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Dillon Upgrade: XL650 or 1050 ?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by rfwobbly, Dec 11, 2010.

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  1. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    I'm presently using a 550B which is great, but my son keeps pestering me to sell it to him. I'm thinking of using the occasion as an opportunity to upgrade within the Dillon line to conserve my investment in powder funnels and powder measures.

    So I've watch several vids on both the 650 and 1050, and read all I could find. Here are some questions....

    • I load 300 rounds of 9mm, then 300 rounds of 38 Super, then 300 rounds of 223. I don't ever load 1000 rounds of a singe caliber. Are these machines so "production oriented" that they are not as "flexible" as the 550? In other words is an upgrade a good fit for me?

    • It seems both these machine come with auto case feeders. Is that a true statement? They say "mechanical feeding" but leave the details up in the air.

    • I like removing the case at the PM station to adjust my powder measure. Can you still do that on these larger machines? I see the 650 uses the same brass "buttons", but I'm not clear about the 1050.

    • What's with the limited warranty on the 1050 ?

    • If auto case feeder is included, how long does it take to convert from say 223 to 9mm? Is the case feeding plate the same for say 9x19 and 38 Super ?

    • 223 case trimming and pocket swaging in the press appeal to me. Do both these machines have this capability?


    Any insightful help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. paul105

    paul105 Member

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    If you haven't already seen this info on Brian Enos's site, it may be of some help. It doesn't address your specific questions -- in that regard, I can't help either. I've been toying with getting a 650 or 1050 so I'll be interested in responses to this post.

    http://www.brianenos.com/pages/dillon.html#which

    Paul
     
  3. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    I've used both.

    If you never load more than 300 rounds at a time, it's not a good inverstment.

    Better to start loading 1000 to 2000 per lot of things like .223 and 9MM.

    Keep the 550, for loading rounds that you load in limited quantities.

    The 1050 will swage primer pockets, the 650 will not. Neither will trim cases, but Dillon does sell a separate power case trimmer that works very well.

    The warranty on the 1050 is limited because many owners use them for commercial reloading, sometimes exceeding 100,000 rounds per month.
     
  4. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Paul, thanks for the link. I'm a member of the Enos site, but never found that page. That's some great info, and much better indexed than the Dillon site.

    Griz thanks to you too. I'll think I'll stay right where I am!
     
  5. RhinoDefense

    RhinoDefense Member

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    • I load 300 rounds of 9mm, then 300 rounds of 38 Super, then 300 rounds of 223. I don't ever load 1000 rounds of a singe caliber. Are these machines so "production oriented" that they are not as "flexible" as the 550? In other words is an upgrade a good fit for me?
    Yes they are production oriented. The 1050 more so than the 650.

    • It seems both these machine come with auto case feeders. Is that a true statement? They say "mechanical feeding" but leave the details up in the air.
    The 1050 comes with a case feeder, the 650's case feeder is not included. It's a collator that spins in the bucket and fills the tube.

    • I like removing the case at the PM station to adjust my powder measure. Can you still do that on these larger machines? I see the 650 uses the same brass "buttons", but I'm not clear about the 1050.
    Yes you can. It's harder to reach on the 1050 but you can.
    • What's with the limited warranty on the 1050 ?
    There are no other comparable machines on the market, so they don't have any competition for that market segment. Using the lifetime warranty would be pointless as a talking point, so they increase the price to 3x the price of the 650 and offer a one year warranty.
    • If auto case feeder is included, how long does it take to convert from say 223 to 9mm? Is the case feeding plate the same for say 9x19 and 38 Super ?
    Small rifle, small pistol, large rifle, large pistol. Those are your sizs. The 9mm and 38S take the same plate (small pistol)
    • 223 case trimming and pocket swaging in the press appeal to me. Do both these machines have this capability?
    The 1050 swages, the 650 does not. Neither is factory ready to trim, but can be done on the press. Not recommended for trimming while loading.
     
  6. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Thanks for your input, Mr Rhino. Highly appreciated.
     
