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Abilene, SASS # 27489

Dillon 550 accessories - Roller Handle, Uniquetek...

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After 20+ years of using my Lee Turret (and a Dillon SDB which I don't use - another story), I am adding a used 550 in a couple weeks.  A guy I know is selling one with plenty of options I can use.  It comes with a strong mount and roller handle.  I am curious about how others feel about the roller vs. standard handle?  And for those that use the roller, have any of you tried the padded handle sold by Uniquetek?  My hands blister very easily and I usually have to use leather gloves to load and hand-prime, so a padded handle sounds nice.  Also, Uniquetek has an LED light setup for it that puts a single LED in the center of the toolhead shining down.  Has anyone used this?  In the past I've seen a setup with a vertical string of LED's, but this looked pretty clean in the ad.

 

I am considering mounting the press to an older Black&Decker Workmate (from back when they were well-made - my brother used to reload shotshells on it) so I can reload during the week that I spend at my Mom's house 90 miles from my reloading setup at home that I can only use on weekends.

 

I'll keep using the Turret for smaller runs.  I load a lot of different calibers and the 5-second caliber change is very nice!

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I use a Dillon roller handle and like it just fine. I'm afraid the padded one would not give a good feel for the primer, bullet seating,etc.

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I have my 550 on the strong mount and definitely like that. I also have the roller handle [a previous 550 had the regular knob] and I really recommend it. Never tried a padded handle, so I can't speak to that.

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I use the LED light on my 550.  I would not load without one.  It helps to see powder charges.  You are wise to keep the turret press. 

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Abilene,

 

Thanks for buying the Judge’s 550. You saved me money. :D

 

La Sombra.

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I reloaded commercially for CAS for 18 years plus.

I have several different presses.

The ones used the most were Dillon 650s.

I was reloading 2000 to 2500 rounds per morning. (boxed)

 

I tried several options to help with the reloading.

One was the roller handle.

I would give each option a month to see if it helped or not.

The roller handle at first seemed to be a good idea.

But after many days and thousands of rounds, I found that my wrist would hurt more at the end of the day.

I went back to the original ball handle.

Was not long before I realized my wrist stopped hurting.

 

The conclusion I came up with is the roller handle would not left me change the postion of my hand and wrist.

The ball handle allowed me to move my hand around and change the pressure effort on the handle.

 

I gave away the 2 roller handles I had gotten and put the ball handles back on the machines.

 

You need to try the roller handle and see how it effect you.

Mind you, you problably are not reloading 2000 to 2500 rounds 6 days a week so your hand and wrist may not hurt at the end of the day and will have several days between use to recover.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I really-like the roller handle and have use one for 20+ years on my 550.

The LED light is fantastic. 

OLG

Edited by The Original Lumpy Gritz
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Posted (edited)

I prefer the ball handle on my 550 as it gives me the option to angle and rotate my hand and arm more, I have never thought the roller handle looked like I would like it. I have the LED you mentioned and really like it . I also bought the extended primer slide plate(goes under the primer feed bar) from Uniquetek and it has smoothed the primer feed considerably. And I bought a 3d printed primer catch cup with a fitting for a hose to gravity feed a larger container( think empty powder jugs). I use a strong mount with a bullet tray and large Akrobins to catch loaded rounds. I much prefer the 550 to the 650-750 because I do not like to deal with auto index when a problem arises. I have a toolhead for each die set (separate.38 and .357, 9mm, .44 sp, .45c and .45acp) so changeovers are much quicker and simpler. I also have a powder measure setup for .38 cowboy loads, another for .357 cowboy loads and one I move around on.44,.45c and acp.  I store the toolholders on a homemade rack when not in use. I load around a thousand rounds a month and love Dillon.

 

Imis    Edit I have a 48 inch LED light over the bench, which may be the best accessory of all

Edited by Imis Twohofon,SASS # 46646
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:ph34r:  I use LED lights on 550 and 650 and find a plus to their use is ease of identifying split cases as they arrive at station #1. 

 

As Cliffhanger and Imis mention, I found the ball handle more comfortable for hand and wrist because of the freedom of positioning. To prevent blisters I wear a thin glove (Las Vegas slot machine fabric glove, from the old Riviera) when doing volume marathons.....

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I also prefer the ball handle and like some others load more than an average amount.

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I have a roller handle on my 650, like the way it feels. Never tried one on my 550. May not be as much of an advantage, I use my right hand to place the case at station 1 on the 550, my 650 has a case feeder, so I keep my hand on the roller handle as I load.

If you try the roller and want to change over to a ball handle, I would trade one with you for the roller handle.

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Another nice aftermarket upgrade is the shell plate bearing kit. 

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I like the roller handle, although I’ve bent mine for a better angle. I do not like the padded covers from Uniquetek. They don’t last very long before they come apart.

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When I purchased my Dillon back in '03 it came with the stock handle..

in about 2 years I ordered the roller handle.. Love it and haven't looked back..

 

Rance ;)

Just sayin':huh:

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Thanks a lot, pards.  I'm not positive, but I think the original ball handle comes with the deal as well in case I don't like the roller, but I'll try the roller first.  I will not be loading huge amounts, but arthritis is starting to get to my thumb and wrist joints, plus tennis elbow started up last year, so whichever handle feels better will be used.  And I am happy to hear the positive reviews of the LED lighting, I will order that for sure, but pass on the padded handle for now.

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Hey Abilene B)

 

Been loading on a pair of Dillon 650s for about forever.  Switched to the roller handles very soon after purchase.  Would not go back to the "Ball" handle.

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not to beat the roller handle discussion to death but I went with the billard ball one you can get off ebay.  Larger and easier to grip.

found some for 1/2 price as I could care what ball team was on the ball

 

 

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Which one feels best is set by use of high or low chair, body angle to the loader, how much arthritis you have and etc.  When a young man, I would never notice how the handle made a difference.  For my way of loading the ball works the best now.

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I have switched to the roller handle on my 450 and then wrapped it with a few layers of that self stick bandage and would not switch back to the ball. I switched my square deal to a roller handle too.

 

 

Hochbauer

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I put an old sock on the ball handle to ease its use.  Never tried the roller handle.

 

As for the light, I use this one and am very happy with it.  

 

Chancy

 

 

 

 

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On 8/23/2020 at 6:09 PM, Cliff Hanger #3720LR said:

I would give each option a month to see if it helped or not.

The roller handle at first seemed to be a good idea.

But after many days and thousands of rounds, I found that my wrist would hurt more at the end of the day.

I went back to the original ball handle.

Was not long before I realized my wrist stopped hurting.

 

This was my experience as well.  In my case I found I was gripping the roller handle much tighter than the original ball and therefore causing hand cramps.  With the ball I hold it loosely and allow it to glide in my hand.  I also get a better primer seating feel with the ball. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Chancy Shot, SASS #67163 said:

I put an old sock on the ball handle to ease its use.  Never tried the roller handle.

 

As for the light, I use this one and am very happy with it.  

 

Chancy

 

The sock on the ball handle is an idea, although I think I'm getting about the same effect with a fingerless knit glove.  That light looks interesting, a bit of fiddling to get installed.

 

Looking at kmssquared.com I might want to try their universal light strip on my Turret. 

Edited by Abilene, SASS # 27489
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