need unbiased opinion


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bevis
January 16, 2006, 06:20 PM
can i please get an unbiased opinion on the pro's and con's
of the hornaday LNL and the dillon 650 press.
maybe someone that has had experience with both of them.
i currently have a SDB dillon and am looking at upgrading to a 650
but i need to give the LNL a fair shake before i make the decision.
we are talking about a substantial price difference and it appears
that caliber changes on the LNL are a breeze. i would appreciate
it if this thread did not turn into a blue or red bashfest.

edit - ok, unbiased if you can, if not im ok with it.....:)

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The Bushmaster
January 16, 2006, 06:37 PM
I promise to stay out of this one Mr Bevis....:D

Bill Z
January 16, 2006, 06:40 PM
If you can find an unbiased opinion on this, they need to be nominated for the Supreme Court.

bevis
January 16, 2006, 06:56 PM
ROFLMAO - billz

damn, i was really looking foward to your responses too bushmaster....

The Bushmaster
January 16, 2006, 07:30 PM
Hey!!! I have no experience with the LNL or the Dillon...Remember I'm a LEE man with some RCBS equipment...And for the sake of argument I opted to watch...Love Bill Z's answer and he is right... I think he's right on the button...:neener:

taliv
January 16, 2006, 08:38 PM
teh search function is your friend

30Cal
January 16, 2006, 08:54 PM
Blue is my favorite color, so it's an easy decision for me. I don't change calibers often, but it's pretty simple with the Dillon. Pull 2 pins and put on the toolhead, tighten the powdermeasure down, swap out the shellplate.

Changing the primer feed from large to small is a 5 min operation.

Ty

bevis
January 16, 2006, 09:46 PM
thanks 30cal, thats the kind of stuff im looking for. it sounds like it it easier than the pita SDB that i have now. i have used the search funtion and
am still reading and probally will be this time next wekk.

30Cal
January 17, 2006, 11:15 PM
Not including the time it takes to find the parts in the drawer and get the powdermeasure throwing the right charge (which is I'll say constant regardless of which reloader you use unless you have a micrometer adjustable measure), it's no more than 10 min to swap calibers (3 different allen wrenches required).

If you only have one toolhead and powder die, you'll need to swap the dies around as well. I've got a toolhead and powder die for every caliber I reload in decent quantities (~$20 per)

Ty

Aneat
January 17, 2006, 11:27 PM
I dont think you could go wrong with either press really. I know guys that turn out top notch ammo on both. It really comes down to the operator getting familiar with the press. Now if you want to get spoiled Bevis come over sometime and Ill let you try my 1050 out. Such a smooth and solid feel when you pull the handle:cool:

Adam

Daryl Licht
January 20, 2006, 05:47 PM
I struggled with deciding between these two presses just a few months ago. I wanted a case feeder, auto indexing and a powder check. Both presses offered these options, the deciding factor was in the way they operated.

The Hornady was not able to offer seating and crimping in separate stations while using a powder check without modification. I understand that soon the LnL AP will be offered in a configuration that will work just like the Dillon 650. Had they done this from the beginning, I would have gone with the Hornady since I believe the quality and customer service to be pretty much equal between the two. Hornady definitely has a price advantage, both with the initial cost and in what's required to change calibers. As far as caliber changes being that much easier with one or the other I suppose one would have to use both to see.

At any rate, I have the Dillon 650 and am quite pleased.

AnthonyRSS
January 20, 2006, 07:28 PM
Isn't an "unbiased opinion" an oxymoron?

The Bushmaster
January 20, 2006, 10:37 PM
AnthonyRSS...Stay out of this..What do you know?...I used to be in Naval Intellegence myself...:neener:

JMusic
January 20, 2006, 11:20 PM
Good luck. Dillion owns this group.:D

rborensr
January 20, 2006, 11:36 PM
Boy, I'll have to stay out of this one too, we have, ( my dad and I ) one of each, he has a dillon 650 and I have the dillon 550. No expierience with the LNL. But I will say this, I use the LNL powder measure on some of my dillon tool heads and love the way it works on extruded powders. I have no reason to believe that their press wouldn't be of equal qaulity. That's as close as unbiased as I can get.:neener: :neener:

larryw
January 21, 2006, 12:00 AM
Unbiased opinion? Here?

