Caliber Change Cost - LNL vs 650xl


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mallc
September 7, 2009, 04:31 PM
Hey Guys,

I'm working on an apples to apples comparison of the LNL AP and Dillon 650XL. I'm thinking this list is about as close as it comes for changing from caliber to caliber. Prices are current Graf list.

Thoughts please?
Scott


Dillon 650 XL
Shellplate and bushings for case feed drop $73.99
Toolhead kit: Toolhead, powder measure, stand $95.99
Audible Powder Check $67.99
Total: $237.97

Hornady LNL-AP
Shellplate $29.99
Die Bushings - 5 $26.65
RCBS Lockout Die $45.19
Powder Measure $84.92
Powder Drop Assembly $64.25
Powder Drop Lower Assembly $23.33
Total: $274.33

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Shoney
September 7, 2009, 06:08 PM
Your calculations are grossly inaccurate and misleading. You are comparing a case feeder on the 650 with none on the LNL, and buying equipment that is already included with both machines.

NONE OF THE FOLLOWING ARE NEEDED FOR AN APPLES TO APPLES COMPARISON

Dillon 650 XL You can use the same tool head and swap out dies and powwder funnel.
Toolhead kit: Toolhead, powder measure, stand $95.99
Audible Powder Check $67.99

Hornady LNL-AP
RCBS Lockout Die $45.19
Powder Measure $84.92
Powder Drop Assembly $64.25
Powder Drop Lower Assembly $23.33

Also of important consideration is the reuse of the powder measure on the 650 without buying a new one. A small hastle to swich back and forth, but done by many by getting the powder slide bars and swapping out preset slides for various loads.

650 - in order to make it a true quick change
Quick Changeover Kit (Toolhead, TH Stand and Powder Measure $96 ea) and
Caliber Conversion Kit (Shellplate, locator buttons, powder funnel; $74
Low Powder Sensor $41
Total $211

LNL AP
Shellplate $30 –
3 Die bushings $11.10 (10 pack of QC bushings $37 ea)
no powder measure necessary
Powder Thru Expander Die for PM $9
Total $51
for quicker change get Micrometer Pistol Rotor $30
Total $81

mallc
September 7, 2009, 07:05 PM
but that's not what I asked.

Here's the scenario; change from 9mm with Power Pistol to 40 SW with Titegroup. Run-to-run. Everything set from the last time I ran 40 SW.

With a 650, I swap the toolhead; dies, powder measure, powder check are already in place. I change the shell plate and the plastic bushings to drop the brass into the locator, and hook-up the powder linkage. The 650 feeds brass from a tube but I'm not including case feeder or changing plates in the case feeder - that's another section.

With the LNL I have to have 5 bushings (one for each station), powder measure with the case activator and lower assembly, and either Powder Cop or Lock Out die, and the shell plate to accomplish a comparable change over.

I'm thinking that I have to buy both case activator and lower assembly for the powder measure if I'm to take advantage of the breech lock changeover. Is this correct?

Scott

Shoney
September 7, 2009, 08:59 PM
mallc wrote
Caliber Change Cost - LNL vs 650xl
Hey Guys,

I'm working on an apples to apples comparison of the LNL AP and Dillon 650XL. I'm thinking this list is about as close as it comes for changing from caliber to caliber. Prices are current Graf list.

Thoughts please?
Scott

Dillon 650 XL
Shellplate and bushings for case feed drop $73.99
Toolhead kit: Toolhead, powder measure, stand $95.99
Audible Powder Check $67.99
Total: $237.97

Hornady LNL-AP
Shellplate $29.99
Die Bushings - 5 $26.65
RCBS Lockout Die $45.19
Powder Measure $84.92
Powder Drop Assembly $64.25
Powder Drop Lower Assembly $23.33
Total: $274.33
Pardon me Scott, but where exactly in this first post do you say
Here's the scenario; change from 9mm with Power Pistol to 40 SW with Titegroup. Run-to-run. Everything set from the last time I ran 40 SW.

In my next post, I will write you out an explanation of what you are asking.

floydster
September 7, 2009, 09:06 PM
This should be good !!:D

mallc
September 7, 2009, 09:46 PM
Shoney,

I apologize for not being more clear in my original post. I have both machines and am trying to establish consensus based boundaries for comparison. I am not saying that either is better than the other, only trying to establish equitable means of comparing the two. The devil is always in the details but details translate to value and different users place different value on different features.

Let's agree to keep this on the "High Road" help our fellow members understand their choices and the true costs of each.

Respectfully,
Scott

45ACPUSER
September 7, 2009, 09:54 PM
Some conversions do not need the whole conversion....spend more time lookinng components of the conversion ie 40 to 9mm......The whole thing is moot since it is hard to get Hornady parts....when was the last time a person had to wait on dillon back order?

