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Dillion verses Hornady

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Highland Lofts, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    We were talking on another forum and this was brought up.
    I will be picking up a Dillion 650 this comeing weekend and a Hornady progressive press the following weekend to compare the one to the other and see which one works best for me.

    Who else has done this a what did you like about the Dillion and what did you like about the Hornady?

    What are the bad points on each brand?

    What extra parts should be bought to keep on hand so I won't have to wait for a $3 piece when it gets broke, wore out or what ever.

    I will be starting to load 223 on both presses.
     
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  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    One is blue and the other is red, that's about all I know lol. Interested in what you like about each and don't like.
     
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  3. AR-Bossman

    AR-Bossman Member

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    I picked up a XL650 recently, minus it's accessories so it's just gonna be a brass processor. But I have both now. The XL650's case feeder system is so superior to the Hornady it's not funny. I've got my Hornady modded for real good case deliver, but Dillon really understood what was going on. They built the machine as if a half brained Gorilla was gonna use it. The case is literally on rails from the time it's dropped till it falls out of the press.
    My Hornadys are so modded I don't know what a stock press feels like anymore. Mine are smooth, not jerky, no lost powder and very accurate (ogive) finished cartridges.
     
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  4. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    OP, which Hornady?
     
  5. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    So on the Hornady progressive can the dies set up for my two single stage presses be used in the progressive with out having to readusting them?
     
  6. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    Haven't bought the Hornady Progressive yet. I will be buying a kit.

    Which progressive kit would be the best to buy?
     
  7. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I am impressed with Hornady in general. Having said that, I have depended upon Dillon (only one "i" in there, fwiw) for progressive machines for a few decades and believe they are doing it better than anyone else. My experience with Hornady progressives is quite limited, though. I helped a friend set one up about twenty years ago and found it a bit frustrating and balky, but we did eventually get it to do what it was supposed to. I imagine you are about to have two good set ups.
     
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  8. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a Hornady LNL AP next to a new Dillon 750 on my bench in the garage...the Dillon belongs to a friend who was a bit squeezed for space at home.

    I have them each mounted on Inline Fabrication Ultramounts and they are both equipped with their Ergo handles. They both currently sport factory Case Feeders and the Dillon is equipped with the DAA Mr Bulletfeeder. They have both have KMS Squarded UFO lighting systems installed. I'll list some generalities and you can ask clarifying question if needed.

    The Hornady was easier to set up while the Dillon took a bit more time. After market parts really help the Dillon become as user friendly as the Hornady
    The Hornady allows more fine tuning
    The Dillon has more after market parts from manufacturers available to get it running smoothly. The Hornady has more 3D printed parts from owners and there are more on-line hacks
    The Hornady has a longer stroke handle than the Dillon
    Die placement is more flexible on the Hornady
    It is simpler to change die sets on the Dillon...the whole head removes...but it changing die sets on the Hornady is a bit less expensive
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2020
  9. dcloco

    dcloco Member

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    450 (added auto primer and auto powder drop), 550B x3, 650, and Hornady Ammo Plant are bolt to the bench.

    The 450 and 1x 550 were on the bench when the AP was added.

    Unfortunately, the AP had problems out of the box. Multiple calls to Hornady and 1.5 years later, it was finally fixed (NOT impressed with their customer service either).

    The Dillon presses are less expensive and less time consuming to change calibers on.
     
  10. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a Lee Classic Cast single stage onto which I have installed the Hornady Conversion set to be able to utilize the Hornady bushings...sort of depends on which single stage presses you are using

    I freely move dies between my single stage and my Hornady LNL. Be aware that you may have to regulate the presses to allow for different heights between the shell holder and the top of the press. There is a video on the Ultimate Reloader which demonstrates how it is done
     
  11. flashhole

    flashhole Member

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    I've met several of the Dillon Blue Press cover girls. Never met a Hornady equivalent. I would just stay with the Dillon until Hornady catches up.
     
