dillon press for rifle rounds?


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car15bill
December 3, 2013, 04:45 PM
I shoot a fair amount more than I used to, and have less time because of 2 young kids. how much of a time saver would a progressive press be for 30-06 compared to my current Lee O frame? I have been eyeballing one for a while, but I always talk myself out of it because of the case prep that goes into rifle rounds (lubing, sizing, trimming, tumbling).

what progressive would be most satisfactory for the 30-06 round?

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MtnCreek
December 3, 2013, 04:54 PM
May look into a auto powder charger like a Pact or Chargemaster. I'm set up to load most rifle cartridges on a Dillon, but I still load them on a single stage (except .223). I'm considering getting something to speed up the powder charging.

jmorris
December 3, 2013, 04:55 PM
I load rifle rounds on all of the dillon presses except the SD.

The 550 is not a bad pick but neither is the 1050.

How many rounds a month do you intend to load?

RustyFN
December 3, 2013, 05:21 PM
I don't load 30-06 but do load 223 on my Dillon 550. After sizing and case prep I can load around 350 an hour.

cfullgraf
December 3, 2013, 06:02 PM
I recently got serious about loading some rifle on a progressive. I still resize on a single stage then trim and clean. I usually do this shortly after shooting them and it goes quick.

Then at a later time I load them on a progressive. It is a bit quicker than single stage and definitely less case handling.

Right now, I load 300 BLK, 204 Ruger and 223 Remington on the progressive. I have the parts to convert the press to do 30-06 and 308 Winchester.

gahunter12
December 3, 2013, 07:56 PM
I load .223 on a Dillon RL550b, but my 7mm RM, and .300WM loads are done on a single stage. I usually only load 50-100 rnds per year for those two calibers.

car15bill
December 3, 2013, 08:05 PM
I load maybe 400 a month, except deer season when my range is shut down. one of the problems right now though, with the little amount of free time that I have, is that I have to divide it between reloading and shooting. and I'm starting to think that it would be nice to be able to crank out more rounds faster, so I can shoot more and reload less.

I have a friend who jumped into reloading on a Hornady LnL, and all he does is 45-70 so far, but he loves it because he says he is in the same boat, he doesn't have the time to sit in front of a single stage for a full day of reloading because of family obligations.

car15bill
December 3, 2013, 08:07 PM
so, in everyones opinion, is it worth it to buy a progressive to save the time, or should I just start loading larger batches, since case prep is a tedious chore either way?

Hondo 60
December 3, 2013, 08:28 PM
I load VERY consistent rounds on a Dillon RL 550B.

The powder measure does a great job with stick powders like Varget.

While it wouldn't speed up the case prep, to go from dropping powder to a finished round with one handle press, certainly does speed up the process quite a bit.

I load for an AR-15, I can't imagine it'd be any different for any other rifle.

cfullgraf
December 3, 2013, 08:58 PM
so, in everyones opinion, is it worth it to buy a progressive to save the time, or should I just start loading larger batches, since case prep is a tedious chore either way?

Yes, loading rifle on a progressive, even with the interruption for case prep will save you some time.

But, think outside the box and try different things that fit your time constraints but still get the job done.

As I said before, I resize and prep cases shortly after shooting. The hundred or so rifle cases get processed quickly, maybe 15 or 20 minutes max. Then I prime, charge and seat at a later time when i have accumulated a quantity of prepped cases. Maybe not as productive as the stereotypic use of a progressive press but I still load more ammunition faster than i can shoot it.

You do not have to do it my way, but I mention it to give you an idea that you can break up the process in smaller chunks to fit your available time.

Reducing case handling is what gets you improved production rates and a progressive shines at that.

Hope this helps.

Greg Mercurio
December 3, 2013, 09:04 PM
I use an RL550 for both .223 and .22-250 Both shoot to well under MOA with my Ruger No. 1's and (.223) in all of my AR's. If I need any other bottle necked cartridges in volume, I would get another tool head and set it up for that caliber. It's a no brainer. Use ball powder, a good primer, good bullets and you will be happily surprised at the accuracy you can achieve. You WILL learn to spend the time required to setup the Dillon correctly. It IS time well spent. They are great machines, but still need some TLC and owner inputs to make them superb. :D

YMMV

I also have a Square Deal in .45 ACP, wishing I had the money for another SDB in 9mm, and 4 single stage presses on a different bench that get a lot of use when I need 20 or so rounds.

Bottom line: If time is at a premium, get a progressive. If not, then a single stage will do just fine. Accuracy between the 2 is negligible, and user controllable.

jmorris
December 3, 2013, 10:29 PM
400 a month would be pretty easy on any of them. Just decide how much money you are willing to invest and that will narrow your choices for you.

GaryL
December 3, 2013, 10:49 PM
I load 30-06 on a 550b. I've done just enough on a Lee CC to realize I prefer the 550b hands down. Nothing against those who load on a single stage, and I would tend to agree with anyone who suggests every bench should have a decent single stage. The thing I like best about the 550b for rifle rounds is the ability to stick fully prepped cases into it and cycle them through.

Sometimes I'll hand weigh the powder, and cycle them through the last 2 stages as each case gets charged.

The 550b is easy to use as a single stage when you want it to for case prep. But I tend to do case prep on the CC now, and load pistol on the 550b until I'm ready to switch over.

car15bill
December 3, 2013, 10:55 PM
ok cool, these are the answers I was looking for. I think I can finally sell myself the idea of getting one now. Its not about the accuracy, as much as the time I can save. getting sick of batches of 50, when I'd like to shoot 200 rounds of 30-06 a week thru my 03A3.

gahunter12
December 3, 2013, 10:55 PM
Some say the ammo isn't as consistent on a progressive as on a single, but my .223 loads are with in .001" +/- on OAL. I use a piece of packing tape around the lip on the tool head, which makes it very, very tight, and very consistant ammo. Unique Tek makes a tool head that's machined tighter, but I have never tried it.

medalguy
December 3, 2013, 11:18 PM
Same here. If the press is adjusted right, you will turn out very consistent ammo. If the table is loose and wobbling, not so much.

