Dillon 550B question

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A good friend of mine is getting out of reloading after ten years of not doing it at all. Easy for me to buy his components, but the loading press is something else. The 550B I'm sure is a great loader. I have used a single stage press for 20 years and don't really want to change. I like to prep, powder and prime by hand, will this progressive reloader save me any time on seating and crimping? I do use a Lee FCD on all my .223 and .45 ACP. Thoughts on whether I can use this to save time? Thank you.
 
If you're going to do those steps separately, you'll save no time. If you decide to get it set up and let it do it's thing, you will crank out at least three times as many rounds as a single stage, if not more.
I use my 550 as a single stage when doing my hunting rifle ammo, because I like to do each step separately.
But when it comes to handgun ammo, I get it set up and check powder throw every 15-20 rounds, but otherwise let'er fly!
I believe I can do around 350 rounds in an hour.
 
I started on a 550 and had no issues ever wishing I needed a single stage press for ANYTHING. You can use it AS a single stage if you wish for special operations. You are an "operator" in the old definition of ' operators set-up, operate, and maintain machinery, usually in a manufacturing setting. They are responsible for ensuring the machine produces high quality products, runs smoothly and at capacity, and is properly maintained.'

The key is learning to understand the basics, which you already do.
Understanding the individual stages functioning simultaneously means you produce a loaded round with each movement of the lever, instead of the 4 (minimum) plus dithering and fiddling with subassemblies between each phase of the reloading process.

You may be left with the prospects of having to buy more :s0001: guns to use all that ammo you suddenly are producing.
 
OP
fstdraw
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I'm convinced! Thanks for the reply so quickly. I'll be making him an offer on his goodies Sunday. The 550 is basically new, 10 years ago. He loaded .38 and .45 ACP. He has no idea of the joy loading rifle ammo, lol. Guessing I'll need to purchase some kind of plates to run my .223, .45 ACP, maybe new dies?

Thanks again!
 

DLS

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I know you have made the decision to go for the progressive, but let me add to the chorus here saying it's a good idea. You will still have use for your single stage press for small batches, and loading while developing a load. I also use a single stage with a universal decapper when working with really dirty brass that is going into the tumbler right after. It keeps the progressive cleaner. Other uses of the single stage press that I have recently used are bullet pulling and case forming.

I've had problems with the priming system on my 550, a subject that was hashed over in detail in one of the threads here. I solved them all with an after market primer bearing that it worth every penny. I'll find the link to it and post it up in the next day or so.

Now, I pretty much load everything on the progressive, even rifle loads I plan on using out to 600 yard in service rifle matches. Properly run you can load very accurate match grade ammo on the progressive, just like the factories do. There is no reason to single stage pretty much anything else.

There are a lot of folks here that really know how to run these machines, so yes, do come back and pick brains. I know I did and it served me very well. I had loaded for decades on a single stage, and found there was still a bit to learn to really make a progressive shine. I've even set up a tool head that allows me to deprime, swage primer pockets, resize and once I get the Dillon trimmer, to trim progressively. All for much less than the case prep machine that Dillon is now offering.

You can also get parts from Dillon that allow any type of manual powder measure to be attached to the tool head. With this arrangement you can meter long grained extruded powder as accurately as when single loading. You do have to manually activate the powder measure, but even with this additional step it's far far faster than any other method.

I'll second (third, fourth???) the use of a Lee FCD in station 4. They are simply the best solution for crimping that I have found.

I hope this is helpful!
 
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I have a 550 and a Square deal, I just dusted them off and got them mounted on the bench last month. When I was trying to clean up the Square Deal, all crusty, one little plastic piece went flying as it had got brittle after 25 years. So I called Dillon, and told them that I would feel better sending it back to get factory refurbished. I sent them the press, they charged me 75.00 to refurbish and that included return shipping. Well a week went by and here comes a package from Dillon, it was a Brand spanking new press!
I would not hesitate to buy any used Dillon equipment, buy it with confidence!
 

KennVFRidr

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Very important and easier said than done. Stupid little powder kernels make nice dents in the primer...
Slowly getting ready to return to the reloading bench after a very loooong decade or so...forgotten much of what I learned. I do remember finding those little dents in the primer the last time I used my 550b. I assumed it was a cleaning issue of some sort, but never got back to the bench to determine why/where the issue was...kinda freaked me out when I discovered that powder kernels were responsible.

Is it just a cleaning issue? My press has been in storage for a long time so I’ll be thorough...any priming issue I should be on the lookout for??
 
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I’ve got two Dillon Square Deal B presses that were both refurbished by Dillon and have not been mounted back on the bench. There are also two Dillon Jr presses which were the forerunner to the SDB and use the same dies and plates. They are set ups for 38/357, 45ACP, 9mm and 44 Mag. I’m going to sell all as a package and am looking for offers. Everything but the Jr presses are covered by Dillons No BS warranty. Open to offers. I’d put in the classified section but honestly don’t know how to list so much. The bidding starts at $650.
 

CLT65

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A good friend of mine is getting out of reloading after ten years of not doing it at all. Easy for me to buy his components, but the loading press is something else. The 550B I'm sure is a great loader. I have used a single stage press for 20 years and don't really want to change. I like to prep, powder and prime by hand, will this progressive reloader save me any time on seating and crimping? I do use a Lee FCD on all my .223 and .45 ACP. Thoughts on whether I can use this to save time? Thank you.
I was much like you when I got my Dillon 550 some years ago. I had reloaded for decades on a single stage and had no desire to change. I got the 550 cheap from an estate.

I used it a fair amount off and on, got to know it fairly well. I finally came to what works for me: I size, clean, and reprime brass with the old Rock Chucker and an RCBS hand prime tool. Then I set up the Dillon, minus the sizing die, and go to town with it. I was always fiddling with the priming unit on it so was glad to go with the hand prime, but I have found that the Dillon powder system works well for me. I also really like the seating and crimping being separate.

I also recently got a Lee APP press for sizing brass and cast bullets. Wow! That thing is fast! It takes some tinkering to get it set up and working right, but when you do it's really slick.

I do still use the old Rock Chucker quite a bit, off and on. It just seems to be an irreplaceable tool on my loading bench.
 
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re The powder flakes, keep a chip brush and a can of compressed air handy or...

And no a 550 will not do everything a good single stage press will, the 550 is basically useless for making bullets.

Before the rl550 hit the street I had 1 rl300 and 2 rl450's mounted on the bench, later I moved over to the rl550 for mixed use and a rl650 with a case feeder dedicated to 9mm. The rl650 was great but it took some of the fun out of reloading.
Now I'm down to a rl550, a square deal, a pw200 and a rock chucker :s0139: and a few sets of Lyman hand tools for nostalgia.


FWIW for me the Dillon dies worked the best in the Dillon presses.

FWIW2 at one time I had a early Lee 1000 progressive. Sure do wish they had taken that design and built it to Dillon's quality.

Started reloading at 11 in the '60's and haven't blown myself up yet. Just think how much better I would have done with supervision.:s0046:
 

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