Progressive Press Opinions


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J_McLeod
December 13, 2011, 12:21 AM
I'm getting frustrated with my Lee Pro1000 and seriously considering buying a different press. The Hornady LNL looks good, and Dillon has a reputation but I don't know much about their products. I want to reload large quantities of pistol and small cased (.223) rifle ammunition. Which press should I get? To save money, it would be nice if it were compatible with my Lee dies.

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RhinoDefense
December 13, 2011, 12:26 AM
Most reloading presses are threaded for the 7/8-14tpi that your Lee dies have. Threads don't get different from that unless you go with the larger bores like the .50 BMG and some older blackpowder cartridges.

The LNL and XL650 are both great presses. If you ever think you would want a case feeder on your press, skip the 550. Casefeeder on that only works with pistol and it's finicky.

Both are good companies. I have only used Dillon so that's what I stick with and recommend to others.

jp9mm
December 13, 2011, 01:08 AM
Consider hand priming and a small C press for de-priming.
takes a little longer and forces you to carefully inspect brass ;)

Once you drop the primed cases in its flawless operation

Missionary
December 13, 2011, 05:01 AM
Good morning
Bought my first Dillon in 88 and now have 3. Something breaks they send you a new part / or unit whichever is easier for them. The Dillons work, are easy to use, and you will not be dissapointed.
Just read the simple directions.
Mike in Peru

Walkalong
December 13, 2011, 07:26 AM
Either press will work fine, and can use Lee dies. If you can get your hands on them both, pick whichever one feels better to you.

cfullgraf
December 13, 2011, 08:09 AM
Either the Hornady L-N-L or the Dillon 650 will serve you well.

I like to resize at one time, clean the brass, then store it for a future reloading session. The Hornady is a little easier to be flexible for that kind of process. Just put in the dies you need for the work at hand.

This flexibility has been handy at one or two other times.

But, a similar flexibility could be done with the Dillon by either spinning dies in and out or obtaining extra tool heads.

jmorris
December 13, 2011, 09:22 AM
I have an LNL and a set of 650's, IMO the 650 is a better press.

CozMoDan
December 13, 2011, 10:20 AM
J, check out my post http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=630894 about Hornady.
I have LNL-AP with the automatic case feeder and it works perfect. They also have an electric bullet loader but from what I have read the feeder is not quite ready for prime time and the cost is in line with other feeders, around $300 with a feeder die. However I bought the die for a 9MM, and then from Hornady, the spring tube and funnel end. The spring tube slips in to the die (the other end with the funnel would fit the electric feeder ) for about $10 as I recall. I took a piece of 3/4" PVC pipe and reamed out the end a little so it would fit over the die ( I used a hose clamp to secure it to the die) and made it long enough to surround the spring and presto I have an automatic bullet feeder. The spring tube holds 47 115 gr. 9MM bullets and takes me about 4 minutes to load the 47 and a lot cheaper than 275 bucks for the electric feeder. It takes longer to load the tube that to load the shells:). I also have some 1/2" PVC (which hold 9MM bullets fairly well) that I can pre-load with bullets and just load them in the spring tube. The bullets loader is just for pistol for now and the rifle bullet loader is coming.
I have had the loader for several years and it works great and the tech support is the best ever. I always do stages, like de-prime, clean and then size and prime and so on.
BTW Hornady suggests that the bullet loader is just for jacketed bullets but my set-up works fine with plated and cast bullets.
The Coz

Kevin Rohrer
December 13, 2011, 10:46 AM
I can't comment on the L-N-L as I don't own one.

I have owned a 550B since the mid 90s and used to have a 650. Both are excellent. Which one you get depends on how much you choose to spend and the amount of control you desire to exert over the loading process. I chose to maintain maximum control over ammo during all phases of the process and stuck w/ the 550B over the 650, but that's me. It's also less expensive to buy and add to.

rodinal220
December 13, 2011, 11:01 AM
My Dillon 450 has never failed in 26 years.It still has all original parts.I just clean it and lube it.I love all my blue gear!!

sugarmaker
December 13, 2011, 11:10 AM
I have an LNL AP. W/O case feeder, it worked well out of the box. If you add a case feeder, mechanical aptitude is required to be happy with an LNL, IMO. Again, once the bugs are worked out it works like a clock but I spent a LOT of time tinkering and even making some of my own parts.

hpluseleven
December 13, 2011, 11:11 AM
Since you mentioned saving money as a concern, I'll throw this info at you:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=629815

I just bought an LNL AP, but I was looking at the 650 as well. I believe the advice that both are good presses, I just couldn't justify spending the extra couple of hundred bucks to get set up. But that was to set up what I wanted - depending on what your goals are, the Dillon may be the better deal.

grubbylabs
December 13, 2011, 11:39 AM
from what I have read they all have their quirks and different advantages. You just have to decide what works best for you.

