What progressive press do you use


January 6, 2008, 09:04 AM
Please let us know which progressive press you have or the one you would buy, and why you prefer it

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January 6, 2008, 09:07 AM
Dillon 550B here, i guess the lifetime no BS warranty ease of use and quality won me over to blue

January 6, 2008, 09:34 AM
You should have put in an option for "other".
I'm still using two Star Machine Works presses. When they break, maybe I'll buy a Dillon. :rolleyes:

January 6, 2008, 09:35 AM
Dillon 550B here.

January 6, 2008, 09:40 AM
I took a reloading class at my local gunshop after the wife and I got up to about 500 rounds a week between us. The shop sold Dillion and I signed up for a 650XL with all the bells and whistles.

The Dillion is great for refilling a bucket of bucket of brass in a short period. BUT, we eventually wanted to tinker with different loads and powders which, is difficult at best with the Dillion 650. After spending time on this board, reading Patrick Sweeny's praise for Redding seating dies, and visiting a couple more shops, I bought a Redding T7 turret.

The T7 is loaded with a Hornady buller and Redding de-capping dies. I've been buying used die sets as I need them for small batches and working up loads. When we have a good load for the shoot, I dial it in on the Dillion and do a run.

The Dillion is probably 4 to 6 times faster than the turret but it it doesn't like to full length size rifle cartridges during a run. I have a 1980 RCBS Rock Crusher that I restored after it went though a fire. It does big cartridge sizing, and smoothing the crimp on swaged brass.

Next week I'm going to check into the clinic and see if I'm addicted to gun powder or just have a severe case of lead poisoning....


January 6, 2008, 10:27 AM
LnL. Just went over 70,000

January 6, 2008, 11:31 AM
Old Hornady Projector ;)

January 6, 2008, 11:39 AM
I love the rcbs, this thing is great!

January 6, 2008, 12:20 PM
I have had 550 for 6-7 years and have loaded alot of ammo this was my first reloading machine and it will never leave my bench, easy to change calibers and work up loads, you can back it if need be just very user friendly.

I got a 650 a few months back and it is great at production just pull the handle set a bullet WOW it fast. I will admit that it is not so good for load development tho, its hard to get case out and check powder charge but thats why my 550 will never leave the bench.

January 6, 2008, 12:45 PM
It depends...

For high volume pistol I use a Dillon Square Deal. Was my first progressive.

For Load development, I use a T-7 for the non-critical stuff like decapping, expanding the necks with a mandrel, neck sizing, etc. Then use a Rock Cruncher for the critical stuff like cartridge sizing and bullet seating.

For high volume shouldered rounds I use the Dillon 550B.

For BMG, it's all Rock Cruncher.

January 6, 2008, 01:11 PM
sorry about leaving the choice for other out, my bad :uhoh:

January 6, 2008, 01:14 PM
I have the Hornady AP with the case feeder. When I bought mine I compare it to the Dillon 650XL and it was pretty much a toss up; I bought mine before the bullet give away. The only reason I didn't buy the Dillon was because I would have to mail order everything I needed where as with the Hornady all the gun shops here stock them and the accessories. Personally I don't see where either press, Hornady AP or Dillon 650XL, has an advantage or disadvantage over the other. Some think there is a huge price difference but by the time I added all the bells and whistles to my Hornady (Case Feeder, Low Primer Alarm, Case Counter, Roller Handle, and outfitted all my dies with Bushings) I was within only few dollars of the Dillon. By the way that was before the free bullet give away.

If I had the money or shot more I would buy the Dillon 1050 for two reasons: one, is that it is built on total different leverage platform (cam versus double knuckle and ram) and two, for the the swagging station for my 9mm, .223, and 30-06.

Down South
January 6, 2008, 02:18 PM
Dillon 550 B for pistol and RCBS Rockchucker for rifle.

January 6, 2008, 02:30 PM
Older (25 yrs or so) Dillon Square Deal for handguns. Just recently needed a couple of parts for it. Called Dillon and had them 3 days later. Great warranty and service.

January 6, 2008, 03:27 PM
I have an RCBS Pro2000. I love it. The warrenty is no hassle. Even when I broke things by my own stupidity they sent me replacements for free. They even paid shipping. I chose the RCBS over the Dillon because the primer system keeps all the primers separate to add some safety,i even comes with a primer loading device to load the strips. I also like not having to buy multiple powder measures. The micrometer adjustment is perfect and completely repeatable. Simple write down the adjustment number and when you rtun to that throw dial it in and you're set. It takes 3 seconds. THe powder throw is completely accurate. If I check every 10, every 100, or every 500 the powder throw is exactly the same.

