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Reloader Quick Poll


Shepherd Book

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Dillon 550 for non magum rifle calibers, SDB for pistol and RCBS single stage for belted magnum rifle.

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Dillon 650 w/ roller handle and case feeder.

Dillon SD- one for .380 acp and one for .45 acp

Mec Sizemaster for shotgun

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11 hours ago, Marshal Chance Morgun said:

how many rounds are you planning on reloading in a year, and how many different calibers?

Marshal, I have always gotten by with 2-300 hundred per year on the Rock Chucker.  Since the wife and I both started CAS early this summer, we are looking at at least 2000 .38s.  If I had all winter, I could make it work, I suppose, but now I am playing catch up and am in a position to upgrade.  SB

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Two 550's. One setup for Large Primers and one set up for Small Primers.

Lucky

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Wow! I guess I'm a neanderthal. I'm still using the Lyman T-Mag that I started with. I have extra turrets with 45Colt, 45ACP and 38 Spec. I use the extra "holes" when I load rifle rounds. I only shoot 2 shoots a month and don't practice much. Reloading is my decompression activity and gets all the ammo I need. Also I just started using a MEC Jr. to make shotshells given current prices and availability. 

 

Rev. Chase

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2 hours ago, Shepherd Book said:

Marshal, I have always gotten by with 2-300 hundred per year on the Rock Chucker.  Since the wife and I both started CAS early this summer, we are looking at at least 2000 .38s.  If I had all winter, I could make it work, I suppose, but now I am playing catch up and am in a position to upgrade.  SB

 

I know that this isn't going to sit well with a certain group of people, but since you are only doing a couple thousand a year, I would suggest you look seriously at a Lee 4 hole turret press. It will do what you need and save you a lot of money. 

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I am intrigued by the many people who use the 550 instead of the 650/750.  I think it depends on how much you reload.  I have limited time to devote to reloading so I prefer to use the 750 with case feeder and a Mr. Bullet Feeder. I also use the Dillon primer filler machine.   I can reload a couple of hundred rounds in about 10-15 minutes with that setup.  It really boils down to how much you shoot.  I enjoy the speed and time efficiency of the 750.  I only load 38 special so I don't worry about caliber changes and have been very happy with the machine.  I started out with Lee products and they work but there are a pain to deal with and cheaply made and I ended up selling all of mine to fund my Dillon purchase.  The machine will outlast me and Dillon will replace worn or broken parts for free.  

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I'm not recommending you use what I use, as our needs may be very different, but I use a Dillon 650.  I have three EZ swap setups for .38 special, .32 H&R Magnum, and .45 ACP (with a 5.56 setup on the horizon).  I find swapping calibers to be very easy, even when I need to swap from small to large primers.

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Just now, Tarheel Doc said:

I am intrigued by the many people who use the 550 instead of the 650/750.  I think it depends on how much you reload.  I have limited time to devote to reloading so I prefer to use the 750 with case feeder and a Mr. Bullet Feeder. I also use the Dillon primer filler machine.   I can reload a couple of hundred rounds in about 10-15 minutes with that setup.  It really boils down to how much you shoot.  I enjoy the speed and time efficiency of the 750.  I only load 38 special so I don't worry about caliber changes and have been very happy with the machine.  I started out with Lee products and they work but there are a pain to deal with and cheaply made and I ended up selling all of mine to fund my Dillon purchase.  The machine will outlast me and Dillon will replace worn or broken parts for free.  

Frankly, it is partly about money and also familiarity.  I've had my loading equipment and scads of accessories for a very long time.  Does a good job for me,  I'm sure the new Dillon stuff is excellent, but it would involve buying again at considerable expense.  More important to me, would require learning new machines and their idiosyncrasies,  things I already know in great detail with current equipment.  Neither the spending (rather have new guns) nor the learning process are attractive.

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I use a Lee 4 hole classic turret and a inexpensive Lee single stage press. If you shoot allot of matches probably not the fastest choice. But it was what I could afford when I got into reloading. They do everything I need them to do but I don't shoot 3-5 different matches a month. Do I wish I had something in the progressive line ? Sure, but I'm really to stingy to fork out the bread.

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The Lee Classic Turret press is very affordable. Mine has served me quite well.

 

While not a true progressive machine it is much faster than a single stage.

 

I use mine for pistol and rifle cartridges. 

 

It all depends on the volume of shooting/reloading you want to do. I can turn out 250 45 Colt rounds/hour comfortably on my Lee Classic Turret which ain't bad.

 

Don't spend $1000 on a press if you can't get primers.

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My man cave is currently equipped with a 550, 650 (large primer) and a 750 (small primer). In the shed is a brand new SDB and my 1980 vintage Rock Chucker. I load the 45 ACP, 45 Colt and 10 mm on the 650. The 38’s, 9 mm and 40 S&W on the 750. Everything else on the 550 though about every five years I drag out the RCBS to load about 50 in 338.

I really believe we have gone beyond one brand being so superior to others that it becomes the end all, be all. I used my 550 in combination with the RCBS for nearly 40 years and a series of events got me into the 650/750. (both of which I love). Personally I think your best value would be a used 650 for high production or a used 550 for versatility. Seeing lots of 650’s on the market as people upgrade to the 750 to have the latest version. While I have heard of issues with the 650, mine has worked flawlessly for several years now. 
Your wallet will determine what works best for you and regardless of color (blue, red or green) today’s machines are remarkable for reliability, versatility and ease of operation. Options abound if that is your thing but hard to go wrong with any of them. 
Regards

:FlagAm:  :FlagAm:  :FlagAm:

Gateway Kid

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SDB for 38 SPC. Dillion 550 for everything else except my long range rifles then it’s the Lee turret.