I just bought a used Hornady press and so far I really like it. I have a RCBS RC and some other green gear and it all works really well. However, the more Hornady stuff I use and the more I deal with their CS the more I like Hornady. To be fair I have not had to call RCBS so as far as I know they are just as good to deal with. Before I ran across this used press I was going to get an LNL AP but I just did not have the funds.

MtnCreek
December 13, 2011, 01:58 PM
The Hornady LNL looks good, and Dillon has a reputation but I don't know much about their products. I want to reload large quantities of pistol and small cased (.223) rifle ammunition. Which press should I get? To save money, it would be nice if it were compatible with my Lee dies.

You can believe all the good things youíve heard about Dillon. The only thing that could make them better is if they came with a couple of those ĎBlue Pressí girls! :D

If youíre looking to run large volumes, the 650 would be a great tool. If you would be more likely to run a few hundred of this and a few hundred of that and so one, thereís probably better presses out there for that. Your Lee dies should work. I didnít think they would until someone here told me to put the lock rings on the underside of the toolhead. Iíve tried Lee .223 dies I and know they worked. Seems like I may have still had issues with 9x19 dies; canít remember.

The 650 has plenty of leverage; Iíve full length SB sized several thousand 7.62 mil-surp and full length sized hundreds of .300wm brass.

Master Blaster
December 13, 2011, 02:43 PM
Consider the RL550B, its a great press, I have loaded over 50,000+- rounds in 12 + years on mine, and the auto index is not needed at all. Even with an auto index you still have to pay attention to what you are doing. Right now I have a 550, and a Hornady LNL on my bench, I have owned the Hornady for about 6 years, 12,000+- rounds of .45 acp loaded on it. Its also a great press but requires a bit more tinkering than the 550 to keep it running. Due to ergonomic advantages I can still load faster on my 550 manually indexing than I can on the LNL with auto index. I have broken a seating die on the Hornady, and an indexing pawl, and a few case retainer springs, the primer shuttle is worn out on it as well. The Dillon, I have only replaced a plastic primer feed tip. On the 550 I index the shellplate with my left thumb as I set the bullet with the left hand, the right hand picks up a case and puts it in the press and then pulls the handle, the layout of the press facilitates this happening very fast with a little practice (ergonomics).

J_McLeod
December 13, 2011, 03:24 PM
How does the 550 manually index and still load so fast.

dnmccoy
December 13, 2011, 03:52 PM
I love my 550!

dmazur
December 13, 2011, 04:04 PM
I also have a 550.

Until you get automatic bullet feed as well as case feed, the speed of a press is pretty much limited by how fast you can pick up a bullet and place it on a case.

With the 550's well-laid out design (including the strong mount and bullet tray), your R hand picks up a case while your L hand indexes the shellplate and picks up a bullet from the tray. Then your R hand inserts the empty case at Station 1 while your L hand places the bullet on the charged case at Station 3. It really doesn't take much practice to do these simultaneously.

For me, I guide the bullet with my L hand until it is in the die mouth, but I've seen others reload successfully by skipping this step.

Indexing takes around 1 second. It really isn't a time-consuming part of the process.

Also, if you're worried about forgetting to index, you'll quickly discover that you have a case in your R hand and nowhere to put it, and a bullet in your L hand that you're trying to place on top of an already seated bullet...

Nothing wrong with the 550b. Elegant in its simplicity. :)

thorn-
December 13, 2011, 04:29 PM
I'll advise a LNL-AP over the 550. Not that the 550 isn't a good machine, but the LNL-AP gives you 5 stations instead of 4. In addition, it offers better ergonomics such that you don't have to remove your right hand from the handle at ALL during the loading sequence... you can place brass and bullets with your left hand only.