  7. dc.fireman

    dc.fireman Member

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    Funny, that you should ask about a 1050... mine's being rebuilt for a mere $163.95, after 2 short years, and about 3000 rounds. It's a long story, but the short of it is - it requires some constant adjustment. There have been issues in the past with the case feeders, something to which Dillon to their credit has tried several times to fix, rather than deny.

    Their tech support is great. The 1 year warranty, not so much. I still like the 1050 when it runs, when it doesn't - it takes quite a few adjustments to get it back in order. I should get the press back in about a week. I'll update you on it then.

    -tc
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  8. Rollis R. Karvellis

    Rollis R. Karvellis Member

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    Once you get over the learning curve of the 650, you should find it pretty flexable. Case feader plate changeover is a 5 secound proceder.
     
  9. RhinoDefense

    RhinoDefense Member

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    The 1050 is a very sophisticated press, meaning there is a lot going on at once. The press took a bit to get dialed in just right, but I barely touch it now. Just preventative maintenance (grease & lube). On my 9mm press, I load about 50,000 rounds a month on it and it runs like no tomorrow.

    Really what the 1050 is for Dillon is their cash cow. It's the highest profit margin product and the premium product in their line. Mike Dillon wanted to be a premium brand and he's done quite well at that. Most everyone wants a 1050 at some point when they get serious about reloading. Dillon established himself as a premium brand with a premium product, then offered mid-grade products (550 and 650) and priced them higher than the competition. He makes more money because of his premium brand perception. His quality of customer service increases the perception of value for his products and that means customers will spread word of mouth advertising and customers will justify to themselves the premium price for the product. That is basically what it comes down to and it's a great business model.
     
  10. DBR

    DBR Member

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    I've had a 1050 since about 1995. When I bought it I was shooting 200-300 rds a week mostly 45ACP. It is not worth setting up for less than 1000rds and barely so at that number. It takes me about thirty minutes to change caliber and primer size. That is with dedicated tool heads and powder measures.

    The 1050 is intended as a high volume production press. Because it primes and swages on the down stroke (fixed depth) it is not tolerant of variations in rim thickness, primer pocket depth or case head thickness. It expects each case to be identical for best results. Therefore it is not the best choice for mixed brass.

    It is a bit fussy to get "tuned" to a new cartridge but once setup (if done correctly) mine goes for hundreds of rounds with nothing but cleaning.

    I have a RCBS 2000 (manual indexing) that I use for runs of 100-1000 rounds. It does at least 300rds per hour and caliber/primer changes are very fast.
     
  11. Lloyd Smale

    Lloyd Smale Member

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    In a perfect world or in heaven id have a 1050 set up in every caliber i do. But at 1500 bucks a pop it isnt going to happen. The 650 will server anyone who isnt into mass production or ammo sales and it will do it at half the price and is much cheaper to swap calibers on and much easier to swap to boot. Not that the 1050 isnt a superior machine, it definetly is but I just cant justify it.
     
  12. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    For what it's worth, the representative I spoke to at Dillon talked me OUT of getting a 1050 and IN to getting a 650 when I bought my first one. He said caliber changes on a 1050 take a LOT longer. I only use the Dillon 650 for 9mm, 45, and 223. It's FAST.

    If I do prep work after work one night (loading up primer tubes, checking my setup etc), I can then load up a couple thousand rounds after work the next night, and then spend the next night or two getting them all boxed up.

    The automatic case feeder is a must, if you want to turn them out. In my experience it was a bit nitpicky to set up, I had to make a call in to Dillon for assistance to get it feeding smoothly.

    Caliber changes are pretty quick; if you go from small primer to small primer, it's very fast, if you have to swap out the primer feed, it takes a bit longer but still takes a reasonably small amount of time. If I had the spare dough, I'd have two of the presses; one set up just for 45, then the other set up for 9mm/223. :)

    Every other caliber I load, I still do on a manually indexed turret press. On 308, 300WM, 22-250, 8x57, etc, each charge gets electronically weighed. My revolvers (45 Colt, etc) don't see enough action to justify a set of dies for the Dillon, I usually just load up 50 at a time. Not worth buying the conversion kit, or the time spent swapping out, and rechecking everything.
     