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  12. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I have had a Hornady LnL for over 10 years if my memory serves me correctly. Its loaded tens of thousands of rounds. I have had very little trouble. At an estimated 50k rounds or so, I had problems with it ejecting. The nub on the subplate that does the ejection was worn down. I called and spoke to a tech. He spent a new subplate free of charge and only asked for the old one in return so they could test its hardness. I have also broke another small part or two due to user error. They sent me replacements for free. No complaints the press or customer service.
     
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  13. p404445

    p404445 Member

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    After almost 40 years with a single stage press, I decided to get a progressive last year.

    I am a Hornady fan, but had been told to get a Dillon and not look back.

    So I bought a used 550b. I had some trouble with the primer feed, but it worked ok.

    I then came across deals on a Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive, and a square deal that I couldn't pass up.

    I really likd the look of the Hornady, size of the ram, and powder measure. But I just couldn't get comfortable with it. Primer feed problems, and somehow I mangled the powder measure linkage. But what I disliked most was the die adapters-***?

    I really didn't think I would like the square deal, but after loading with it, I actually like it best for handgun.

    So I sold the Hornady and kept both Dillons.

    I realized it took me several thousand rounds to get used to each.
     
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  14. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    IMG_6406.jpg

    maxresdefault.jpg
     
  15. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    In general, I've had to re-adjust any die that I moved from one brand of press to another, single stage or progressive.

    For the most part, once I moved a cartridge to the progressive press, it has never gone back to the single stage. Particularly for handgun cartridges, I've never seen the need to use a single stage press once I set the dies up for a progressive.

    I prime off the progressive press so I have some cartridges that I prep on one brand of progressive press then load them on a different brand progressive press.
     
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  16. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    I got back into reloading again when my live in grandson started shooting centerfire guns, and i am loading a couple hundred cases acweek on my Hornady LnL single stage presses.
    It takes to much time so I need a progressive press, i have the extra funds so I can see what will work better for me.
     
  17. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Almost all of my handgun cartridges are prepped on my Hornady L-N-L progressive press--sized and mouth expanded. Many are loaded on the Hornady after cleaning and priming off the press. I prep the cases shortly after shooting them and save them for a later loading session.

    Except for shotshell loading on the SL900, all my priming is done off the press.

    I have three Dillon SDB's that are dedicated to particular cartridges (45 ACP, 380 ACP, 9x19). Changing cartridge set ups on the SDB's are not impossible but it is alot easier to just swap out an entire press that is already set up for the cartridge.

    I have a few cartridges that do not load well on the Hornady L-N-L, 45 Colt and 460 S&W Mag are a couple, and they are loaded on either my RCBS Pro2000 or Dillon BL550.

    Most of my rifle case prep and loading is done on a single stage press. 204 Ruger for prairie dog adventures and 300 Blackout are loaded on my Pro2000.

    I like the progressive presses because they do some mindless tasks, bullet crimping for example, at the same time as other more important tasks, bullet seating or powder charging for example. With the process I use with the progressive presses, I still load lots more ammunition than I can shoot.
     
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  18. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    It is easier to learn on the Hornady as there is more space between die stations than on the Dillon
     
  19. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    The Dillon SL900 (shotshell press) is built on the Dillon 650 frame. A 12 gauge shell is a pretty large diameter hull as compared to a rifle cartridge. Maybe, the Hornady L-N-L has a bit more space between centers than the Dillon press but I'm sure the difference is not much.

    The Dillon SDB's definitely have a shorter distance between stations and the 550 series presses may have a shorter distance between stations than the 650/750 series Dillon presses. With more room between stations, it is definitely easier to address problems that occur during loading.
     
  20. forty_caliber
    • Contributing Member

    forty_caliber Contributing Member

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    This is a key point. You will have to fine tune for your needs no matter what you end up with. My LNL suits my needs well and I have no intention of switching from red to blue.

