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Red vs Blue Progressives

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by griff383, Dec 10, 2010.

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  1. griff383

    griff383 Member

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    So I finally decided to step up to a progressive press. Im still keeping my turret and single presses for the stuff I dont shoot alot and for hunting loads. Primary desire for a progressive right now is:

    -9mm
    -40
    -223 trim / resize
    -308 trim / resize

    I looked at the Hornady LNL AP and the Dillon XL 650 and saw benefits to both. Price difference in presses as well as accesories isnt enough to make me lean towards either. I will wait on the case feeder as I dont see that as a necesity right now but will probably get one sometime in the future. I did like the trimmer from Dillon that fits right on top of the press and think that would make my 223 and 308 processing much easier.

    Is there any benefit to one over the other, diregarding cost of press / accessories?
     
  2. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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  3. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

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    Either progressive will reload your pistol cartridges very well, especially if you intend to crank out mind-numbing quantities of exactly the same load (same bullet/powder/etc.). If you tend to load a few hundred, then change the bullet and/or powder and load another few hundred, the LNL is more flexible, unless you want to set up entire tool heads with powder measures for each load on the 650.

    The 650 is less easy to use without a case feeder than the AP, especially if you are only trimming and resizing on it (not seating bullets.) You feed cases manually, up high at the top of a tube, with the right hand on the 650, which also operates the handle. You feed cases with the left hand on the AP and operate the handle with the right hand.

    If you ever intend to completely reload rifle cartridges on the progressive, AP powder measure works better with extruded rifle powders than the 650 PM. The AP PM also works in any station, which may allow you to size, trim, charge, seat and maybe even crimp (depending on how much room the trimmer takes next to the PM). Individual dies are also easily changed on the AP, allowing you flexibility in the choice of sizing, expanding, seating and crimp dies.

    Changing primer sizes is much easier on the AP than on the 650.

    I have heard that the 650 will also not work with redding competition (and probably other sliding sleeve type) seating dies for 30-06 or longer cartridges (the auto-index engages before the seated bullet clears the bottom of the sleeve).

    Andy
     
  4. k4swb

    k4swb Member

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    Glock!


    Sorry. I just couldn't help myself.
     
  5. raz-0

    raz-0 Member

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    I can tell you right now that if you see loading a lot of .40 in your future, the LNL case feeder design has had some severely bad choices made in materials, and some seriously wrong recommendations made as to what parts to use to make it work with .40.
     
  6. mallc

    mallc Member

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    I have both.

    Dillon 650 is the better all-around press. The operating linkages are much more solid and safety checks are well integrated. Change overs are slow and dedicating tool heads is pricey. A case feeder is a necessity to maximize a 650.

    Hornady LNL AP is a dream of simplicity. Change overs are fast, powder measure is better, and once you get the hang of checking all the stages at each stroke, it is fast. RCBS Lockout dies work for straight wall cases. RCBS Powder Cop work (sort of...if you turn the check rod upside down) with bottle neck cases. Case feeder linkages are flimsy and I wouldn't spend the money to add one.

    Dillion 650 produces ammo faster with a higher margin of safety if you add the bells and whistles. Hornady is flexible and more fun but takes A LOT more attention.

    Both are great companies. After 5 years on Dillon and 3 years on Hornady, I haven't needed any service.

    Forget trimming on either unless you use a Dillion RT 1200.

    Redding Competition Seating dies work on both. I use them for .223, 22-250, 30.06, and 40 SW on both. Redding dies won't fit in Redding dies boxes with LNL bushings installed.

    Hope this helps.

    Scott
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010
  7. griff383

    griff383 Member

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    So if the LNL case feeder has issues with 40, can the Dillon case feeder be used in conjunction with the Hornady press?
     
  8. mallc

    mallc Member

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    Dillon case feed on LNL?

    I once knew a guy who successfully put a Porsche 914 pancake in a Corvair. Never did understand why he didn't just drive the Porsche.

    Scott
     
  9. griff383

    griff383 Member

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    I dont mind if it takes a few minutes to change calibers or if I have to load the cases into the tube manually so long as I can load a handful at a time. What I am trying to eliminate is 4 pulls to make 1 bullet
     
  10. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Actually, I don't think any die with the Hornady L-N-L bushing will fit in a Redding die box.

    Dies do fit in RCBS boxes with trimming one of the saddles that hold the dies in place. I have swapped dies set around and purchased a couple extra RCBS boxes so that dies used on the Hornady progressive have a storage box.
     
  11. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    Since my first press was an inherited Dillon RL450 (30-ish years old, three years ago) and I recently inherited an older Hornady Pro-7 (20-ish years old) I have what I hope is some valid input.

    Dillon still supports the 450, and parts are still available (and they sent me everything I needed free of charge, of course).

    When I recently contacted Hornady for primer tubes/primer blast shield/shell plates, they said, no, we don't have them, no, we can't tell you where to get them, you really need to buy a new LNL. I have been searching eBay, etc, to find the parts...no luck yet. So it sits idle. I may put it on eBay soon (I've seen several sell recently, without primer tubes...imagine that)

    You may not keep your press for 20 years. On the other hand, you may hand it down to your son. If it's a Dillon, he will still be able to use it. The difference in philosophy between the two companies seals the deal for me.

    Planned obsolescence is okay for toasters and cell phones.

    Since you are in the DFW area, want to buy a Hornady pro 7 (minus primer tubes) cheap? :) Nah, didn't think so...
     
