Dillion verses Hornady

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

  1. Crunchy Frog

    Crunchy Frog Member

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    Almost certainly not.
     
  2. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, taking a look at this video might change your mind

     
  3. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm member

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    There's no rotating or twisting with the IF roller handles. That's one reason they are called Ergo Roller Handles.
     
  4. Reeferman

    Reeferman Member

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    I don’t think that’s what he was asking. You could do that with most any single stage press by doing what Gavin did in his video.
     
  5. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    I have extra dies so they will be set up for each press. I will not be useing spacers for the dies like in the video.
     
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    It is only one spacer as it is fitted to the female bushing attached to the press.

    I freely move my dies between my LNL and my single stage...usually for depriming or sizing, often to set my powder measure. Having extra dies are nice, so I'm a bit curious why you asked about using the same die with both
     
  7. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    I have a Hornady single stage LnL press and had a old Pacific screw the dies press when I first started back in to reloading when my grandson started shooting center fire guns. I took a RCBS adapter and the old Pacific press go a friend that has a full machine shop and had him drill & tap the screw the die in the press to except the bushing addapter.
    All said & done when I put the does in the old Pacific press they were .210 of an inch higher then the new Lock n Load press so I took it back and had him remove .210 of sn inch off the old press so when loading my dies fir exactly the same hiegth off of the rams so i can size in one press, take the case to the next press snd flare it.
    When I load I put the powder with a Hordady powder thrower, put the case in the press, seat the bullet then take the seated bullet to the next press and crimp it.


    My presses are mounted close to each other so it's not a Pita when loading.

    I have extra dies in all the calibers I use so I will just set a set of dies up for these two new presses when I get them mounted.
    I will need to make a stand up for the dillion tool heads.

    As much as I have invested in my reloading stuff and what I will be spending here in the next two weeks, a few hundred dollars won't really amount to much in the whole picture.
     
  8. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    This argument will continue til most of us are gone. I congratulate you sir, You have made the best case for going with Dillon I've ever heard and I've probably read at least 1000 post claiming why one is better than another.
     
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  9. Eddietruett

    Eddietruett Member

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    These days I load in bulk for 9mm, 38spl and 45acp. All on my Dillon 650. I have used Dillon and Hornady both have great features and once you get use to either and get everything tweaked, both are excellent presses. I normally load around 1500-2k of .38 and 9m at a time and around 1k of 45acp. The reason I use Dillon exclusively today is when I change calivers and get everything set up, I almost never have to change anything during a run which might take up to a month. I load when I have some time, maybe 100 today and 500 the next trip. The longer my Hornady sat between sessions, the more the settings, mainly powder drop, would need readjusting. I can go 2 weeks between loadings and the Dillon just takes off right where I left it. I'm surprised no one is praising Lee presses. I have a Classic Turret that I use for all of my hunting loads and calibers that I load in smaller quantities. Once I get it set up, its surprisingly fast. A lot more handle pulls per bullet, but a couple of hundred in an hour is pretty easy to accomplish and I also put in each primer by hand, I hate the Lee primer feed crap. Once I get in a rhythm, I can load pretty darn fast on the Turret press.
     
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  10. dcloco

    dcloco Member

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    I use threaded plastic water pipe, purchased at ACE, that holds 33 cases of 45 ACP. Load multiple primer tubes, load six case tubes, dump powder, set the drop amount, and start loading. Every 31 cases, I dump a fresh batch of cases in.

    Gives me a qick break as well.
     
  11. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    The tube that holds the cases and the device that moves the cases from the tube into the shell plate is standard on the 650. The collator that they call the optional case feeder is really just a tube filler.

    The LNL comes with no case feed or collator.

    This is why the 650 press costs more then the LNL but the “case feed” for the Dillon costs less than the LNL case feed.

    Also why the Dillon works better than the LNL, as it’s installed at the factory and is not dependent on the abilities of the end user to tweak and adjust things.
     
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  12. AR-Bossman

    AR-Bossman Member

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    It works better because it's a much much better design. I believe Dillon noticed something Hornady didn't.. reloaders by and large are like wild chimpanzees at best and rage-a-holic smasher gorillas when something is "stuck".
     
