Which one should I buy?


November 20, 2006, 08:29 AM
I am just getting into reloading for my .45 handgun and revolver. I just ordered the ABC's of Reloading book. Could someone give me advise on which press to get? I was told a Dillion is the best. Which press is better and why? Thanks

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November 20, 2006, 08:56 AM
Well, it depends. Do you want a progressive, single stage or turret press?
What is your total budget?
How many rounds a week/month do you need to reload?
How much time do you have available for reloading?

November 20, 2006, 09:03 AM
You said best, not cheapest.
I've loaded tens of thousands of .45 ACPs on my 650. Dillon's customer service has been great.
.45 is simple enough that starting out on a progressive machine would probably be ok. If you want to reload for rifle, I would recommend starting out with a single stage press.

The Bushmaster
November 20, 2006, 09:05 AM
Add Lyman's 48th edition Reloading Manual. Read The ABC's and Lyman's and you will have a real good idea of which loading press would fit your needs. Be careful when it comes to progressive presses if you have never reloaded before. You can always get a progressive press later when you have mastered the skilles needed to understand what you are about. Reread dracphelan's post. He has the idea. And DON"T jump into the blue cool ade pool until you know what you want and can afford.:)

Oh yeah....Forgot. I use (and have for 15 years) a three stage Lee turret and a single stage Lee. They have served me well and have never failed (as long as I do my part) to produce fine ammunition. I load 4 handguns and two rifles on them. Calibre change is cheap and simple. Probably a minute or less for the turret.

November 20, 2006, 09:06 AM
That is a "loaded" question. You must ask yourself the following questions:
1. Will I be loading other cartridges (rifle for example)
2. How much ammo do I need to load - 100 per week or 1000 per week?
3. How much room do I have for set up?

I personally load rifle ammo on a single stage press and load pistol (9mm & 40 S&W) on a Dillon Square Deal B and this works well for me. If you intend to expand your needs then consider a larger progressive press that will load both pistol and rifle.

This topic can really get complex as there is no limit in the number of gadgets and the amount of money you can lay out. Think about your present and future needs, then select your equipment.

November 20, 2006, 09:28 AM
I started out planning on buying a Dillon 550 and wound up buying a Lee Classic Turret Press ($80 at midway), I also considered the RCBS progressive and RCBS turret.

For me the turret turned out to be the best solution, I can mount all my dies, have a very high amount of control over what is going on, and can still crank out 100 to 150 rounds an hour.

Go with what you are comfortable with.

November 20, 2006, 10:18 AM
If you are going to load only pistol or .223, a Lee aluminim "0" frame single-stage press is quite adequate and the cheapest way to go. If you are going to full-length resize rifle cartridges, a cast iron press is advised. Single stage presses are very simple and inexpensive to change calibers, and most reloaders use them for infrequently fired cartridges even if they get a progressive for large volume cartridges.

Dillon progressives are fine machines, but are also by far the most expensive to buy and change cartridges for...and they are a bit outdated when compared to the Hornady L&L progressive, which is both less expensive to buy and change cartridges for. (I've loaded on both, plus the Lee Loadmaster.) The Hornady is of modern design, and that's what I chose for my own use.:D

November 20, 2006, 10:55 AM
I want a progressive press. I have a Glock 22. Two .45 handguns and a AR15 so I want to reload .223's also. I have the whole cellar for space. I am getting into IDPA with my .45's so I will be doing alot of practice. I figure on about three hundred a week, maybe more. I want to start with the .45's and can add things later. So I want something good not cheap. Thanks for your help.

November 20, 2006, 01:14 PM
I have both the Dillon 550 and the Hornady LNL progressive. TooTaxed pretty well stated my findings. The Hornady is far mor inovative and less expensive than the 550 or 650.

November 20, 2006, 01:48 PM
I started with a sigle stage went to the Lyman Turret and now a Pro 2000.
I set my son's up with the Lyman Turret which is strong, easy to use, and can turn out a fair amount of ammo.

November 20, 2006, 05:44 PM
Definetely go with the Dillon then. However, start slow and check everything. You can work on speed after you have gone through a couple thousand rounds with no problems.

November 20, 2006, 08:15 PM
+2 for picking the Hornady over the Dillon for progressive reloading. A more modern design and less expensive. I owned a 550, sold it and bought a Hornady LnL. I also load on my buddy's 650 and every time I do, I'm glad I bought the Hornady, especially when he bitches about the costs of adding another caliber.

The Hornady will load your pistol and rifle with the same powder measure and do a great job of it while it's doing it. I load .45ACP, 9MM and 30.06 on my Hornady. Can't tell a difference in speed or quality of rounds.



November 20, 2006, 08:33 PM
I haven't heard much about the Hornady. I am curious how many rounds per hour you can load at a comfortable pace. Also how is the primer system. Thanks,

December 20, 2006, 07:10 AM

My apologies for not replying in a timely manner. Missed your post.

Speed of the LnL - equivalent to the speed of a Dillon 650 when both have the casefeeder or when both don't have the casefeeder. The latest primer feed system is excellent, runs great. Take the time to set it up right and you'll have no problems. Once set up, it stays where you set it. Primer feed is very similar to Dillons and you can adapt Dillon's low primer alarm to it if you wish.

A speed example: I can go SLOW, not use a vibra prime, not use extra primer tubes, not use a casefeeder and still load 400 rounds of 30.06 premium ammo in an hour. This round count includes my goof off time, my piddling around, my eating a sandwich, drinking a drink, squeezing on the wife and yapping on the phone, all of which are done without operating the press.



December 20, 2006, 02:23 PM
Go with the Dillon! That's what you will end up with anyway.

December 20, 2006, 04:09 PM
"Go with the Dillon! That's what you will end up with anyway."

Speaking as a former Dillon owner, nope, you won't end up with a Dillon.

December 20, 2006, 04:48 PM
If "everyone ends up with a Dillon anyway," then I assume that all of the other reloading manufacturers just provide equipment as stepping stones to ultimately arriving at Dillon. That would describe me, I suppose, but it took until I was in my late fifties and many thousands of rounds to be so enlightened, so I suppose that makes me a slow learner. The fact is that my Dillon 650 is a great machine, but it's quite expensive (you DO pay for that killer service!), it's quite complex to change over between calibers, and every add-on is quite costly. Unless you need the volume (and I found that the 650 is pretty much overkill for what I shoot), there are far less costly alternatives that produce ammo every bit as good.

The reloading market provides a wide array of equipment where you're likely to find something that matches up your budget with your reloading needs. I've used Lyman, RCBS, Redding, Lee, MEC, and Dillon, and it's all good.

Car Knocker
December 20, 2006, 08:31 PM
Go with the Dillon! That's what you will end up with anyway.
Not necessarily.

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