The 550 is a good press even if all you are loading is 400 a month. My usual routine is, if I'm reloading 1X fired brass, to deprime on a Rockchucker, swage primer pockets with the Dillon swager, then trim if needed and reprime on an RCBS table mounted autoprime. Then I put it in the Dillon and charge, seat, and crimp. If I'm using already swaged brass, or commercial brass, I do it all on the Dillon.

dprice3844444
December 3, 2013, 11:27 PM
lyman spar t press

Tom488
December 4, 2013, 04:12 AM
If you're looking to save time, in both case prep and loading, I'd suggest the following:

- Dillon XL650 with case feeder
- Dillon RT1200 trimmer
- Lyman 30L M die
- Universal decap die
- Re-use your existing FL size and seat dies

For case prep, you dump cleaned, lubed, fired cases in the case feeder, and spit out deprimed, resized, trimmed, and neck-expanded brass, ready to load.

After another quick run through the tumbler, to clean off the lube, you put the cases back in the case feeder, switching out the tool head with one set up with a universal decapper, the powder measure, and a seat die. The decapper cleans the flash hole of any remaining media, the rest of the press does it's thing, and you spit out completed rounds.

For even more output, add a bullet feeder to the loading tool head, and you're about as automated as you can (reasonably) get. You'll be in to the equipment for about $1,200 (press, case feeder, trimmer, trim/size die, extra toolhead). Add another $500 for a bullet feeder. You'll prep an easy 1,200 cases in an hour, and load 600 an hour, or close to 900 per hour with a bullet feeder.

jmorris
December 4, 2013, 11:18 AM
If you're looking to save time, in both case prep and loading, I'd suggest the following:

- Dillon XL650 with case feeder
- Dillon RT1200 trimmer
- Lyman 30L M die
- Universal decap die
- Re-use your existing FL size and seat dies

For even more output, add a bullet feeder to the loading tool head, and you're about as automated as you can (reasonably) get. You'll be in to the equipment for about $1,200 (press, case feeder, trimmer, trim/size die, extra toolhead). Add another $500 for a bullet feeder. You'll prep an easy 1,200 cases in an hour, and load 600 an hour, or close to 900 per hour with a bullet feeder.

With a bullet fed 650, 100 rounds takes about 3 min, on a bullet fed 1050 you can cut that back to about 2.5 minutes per 100. However, we are only talking 400 rounds a month, less than 15 rounds a day.

How much money and how much time are you wanting to dedicate and what one is the most valuable to you?

Tom488
December 4, 2013, 12:05 PM
With a bullet fed 650, 100 rounds takes about 3 min, on a bullet fed 1050 you can cut that back to about 2.5 minutes per 100.
Yeah, max speed perhaps is 2000 rds/hr... but factor in stopping to refill components, deal with the little one-off problems - not to mention not trying to run hell-bent on beating the clock - my estimate of 900 per hour is more realistic.

MtnCreek
December 4, 2013, 12:17 PM
Based on some of the posts I've seen from JMorris, I think he sits back and sips on coffee while his press cranks them out. :)

jmorris
December 4, 2013, 01:26 PM
Based on some of the posts I've seen from JMorris, I think he sits back and sips on coffee while his press cranks them out.


Generally involves chasing the kiddo around but some times she stops at the door and just watches the machine load.

http://i664.photobucket.com/albums/vv5/qvideo/IMG_20130718_135216_122_zpsdead8f17.jpg

car15bill
December 4, 2013, 09:14 PM
well, I figure if I can get something that works faster, I could shoot more, a lot more than 400 a month. maybe double that, because I wouldn't have to factor in using free time for reloading

jmorris
December 4, 2013, 09:34 PM
That's what generally happens. Kind of like getting into reloading to save money, more often than not, turns into shooting more for the same amount of money.

Nickb45
December 4, 2013, 09:39 PM
I load .223 and 30-06 on a 550b. I have no problems with sub MOA ammo getting cranked out. I feed the press fully prepped brass. I size/de-cap on a rock chucker, I trim on a Bridgeport mill with parts from a Hornady cam lock trimmer.

I have never used a 650, I might look into one for 45, but I like the manual index on the 550 for rifle rounds.

car15bill
December 5, 2013, 08:53 PM
jmorris, I have no problem with shooting more! I need to break in my Creedmoor 03A3!

car15bill
December 5, 2013, 08:58 PM
I don't see a lot of case stretching with my light 150grn loads now, and I only neck size, since I shoot them in my 03A3, would it be feasible to forego most of the extra case prep, and use my neck sizing die to really speed it up? or would this be inviting disaster?

jmorris
December 5, 2013, 10:18 PM
It's just money, if you want to save it you can. I have "trimmed" cases with a belt sander when I needed to for a run of one of my belt fed 308's and it still was accurate. I wouldn't use that method normally but it worked and was actually pretty accurate.

Racerx7
December 8, 2013, 01:50 AM
I reload 223 on a Dillon 650. I do all my de-priming, sizing and trimming on one tool head. I then swage military brass with a Dillon swager. The second tool head is for priming, charging, seating and crimping. The process goes pretty fast, I do have to stop and refill the case feeder, primers and powder.

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