January 6, 2008, 03:36 PM
I only reload 9mm Para and .45ACP.
My Dillon is perfect. Fast change between both calibers.

highlander 5
January 6, 2008, 04:01 PM
started with a Dillon 450 upgrade to a 550 now I own 2 650s,one for small rifle/pistol primers and one set up for large rifle/pistol primers. My only complaint with the 650 changing primer arms is a PITA

January 6, 2008, 04:51 PM
I can't vote both? Hornady LnL for .45 and Dillon SDB for 9MM.

January 6, 2008, 07:25 PM
Blue Kool Aide :D

January 6, 2008, 08:46 PM
I got on the bandwagon and just bought a 550B.

As I just put the reloader together today, I can't say anything about it other than it looks like a good design.

January 6, 2008, 08:58 PM
Dillon 550

lee n. field
January 6, 2008, 10:32 PM
The much despised Lee Pro 1000. Purchase of opportunity. Cheap, works so far.

January 7, 2008, 03:23 AM
Lee pro 1000. Cost 95 bucks delivered direct from lee set up with dies and ready to go.

Loaded about 5000 rounds in the last 6 months with no problems!

Red IS better;)

January 7, 2008, 03:52 AM
I have a piggyback if that counts. It does have me looking into alternatives, but it works well enough that I'm not looking too hard. Every since I put a case activated powder setup on it, things have been much better.

I've finally used it enough to find out where I need to put the lock-tite. It's finally broken in.

Not sure what's next, I'd like a dedicated progressive, but the changeover ease is important to me. A Hornady LnL or RCBS Pro 2000 are the most likely candidates at the moment.

A Lee 1000, for the price, might just fill the bill for a specific caliber dedicated loader.

January 7, 2008, 06:17 AM
Dillon 550B here. I too think primer switch is a PITA. Although very reliable, with a nice feel and refined, it could really stand to be better in terms of speed/convenience.

January 7, 2008, 07:37 AM
Lee Loadmaster, works good and the price was right.

January 7, 2008, 07:45 AM
Dillon 550B here.

January 7, 2008, 08:29 AM
I have a Dillon Square Deal, 550, and 650, and I love them all. Don't have the heart to part with them:D

January 7, 2008, 10:48 AM
My LNL AP arrives tomorrow. I only have space for one press, and need to load multiple calibers. Looking at the price (net of the bullet offer), caliber and primer change cost/conveniece, superior powder measure and relative operating speed, the choice for me was a no-brainer.

January 7, 2008, 11:07 AM
Dillon 550B for the past 15 years. It's great for working up loads or banging out your favorite. I loaded literally tens of thousands of pistol and rifle loads on it and the only part that has broken so far is the primer return spring. Actually the spring was still usable but Dillon sent me another one for free anyway. Can't beat their customer service.

January 7, 2008, 02:30 PM
I use a Dillon 650 with powder check, never any problems.


January 7, 2008, 08:17 PM
Started looking at the blue press last fall, but after more research, and the free bullets, I am fine tuning a new Hornady LNL-AP. Just great so far, and yes, I am a sucker for freebies.

January 7, 2008, 08:34 PM
After getting my Loadmaster all tuned up and dialed in, its a nice step up from my Pro1000.

The only step up at this point is the Dillon 650XL.

January 8, 2008, 12:43 AM
dillon sd,550 and 650

January 8, 2008, 06:10 AM
I started on the cheap with a Lee Challenger kit. I used that for a couple years and then decided to try a progressive Dillon out and bought the Square Deal B. I used that for a week or so and decided it made more sense to get the 550B and returned the SDB and bought the 550B. I ended up buying and selling used presses for a while and in the process got a couple 650 presses for my needs. When a great deal on a used 1050 came my way I sold the two 650 presses. I still have my 550B and load most of my reloads on the 1050. I'm a Dillon fan, but have heard good things about the Hornady progressive too. Had I not been finding all the used Dillon presses when I did, I probably would have been happy with the two 550B presses I had.

Lloyd Smale
January 8, 2008, 06:33 AM
one 550 and five square deals on my bench.

January 8, 2008, 05:00 PM
RCBS Pro2000, great press, great customer support.

It was a tough decision with all the Dillon fans out there trying to convince me otherwise. At any rate I had had experience with the APS system with my bench mount model and thought that the system would be great on a progressive. I also liked the idea of 5 stations verses 4 with the 550, gave me a place to put a lockout die.

As far as caliber changeovers, the powder measure is easy to adjust and the die plates make it a snap to switch calibers. I have no doubt the other brands are great machines, but I sure am happy with my RCBS.

