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How many tool heads and conversion kits do you have for your progressive press?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 460Shooter, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    Had a friend do the same when he got a Dillon 650...converted all his die sets over to Dillon. While they do have a nice decapping feature on their Sizing die, I'm not seeing them as anything special
     
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  2. Havok7416
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    Havok7416 Member

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    I do draw the line at Dillon's dies. Almost all my dies are Lee, with 1 set each Hornady and RCBS. The Hornady because no one else makes affordable dies in specific caliber and the RCBS because I found a deal. I tend to agree that dies aren't anything special.
     
  3. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    Having said that, I have to admit that I've slowly but surely upgraded the dies I most often use.

    In .38Spl, started with a Hornady set (gift); later adding a Lyman M die. When I started shooting coated bullets in competition, I upgraded to a Redding Pro set with the Dual Ring Resizing die; I adding a Competition Seating die (on sale); then I upgraded to a Redding Expanding die after they changed the profile to mimic the M die (on Clearance).

    In 9mm, it has been RCBS, Hornady + Lyman, then Redding Pro + Competition Seating die...it's an addiction :eek:
     
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  4. roval

    roval Member

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    dillon 550

    9 mm
    45 acp
    38/357
    44 mag
    another toolhead shared between 223 and 308
     
  5. 338reddog

    338reddog Member

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    I had around 30-40 tool heads and about 15 powder measures. But I also had 5 dillon 650s, 2 Dillon 550s, a dillon Square Deal , Dillon 900.
    Im down to two 650s and the 900. I have 7 powder measures and 7 tool heads. I need a few more for 32 H&R, 40 S&W, 41 mag,, 45acp, and 380.
    When I sold the 650 presses I sold die sets and tool heads. Which left me short.
    At some point I will have extra tool heads for 38 and 357, 44sp and 44mag. 45colt and 454. I dont like readjusting dies. I cant do it all at once so a little at a time.
    Jeff
     
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  6. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    I converted my pistol chambering tool heads from Lee or Hornady or RCBS (mostly Lee) to Dillon - they require noticeably less force to resize.
     
  7. 338reddog

    338reddog Member

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    What I have noticed on Dillon dies is that they have a larger bevel at the mouth. I have used a die grinder to open seat and crimp dies from RCBS. It seems to help with alignment. Since I use Carbide sizeing dies the die grinder is not going to help. To me the sizing die is more critical to smoothness on a 650.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  8. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    I used to think that Dillon dies were nothing special. Then I started loading more and more 9mm. Problems with both Hornady and RCBS 9mm dies on my 650. I broke down and purchased a set of Dillon 9mm dies.

    They are better. From the spring loaded primer pin to the ability to change seating stems without losing die adjustment. They're just better. I added the Uniquetek SWC seating plug and they are awesome! I've got a RCBS 9mm RN Target mold and the Dillon seating die is the only one that doesn't deform this bullet.
     
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  9. Whiterook808

    Whiterook808 Member

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    The Dillon dies work really well on progressive presses. When I bought my 550 I thought I was going to re-use my Lee pistol dies. It wasn't long before I was on the phone ordering new dies sets. I loaded a few boxes of 38 Special a couple of weeks ago and the thing still unbelievably smooth after almost 20 years.
     
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  10. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Well this discussion has certainly evolved. I have to confess, when I started buying reloading equipment I decided to go with Dillon dies since I bought a Dillon press. No real reason other than that, and the fact that my LGS carries Dillon equipment and I want to help support them. The carbide pistol dies seem to work well in my brief experience, once I have them cranked down and set. Of course right now I only have 45acp, 10mm, and 38/357 Dillon Dies. I do also have a set of Redding Titanium Carbide Pro dies for loading 460 S&W Magnum that I look forward to trying out. Dillon doesn't make a set of 460 dies, only the powder funnel. I imagine I will branch out into other die brands as I start branching out into more riffle cartridges.

    The funny part to me is that when I started out, I figured I'd have a small reloading setup and my press would be all I ever really needed. Now I'm already thinking about another press and more toolhead setups. I also find it shocking how much I've learned in the past year, and how much more there is to learn.
     
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  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I have had a couple of Dillon sizers and did not notice them being any easier to size with, and I size separately. Dunno.
     
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  12. rb288

    rb288 Member

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    I have a Redding T7 with, currently, 2 tool heads.
    One is 308 and 300blk, the other is 6.5 grendel and 8x57.
    I am not reloading anything else, yet, but the next one will be 9mm and 45acp.
    Then 223/556 and 45 Colt.
     
