Dillon press advice


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Kevatc
January 5, 2006, 05:33 AM
Brand new member here so be kind please! :)

I have been surfing the net and reading everything I can find about what my next progressive reloading press should be. I reload 40 S&W and 5.56. From what I have read to date I think I might like the Dillon 550. I am confused though ..... is it a turret press or a true progressive ... ie, one pull one cartridge? Is the Dillon reliable especially in the primer feeding?

What all do I need to order with the press so that I could load these two calibers?

I currently use the Lee Pro 1000 but it is a piece of junk. It is totally unreliable in terms of prrimer feeding which leads to powder spills, cleaning, and profuse use of extremely descriptive language. :cuss:

I have a single stage Lee press that I use only for resizing of 5.56 cases. My Lee turret works great for 5.56. I would like a progressive press that would allow for easy transition from one caliber to the next.

I currently have a combination of RCBS and Lee dies. Will they work in a Dillon 550?

Any other important info will be very much appreciated!

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redneck2
January 5, 2006, 06:26 AM
Don't drink the Blue Kool-Aid!!! Never buy a Dillon!!!

I had to be the first of several that will scream this. :D

I have a 550 and am totally impressed. I load 10mm, 44-40, 45acp, 44 mag, .357 Herrett, and 45 LC for pistol and about a dozen rifle calibers

To answer the question, each pull gives one finished round, assuming that's what you want. When I load pistol, it's one pull for one round

When I load rifle, I run each round one at a time thru all the stages and then start with another round, basically making it a progressive

The 550 is manual index, which I prefer as it allows more flexibility

I have 5 total of the deluxe quick change assemblies. With these you get the toolhead, powder measure, powder die, and toolhead stand. To change calibers you slide in a new toolhead (complete) which takes maybe 10 seconds and swap shell plates. You also have to make any changes to primer. Pistol vs rifle or large vs small as necessary. The deluxe is $76.95.

At this pace, each additional caliber is about $125 for everything including dies. At first I REALLY hated to spend the money for these. Once you get set up, you'll kick yourself for not having it all along

You can also get the toolhead and powder dies for about $20. This allows you to swap the measure but leave the dies and powder measure in one toolhead. HTH

dmftoy1
January 5, 2006, 08:46 AM
Welcome!!

I'm loading mostly pistol ammo but recently started .223 on my 550. I have no issues. If I was starting out new I'd definately look at my options in other presses with auto-index but I can't justify the cost in Dillon equipment for that feature given the amount I load in a year. (5-10k rounds). I've had incredible luck with Dillon's support so that's why I'm a loyal customer.

Caliber changeovers:

I only load small primers in the .223/5.56mm stuff so what I do is leave the large primer setup on my 550 and use it to prime all my pistol ammo. (Primarily .50 S&W and .45 ACP). For the rifle ammo I resize/deprime in a single stage (after cleaning, lubing) and then trim/swage if necessary and then handprime using a hornady hand priming tool. When I've built up a large enough batch of primed brass then I run it through the Dillon and voila . . . :) The reason I'm doing it this way is that all of my brass is LC and so I have to remove the primer crimp and trim it (after 1 firing it's all over max length). I think my second shooting will allow me to use something like an X die and do everything in the dillon, but I've got 1000 rounds to shoot before I reach that stage. :) For changing the pistol calibers I merely swap in the configured toolhead, a shellplate, set the power charge, drop in a load of primers and I"m good to go. I'd guess it takes me 2 minutes, but I spend 15 checking/double checking everything.

Good luck!!

Have a good one,
Dave

HSMITH
January 5, 2006, 11:01 AM
I have a pair of 550B's, and load lots of calibers on them. Your dies will work just fine in a 550, and it will work great for you.