    Hornady LNL
    Common Spare Parts

    392336 SPRING PRIMER SLIDE LNL AP QTY 1 $1.88 EA

    392363 SPRING CASE RETAINER LNL AP QTY 2 $2.00 EA

    392344A PAWL-NEW STYLE LNL AP QTY 4 $5.21 EA

    392423 SPRING PAWL QTY 1 $1.88 EA

    398738 SPRING EXT. 1.59 (NEW) QTY 1 $2.73 EA

    392202 BRACKET LNL AP QTY 1 $2.57 EA
    .40

     
  21. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    I load on a LNL. The two presses the OP mentions do not come with case feeders. While they’re usable without a case feeder, I opted for one just so I could focus on other operations. On my LNL, the only spare part I’ve really depended on is the case retainer spring. That spring holds the cases in the shell plate, and is a pretty neat solution IMO. However, there have been times when moi has jammed it and once it gets kinked or jammed it can be an issue primarily with the case feeder.
    I have had parts break and that required a call to CS who promptly replaced them but I wouldn’t consider them parts I’d normally inventory. @forty_caliber has a nice list but the retainer spring is the only one I’ve used so far, this is with about 35K rounds through the press. It’s used for “smaller” pistol, 9/38/40/45.
     
  22. roc1

    roc1 Member

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    First I owned Hornady lock n load single stage and progressive presses and still have two Dillons 550 and 650 had a Square Deal good little press for pistol. Hornady dies will not inter change with two presses without readjustment.
    Both brands are good Hornady has lot more quirks and is harder to keep running smooth constantly working or adjusting something. Mine was rebuilt twice by factory at no charge the AP press.
    The Dillon 650 was wore out when I bought it cheap Dillon completely rebuilt it for nothing.
    Runs like a clock now no issues.
    550 is great.
    Both Dillons are superior in my experience. Hornady casefeeder is a joke Dillons jams sometimes like all do but far superior.
    Anyway my take on both of them
    Thanks
    Roc1
     
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  23. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I've had a LNL-AP for over a decade with little to no problems. The biggest mistake made on these is not taking the time to setup the primer feed system, alignment. And the next mistake is the indexing, not adjusted correctly. Mine still has the early vintage primer system, never upgraded it because I never have a problem feeding. The Hornady is a lot simpler design than the Dillon. 99% of the time Dillon sets up the press for you before it's shipped, so you don't have to take the hours do all the settings.

    As far as parts I've never damage a paw on my setup, will not happen if adj correctly. The shell retainer spring is one part to keep on hand. These can get kinked if you by chance short stroke the ram will feeding. When changing shell plates just flip it out of the way before you loosen the retainer bolt.

    Don't forget about the 500 bullet rebate on Hornady, and 100 for dies. Just pay a small shipping fee.
     
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  24. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    Nope.


    I've owned three Hornady LnL AP machines. I've sold all three. I now own two Dillon 650's.

    IMHO Dillon is head and shoulders above Hornady. I could never get the Hornady presses to run correctly. Not one time was I able to sit down and load 500 rounds on the Hornady presses without problems. Most of the time I was lucky if I could go 100 rounds without problems.

    Three different machines and I could never get the primer system to function reliably. The dies and in particular the powder measure would work loose due to the bushing system.

    My Dillon 650's....I could go out right now and load 1000 rounds and not have a problem. Caliber changes are a bit more expensive on the Dillon, but they include the needed case feeder parts too.

    Hornady built a press then kludged a case feeder on it. Dillon built a case feeder then built a press around it. At least that's the way it feels.

    There's tons more aftermarket support for the Dillon. A stock 650 runs just fine. But there are aftermarket parts that make it nicer to run. I've got several aftermarket parts on both of my 650's, little things that make life easier on me.

    When it comes to progressive presses there's Dillon, then there's everyone else playing catch up.
     
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  25. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    I forgot one thing.

    Dillon sells a spare parts kit for the 650. Buy that. Then when you break/lose a part replace it through the kit, the call Dillon and get a replacement sent.

    That way you're not waiting for a part.
     
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