Hornady LNL or Dillon 550B?


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HKGuns
February 23, 2005, 11:05 PM
I was all set to order a Dillon 550B. Now, after reading the thread below and other information on the Internet I have having second thoughts about it.

Now I can't make up my mind between the Hornady LNL and the Dillon 550B? I feel like a woman who can't make up her mind! (No offense to any women on here)

I will be using it for .45 ACP first and foremost, but would also like to use it for other calibers eventually. I read the thread below and it appears he Hornady is pretty good competition for the Dillon if not superior in some ways.

The auto-indexing isn't a big deal, but its there as Hornady already has a case feeder.

The Dillon press forces you to buy different powder measures for different stuff which I don't know if I like....

The Hornady "may" have primer feeding problems......Maybe its fixed.

The Hornady has a solid platform for Dies.......

Cost is nearly identical.........

Help me flip a coin.......Is there something I'm not seeing that pushes one over the edge?

Please, no bashing either product unecessarily. Just factual discussion to help me be happy with my decision. I've read great things about both and some not so good things about both.

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RugerOldArmy
February 24, 2005, 12:11 AM
Get the Dillon. There is a reason they are so popular (like 90+% of IDPA/IPSC shooters), and their warranty/support is great.

Cortland
February 24, 2005, 12:23 AM
You're on the right track. You're asking questions. There was a time when Dillon was the first and often thoughtless choice. ANYHOO, get a Hornady.

I know plenty of IPSC and IDPA and Cowboy Action and bowling pin shooters. Those who do well are successful because of their skill, firearms, and dedication. The color of their press doesn't seem to make much of a difference in their scores (go figure). So let's address the specific attributes of the presses in question and leave the celebrity endorsements for tennis shoes and soft drinks. ANYHOO...


I will be using it for .45 ACP first and foremost, but would also like to use it for other calibers eventually. I read the thread below and it appears he Hornady is pretty good competition for the Dillon if not superior in some ways.
The Hornady blows the Dillon out of the water with respect to caliber conversions. The Dillon 550B is so just plain slower to convert from one caliber to another than the Hornady LnL AP (I have owned and used both). The Dillon is also designed around forcing you to buy as much extra crap as possible (like a different powder measure for every toolhead). The Hornady gives you precise, repeatable powder measure settings without the need for 1) separate powder measures, or 2) dialing in a new load every time you change calibers which involves a tedious guess-and-check process with the Dillon.

The current Hornady LnL APs (those with serial numbers >7000, made after Feb. 03) do not have primer problems. I have experienced fewer primer problems with my post 7000 LnL AP than I did with my 550B (fewer moving parts!).

Cost is nearly identical.........
Not when you consider that the LnL AP's features put it closer to the 650 than the 550.

If you haven't done so already, read the link in my sig "Don't Drink the Blue Kool-Aid."

Get the Hornady. Grafs is selling them for $300 right now ($270 with dealer discount!!)

MaterDei
February 24, 2005, 12:33 AM
Hornady, Dillon and RCBS. Can't go wrong with any of them. Buy based on what your favorite color is, I say. :)

jem375
February 24, 2005, 12:33 AM
Dillon of course, they sell more than all the others combined.........

1911user
February 24, 2005, 01:44 AM
Read the setup/instruction books for both. They are available on the respective websites. The Dillon 550 (after 15-20 years) finally has some serious competition from the Hornady progressive. Look at the differences in powder measurement changes and changing from large-to-small or small-to-large primers during a caliber change. I have a 550 setup but could probably be happy with either one purchased new at this time. For all of the screaming and confusion, the dillon powder measure isn't hard to use or reset to another caliber. I also own the older version of the Hornady powder measure that is used on the hornady press. Mine came with micrometer adjustments for powder dispensing, now you get to buy them for $25 each, but you'd only need one for rifle and one for pistol otherwise you'll be adjusting the powder measure the same way as a Dillon measure with an unmarked bolt. Or you could buy extra measure inserts for the powder measure and keep one per caliber (an option for dillon also). Of course the adjustment bolt can be marked and notes made, but that isn't in either factory instructions.

