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Mountain Wolf
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I plan on switching from a Dillion square deal b to another loader so I can load rifle. I am looking at 2, the Dillion 550C and the Hornady AP. I have a set of Lee dies so that is taken care of. I know this is probably a Ford vs Chevy deal but I would like some actual user input on both. By video only I am liking the Hornady,  Thanks.

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3 minutes ago, Mountain Wolf said:

I plan on switching from a Dillion square deal b to another loader so I can load rifle. I am looking at 2, the Dillion 550C and the Hornady AP. I have a set of Lee dies so that is taken care of. I know this is probably a Ford vs Chevy deal but I would like some actual user input on both. By video only I am liking the Hornady,  Thanks.

The only rifle round I load on my 550 is 223.  Everything else on the single stage.  Personally, since I don't use other rifle rounds in high volume, I prefer the extra control, and i believe precision of a single stage.  Thass just me!

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I have the 550b, over 500,000 rounds loaded on it. Zero issues I didn't cause. Havent used the AP, but those that do seem to like them.

I also have the 650, again zero issues. Has a bit longer learning curve though. The 550 loads over 160 different cartridges, including most of the magnums. compare the list of cartridges for each before you buy and make sure they can accomodate the longest cartridge you intend to load.

 

If you want more control, get the 550, if you want auto advance, the 750 and AP will serve you well. 

Edited by Bones Z
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I have a Hornady lnl, works well although I only do pistol rounds on it.  For rifle I still use a single stage.   I have broken a few parts and Hornady has replaced them at no cost.  Good customer service.  It’s a 5 station which I need as I run deprime/size, flare, powder drop, seat, crimp.   This would be at least a 650 or now 750 in blue.  I change dies a lot, so the quick turn adapters are handy, also uses the dies I already own and just a new shell plate if needed.   Back when I bought the lnl it was about $350 ish so it’s cost vs a 650 was less.   Been happy so far.  
 

I think a 1050 would be a step up as it could add power trim which would be handy for rifle, but that’s a lot more $$ than I have invested in my lnl.  

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I just loaded 100 .243's on my 550B. One at a time. We load 21 different calibers on it from 32 H&R to .45-70. Love my 550 so much we have three now.

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My experience has been with the 550s, and I use them for my cowboy pistol/rifle loads. I don't see any issues that precludes using it as my only press, but i prefer to load rifle on a single stage. 

 

I did buy a kit to convert the 550 into a single stage, and that seems to be a viable option. 

 

However, depending on the caliber, I'm not convinced that sizing with a progressive with it's shell plate, will give you the control of shoulder setback you may want. The design theory behind a shellholder and a shellplate are entirely different. a standard shellplate is 0.125 from the surface where the shell sits to the surface where the FL die seats against. Shellplates vary in that dimension from caliber to caliber, some are thinner than 0.125" and some are thicker. And quite frankly, I don't understand the engineering behind that dimension in a progressive shellplate press. I load for the 44-40, and shoulder setback is something that you need to control, or at least adjust for. I ended up having to grind a bit off the bottom of my die to achieve the FL sizing I wanted. I'm accustomed to using a set of Redding shellholders to control shoulder setback, and I don't think I'd be very happy using any shellplate press for a cartridge that headspaces on the shoulder. BTW, Dillon only makes a limited selection of rifle dies, 223, 308 and 30-06. Again, I have more questions than actual experience. 

 

The issue is that in a single stage, you adjust the FL die to zero plus a 1/4 or more turn so the FL die will actually rest on the shellholder with a bit of force. With a shellplate, seating hard against it doesn't seem the desired state. I have questions about how others set their FL dies, and what consistency they get on shoulder setback. Of course with cartridges like the 30-30 or any straight walled cartridge like the 45-70, or 38-55, that is not a concern. 

 

What caliber rifle do you load for? How much ammo would you go through in a year? 

 

BB

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1 hour ago, "Big Boston" said:

My experience has been with the 550s, and I use them for my cowboy pistol/rifle loads. I don't see any issues that precludes using it as my only press, but i prefer to load rifle on a single stage. 

 

I did buy a kit to convert the 550 into a single stage, and that seems to be a viable option. 

 

However, depending on the caliber, I'm not convinced that sizing with a progressive with it's shell plate, will give you the control of shoulder setback you may want. The design theory behind a shellholder and a shellplate are entirely different. a standard shellplate is 0.125 from the surface where the shell sits to the surface where the FL die seats against. Shellplates vary in that dimension from caliber to caliber, some are thinner than 0.125" and some are thicker. And quite frankly, I don't understand the engineering behind that dimension in a progressive shellplate press. I load for the 44-40, and shoulder setback is something that you need to control, or at least adjust for. I ended up having to grind a bit off the bottom of my die to achieve the FL sizing I wanted. I'm accustomed to using a set of Redding shellholders to control shoulder setback, and I don't think I'd be very happy using any shellplate press for a cartridge that headspaces on the shoulder. BTW, Dillon only makes a limited selection of rifle dies, 223, 308 and 30-06. Again, I have more questions than actual experience. 

