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Rifle Loads with a Dillon 550

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Ninety-North, Mar 20, 2008.

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  1. Ninety-North

    Ninety-North Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    I have a Dillon 550 press that I use for loading pistol ammo. I was recently given a set of 270 Win dies and was wondering if anyone can suggest a safe methodology for using a progressive press on cartriges that need to be trimmed and the powder weighed (rather than thrown). It would be cheap enough to purchase a single stage press, but I also have two shotgun reloaders on the bench and I just don't have the space for something that I can't use in production reloading.

    Many Thanks, Mike
  2. Snapping Twig

    Snapping Twig Member

    Jul 7, 2007
    I put the sizing die in the first slot, keep the second slot empty and the powder die in the third and bullet seating die in the 4th position.

    My method is to lube then size/decap all the brass and trim it as needed, this as a separate action, done prior to reloading. I do the sizing and decapping as a bulk operation.

    Following these procedures, I seat a new primer and move the index to seat another, the next index will give me a powder charge and so I set it lower than I need by just a bit and trickle on the scale to exact charge.

    Now I index and seat a bullet while using the press to seat a new primer and get the next powder charge which I will trickle to top off.

    By separating the sizing portion from the rest of the operation, I am able to have prepped brass ready for reload and I can use the press in the manner it was intended - progressive. Mind you, it's rifle, so you must weigh every charge and I suspect with stick powder this is obvious.
  3. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Northern Indiana
    I load about 6 different rifle calibers on a 550. Just leave the locator buttons out and you can do any of the operations one at a time. A 550 is just a turret press that moves the shell plate instead of the tool head.

    I have one tool head that just has a universal decapping die.
  4. neal7250

    neal7250 Member

    Jan 2, 2008
    Upstate South Carolina
    I have loaded from 223, to 300 win mag on a 550. You will have no problem using the press as it was designed
  5. Grandpa Shooter

    Grandpa Shooter Member

    Oct 11, 2007
    I have both a Dillon 550B and a Lee 3 hole turret press. I started out on the Lee for 308 and 9mm and eventually went to Dillon for all my pistol loads when I want to run production quantities. I load all my rifle on the Lee and on the longer cases use a rockchucker for sizing and decapping. After 13 years of using the Dillon, I now find myself prefering the Lee for both pistol and rifle.

    Why? At my age I am no longer in a hurry and want to enjoy what I do instead of "cranking them out" on a Dillon. I have noticed that with the careful attention to detail I can produce far better rounds on the Lee. The Dillon is like the old expression, "The hurrier I go, the behinder I get".
  6. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

    Aug 23, 2007
    To some extent I agree with Grandpa Shooter. To some extent though, I disagree as my experience is a bit different I think.

    For small quantities, 200 or less, of any round except 223, I like the Lee Classic Cast Turret. I can inspect each round etc. very easily, and it is therapeutic to reload in my case. Rounds are very consistent and I get a great deal of joy from the process. The press is very easy to change over to a different setup if I want.

    But truthfully, if using ball powders, I cannot tell a difference between the 223 I load painstakingly on the Lee vs. 223 I load on the Dillon Super 1050. Plus, the 1050 swages out primer pockets for me as part of the process. So I can't say that the quality suffers due to the machine I use so long as it is set up properly.
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