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6 hours ago, Matthew Duncan said:

  Remove two pins and the rod to the powder measure. Slide out the tool die, slide in the tool did with the different caliber, place the two pins rod.  Done.  Three more steps if changing primer size.

 

 

The issue wasn't getting it initially set up, it was the fine tuning of the mechanisms after they were changed. I agree it doesn't sound too hard, but when three different Dillon representatives working the Dillon booth at the NRA convention say the same thing, you should listen to them. I don't know, that was why I was asking the experts.

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My only experience since I started reloading pistol and rifle in 1999 or 2000 is with a Dillon RL550B; and, it's all been good.

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Guess I'm in the minority here, but I use a Hornady Lock 'N' Load Automatic Progress, and I love it!

Easy to set up, easy change over and very productive.

 

 

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I'm surprised how much Dillon religion there is among us!  Before you buy anything, watch this video.  It is the most complete review I've seen of all the significant presses.  It's an hour and 20 minute survey that covers 12  different brands and list the pros and cons of each.

 

 

You will find the Hornady LNL AP press ranks at the top with advantages over the Dillon.  Hornady has absolutely the best customer service of any company of any product I've ever worked with.  Their life time guarantee is the best of any including Dillon because it covers all their presses even their top line press unlike Dillon.  And there are plenty of specialty reloaders using the Hornady in a commercial environment.  They also have a lower cost per caliber to change calibers than Dillon.  I'm sure that will draw some response, but before you disagree, check out the video.

 

Anyways, I thought this tread was getting kind of monotonous (Dillon, Dillon, Dillon...) so I thought I'd start some excitement!

 

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I have 3 Dillon 550s dedicated to .45 Colt, Cowboy .45 Spl, and .45 Auto (one for each).   That would be enough for me to comfortably keep two shooters running to at least a match a week.  And several big matches a year.   A Lyman turret press for rifle caliber and .44-40.   A single stage press for "fiddling" with corrections and special tests.   (I really like manually-advanced metallic cartridge presses due to the things that can go south (especially running old brass).

 

Dillon has yet to want me to pay for a worn/damaged/blown-up part for these in my 15 years+ of ownership.   But, there have been only a few.    Don't know how it gets better than that!

 

Two Hornady 366 shotshell presses.   I've paid for PLENTY of parts for those over last 10 years.  Bought both of those used, and each needed repairs.

 

Dillon, Dillon, Dillon -  :lol:

 

Plus, that gives me two ready-to-insert-tool-head cartridge loaders that backup any major 550 failure while I get Dillon to send me parts.....instant switchover, really.  Bought one new, bought one used, won one at Bordertown.  Pretty reasonable investment of about $670 total, without the dies and caliber-specific parts.

 

good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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MMG

excitement? Really? Stirring the pot. For sure!

It seems pretty obvious that many have strong opinions on their choice of equipment. Is it a religion? Hardly. The underlying reason people advocate for anything is that (in their experience) that something works as advertised. While I am not familiar with every press by every manufacturer I have owned and/or used a number of different ones produced by different companies. (MEC, Pacific, Hornady, Dillon, RCBS). Tried Spolar (out of my price range without equally increased benefits), same for Ponses Warren. While I don’t load commercially I know 3 who do and all run blue. While I have not needed to use the warranty often, when I have it has been fulfilled promptly and pleasantly. Not saying other companies don’t do the same but blue started that way and in my experience neither green or red bothered until forced to. Let’s just say my early experiences with red in the early 90’s were pretty exasperating. On the other hand blue replaced a complete powder measure broken by movers, six primer tubes bent in a different move and sent me a new SDB to replace one that I purchased sight unseen with years of neglect by previous owners. No questions, all problems solved in days. 
BTW I did watch the video several weeks ago. Didn’t see anything I didn’t already know and nothing that would excite me enough to switch from a lifetime of perfectly functioning equipment to an entirely new lineup. If starting today would I make a change? Doubtful but possible. Could I save a few bucks in the process? Maybe, but how much is enough to cover relearning all that I am comfortable with now?
Buy and use what you can afford and that meets your needs (as said elsewhere by me and others). As long as you are happy with your choice it is all good. 

Regards

:FlagAm:  :FlagAm:  :FlagAm:

Gateway Kid

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Yes, I did state my opinion rather strongly but with the intent of hoping some of us using something other than DIllon would chime in.  No malice or Dillon-denial intended whatsoever.  I agree Dillon is good stuff.  If I had more resources available I might have gone with them.  For me, the Hornady solution across multiple calibers was cheaper so I went with them.

 

Peace, fellow cowboys and cowgirls!

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Two Dillon 650 XLs.  All the bells and whistles.  One is set up for Large Primers and the other is set up for Small Primers.  At one time when I chased the Brass Rings, I was shooting upwards of 700 rounds a week and beyond.  My cartridge consumption is now somewhat more sedate.   I amortized the cost of these presses long ago.

Edited by Colorado Coffinmaker
Stupid Otto Kerekt
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Forgot to mention I still have my ancient Lee 3 hole Turret running alongside the 550.

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I use a Lyman turret.  I started reloading when shooting high power matches using gas guns.  Cases needed to be trimmed every loading so did not make much sense to use a progressive.  Were I shooting nothing but pistol or minimal setback rifle where trimming is rare a Dillon is a great choice model depending on depth of pockets

 

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