 

The issue is that in a single stage, you adjust the FL die to zero plus a 1/4 or more turn so the FL die will actually rest on the shellholder with a bit of force. With a shellplate, seating hard against it doesn't seem the desired state. I have questions about how others set their FL dies, and what consistency they get on shoulder setback. Of course with cartridges like the 30-30 or any straight walled cartridge like the 45-70, or 38-55, that is not a concern. 

 

What caliber rifle do you load for? How much ammo would you go through in a year? 

 

BB

On my 550 over the years, I have reloaded 243, 308, 30-30, 30-06, .223/5.56, 338 Win magnum, 300 WSM, 270 WSM, 250/3000 for use in bolt or lever guns. 243, 308, 284 in model 100 Winchester (semi auto) where shoulder is critical due to lack of leverage/camming force. I use primarily RCBS dies for rifles and have yet to need to trim the die to correctly size the cases. Straight wall stuff like 45-70, 38-55, 45-60 for my sharps/highwalls. Just set up the toolhead correctly and go. Long ago when I could still see three or four hundred yards away got 4 shot cloverleafs fairly regularly out of the model 100's from a rest with bench. The accuracy of the 550 ammo was plenty good enough for my hunting purposes. Generally would reload 80 or so rounds for whatever I was going to use that year to hunt, practice/sight in with 60 use the rest in the field as needed. Some years needed a bit more but most of the time probably 250 to 300 per year sometimes less. Most expended for reacquiring a feel for the gun rather than actual hunting.

YMMV

Regards

:FlagAm:  :FlagAm:  :FlagAm:

Gateway Kid

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I have loaded lots of .243 and .223 on my 550 with no issue.  I have a buddy that loads multiple rifle calibers on his 550 from 22-250 to 6.5 Creedmore.   We have both compared single stage to 550 for precision rifle loads.   Its a very small difference checking rounds with a concentricity gauge that we have found.   The biggest issue I have seen with loading precision rounds is that higher end dies make more consistent rounds if you are shooting long range over 500 yards.

 

I have two buddies that have Hornady LNL and only know them to load pistol ammo on them but both say they are great machines.   

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Keep the Square Deal for your pistol ctgs. Use the 550 for everything else. I have used s 550 for almost 15 years and loaded 17 or 18 different calibers with no issues other than those I created myself.  You won’t regret doing do. 

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Nothing wrong with the Hornady loaders, but Dillion is "King of the Hill."  I have a Hornady progressive shotshell loader that's at least 30 years old and has loaded literally 10's of thousands of shotshells without problems and it's still going strong.  It can be difficult to recover if something goes wrong (like split a case, forget a primer or wad, or forget to open the powder or shot drop first time around), but that's true of most any progressive loader.  I also have a Dillion 550b and although it doesn't auto index and only has four die positions on the toolhead, I think it's about as good as it gets for maximum control, quality results, ease of use, and overall durability and performance. 

 

The only rifle round I currently load is the 45-70 and I too do that on a single stage press instead of the progressive.  However, the Dillion will handle it with proper conversion plate and dies and will also handle just about any rifle round you might care to load.  All in all, I don't think you can go wrong with either the Hornady or the Dillion, but Dillion's customer service is top of the line and they generally replace major parts at no cost to the user should they be needed.  You do have to purchase some of the consumables like the little plastic tips for the primer tubes, but they also offer a maintenance kit that includes these parts at a very reasonable cost.  Good luck on your choice, considering the way things are currently it might just come down to which one is actually available when your ready to jump.  Good luck and good shooting to all.

Edited by Bison Bud
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Just in case you don’t know this, Dillon offers a rebuilding program.  When I bought a used SDB it wasn’t running right so I sent it to Dillon and what I got back looked and ran like a new machine; cost was just for shipping to Dillon, they covered the rest. YMMV

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If you don't like your SDB, send it to me, I'll get rid of it for you.^_^. Been using mine for 30 years and it was well used when I got it. Great machine for pistol calibers.

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4 hours ago, Marauder SASS #13056 said:

If you like auto-indexing of your square deal, the choice is clear.

 

Otherwise both are very good.

 

Marauder beat me to it.

I had a 650.

Was going to get a 550 as a backup.

Found out it didn't auto index.

Said ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Got a Square Deal B.

Never looked back.

 

Lots of folks like the 550.

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I bought my 1st 550B in 1986, it finally wore out last year.  I sent it back to Dillon to get refurbished... 2 weeks later I received a new 550C...   at no charge.   I don't know if anyone has loaded enough on a Hornady to see if they'd match that level of after-sale service.

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I have been running the AP press for about 5 years now for 45, 38 and 9mm, quick to switch between calibers, not much to wear out for parts and pretty smooth operation, A very open sight window on the left side of the machine to work in ( load brass, bullets and check powder ) the only thing I notice is the powder measures ( I have 2 set up ) run +or- .2/grain depending on the powder being used and that's not close enough for me for my rifles so I do those on a single stage and weigh every charge, the whole powder measure deal is not a problem unless your running on the top or bottom of your charge range but I have seen guys running their ammo so low it almost doesn't clear the barrel and I would be afraid of the -.2 at that point or the +.2 running a fast hot powder in a rifle or pistol near the max range, the Dillon powder measure seems to throw a closer charge 

  ORR

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