LOL

My very biased opinion (based on experience) is red when it comes to politics and blue when it comes to metallic cartridge reloading.

Bill Z
January 21, 2006, 12:28 AM
I only load a few mettallic cartridge calibers, and am not one to experiment much. It has been basically a set-it and forget-it deal for me.

I have two dillon 550's, one for small primer and one for large, and purchased them that way, so I don't even know how to change the primer system, so I cannot comment on that. (read lazy)

I do have both Lee and Dillon dies and have found that the Lee dies were easier for me to set and adjust, but once I have them set they are great. Once again, I'm unimaginative, I have one set for my LRN's and one for the SWC's in .45, seperate sets for my 38 Supers, etc.... It's a bit pricey to get an entire toolhead and powder measure, but once again, I'm lazy.

I cannot rave enough about Dillon's customer service, I cannot say the same for Lee's. Lee did make good on a goof of theirs, but added a bit of attitude when I called them. I have since quit buying directly from them and go through Midway now, problem solved, at least for little things. I do not know how they act towards machine purchasers.

Now, this is a limited experience with only one type of machine, so I cannot comment on the others, but can say the Dillon has been great for many thousands of rounds.

bevis
January 21, 2006, 03:05 AM
man, i really appreciate the replies. i can say, that i have never had the first problem with my SDB but i hate that the dies cost so much and it is a PITA to do a change over. with the experience, 10 years, on the SDB i absolutly
would not buy a 550 because it does not auto index and that is what im used to. so are you guys saying that you can use LNL powder measure on the dillon 650 ? does anyone have any experience with the quick change setup with the LNL ? they make it look like it's soooo easy but we all know about advertising. again thanks for the replies.

MarineTech
January 21, 2006, 06:49 AM
can i please get an unbiased opinion....

I gotta go with Bill on this one. Ain't no such animal.

oflores
January 21, 2006, 07:42 AM
can i please get an unbiased opinion on the pro's and con's
of the hornaday LNL and the dillon 650 press.
maybe someone that has had experience with both of them.
i currently have a SDB dillon and am looking at upgrading to a 650
but i need to give the LNL a fair shake before i make the decision.
we are talking about a substantial price difference and it appears
that caliber changes on the LNL are a breeze. i would appreciate
it if this thread did not turn into a blue or red bashfest.

edit - ok, unbiased if you can, if not im ok with it.....:)
gO WITH THE DILON

oflores
January 21, 2006, 07:49 AM
and when i get to heaven, too st. peter I will tell, another soilder reporting sir,
I'ev SERVED MY TIME IN HELL

Go with dillon

bevis
January 21, 2006, 12:53 PM
thanks for the help guys. i appreciate it.

caz223
January 26, 2006, 09:37 AM
If you load for one caliber, ANY press will suit you, unless you need 10,000 rounds a month.
If that's the case, get a super 1050.
If you load for 2, buy 2 square deals, and leave them set up for their respective calibers.
Unless you need 10,000 rounds a month in 2 calibers, then get 2 650s. (High dollar.)
If you load for 3-5 calibers, get the 650.
If you load for 6 or 8, a dillon 550 will serve you well. Or a pair of 'em. (Less time swapping crap around.)
If you load for 10 calibers or more, get the hornady. (OR a pair of 550s.) (High dollar.)
I got a 550, and then expanded to over 10 calibers.
Wish I'd got the hornady, but I'm sticking with my 550.
Thinking about buying a second 550, maybe someday.

Unbiased enough for ya?
A dillon owner recommending a hornady press????
Yeah, the dillon 550 is a very solid 2nd place when it comes to speed and expense of caliber conversions.
Second to the hornady.
Having multiple caliber conversions for a 650 will drain your bank account.

Bill Z
January 26, 2006, 09:55 AM
A dillon owner recommending a hornady press????