January 8, 2008, 05:22 PM
Started with a Lyman Turret. Added a RCBS Rock Chucker.

Added a Dillon 450 with a couple mods. Dumped most of my Lyman gear, but still have the RCBS.


evan price
January 8, 2008, 06:44 PM
Lee pro-1000 and I load right now 9mm, .357, .38sp, .45 acp, .44 mag and I will be adding .40 S&W and .32 auto here real soon.

January 8, 2008, 06:54 PM
LoadMaster here, never posessed any of the Dillon or RCBS stuff, but my friends swore by them. (Hey, I had to be different)

I chose the Lee product because I found the press to be solid, and for $215 I was able to have a complete press, set of dies, brass feeder and auto primer and carbide dies for .45 ACP ready to go. With carbide die sets running less than $25, I saw a nice, quality and economical solution for my reloading needs.

Been using it for quite a while now and have run into zero mechanical issues. All of my reloads chamber and fire just fine, no issues with primer installation or mis-sets, haven't crushed any plated rounds due to poor case sizing or crimp operations. I may change my song in a few years, but so far the LoadMaster has been better than I expected based on my opinionated Dillon-ites friends!

January 8, 2008, 07:28 PM
I have a Dillon 550, a Lee LoadMaster and a RCBS AmmoMaster. I'm probably the exception to the rule here but don't have any major complaints about any of them. Originally I had serious issues with the RCBS but they stood behind their product and repaired the problems with the priming set up and all is well now. I don't like RCBS's lock rings on their dies, I've changed the RCBS dies to use Lee's lock rings on their dies. I've also had minor problems with Lee's priming system with most of the problem stemming from the use of plastic parts in the primer feed. I now know what to look for and change the part when there is sign of wear and have no problems with this press (I keep spare plastic parts on hand). The Dillon has been rock solid and the only downside (if it could be considered such) is the fact that it's not fully automatic (the user advances the rotation of the shell holder on this model). I've added most of the bells and whistles to this press and really like Dillon's roller handle. I've also added the most of the available upgrades to the other presses mentioned (case feeder, bullet feeder, low powder monitor, low powder lockout dies etc.) For the most part I just keep a certain set of dies on changeable die plates and use whichever press is set up for that caliber as opposed to having one favorite press. When push comes to shove and all is working the way it's supposed to work the Lee probably pushes out the most ammo in the least amount of time.

I have an RCBS RockChucker and a Lee Big Classic press for rifle cartridges. I use the Classic for loading .50 BMG.

January 8, 2008, 07:43 PM
I voted early on and have been following the poll. To be honest, I was surprised that many people checked in with Dillons. I've not known many Dillon owners--but I run in a pretty small local world and most of my shooting associates are pretty much "good value" type buyers.

It would be interesting to see this poll done again, with a breakout of the different models of current progressive presses--e.g., the Dillon SDB, 550, 650, and 1050; the Lee Pro 1000 and Load-Master, etc.--(I'm not up to speed on current Hornady and RCBS models).

Jim H.

January 26, 2009, 09:10 PM
Hope to start using my LNLAP this weekend. Also have a Pro1000.

January 26, 2009, 10:37 PM
I have 7 presses:

My main progressive press is a Dillon XL650.

My 2nd progressive press is a Dillon XL650.

My 3rd progressive press is a Dillon 550B.

My Turret press is a Redding T7.

My First press is my old RCBS Rockchucker.

My last purchased press is my Lee Challenger Press.

My favorite press is my Lee Classic Cast single stage.


January 27, 2009, 07:19 PM
Oh, yes!

I load 12-15 thousand rounds a year in over a dozen calibers, mostly handgun, but also .223, .308, .30-06, 7.62x39, (oh, gosh, more like 20 calibers) :evil:

It's a HUGE productivity tool. It's the only progressive I've ever owned in nearly 40 years of handloading. I can crank out ammo like a small factory. The Dillon has very elegant features like quick-change toolheads and all. Dillon also has very helpful people on their hotline AND truly, as they claim, a "no-BS warranty policy." I've bought boatloads of loading equipment and work it hard sometimes. The couple times I needed a minor part (usually my fault) they helped me on the phone and sent a free part ASAP. For MY purposes - Dillon's the number one choice and the standard by which I judge others. They're so good, in fact, that I buy from them as the "favorite provider" of most of what I buy.