I also prefer auto-indexing. While it does not prevent a double-charge, it does make it a bit less likely. Unless you purposely double-stroke the ram in the middle of the charge, or back the shell plate up manually - it WILL advance to the next station whether you forget to turn it or not.

I also believe the LNL's bushing system is a bit more affordable and flexible than the Dillon toolhead system.

Both are nice presses, but there are differences besides the color.

thorn

Hondo 60
December 13, 2011, 09:11 PM
Of the two brand names the OP mentioned, I can only speak (or type) about Dillon.

I've had my 550 for almost exactly a year.
I love it more today than I did the day I got it.
I guess I just didn't know what i had gotten.

I too am a former Pro1000 user.
Yes, the blue koolaid is expensive.
But it is absolutely well worth the money.

Just tonite, it took me about 10 minutes to do a caliber change & get the powder drop correct.

I didn't have to adjust anything after that.
Another 10 minutes and i had a box of ammo done.
and I stop every 10th rd to dbl check the powder charge by weighing it.

Dillon has a no bs warantee.
If it breaks they fix it.
They don't care if you're the first or 30th owner.

Hope this helps a bit.

Blue68f100
December 14, 2011, 09:54 AM
I was looking at the same options 3+ years ago and went with the LNL-AP due to price difference. If you can pick one up used go for it, the warranty is still good. Just get the EZ-eject system. I did the conversion on mine and it was well worth the trouble.

Either one will server your needs. I have the LNL-AP w/ case feeder. A case feeder is required if you want speeds >500/hr. Mine LNL has been trouble free with a few minor issues. All case feeders are picky and take a while to learn for them to run near 100% reliable. Either one of these presses require a solid bench so the machines will not rock. Rocking on a case feeder causes problems. Change over cost is cheaper with the LNL. Both have a NO BS Warranty. Dillons always want you to buy a small parts kit. I never know why since their suppose to have a NO BS warranty, Unless certain parts are not covered. Dillon also have more plastic on there presses when compared to Hornady. I know with Hornady if you ask they will send you spare parts free. Like the shell plate retainer spring. I use to kink it when I was doing a caliber change when using the brass feeder. Now I have learned how to do things the right way no more kinked spring. The spring I have on it now is over 2 yrs old and still going.

If I recall Dillon has a case trimmer setup for the 650 since you will be shooting 223 it may be worth the added expense.

You definately want as many stations as you can get. You will find a use for them...

cfullgraf
December 14, 2011, 10:07 AM
After two years with the L-N-L I am still using the original case retainer spring, kinks and all. It still works fine.

When it breaks, I will replace it. Spare is already on hand.

CozMoDan
December 14, 2011, 10:18 AM
I have read all the posts and I agree that you probably can't go wrong with either press. I did notice that several people said the LNL is a bit picky and I have found that to be true until I discovered that if you clean it completely after a reloading session the "Picky" seems to go away. I found that most, if not all, of my troubles went away if I kept power, metal chips and all foreign matter off the press.
I can also attest to the no BS warranty from Hornady, free parts, and if I did have trouble the tech support is the best, but of course you need to call them:).
The Coz

dbarnhart
December 14, 2011, 11:37 AM
In my freshman engineering class I learned that every design is a compromise. Every manufacturer has their own opinion of the requirements for a 'perfect press', and they make the compromises that favor their own view of the perfect design.

My observation is that Dillon's view is that the production rate (number of rounds per hour), reliability, cost, and 'works straight out of the box' are their top requirements. Ease and/or expense of caliber changeovers is less important.

I have a Hornady LnL-AP and I don't think I could ever achieve the production rate of the Dillon 650. Caliber changeovers however are much faster/less expensive. These two videos on UltimateReloader.com (where Gavin videoed the changing calibers on a Dillon 650) were very instructive:

http://ultimatereloader.com/2009/11/23/xl650-caliber-change-45acp-to-357-mag-part-i-hd/

http://ultimatereloader.com/2009/11/23/xl650-caliber-change-45acp-to-357-magnum-part-ii-hd/

This article, in which a guy used the Dillon, Hornady, and Lee Loadmaster side-by-side for a year was also very interesting:

http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillonLeeHornadyComparison.pdf

And finally, When I went through this same process earlier this year, I wrote a series of blog posts to record my observations at opinions:

http://www.shootandreload.com/category/choosing-a-progressive-press/

amlevin
December 14, 2011, 12:12 PM
Look ahead and buy a press that will handle your needs should you start shooting high volumes. While the cost of some other presses are attractive, if you want a press that will load high volumes trouble free for years on end, it's hard to beat a Dillon 650.