If money isn't an issue get a 650, it will nearly double the production rate of the 550 when the case feeder is used and you gain another station. If there is a budget the 550 works great.

g56
January 5, 2006, 04:59 PM
Welcome, Dillon is the way to go, I've been using a Dillon 550 for about 20 years. I load 9mm, 38, 357 mag, 45 acp, and 223 on my Dillon and it does a super job on all those calibers. The group shown below was fired on an AR15 with a bull barrel at 100 yds, the ammo was loaded on the Dillon 550, the charges were thrown on Dillon's powder measure, and Dillon dies were used. No special brass prep was done, no neck turning or uniforming, nothing fancy at all.

http://www.pbase.com/wingman26/image/43513208.jpg

MarshallDodge
January 5, 2006, 05:20 PM
I have had similar results as G56. I have been using a Dillon 550B for over 10 years to reload .38, .357, 9mm, .40, .45ACP, .45LC, and .223. I now have two, one for small primer and one for large.

I size my .223 brass on my RCBS Rockcrusher, then trim, and then polish.
After that I run it through the Dillon for priming, powder, and seating.

There was an article in Dillon's Blue Press magazine about 5 years ago that was written by a guy that claimed his .223 ammo was very accurate because the progressive is more consistent than a single stage.

The Dillon is a true progressive but is not auto-indexing. Auto-indexing is a feature that I personally don't care for.

If you get a Dillon I would recommend purchasing the setup video with it. You will get some good info from it.

redneck2
January 5, 2006, 08:37 PM
I can load pistol ammo faster than most people could accurately shoot it with my 550

Now, somebody is gonna say "it's not about being fast, it's making quality ammo

this is ammo that's +/- .1 grain and +/- .003 OAL. Ammo that will shoot .5 with my AR (yes, I've done it multiple times)

I personally like the manual index. If something needs to be checked or re-adjusted, the shell plate doesn't turn by itself. Maybe this sounds funny, but the Dillon turns out ammo so fast and so well that I can't see a big improvement with anything else. Slide in a case and bullet, pull the handle, and out pops another round. YMMV

1911user
January 5, 2006, 09:34 PM
A 550 will serve you well.

bigsarg99
January 6, 2006, 12:00 AM
Can Lee or RCBS dies be used with the RL550B? I have both but have considered replacing them with dillion dies, I recently won a 550 on EBAY.

BigJakeJ1s
January 6, 2006, 12:31 AM
I won't say "don't drink the blue koolaid," or "never buy a Dillon".

But I will say that you owe it to yourself to check out the Hornady LNL AP.

It can be used fully progressively (it auto-indexes too), or like a turret. The dies can be quickly changed, one at a time, say to pop in a cam-lock bullet puller for a round you want to check. You can slip a cartridge in or out of any station without messing with annoying little locater pins. And the powder measure is easier to set, change, and empty than the dillon's.

All of this for less than a 550. And with the casefeeder, it is less than a 650 without one.

Then drink whatever color koolaid you like best, not just the color everyone else is drinking.

Andy

Andy

MarshallDodge
January 6, 2006, 02:46 AM
Can Lee or RCBS dies be used with the RL550B? I have both but have considered replacing them with dillion dies, I recently won a 550 on EBAY.
Yes, I have used Dillon, RCBS, and Lee dies in the 550. The Dillon dies have more nice features including a bevel at the opening to align cases don't line up perfectly.

P0832177
January 6, 2006, 03:42 AM
The thing to consider about reloading dies used on all other presses, meaning is that if you already own dies you will need to buy a seperate crimp die. Like adding a Lee FCD to the mix. With the Dillon you no longer need the expander die, as that is done in combination with powder charging.

Kevatc
January 6, 2006, 04:07 AM
Thanks for all the info! But I am a little confused .... perhaps I am missing something but everyone has nice things to say about the Dillon and yet some say "don't drink the blue koolaid" or "don't buy a Dillon" and then turn around and say great things about it. Is that a joke to mean that once you go Dillon you'll wonder why you reloaded with any other press?

