Dillon ?? or RCBS 2000


April 11, 2007, 02:03 PM
Need a progressive to reload hand gun and auto rifle
Im an experienced reloader with years of shooting
most of my stuff is rcbs so i lean in that direction
Im shooting 9mm - 357 sig - 40 s&w - and of course THE 45 ACP
also 223 - 6.8 spc - 7.62 - other rifle stuff in non progressive
i would like some comment on the pro - con
of each system - the dillon 550 & 650 - RCBS 2000 PRO

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April 11, 2007, 02:22 PM
Get the dillon.

Easy to set up and change calibers rapidly.

500-600 rounds per hour.

Easy to set up with an amazing manual.

Amazing tech support.

Cheap shipping

Bullet proof warranty.

April 11, 2007, 02:25 PM
which dillon are we talking about

April 11, 2007, 02:43 PM
650XL with a casefeeder. Auto-indexing and the case feed blow the 2000 off the table.

April 11, 2007, 03:20 PM
Both are top of the line.

Personally, I much prefer my Dillon 650, but I wouldn't feel too badly abused :p if I had to use a Hornady/Pacific or an RCBS!:D

April 11, 2007, 03:29 PM
I have a 550 and love it. The 650 is great also but much harder to change calibers on. Sounds like you'll be doing that a lot. The RCBS 2000 I considered earlier but I don't like the primer set up. Some do, but I found it was hard to order primers already in the strips or the blank strips in my area. I would have to order from the big supply houses. Yes I know that you can just order the strips and put your own primers in it, but this a lot of extra down time for me.:)

April 11, 2007, 04:05 PM
Definitely Dillon.

As far as I can see, there really are no cons to the 550b system. Some would say the powder measure is a weakness, but I have found mine to be exceptional even with tricky powders like Bullseye. I'm sure the pro2000 is a good system as well, but Dillon would get my money every time. The installed base from which to get info is worth it to me.

April 11, 2007, 04:18 PM
A Dillon 550 would be (and is) my choice for reloading quite a few different rifle and pistol calibers. The only thing that should push you into a 650 (unless you are independantly wealthy) is a casefeeder. If you're absolutely going to get a casefeeder, then go ahead and get the 650 to take full advantage of it.

April 11, 2007, 04:33 PM
Get the dillon.
+1. I've had two 550Bs. They're great presses, especially if you're going to load multiple calibers and have never used a progressive before. I like the control that manual indexing gives me.

If you just want to load one or two pistol cartridges, you should consider a Square Deal-B. They don't do rifle cartridges and require special Dillon dies, but they're simple to operate and do one job very well. A lot of people set up multiple SDBs, one for each caliber they load.

April 11, 2007, 04:37 PM
I chose the RCBS Pro2000 over the Dillon 550 for the following reasons:

Powder measure has micrometer adjustment--I can instantly return to any setting that I've previously determined

APS primer system--Pro2000 comes with the strip loader. You can load 100 primers into the strips in about 2 minutes. I can't imagine that primer tubes would be faster.

5 stations--this enables you to use a lockout die with the Pro2000. In all fairness, the Dillon bells the case and drops powder in a single step, so its 4 stations provide similar service to the 5 stations of the Pro2000. I just think that having 5 stations provides a little more versatility in customizing the process to meet my specific needs.

Cast iron press vs aluminum for the Dillon

Caliber changes for the Pro2000 are less expensive

I've never used a Dillon, but it's my understanding that changing from large to small primers takes several minutes. With the Pro2000, you have only to change a single screw.

As far as the Dillon 650 goes, that's a whole other level of investment, especially if you include the case feeder. If that's what you are looking for, then both the Pro2000 and the Dillon 550 will be insufficient for your needs.

Both companies have a reputation for superb customer service.

Dillon users, please don't think that I'm critical of the Dillon. I considered purchasing the 550 and I'm certain that I would have been very happy with it. My only intent is to provide some rationale as to why I chose RCBS so that PWEchols will have all the info that he needs to make his decision.



April 11, 2007, 04:43 PM
Some of you reloaders must have something you DONT LIKE about these progressive presses - i would like to hear that side also - problems etc

April 11, 2007, 05:14 PM
Each press you listed have strong points, but the common theme is each press design has been stable for at least a decade. Any real bugs have been worked out years (or decades) ago.