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  13. JWF III

    JWF III Member

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    You are correct. It’s the bracket at the top of the cam wire that breaks. The cause is the primer punch sticks in the upper position. As you cycle it (not knowing the punch is stuck up), the shuttle can not retract to pick up a primer. This puts pressure on the cam wire, breaking the bracket.

    3 different punches. Cleaning it religiously. And it continues.

    My current “work around” is that I have several replacements. As they get used, I’ll order more. Not ideal, but now it is primarily used for case prep.

    Wyman
     
  14. Reeferman

    Reeferman Member

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    I guess I need new glasses as I thought I read primer punch breaking. How often does the punch stick up? Do you have a divot forming on the frame under the punch? If you were to take the primer shuttle off and cycle the press to contact punch will it still stick in up position?
    After getting the infamous divot on my LNL I was getting some priming issues. I glued a ten thousand flat feeler gauge over the divot and the issues went away. I don’t know if the punch was sticking but the cam wire bracket did break and after getting the new style one from Hornady it did it a couple times again until I put the feeler gauge under the punch.
    The only time I ever have priming issues is if powder or some other crap gets into the shuttle slide and that’s rare now.
    Don’t know if your problem is the same but there is not much there to go wrong.
     
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  15. Waldog

    Waldog Member

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    Which is Better? What’s best?

    I wrote this a couple years back and have posted it on other websites. Seems the Red vs. Blue debate will go on and on. BOTH presses have good and bad points. You can't go wrong with either, they are a quality products from exceptional companies.

    This question usually ignites a firestorm of of "Blue verses Red verses etc." What you are not going to find is very many people that have actually loaded on BOTH DILLON AND HORNADY. I have loaded on the Dillon SDB, 550, 650, 1050 and the Hornady LNL.
    I currently own a Hornady LNL, Dillon SDB, several RCBS single stage presses and, Ponsness Warren & 800+, 375 Du-o-matic and, Hornady 366 shotshell presses.

    Here is my perspective:

    Consider the Hornady Lock and Load Progressive. It’s cheaper than the Dillon and has several features that, IMHO are better than Dillon.

    Dillon Precision has been on the market since late 1970’s or early 1980 and have set the standard for outstanding customer service. Hornady started business in 1949 producing bullets. In 1971 they started producing reloading equipment. Dillon’s unlimited lifetime warranty is well known. As a result of customer service, Dillon users are very dedicated to their blue presses. Other manufacturers have since copied Dillon’s wonderful customer service. Speaking from experience, Hornady’s customer service is equal to Dillon.

    Dillon presses are EXCEPTIONAL and do an exceptional job reloading. The competition to the Dillon is the Hornady Lock and Load Auto Progressive. Because most of the Dillon users are so satisfied, when you ask the question “Which is better?”, you get swamped with comments like, "The Hornady LNL is Junk!" If you asked if they have ever loaded on the LNL and 99.9% said no. When I did find someone that had experience with both presses, most liked the LNL and many had sold their Dillon's and bought the LNL. However, there have been those that sold their red presses and bought blue. I can also unequivocally state, based on my experience, that HORNADY has equal customer service. You just have to decide what you like best. Some times it’s just the color, red or blue!!

    IMHO the Dillon has one major shortcoming and, most Dillon owners will agree if they are honest. The Dillon powder measure is sorely lacking in ease of use and adjustability. It is sliding bar type measure. It meters ball type powder well but, flake type powder less so. Extruded stick type powder is troublesome and not all that accurate. To be fair, extruded powder is difficult in all powder measures, irregardless of design. Be advised that flake powder has been known to “leak” around the Dillon sliding bar as it is activated back and forth. Particularly if the sliding bar is worn. The LNL powder measure is a rotary barrel design that handles all types of powder MUCH better than the Dillon. A rotary barrel is the same design used by RCBS, Sinclair and other manufacturers. I have never heard of a rotary type measure “leak”. Also, it is a pain to swap out the Dillon powder measure to another die plate. As a result, many owners have several powder measures on separate die plates for changing calibers. This significantly drives UP the COST. I have never heard of a LNL owner that has more than one powder measure. There is no need. It is easy to adjust. Many LNL owners, myself included, own several "Powder Dies" that are pre-adjusted to load a specific case. (Note: The powder die fits into the outlet of the powder measure.) Each LNL powder die costs about $20. A Dillon powder measure costs $75.