Also, I am confused by the auto-iindex, manual index terminology. In the Dillon 550 I manually turn the shell plate? Would that mean that I insert a case, pull the handle, turn the shell plate and ta da a completed round?

dmftoy1
January 6, 2006, 08:11 AM
Thanks for all the info! But I am a little confused .... perhaps I am missing something but everyone has nice things to say about the Dillon and yet some say "don't drink the blue koolaid" or "don't buy a Dillon" and then turn around and say great things about it. Is that a joke to mean that once you go Dillon you'll wonder why you reloaded with any other press?

Also, I am confused by the auto-iindex, manual index terminology. In the Dillon 550 I manually turn the shell plate? Would that mean that I insert a case, pull the handle, turn the shell plate and ta da a completed round?

There are a couple of members on this forum who tend to say "Don't drink the blue koolaid" anytime a dillon post is made. They have, what I consider to be, some pretty good points so you owe it to yourself to read what they've written and make up your own mind. :) I personally have chosen to go the Dillon route but I don't think you'd go wrong with the Hornady LNL route either. (especially if you find a good buy on a used one . .they typically sell used for significantly less than a dillon does used)

Auto-index - You add a bullet on station 3 (or 4?), empty case on station 1, everytime you pull the handle the shell plate advances one position placing your shell into the next station. The auto index has two advantages. You reduce your chances of a double charge, and it's faster.

Dillon - You add a bullet on station 3, an empty case on station 1, pull the handle, then advance the shellplate (manually), add a bullet, new empty case, pull the handle, repeat.

Have a good one,
Dave

HankB
January 6, 2006, 11:10 AM
I've been using my Dillon SDB for reloading pistol cartridges for over a decade. I really like the auto-indexing feature, and prefer it to the 550's manual indexing. Of course, the SDB won't do anything except pistol, whereas the 550 will do rifle as well . . . but I prefer loading the relatively small quantities of "hunting" or "match" rifle ammo I use on a single stage press. (I do burn up a lot of milsurp and bulk rifle in practice, though.)

I've had the opportunity to use both a Dillon 550 and a Dillon 650. Both are fine machines, and ought to last a long, LONG time. Since amortized over 20+ years, there's not really that much difference in cost, I'd definitely go for the 650.

In fact, if I didn't already have an SDB, I'd go with the 650 anyway.

Still, if immediate cost is a major consideration, and you don't mind manual indexing, the 550 ought to serve you well.

Rico567
January 6, 2006, 02:27 PM
I use a Dillon 650- and, given the content of this thread, I suppose I'm obligated to insert something about the dreaded "color religion."

I can't disparage the Lee Pro 1000. I had two, which I used for many years and loaded thousands of rounds of perfectly good reloads- just as good as those made on any other machine.

That being said, I sold the Lees and bought the Dillon 650 because 1) I wanted a higher rate of production than the Lee could supply, and 2) I wanted to be able to load a variety of bottleneck rifle chamberings, which the Lee cannot do. The SDB was out for this second reason, and also because it wouldn't have given me a significant increase in production over the Lees.

Given the volume I reload, most people would say I should have been perfectly content with a 550. There are two reasons I bought the 650 instead of the 550: 1) the 5th station in the toolhead, which may be used for several purposes. With me, it was for a powder check device. 2) the auto-indexing of the 650. This subject has been debated quite a bit, and on a number of forums, but I believe that auto-indexing is a safety feature, having loaded on both manual and auto-indexing progressive machines.

NB!: I am NOT claiming that auto-indexing makes any particular machine "safe." There is no such thing. As with the guns we load for, the random variable is the operator- or, what my wife, who keeps computer networks alive for a living, calls "loose nut behind keyboard."

redneck2
January 6, 2006, 08:02 PM
I use some and they work fine. The bodies tend to be shorter than other dies and you may have to put the lock ring on the bottom of the die holder rather than the top. Also, Dillon uses a powder bushing to activate the powder measure, so you end up not using the middle die of a 3 die set from Hornady, RCBS, etc.