We got together and called Mike up. No more Blue Press cataloges for you. :mad:

caz223
January 26, 2006, 09:57 AM
A 550 and 12 deluxe quick change kits.
Strong mount. Bullet tray. etc.
20 sets of dillon dies (Including the uber expensive 357SIG carbide set.), all the caliber conversion kits, 10 more toolheads for various random tasks, etc.
He's already got all my money.
It's really convenient, but not cheap.

We got together and called Mike up. No more Blue Press cataloges for you. :mad:

Good.
I'm sick of them. For real.
I buy my stuff from Brian Enos or on E-bay.
Now, if they sent me a free copy of the dillon aero calendar, I wouldn't throw it out until AT LEAST 2007.

YellowLab
January 26, 2006, 01:11 PM
You didn't mention a budget... A dillon set up to go will run you close to $800 for bells and whistles. A calibure quick change is like another $70 for each one.

No one *EVER* debates the QAULITY of the cartridges, only the color of the press to make that round.

I pump out 500 .45ACP, 500 .30 Carbine, 200-400 .30-06 and about 1k .223 rounds per month on my Lee loadmaster. That does not include the 1-2K of .30-06 blanks I make on occasion for reenacting. I have broke the press (ALL MY FAULT), but Lee never gave me any problems swapping parts.

My $450 COMPLETE investment for tools (scale, toolheads, dies etc) got me 4 calibures and plenty of spares. Swapping a calibure is a 5 minutes affair.

For a progressive press I cannot recommend the Lee Loadmaster enough.. you will not find a better bang for the buck ANYWHERE.

caz223
January 26, 2006, 02:14 PM
You didn't mention a budget... A dillon set up to go will run you close to $800 for bells and whistles. A calibure quick change is like another $70 for each one.

No one *EVER* debates the QAULITY of the cartridges, only the color of the press to make that round.

I pump out 500 .45ACP, 500 .30 Carbine, 200-400 .30-06 and about 1k .223 rounds per month on my Lee loadmaster. That does not include the 1-2K of .30-06 blanks I make on occasion for reenacting. I have broke the press (ALL MY FAULT), but Lee never gave me any problems swapping parts.

My $450 COMPLETE investment for tools (scale, toolheads, dies etc) got me 4 calibures and plenty of spares. Swapping a calibure is a 5 minutes affair.

For a progressive press I cannot recommend the Lee Loadmaster enough.. you will not find a better bang for the buck ANYWHERE.

Sounds reeaaaalllly unbiased to me. :p

YellowLab
January 26, 2006, 06:01 PM
Unlike the buy a dillon posts? :barf:

No mention of budget.... even if you wanted to spend $1K I would still recommend the Loadmaster.

The output is the same.. no one EVER debates that.

Deavis
January 26, 2006, 10:03 PM
Use the search button, you'll find this has been covered in great depth many times in other threads. These should get you started

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...t=Dillon+650XL
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...t=Dillon+650XL
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...t=Dillon+650XL
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...uy+progressive
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...uy+progressive
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...uy+progressive

caz223
January 27, 2006, 04:24 AM
deavis, your links don't work.

caz223
January 27, 2006, 04:33 AM
Some Lee stuff is good. Some is utter crap.
It's up to you to decide if a 50/50 chance of buying utter crap is acceptable.
All the dillon stuff is good, it's up to you to determine if it suits your purpose or not....
I don't love dillon or hate lee. I have lots of lee stuff too, I just am very selective of the components and equipment I buy, and wouldn't consider Lee progressives premium equipment.
The Hornady AP is less money than the 650, but due to the way the machine works, it's more directly comparable to a 550 with case feeder and auto indexing.
Not that that's a bad thing....

YellowLab
January 27, 2006, 01:36 PM
Many people have lots of different colors on thier bench. I really don't care what anyone buys, but I just want to share the ups and downs that I have had. I do not believe that Dillons are the holy grail of reloading, and I do not believe that Lee's are the holy crap of reloading.