  13. Chuck Perry

    Chuck Perry Member

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    I had a 650 for many years. It is an excellent press and well worth the money. I recently sold mine, as it no longer fit my needs. I do not shoot nearly as much as I used to. More often than not, my reloading sessions are limited to producing maybe 200-300 rounds of various calibers in a session. For me to run a couple hundred 38's then switch the whole press around to run a couple hundred 45's was just annoying. It's not as simple as just swapping some parts out. There is a bit of tinkering to do every time you switch things around, particurally if you like to try out new bullet styles.
     
  14. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Chuck -
    Thanks for your comments, because that's me in a nutshell. 500 of this bullet, 500 of that bullet. Try this powder, try that powder. I like to experiment with my ammo and have a lot of fun doing it, but my 550B plays along with me. It's very flexible and highly tolerant of small batch changes.
     
  15. skipjack

    skipjack Member

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    I am running six xl650s, loading commercially on a small scale.

    Caliber change on these machines is a breeze. I do try to keep calibers
    that use the same size primers on the machines so that I don't have to
    change the priming system.

    I am not doing a lot of 9mm, but can do them and the 38 super and
    380 by simply changing the toolhead. I buddy up the 40 with 38 and
    357 magnum, along with 357 sig.

    I have one machine that is just set up for 45 acp and another that
    I use for 45 colt and 44 magnum. The 44/45 machine also is used
    for 7.62x39. On the rare occasion that I load 10mm, I use either of
    these two since it requires large pistol primers. I also have a machine
    that is just for 223.

    I have case feeders for all the machines and could not imagine doing
    without them.

    Initially, I wanted to buy the 1050, but decided on the 650 for the
    quick change of caliber and the better warranty. The Dillon rep was
    very helpful in pointing that out to me.
     
  16. noylj

    noylj Member

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    I love my three 1050s, but for a general progressive, I much prefer the Hornady L-N-L to any Dillon (tried the 650, went home to my Hornady quite happy, thank you very much).
    You are used to the 550 with the manual-indexing. I would never have a manual-indexing press as I consider the combination of that and me to be a safety issue.
    You are also used to either manually feeding cases into your press from the right side or manually filling the case tube, so you could continue to do that with the 650. You aren't generating enough rounds to need a case feeder.
    I much prefer the ergonomics of the Hornady where everything is done comfortably with the left hand and the bullet seating station is right under your nose so you can't "forget" to check the charge. Also, the Hornady is much faster and less expensive to change calibers, which you are doing frequently.
    Thus, if you are happy with the 550, stay with it. Your aren't loading any where near the quantities that would justify the 1050 and the very expensive caliber conversion kits and toolheads. Also, if you are content with just 4 stations, the 650 probably wouldn't be an improvement to you worth the additional money.
    Has your son used your 550? If so, and he likes it, you can watch for a used 550 for sale for him or have him come over to the house more often.
    Developing loads for my 1050s, I remove the pins from the powder measure (#5) station and the powder check (#6) station.
    (note: station 6 is waste unless you have an RCBS Lock-Out die or Dillon Powder-check die in it. It is too far back to look into comfortably and you will find charge inspection at station 7 much more comfortable.)
    I insert a tared empty case (with a spent primer) into station 5 and cycle the press. Remove the case at station 6 and weigh the powder. Since there are no marks to help you dial in a charge, you just drop a charge, weigh, adjust, drop a charge, weigh, adjust, drop a charge, weigh, and repeat until you get your weight. Generally, I then cycle the measure 10 times to stabilize the drop and then drop 10 charges and average them to establish the charge weight. I load 10 or 20 cases in the feed tube and load them.
    If you have a lot of cases with crimped primers, the swaging station on the 1050 is great. However, that tends still to be a job I do during case sorting and prep. In fact, my .223 loading is not very "progressive" at all: size all my cases, inspect and trim as required, prime, drop charge, seat bullet, package for the range.
    Then again, I don't load more than 100 rifle rounds at a time. It's pistol rounds where I load 5-10k at a time (and really get tired of opening primer boxes and filling primer tubes).
    Dillon has always treated me great and I have seen no effective difference in my treatment and how those with NoBS warranties are treated. The major advantage to me of Dillon (besides how much I like the 1050) is that they are a 2-hour drive away and I don't like to carry on technical discussions on the phone.
    They can tell by looking at the press if you are simply a reloader with vision of greatness or a commercial loader who has abused or worn-out the press.
    I look for the tool I like that meets my needs and not the warranty that comes with it. I am a firm believer that after a year, any problems are mine any way.
     