Looking at what I load today I wish I had avoided my experimentation with a Lee progressive.

Shmackey
December 14, 2011, 12:14 PM
My observation is that Dillon's view is that the production rate (number of rounds per hour), reliability, and 'works straight out of the box' are their top requirements. Ease and/or expense of caliber changeovers is less important.

I have a Hornady LnL-AP and I don't think I could ever achieve the production rate of the Dillon 650. Caliber changeovers however are much faster/less expensive.

This is some extremely true stuff right here.

joed
December 14, 2011, 01:17 PM
I've wondered where the 550b gets its speed. I've owned all the Dillon presses except the SD. To be honest I don't find the 650 to be much faster then a 550. The only reason I sold the 550 was I will not own a progressive press without a powdercheck die.

joed
December 14, 2011, 01:29 PM
Either will work and I'm not going to say one is better then the other. I've been looking for a Hornady to compare to the Dillon line.

Why some people feel the need to deprime, size and prime off the progressive has puzzled me. To me that's like buying a car with a v8 and pulling 2 spark plugs off.

1in9twist
December 14, 2011, 01:51 PM
Why some people feel the need to deprime, size and prime off the progressive has puzzled me. To me that's like buying a car with a v8 and pulling 2 spark plugs off.

+1 :uhoh:

Master Blaster
December 14, 2011, 04:49 PM
I've wondered where the 550b gets its speed Because its well designed, and the ergonomics are very good for setting the new case and indexing and setting the bullet. I find the LNL to be poorly laid out, it takes me much longer to set the bullet and the new case.

joed
December 14, 2011, 08:34 PM
Master Blaster, you may be right. My friend has the LnL and I've tried it a couple of times. To me I feel awkward feeding it. I attributed this to using Dillons but I just can't get over the awkward feeling.

When I owned a 550 I was amazed that it almost matches the speed of the 650 which has a case feeder. The 550 was a good press to learn on in my opinion.

thorn-
December 14, 2011, 10:46 PM
I really don't understand the awkwardness regarding the LNP.

- You keep your right hand always on the handle.
- Place shell. When ram raises, pick up bullet with left hand.
- When ram is lowering, place bullet as it hits bottom.
- Raise ram, pick up shell.
- Place shell. Repeat.

If if had a widget that would place brass upright at my fingertips, I wouldn't even consider the need for a shell feeder. What's the awkward part?

thorn

cfullgraf
December 14, 2011, 10:53 PM
Why some people feel the need to deprime, size and prime off the progressive has puzzled me. To me that's like buying a car with a v8 and pulling 2 spark plugs off.

1. Different strokes for different folks.

2. i cannot inspect the primers until after the case is loaded.

3. The progressive press mounted primer systems are not reliable enough in my opinion. Without inspection capabilities, it must be 100% reliable. I gave up trying to make them 100% reliable. I was wasting too much time fixing errant or missing primers.

4. I am not real excited about prepping brass, i would rather do it in small quantities after shooting and store it away for future reloading.

5. While I know all the stories about cleaning primer pockets, it makes me feel better to tumble the brass after depriming. If i feel better about my reloads I will shoot better. Might as well resize the brass when depriming.

6. I find the progressives run more smoothly if you do not resize while reloading. Also, resizing goes lickity split when that is the only task being done on the progressive.

7. i can hand prime 100 cases as fast as it takes me to fill a primer tube.

8. i enjoy reloading.

9. As i said before, different strokes for different folks. It is what makes the world go around.

It is more like running a V8 with a four barrel carb and electing to not open the secondaries.

cfullgraf
December 14, 2011, 11:03 PM
I really don't understand the awkwardness regarding the LNP.

- You keep your right hand always on the handle.
- Place shell. When ram raises, pick up bullet with left hand.
- When ram is lowering, place bullet as it hits bottom.
- Raise ram, pick up shell.
- Place shell. Repeat.