If I'd bought the hornady press several years ago, I'm not sure they would have upgraded my press to the improved priming system (Dillon would/has over the years) and I know Hornady will make you buy a $70 sub-plate so you can use the case feeder (with presses over 2-3 years old) that the newer presses don't require. Of course, if you are buying a new hornady press that doesn't matter.

I almost did buy a Hornady progressive in 1999 (when I found my dillon press used and Dillon refurbished it for free). I'm kind of glad I did not buy the Hornady in 1999; the prices were similar, like today. Being an early adopter would have been more expensive. The question you should think about, is Hornady going to find and correct some problem a year or 2 from now and charge you for the upgrade/fix if you want it? I doubt that'll be an issue, but 5 years ago it would have been a really good question to think about. I'll just keep rolling blue dice and supporting Mike Dillon's machine gun habit. :D

jamz
February 24, 2005, 06:26 AM
Tough call. I struggled with the same decision a few weeks ago, but I could only find lock n loads for $400, which as a lot more than the Dillon, so I ended up with the Dillon. It would be ideal if you could try out both, if there are people in your area willing to let you give it a shot. I imagine that any dissatisfaction with one vs. the other would be pretty trivial.

I just started with this reloading thing myself, and it takes me maybe 20 minutes to do a caliber change. I'm really curious about the LNL myself now, and would love to try one out. One thing about getting a Dilllon first is you can always return it/ebay it and not lose money.

-James

phungus
February 24, 2005, 11:39 AM
Midway, as far as I know, has had the L-N-L's for $300 for several weeks now. They were only $330 or so without the discount.

Dr.Who
February 24, 2005, 11:43 AM
Dillion, Their warranty is like Craftsman Tools, for life... no questions asked. Plus the factory support and communication with you is first rate. The Blue Press catalog keeps you informed of their products.

I load 45ACP, 38 spl, 357 on mine. The biggest delay that I run into is the swapping from the small to the large primer slide. Powder messure and bar are no problem. 10-15 minutes to swap. Keep in mind that I do not swap too often. I run a 1,000 rounds plus between swaps. I set down and load that amount in about a couple of hours. That will last me for a month. My most used dies are 45ACP, for my IDPA guns. Those are ususally in the machine the most. When the factory price of 9mm goes up, that will be my next caliber to reload.

To be honest, I have not seen the current Horniday or RCBS. But when I looked 8 years ago, the best progressive on the market was Dillion. I see not reason to change. It flat out gets the job done.

What is neat, is that I can go load a quick 100 in less than 15 minutes. It sure the hell beats the single stage Lee I learned on.

1911user
February 24, 2005, 01:28 PM
With the size/weight of the presses, shipping can be a noticable expense. I don't know about hornady and who has best pricing/shipping for it.

For Dillon, I'd say Brian Enos (www.brianenos.com) has one of the better deals with no shipping charge if the dillon order is over $400 and his customer service and knowledge is excellent. The only cheaper Dillon dealer I've heard of on the internet is Rush USA and I haven't heard any good comments about them; not worth the risk IMO. You could try to buy from ebay, but it is a risk and often Dillon equipment goes for new/near-new pricing even if obviously worn or missing a part or 2; kind of nuts, but it's good if you are selling Dillon equipment on ebay. I have gotten some good dillon/reloading deals from ebay, but you have to be very patient and knowledgable.

Another factor to look at is the reloading dies themselves. Dillon dies are different in that they are designed for dillon progressives and don't come with the exander die. The expander function is handled by the caliber specific powder funnel mated with a generic powder die which has the powder measure attached to it. Anyway the dillon dies are different in that you can remove the seating and crimping die inserts for cleaning without losing their setting; this is handy if you load mostly lead bullets and have to clean out the lube buildup on occassion. They aren't cheap at $50 a set, but do have certain advantages for high volume progressive users. I use them for 45 and Lee dies for 38/357 and 9mm. The cleanout feature is unique but lots of companies make good reloading dies. You'll want a seperate crimp die and seating die for pistol ammo no matter which brand.

SLCDave
February 24, 2005, 02:15 PM
I looked at Graf's, but their site said the items in red weren't available for any discounts, and were $310. I think I'm getting one myself as soon as the tax man gives back what they took from me.

jamz
February 24, 2005, 03:50 PM
I think that if Hornady provided the same lifetime no BS warantee as Dillon, they'd take over the market.

