How much faster is a Dillon 550 compared to a Lee Classic Turret?


PDA






Lone_Gunman
April 28, 2009, 02:32 PM
I have done all of my reloading up to this point on my Lee Classic Turret, but think I want to upgrade to a progressive.

I am really only considering Dillon. I was initially thinking of the 650, but think that might be more press than I need.

How much faster is the Dillon 550 compared to the Lee Classic Turret?

Speed, ease of caliber changes, and ability to load both pistol and rifle ammo are my main concerns. Would I be better off with a 650 instead of the 550?

I don't want it to be too complicated, and the 650 sounds more complicated than a 550.

If you enjoyed reading about "How much faster is a Dillon 550 compared to a Lee Classic Turret?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Eb1
April 28, 2009, 02:48 PM
I would take a guess, and say since each pull of the progressive will make a load round.... 4X as much.

It takes 3-4 pull on a turret to make a finished round, and only 1 to make a finished round on a progressive.

Just multiply what you get now time four.

Landric
April 28, 2009, 03:04 PM
I'd hazard a guess that the 550 is about 2-3 times faster than the Classic Turret. I load a lot of my stuff on a Classic Turret and I have a friend that uses a Square Deal B for .45ACP and a 550 for all his small primer stuff. I've watched him load a bunch of the 550, and the SDB was mine for some time, so I loaded on it quite a bit.

The 550 doesn't auto-index, so that slows it down a bit. Its also a lot more complicated to change from large to small primers on the 550 and the caliber change involves changing out the tool head and shell plate. Its not hard, but its a lot faster to change calibers and primer size on the Classic Turret. The reason he doesn't load any large primer loads on the 550 is that he hates to change out the primer feed.

The 550 is an excellent press, but it might make sense to keep using the Classic Turret for some tasks and the 550 for others.

jfdavis58
April 28, 2009, 03:10 PM
Speed isn't everything, but if I fill all ten of my primer pick-up tubes (about a minute each), keep components and acro trays close at hand, have brass lubed and 'ordered' on several large cookie sheets (400-600 rounds each) work from a known load on tightly torqued dies, under good light and have no interruptions, I can generate 900 to 1000-45acp rounds per hour, 750 to 800-9mm rounds per hr (I got fat fingers), 700 to 800 38Spec/357 rounds per hour, and 650 to 750 223/5.56 cartridges per hour.

This is checking charge weight every 20-30 rounds, OAL every 50 or so. I also use Wilson case and cartridge gauges-that helps a lot! Drop, check, go.

Cases must be clean and I have a compressor to blow out any dust or particulates that may accumulate on or under the shell plate.


To change calibers, speed depends on how much you invest. With a complete top-side it takes about five minutes. To add a powder measure to a set of dies in a toolhead takes about a minute, but setting the charge weight slows things down-10-15 minutes. To completely assemble dies to tool head then add the powder funnel, adjust all and tighten can take upwards of an hour.

The 550 is manually indexed-left thumb advances cartridges from station to station-it's faster to do then to describe but parts must be meticulously clean for proper function (air compressor!). The 650 indexes as part of it's basic function. Visit the Dillon site and get manuals for both machines for the rest of the differences.

I've got two 550 on my bench, one set for small primers, one for large---this is pretty typical. On calibers I shoot the most I have complete top-sides. for the others I have a couple extra powder funnels.---this is also typical. I don't have any extra Dillon bells or whistles or alarm systems except the low primer buzzer which is standard. I do have micrometers on the powder bars and the tool heads devoted to rifle rounds are bolted to the machine-both are 3rd party upgrades from http://www.uniquetek.com/

Currently one press is doing 45acp the other 223/5.56.


I like my Dillons, the older has almost 900,000 rounds loaded (shot IPSC for about 10 years), the younger about 350,000. I've completely rebuilt the older press from spare parts kits and simple begging at the tech support phone line; took about 4 hours. Now it's as tight and smooth as it's younger brother.

You will need to make your own comparisons because I don't have any other progressive experience--well I had a Square Deal too, but it's at my sons home now.

lgbloader
April 28, 2009, 03:23 PM
In a hour, I can do about 150 rounds of 40 S&W on my friends LCT and about 500 on my 550B. That said, I think the LCT is one of the coolest reloading tools to ever come out. I really wish I had one. Don't get me wrong, I love my Dillons but you cannot go wrong with this LCT. It is very easy to set up and extremely easy to use.