David Wile
September 7, 2009, 10:07 PM
Hey folks,

Call me old fashioned, but here is what happens when I change from a pistol caliber to a rifle caliber on my Hornady L&L:

1. Check to see if the rifle case uses the same shell plate as the pistol. If it does, no change of shell plate. If it does not, then change shell plate. No Big Deal (NBD).

2. Check to see if primer feeder needs changed. If it does not, just change primers in tube. If it does, then change primer tube and shuttle assembly. NBD.

3. Take three pistol dies out and replace with two (or three) rifle dies. Sometimes I have bushings on dies, sometimes I do not. Either way, I always end up adjusting at least the seating die. Either way, NBD.

4. Changing from one powder to another means I have to empty my powder dispenser and fill it with another powder. Also along the way, I probably will have to change from the small measure thing to the big measure thing, but that's no problem at all. It takes me more time to set the adjustment on the case activated powder measure than anything else. However, it is NBD.

5. After taking my leisurly time making these really easy to do changes in about 15 minutes, I am now ready to start making cartridges at an incredible rate.

The best thing about this whole change of caliber business is that it did not cost me anything to make the change. I did not have to buy any more tool heads for a Dillon, bushings for a Hornady, powder cop dies (I don't use them), powder measures, special crimp dies (I don't use them), and whatever other bells and whistles you come up with. Yes, I have to use different shell plates whether it is a Dillon or a Hornady, but I also have to use different shell holders for single stage presses, so I think throwing the "cost" of shell plates in the mix is a red herring.

My way also does not involve the cost of one of those automatic shell feeders, and it does not consider the cost of an automatic bullet feeder. To those who value their time so much as to require seperate tool heads, powder measures, and so forth for each caliber they load, and that money spent to accomplish the end is not an issue, I would submit they really go all the way and forget tool heads, bushings, and so forth. They should really save their time and just buy a fully automatic press set up for each and every caliber they load. Better yet, they should also hire someone to do the actual loading for them so they have even more valuable time to spend at the range.

Reloading is such a tedious chore. I simply do not know how folks put up with all the trouble.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

Walkalong
September 7, 2009, 10:21 PM
Hey David
I screwed dies in and out many a year, and thought the bushings were a solution to a non problem when I first saw them, but now that I am using them, I likey. :D

As far as the OP's Q, I have no idea. I picked my poison, so what a caliber change costs for it or another is a mute point. :)

This one could be debated forever. What constitutes a caliber change, what's included/needed. Then the folks who just don't like one brand get to fussin', then everybody gets to fussin', then the mods close it down.

But fortunately none of that is going to happen here, and folks will settle this for mallc, cause I know all he is interested in is what really is the difference. He has been quite patient with us, the least we can do is help out. :)

David Wile
September 7, 2009, 10:25 PM
Hey Mallc,

I know the Devil may be in the details, but you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. I realize that a lot of Hornady and Dillon progressive loaders may change out bushings and tool heads, but I would suspect there are a lot more who put a cap on their spending and do not have complete set ups (including powder measures) for each caliber they load. Most of the reloaders I have known are pretty frugal folks.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

David Wile
September 7, 2009, 10:40 PM
Hey Walk,

I'm only picking on Mallc a little bit. Heck what's the sense in having one of those rich young yuppies on the forum if you can't pick on him a bit. What the heck, he'll outlive us anyway and will have the last word on us.

I read what you said about the Hornady bushings being a solution looking for a problem, and I have always thought the same thing about them and the Dillon tool heads. In the past few days, someone on the forum said he was considering permanently installing his Hornady bushings with glue or something and then using dies as we were meant to use them - the old fashioned way (that would kill Mallc). I am seriously considering doing that to my L&L. I just hate the idea of making such a change that can never be reversed - you know, if some younger fellow comes along and wants my press when I have gone for my dirt nap.

Oh well, Mallc is OK even if he is a Yuppie pretend reloader, and I really do not intend him any real harm or malice in my words.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

Shoney
September 7, 2009, 11:06 PM
Scott
Since I have both the LNL and a 550 and loaded thousands of rounds on my hunting buddies 650, I am not angry or upset, as I tried to rationally answer your question.
an apples to apples comparison of the LNL AP and Dillon 650XL. I'm thinking this list is about as close as it comes for changing from caliber to caliber.

Here's the scenario; change from 9mm with Power Pistol to 40 SW with Titegroup. Run-to-run. Everything set from the last time I ran 40 SW.
Please note: no die prices are considered because of the wide price variations. All prices listed are from Graf’s and are rounded up to the nearest dollar.