-James

LHB1
February 24, 2005, 03:58 PM
Hornady does provide a lifetime warranty on their reloading presses. I have had excellent support for my two presses. AFAIK they solved the primer feeding problem 8-9 years ago. I haven't had any feed problems since then.

Good shooting and be safe.
LB

phungus
February 24, 2005, 04:40 PM
I haven't dealt with Horndady, yet, but I do know that Lee offers great service. People make a big thing about Dillon's no BS service, but I think the other manufacturers realize that they have to compete with that. If they've sold you something that is broken or defective, they're gonna replace it.

I don't know if the same holds true for RCBS, as I haven't had to call them yet (though my stuff is all RCBS).

HKGuns
February 24, 2005, 09:23 PM
Thanks everyone for your input. I read the manauls for both as suggested by 1911user. After reading, it really sounds like the Hornady is the better press for the price. Dillon certainly is a nice press, and I'm certain is worthy of everyone's recommendation.

I also called the Hornady Sales line and asked some questions. Hold time was short and I talked with a nice young girl, who directed me to the technical guys when she couldn't answer my questions. Hold time again was short and the gentlemen I talked to was able to answer my questions openly and honestly.

FWIW, I've decided to order a Hornady LNL AP from Midway USA. I certainly hope I don't regret the decision not to go with Dillon.

Thanks again for all of your input.

Cortland
February 24, 2005, 09:36 PM
Great decision. Although MidwayUSA is out of stock. The total price may end up being cheaper with Grafs after shipping. Also be careful ordering Hornady parts from MidwayUSA, as some of the parts are specific to post- or pre-7000 SN presses. A few months ago I ordered a few spare cartridge ejectors for my post-7000 LnL -- it turns out the spares that Midway was selling were for pre-7000 LnLs. Hornady made it right by sending me the correct post-7000 part for free, and they seemed to indicate that they'd rather Midway stop selling spare parts. Anyway, the point is you're better off ordering spare parts directly from Hornady.

HKGuns
February 24, 2005, 10:18 PM
I've never dealt with Grafs before, but will check them out because you're right about Midway being out of stock.

Thanks for the heads up on the parts from Midway.

RugerOldArmy
February 24, 2005, 11:13 PM
I know plenty of IPSC and IDPA and Cowboy Action and bowling pin shooters. Those who do well are successful because of their skill, firearms, and dedication. The color of their press doesn't seem to make much of a difference in their scores (go figure). So let's address the specific attributes of the presses in question and leave the celebrity endorsements for tennis shoes and soft drinks. ANYHOO...

I didn't know shooting IPSC made me, or anyone a celebrity. No success factor was implied, but those who reload, can better afford to shoot. And the fact exists, over 90% of those who compete, use Dillons. (I believe the press number is higher...)

The Hornady blows the Dillon out of the water with respect to caliber conversions. The Dillon 550B is so just plain slower to convert from one caliber to another than the Hornady LnL AP (I have owned and used both). The Dillon is also designed around forcing you to buy as much extra crap as possible (like a different powder measure for every toolhead). The Hornady gives you precise, repeatable powder measure settings without the need for 1) separate powder measures, or 2) dialing in a new load every time you change calibers which involves a tedious guess-and-check process with the Dillon.


Changing a toolhead and a shellplate is a breeze. If you don't get one, it'll take you 10-15 minutes to change. Sounds a little biased Cortland.

But hey, I think both presses would work. I'm quite happy with Dillon, and it is all I'd consider if I have to do it again. I'm sure others are happy with other brands. Some will forever stick with single-stage.

Regardless, the fact remains, Dillon outsells all the others COMBINED. Might be something to that.

Cortland
February 24, 2005, 11:26 PM
Changing a toolhead and a shellplate is a breeze.
Hey, I've owned a 550B, you don't have to tell me that. The part you left out is re-setting the powder measure. It's a pain. Dillon wants to sell you a $55 powder measure for every toolhead. End of story.

Regardless, the fact remains, Dillon outsells all the others COMBINED. Might be something to that.
Well heck, Ruger sells more guns in America than anybody else. Do they make good guns? You better believe it. Do they make the best guns? Not really. Is there something to that? Not that I can see.