  13. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    One caliber per tool head is the way to go. When the shellplate is the same for the follow-on cartridge (e.g. 9mm/ 38 Super/ 40S&W/ 9x23) then you can simply insert the tool head and be ready to go.

    jCi2kZAxyvAlxmYr3mZfTgB-b190i3UHlLROGf2eXk36pUw3KRDBDTa7nKQzC7KiT3W8i_xg0A-QwRFSl1A=w576-h432-no.jpg

    Check out the toolheads by Jofer USA by Clicking Here or looking for their ads on eBay. Prices start at $16, which is about half the cost of Dillon. I found these when I converted from a 550 to a XL650. I needed 8 toolheads and Dillon wanted $240, which I thought was ridiculous.
    .
     
  14. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Dillon dies are top drawer equipment. But the straight walled case dies do not come with a case mouth expander. Dillon expects the reloader to use the powder funnel in the powder drop system to expand the case mouth.

    On my progressive press, I re-size the case and expand the case mouth at a separate time from reloading, therefore Dillon dies do not suit my needs.

    All of my powder funnels are either custom made or modified to not expand the case mouth. It is just the way that I prefer to run a progressive press.
     
  15. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    I do that sometimes as well, with all Dillon equipment. Granted, I have the powder funnel and powder measure mounted at the time - no powder of course. The reason I do it is when I plan to work up new loads, I keep a bunch of primed and expanded brass ready just so I can drop powder from my Chargemaster. Then I run the seating a crimping operation in the last two stations of my 550.
     
  16. tallpaul

    tallpaul Member

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    considering how cheap the dillon tool heads can be had anymore I see no reason not to set one up for any caliber I load on a 550 or 650... the 1050 is a lil different :) Getting enough powder measures were the big concern although the quick change parts or mods for the dillon powder measure help with that also :)
     
  17. Superiorfirepwr

    Superiorfirepwr Member

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    one for each cartridge 10 so far on my 550....
     
  18. Olon

    Olon Member

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    I'm super late to this party, but I just bought these off eBay:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/252977768466

    Dillon charges what seems to me a crazy price for their toolheads, so I'm taking a gamble on these aftermarket ones. The reviews seem to be good.
    After ordering the two-pack, I will have 4 toolheads for 5 cartridges and 1 powder measure. If these are good (I'll report back here), then I'll order another and have one extra toolhead for that next "gotta have it" that comes into my life. What's more is that two of these costs about the same as a single dillon toolhead after shipping. Even the used ones on ebay command a premium!

    I just don't enjoy all the time it takes to change out the dies and re-adjust everything. I'd say that, even though I enjoy reloading, I'm more of a shooter than a reloader. Having the convenience of simply swapping toolheads and re-adjusting only the powder measure (possibly the priming system), I will be able to spend more time producing ammo and hopefully more time shooting it.
     
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  19. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Nice, not cheap, but nice. I could use one or two more. Looking forward to your follow up.
     
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  20. Growlers

    Growlers Member

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    Like the OP, I also have a Dillon 550B. I have tool heads for the following calibers:

    380 ACP
    9mm
    38 special
    45 ACP
    223 Rem.

    This allows me to reload for all my firearm calibers (except 22LR, of course). They work great, and I'm quickly back up and running whenever I rotate the calibers I reload. It probably takes me no more than 10 minutes to changeover, including re-verifying calibrations.
     
  21. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I'm actually really lazy about taking the time to do this. When I find a load I like, at this point, I don't change a thing. Obviously if different components are being used, that may change things.

    I even have separate tool heads and dies for 38 special and 357 magnum. Threw away $100 on dies and a tool head, but it saves me time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
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  22. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    You'd really speed up your change over process by having (and leaving set up on the toolhead) separate powder measures for each caliber.

    If the Dillon powder measure is cost prohibitive, you can use a Lee Autodrum ($35) on each toolhead
     
  23. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    ^ you can swap out the powder bar on a Dillon for even less than that.

     
  24. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I have 6 tool heads right now and only 4 powder measures, and I agree with 9mmepiphany. Having multiple is a good thing. All you need is the powder dies and then you can leave your tool heads totally set up. Switching the powder measure and hopper between tool heads is easy and fast but having several limits the need to mess with it, or even store the powder funnel seperate.

    As of now though I only load pistol cartridges that use the small powder bar. When I start loading S&W 460 magnum I will likely dedicate that powder measure to a large powder bar setup. Although it looks like changing the powder bar is pretty simple.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
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  25. km101

    km101 Member

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    On my 550C I have found it easier to use a separate tool head for each caliber that I load. I hate changing dies! So I currently have 10 tool heads set up and a spare for pistol calibers, and 6 for rifle calibers.
     
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