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Dillan 550B testimonial

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Ed, Jan 14, 2004.

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  1. Ed

    Ed Member

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    I just finished loading my first 100 rounds through this press. All I can say is WOW!!!!! I have used RCBS and Lee in the past, Thay are nothing compared to this machine. I just about stopped reloading for pistols due to all of the problems I had with the Lee. The Dillan is beyond words. It just FEELS like a work of art. It works flawlessly. Now I will shoot more. Pistols are coming out of the safe. Seriously, I cannot get the point across how wonderful this machine is. I highly recommend it to anyone!!!
     
  2. einnor1040

    einnor1040 Member

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    Whenever I up grade, I'm going with Dillion.
     
  3. Cortland

    Cortland Member

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    Yeah, they're pretty decent but if you reload a lot of calibers the conversion process sucks. I have some gripes with my 550B. The dies are difficult to adjust. The wing nut on the powder measure rod will eventually lose tension then if you don't wind it back up the rod every dozen rounds or so you'll get partial powder throws. If you've just got one powder measure it's a pain to move it from toolhead to toolhead, as you've got to use an allen wrench to back out those two screws and then wind,wind,wind that wing nut on and off.

    I've been thinking about getting an auto-indexing, case-feeding progressive for some time, but I've been putting it off primarily because I'm conflicted about Dillon's 650 with its (I'm assuming) equally tedious conversion process and powder measure OR Hornady's progressive with all the bad things I've heard about its priming mechanism. The bushings and powder measure on the Hornady sure are very appealing, though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2004
  4. hillbilly

    hillbilly Member

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    I am not sure of specific counts for specific calibers, but by counting primers used, I know the following about my RL550B.

    I have reloaded enough to consume 1,950 small pistol primers.

    I have reloaded enough to consume 500 small rifle primers.

    I have reloaded enough to consume 300 large pistol primers.

    So, I have reloaded just in the neighborhood of 2750 rounds on my RL550B.

    And I love it. And with Dillon's No-Questions-Asked customer service, I have replaced two parts on my press, absolutely free, with no hassles.

    Dillon is more expensive, but worth it, I think.

    hillbilly
     
  5. cordex

    cordex Member

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    Depends on the calibers you load. For instance, if you just load .45ACP and .308 Win, the conversion takes all of 6 seconds (if you're out of primers, anyhow) on the Dillon 550.
    Switching between small and large primers is a pain. Swapping the shellplate isn't too bad, but could be better designed.
    Aye, the 650 is actually slower to change than the 550.

    With all of its drawbacks, the 550 is still my go-to press.
     
  6. go8dalejr

    go8dalejr Member

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    The only small very small gripe I have is the primer conversion. I have a 550
    for several years and recently got a 650 can't express enough how much
    easier the 650 is . So I leave the 550 set up for large primers as I shoot
    them a lot less . The 650 set up for small just add a bullet and pull. Never
    lose track of what I am doing again! Now I can change any caliber in about
    60 seconds. Never had problems with adjusting dillon dies but took a little
    more time to adjust my only set of rcbs dies 45/70 dillon doesn't offer them.
    Anyone who loads a lot I would recomend the 650 for $120.00 more I think
    its worth it and you can add casefeeder when you got extra dough. IMHO
     
  7. Mr. Chitlin

    Mr. Chitlin Member

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    That's a pretty good idea, go8. I have a 650 and right now just load 40 and 9mm with it using the same plate, just changing the complete toolhead. I loaded 1100 rounds of 40 on New Years Day in 90 minutes. I sure don't miss the Lee Pro 1000!! By getting the AT500 or the 550, I could set it up for large primers for my 45, 308, 30/06, 25/06 and 243, all using the same size plate. These I shoot very little of, so this would probably work just fine. Hmmm, might just have to look into that. Thanks for the idea.
     
  8. Blackcloud6

    Blackcloud6 Member

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    Cortland:

    What wingnut are you talking about? I've never had this problem.
     
  9. Watchman

    Watchman Member

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    Welcome to the Dillon "club" Ed.

    Are you reloading for any Milsurps yet ?:D
     
  10. Ed

    Ed Member

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    M1 carbine and Garand so far, plus a lot of .45 acp. Gotta start on 45 colt and 44 mag soon.
     
  11. Cortland

    Cortland Member

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    The blue plastic wingnut that screws on to the "failsafe" rod (which connects to the powder measure). If the wingnut loses its internal tension on the threads of the failsafe rod, it will migrate down the failsafe rod and eventually the powder measure won't fully reset on the upstroke (unless you keep winding the wingnut up the rod to keep it at the right position). I've loaded on the order of a few tens of thousands of rounds with my 550B and am on my third wingnut. Am I alone?

    That wingnut drives me bonkers, both for the reason explained above, plus the fact that it's too darn tedious to remove when moving the powder measure.
     
  12. Ed

    Ed Member

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    I'm not sure I understand why its a problem...Just pull the handle halfway down and the rod slips right out...You don't have to remove the nut or unscrew it to remove the powder tank thing. Are you talking about something else?
     
  13. cordex

    cordex Member

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    As Ed mentioned, you don't have to remove the wingnut to change the powder measure.

    However, I did find a way to make the transition even easier than that nylon snap piece that is always a bit tough to work off.

    I use a magnet with a hole in it (that the bar goes through) to keep the rod connected to the shell plate. Very quick to change out and holds securely enough to do its job.
     
  14. g56

    g56 Member

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    I have been using a Dillon 550 for 18 years, I can't even count the number of loads I have made on it, but it was a lot, I shot PPC matches for several years and loaded several thousand rounds per year just for that. My old 550 didn't come with the rod for the powder measure, that changed with the 550B model, but I upgraded mine at the time. I have never had the wingnut on the failsafe rod get loose, ever, and it only takes a few seconds to loosen to empty the powder measure when I finish loading.

    I am currently loading 38 special, 357 magnum, 9mm and 45 ACP, and I'm in the process of setting up for 223. Changing calibers is easy if it's the same size primer, it takes a few more minutes to change primer sizes. Buying that Dillon was probably the best decision I have made. :)
     
  15. tailgunner

    tailgunner Member In Memoriam

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    I started with a 450 then converted it to a 550. The primer change annoyed the hell out of me so I bought a new 550b an leave 1 as small primer and the other as large primer. Rock solid machines, I would not want to even guess how many rounds reloaded on them the last 20 or so years. Their service is tops.
     
  16. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    My experience echos g56. I have never had the wingnut loosed at all.
     
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