September 8, 2009, 09:26 PM
Seriously looking to purchase a 550B. I have Lee dies for all of the calibers that I currently reload and I'm wondering if I can use these dies with the 550. What else do I need besides the press if I want to upgrade to the 550 from my current setup of a Lee turret and single stage press?
September 8, 2009, 09:42 PM
Your Lee dies will work fine. The Dillon dies have a more open bottom end which makes thing a little easier but I use Lee Dies in my 550 with no issues. It is nice to crimp as a seperate step and you will have an extra station on the tool head to do it so a Lee crimp die is good. Re adjust your bullet seating die so it wont crimp. You wont be using the die that flares the case mouth as the powder measure drop tube in the powder die will take the place of that die.
If you are buying the 550 new it should come with 1 conversion and a tool head with powder die and powder measure.
Of couse you will need a good scale.
You will want additional tool heads for each caliber you load for. Extra powder dies are good too. Extra powder measures are real nice (I have 3) but not needed. You will need a conversion for each extra caliber too (thats like the shell holder).
September 8, 2009, 09:48 PM
Depending on the cartridges you are loading, you will need what Dillon calls a Caliber Conversion Kit (Shellplate, powder funnel, and locator buttons; $45) If you have cases which can use the same shell plate, no additional conversion kits are needed, but you may need to buy an appropriate sized powder funnel.
The 550 has standard threading for all your current dies.
Ifyou wish to make "quick changeovers" you will need the Quick Changeover Kit (Toolhead, Powder Measure, Powder Die, Toolhead Stand, $91). All your dies and the powder funnel ae on the toolhead and simply change the preset toolhead. This can get $pendy.
If you want to spend less, you can use the same toolhead, and screw the dies in and out and switch those components from the conversion kit. There ae also powder bar slides which are around $25-$30, which can be set for a particular powder weight and quickly swapped out in the powder measure.
September 8, 2009, 10:11 PM
Listen not to get into a Red Blue Koolaid, but don't forget to look at the LNL AP Hornady
Bushing die change out is cheaper and just as fast as the toolhead (Dieplate) change of the 550
(toolhead for the 550 is $20, set of 10 bushings is $34) Press comes with 5 bushing, use on average 3 bushings for pistol and 2 for rifle.
also has a Life time no hassle warranty
If you order before 12-31-09 you get up to $300 worth of free projectiles from hornady in their rebate offer.
Add those and the fact the Hornady is priced at a more economical point than the 550 it makes it worth considering.
I have seen them between $369 and $399 recently.
Either way you will be fine. If you get a 550 you will like that to, as long as you dont mine manually indexing every single solitary time you advance the shell plate. :neener:
RED KOOLAID ROCKSSSSSSS!
September 8, 2009, 10:14 PM
I had a problem with Lee 9mm dies being too short in the threaded section to put the lock ring on top of the tool head. IIRC, had to use the thinner dillon lock rings on the bottom of the shell holder. They will work, you might have to get creative, but they will work.
September 9, 2009, 09:06 AM
Cochise pointed out an interesting comparison between Dillon and Lee(other mfgr. also) sizing dies. Dillon dies do have a more open or tapered mouth on their dies and it is much easier to start a case into the Dillon die than with the others. Other sizing dies can be very annoying if you trying to turn out large quantities of ammo in a hurry. This may or may not cause a problem for you when you need to hand guide the cases into the die. I run two Dillon 550B's and use all Dillon pistol dies. My rifle dies are Redding or RCBS and have had no problems with them. YMMV.