    Also, IMHO, the Dillon de-priming/priming system is less reliable than the LNL. With the Dillon system, spent primers drop through the bottom of the shell plate into a small cup. It is an “open” system and is easy to empty. However, the press gets dirty with carbon. Whenever carbon/dust/dirt or “primer dust” fouls the primer seating station this causes "flipped" or "skipped" primers. The DILLON de-priming system works well provided it is kept CLEAN. With the Hornady LNL, spent primers are dropped completely through the press into a plastic tube and into the trash or bottle or whatever you want to use. It is a “closed” system. You never get carbon in and around the bottom of the shell plate. The point is the dirt off the spent primers does not foul the workings of the press. I have never had a “flipped” primer. Although, I have had “missed” primers that I feel were operator error (ME!) and not the fault of the primer system. (I forgot to seat the primer!) In all fairness, the LNL primer seating station will also not work properly if the primer slide is fouled with dirt or powder. Please note that neither Dillon or LNL primer systems will work flawlessly unless they are adjusted properly. Users of BOTH systems have expressed exasperation with these adjustments.

    If you want a “Powder Check” system you need a press with at least five stations. The Dillon Square Deal and Dillon 550 both have 4 die stations. The LNL and Dillon 650 both have 5 stations. However, the 650 costs significantly more than the LNL. The Dillon 1050 is really an industrial machine and has eight stations.

    How the presses indexes is an issue for some people. In reading the web about "KABOOMS" (Blowing up a gun!!), many of the kabooms I have read about were directly traced back to a manually indexing press. This is not the fault of the press but, operator error. However, with a manually indexing press, If you get distracted while reloading, you can easily double charge a pistol case. (A double charge will depend on the powder you are using and the charge weight.) IMHO, a double charge is less of a problem with auto-indexing presses. The Hornady LNL, Dillon 650 and, Dillon Square Deal auto index. The MOST POPULAR Dillon press, the 550, is a manually indexing press. Some people prefer manual, some people prefer auto.

    In addition, the LNL auto indexing is significantly smoother than the Dillon 650. The LNL indexes 1/2 step while the ram is going up and 1/2 step when the ram goes down. The 650 indexes a full step on the ram down stroke and can cause pistol cases to spill SMALL AMOUNTS or powder with the indexing "bump". IMHO, the LNL is dramatically better. Of course, the amount of powder "bumped" from a case is dependent on the powder charge, operator and, speed of reloading. As I stated above, you get primer problems with a dirty press. "Bumped" powder fouls BOTH Dillon and LNL.

    Next, the LNL uses a really slick bushing system for mounting loading dies and powder measure to the press. It makes changing calibers and SNAP. After a die is adjusted for whatever you are loading you can remove the die from the press with an 1/8 turn and insert a different die. Each die has it's own bushing. The Dillon uses a die plate that has the powder measure and all loading dies installed. The Dillon die plate costs more than LNL bushings. Another neat feature with the Hornady is that you can buy a bushing conversion setup and use the same bushings on your RCBS, Lyman or other single stage press and the LNL!

    Additionally, the LNL seems to be built like a tank! The ram is about 2"+ in diameter and the basic press is similar in construction to the RCBS Rock Chucker. I would say that a side-by-side comparison to the either the Dillon 550 OR 650, the LNL is at least as sturdily built. And, in some areas I think the LNL is better built. i.e., The massive ram, powder measure, and primer system. The head/top of the press is solid except for where the dies are inserted. The Dillon has a large cutout that is needed for their die plates. By just looking, it would seem the LNL would be stronger. But, of course, that may not be the case.

    There is one piece that can get damaged on the LNL. There is a coil spring that holds the cases in the shell holder that can get crushed if you improperly change shell holders. That's the bad news. The good news is that they are only about $2-3 for three and they won't get crushed if you change shell plates correctly. Also, recently Hornady sends these out as a warranty item free of charge. The other good news is that this spring is the primary reason while loading you can easily remove a case at any station. The spring is durable if it is not abused. I have been using my current retainer spring for about 2 years. I have loaded at least 12,000 rounds in that time. With the Dillon you have to remove small individual brass pins in order to take a shell out of a shell plate. My fingers require needle-nose pliers or forceps to remove the brass pins. It is a PITA.