  17. shotgunred

    shotgunred Member

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    Which reloading press is right for you?

    I have been asking experienced reloaders questions about their presses and their reloading habits. I find it interesting that the average person loads in short burst. They average 30 to 60 minutes at a time. This seems to hold true weather the person is a competition shooter or a plinker. That leads me to believe that the mast majority of reloaders buy way more press than they really need. As one person pointed out with a Dillon 550 you can load 250 rounds in half an hour and you did just that every day Monday through Friday that’s still 1250 rounds a week. Very few people shoot that many rounds a week on a regular basis. I have shot that many rounds in a weekend but only because I went to a class. I certainly don’t need that much out put every week. Even a Lee classic turret press will yield 500 round a week with that schedule. Am I suggesting that everyone buy a Lee classic turret press? NO But 75% or more of shooters could get by with one if they had to. There is a saying in the racing industry. Speed cost money haw fast do want to spend? The same is true in the reloading industry. The faster you want to go the more it is going to cost you. Thankfully the costs for reloading are tiny compared to racing. Also a quality reloading press can last you a lifetime. Spending $500 to $1000 dollars on a reloading machine doesn’t seem so expensive when you realize that in 10 years you only spent $50 To $100 dollars a year for that machine. Also in the case of Dillons they hold there value. If you decide to sell your reloader you can expect to get 75% to 90% of current market value back on your purchase.
    Case feeders are something to think about even if you don’t want one when you first start to reload. A case feeder will greatly increases your hourly production. Not all Case feeders are made equal. The lee is the least expensive and versatile. The 550 Case feeder was an afterthought. It works on pistol cases only. The 650 1050 and LNL all have similar functioning units that load both pistol and rifle cartages. These case feeders can increases your output 40% or more. The new low cost Hornady bullet feeder has the potential to increases these press another 40% or more. While it can be installed on a four station press you have to give up something else to make it work. Both of these products are reasons to look harder at the 5 station press instead of the 4 station presses. The Hornady LNL and the Billon 650 should both be capable of production rate over 1000 rounds an hour with a case feeder and a bullet feeder.
    The Presses
    Lee Pro 1000

    Some people have fairly good luck with them and swear by them. Most people just swear at them. If you want a cheap press and like to constantly tinker with a press then a Lee Pro 1000 might be right for you. There are more negatives than positives reviews on the web about them. I know one guy that swears by his. I have never used one myself.
    .
    Lee Classic turret press

    If you are going to look at a Lee turret press only look at the Classic. It’s not a progressive press and you have to pull the handle 4 times for each round. It’s slow, it’s cheap, it works. If you are on a tight budget it will give you more production for the same price as a lot of single stage presses.
    One Hour Production Rate 200

    The Dillon Square Deal

    The Dillon Square Deal is a pistol caliber only press... no bottle neck cartridges.. The Dillon Square Deal uses proprietary Dillon dies so you won't be able to use any dies you might already own. If you want to change calibers you have to buy more Square Deal proprietary dies for it. The Dillon Square Deal has a small footprint which is a benefit if you are limited on bench space but a detriment if you have big fingers. The Dillon Square Deal is the least expensive of the Dillon press line. If you are sure you are only going to load one or two pistol cartridge then this might be the press for you.
    One Hour Production Rate 350

    The Dillon RL550B
    RL550B is manual-indexing four station progressive press. The Dillon RL550B is the workhorse Dillon press line. It can load almost any center fire rifle or pistol cartridge. It has 120 caliber conversions available for it. In the Dillon line the Dillon RL550B is the most economical add calibers to. It has less expensive caliber conversions than other Dillon presses. If you were buying just one Dillon press and wanted the most bang for the buck, it would be a Dillon RL550B. According to Dillon more RL550s have been sold than any other progressive machine in the world.
    One Hour Production Rate 500