My comments above about "the Blue Kool-Aid" were followed by the :D Meant to be sarcastic.

There are guys here that would get into fist fights about blue vs red

YellowLab
January 6, 2006, 08:24 PM
If you want ot get rid of your Pro1000 i'll take it for the cost of shipping since it is a piece of junk and your hate it so much.

No need to throw it in the swamp|trash|recycle bin like everyone else seems to *say*they do. I'll give it a good home.

e-mail me at ihave4labs@yahoo.com and i'll give you my address... or postage paid, whatever is easier for you.

Enjoy your dillon... you paid for it :D

BigJakeJ1s
January 6, 2006, 11:24 PM
Clarification - The dillon 550 manually indexes: you advance the shellplate by hand in addition to pulling the lever. The Dillon SDB, 650, and 1050, and the Hornady LNL AP auto-index: the shellplate advances automatically every time you pull the lever. Most would say that auto-indexing is safer since there is almost zero chance of a double charge. It is definitly more convenient. Most auto-indexing presses can be backed up if necessary, like while setting them up.

Also worth considering is a casefeeder. Dillon sells casefeeders for the 550, 650, and 1050. If you want a case feeder, I don't recommend buying a 550 with one, since the total cost is almost as much as the more capable 650 with a case feeder. If you already had a sizeable investment in a 550 plus several caliber conversions, then it might make since to buy the case feeder for it. And like I said above, you can get a LNL AP with a casefeeder for less than the 650 without one.

There are a lot more users that say "don't buy anything but dillon" than those that say "don't drink the blue koolaid". I think the phrase was coined in reference to the huge marketing and almost fanatical following of the dillon presses. Don't get me wrong, I think they are great quality presses, worthy of their praise, but you do pay handsomely for them and their marketing, when other less popular presses are just as good, if not better, and cost significantly less. Note that I would not include Lee progressive presses in the latter category. They also have their place, but very few would say they are as well built as those of Dillon or Hornady.

Andy

YellowLab
January 7, 2006, 08:55 AM
Note that I would not include Lee progressive presses in the latter category. They also have their place, but very few would say they are as well built as those of Dillon or Hornady.

Andy

Either you never used one, only read about them on the Internet, or used one as your first press, boogered it up and when you got a second press marveled at how easy it was... not realizing that all the knowledge and expierience was gained at the expense of the first press.

I have NO idea why people bash the Lee presses. Either they are trying to justify the fact that they had to spend 4x the money before they figure out how a press worked, or that they bought $800 worth of gear, only to find out that the same gear is available at 1/4th price.

The plain fact is that a cartridge made from a Dillon is no better than a cartridge made from a Lee.

If you have any of that 'crappy' Lee gear that sucks so much, send it my way. I'll take it off your hands for the cost of mailing it to me. No need to throw it away, toss it in the swamp or do what people in thier Lee bashing posts 'say' they do to all that Lee junk that they have.

It all comes down to how smart the monkey pulling the lever is.

1911user
January 7, 2006, 11:00 AM
The manual indexing of the 550 is not a problem and doesn't slow you down unless you have a case feeder then auto indexing is highly desirable for speed/efficiency reasons. Since you are an experienced Lee user then a 550 will be a nice upgrade and do what you want. That was my upgrade path with no regrets especially for doing rifle and pistol on one progressive press. Dillon makes good equipment that is not cheap to purchase but resale is excellent.

A newer Hornady progressive is not a bad option either, but make sure it has the newest updates especially if you want to add a case feeder at some point. With an older (2-3 years or more) Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive, you'll also have to pay $75 to upgrade the primer feed mechanism (I think that's the part) before adding the case feeder. Hornady had some growing pains with their progressive press but it seems to be sorted out now and is truly competition for the 550. The setup and conversion costs are similar.