    (For the next discussion keep in mind that BOTH DILLON AND LNL shell plates rotate CLOCKWISE.)

    Another item to think about. For NON-CASE FEEDER users; all Dillon presses (Except 1050) require you to use BOTH hands to insert brass and bullets on the press. The Dillon 650, 550 and, SDB operates as follows;

    1. Right hand inserts an empty case at the right, front side of the press.
    2. Left hand then sets the bullet on the case mouth at the left, rear side of the press.
    3. Right hand then activates the operating handle.
    4. For Dillon 550 only, Left hand manually rotates shell plate.
    5. You then release the operating handle and insert another case with your right hand and so forth. (Right, left, right, left, right, left)

    (Note: With the Dillon 550 you also have to manually rotate the shell plate at step 4. Most people do this with their LEFT hand.)

    With the Dillon, “right-left-right-left” hand operating procedure, clockwise rotation and, the fact that you start your loading process at the front, right side of the press, your bullet seating die is at the rear, left side of the press. Why is this important? The Dillon powder measure drops powder into the case and the case is rotated clockwise to the REAR of the press to the bullet seating die. It is very difficult to see inside of the case to see the gunpowder. Many Dillon owners rig up flashlight, mirror or, believe it or not, a video camera to “look” into the case to see the powder charge.

    With the LNL you start your loading process at the REAR, left side of the press. As your case rotates clockwise, after the powder is dropped, your case is directly in the front of the press and the bullet is seated directly in front of the person operating the press. Is is VERY EASY to look directly into the case to see the powder charge. Even though I use a “Powder Check” die. I look directly into each case as I am loading. I have never had a squib load OR a double charge. This is not to say that it can’t happen. It can. I just haven’t experienced one.

    Loading cases and bullets with the left hand is very natural to me. Others may really dislike this feature and prefer the right/left/right/left/right operation of Dillon. Please note that a case feeder eliminates this operation and both Dillon and LNL only load bullets on the left side of the press. Dillon at the back of the press and LNL at the front of the press.

    Dillon Customer service is legendary. You can buy a used Dillon press that is a total wreak and they will rebuild or send you a new one for about $40-$50 bucks. Any parts you break will be replaced free of charge. Hornady service, in my experience, is equal. When I needed some replacement springs that broke do to age, Hornady replaced them free of charge. They will also rebuild your press if it needs it. I think most other manufacturers are matching Dillon’s service. Dillon raised the bar pretty high for customer service and other companies see how devoted customers are to the BLUE presses. I do feel that is one of the primary reasons Dillon’s prices are HIGH. But of course, I have no way of knowing that.

    You can load anything on both the Dillon and LNL from .25 ACP to 500 N.E. Realistically, I would say that people with progressive loaders mostly load pistol ammo 99% of the time. After using the LNL, I feel confident that my Grandkids will be using when I'm gone.

    In summary, the Hornady LNL has all the features of the Dillon 650 but, is much cheaper. However, the Dillon automatic case feeder is about $50 cheaper than the Hornady. Changing calipers on the LNL is faster and cheaper. The powder measure on the LNL is VASTLY SUPERIOR TO THE DILLON, at least in my opinion. I bought the LNL and am very satisfied. A shooting buddy of mine is a long time, dedicated Dillon user. He has three! After giving me a ration of "stuff" about my choice, he came over and used my LNL and sheepishly said, "That's a very nice setup!!"
     
  16. D Rock

    D Rock Member

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    Waldog, I believe I've read this before but I still appreciate reading it again.

    My Lee Classic Turret press still suits my needs after all these years, but I like to read about all presses. Thanks!

    Dave
     
  17. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I couldn’t agree more, in fact, I would say the same about their Lee and RCBS brothers too.

    IMO, the 650 has the most reliable progressive primer feed system in existence, the RCBS pro 2000 would come in 2nd. I haven’t played with the $9,500 Mark 7 revolution yet though and like the 650, it also has a rotary primer feed.

    As previously stated the 650 comes standard, yes with no extras, with a tube fed case feed, if you are feeding brass into the shell plate by hand of that press, it would be the most difficult progressive press to use, as the case feed slide and cam are going to be all sorts of in the way.

