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Lee Turret vs Dillon BL 550


Tennessee Snuffy

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Folks

 

I am considering going from a Lee turret press to a Dillon BL 550.  What has been the experience of those who have made the switch?   Is it worth the money to upgrade?  Is there a large difference in accuracy between the Lee and Dillon dies?  I load mainly 45/70 on my current Lee press and shoot about 1000 rounds per year at 400 yards and less.

 

Thanks for the help

 

Tennessee Snuffy

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I have never had a Lee press. I went from a Lyman Orange Crusher to a Dillon 550 on the recommendation of a friend. I use RCBS dies in it with a lock-out die to check the powder charge. I liked the setup so well that I bought another 550 so I can keep one set for .45 Colt and the other for .357 Magnum. I have the strong mount on each and bins to hold bullets, completed cartridges, and empty brass.

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I have no experience with the 550, but I went from a Lee 4 hole turret to a Dillon 650 years ago. Yes there's difference in quality of the machines and the amount of ammo you can produce. In my case I load several different calibers on the 650 and still use the Lee for 45-70 and a couple of other rounds.

 

If you are only shooting 45-70 at a rate of 1,000 per year, I'd wouldn't buy another press. Dillon, RCBS, Hornady dies are all nice dies. Lee dies work as well. My 45-70 dies are Lee. If accuracy is your main concern, consider a single stage press with a quality set of dies. I'm pleased with my 45-70 rounds produced on the Lee and have shot them very successfully at long range events out to 400 yards. If I wanted to compete in long range beyond 400 yards,  I would change my dies and go to a single stage press.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Tennessee Snuffy said:

 

Folks

 

I am considering going from a Lee turret press to a Dillon BL 550.  What has been the experience of those who have made the switch?   Is it worth the money to upgrade?  Is there a large difference in accuracy between the Lee and Dillon dies?  I load mainly 45/70 on my current Lee press and shoot about 1000 rounds per year at 400 yards and less.

 

Thanks for the help

 

Tennessee Snuffy

There is no difference in accuracy. Stay with Lee.

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1 hour ago, Tennessee Snuffy said:

Cholla 

 

Do you have the 550 or BL 550?

I do not have the BL 550. The friend that convinced me to move to the 550 didn't use the powder measure for BP. He just placed a funnel on that station and dumped the BP in manually which is what the BL 550 would do. While I love my 550s I think I agree with others in thinking you should stay with the Lee for the .45-70. The faster you make ammo, the faster you make mistakes.

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11 minutes ago, Chancy Shot, SASS #67163 said:

The marshal is right. With your concert about accuracy and low round count, the lee is more than adequate. 
 

Take that money and buy a new gun!!

 

Chancy

Gun? Hell no.

Buy primers!

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Even if you do decide to get the 550, keep the turret. I wish I had when I got my 550, the turret is great for rounds you don't make a ton of.

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Another vote - keep the turret.  But I would upgrade to some nicer 45-70 dies - ones made of steel and that have real lock rings.   The RCBS Cowboy dies are a little pricey, but have an expander button that makes belling enough for lead bullet seating easy.

 

Good luch, GJ

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It sounds like you don't really need another loader....however....

 

If you can afford it, buy the RL550C instead of the bare bones BL550 and keep the turret press also. It's $200 more but it's worth the extra money. Dillon has the No B.S. guarantee also and they stand by the guarantee and product. Dillon states that you can produce 400 to 600 rounds an hour with the RL500. That is absolutely true. I can make 600 rounds (pistol caliber) an hour without pushing it and that is with checking powder weight every 100 rounds. BTW, I don't know why I even bother to check, it's never been off in 20+ years of using the machine. Caliber changes are easy and fairly quick. Changing from small primer to large primer takes a little longer but is still quick as compared to some other machines.

 

One thing is for certain, you can't go wrong with a Dillon. Buy once, cry once.

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I have 4 presses on my bench. A MEC for shotgun. 2 lee 1000 and a Lee turret that must be 30+ years old. I have never worked with a dillon, but I have been very happy with my Lee presses. 

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I have two Dillon 550s and one Lee turret.  One Dillon is set up for .45 Colt the second one is set up for Cowboy .45 Spl.  The Lee turret is set up for .45 ACP.  I only use the turret for small runs of .45 ACP.  I got a good deal on the second 550 and picked up the Lee on sale.  The Lee is fine for what I use it for, but can't hold a candle to the 550s.  Yeah, I think it's worth the upgrade and money spent on the Dillon.  I had to send my first one back when a ram broke.  Repaired no charge.  Replacement parts no charge.  Can't beat Dillon for their customer service.

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Probably should have told everyone that I have 550 setup for 45 ACP and 45 LC that I have loaded about 25K rounds on and believe Dillon is the best when loading lots of ammo.

 

What I was actually hoping was that someone had purchased a BL 550  and had a review.

 

Thanks for all the advise.

 

Tennessee Snuffy

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I like the BL550 almost as much as my RCBS single stage.  I had a extra primer setup for a 550B that I put on it.  I like that I can set it for my .36-55 and not have to touch the dies  loading.  The .38-55 is used out to 400 yards but can on a good day ring at a 1000 yard.  The .45-70 is done on my single as it turns out the best loads.  I shoot black in both but load smokeless for certain things and like the single stage press as I weigh each charge as the powder measure for my 550B will drop +/- .01 gr and when loading max I don't need the difference.  If the Lee is doing the job I don't see the need to spend the money for the BL550.  There is 5 Dillon's setting an my loading wall along with 6 MEC shotgun reloading machines and one RCBS single stage.  Yes if needed I would buy the BL550 again but I have enough parts to make it a 550C if wanted.  For cast bullets I like steel dies not carbide.  Most of my dies are a mixture of Lee FL crimp dies, setting dies are the major brands.  My bellowing dies are custom, Dillon powder through, Lee, RCBS, and etc.  Sizing dies are all brands also.  If making fun rounds I use the Dillon dies as the seem to run the fastest.

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I have a Dillon 550B and a Lee turret. I load .38’s on the Dillon and I haven’t set up the Lee yet but I’ll do .45 acp on that.

The 550 will take any dies. The Square Deal is the only Dillon that takes its own dies.

I love my 550!

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