KMKeller
January 7, 2006, 11:13 AM
I just recently spent the money on a full-house Dillon 650 with all the goodies. I've never reloaded before, so getting everything was rather expensive. Now, I load my own match grade ammo for both 9mm and .45 and will soon be expanding to .223. I'm using the RCBS micrometer adjustable competition dies and everything works beautifully. I get 1-2 bad primer feeds per 1000 rounds, but that is due mostly to flaws in the brass primer pocket. The auto indexing works beautifully and I can throw 1000 rounds in less than an hour.

When I first set mine up, I didn't get a part aligned right and it resulted in breakage on another component. I called Dillon, told them what I had done and pulled out my credit card to order the parts. They told me to put my money away and sent them to me at no charge.

I will be their customer for life.

antsi
January 7, 2006, 12:12 PM
I like my Dillon. They are definitely a good company to do business with. Once I broke something on my press (due to my own stupidity) and they sent me the new part for free. I wish they would make cars ;)

My only beef with Dillon is that the powder measure can be fussy at times although this also depends on what powder you are using. I've had headaches with very fine-grain powders like AA#9.

The primer feeding is quite reliable if you keep the press clean. Also it is very easy to watch the primer being fed, so you won't miss it if you do get a misfeed.

JMusic
January 7, 2006, 12:22 PM
I posted the same question prior to Xmas. After everyone was finished and I did some brousing I bought a Lee LoadMaster. I was going to purchase a 550 first, then a Hornady but went the cheaper route. I have to admit the LoadMaster for the money is a nice press with alot of good features. They are not as robust as the Dillions and probably will not hold as good a tolerances. So it depends on what you want it for, shooting fodder or target ammo. The Lee is a totally automatic progressive, worth looking at. Go easy on me guys.:)
Jim

HSMITH
January 7, 2006, 12:40 PM
The Lee Pro-1000 isn't even comparable to something from Dillon, RCBS or Hornady. Anyone that has used both can attest to that, the Pro-1000 is junk that works somewhat most of the time if you don't mind constant tweaking and irritation.

The Loadmaster is a neat press, about 95% completed IMO. If they could iron out the primer feed issues and get a real quality powder measure on it they would really have something. Minor tweaks keep it running pretty good, ammo is good, and production rates are VERY good. It is worth the money that it costs, rare in Lee presses.

I have owned and used both Lee presses, and currently use Dillon progressives. I bought 550B's, took a step backwards in production volume from the Loadmaster but in every respect took several steps forward in reliability and consistency of operation. It is really nice to go down to my loading room and start pulling the handle, crank out hundreds or even thousands of rounds without needing to do anything but re-fill components.

Lee makes some very good products, products that I use and recommend. I am not anti-Lee in any way, but comparing their progressives to the more expensive presses just doesn't work. Been there and done that.

BigJakeJ1s
January 8, 2006, 12:30 AM
Either you never used one, only read about them on the Internet, or used one as your first press, boogered it up and when you got a second press marveled at how easy it was... not realizing that all the knowledge and expierience was gained at the expense of the first press.

I have NO idea why people bash the Lee presses. Either they are trying to justify the fact that they had to spend 4x the money before they figure out how a press worked, or that they bought $800 worth of gear, only to find out that the same gear is available at 1/4th price.

The plain fact is that a cartridge made from a Dillon is no better than a cartridge made from a Lee.

If you have any of that 'crappy' Lee gear that sucks so much, send it my way. I'll take it off your hands for the cost of mailing it to me. No need to throw it away, toss it in the swamp or do what people in thier Lee bashing posts 'say' they do to all that Lee junk that they have.

It all comes down to how smart the monkey pulling the lever is.

