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Whats so special about Dillon?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by spclpatrolgroup, Sep 18, 2011.

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  1. spclpatrolgroup

    spclpatrolgroup Member

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    Ive been doing all my reloading on a single stage, mainly rifle. But this winter when the mercury drops I will switch to pistols indoors, so I am looking at progressive presses. Seems most people dont have that much brand loyalty, a lot of people like Lee, primarily based on price I suspect. But the people who use a Dillon seem to bleed blue, and only dillon products (Scales, Tumblers, Presses) will so. So why so much brand loyalty for Dillon, is it the quality, are they better alligned? The warrenty, I hear it is very good. The function, is it just easier to use a dillon? Unfortunatly every retailer in town has zip ties around the handle that prevent me from playing with them in the store.
     
  2. billyjoe

    billyjoe Member

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    They make great stuff! I like my Dillon presses, dies, scales, and tumbler very much. Haven't had any problems with any of them. However i also have something made by every other manufaturer on my bench too. Some people jump into reloading head first and buy everything new and matching. I started using hand me down equipment and have upgraded or replaced things over time. I've got good deals on some things. Bought some things used and got some because it was what was availible locally when I needed it. Both of my 550's were bought used and all my dillon dies and tumbler were a part of the deal. It will all get the job done if you use it right, it's just a matter of preferance. Oh yeah and how much money you got to spend.
     
  3. dmazur

    dmazur Member

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    I bought a Dillon 550B without really knowing much about it, other than it was supposed to be faster than a single-stage. From what I've learned since, I made a fortunate choice.

    I believe I contacted the mfgr once, for a primer tube part, and the service was prompt. They wouldn't let me pay for it!

    From reports, other companies have service similar to Dillon, but I'm not sure anyone has actually surpassed them. I believe this is the answer to your question. They have the best service, for the life of the press, no matter how many people own it.

    I remember an account of a "test" where someone sent in a broken press that had been abused and got it shipped back in a new box, rebuilt completely, including the plastic tubes for the powder measures. (Which were simply discolored.)

    I have RCBS, Giraud and Hornady equipment as well, so I don't believe everything has to be blue to be functional. :)
     
  4. tlen

    tlen Member

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    Check out the Brian Enos's web site & Forum if you want detailed info on all aspects of Dillon products..........
    In regards to Dillon dies, they are made for progressive presses and have a larger "mouth" chamfer to allow the cases to line up easier during the loading precess. Also, their construction allows easy disassembly for cleaning without loosing settings. The only drawbacks to Dillon dies is they are considerably more expensive and they don't size as far down to the rim as other dies. If you load cartridges prone to case bulge, IE Glock .40 S&W, the bulge might not be removed during sizing.
     
  5. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    The only Dillon product I own is a tumbler.I have cleaned a gazilion brass with it for over 15 years and I purchased it used. It died about 8 months ago and I purchased a Frankfort Arsenal for replacement. It just died last night with less than a year on it. In the mean time I fixed the Dillon and it works as well as ever.:D So it is a Quality thing that a lot of these folks are happy with I believe. Also the progressives are less prone to problems as my friends who own them report--I do all my loading on a single stage or turret in batches just cause I want to know what is in the casing exactly and if I weigh the charge anyway there is no real speed savings to a progressive IMHO. Yes I have worked with one friends Dillon but was unsure about the reloads till they all were gone just the same.:scrutiny:
     
  6. cemjr

    cemjr Member

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    " Unfortunatly every retailer in town has zip ties around the handle that prevent me from playing with them in the store" At least you got to look at it up close before you buy. I bought my 650 on the recomendation of a guy that loaded ammo for resale. I couldn't be sure if he was just HYPING it because he was also a dearer of that equipment. I've been very happy with it so far, it appears to be quite well made.
     
  7. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    I have blue, two shades of green, black and red (not lee) on my benches. Hornady followed Dillon's warranty lead, proving competition is a good thing. RCBS has provided free replacement parts for as long as I have been loading (early '70s). Never had to use the other color warranties.
     