    The Dillon XL650
    The XL 650 is auto-indexing five station progressive press. The XL 650 was built from the ground up to be an auto-indexing press with a case feeder. The Dillon XL650 comes standard with a tube system for an automatic case feeder. The automatic case feeder is sold separately So the advertised starting price doesn’t accurately reflect the true price of a Dillon XL650. A fully set up Dillon XL650 cost twice what a Dillon RL550B cost but produces twice as much ammo an hour. The caliber conversions for the Dillon XL650 are noticeably more expensive than the RL550B and the LNL. For large volume reloading, versatility and ease of use a Dillon XL650 is hard to beat.
    One Hour Production Rate 800
    The Super 1050 B
    The Super 1050 B is the king of the Dillon line. It is designed for commercial use and not normally in the running for what press should I buy. If you need it you know you need it.
    One Hour Production Rate 1200

    Hornady Lock N Load AP
    The Lock-N-Load AP is an auto-indexing, 5-station progressive press that features the Lock-N-Load bushing system, which allows calibers to be changed very quickly. The Lock-N-Load is the cheapest press to equip with additional caliber conversions. During Automatic Indexing Each station moves 1/2 a stage on the upstroke and 1/2 a stage on the down stroke and the up stroke, making for a smoother function. This means less chance of flinging powder out of cases. The Lock-N-Load AP can be used with or without a case feeder. This allows you to start at a Dillon 550B price but to upgrade to a Dillon XL650 speed press at a later date. The earlier editions of this press were known to have issues and were more in line with Lee quality presses. With the new generation of presses Hornady is trying to go head to head with Dillon including matching their warranty.
    One Hour Production Rate 500 with case feeder 800.


    The Warranty
    lee reloading products are guaranteed not to wear out or break from normal use for two full years or they will be repaired or replaced at no charge if returned to the factory. Any LEE product of current manufacture, regardless of age or condition, will be reconditioned to new—including a new guarantee—if returned to the factory with payment equal to half the current retail price.

    Hornady Warranty “We guarantee every one of our reloading tools and accessories for Life” No-Risk, Lifetime Warranty. Hornady reloading tools and accessories are warranted against material defects and workmanship for the life of the products. Parts which by nature of their function are subject to normal wear such as springs, pins, bearings, etc… and, parts which have been altered, abused, or neglected are excluded for the warranty.
    If the product is deemed defective by either workmanship or material, the reloading tool or accessory will either be repaired, reconditioned or replaced at Hornady Manufacturing Company’s option. If it breaks, we’ll repair it or replace it at no charge.
    Dillon precision No warranty cards, registration or serial numbers are necessary. Whether you are the first owner, or the seventeenth, all our hobby-level reloading machines have a lifetime warranty. If you break, damage or wear out anything on them, it will be fixed or replaced – whatever is necessary to restore the machine to normal operating condition. If a minor part is all that is needed, contact us and we will ship the part. If something major is damaged or broken, contact us and we issue the customer a return merchandise authorization-RMA- to return the item to us for repair. The customer pays the shipping; we fix or replace as is warranted.
    I rate the warrantees from worst to best Lee, Hornady, Dillon. Both the Hornady and Dillon have excellent warrantees. The difference is that Dillon will also warrantee consumables. Hornady has been doing this lately also but it isn’t in there written warrantee. Lastly Dillon will even completely rebuild a press to new condition for a small fee. They don’t care if you are the original owner or if you found it in a garbage can. They still honor their warrantee.