With the 650 set up for 9mm & PP, and you wish to change to 40SW w/Titegroup without altering the settings of dies and PM as you switch back and forth, you have only one choice: get a Quick Changeover Kit (Toolhead, TH Stand and Powder Measure $96 ea), a Caliber Conversion Kit (Shellplate, locator buttons, powder funnel; $74), and Low Powder Sensor $43 (I cannot find a $68 model at Grafs but will use your price).

There is a lot less expensive method for the 650. The dies can be locked at their settings and switched. In order to NOT BUY a new powder measure, the powder bar can be permanently set and replaced with new slides costing $29 per slide. This conversion method takes longer but you only have to buy the Conversion Kit, to accomplish a "Slooow Caliber Conversion".

With the LNL AP, NO new powder measure or parts are required, but you must have the proper powder thru expander for $9. I am presuming that the powder is emptied from the PM after every session. This is what I do on both my Dillon and Hornady. To remove the Hornady PM it takes a turn of the wrist, dump and replace in less than 10 seconds. You can buy powder rotors, which take about 5 seconds to switch in the PM, and you have a choice of a non-micrometer insert for less than $10 or a micrometer calibrated insert for $30. If you are going to set/forget, then the non-graduated is in order. I prefer to buy one micrometer rotor, set and record the micrometer reading for each powder, and dial in the proper load each time. Very little time involved, and very repeatable.

650
Quick Changeover Kit (Toolhead, TH Stand and Powder Measure $96 ea) and
Caliber Conversion Kit (Shellplate, locator buttons, powder funnel; $74
Low Powder Sensor $68
Total $238

LNL AP
Shellplate $30
3 Die bushings $11.10 (10 pack of QC bushings $37 ea)
no powder measure necessary
Powder Thru Expander Die for PM $9
Pistol Rotor $10
Total $61
upgrad to Micrometer Pistol Rotor $30
Total $81

Good Shooting!

David Wile
September 8, 2009, 12:46 AM
Hey Shoney,

I thought you were one of those frugal old reloaders. If you are telling me that you spend either $61 or $81 to change calibers on your press, I am going to lump you in with those rich yuppies like Scott. I'm better than frugal. I'm just plain cheap.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

Shoney
September 8, 2009, 02:26 AM
David:
Although I don't fit either category, go ahead and dish out my lumps. I"ll have two.

I'd have to says that frugal is too liberal of a term for me. And as far as yuppie goes, I've never been a lackey to anyone who wants a yes man.

David Wile
September 8, 2009, 01:26 PM
Hey Scott,

I cannot believe you have not responded to the barbs I have thrown your way. I at least expected to be called something about too old for whatever...

Oh well, I thought I would try to make a serious comment about the cost comparison of changing calibers on the 650 and the L&L. First you have to understand the assumptions you make in your premise. If I understand you correctly, I think your idea of a change out includes changing tool heads/die bushings, powder cop die, and powder measures assembly, and press shellplate. You do not seem to include any parts for a case feeder.

You already know that I would never even think of using a shell feeder, would never use more than one powder measure, would not use a powder cop die, nor one of those through the expander die powder drop things. I'm not even all that wild about the tool head and die bushings "improvements." However, this is your query, and I will try to make my response true to your interests.

Firstly, your assumptions do not include any costs for changing case loader parts like a shell plate. I think your premise is probably better by not including case loader shell plates since the shell plates can usually be used for more than one caliber. You also do not include the cost of the die sets, and I would agree with your assumption. You do include the cost of the press shellplate, and here I would disagree with your cost analysis. Just as a case feeder shellplate can be used for more than one caliber, so too can the press shell plate be used for more than one caliber, and therefore should probably not be included in your analysis. Remember, your initial premise was a cost comparison rather than a comparison of time to change calibers.

Based on what I mentioned in the preceeding paragraph, it would seem to me that a better cost comparison of a complete caliber change would be made if one would agree to the assumption that only those parts associated with the five hole tool head in the 650 and the five hole press head of the L&L would be considered in the comparison. If you would agree with that assumption, then the comparison would be more manageable.

From what I have gathered in the different posts, it would seem the 650 would require 1 tool head (plus a tool head holder, but I do not understand the whole tool head holder thing), a powder cop die of some sort, a powder measure assembly, and a through the expander die powder drop thing.

The L&L would require about five bushings (for the few bushings I leave on dies, I keep them in their original boxes), a powder cop die of some sort, a powder measure assembly, and a through the expander die powder drop thing.