You're right, I have never used a lee progressive press. However, I have used, and still use, a lee hand press, perfect pm, safety scale, case trimmers, autoprime, and some of their dies. Some of it I love (for the way it works and the price: trimmers and collet-type FCDs). Some of it works only if I fiddle with it. On the other hand, I have other equipment from Hornady, RCBS and others (nothing dillon yet) that works flawlessly, repeatedly, and without mucking with it. I still use the lee hand press, for depriming with a universal depriming die, because that operation does not require a lot of precision, and it catches all the primer debris very efficiently. I now use a Huntington hand press which is much more accurately aligned, and has practically zero flex. It rivals some of the best bench presses I have tried. Based on the way the autoprime works and the quality of their hand press, I would surmise that their progressive equipment works similarly (if you fiddle with it periodically, it works ok). This seems to match a lot of what is written on the web about it. I don't mind a little fiddling when I am building ammo one cartidge at a time, one step at a time. But when you go progressive, there's a lot more going on, and having equipment problems becomes much less acceptable.

I never said that ammo produced on lee equipment was of any less quality than that produced on dillon/hornady, or anything else. What I tried to say was that you can produce the same quality ammo on a dillon/hornady with a lot less fuss, granted at 2-4x the price.

Andy

MarshallDodge
January 8, 2006, 02:45 AM
YellowLab must work for Lee, any chance he gets, he waives the Lee flag. An issue that I have no problem with except the level of craftsmanship that goes in to the Lee does not compare to the Dillon.

From this post I stated how I feel about Lee:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=2131449#post2131449

You can wave the Lee flag all you want but I would back it with "You get what you pay for". I started out with a Lee Anniversary kit that came with the Challenger press. It is a good starter press and I have made some accurate ammo with it, but it is nowhere near the press the RCBS Rockcrusher I bought used a few years later. I have broke the Challenger twice and both times it was a $2.00 part + $5.00 shipping. If it was a Dillon or RCBS it would have cost me $0.

I am just trying to help prevent this.:cuss:

Second post in response to YellowLab accusing me of not knowing what I was doing:
HMMM, I must not be doing things right

You guys make it sound like I am bashing Lee products. I am not, and I agree that RCBS and Dillon are expensive but they perform.

Funny, I have never broke anything on the RCBS or Dillon to have to use the warranty. I will repeat myself - you get what you pay for. In other words, if you pay half the price, you usually get half the product.

You are correct, maybe I shouldn't compare the Challenger to the Rockcrusher for strength but it drove home my price/performance point.
Lee just came out with the Classic Cast press. There must be some market out there for a better performing product than what the Challenger offers.
I guess I would consider RCBS and Dillon to be "professional grade".

I did not bring Hornady presses into the discussion because I have not used one. I have used their new dimension dies with very good success. Maybe it's because I lubed them :neener:

I have had experience with the Lee Loadmaster. It was one of the earlier models that a friend of mine purchased. He and I spent a whole evening setting the thing up and getting the bugs out of it. He sold it and bought a Dillon 650 after I bought the 550. He now owns two 650's and I own two 550's. Nuff said.

YellowLab
January 8, 2006, 08:30 PM
The Lee Perfect Powder Measure has no place on a progressive press... the actuating mechanism will leak powder all day long.

The Pro Auto Disk is an absolute PERFECT measure. Add in the double disk and the adjustsable charge you can lad just about any cartridge availalbe (unless you get into really, really small or really, really large cases... but no press will do them all).

Most people don't really have a firm grasp on what a volume measure actaully does, and wonder why it will vary from throw to throw.... ALL volume measures will vary... depening on what kind of pwder you use (ball, long/short extruded, flake). To say measure X never varies is total BS, you will NEVER get the exact same weight from throw to throw with a volumetric measure.

If you have primer feeding issues on a loadmaster then you are not doing it right. I had TONS of problems... till I realized that I had assembled part of the press wrong.... one I fixed that I have gone through 2000+ primers with not a problem. The key is a CLEAN press. You actually do have to lube a point or to.

