need new press advice


October 8, 2003, 05:27 PM
Ok, After fighting for 5 years with a Lee press I have decided to get a new press for Christmas. My parents want me to pick one out and the limit is $300. I will be loading everything from 30'06 to 45acp. What are my best deals. I guess I could mainly be concerned with pistol. I still can use the RCBS rock chucker for rifle, I have just been shooting rifles lots more recently, so loading faster for them is always a plus. However the lee is the reason I haven't been shooting pistols much. So....Any advice?

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Steve Smith
October 8, 2003, 05:44 PM
5 years of struggling and you're going to limit your options?

I say just hit your thumb with a hammer and be done with it.

October 8, 2003, 05:45 PM
You can buy a new 550B from Brian Enos and a few other dealers for 10% off Dillon's list (search recent threads in this forum for details). 30-06 and 45 use same baseplates, so all you'd need to buy for the conversion is a powder funnel ($6). If you want to make caliber switches easy, add a powder die and toolhead for under $20 for the pair.

I'm assuming you already have dies. Dillon pistol dies are very nice, but you may be able to get Dillon/Enos to swap you the extra set of dies that comes with the set for the head/funnel/powder die.

Love my 550B and wouldn't change to another or "better" press even if it were given to me.

October 8, 2003, 06:08 PM
RL 550B. The best press out there. Just a couple of bucks over $300 but it
can't be beat. It can reload both pistol and rifle. You can change calibers for about $50 (tool head, powder die caliber conversion kit).
It is very versatile you can load one round at a time like a turret press. You can also sit down and crank out 400 to 500 rounds in an hour. There no BS warranty is the best.

Mike Irwin
October 8, 2003, 06:15 PM
Cut a deal with the parents where they'll kick in the $300, and you'll kick in the rest.

Golden opportunity to get a press that will last you for the rest of your life.

Steve Smith
October 8, 2003, 06:17 PM
Guys, you're all telling him about a press he doesn't have permission to buy. What's the point?

Ed, when you can beg your wife for 50 more bucks, come back and see us.

October 8, 2003, 06:36 PM

550B lists for $330. Less 10% buying through Brian Enos and he's in budget.

October 8, 2003, 09:31 PM
Brian Enos sell the 550B "bare" , no conversion kit for $269 plus $32 for the conv kit $301 plus $19.99 shippg = $320.99 , see if you can move the parents that far at least. If they are in a good mood get the spare toolhead for 12.30 and another powder die for 6.60 since the shipping will stay the same, $339.89 delivered and ready to rock for both 30-06 and 45acp. Add your other calibers as convenient for about $50 for the conversion kit and a toolhead and powder die so you can leave them setup. You won't regret it if you can move them a bit. Case

Steve Smith
October 9, 2003, 09:49 AM
Sorry, I was a bit cranky last night. He's still over budget because of shipping, but Ed, if you can squeeze out just a bit more, you'll be in high cotton with a Dillon 550.

October 11, 2003, 03:47 AM
Ed, I have an older Dillon 550 I will let go for $250 plus actual shipping. I believe I have all parts to convert it to the "B" except for the metal piece mounted to the shellplate area that the powder measure failsafe rod connects to. It's used and has some scratches and such on it, but is still covered by Dillon's lifetime warranty. I'll have to double check to see what caliber conversion kits I have doubles of, but it will come with one (no dies though at this price).

If not Ed....then anyone in Southern California need one can let me know. I'de rather not have to ship it.

A. Partisan
October 11, 2003, 08:33 AM
Check eBay. You can get a good deal if you don't go bid crazy. I have bought 2 550's with extras and a 650 with extras through eBay. Dillon will honor their no BS warranty even though you aren't the original owner.

October 11, 2003, 11:20 AM
Buy a 550B or regret it and work with inferior equipment for another 5 years spending another chunk of money that you did not need to spend.

October 12, 2003, 12:05 PM
Your first post is a little vague. You say you want to upgrade from a Lee press but you still have a RCBS Rockchucker? What problems are you having with the Lee? I'm interested to know about the setup you have and what's giving you problems with reloading for pistols.

October 12, 2003, 02:25 PM
It depends on what kind of shooting you do.
I like to do incremental work ups in pistol and rifle cartridges.
I like to load at the range.
I want to load the same rilfe case over and over very quickly to see how long case life is with a load.
So I have 5 single stage presses mounted to a board.
I only need one Rockchucker for the heavy re sizing.

This might be silly for you, as you may compete with pistols and want a Dillon.

October 13, 2003, 09:13 AM
I've had lots of problems with the lee. The primers don't load onto the lift, the bullet loader has never worked at all, the powder sometimes comes out sometimes doesn't, which means that I have to check every round to see if it has powder. Sometimes the primes load sometimes they don't, which means that I have had more than a few times where the primers didn't load and the powder did come out and that gets messy. The case feeder works but lots of times the next case will come part way out and jam up the cycle, and speaking of the cycle, sometimes it doesn't go all the way and I have to set it by hand. Those are the big problems I remember right now. I have tried to make this thing work for years now, I have actually gone back to the RCBS single stage instead just so I can reload faster. I have nothing against LEE, I like their dies and understand that you get what you pay for. I'd just like to load safer,faster and confidently.

October 13, 2003, 01:32 PM
Ah, so you have a Lee Loadmaster? You simply mentioned you had a Lee and RCBS so I assumed you were only using single stage presses.

I'm assuming you want to stick with progressive for the speed, so you are pretty much stuck with the Dillon 550B. Even with a $300 budget, are you going to even keep the Lee? If not, just sell it and put it towards the difference on the $300 and the Dillon.

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