If I am correct so far, a cost comparison would then be made on the differences in the costs between a tool head and five bushings, a powder cop die (there may be no comparison if the same cop die is used in both presses), the powder measure assemblies, and the expander die powder drop thing (again, if the same thing can be used on both systems, then this cost would be a wash).

The whole powder measure thing can be a point of arguement if you want to argue rather than actually analyze data. One may argue that a whole assembly is not required if one just changes the whatever on the measure drum. I think Scott's premise was to compare costs of making a complete caliber change without making adjustments to the integral parts associated with loading for a caliber. To me, that would mean actually changing complete powder measure assemblies including the case activated mechanisms.

So, what is the difference in price between a tool head and five bushings? What is the difference in the costs of complete powder measure assemblies? Is there even any need to compare any cost difference in powder cop dies and the through the die powder measure thing? If both of these items can be used on both presses, then they are a wash and would not make a difference in cost between the two brands of presses.

I have no idea of what the parts cost, but you have to honest in the numbers you use. If a 10-pack of bushings costs $37, you cannot use $37 as a cost for five bushings. Five bushings should be costed at $18.50 and a tool head should be costed at whatever the actual cost is. If a tool head is included in a package with other parts used in the conversion, then the combined cost of same can be compared to the costs of the same items of the other brand. Based on the prices previously listed by Scott and Shoney for various items, I cannot make an honest and informed calculation, and I am not going to start looking for their actual market costs.

However, Scott's desire to come up with a cost comparison between an L&L and a 650 for changing calibers with no need for tool adjustments seems to come down to the cost difference between tool heads and bushings, and the cost difference in powder measure assemblies.

Now you guys figure it out.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

mallc
September 8, 2009, 03:14 PM
If you mean by rich yuppie that I have a good job, then yeah I'm workin' my tail off...especially in this economy. Young...yep again. I turn 55 in November. I'm sure all you guys are a LOT older than I am. :rolleyes:

Now that "pretend reloader" comment really hurt. Every since my wife started shooting seems I can't load 'em up as fast as she empties 'em out. Red is her favorite color and she's taken quite a shine to this new LNL, I'm hoping that she get's this bug as bad as she got the blasting bug.

You all are good guys with great big opinions. All I gotta do is get by the short parts and sort out what you base those opinion on. Heck, you're gonna get stung once in a while if you're gonna collect honey.

I really appreciate all of your comments and once I get everything pieced together I'll let you take some more pot shots it.

Scott

David Wile
September 8, 2009, 05:43 PM
Hey Scott,

If you're ready to turn 55 this November, then you certainly are no kid. In fact, I'd say you are already pretty darn old and should start acting your age - get ready for retirement by learning cheap. When I was your age, my kids were almost out of college, and it was the first time in our long married lives that we were actually saving money for our future. I had purchased a bunch of guns through the years, and I had some progressive shotshell reloaders, but I had never bought a progressive metallic machine. I had one friend with a Dillon progressive and another friend with the Hornady progressive which preceded the L&L AP. I was very familiar with both of these machines and had used them quite a bit.

It was 1997, my wife retired in March while I continued to work, and then Hornady came out with its new L&L AP machine. After nearly forty years of reloading metallic on single stage presses, I decided I was going to get one of the new Hornady machines. I really did not need it, but we actually had saved some money in the prior ten years, so I decided to buy a machine I really did not need. I just love the mechanics of it.

Like I said, I bought one of the first ones, and the serial number is just over 1,000. Since buying it, I have only replaced the shell plate spring one time, and I never changed any primer or EZ-Ject parts. It is as stock as it was new, and I never had any problems with it.

Now, back to picking on you. If you are too busy to change dies and powder measures when you change calibers, you are a pretend reloader even if you are already old and not really a young yuppie like I suspected.

Being serious now, I am not about to really berate you or anyone else for spending money on extra measures and such to save time changing calibers. We all have to live and die our own way. Just because I don't mind spending loads of time putzing around the reloading bench changing dies and such, that does not mean others should be expected to feel the same way I do.

Tell me what you think about my last post on evaluating your cost analysis of die changes in the two machines. Did my reasoning about only comparing the press head related parts make sense to you? If it did, then what is the difference in costs for those parts? If it was just comparing one tool head with five bushings, I would guess the five bushing would be a little cheaper, but I have no idea what the parts would cost when replacing the powder measure stuff. You started this thread, and I think you should be responsible to figure out the costs involved.

I only wish I could get my wife to go shooting. She goes bowling, and I go shooting. I hate bowling, and she hates shooting. Something is wrong with her. If she would go shooting, I would be happy to keep her in ammo. To tell the truth, getting older eyes has made my shooting ability go down quite a bit, but I can still see just fine to reload ammo. I would rather load the ammo and watch her shoot it.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

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