LGB

redneck2
April 28, 2009, 05:24 PM
I've have a 550 for maybe 8 years. I used my friend's turret. Wow. The 550 is maybe 4x faster, and much smoother.

As for changes, if you have complete tool heads instead of jerking around with all the settings, caliber changes are pretty quick.

Larry Burchfield
April 28, 2009, 05:37 PM
IMHO the Lee Turrent press in not even the same class as the Dillon 550. I probably prefer the 550 over the 650 for regular loading and the 650 for volume loading. You dan also by lots of Dillon components on e-bay if you want to. The Square Deal B is mostly for pistol rounds and folks with large hands need not even try.
Also now days the 550 can be had with a case feeder. (They came out with this after I upgraded to a 650.
Larry Burchfield
SEABEES/RVN/67/68/69
DAV

RustyFN
April 28, 2009, 06:06 PM
Eb1:
I would take a guess, and say since each pull of the progressive will make a load round.... 4X as much.

It takes 3-4 pull on a turret to make a finished round, and only 1 to make a finished round on a progressive.

Just multiply what you get now time four.

Nice guess, not close.:D I and most people load 200 rounds per hour on the classic without rushing. Everybody I know that owns a Dillon 550 loads 350 to 400 per hour. So if you are lucky it will be twice as fast.

Rusty

I have loaded on a friends Dillon 550 and it is a very nice press. It will cut your reloading time down for sure but I don't think it will be anywhere near 4 times.

Eric F
April 28, 2009, 06:14 PM
Rustyfn is correct(mostly) I own both, I tried 38 super with the LCT and I got 210 in an hour, I had extra primer trays ready. With my 550b I also had extrs primer tubes ready but I could only produce 445 in an hour. It seems taking time to feed a peice of brass top a bullet and turn the shell plate for every pull takes a bit more time than pulling a lever 4 times adding a primer to the clip and placing a bullet. I will say that a friend of mine can do well, 550 an hour with his 550, but he has small hands and is very fast with them.

loadedround
April 28, 2009, 07:43 PM
Landric: Enjoyed your post and I feel the same way. Hate to change from large to small primers and back again on my 550B...a royal PIA. So I solved my problem by buying a second 550 online and now have one set up for large primers and the other for small. :D

RustyFN
April 28, 2009, 10:55 PM
loadedround:
Landric: Enjoyed your post and I feel the same way. Hate to change from large to small primers and back again on my 550B...a royal PIA. So I solved my problem by buying a second 550 online and now have one set up for large primers and the other for small.

I see where a lot of people do that. The only thing better than having a reloading press is having two.:D
Rusty

Larry Burchfield
April 29, 2009, 01:02 AM
Or one shet up for each caliber that you shoot.
Larry Burchfield
SEABEES/RVN/67/68/69
DAV

Shoney
April 29, 2009, 03:29 AM
I have a 550 and cannot figurer how you can load 400 per hour. If you have a case feeder and if you forrget to count the time to load primer tubes, and don't bother with safety checks on quality output, then maybe you can come close.

Loading at high speed is a surefire recipe for squibs and double charges!!!!

RoostRider
April 29, 2009, 04:26 AM
I have both, but I don't use the Lee much anymore.... the Dillon is faster by a good shot (I wouldn't say 4x's though)... when I want to load precise loads I use the Lee.... not sure if it is better, but it sure seems more 'solid' and 'on'....

Eric F
April 29, 2009, 07:57 AM
400 is a lever pull every 6.5 pulls a minute. thats a lot of time to drop a case and a bullet and turn the shell plate. Also my time does not count the time it took to load primer tubes. Its very possible but you must be very concentrated into your rythem. When you count it takes 4 moves to make a load, 1case, 2bullet, 3pull, 4turn,

I can do case and bullet at the same time. so 4x6.5=26 moves a minute. doing a case and a bullet at the same time leaves room for misses and primers. I dont doo 400 an hour often but it can be done.

freakshow10mm
April 29, 2009, 09:39 AM
On the LCT I can run about 200-225 per hour. On the 550 that I use commercially I load about 525 an hour for pistol and when I run 375 H&H Mag I can load about 475 an hour.

If you enjoyed reading about "How much faster is a Dillon 550 compared to a Lee Classic Turret?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!