If if had a widget that would place brass upright at my fingertips, I wouldn't even consider the need for a shell feeder. What's the awkward part?

thorn

It is kind of what you get used to.

My first progressive was a Hornady L-N-L. I got used to keeping my right hand on the lever.

I have added a couple Dillon SDBs that are dedicated to particular cartridges. It is less efficient to me to place cases in the press with my right hand and the bullet with my left.

But some of that inefficiency is a result of the layout of my reloading set up.

I like both the L-N-L and the SDB but each have their positives and negatives.

billybob44
December 14, 2011, 11:13 PM
I can't comment on the L-N-L as I don't own one.

I have owned a 550B since the mid 90s and used to have a 650. Both are excellent. Which one you get depends on how much you choose to spend and the amount of control you desire to exert over the loading process. I chose to maintain maximum control over ammo during all phases of the process and stuck w/ the 550B over the 650, but that's me. It's also less expensive to buy and add to.
Same here, except, I have had my 550 since the mid '80's

Tango Sierra
December 15, 2011, 12:38 AM
Reloading with the Dillon RL550B is a three step process for me.

When all Four stations are loaded and ready:
1.) Simultaneously I pull the lever down with my right hand while picking up a bullet with my left hand and while raising the lever I visually check that the primer cup has a new primer in it and as I finish the stroke to insert the new primer in the casing I look to see if I have a correct powder drop.
2.)While using my right hand to pick up a new brass case my left hand advances the shell plate and I'm also looking to see that the primer cup is empty.
3,) While watching the bullet my left hand inserts a new bullet and simultaneously my right hand inserts a brass casing and I make sure it is inserted properly by feel.

Repeat steps one though three until you run out of either primers, powder, bullets or brass cases.

I don't reload at Dillon's advertised rate of 500-600 rounds per hour. Because I'm visually checking everything every time I pull the lever, I'm loading 280-300 rounds per hour which also includes time to refill the bullet tray, brass tray and the primer magazine (using a RF100). My 550 is mounted on a 36-1/2 inch high workbench using a Dillon Strong Mount which gives an additional press height of 8-3/8 inches. The shell plate area is well lighted from above on both sides

Master Blaster
December 15, 2011, 08:43 AM
I really don't understand the awkwardness regarding the LNP.

- You keep your right hand always on the handle.
- Place shell. When ram raises, pick up bullet with left hand.
- When ram is lowering, place bullet as it hits bottom.
- Raise ram, pick up shell.
- Place shell. Repeat.

If if had a widget that would place brass upright at my fingertips, I wouldn't even consider the need for a shell feeder. What's the awkward part?

thorn


You got the first part Right YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND. How could you? Do you have a 550 you have been using for the last 14 years alongside the LNL you have had for 6 years? Have you loaded thousands of round on both presses?

No??

CozMoDan
December 15, 2011, 10:35 AM
I agree with several of the others about doing each stage in steps.
1. De-prime and tumble
2. Resize (Not so bad with pistol but a pain with rifle(needs lubing) and I am in the habit of my stages)
3. Prime and store-Not sure about the inspection part as I am able to feel the primer seat in this stage but just in case I do look when bagging for storage.
4. Load er up.

This is a very interesting thread and I enjoy all the comments except the
derogatory comments about the loaders. Each swear by the one they use, however that does not make any of the other loaders worthless IMO.

The Coz

jediagh
December 15, 2011, 12:06 PM
OP here are some articles to help you out.
http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillonLeeHornadyComparison.pdf (http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillonLeeHornadyComparison.pdf)
and
http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=26 (http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=26)

The 2nd is for the RCBS Pro 2000 which you can't get a lot of information/reviews on since not many people comment on it (read the article for why).

The current popular progressives on the market right now are (in no particular order):

Dillon XL 650 (ie. Blue religion)
Hornady lock n load (ie. Red religion)
RCBS Pro 2000 Auto (ie. Green religion)
Lee Pro 1000 Progressive (ie. Yellow religion)

Like real religions all have their fanactics and all have pros/cons to them.

What I have found out is that the customer service from all the companies is great, the presses work and help is only a phone call away from the companies.

jgh4445
December 15, 2011, 02:58 PM
Check my post in the "sell" section. Just might be what you need.