I'm not a fan of the APS priming system, but it does work and the RCBS 2000 press is a strong, 5-station press. I prefer the Dillon 550, but could see how a 2000 owner could be happy. Sorry, I'm not up to starting a bash-fest over presses.

April 11, 2007, 05:47 PM
Here's some information you might want to read if you're looking at reloading rifle. I've found the RCBS stuff to integrate pretty well with the Hornady stuff.




April 11, 2007, 06:06 PM

Great write up describing the differences in the press and components. Glad I went with the Hornady powder drop on the Dillon - all good!

Be safe, BSR

April 12, 2007, 04:01 PM
Dave in GA mentions thelee & hornady
are these still made ??
the comparason article for to both of these
and the dillon but not the rcbs
anyone else using the rcbs a reply
would help

April 12, 2007, 04:35 PM
Since you asked, the Hornady Lock N Load AP is the most modern and update progressive press out there right now. Everything else preceeds it by 6-10 years or longer. If you haven't, I'd suggest you give the pdf at the link I provided a good read.

Sounds like you're way behind the times on your information. You might also do a search on forum related to posts on the Lee Loadmaster, Dillon 650 and Hornady Lock N Load AP.



April 12, 2007, 04:47 PM
Your gonna' find that when talking about progressive loaders, it's kind of like talking left vs. right, or democrat vs. republican. People are gonna be passionate!!! What I mean by this is that owners of the major progressive brands ARE EXTREMELY PASSIONATE about their loaders. It's hard to get a unbiased opinion. Be sure to look at DaveIn FloweryBranch's web link in his post above. It's as close to an unbiased opinion as I have found.

I had to make a choice a few months back and chose the Hornady Lock and Load Auto Progressive. I couldn't be happier!!! IMO it's the best machine out there. (But, opinions are like feet, everyone has a couple, and some of them stink!)

Basically, the Dillon has been on the market the longest. IT is an outstanding press, but has shortfalls in the powder measure. (Again, IMO!!)

The Lee can't compare to either the Dillon or the Hornady, IMO. THEY will work, bit it can be a full time hobby keeping it adjusted and working.

The Hornady LNL is the newest kid on the block and is best compared to the Dillon 650. It is also an outstanding press.

My reasons for buying the LNL:
1. Cheaper than Dillon 650 for same capability.
2. Powder measure is significantly better on the LNL. ESPECIALLY with extruded, stick type powders. The Dillon works well with ball/flake powders but is harder to adjust than the LNL powder measure.
3. Changing calibers is much easier on the LNL than the Dillon 650.
4. It is cheaper to change calibers on the LNL than the any Dillon.
5. Changing from large to small primers is easier on the LNL.
6. Same LIFETIME Warranty as Dillon!.
7. Finally, They offered me 1000 free bullets if I bought the LNL. that alone was worth about $250! That offer is good until Dec. 30 2007!!

April 12, 2007, 06:38 PM
Here's a great review of the Pro2000:


I found it useful when shopping for my progressive.



April 12, 2007, 07:03 PM
There are downsides to every press. The downside to the 650 is the caliber conversion. It's either expensive or time consuming, depending on how you set up.

I also have an old Dillon 450 that has been upgraded. I use the 450 for calibers like .30-30, .45 Colt, .44 Magnum etc that I load in batches of 500 or so. 350-400 rounds per hour.

The 650, I load 6MM Remington, .30-06 .308,.223,.45, .40. 9MM, .38/.357 etc. since I load these in batches of 2,000 minimum, I don't have to convert often. If I loaded 100-200 at a time, I would consider something else.

But before the arthritis hit my hands, I could easily load 750-800 rounds of .38 special, or .45 per hour. Smaller bullets like 9MM cut my speed to 650-700 per hour, but even so, that's only ~5 hours, (one evening) to load 3,000 rounds.

If you shoot a lot, and buy components in bulk, the 650 is, IMHO, mighty hard to beat.

April 12, 2007, 07:21 PM
I was going to buy the L-N-L, and then got a Pro 2000 for Christmas. You thought I was a kid again the way I was so excited.

I have had some challenges with it, but RCBS sent me some new parts and I'm going to try again real soon.

In regards to the primer strips, I kinda like loading the strips. My understanding is you used to be able to get fully loaded strips for the same price; not anymore...

