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opinions on Dillon

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by gunnin88, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. gunnin88

    gunnin88 Belfair, Wa Member

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    I am looking at stepping up to a progressive 550 0r 650 mostly for loading my semi auto loads .45,9mm,223,.308. I may load 1000 rounds a month tops. Which one would you get? I see with the 650 there are more dam things to buy after you buy than I could even imagine.
    I am very picky with my hunting loads and will continue to do those with a single stage press.

    Thanks Jason.
     
  2. gunnin88

    gunnin88 Belfair, Wa Member

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    Oh and another question I have never been in the habit of crimping but I have only loaded 30.06. Is crimping something you all feel is a good thing?
     
  3. DeanfromOregon

    DeanfromOregon Wilsonville Amateur Ascended Master Platinum Supporter

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    I have a 550B and can load ~300 rounds of .45 acp an hour. 9mm is faster.
     
  4. oregonty

    oregonty Salem, OR Active Member

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    I have both machines in question. I love them both but would not recommend the 650 with the information that you have given. The 650 is Dillons cash cow. You would be able to load your amount of ammo on a 550 for much cheaper. They are both great machines but the 650 may be overkill for your current loading activities. That being said, you would not be disappointed with either machine. Just depends on how much you want to pay. The 650 is auto indexing and can be fitted with the auto case loader. In that case all you have to do is load the bullet in the cartridge. The 650 does have a bit of a learning curve though.

    The crimping thing just depends on what you are doing. For example, If I am loading .223 for a bolt action rifle I dont bother or like to crimp. If I am loading .223 for my semi auto then crimping is a must.
     
  5. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    The 650 will cost a considerable amount of $ over a 550. At 1k a month compared to factory ammo you will recover the cost of either. My friend has several 650's as he doesn't like to change setups so much: I prefer the 550 as it is easier on the brain and less fussy to operate.
     
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.
  6. giddyupgo55

    giddyupgo55 Vernonia Active Member

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    I have had both and sold the 550 and kept the 650. I myself like the auto indexing on the 650. It did take me a little time to learn how things worked. The cost is more for me to start with, but I have been setting the press up so that all I have to do is pull the pins and swap out complete tool heads. This can also be done on the 550 so the pick the one that suits you. You can't go wrong eather way.
     
  7. tlfreek

    tlfreek Vancouver WA Active Member

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    just got the 450 (older version of the 550) and have loaded around 1K 45 acp with it. its fast and easy and would recommend it to anyone that is an experienced reloader. I sometimes sit there and laugh when I reload because of how easy and fast it is compared to the single stage I was using.

    go out to dillon and price compare the 550 against the 650. I've said this before, but it's like buying a car, do you want the alloy handle or plastic handle? (alloy - kerching) Do you want the strong mount Y/N (Y - Kerching) this goes on for a while. By the time I decked my 650 out it was well over 1000 for a 600 machine. Then the questions start - well how many rounds do I really load in a month etc. Most likely a 550 will do what you need it to do.
     
  8. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    If price is your primary consideration, get the 550. It's a good machine that will serve you well for years and years. It will also be loading just fine when it passes on to your heirs.

    If you want a true progressive, where all you have to do is put a bullet on a charged case, pull the handle, and out pops a finished round, get the 650.

    Another consideration is "how many rounds will I be loading per Week/Month in the future. I was able to get by for a lot of years with a cheesy Lee Progressive and a Single Stage RCBS. Of course I had a job that took most of my time. Now I am retired and shoot as much in a range session as I used to shoot in several months while working.

    I opted for the "full meal deal", a 650, case feeder, and tool heads (fully set up) for each caliber I load. I decided I was going to buy only one loading press that would fill my needs for the rest of my days. Look ahead to what you expect to do. If you plan on shooting more, how much. If not much a 550 will do the job. If a lot more, then maybe a 650.

    Of course there are those that like their "bench time". For most of them a single stage is probably enough. Load a box in a couple of hours per day, over a month, and you have 1,000 rounds.
     
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.
  9. gunnin88

    gunnin88 Belfair, Wa Member

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    Okay well thanks for all the great info guys. I have decided to go with the 550 and spend some extra to get all the plates so I can keep my setup for easy change out. I certainly do not mind loading the shell myself.
     
  10. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I think you have received good advice from those who responded. My 550 is perfect for cranking out 9 mm, 45, 38/357...I generally go through 500 to 750 a month, depending on how much practice and how many steel matches I attend. Dillon customer service is top notch. Once you get past the financial pain of toolheads, powder measures, tool stands and conversion kits for each caliber, you will (I think) be happy with your puchase.
     
  11. gunnin88

    gunnin88 Belfair, Wa Member

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    Yeah I am not sure I understand why you have to have seperate conversion kits for each caliber, but I guess I will understand once I have the machine.
     
  12. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    If you want to save the $$ pain of a powder measure for each caliber, just buy a powder die and powder bar fore the extra tool heads. It only takes two screws to move the powder measure and by having the extra powder bars you can leave them adjusted for each caliber and powder. Just loosen one screw and swap it out of the empty powder measure. Can save about $50 for each caliber change over having a full measure for each tool head.
     
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  13. gunnin88

    gunnin88 Belfair, Wa Member

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    hey thanks for that info I'll try that method.
     
  14. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    don't forget,you have to remove,then measure rifle cases after sizing,so it slows up the Dillon's 'progressive' nature,but it's still a good press, mines going on 17 years old now.
     
  15. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Unless you prep all your rifle brass in advance using a single stage. If you have large quantities of brass just set up the Rapid Trim on a separate tool head and process it using the "progressive nature" of the Dillon.