What brand of press to get

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Jhamblen, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Jhamblen

    Jhamblen New Member

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    I currently have a Lee single stage press that was given to me along with a scale. I have considered moving up in the world and getting a more efficient press. Any ideas? I have really taken a liking to the Dillion brand. Any and all input along with experiences are welcome. Thanks ahead of time.
     
  2. dustinoif3

    dustinoif3 New Member

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    I'm on the dillon wagon. My first dillon was the square deal b because I didn't think I was ever going to do rifle cartridges. The press worked great. I pumped a lot of ammo of it. The auto indexing to me initially was a sweet deal but when I'd run into something like not seating a primer because it didn't feed the thing would index it was a pain to back up the process. Another thing i didnt care for was how small it is. The distance from the toolhead to the shellplate is short. Its hard to get your fingers in there to do anything. Like change shell plate. I mean its hard to complain when its designed for pistol ammo only. The press by design doesnt have to be tall i suppose. Anyways about 8 months in I decided to load rifle (of course) and after talking with a few people I decided on the 550b. One of the first things I noticed out of the box was how big it was. Tons of room to work. The press does damn near all calibers and a lot of the shell plates and buttons interchange with other calibers. You can obtain a caliber cross reference sheet online that shows everything. Caliber swaps are fast and about the same price as the square deal b. It accepts standard dies from all manufactures opposed to having to use special dies from dillon made for the square deal b. The press is also a manual index which means you make the shell plate move when your ready. At first I thought it would slow the process but now it's second nature to move the shell plate with my left hand while grabbing brass to insert into station 1. While I'm inserting the new brass I'm getting a bullet set into station 3. After the first couple hundred rounds I feel like I'm just as fast with the 550b compared to the sdb.
    Another plus with dillon is the customer service. I've called multiple times with little problems I couldn't figure out and it doesn't matter who you talk to they are all very knowledgable and were able to help in minutes. They also offer a no bull*hit warranty no matter who owns it so if anything breaks they will replace it. Dillon also offers a le and military discount. Saved me 10% which is decent chunk on a 430 dollar press. In closing I will say that there presses last a lifetime. I constantly hear of people still cranking ammo out on a 20 year old press and if you don't plan on loading rifle ammo now you may decide to later like I did. Save yourself some money and get one that will handle everything you may or may not wanna load.
     

  3. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can never go wrong with a Dillon. It's the Rolls Royce of reloaders.
     
  4. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    I have had a Dillon 450 for 30 yrs. put in some upgrades so its close to the 550 w/o the die head. Load all my pistol cal. Rifle too except the powder. I do that on a scale. Run some 70M through it. Don't go so fast you screw up. No one is watching you race.
     
  5. cottontop

    cottontop Guest

    RCBS Rockchucker. You'll know what I mean if you get one.
    cottontop
     
  6. ryguy00

    ryguy00 New Member

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    dillon. cry once. then smile for life. i've had four friends order one after using mine for an evening. four so far... i have a 550b. all four of my friends have bought 550b's. i load 9mm, .40, .45acp, 38/357, and .223 (for the ar) all on my dillon. I still load for my bolt rifles on a single stage. On my dillon, I'm able to crank out around 100rds in about 20 minutes without rushing.
     
  7. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    If you use your 550 for sizing, depriming, seating, and taper crimping, you will save a lot of time. I prime and charge separately.
     
  8. sdiver35

    sdiver35 New Member

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    I have an RCBS turret and love it!
     
  9. Jhamblen

    Jhamblen New Member

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    Thanks everyone, so it looks like Dillion and RCBS are neck and neck for the lead. What are the main differences between the brands? Versatility and ease of use are a big factor for me. As I will be doing pistol and moving into rifle as well.
     
  10. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    Suggest you call Dillon & RCBS. I have seen RCBS but have only used the Dillon. Dillon has the removable die bar which is a plus. No resetting of dies when changing cal. I don't know if RCBS has that. Both are great companies.
     
  11. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    I bought my first Dillon 450 30 years ago. I own Lyman turrets, RCBS, and a Forester Co-AX all good presses. However none come close to a Dillion and no one is near the no BS support you get from Dillion. If you have never owned a Dillion you are missing out.:D
     
  12. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I gave my 650 gto my son, but I still have my upgraded 450.:)

    I prime and charge powder as well on mine. I've done extensive accuracy testing over the years, and I see no reason to weigh charges. They're tack drivers as they come from the powder measure.

    In addition to pistol calibers, I load 5.56, .30-30 and 7.62 on the old Dillon 450.
     
  13. techiej

    techiej New Member

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    I'm very happy with my Hornady Lnl AP.

    Service has been great and i've now loaded over 1,000 of 9 and 600+ of 30.06.

    FYI - have the bullet feeder for 9's and it really let's me move through my rounds.
     
  14. Jhamblen

    Jhamblen New Member

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    Do most dillons come up graded with all the accessories or how easy are they to upgrade?
     
  15. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Locutus so true. I shot Varmint Benchrest for many years and did OK. I never ever used a scale for my powder loads. I threw my loads from a measure. I did however weigh all my cases and primers.:)
     
  16. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    Funny you say that. Last week at the 200 yd range I met a 78 yr old Army sniper inst. shooting an M1A as I was. He drop loads. I use an RCBS powder drop as a starting point. Then the scale. I will try just the drop. With two advocates it's a must try.
     
  17. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I weigh, and prep cases. Never tried weighing primers.:confused:

    Do you see results worthy of the extra effort????
     
  18. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Case and primer weight are more important than powder weight. Even in the match grade primers seperated by weight can make a difference in match grade rifles. The case weight is very important it dictates volume and pressure difference. The cases should be seperated by weight also. The idea is to get cases grouped by volume. The flash holes must also be gauged and uniformed. Shooting tight groups over and over takes some work. :)
     
  19. Jhamblen

    Jhamblen New Member

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    Has anyone ever had issues with the lee hand priming tool/shell holder? I just got 100 pieces of new brass from Winchester. 35 of them wouldn't go into the priming tool.
     
  20. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    Make sure you have right shell holder. Also, sometimes the primers double up, one top the other, from too much tilt on the tool.