Every 200 or so primers I run a Q tip down the primer chute, I also clean out the primer 'hole' where the lever is. You can tell when the chute is dirty cause there is a yellowish residue. Takes 30 seconds tops. I also have a brush handy to clean any stray powder grains off the press and the shell holder. If I have not reloaded in a few weeks I will take some parts off, clean them in alchohol and oil up what needs oiled.

I will admit that initially I had some very aggravating problems.... but it was all my fault. I had never used a progressive press and there is A LOT going on when you pull that handle. A few calls to Lee, a few questions on some boards and I am a HAPPY CAMPER.

If you do have any 'Lee trash' send it my way.... really. Don't throw it out (I don't read much about people tossing out $200+ Lee setups anymore... maybe is was the thing to do last year). I'll pay for shipping to get that Lee crap out of your life.

Kevatc
January 8, 2006, 09:09 PM
The Lee Perfect Powder Measure has no place on a progressive press... the actuating mechanism will leak powder all day long.

The Pro Auto Disk is an absolute PERFECT measure. Add in the double disk and the adjustsable charge you can lad just about any cartridge availalbe (unless you get into really, really small or really, really large cases... but no press will do them all).

Most people don't really have a firm grasp on what a volume measure actaully does, and wonder why it will vary from throw to throw.... ALL volume measures will vary... depening on what kind of pwder you use (ball, long/short extruded, flake). To say measure X never varies is total BS, you will NEVER get the exact same weight from throw to throw with a volumetric measure.

If you have primer feeding issues on a loadmaster then you are not doing it right. I had TONS of problems... till I realized that I had assembled part of the press wrong.... one I fixed that I have gone through 2000+ primers with not a problem. The key is a CLEAN press. You actually do have to lube a point or to.

Every 200 or so primers I run a Q tip down the primer chute, I also clean out the primer 'hole' where the lever is. You can tell when the chute is dirty cause there is a yellowish residue. Takes 30 seconds tops. I also have a brush handy to clean any stray powder grains off the press and the shell holder. If I have not reloaded in a few weeks I will take some parts off, clean them in alchohol and oil up what needs oiled.

I will admit that initially I had some very aggravating problems.... but it was all my fault. I had never used a progressive press and there is A LOT going on when you pull that handle. A few calls to Lee, a few questions on some boards and I am a HAPPY CAMPER.

If you do have any 'Lee trash' send it my way.... really. Don't throw it out (I don't read much about people tossing out $200+ Lee setups anymore... maybe is was the thing to do last year). I'll pay for shipping to get that Lee crap out of your life.

I started this wole conversation asking about Dillon presses precisely because I was so doggone fed up with my Lee Pro 1000 being so inconsistent in it's primer feeding. I keep it clean ... especially the primer feeding areas. Lee has asked me to send it back and they will look it over and replace any parts that might need it. If I get it back and it still doesn't work then I am going to save up my money and get a Dillon. You can fish it out of my city landfill if you like if it comes down to that.

YellowLab
January 9, 2006, 01:50 PM
You can fish it out of my city landfill if you like if it comes down to that.

If you are gonna throw it away, I'll pay shipping to take it off your hands.

I doubt that it will go in the trash, or that you will mail it to me.. but the offer is there. E-mail me at ihave4labs@yahoo.com for my address. I'll reimburse you shipping costs.

Even when Lee offers to fix your press for FREE (as would Dillon, RCBS, etc etc) you still take the stance that 'it sucks, it not my fault, I'm throwing it away. Of course you will.

I really don't care to change your mind.. as its made up.. and I have better things to do... I have 550 .45acp shells to process and put through my Loadmaster this afternoon. Should take about 2 hours.. I'll let you know how many primer problems I have (a good guess will be ZERO).