RugerOldArmy
February 24, 2005, 11:39 PM
Come now, changing the powder charge takes 3 min max to throw sets of redundant charges and weigh them. The only point that baited me to reply was your original argument on the time to change. You had it with a quick change kit, and without. It's not objective if you portray it worst case with the worst options. I'm just getting set up for .308 Win. It should take me 60 seconds or less to swap tool heads (that have powder measures, left preset) to or from .45 ACP(pistol) to .308 Win (rifle). The shellplate etc. is the same, primer tube is the same. But that is best case. Worst case, once you're used to it is 10 min.

In the hornady's defense, it is my understanding that the powder measure remembers settings. This would be nice, but you'd still have to weigh them.

No harm, no foul. Pick a color. Any color, regardless, you can afford to use better ammo, and loads suited to your gun if you do.

I don't know if I buy that reloading is cheaper, because you'll just shoot a lot more :)

Mike Kerr
February 27, 2005, 03:36 PM
I really like my Dillon 550's. I mean I really like them. I still have Lee Loadmaster's (2) and have had Lee Pro 1000's, Lee Turrets etc. I'll admit I am a little bit of a reloading equipment addict. If I haven't tried it I'm somewhat frustrated until I do. Did I mention I really like My 550's ? I've been fortunate to recoup the majority of my equipment cost in Lee presses and accessories; and my extra Dillon equipment cost has recovered almost 100% (It is amazing how excited people get on E BAY.)

That being said, I am giving serious thought to trying a Hornady LNL. One reason this forum is cool is you get comments from other reloading enthusiasts who have different experiences on the learning curve - maybe not better experiences - but different. I have read enough comments in enough forums over the last few years to believe Hornady has worked out many of their initial issues with the LNL and I'm about ready to try one to find out. Do I need one? No. Would it be fun to try one? Yup. Why? Well Why Not? .

Dillon has great equipment, great customer service and one heck of a track record. Lee gets the low cost end of the progressive press business but they don't really compete with Dillon in most competition shooting circles. Then here comes Hornady with their newest progressive, the LNL, and after a few years of working out the bugs they have a viable press. So a little competition might be good for everyone and reloading is too much fun to let one source have all the accolades, no matter how well deserved.

Regards,

:) :) :)

45Badger
February 27, 2005, 04:07 PM
Can't comment about the Hornady, but my Dillon 550 gets a clear. "Hell yes!"

Love it. :D

oct_97
June 11, 2005, 01:01 PM
In recent dealings with Hornady as a dissatisfied customer who has just plunked down a lot of money for one of their LnL APís I found them to be rude and offensive.
Here is the link to a survey conducted by handloads.com. asking viewers to rate companies on their customer service, participating allows you to see the results. Note the large differences in the ratings between Dillon and Hornady.
There are two sides to every story, but, the bottom line is that I was an unhappy customer and they did absolutley nothing to try and address my concerns. I did not even set the press up but sold it at a considerable loss just to make it go away.

www.handloads.com/misc/companyrate.asp

Cortland
June 11, 2005, 01:08 PM
Just as a matter of curiosity, what was the problem where in you didn't even set the press up?

CB900F
June 12, 2005, 08:51 PM
Fella's;

This thread got me to thinkin'. Now that I'm reloading .223 on my 550B, I really should buy another 550B. One for small primers & one for large.

Just keep one set for the .223 & 9mm & the other for all the rest. I could buy somethin' else, but why bother? I'm all set up with Dillon now & I'm happy as a clam with it.

I ordered the first one direct from Dillon several years ago. What's the advantage to ordering another one from Brian Enos?

900F

1911user
June 12, 2005, 09:15 PM
It would help support Brians website and forum; a nice place IMO. It would not cost any extra over Dillon direct. If you added a few items and put the total over $400, shipping is free; that could be some savings.

taliv
June 12, 2005, 09:37 PM
when i bought mine (1050), brian was pretty much the only guy offering a discount (a whopping 5%) off list price.

i bugged the crap out of the tech guys at dillon asking questions before i bought the press. then i asked them if they had a discount, and if they prefered that i buy direct or from one of their dealers. they said they didn't care and pointed me to brian for the discount.

brian's an excellent guy. great source of info.

HKGuns
June 12, 2005, 10:57 PM
Since someone dug this thread up I may as well post a follow-up.