I won't say ill about anybody else's rig - because I haven't used them - but I am one contented customer and I am PICKY.:)

Black Dime
January 27, 2009, 07:45 PM
(3) 650s
(1) Square Deal
(1) P/W 800+

and... Mec 600
and... Lee Turret

January 27, 2009, 07:49 PM
1 650
2 550s
1 Rock chucker
1 Partner

January 28, 2009, 02:57 AM
Better dead than RED. J/K Dillon 550 also. Awesome machine. Love it, 60,000+ rifle and pistol rounds and still love it!

Peter M. Eick
January 28, 2009, 06:31 PM
Pro2000 and just over 250,000 rnds loaded so far.

GW Staar
August 21, 2009, 10:23 PM
RCBS Pro 2000 auto indexing

Comparable to the Dillon 650, but simpler, with fewer and tougher moving parts (to keep clean, lubed, and working). It has a superior and safer primer feed system, and much faster (not to mention, considerably cheaper) caliber changes. The true sleeper of Progressive Presses, and now RCBS makes a bullet feeder for it.:)

P.S. RCBS's service is the equal of Dillon's. I've never paid for my own mistakes for 35 years.;)

August 21, 2009, 10:29 PM
dillon 550 . It's just about perfect with awesome customer support

August 22, 2009, 01:57 AM
I must have missed this thread when it was first posted...

Anyway, I started with a Dillon 550B and see no reason to change. It worked fine for pistol, and it also does double-duty as a "single stage press" for resizing rifle brass (for me...), and then works fine as a progressive on the prepped brass.

As another said, it's easy to pull brass out after powder drop to check charge, and it is also easy to manually index past the resizing die in station 1.

I really like the powder measure, even more so after adding micrometer adjustment knobs. +/- 0.1gr is typical.

I have multiple toolheads with a powder measure on each. (Two pistol, two rifle.)

I can't comment on ease of changing from LP to SP as all I reload is LP. :)

I'll admit it took me a little time to figure out how to adjust the shellplate, but it has been very reliable ever since that little learning curve bump.

I can't say it's better, as I have no experience with other brands. All I can say is that it is versatile, relatively easy to set up and adjust, and creates consistent ammo without spending an entire weekend at it.

August 22, 2009, 02:28 AM
I have a Dillon 550b. If I had a do-over I'd probably get the Harnady LnL AP. With the 1000 bullets they throw in I'd definately get the LnL.

August 22, 2009, 08:30 AM
I have a Dillon 650 and a new Hornady LNL AP. Both are great!

The Dillion has better fit and finish and the mechanics are more robust.

Neither spent primer system is as good as Redding's. I mount my presses on plates and install them on the loading bench as needed. I still don't have a good way to deal with the LNL spent primer tube.

The basic 650 auto loads brass from a column, the LNL is manual feed until you buy the elertric feeder.

Change-over cost is comparable - inspite of what you hear. You have to buy a bunch of pieces to get a complete powder measure for LNL.

Dies won't fit in their storage box with LNL bushings attached. The 650 tool head needs a covered stand.

The Dillon has better safety devices. I had to add a Dillion low primer sensor and a RCBS Lockout Die to the LNL to get same set up I have on the 650.

The LNL is a great press for making 200 to 300 rounds an hour where the 650 does 500 to 600.

The LNL is a great hand operated press for dedicating to a mid-production-range caliber.

You can add a bullet feeder to the 650 for $500 and a drive motor for $850 this gets you an automated ammo machine for less than $2500.

The price on the LNL accounting for the free bullets is unbelievable for the value you get. But...the LNL is NOT a Dillon 650xl.

All that said, I'm ordering another LNL for the shop.


August 22, 2009, 09:35 PM
RCBS Pro2000, great press, great customer support.

It was a tough decision with all the Dillon fans out there trying to convince me otherwise. At any rate I had had experience with the APS system with my bench mount model and thought that the system would be great on a progressive. I also liked the idea of 5 stations verses 4 with the 550, gave me a place to put a lockout die.

As far as caliber changeovers, the powder measure is easy to adjust and the die plates make it a snap to switch calibers. I have no doubt the other brands are great machines, but I sure am happy with my RCBS.
I love my RCBS 2000 Pro also. In addition to the lockout die, if you swap out the 2nd stage for a Lee Thru the Die powder dropper, you can then stick the lock out in stage 3, the seat die in stage 4, and a FCD in stage 5! Every die you can think of/wish for.

August 22, 2009, 11:30 PM
Dillon 550B because only the best will do.............and they have a no BS warranty.

August 23, 2009, 08:03 AM
Dillon 650

Rollis R. Karvellis
August 23, 2009, 08:49 AM
1 650
1 Hornaday Projector that had some issus from the beging, that I use for .41mag only.
5 single stage presses for dffrent odd job's.

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