April 12, 2007, 07:22 PM
When I started reloading I did a ton of homework on presses. Part of that effort was logging into this forum and asking lots of questions. I remember vividly one of the answers I recieved which helped make up my mind - it was buy what you're going to end up with anyway. I did, I bought the Dillon and I've never looked back. I purchased the 550B and it serves all my needs completely. I purchased a seperate tool head and use it as a single stage press when sizing bottle neck cases. One hole has a FL resizing die in it, one has a neck sizing die. Same thing with the other holes but different calibers. This way I can use it as a single stage when sizing and to run in progressive mode simple swap tool heads, a matter of 5 seconds maybe if I'm not paying attention!

The press is everything it's advertised to be. I don't think you can ever go wrong using one of Dillons products. So - go with what you're going to end up with anyway.

Enjoy - stay safe and have fun....

April 12, 2007, 07:43 PM
Red! Blue! No, Green! That's how I fee l when I read a lot of the posts about different presses.

FWIW, I have a 550B. It works. Change over is a bit of an effort, depending on large primer or small, large powder bar or small, and switching to a different powder, tool heads, etc. When I'm doing load development, I spend much more time doing setup than actually cranking out rounds. Once I start cranking out rounds, I find myself running out of components fairly quickly. There are definately a few things that could be improved. Having said that, I don't have any complaints. It does what I ask of it, it seems to always throw consistant charges no matter what powder I feed it (some more so than others, of course). I knew what I was getting into, it's a mechanical device, and I'm used to dealing with such things, so I don't expect more of it than it delivers.

From what I read on here, the LNL has addressed some of the minor issues people have with the Dillon, but I haven't played with one so I can't make a fair comparison. I could see getting a second press sometime in the future to handle either oddball stuff or production, depending on the strengths of the second press, but I would select one that minimizes my costs to support it.

April 12, 2007, 07:55 PM
An overview: http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=663940

Pages 2&3 show a workaround for the LNL-AP 9mm ejection issue: http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=665822

April 12, 2007, 11:01 PM
Pages 2&3 show a workaround for the LNL-AP 9mm ejection issue:Looks like you solved the problem.

April 13, 2007, 09:11 AM
thanks for all the info - looks as if there are three real contenders
dillon -both - l&l - rcbs pro2000
each with its own unique little problems
i have a good deal on a pro 2000 with several dies & shell plates
and 3 tool heads - 2 powder measures
im going to try it and at $300 its one of
those things that if it is not what i
want it wont kill me or keep food off the table
i will still work up my loads on a single stage rockchuker
and do big stuff on the big max so i wont be changing out
any for small runs - anyway there seems to be a good deal of
feeling about presses with reloaders - would you think ?

April 13, 2007, 09:17 AM
That's not a bad deal for the press with the goodies and it certainly has a good powder measure on it if those are Uniflow powder measures. I think you made a good choice, assuming it's in good shape. BTW, I do know if you don't like the primer strips, RCBS offers a tube feed version upgrade for that press.



April 13, 2007, 09:17 AM

Thanks for the link, I am definitely going to try that on my L-n-L. What I have been doing is using shell plate #10 for 9 mm and .40 S&W with great success, but I have extra extractor wires so I'm going to give it a try.

April 14, 2007, 02:01 AM
I can claim no credit for the ejection wire mod pictured in the link. If you're willing to give up die station #5, it should certainly help.

My solution was returning to a dillon 550 for all progressive loading. I am even more confident now that was the right decision. One more jam on the LNL-AP would have resulted in a very strong desire to toss it right out the window; monetary investment be damned! It has a new owner now who is happy to have it and doesn't load 9mm. I've reloaded about 2K 9mm on the 550 and had no issues with the press or ammo. Loading is enjoyable again.

April 14, 2007, 07:00 AM

I was here when you first bought the Hornady LnL AP and had buyer's remorse before it had even arrived. I've read all your posts from day one complaining about the press and all that was wrong with it. I've read your many posts wishing you had kept your 550.

I'm glad you have gone back to a press you're happy with that fits you and that you can get along with enjoying reloading. After all, if someone isn't happy with their press, they should get what fits them and they're happy with. Thank God we have choices in the United States.

There are a couple of things I'm curious about.