I have been loading with my Hornady for a while now and am completely satisfied. Great press at a decent cost. Caliber changes take zero time to complete.

Oh, and I've found the Hornady customer service to be extremely helpful and nice.

TooTaxed
June 21, 2005, 12:34 AM
I faced the same problem....and fortunately located friendly reloaders who would let me test out their machines (plus Lee progressives).

The Hornady won hands down. Dillon has been at the top of the heap for about a generation...but they really need to re-engineer their powder measure and shell plate system into a modern design. It was such a hassle to change powder measure settings when changing calibers that my buddy bought two additional measures...at $60 or so each! And, the expense of changing shell plates at $38 each, plus the rather complex procedure of changing them...and removing a case from an intermediate station...are handicaps. I found the Dillon to be a bit dirty...stray decapped primers. There's no doubt that the Dillon is a good machine...but the design is a bit "long in the tooth".

The Hornady uses a modern rotary powder measure very quick to change settings, and it's easy to remove cases from intermediate stations. It's also far less expensive to change calibers. And, as noted above, the Hornady sells for $300 at Midway, far less than you can get a Dillon (though I see many used Dillons on EBAY auctions...but no Hornadys as yet).

The 2 Lee progressives aren't bad...especially the 5-station Loadmaster, which has some rather innovative features, including a fully enclosed reservoir for de-capped primers and ease in removing cases from intermediate stations.. Some of the operating parts are made of nylon or some similar durable material...I'm not sure how well they hold up over the long run...though my buddy hadn't had to replace any of his yet, after about three years of reloading. Replacement parts are dirt cheap...$2 to $3. The Lees are the least expensive to change calibers by far.

Midway has attractive pricing for the Hornady and Lee machines.

Bronson7
June 21, 2005, 09:44 AM
TooTaxed, I see most your points but one. Removing the case from an intermediate station is a simple matter of removing a brass button on the 550.
I agree, the powder measure on the 550 can involve a lot of trial and error to set up for a different powder throw and the screw lash of the powder bar only compounds it. All in all, I'm very pleased with my Dillon. The Hornady is a fine press also and I don't feel anyone would go wrong either way. The Hornady's ease/expense of caliber changes certainly has it over the Dillon.
OBTW, The Dillon 550 is on par with the Hornady price wise.
Bronson7

oct_97
June 21, 2005, 10:17 AM
Cortland, sorry to take so long to answer your question, Iíve been away. I asked the Hornady Company a question (Twice via telephone and one email) that led to my buying the LnL. During assembly I realized I had been mistakenly misinformed. When I emailed Steve Hornady about it he responded with a rude, defensive, email. I thought an apology was in order, not the type of response I received, so I decided to just make it go away.

John

1911user
June 21, 2005, 01:26 PM
How hard is it to adjust/set the powder activation when changing calibers? I'm not talking about the amount of powder dumped (already have a hornady measure), just case-activating the measure. What about preset powder activation dies for each caliber, practically required or not? Is the shellplate really the only part required for a practical caliber conversion? I'm aware of the 3-4 die bushings per caliber. People typically buy a toolhead and powder die for each caliber change on Dillon equipment in addition to shellplate/buttons/funnel. What would a typical Hornady change entail.

I'm reading this is superior to a Dillon 550 (my current recommendation to other people), I'd like some real details of what is involved with a caliber conversion. What about primer size changes?

Guy B. Meredith
June 21, 2005, 02:00 PM
1911user,

If I read your post correctly you are asking about the LNL.

I started to reply then realized I don't know what I'm talking about--I just reload revolver rounds and had forgotten about rifle, etc.

Looking back at the manual, there are three powder drop sleeves that come with the press. One is for all pistol, one for large bore rifle and one for small bore rifle. The powder measure adaptor that fits in to the LNL bushing in the press is adjusted for case length and the powder measure sits on top.

Changing from small to large primers requires changing out the primer slid--which requires removing one spring and perhaps loosening one knurled screw--and replacing the primer punch. The primer punch change is not something I would do on a daily basis as it is under the shell plate where my fingers don't fit really well and I am just too sure to cross thread.

So for the most radical change the procedure is to swop out powder drop sleeves (no hassle), adjust adaptor height, remove primer slide spring and replace with other slide, reattach spring, unscrew punch assy from bottom, screw in other size punch, do the quarter turn trick with the 4 dies that need to be replaced for caliber change.