Cop Bob
December 15, 2011, 05:13 PM
I have three recommendations..

Dillon
Dillon
and Dillon... Great Design, Ease of maintenance, Set up/caliber changes not difficult, customer support is the world model for any business... they are bullet proof...

joed
December 15, 2011, 08:08 PM
Quote:
I really don't understand the awkwardness regarding the LNP.

- You keep your right hand always on the handle.
- Place shell. When ram raises, pick up bullet with left hand.
- When ram is lowering, place bullet as it hits bottom.
- Raise ram, pick up shell.
- Place shell. Repeat.

If if had a widget that would place brass upright at my fingertips, I wouldn't even consider the need for a shell feeder. What's the awkward part?

thorn

You got the first part Right YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND. How could you? Do you have a 550 you have been using for the last 14 years alongside the LNL you have had for 6 years? Have you loaded thousands of round on both presses?

No??


He's right, you have to try the different presses to experience what just feels right. To me the 550 is just designed to flow. The 650 doesn't even feel the same.

I'm not saying the LnL isn't designed right, I'm just saying I feel somewhat awkward loading on it. I'm sure if I spent more time with it I'd adjust.

thorn-
December 15, 2011, 08:09 PM
You got the first part Right YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND. How could you?

You're correct; I haven't loaded thousands on a Dillon. I have loaded thousands on the LNL, though. So - educate me. How is it more awkward to keep on hand on the handle, and feed bullets/brass on the left side as I typed it out? I've found it to be a rather fluid process.

He's right, you have to try the different presses to experience what just feels right. To me the 550 is just designed to flow. The 650 doesn't even feel the same.

I'm not saying the LnL isn't designed right, I'm just saying I feel somewhat awkward loading on it. I'm sure if I spent more time with it I'd adjust.

I suppose if you're used to one thing for years, another will feel odd - so, on that I can understand.

thorn

jp9mm
December 16, 2011, 12:33 AM
1. Different strokes for different folks.

2. i cannot inspect the primers until after the case is loaded.

3. The progressive press mounted primer systems are not reliable enough in my opinion. Without inspection capabilities, it must be 100% reliable. I gave up trying to make them 100% reliable. I was wasting too much time fixing errant or missing primers.

4. I am not real excited about prepping brass, i would rather do it in small quantities after shooting and store it away for future reloading.

5. While I know all the stories about cleaning primer pockets, it makes me feel better to tumble the brass after depriming. If i feel better about my reloads I will shoot better. Might as well resize the brass when depriming.

6. I find the progressives run more smoothly if you do not resize while reloading. Also, resizing goes lickity split when that is the only task being done on the progressive.

7. i can hand prime 100 cases as fast as it takes me to fill a primer tube.

8. i enjoy reloading.

9. As i said before, different strokes for different folks. It is what makes the world go around.

It is more like running a V8 with a four barrel carb and electing to not open the secondaries.
__________________
Chuck


+1

The extra time you spend manually de-priming and priming is probably the amount of time you should spend to inspect your brass before you put it in your dillion, and index manually and place shells in manually and pluck primers with a tube.

The lee is cheap, and to make it 100% reliable it only costs $30 more in machines to take out 2 steps. i don't see what is so great about the dillion that costs much more.
Its easy to see right down into shells to make sure they have the usual dose of powder.

Takes me 5 minutes or less to change to different pistol calibers.
which is what the lee 1000 is intended for.

J_McLeod
December 16, 2011, 12:45 AM
Thanks everyone for all the input. I appreciate it. After reading all the comments and all the links I ordered a LNL from grafs today and shellplates for 40 and 9 from Midway. I also ordered a powder cop die since I didn't really know what they were previously and decided I wanted one, which meant five stations. One of the most important things to me was caliber changes and auto indexing (extra safety against a double charge), and it sounded like the LNL was the winner for that. I thought long and hard about the Dillons and almost drove down to the factory. Eventually I'll get one of those Dillon power trimmers for .223.

I've still been trying to make the pro1000 work, and have failed after 4-6 hours this week. It's not worth it to me to have a progressive and have to prime off the press. I can go faster than that with my turret.

