Best progressive reloading machine?


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Chris Miller
September 16, 2010, 11:44 PM
Let's assume money is no issue (well, it is a little)..... what progressive machine would you recommend?

I have been looking at Dillon for some time, but then the Hornady fans jump in and I have no idea which way to go.

I am not an expert reloader. Have all the equipment, but used it very little because of the time involved. I would like to automate the process, and I feel we shoot enough to justify a $500-$1000 spend.

Any suggestions? Also, where do you recommend we purchase said equipment?

Thanks!

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Jim Watson
September 16, 2010, 11:50 PM
How many calibers?

I blew the entertainment budget one year for a 1050 dedicated to .45 ACP. It seems a lot of trouble to change over, so I load other calibers on the 550 or AutoCHamp.

Valkman
September 16, 2010, 11:52 PM
Me, I like the Dillon 550B so much I have two of them. A 1050 would be nice though! :)

Hondo 60
September 17, 2010, 12:25 AM
If money were no option - a Dillon 1050.
If money is a little bit of an issue - a Dillon 650 (this is the one I want, but I'd spend well north of a grand with all the options I want.)

So I'll stick with my Lee Classic Cast Turret. No it's not a progressive, but it's the best of both worlds (money/performance).

Waldog
September 17, 2010, 01:08 AM
I have loaded on a Dillon SDB, 550, 650, 1050 AND the Hornady LNL. The LNL is most comparable to the 650. I own a LNL and wouldn't have any other. The reasons are these:
-LNL powder measure is superior
-LNL has smoother auto-indexing than the 650; 1/2 index while ram going up and 1/2 index while ram going down.
-Quicker and cheaper caliper changes.
-LNL is fed from the left side of the press, both bullets and cases. This allows me to maintain my right hand on the operating handle while feeding BOTH a case and bullet with my left hand. It's very natural to me. Others hate this feature. Dillon requires BOTH hands to feed bullets and cases. One hand feeds a case, the other hand feeds the bullet then back to the other hand to activate the ram.

These are just my opinions based on my experience with both.

It's important to emphasize that BOTH COMPANIES OFFER AN EXCELLENT PRODUCT with outstanding customer support.

Fisherdave10
September 17, 2010, 01:50 AM
If you're interested, the Hornady LnL is on sale at MidwayUSA this month. http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=679228 My friend owns one and has been pretty happy with it. He loads .223, .40S&W, 6mm Rem., 30-30 and for a day I loaded some .308 on it. It's a nice press without an obscene price tag. Read the reviews.

loadedround
September 17, 2010, 06:32 AM
My choice would depend on how many rounds and how many calibers you load. The easiest press to change calibers would be the Dillon 550B. If you are loading 100's of say 45 ACP rounds at a time I would consider the 650. The 550B press is also the cheapest to convert to anoher caliber. Call Dillon and ask for a copy of their "Blue Press". This catalog will describe all Dillon presses in detail. BTW, the 1050 press is nice, but is strictly very high volme or for the professional reloader...you don't need one.

Lloyd Smale
September 17, 2010, 06:47 AM
Ive got two dillons and three lock and loads. I agree with the other poster that said the hornady powder measure is hands down better. The case feeder on a lnl is a pos and the dillon 650 is hands down better in that respect. The hornadys tend to go out of time after a while and it seems like im tweaking them alot more then the dillon. As to a first time progressive buyer a 550 is hard to beat. There manual index so theres alot less to go wrong. They are alot slower to load on though. It boils down to how much ammo you make. If you only need a few hundred rounds a week a 550 will work just fine. If your loading thousands of rounds a week and its only one caliber a 1050 is hands down the best press on the market but there expensive and caliber conversion are expensive and its a pain to swap calibers on. Up in heaven i will have a loading room with 1050s set up in every caliber i load!

Caliber
September 17, 2010, 07:50 AM
I have the LNL and the only reason I chose it was because for the price of a Dillon that auto indexes the LNL was a better price. Dillon has great stuff though and I would get a 650 if I could but as someone else said , with all the options it would be pricey.