    So which reloading press is right for you? That depends…
    How much ammo you are going to make a month average?
    What is your budget?
    How much time do you have to reload?
    How many different calibers do you want to reload?
    Here is my personal picks.
    Budget $300 or less…… Lee Classic turret press
    Budget $300 to $600 …. Hornady Lock N Load AP

    Budget over $600 with more than 5 calibers…. Hornady Lock N Load AP with bullet feeder.
    Budget over $800 with 4 calibers…… Dillon XL650
    Budget doesn’t matter with 1 caliber …. The Super 1050 B
    You only want to buy one press to last for the rest of your life regardless of what you want to reload….. Dillon RL550B
    http://www.leeprecision.com/
     
  18. noylj

    noylj Member

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    Just a follow-up. Hornady was the first affordable press with 5 stations. I wanted 5 stations. Thus, I bought the first edition of the Hornady. I never had any issues with mine. During the next 30+ years (?), I was always able to upgrade for a reasonable price.
    The only real problem any progressive press has given me is the priming system. I consider the 1050 and Hornady L-N-L to be about as good as a priming system can be. The other main problem with progressives is you have to keep them clean and spilled powder must be cleaned up immediately.
    My personal prejudice is that the Hornady, as delivered, is as functional to me as the 650, if delivered with a case feeder. If the Hornady case feeder is as troublesome as on my 1050s, I would not consider the case feeder too much of an advantage. It is just so simple to feed the cases with my left hand--after all, I am also picking up and feeding the bullets by hand.
    Of course, when the case feeders are working smoothly, you really start wanting a bullet feeder and some sort of continuous primer feed.
     
  19. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have or have had every suggested press mentioned above. Several have brass and bullet feeders and can make 100 rounds of quality ammunition in under 3 minutes. That being said the 550 was pretty much designed for the reloading you do, if you like it stick with it.
     
  20. Redbeard55

    Redbeard55 Member

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    Mention was made to the 650 learning curve. I loaded 15+ years strictly on a single station before getting the 650. After 5-6 years I'm still learning all the ins and out. I find most problems related to the 650 relate to case feeding and priming.
     
  21. mallc

    mallc Member

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    The first press I bought was a 650. It took about an hour to set it up and start making ammo.

    Scott
     
  22. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

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    This is Dillon's WRITTEN warranty, straight from the current 550 manual:

    All Dillon machines are warrantied for life from defects in
    material or workmanship (except the Super/RL 1050), plus a
    one year 100% warranty against normal wear. All
    electrical/electronic components in Dillon equipment are
    covered by a one year warranty.

    Both Dillon and Hornady often exceed the limits of their written warranties.

    Andy
     
  23. joed

    joed Member

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    I own both the 650 and 1050 and like both. My beef with the 650 is that once you add a casefeeder and other options you're getting close to the cost of a 1050. The 1050 comes with everything you'll need.

    The 1050 is fast. I have watched mine pump out 1200 rounds an hour and usually my arm gets tired after the first hour.

    The 650 is nowhere as fast as the 1050 but it is a good press. I replaced my 550 with a 650 several years ago. I won't own a progressive press with a powder check die which is my reason for going to the 650.

    Doesn't sound like you want to do a lot of rounds on the press though. That could be a deciding factor.

    The 1050 takes a while to set up, generally 20 minutes, the 650 is a little quicker as long as you're not changing primer size.

    To me I don't like using the 1050 unless I have a few hundred rounds to do. Maybe I'm just lazy but it hardly seems worth the bother for 200 rounds.

    If you can afford both presses I'd probably spring for the 1050 as it gives you room to grow. The 650 is a good press but I've found that it isn't much faster then a 550.

    The 1050 does not have the same warrantee as the others as it is a commercial press. In the 6 years I've owned mine I haven't broken 1 part. The 1050 is a tank, there isn't much you can do to hurt it.
     
  24. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I think he intended to say "without powder check die".

    I have two 650's, one set up for large primers another for small, this saves time swapping calibers. The case feed just sits on a post so it takes 5 seconds to move it to another press. Loading rounds I have bullet feeders for (45,38/357,40,9mm) they are just as fast as my bullet fed 1050 loading 223. The main bonus with the 1050 is the primer pocket swage.

    In your case of short runs in different calibers, I would rather have two 650's and a case feeder than a single 1050. Not to mention they and the case feeder would cost over $300 less than a single 1050.
     
  25. Red Cent

    Red Cent Member

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    Did a lot of research. I wound up with three 650s. This is not sour grapes, but I cannot see buying the 1050 for that price.
     
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