Master Blaster
December 16, 2011, 07:46 AM
Thorn; the thing is that you are going to great trouble to refute each of my posts which come from actual experience with both machines. The original poster asked for some input on a choice of reloading machines, so that is what I provided to him, my Opinion based on experience and use of the two presses.

I really don't feel a need to convince you.

Have a nice day

cfullgraf
December 16, 2011, 07:53 AM
J_McLeod

Enjoy your new progressive press.

Do not feel bad about not succumbing to the "Blue Flu". Either press would serve you well but I feel the Dillon blow hards are Dillon's worst enemy.

I use a Hornady powder cop die and it works. I put a Lee die lock ring on it for easy adjusting between cartridges. It is one of the few uses I have for a Lee lock ring. I guess you could also just not clamp the lock ring that comes with the die.

Some folks like the RCBS lock out die. It locks up the press if the powder charge is too high or low.

Some folks install the press so that they can see in the case and visually check the powder level.

So, you have several options to explore.

I have a powder drop die and powder measure rotor insert for each cartridge. Not a requirement but it makes cartridge changes go more quickly.

Bushings for each die is also not a necessity, you could set the lock ring on the die and swap them out at cartridge changes. Again, it makes life a little easier.

Blue68f100
December 16, 2011, 09:23 AM
Enjoy your new press it will server you good for many years. Dillons have not had any competition for years and Blues are having trouble with that. There is no dought the 650 is a good machine but all things mechanical that require someone to setup and operate will get a slightly different results. I have had my LNL-AP for over 3 yrs maybe coming up on 4 yrs now the primer system will can can work 100% if it's setup right. The LNL has a lot fewer parts than the dillon and I liked the simplicity of the LNL. When you get it follow the directions step by step as you set it up. Play close attention to the indexing check and primer setup. Mine is 100%, so if you do your part there will be no problems. I just ordered some more bushing for my dies. I have started loading rifle again and need some more bushing. You can get by by just unscrewing dies but that is pain every time you do a change over. If I recall the LNL powder measure comes with the Large (Rifle) Rotor installed, so you will need to change it to the small one to load pistol ammo.

Hornady has a 1st Class CS so if you run in to problems you can give them a call or just post here. I'm sure you will get a answer in any case.

As you get comfortable with the press you will start adding on things like the Micrometer head for the powder piston. Brass feeder if you did not order it with one. Just remember the feeder does not come with the brass shell plates.

Enjoy you have a press that will last a lifetime and make reloading a joy.

NoAlibi
December 16, 2011, 12:14 PM
I'm glad I recommended a Dillon 550 to a friend and now I have two of the 550s. He loved his 550, but he moved to a hostile gun environment in New Jersey, so he sent his to me as a Christmas gift many moons ago.

I could still be very satisfied with just one Dillon 550, but with two you never have to change the primer setup. The manual indexing just removes what is usually a finicky operation (auto indexing) on most progressive presses and I don't feel at all deprived.....Doc

J_McLeod
December 16, 2011, 04:55 PM
I may still get a Dillon eventually.

rfwobbly
December 16, 2011, 09:11 PM
I own a 550 and my son bought an AP. They are not equals, but are both good presses in different ways. The AP runs cleaner due to the spent primer recovery system. The 550 has less trouble with case belling.

Either press will make a good 250-300 rounds per hour at the slow "old man" pace I use. Once you set them up, either press will continue to make identical ammo until you run out of primers, powder, or the cows come home.

There is no "perfect press". The "best press" for you depends on your personal prefs.

CozMoDan
December 17, 2011, 08:16 AM
I think you made a good choice and I don't think, given the options, you could have made a bad choice as both are much better than what you have ( I struggled with the Lee and finally returned it).
I have two pieces of advise, pay close attention to the PRIMER SEATER PUNCH for both small and large primers. I have screwed it up a couple of times and had to get replacement parts. If you load in stages like de-prime, clean and so on the punch can get a piece of brass or dirt or whatever and get locked-up and trap the PRIMER SLIDE. Just make sure it is alway clean, for that matter make sure the whole machine is clean. And second if the stroke seems to be binding then stop right there and find out the problem. It can be as simple as a primer that has not been seated deep enough or brass or girt under the shell plate. Don't not continue if the up and down does not feel smooth and easy each time.
Enjoy it.

The Coz

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