Walkalong
September 17, 2010, 09:15 AM
-LNL is fed from the left side of the press, both bullets and cases. This allows me to maintain my right hand on the operating handle while feeding BOTH a case and bullet with my left hand. It's very natural to me. Others hate this feature.
Not me. I love it too. It was probably the main reason I chose a Projector so many years ago, and when I upgraded recently, stayed with a LNL.

You can't go wrong with an RCBS, Hornady, or Dillon machine. The ergonomics are different, so if you can get your hands on all of them, see which one fits you. The Lee Loadmaster is a neat press as well, although by all I have read, is a little more finicky. I almost bought one years ago.

EWP
September 17, 2010, 09:23 AM
I chose the LnL AP because of how smooth it indexes and since I don't have to swap up hands like with a Dillon loading a case then bullet(RCBS bullet feeder is on my list and I can feed cases just as fast as any case feeder on the AP) every pull of the handle is no problem and keeps the press running at a smooth fast pace for every caliber I reload, and yes the Hornady Powder Measure is hands down the best of any progressive and I wouldn't be scared to say it's as good as if not better than my Redding BR3 measure also. JMHO

pcwirepro
September 17, 2010, 10:18 AM
I love my LNL. Best price available (if they can keep them in stock) http://www.manventureoutpost.com/products/Hornady-095100-Lock-N-Load-Loader-AP.html

jmorris
September 17, 2010, 11:57 AM
I have half a dozen Dillon's but money was no issue I would pick from these two. Wait, if it really were not an issue I would just get a few of each.

Camdex 2500
http://www.camdexloader.com/AppImages/ProductImages/2500SeriesLarge.jpg


Ammoload
http://www.ammoload.com/mark_l_2.jpg

Walkalong
September 17, 2010, 12:16 PM
Looks good. Gimme two of each. :D

jmorris
September 17, 2010, 12:34 PM
If Chris is buying, I'll just need a shipping address.;)

Red Cent
September 17, 2010, 07:28 PM
Some of the guys are not remembering the 650 correctly. Unless they didn't buy a case feeder. With the optional case feeder, you simply place a bullet and crank, place a bullet and crank, ..........
I went from a single stage Lyman Spartan to a Lee Turret to a Lee Pro 1000 to Dillon 650s. Can't imagine anything better than a 650.

Sweet
September 17, 2010, 08:58 PM
I would buy any of Dillon Precision progressive presses. My personal favorite is the XL650. Started with the SDB and worked my way up to the 650. If money was not a problem I would buy a 1050.

jmorris
September 17, 2010, 09:26 PM
With the optional case feeder, you simply place a bullet and crank, place a bullet and crank, .......... Can't imagine anything better than a 650.

Bullet fed 650's, just crank.

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/650feeders.jpg

cavman
September 17, 2010, 09:35 PM
I bought a Dillon 650 with the case feeder which has been very good for me.

However, I bought some 10,000+ brass from a fellow Bullseye shooter for pennies, and learned that some cases need to have their pockets reamed.

For this reason alone, in hindsight, if I knew that my fingers were going to be bruised to the bone and raw and tender from the Wilson pocket reamer, http://www.lewilson.com/primerpocketreamer.html used for about 8,000 of them! I would use have bought the 1050 without question as it has a reamer in one of the steps automatically. Of course, if I had known I could have gotten one of these, but didn't know until too late. http://www.dillonprecision.com/content/p/9/pid/25263/catid/8/Super_Swage_600

Also, if I was more of a rifle guy, I still might buy a 1050 anyways.

Tim the student
September 17, 2010, 10:17 PM
How do you guys like the 650 without the case feeder?

cavman
September 17, 2010, 10:25 PM
I can't answer that. I bought the case feeder when I bought it. It is the only set up I have used.

I am trying to imagine how it would be however, and I can't see a problem. I would have to use both my hands to deliver the case with the right hand, then the left to place the bullet. Then just pull the lever.