1. The amount of defective parts you and your buddy on the Glock board have had has extremely exceeded any qualitiy assurance statistics that I know of and I worked in quality control in the medical industry for several years. Even the worst companies quality control wise out there didn't get that many problems occuring with one or two customers located near one another. I'm not saying it isn't possible. I'm just saying it seems like an awful lot of failures and quality control issues for two guys living near one another, especially since I didn't see others on any other boards posting with the same problems at the same period of time, which is one big indicator of quality control problems. You two's experiences go against the odds of probability.

2. I've never, ever read of anyone having broken parts on their automatic advance system on the Lock N Load on any board except that post on the Glock forum. Of course, I don't post on all the boards nor read them. I speculate it's possible, but it's just as possible to break a machine from adjusting the timing so badly it's mechanism hangs up and this causes the break. I believe it can occur, but having a second set break generally indicates something other than bad parts. What, I have no idea. Maybe there is something machined wrong in the alignment areas of that particular press that aren't visible to the naked eye, but cause failures in that area of the press. If I had two failures of the same parts in the same area like that, I'd be sending that press back to the manufacturer for a thorough check out to identify why they failed. Was it sent back to be checked out? If not, I'd urge it be sent back.

3. I agree with you the 9MM wire ejection issue is a problem for quite a few folks. I was able to shape my ejection wire in a couple minutes to eliminate the problem, even using the problematic Lee FCD. But maybe I was just lucky with mine. I did have the bottom of the FCD milled off by a buddy of mine who does machining work and had the tools. I have heard the ejector system from the older Projector system can be retrofitted to the LnL, but haven't felt the need to try it.

4. I see you went back to a manual advance press instead of buying a 650 and I am wondering why.

My experiences with the Dillon RL550B and the Hornady LnL AP have been exactly opposite of yours. My 550 was a piece of crapola from day one (And I had no buyer's remorse. I was too new to reloading and it was "the press" everybody was buying the year I bought it.) with major primer system issues (sideways & crushed primers) and pain in the rear powder measure adjustments along with that miserable manual advance.

I was never happy with it and after a couple of shipments of parts that didn't fix the problem and time passed with no working press, ditched it when one of the Dillon techs got mouthy with me over the phone about the priming system. I speculate, looking back, I was unlucky with it and got one that wasn't machined quite right, but didn't know enough about moving turret presses then to correctly identify the problem. I got fed up after the cantankerous tech, got rid of the Dillon, bought the Hornady and I've been happy with my press ever since. Based on the happy Dillon owners out there, I suspect my press was in the 1-2% of extremely hard to control manufacturing defects all manufacturer's have.

Perhaps that's what happened with you and your buddy. You just got the bad luck to catch all the 1-2% quality control issues from one company all in one location or perhaps something was subtly wrong with your presses that were shipped that time/day. Who knows.

All that aside, I'm glad you're again happy reloading and are enjoying your 550. I'm glad you've got something you feel is right for you and I wish you the best with it.

This is something I gotta ask though. Why is it a 1911 user would even bother with a pain in the rear to reload mouse cartridge like the 9MM when .45ACP is so easy to reload? That what bugs me. I hate dealing with mouse droppings (9MM cases) at the range.



April 14, 2007, 01:30 PM
Dave, I shoot production class in uspsa and handloaded 9mm ammo is a cost and performance advantage (tuned ammo). I also shoot L10 class with a 1911 45.

As far as failure stastics on the press, I agree, but it all happened, unfortunately. The common theme was both of us ordering presses and accessories around the same time, but the distributors were different. Hornady had some real QC issues last spring. Once everything on the press was in-spec, then my decision finally came down to having 5-stations, a casefeeder, and minimum 10% case ejection jams with 9mm. The jams were not worth it. I'm beginning to wonder if they tightened some dimensions on the new 9mm shellplates and that makes the ejection problem much worse. Idano mentioned using a different shellplate for 9mm.

Why a 550 and not a 650? I'd like to have a 650, but the conversion costs are high. I reload 8 different calibers and $70 conversion kits plus a 650 with casefeeder are beyond my means. I've used manual and auto indexing presses and (for me) it does not make a difference until you add a casefeeder. I don't plan to buy one for the 550. If I need a casefeeder then it's time for a 650.

After using one, a casefeeder is not a big need for my loading. It's nice to have sometime and (surprisingly) in the way other times. The hornady casefeeder requires a solid bench to perform well otherwise cases can start falling off the press.

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