I am lazy and have purchased a second adaptor assembly so that one is adjusted for .38 spl case length and the other for .357 mag case length and have a set of dies for each. I had been experimenting with RCBS and Hornady dies so I had an extra set. For conversion I change out the adaptors and dies in about 30 seconds. Going to a larger primer would require another two or three minutes.

Master Blaster
June 21, 2005, 03:39 PM
You know I keep getting tempted to add a LNL to my press collection. Midway has specials on these that make them look quite good. I've seen one in person and it looks like a real durrable robust piece of equipment.

Then I read all the reviews at Midway USA. Even the ones that loved the press all start out talking about the powder dumping into the primer seating area, and how it jams it up, but that is easily avoided. Or the rounds with no primers they loaded, but that only happens with the large primer punch. Then they talk about the ejector spring and how they broke one and how it launched rounds across the room. then they talk about how the indexing screws needed locktite and then they got the indexing working. I have put about 30,000 rounds through my Dillon in the 5 years I have been using it. I have never had it dump powder into the primer feed, I have never even had it break a single part.

HMMMMM

Canuck-IL
June 21, 2005, 04:37 PM
New L'n'L owner, ex Lee turret user, longtime Dillon shopper. Just on the points referenced in the post above by MasterBlaster...

spring case retainer - yep, on my 4th in 1200 rounds BUT, I popped the cases in and out dozens of times getting the two powder drops and the seater setup and then adding a Lee FCD in the 5th position...if I had just rotated the plate around instead of being quite so impatient, I'd still be on the original...also, had I begun with the pistol powder drop rather than the standard it would have been simpler/quicker ... I've also used 4 different powders which required a lot of case in and out while I adjusted to get my settings recorded

ejection spring will not "launch" anything - I eventually rotated it out of the way in order to use the FCD but it works as one would expect - no drama, it's just acts as a gate to shepherd the rounds out to the collector bin ... no idea how one could break one while in use...?

primer feed does NOT like stray powder - no reason to get any in there tho and if it's an issue, keep an air can (computer accessory) nearby

haven't adjusted the pawls at all - came timed perfectly in the box from Midway - looks easy enough tho if they ever require adjustment - expect that to be a LONG time and many rounds in the future

no Loctite needed anywhere

few general points...powder drop is GREAT...I only load pistol at the moment and got the micrometer meter, same with the seater...now with the micrometer readings, resets after experimenting or caliber change is quick and painless (well one pain...those little etched numbers are not in a contrasting color so they're a challenge to read)...very smooth plate rotation with half motion on the upstroke and half on the down, even pretty full cases won't jostle any out

built like a tank, more modern design than the Dillon which I used and researched extensively, bushing system rather than screwing in the dies is just plain sensible, everyone should be doing it...cheaper to convert calibers, well-built, more modern press design, less expensive initially, New Dimension titanium carbide dies (marketing crap!) are reasonablly priced ($29 for 45acp from Midway) and work very well ....so... only downside I can see is that resale will not be as good as a Dillon but, I didn't buy it to sell it.....

assembly manual just plain bites!! Thanks god, if you look at the exploded picture a moment, you discover that it's over 80% assembled and ADJUSTED in the box ... really just need to stick components together

here's a reference/review that's got a few pics
http://www.shootingtimes.com/ammunition/lock_1105/

plus everything that Cortland has posted in the article "Don't drink the Blue Kool-Aid" is correct - thanks for the guidance!

/Bryan

Guy B. Meredith
June 21, 2005, 05:10 PM
I haven't read through the comments at Midway's site, but some sound very dated. If so, Midway should clean up the site to carry comments relevent to the current version. I have one of the first presses and have gone through the development and upgrades.

Absolutely true it is necessary to keep powder out of the priming area--says so in the manual. Dirt or powder gets under the primer punch, prevents seating at bottom, punch blocks slide movement. With reloading cleanliness prevents too soon being close to Godliness.

No primer was an issue with the old primer system and also what happens when the powder gets under the punch, etc. as in the paragraph above. Bad news as that case travels around spreading powder through the open primer hole. The new priming system is slick and a joy to use.