It's more like: people start with lee, F it up, break it etc. Then buy another press, have a better go at it, forgetting that all of thier acquired knowledge came at the expense of the Lee that then now magically hate. Some people really are morons and have no mechanical aptitude.. and buy a Lee cause it is lower in cost. Then figure out that a progressive is a complex piece of machinery and needs to be maintained. But again, they will buy another press, and the all kinds of bells and whistles becuase they had such a steep learning curve with their first attempt at reloading. They buy complete toolheads now instead of swapping dies etc. And now it's magically easier... well it would be just as easy on another press, but the learned the hard way.

I used to swap dies... TOTAL PITA. Now I have 5 complete toolheads for my loadmaster and I have to fiddle with the press MUCH LESS. I learned my lesson. I don't blame the press, but see it as something I learned.

Others will simply buy an whole new setup WITH those extras, and marvel at how easy it is NOW. UMMMMM.... its just as easy with a Lee.

caz223
January 27, 2006, 03:50 PM
But by the time you're done (No matter what color it is.), you'll have serious money wrapped up into it.
If I had optioned out a loadmaster with all the crap I bought for my 550, it would be almost as much money.
The difference is how much I have to tinker with it, it's performance (Consistant ammo, and good production rate.), and what it will be worth when I get out of it.
I can switch from 9mm to .40 or 357SIG in about 15 seconds. Maybe 20 seconds if I drop a pin or two.
If I have to change primers from small to large (Like changing from 9mm to 10mm), the whole changeover will take another 2 or 3 minutes including emptying the primer tube and swapping the new primer bar on.
If I have to change shell plates also, (Like .41 mag to .45), add another minute.
So changeovers take anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes.
I bet that I could sell it on E-bay a piece at a time and get 90% of what I paid for it right now. (I bought most of the stuff used, and the rest from Brian Enos at his starting 10% discount.).
If I wait ten years, I bet I could get what I paid back, plus a little more, because by then, the 550 will be selling new for $400, instead of the $265 I paid.
I don't believe I'd be out as much as you think.
What could you sell your used loadmaster for?
Take a look at some of the used dillon presses are selling for on Ebay. It might surprise you.

BigJakeJ1s
January 27, 2006, 10:23 PM
The Hornady AP is less money than the 650, but due to the way the machine works, it's more directly comparable to a 550 with case feeder and auto indexing.
Not that that's a bad thing....

The AP used to require expanding in a separate station from the powder drop, so that consumed an extra station, making the AP's 5 stations perform more like the 550's 4 stations. Many users modified their AP powder die to accept the Lyman powder through expander die inserts, giving them 5 full, dillon-equivalent stations. Another potential option would be to use the Lyman powder thru expander die after the powder drop, and install a modified (lengthened) powder cop die on top of the Lyman (a powder cop is the most common reason for using the 5th station).

But now Hornady has a new powder-thru expander in the powder measure linkage, so it is the functional equivalent of the 650 (5 full stations, auto-indexing, optional casefeeder), but at a 550 price. I don't know what s/n they are rolling the new powder die/linkage in at, but their prices went up a bit at the beginning of 2006. Their casefeeder really jumped in price, but the AP with casefeeder is still less than the 650 with casefeeder (it used to be about the same as a 650 without casefeeder).

Andy

YellowLab
January 28, 2006, 08:20 PM
There is no way you can outfit a Loadmaster and come anywhere near the price of any other press.

Accessories that are not press related (trimmers, tumblers etc), yes, but not with a press and dies ready to load. I call BS.

That said, if you think a dillon makes better ammo than an Lee or RCBS or whatever then you also need to prove that statement. They all make the same quality ammo. No one *EVER* debates that because it simply not possible to do so. Some dies have more features (one die has a micrometer on the bullet seater... thats nice, I simply turn the adjuster on my Lee dies until I get the right OAL.... where is the 'better' ammo part?).

Again, I don't care what press you buy. Buy a pink one, I really, really don't care. But when its asked for *HONEST*, *UNBIASED* opinions I gave mine, plus cold, hard facts. One nice thing that has changed is that there are no more kooks claiming that thier Loadmasters and Pro1000 as being 'thrown away'. A few years ago you were not a man unless you bought a Lee and bragged about throwing it away.