  8. FWest

    FWest Member

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    I have been looking at replacing a Lee with a unit that requires less tinkering and will just work. Most Dillon issues are one time problems or user errors from what I have found. They hold there value and don't seem to require user mods to function properly.
    If Lee's Loadmaster wold work consistently they could sell them for 2x as well.
     
  9. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Simply the best progressive presses on the market today. Dillon's Customer Service Department is simply the best in the business. You can never go wrong with a Dillon press. :)
     
  10. velocette

    velocette Member

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    I have a Dillon Square Deal progressive press for pistol ammo.
    I bought it in the late 80s when I was shooting NRA Bullseye competition. At that time, I was going through perhaps 300 ~ 400 rds of .45acp per week of my reloads, casting my own bullets too. Today, the press is still going strong, I have conversion sets for 9mm, .40 S&W, .38/357 mag, along with the .45acp. The number of rounds loaded must be nearing the million mark. I have replaced a couple of springs, the bushings in the handle and some of the plastic pieces in the primer tubes. All the replacement parts were at no cost to me, other than the time to call Dillon. Was it worth the price?
    You Betcha!

    Roger
     
  11. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    I don't have Hornady LNL, although I have heard lots of good things about them and seldom anything bad.

    Owners of the Ponsness-Warren semi-progressive really like their presses. I don't own one because I have a Dillon and a bunch of others, but have considered it.

    Lee? You get what you pay for. (not wanting to start a war)

    Why do I own a Dillon 550B? I bought it when that was the only inexpensive progressive available at the time (around 1995 when it was $259).

    Why did I stick w/ it?

    1. The press is like a Mac computer: it just works.
    2. They stand behind their products 110%.
    3. Help is always just a phone call away.
    4. Their Blue Press shows their commitment to reloaders, shooters, hunters, and the 2nd Amendment.
    5. It is unlikely that anything will ever break or go wrong w/ any of their presses. If something does happen, it will be fixed and/or replaced for free.
    6. Changing calibers on the 550 is a breeze (3-4 minutes if you don't change primer bars), but it is slower on the 650 and 1050.


    This is not to say that their presses are perfect. Their 550, 650, and 1050 presses are "Swiss Army knives" that will load any metallic cartridge that fits in a 7/8x14 die, but that versatility comes at a price. The presses are bulky and the long throw of the handle is a minor pain. I just added a Strong Mount to mine, and the pains have pretty much disappeared.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  12. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    I don't bleed blue but I do have a Dillon 550 that I like. It's a quality press, runs smooth and has a great warranty. I also own a Lee classic turret press that I like and still use. The classic turret is also a quality press.
     
  13. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    Dillon Storytime

    Last week I was at a local gunshow shopping for boolits and an old-style Ruger Vaquero (bought both at great prices). :)

    I was wearing my blue Dillon t-shirt and it was like old-home week. People I didn't know came up to me and started waxing poetic about their Dillons. One guy even asked me if I was a company rep. These presses are extremely popular w/ reloaders, and those who don't have one talk about them wistfully. :(

    I also talked to a guy why buys and sells used presses. He said he almost never gets one and when he does (their owners are probably deceased), they go for big bucks. :what:
     
  14. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Member

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    From what I've gathered-----

    (1) Advertising.

    (2) Quality control.

    (3) Warranty.

    (4) Overbuilt engineering.

    (5) Baby blue paint.

    Perhaps I'll pick one up someday.
     
  15. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    my 2 Dillon progressives are worth more today used than I paid for them new. I have managed to break or wear out a few parts in 25+ years of reloading but the tech support and warranty service is great.
     
  16. dogrunner

    dogrunner Member

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    They WORK!
     
  17. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    How does the saying go? You can tell a Dillon man...but you can't tell him much.
     
  18. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Nothing that you can't get from the other major makers of QUALITY products (LEE excluded) - Hornday, RCBS,etc. all make excellent equipment as well
     
  19. HK SD9 Tactical

    HK SD9 Tactical Member

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    Agreed.
     