JMusic
January 9, 2006, 10:04 PM
Kevatc you should try to find the thread I started about a week prior to Xmas. 3 times the replies with alot of knowledge on all presses. Don't mistake the Lee 1000 for the LoadMaster. I had sent in my order for a Hornady LNL and it was backordered, so I figured what the hell I'll try this Loadmaster people are talking about. Look at the prices for change overs from one caliber to another and easy of change. Buy what you want. After all the comments I read along with reading all the OEM web sites I decided for the first time "progressive" I would try the Loadmaster. Now I have been involved with reloading for 25 years with a Rockchucker but wanted more automation. 550B did not meet the bill for me. It came down to the 650 with assecories or the Honady LNL. I would still probably go with the Hornady but I thought for the money I will try the Lee and at least get in the game. Even if you dedicate this press you have lost nothing. Good luck with whatever you purchase.
Jim

Kevatc
January 10, 2006, 05:59 AM
I did a little search and read all the posts from your thread that you had started. Now I am as confused as I have ever been on this subject.

This is what I have taken from what I have read from numerous places: there are loads of people who love Dillon's. There are numerous people who suggest that the problem with Lee presses are the people using them. That is to say that if there is an issue with press reliability it is usually (if not all the time) the user. I won't lie .... my issues could very well be my fault.

As I have read all the stuff I've come across I am wondering if my issue with my Lee Pro 1000 is how I have it mounted. To raise my press up to a more ergonomical position for me I bolted two 1 inch pieces of particle board shelving to my work bench and mounted the press on them. I am wondering if there is just enough flex in these boards that it is throwing off the "timing" of my press?

I am speculating of course and I have learned along time ago that more often then not when it comes to me or the machine .... it's usually me that is the issue :( . Just the same my Lee Pro 1000 press that I have now just doesn't feed primers consistently. I have read and re-read instructions, and checked and re-checked things on the press and for the life of me I can't figure out what is going on. Thus my frustration. The thing is I have a Lee turret press that I like to use for my 5.56 reloading and although a bit slow it really works well. The common denominator is the primer issue. I prime my 5.56 as a seperate step whereas with my .40 it is part of the progressive reloading process. There just has to be a better way to prime than the way Lee has it set up now. I guess I could go back to my old days and just do all my ammo on the turret press .... reliable but slow.

Anyways, thanks to everyone who has offered up their thoughts on this subject. By the way, I read a number of posts where members have said "this has been discussed ad nauseum". Well, get used to it. There will always be new members (like me) who look to forums like this to learn new information. Be good resources like you have been because there is lots to learn :) .

Kevatc
January 10, 2006, 06:09 AM
I realized as I re-read my post that the mounting of my press would likely raise many a question if not an eyebrow. Let me explain a bit before I get hounded ....:)

My work bench is a very sturdy former kitchen cabinet/counter top. I bolted two one inch pieces of particle board shelving to the counter top. These boards needed to stick out over the edge of the counter top by about 3-4 inches. Then I made a triangular cut out of them so the ram could run up and down unimpeded.

That is one thing I like about the Dillon 550 .... the mounting can occur right to my counter top and would be even higher than my current set up which will save on my neck and upper back!

HSMITH
January 10, 2006, 11:09 AM
Kevatc, ditch the Pro1000. It really is junk, and you can mount it to a battleship without solving the problems.

The Loadmaster is a lot better, but it still needs some tweaks here and there to keep going. I've not used the Pro2000 but lots have and like them, Peter Eick has written some great posts with detail and substance about them on this site. A friend just picked up the L&L AP about 6 months ago, it looks like a really nice press and so far is flawless. I own Dillons and they are rock solid performers. One of my 550's has over 250,000 rounds across it, I have replaced a few parts (free) to keep it running perfectly but nothing that took more than 5 minutes to do. I literally load several thousand rounds at a time without cleaning anything, adjusting anything, or anything else other than re-filling components.

If Lee would put a good powder measure on the Loadmaster and iron out the primer feed I would have 5 or 6 of them on my bench, the press has great potential and fantastic production rates when it is running well. The price for one last time I looked was under $180 for a re-furb direct from Lee. It is 'almost there', if they ever finish it they will put a real hurt on the other progressive press makers.

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