw, and your seating depths for the dies and you are ready to go. They assume you know how to load. If you read the manual, pay attention, double check your actions, and KEEP A LOG, it is possible to turn out good ammo from the start. It is also possible to turn out 500 mistakes per hour.
To answer your question on minimum setup, Dillons SDB is right at $400.00 if you get the instruction Video (Highly Recommended). $380.00 without the Video.

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Old 02-19-2012, 03:47 PM   #3
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First, buy a Lyman Reloading Manual. (All of the reloading manuals are very good, but in my experience, the Lyman is better for the beginning reloader.


Read it
.

Get a QUALITY single stage press. ($150-$300)

Learn to reload. (Don't worry about your single stage equipment, you'll still use it after converting to progressives.)

When you're ready, buy a quality progressive machine.

You'll notice I keep stressing QUALITY!

Nothing will ruin your desire to become a top notch reloader faster that constantly fighting and readjusting an "economy" reloader.

JMHO!

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:05 PM   #4
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Local commercial reloader has a 650 he wants to sell it for $425. He'll help set up the new dies I purchase and teach me how to use it. He wants to replace it with another 1050.

What say the experts?

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Old 02-21-2012, 01:44 AM   #5
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I been shootin since 1966 and reloadin since 1969 and I still don't consider myself an expert, but I've only had a computer a year or so....and this is only an opinion, Right?
Personally, I would not say that is a good deal. First of all, I get the impression he's not giving you any dies, but helping put in the new ones you buy. If that is the case, you will be real close to the cost of a NEW 650 (Which comes with a die set in the caliber of your choice already installed) by the time you get it set up. Secondly, it's been well used by a commercial reloader and odds are you will spend a lot of time waiting for one new part or another. Third, goes along with number two, your original post gives the impression you don't have much reloading experience yet, you really need a factory fresh machine so you can concentrate on learning reloading rather than fixing the press.
If you got your heart set on a 650, spend the extra hundred bucks and get a new one. The recommendation to start off with a single stage press is still valid. Good Luck.

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Old 02-21-2012, 01:59 AM   #6
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I personally think the progressive is much safer for the beginner. Start out by loading one round at a time. The press does everything for you. With a single stage you have to handle each round several times. Far more chances for you to screw something up. Just learn the feel of the press before you start cranking out large volumes. However that being said it's still handy to have a single stage around for the odd decapping jobs and making wildcats.

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Old 02-21-2012, 01:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11B-101ABN View Post
Personally, I would not say that is a good deal. First of all, I get the impression he's not giving you any dies, but helping put in the new ones you buy. If that is the case, you will be real close to the cost of a NEW 650 (Which comes with a die set in the caliber of your choice already installed) by the time you get it set up.
Dillon web site indicates that it does not come with a die. I'm unclear if the used one is coming with a die or not, need to clear that up.

550 was my first choice, it's just this one became available. I have ZERO reloading experience, just know this commercial reloader's product is better then pure commercial ammo. I'm an engineer by degree, so being anal is not an issue for me, LOL. It's just everybody I've talked to either moved to a Dillon, or wish they had a Dillon... I'm more about buying the right product first. It's just a bit more cost then I'm prepared to chew on right now.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:03 PM   #8
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Are you wanting to load pistol or rifle ammo? Or both?
Granted the Dillon's are great reloading presses,for what I load,a Turret press works fine.I load mainly rifle cartridges,and don't trust a progressive press to be as accurate for my precission loads.
If you are mainly wanting pistol loads,the Dillon is the way to go.

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Old 02-21-2012, 02:39 PM   #9
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I have an old RL-450 (pre-550). I feel the 450/550 is more versitile than the 650. Of course that price on a 650 is pretty sweet. Stay away from the Lee progressives, they will frustrate the hell out of you.

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Old 02-21-2012, 06:04 PM   #10
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Yeah you're probably right about the die sets, I was reading through the Dillon book and missed it . It comes with one caliber CONVERSION Kit which does'nt mean dies. Dillon will send you replacement parts for whatever you break, I was trying to explain (POORLY) that a machine utilized by a commercial reloader usually has many more miles on it than a casual reloader will put on it.
If you ask 50 people their preference of single stage vs progressive, I imagine it would be pretty evenly split just like opinions, and I noticed somebody posted a recommendation for a turret press too.
If you need to work up a load for your weapon and you load up 10 rounds each of ten different powder charges, the single stage really outshines the progressive. Making changes with a progressive takes time.
I guess making comments on a Dillon 650 was'nt a good idea because I don't have one. But I do have 3 550's and 3 SDB's so I'm aware of Dillon Support. I also have a Rockchucker, and 3 Lee O-types for case prep and working up loads. This was not in one buy, but accumulated over 40 years. I can't remember whether my first was RCBS or LEE but I KNOW it was not a Dillon.

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