Dillon 550B question

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by t_humm, May 12, 2014.

  1. t_humm

    t_humm New Member

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    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
     
  2. therukh

    therukh New Member

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    Dillon Deal

    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!
     

  3. t_humm

    t_humm New Member

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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?
     
  4. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 New Member

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    I agree completly with therukh's post, I love mine.
     
  5. therukh

    therukh New Member

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    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.
     
  6. anm2_man

    anm2_man Member

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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.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. t_humm

    t_humm New Member

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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.
     
  8. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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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.
     
  9. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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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. :cool:
     
  10. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    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
     
  11. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    I started using grease way, way back and switched to the oil on the suggestion of who the hell knows. Never came close to any contamination problem since I am aware of the possibility. But, your point is well taken.
    When I am greasing the M1A or M1 I may add a dab to the 450.
    Dillon told me about the penetrating oil trick. It was one of those "why didn't I think of that" moments. I am not familiar with the 650 but it might decrease the take downs.
     
  12. JWagner

    JWagner New Member

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    Get yourself some good reloading manuals if you do not have them already. And, there are some good Youtube videos on setting up and running the 550 press. The press will come with minimal documentation, which leaves out a couple important details. Those details can be found in the videos.
     
  13. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    The reference to the manuals reminded me of the legendary reloading bible. Time to start yours. It is not handy on the computer. It is handy in a 3" D ring binder on the reloading bench. Separations by info and caliber. Start with downloading and printing the 550 manual. It's a big binder but you will fill it with your own data. Use the plastic sheet protectors and it will stay kinda kleen.
    In Dillon's manual you will see a caliber conversion chart. It lists all shell plates etc. Refer to it before you buy all of the parts. For instance: .45 ACP, .243, .308, and 30-06, all use the same shell plate and locator pin.
     
  14. t_humm

    t_humm New Member

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    25-5

    Okay thanks, never would have thought they'd use the same stuff but I guess that something I'll have to look into thanks
     
  15. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    the bases of the brass are the same. .38 & .357, .44 & .44 mag same thing.
     
  16. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

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  17. awilliams30808

    awilliams30808 New Member

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    Just my two cents....I have been loading on a 550B for about 5-6 years now...over 25,000 rounds through it and never had a single problem. This past weekend I loaded 250 9mm and 1500 .45acp. I was cleaning my unit when I noticed a crack in the "crank"...the piece that the handle attaches to...I took photos and even a short 20 second video. I called Dillon and told them what I found. Before I could even tell them that I could send them photos the CSR told me that there would be a new "Crank" in the mail on Monday! They preach a "no BS" guarantee and that's what you get! This was the first time I had ever called about a problem and I was on the phone less than 5 minutes! As far as Customer Service is concerned...Dillon is 100%. As far as the quality of the machine...Dillon is 100%.
    I agree with others here that you'll want to get multiple tool heads...one for each caliber you plan to reload and that yes the initial investment is there but the outcome is top notch! I've got tool heads set up for .223, 9mm, .45 acp and .40 S&W. Hope this helps.

    Alex
     
  18. shadecorp

    shadecorp Active Member Supporter

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    Love my Dillon.
    Some years ago I loaded a Bunch of pistol cartridges in .45acp, .45ar and .44spc.
    Never had a problem
    And I used the Lyman pistol book .
     
  19. Missouribound

    Missouribound Well-Known Member

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    How much and how often do you shoot? A progressive loader is a fine addition to any reloader but do you use enough ammo to warrant the expense? Reloading, in my opinion is a part of the shooting experience and if you buy a machine to do it, unless you need vast quantities......you are missing that experience. But if money is no object, you can buy what you want. I reload with a Lyman turret press. In a couple of hours I can reload a few hundred rounds. If I shot a few thousand rounds a week.........well.....maybe.
     
  20. t_humm

    t_humm New Member

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    I don't get to shoot as much as I want to, but when I do I shoot A LOT. Easily 100-??? depending on what I'm shooting. My m1 carbine and .45 tend to be shot the most simply because I have a lot of ammo for them currently. Now that nice weathers here I'll probably be shooting more often than before. I prefer 90 degrees and sunny to the negative teens and two feet of snow and ice

    Until the past two months or so consistent availability has been a problem around here. One problem I hope to solve for myself.