The locktite might have been necessary on the original indexing screws, but they changed to nylon screws quite a while back. I was unaware of the upgrade and when Hornady learned I had the old 'knuckle' that carries the screws they told me about the upgrade and sent one in the mail shortly threreafter. I have loaded over 20,000 rounds and have no need to adjust.

There are a few nice things that make changing things out easier on the newer powder measure that I would like to have, but I'll put off until this one wears out.

No machine is without a history as can be seen be the threads on THR asking for help in fixing/adjusting Dillon, Hornady, Lee, RCBS and other units.

1911user
June 21, 2005, 10:26 PM
Mr Meridith, you did answer my questions. thank you. I'm not ready to give up my 550, but the Hornady seems like it'd do the job. I don't like the coil spring around the base of the cartridges, though. I'd rather have the different sized buttons, they don't break.

happy old sailor
June 21, 2005, 10:45 PM
i have two friends that have Dillons. one w/550, one w/650. i used them both before making the decision to purchase my LnL. an article, side by side comparison of LnL and 650, convinced me, as the author said "save your money, get the LnL". i should have bookmarked it, but did not. sorry. the LnL runs as slick as the 650 i used.

as for the Hornady guarantee, i have used it. not on the LnL, but on their Projector model, which i got at a pawn shop. it was not much more than a frame, but was C-H-E-A-P as it was so far from complete. i'm thinking "good way to check out a gurantee". so, i called them. "send it in". i did and a few days later they telephoned me with results of their endeavors. they replaced many parts under warranty and a couple of small ones i had to pay for. it was well worth the money. for far less than $50, less shipping by UPS, i have another fine machine. the Projector does not have the quick change die feature. i hate adjusting dies, so have it dedicated to 357. i load all others on the LnL.

anyway, thats my experience with Hornady's warranty work and their ease of use. would i buy another LnL - yes, but i have really wanted a 550 for years. i definitely dont need a 550 and dont know what i will use it for, it is just a matter of want. oh, the ppl at Hornady were very nice, helpful, etc.

the 550 will load as many rounds per hour as a normal human could want, but cannot keep up with either an LnL or a 650, especially with a case feeder, which is not a 550 option. so what!!!, i still want one.

check Cabelas for a deal on the LnL with a case feeder kit included. advice - leave the case feeder alone until you get the press running smoothly.

i understand the dilema of choosing. i went around over my choice. as someone advised, you cant go wrong. disposable income may come into play.

oct_97
June 22, 2005, 10:14 AM
Dillon has developed a case feeder for the 550.

RugerGuy
July 17, 2005, 06:20 PM
Dillon has developed a case feeder but I heard it won't be available until December. At $200 I don't think I'll be buying one.

1911user
July 17, 2005, 10:09 PM
$200-250 is the common price estimate for the dillon 550 case feeder. The Hornady case feeder is $200+ when you buy at least one feeder plate (doesn't come with any).

trickyasafox
July 18, 2005, 12:12 AM
i wanted a LNL like it was nobody's business, but it just wasnt an option for me economically, nor could i go blue. so i ordered a pro1000. im not expecting it to compete with either of the above presses, but untill i can afford better i think it will get by ok.

that being said i do think the LNL has a better design. i really really really am a fan of those quick die changers they have. that to me just seems like it would be the cat's meow. then again, everyone blue cant be wrong. . .

1911user
July 18, 2005, 12:15 AM
The cost of 3-4 of the hornady quick change die inserts is about the same as a 550 toolhead which also allows quick caliber changes without having to re-adjust dies.

oct_97
July 18, 2005, 01:01 PM
I went back to Dillon after selling my Hornady due to a horrible experience with their Customer Service. Never even set it up and sold it at a substantial loss. As always, there are two sides to every story, I'm sure their's differs from mine, BUT, I was the customer that had just purchased their top of the line model and was treated terribly. Why else would someone take such a loss just to make something go away?

TooTaxed
August 13, 2005, 07:25 PM
I've used Dillon 550Bs, Hornaday L&Ls, and Lee Loadmasters. Hornaday currently is 1st (but very close, considering cost), and Dillon comes last. Dillon makes a fine machine and has been at the top of the heap for a generation...but they've let the competition surpass them...especially considering cost! They really need to modernize their design... :eek:

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