  20. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Member

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    I have a rainbow of colors on my reloading bench. Though my progressive press is a Hornady, I also have a couple pieces of Dillon equipment. In one of my freshman engineering classes at college a zillion years ago, the point was driven home to me that every design is a compromise between multiple factors. The designer decides which factors are the most important and then creates a design that favors those factors at the expense (do one degree or another) of the other factors.

    Each model Dillon press is clearly designed to favor a different set of factors. For example, the 650 is designed for people who will be pumping out 1500-2000 rounds of a given caliber at a time. The ease of caliber changes is less important.

    The Dillon 550 on the other hand is designed to allow easier and less expensive caliber changes at the expense of other factors.

    Hornady, RCBS, Lee, etc are no different. And is designed to meet a slightly different set of needs.

    Me? One of the reasons I decided against the 550 (or any 4-stage press) is that if I decide to move to separate seating and crimping dies I would be SOL. I also felt that Hornady did a better job on the cost-vs-time tradeoff regarding caliber changes.

    My advice would be to look at them all, understand the pros and cons of each, and then make a decision based upon what is important to you. BTW, when I was researching progressive presses, I recorded my notes and observations here:

    http://www.shootandreload.com/category/choosing-a-progressive-press/

    And though it deals with the Dillon 650, you may find this helpful too. A guy owned the Dillon 650, Hornady, and Lee Loadmaster for a year and used them side-by-side. He recorded his observations here:

    http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillonLeeHornadyComparison.pdf
     
  21. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

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    Don't understand this... I have the seater die in station three of my 550B, taper/roll crimp in station four. I guess if folks want to use a powder lockout die then they would be SOL, but since I have absolutely no use for one, and never will, four holes works just fine for me using separate seating and crimping dies in one 550B toolhead.
     
  22. Big Wes

    Big Wes Member

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    Funny ...........No one has mention there NO BS Warranty, just another good reason to go blue!:D
     
  23. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    No so funny.....RCBS has honored the same but unspoken warranty for 40 years or more. Hornady pretty much follows suit. That's not a Dillon-only thing.

    I agree with HK SD9 Tactical, dbarnhart and Galil5.56.

    I was where the O.P. is 3 years ago.....so I researched carefully....tried out all I could. Dillon, Hornady, and RCBS do the same thing things well, but differently. All are quality, all three companies have great reputations and warranties. There are pluses and minuses to each. While there is no such thing as a perfect progressive press, one can find a system closer to it than the others...at least for your needs, and style of reloading (what and how much you want to reload).

    My search ended with the green one....it fit me the best.

    Though I'll list the stuff that swayed my choice to RCBS, to help your investigation, I wouldn't suggest this press is a fit-all any more than the other brands. Only you can make the observation and discoveries that determine the best fit for you.

    For Me:
    • Simplest design, fewest moving parts, nothing can go out of sync.
    • Fastest, safest primer system (I buy primers already loaded...no pecking).
    • Removable tool head.
    • Stationary, dependable, mic operated powder measure.
    • Strong cast iron frame.
    • Fastest, simplest caliber change.
    • Cases and bullets load from the same side (opposite the handle).

    The one thing that has turned some away from this design, is the APS primer system makes it near impossible to fit a case feeder to the press. That was minor to me, since bullet feeders are simple dependable things (more trouble-free than case feeders), and speed things up just as much. I use a Hornady bullet feeder with mine.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  24. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    I have a PW and really like it for specific tasks. Massive quantities of .45ACP ain't one. It's truly more like a turret than a progressive, but a good press.

    I bought a Hornady progressive around '85 or so. As I recall it was priced comparable to the Dillon (450 back then, as I recall).

    Wasn't always the case with Hornady. I had to pay for worn parts as late as 2000. RCBS wrote the book on CS.
     
  25. bds

    bds Member

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    My experience and opinion of Dillon mirrors many previous comments - high quality construction, precise operation, excellent warranty and customer service etc. etc. Even their press covers are nice.

    I mean, just look at the Super 1050 ... < speechless and drooling > :eek:
     
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