People are right, Dillons *ARE* good presses. So are Lee's. Dillons break, so do Lee's. Dillons make quality ammo, so do Lee's. In fact many people use Lee dies becaus they are so good. Many people have Lees next to thier Dillons.

But to say that a Loadmaster costs the same as any other press? No.
To say that any other press makes 'better' ammo that a Lee? No.

hpcc19
January 28, 2006, 08:41 PM
T
A few years ago you were not a man unless you bought a Lee and bragged about throwing it away.
.

Now THAT's funny.:D

Uncle Don
January 28, 2006, 08:48 PM
I have used my Loadmaster for years now with only needing to make a single $1.00 replacement. If you know how to set dies properly, make sure the case retainers are in (like the Dillon buttons), set the primer seating depth and use full strokes up and down (just like any other progressive), the Loadmaster puts out rounds so fast you'd think it was illegal.

Today, I timed myself for a single minute and loaded 17 rounds and don't even have the case feeder attached. Even if I poked, I could load 840 rounds per hour. Can a 550 keep up with that - if I put the casefeeder on, I can run with any 650 and have the same ammo in the end.

Yellow Lab has it right - buy what you want, but don't try to justify a Dillon by saying that the Lee is crap - it isn't. I fully agree with his assessment on people using thier learning curve on a a Lee because it was reasonably priced. Once they have a Dillon, they break those too because I read it in post after post. The difference is that they don't dare try to blame the design anymore. So they call Dillon who replaces thier parts for "free". Nothing is free, Dillon builds that cost into the increased price of the press. If you don't belive they break, do a search about how many people "need" to take advantage of the no BS warranty and preface it by saying "It was my fault and they replaced it anyway". I'll pay for my own breakages and pay less for the equipment, you pay for yours and other peoples and pay more for the equipment. It's America, you're free to do what you like.

Nothing against any other manufacturer - I just am not going to sit back and take it when some people feel the need to bash anothe company just because they can't figure it out. BTW - I can prove my output numbers if challenged - just make sure your email address can accept a 2 meg video.

Bill Z
January 29, 2006, 02:13 AM
Not challenging your numbers Uncle Don, but I just gotta see that, might have to sell my Dillon's.

patriotcustoms@gmail.com

rborensr
January 29, 2006, 04:23 AM
Yeah, I'm just curious too, rborensr@frontiernet.net
Thanks uncle Don

Uncle Don
January 29, 2006, 06:46 AM
Fair enough, video sent to both.

Lloyd Smale
January 29, 2006, 07:00 AM
Ive used them both and prefer the 650 but i have to say i wouldnt be ashamed to own a hornady. I thought on a 650 at one time but got to thinking that for the price of one with a case feeder i could get 3 square deals and leave them set up in calibers i use the most. I worked so well that i now have 5 of them and also a 550 for the odd ball stuff. What i find is with the square deals shorter stroke its actually faster then the 650 to load with unless you put a case feeder on the 650 and i also prefer the primer feed on the square deal to the 650. I made a quick detachable mount on the bench and just swap the press i need onto the mount and its ready to go no fooling with dies powder charges anything just add powder and primmers and go to work.

Bill Z
January 29, 2006, 10:20 PM
Fair enough, video sent to both.

Got the video and the numbers are good. Not rushed, just looks like a nice normal pace. I have to say it is the first time I have seen a true progressive in action. Don's no beginner.

I have never really timed myself, but I load about 400 in an hour, but that is including changing trays and such, but I can see where a true progressive would save me quite a bit of time.

I may try to run a 60 second test and see where I come out in numbers compared to this with my 550. I'll be in the shop this evening taking some pic's for my class and will try to find the time to do a comparison.

I will agree, and always have for that fact, that the end products are the same as long as the operator sets up the dies properly. I use both Lee and Dillon dies and have to say I like the Dillon'sbetter for claening them, but the Lees better for adjusting them. All in all, unless I get a heck of a deal on Dillon dies, any new dies will be Lee's though.