Sweet
September 17, 2010, 11:01 PM
I can't say either. When I upgraded from the SDB, I bought the case feeder when I bought the 650.

noylj
September 17, 2010, 11:42 PM
leaving out the commercial automated loaders, my ranking of presses I have seen is:
1) Super 1050/RL 1050
2) Hornady L-N-L
3) Dillon 650
4) RCBS whatever it is
5) Really don't like it, but Dillon 550
6) Really, really don't like it, but Dillon SDB
7) Lee LoadMaster
8) Lee 1000

GW Staar
September 17, 2010, 11:43 PM
Geeze, all the RCBS Pro 2000 users, are rolling their eyes. If you like to load lots of calibers, pistol and rifle, its hard to beat the green machine. Caliber changes in 3 minutes, and a superior and safer APS priming system, were the strong motivators for me. Super press, you'd be doing yourself a disservice not to examine the RCBS Pro 2000 auto-advance option. I've had mine for 2 years, and the more I use it the better I like it.

The closest Dillon to it is the 650, but try changing calibers on a 650 in three minutes...more like 15 minutes on a good day.

The only people who prefer manual-advance progressives, are the ones who don't own an auto-advance progressive.

jmorris
September 17, 2010, 11:52 PM
How do you guys like the 650 without the case feeder?

I loaded for a little while on a 650 without the collator. I built an extra long tube that held 25, 45 acp's and loaded them into PVC tubes of 25 while culling for NT, and amerc brass. They worked just like the primer tube but just dumped in 25 at a time.

Prion
September 18, 2010, 12:04 AM
The 550B works well for me but I only shoot a few hundred hundred rounds a week.

EddieNFL
September 18, 2010, 04:30 AM
The only people who prefer manual-advance progressives, are the ones who haven't experienced the auto-advance progressives.

Used auto indexing presses since the mid '80s. Still prefer the 550 for certain tasks.

Once again we learn opinions vary.

ranger335v
September 18, 2010, 08:35 AM
Dillon's top model, what is it...1050?

hydraulicman
September 18, 2010, 10:27 AM
versitile I would get a dillon 550

if you need more ammo. get the 650

redneckdan
September 18, 2010, 11:35 AM
I like the star I have set up with a case feeder. Only does .38 and .357s but runs smoothly once it is set up for a load.

rightside
September 18, 2010, 05:13 PM
I use the Dillon 650 without the case feeder. When cases get low and am refilling, I do a check to make sure everything functioning is just right.

swiftak
September 18, 2010, 05:22 PM
I'll stick with my 550.

Owen
September 18, 2010, 07:23 PM
dream machine would be a 1050 with the powered by Ponsness & Warren ( http://reloaders.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=71 )

noylj
September 18, 2010, 07:34 PM
Loaded on a friend's 650 without case feeder. he had bought two, but didn't think he needed the case feeder.
What a pain in the ass that was. It was very uncomfortable reaching to the back with my right hand to insert cases.
I had never even thought about a case feeder for my Hornady, but it became obvious to me when I first saw where the empty cases went that the press and I could only get along with a case feeder.
After that, I really appreciated my Hornady. Every station is where I would want it. Only thing better is the 1050...

prickett
September 19, 2010, 11:10 PM
Geeze, all the RCBS Pro 2000 users, are rolling their eyes. If you like to load lots of calibers, pistol and rifle, its hard to beat the green machine. Caliber changes in 3 minutes, and a superior and safer APS priming system, were the strong motivators for me. Super press, you'd be doing yourself a disservice not to examine the RCBS Pro 2000 auto-advance option. I've had mine for 2 years, and the more I use it the better I like it.

The closest Dillon to it is the 650, but try changing calibers on a 650 in three minutes...more like 15 minutes on a good day.

The only people who prefer manual-advance progressives, are the ones who don't own an auto-advance progressive.
You sure don't hear much about the Pro 2000, but I LOVE mine. Anyone know how the Dillon primer feed compares the RCBS's APS priming system? I'd have to be pretty darn good to make me want to give up the APS.

BTW, I replaced RCBS's powder drop with a Lee Powder thru the die, so station 2 now primes, bells, and drops powder. That allows addition of a check die and a separate FCD or taper die.

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