    899E7C92-3AED-4A3E-97AF-46AE73A701BF.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
  18. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I agree. Also throwing test charges is not convenient when setting up the Dillon powder measure.

    I did find a after market adjustment knob, on eBay if I remember correctly, for the Dillon's that can be turned by hand and has an index mark on it so that one can determine the amount the knob is turned.

    One of the reasons I bought my Dillon BL550 was that it did not come with a powder measure. Why pay for something I'm not going to use. I use a Hornady case activated powder die with a modified Redding 10-X (drum style) powder measure for handgun or an RCBS Uniflow for rifle on any of my progressives with a 7/8"-14 die mount (Hornady L-N-L, Dillon BL550, RCBS Pro2000).

    If I bought a Dillon 650 or 750, I'd probably ditch the Dillon measure and use the Hornady system I've been using.
     
  19. roc1

    roc1 Member

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    Buy Uniquetek micrometer powder adjusters for Dillon if you don’t want extra measures work great. Easy to use and write down number of each load can go back easily with minor tweaks if needed
    Roc1
     
  20. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    Never owned a Hornady.
    I LOVE my 2 Dillon RL550s enough that I'm seriously saving for a BL 550.

    Dillon sells a spare parts kit for the SDB, 550, 650/750 etc...
    Get one so you don't have to wait for that $3 or free part.
    Use one from your kit, & order one from Dillon & put it back in your spare parts bag.
     
  21. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    Really? I've ran into 1 or 2 powders where yes, that is the case.
    Like HiSkor 700x :barf:

    But I use about 7 or 8 powders with excellent measurability.
    Accurate #2, 5, RL15, Hodgdon Titegroup, Universal, CFE Pistol, Trailboss
     
  22. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm member

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    I have the micrometer powder adjustment on one of my powder bars. I've found that the Easy Dial is less expensive, a lot easier to install and works just as well. I have three of them.

    https://www.titanreloading.com/easydial-small-bar


    I find the priming systems on my 650's MUCH more reliable than the priming systems on the three Hornady LnL AP's that have passed through my hands.

    Also I rarely see anyone go from a Dillon to a Hornady. I do see a LOT of people going from Hornady to Dillon. All one has to do is look at the used prices on both presses. The Hornady will lose 50% of it's value when the box is opened. The Dillon will lose 10% and if kept and used for 5-7 years will sell for more than was paid for it.

    I had a huge problem with the Hornady bushings working loose on both the dies and the powder measure.

    Before I got my case collator for my first 650 I just used some PVC pipe with spring clips. I could pre-fill the pipes with brass then use them to fill the case feed tube on the 650. I was actually a pretty quick and inexpensive system.
     
  23. roc1

    roc1 Member

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    Thanks fellow Texan. Texas10 mm have look into those for couple of other measures I change.
    Roc1
     
  24. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    Waldog
    Nice wrire up. There is a lot of good information written here. Tomorrow I am going to pick up the Dillion 650. I will be posting a Remington 700 in 338 RUM in the classifieds, when that sells I will be buying the Hornady LnL AP and what ever I will need for that set up.

    I'm looking forward to trying these presses out side by side.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
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  25. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Just experienced that yesterday while teaching a 24 year old grandson how to load 9mm on a couple of single stations.......and that was moments after a "if it isn't easy and smooth....stop....something's wrong ....check it out" lecture. No seating a bullet is NOT easy if it falls over too far.... I knew I was in trouble watching the blank look.....so he had to learn the hard way...... twice.

    We did load a hundred successfully and I suggested he make a shadow box and frame the mangled remains of two bullets and cases and hang it in front of his future bench to remind him.

    It's worse on a progressive.....ANY progressive.....and Dillon's best isn't immune. My first Dillon demoed to me was by a seasoned Dillon veteran who got excited in a teaching moment......which resulted in 100 primers all over the floor....with one stroke of the press. ;) (it was a 650)

    And I, demonstrating my Pro 2000, finished 50 rounds, the last 25 rounds with powder trickling out the primerless cases.....when I forgot to piggyback a primer strip. At least it was only 25....I wonder if anyone has done that forgeting to refill a 100 primer tube?.....and I wonder if they would admit it if they did. :)

    Oh, and Bossman left off Daytona Racers off his list. Or keeping to his lesser primate theme.....tree swinging howler monkeys?
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
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