Thanks for the vid Don, if I get one tonite I'll send one back if you want it, or anyone for that matter.

Uncle Don
January 30, 2006, 12:01 AM
Thanks, I would like to see it when you get it done. For the record, I agree that when properly set up, all progressives will give good ammo and numbers. You have my email - I look forward to hearing from you.

I've now seen the video - your output is much more than what the adverstised output of the machine is. I'm surprised and impressed, but mostly impressed. Thanks for making it.

Bill Z
January 30, 2006, 01:44 AM
Well,if things would only go that smoothly for an hour of loading for me. I normally load the 5 primer tubes I have and the machine. Load up the bullet tray and have a tray of brass ready to go. I can finish using up the 600 primers in an hour and a half including replenishing for the next session. Sometimes my attention span only lets me load a couple hundred before I go chasing other rabbits around the shop, but I guess 400 an hour is really a fair estimate.

You want impressive? You should see my 16 year old daughter reload 12ga shells. 200 an hour on a MEC 600 JR which is far from a progressive by any stretch of the imagination.

rborensr
January 30, 2006, 02:42 PM
Bill, I'd be interested in seeing your video also. I use a 550 and would like to see if your pace is close to mine. Thanks.

Bill Z
January 30, 2006, 03:02 PM
Vid sent. Not the best quality. I need to get a digital video camera or something. Seeing the different machines in action might help some people make a decision.

rborensr
January 30, 2006, 03:51 PM
Thanks, it really does make a difference to someone makeing a decision. Thanks to both of you.

robctwo
February 1, 2006, 03:03 AM
I've had the LnL for almost two years. I really like the primer feed. The powder system is outstanding. I don't miss not having a powder check, I watch the powder dipenser moving. Changing calibers is very easy. I don't like the ejector and removed it, it interfered with the Lee FCD in station 5.

Never used a Dillon.

I'm also a Mac user, go figure.

45auto
February 1, 2006, 01:08 PM
" You should see my 16 year old daughter reload 12ga shells. 200 an hour on a MEC 600 JR which is far from a progressive by any stretch of the imagination."

A real MEC loader...good for her. Get her a 650/Grabber and that will be 400- 500 shells per hour with the same motions and speed. :)

Just think if MEC introduced metallic loaders like their shotgun versions. I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

bobaloo
February 1, 2006, 03:09 PM
I load about 4,000 rounds of handgun ammo a month on a Hornady LNL, I've been extremely pleased with it, and with the Hornady dies. I've tried some other brands, Lyman and Lee, and didn't like them nearly as much.

I had a little work getting the primer feed system tuned, had to remove the little black "cap" on the shield tube. Did that and it's 100 percent reliable now for some reason. I suspect all the progressives require some modicum of mechanical aptitude to get them running and keep them running.

If money wasn't so tight for me I'd buy the Dillon 650, I think it's a little better machine, but when you add in 5-6 caliber conversions and other stuff the price difference starts to add up. If you can afford the 650 go for it, but I'd much rather have the LNL than the 550.

That's my opinion, but it's obviously not unbiased, and yes I'm a Mac user too, guess we go for the underdog.

Bill Z
February 1, 2006, 06:48 PM
" You should see my 16 year old daughter reload 12ga shells. 200 an hour on a MEC 600 JR which is far from a progressive by any stretch of the imagination."

A real MEC loader...good for her. Get her a 650/Grabber and that will be 400- 500 shells per hour with the same motions and speed. :)

Just think if MEC introduced metallic loaders like their shotgun versions. I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

We are considering that. I just got signed up as a MEC dealer so I might just have to 'demo' one for the business you know. Waiting on a couple of Beretta 391's for us as we speak, so we are going to need to feed them.

Byron Quick
November 5, 2006, 02:59 AM
Hmm. Guys, I recently bought three 550's, dies, a few toolheads, and more accessories. It was less than a grand...shipped.

On the one hand is the budget. On the other hand is shopping around.

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