  12. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    I always wondered if the Dillon powder measure/ case expander system would make the LNL AP a better machine. Most all the trouble I see with the LNL is credited to case belling issues. I simply love the way my Dillon handles that portion of the loading.
     
  13. griff383

    griff383 Member

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    Im really starting to lean towards the blue koolade. But if my wife isnt looking I may end up with both.
     
  14. mallc

    mallc Member

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    That'll work!

    Scott
     
  15. floydster

    floydster Member

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    I have the LNL E-Z ject, and priming on this press is just a royal pain, any little speck of media or any other unforseen material on the primer slider and you can get a hangup.
    Believe me, I have tried to no avail to solve this problem, it is in my opinion a very poor design, my Son is a mech. engineer and he picked this think apart.
    Buy the Dillon!
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I buy the cheap Lyman box for them. Hornady sells a hinged box that will work, and hold four dies, but they are more money.
     
  17. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    go big blue!
     
  18. Ian Sean

    Ian Sean Member

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    Just my opinion, Red and Blue have their negatives and positives. Any problem can be worked out (and usually the cause is the owner) and both have good customer service. You really won't go wrong with either brand, so it may well boil down to cost and if you can find the best deal.

    But I would still recommend researching everything about each that you can.

    I am a big fan of this guys website, he owns every brand and has some great critiques of each unit. http://ultimatereloader.com/

    It is a big investment, be prepared to "invest" a good day or two reading on his site. If you prefer the visuals and actual workings of the units, I would recommend watching the videos he has posted on Youtube also. http://www.youtube.com/user/gavintoobe#p/u/36/cID-c9jM6gQ

    Hope I helped and Good luck.
     
  19. mallc

    mallc Member

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    Not so fast there Ian...

    IMHO, you WILL go wrong if you expect either to do what the other does.

    Scott
     
  20. griff383

    griff383 Member

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    Ian,

    Great info and links, Im in no hurry to get one so I have the time to research properly. That plus the vault keeper (wife) probably wouldnt like me spending money on something other than christmas stuff right now.
     
  21. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I'll have to look into the Lyman box. It looks like the RCBS box from the picture. Down side is I live in Big Orange Country and I'm not a fan of the Tennessee Volunteers.:)

    I like the sizes of the RCBS and Redding boxes. The Hornady box is too big for my storage system as is the Forester.

    But it is definitely personal opinion. What ever floats your boat.
     
  22. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    Scott I would be curious to know what one will do that the other won't. I have talked to at least 12 people that own both and 90% prefer the Hornady over the Dillon.
     
  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have plenty of RCBS die boxes, some with other brand dies in them, or a mismatched set. My 9MM die set is in an RCBS box. It consists of a Lee or Redding sizer. The Redding is in there right now, with a Redding expander, a Hornady seater with the micrometer stem, and a C&H crimper.

    As a Tide fan, I can understand the aversion to orange. ;)

    Both presses have lots of loyal and satisfied users. Assuming feeding cases by hand, I prefer the ergonomics of the Hornady. If I went Dillon, it would be a 650 with a case feeder.

    I use my regular expanders in station #2. I could do it in station #1 since I am not sizing when loading them. (Size them, hand prime them, load them)
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  24. mallc

    mallc Member

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    Well...here are a few.

    I'm sure we've hashed this over and over and over - but we can do it again for a LEE Turret-man if you like.

    For the record, in addition to the 650XL, we have two LNL APs, one set up for large primers and one for small. We use a T7 for small batches and have a few other presses for special duty; for example we've installed Dillon 1200 RT trimmers on a couple of old RCBS cast iron Reloader Specials to size/trim .223 and 5.7x28. Different types of presses perform various reloading tasks better than others.

    1. The LNL does not have an effective hi/low charge alarm.
    2. The LNL does not have a low primer alarm, the chase rod drops into the slide and stops the action and spilled powder jams up the slide.
    3. The LNL timing prawls need to be tweaked more often than I like.
    4. LNL has a better powder measure than the 650 but not as good as the Redding next to the T7.
    5. Working up loads would by a PIA on either.
    6. Pulling bullets would be a PIA on either
    7. Manual trimming would be a PIA on a 650
    8. Running 600 .223 an hour safety on an LNL is difficult and not possible on a turret or single stage.
    9. Dillon has far better construction and linkages.

    IMHO the LNL isn't in the same class as the 650XL but you don't need a 650XL for what the LNL does well - AND - you don't need either to make up 20 rounds of 25.06 - BUT - you certainly could do so iff'n ya only had one press to do it on.

    Scott
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  25. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    As I said in Post #11, the biggest problem with Hornady is that when they come up with a new press, they will quit supporting the LNL...just as they did with the Pro-7 and the Pro-Jector.

    I cannot find primer tubes or primer blast shield for the Pro-7 I inherited, new or used, for love or money. Three of the last four Pro-7s that I have seen on eBay had no primer tubes or primer blast shield. The one that did went for ~$120...two are available now, each going about $60. Hornady's response? "Just buy an LNL". Thanks. :rolleyes:

    Mine is esentially useless, unless I hand-prime. (If you have any of these parts for sale, please pm me. I'd rather use it than sell it. I won't get anything for it anyway.)

    You can still buy an old Dillon 450 or (pre-550B) 550, leave it like it is and get support/parts, or buy parts to upgrade it to 550B.
     
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