Red vs. Blue

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Hornady LNL AP (red) vs. Dillon XL650 (blue)

These threads can devolve into a Red vs. Blue slugfest pitting fanboy against fanboy, but post #2 here, is by an individual that has owned BOTH presses.
I think he makes some interesting points and mentions some press features/tendencies that a new buyer would not consider, let alone even know of.
What do you think ?
Hornady LocknLoad V/S Dillon 650, opinions? - The Firing Line Forums
 

DizzyJ

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I've never owned the lock and load.

I'm sure either one would be fine as long as it's set up properly and maintained.
 
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Hate to fan the fire, but I operated both before buying blue and have run a LNL helping a friend since. In my experience the priming system on a LNL is in no way better than the xl650, and the xl650 is far from perfect but can be good if you understand how to properly align the base.

His comment about customer service really left me puzzled. I've sworn to never again but a Hornady product due to their horrible customer service yet Dillons never seems to not impress me.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and we've all had different experiences. There's no perfect anything that will work for everyone, presses are no different.
 
Get on YouTube and lookup 76Highboy, he has an excellent reloading channel that has video series on the Hornady LnL, the Dillion SDB 550B and 650, Redding turrets, etc.

He's just a regular guy and has a few "fun videos", but you can usually find a video that'll teach you what you're looking for.

Hope that helps!
 
I've never seen a Hornady to have a clue about it, but I do agree with most of his complaints about the Dillon, 550 specifically. I have always struggled to not have dented primers. Seems like something is always getting on the primer seater and causing grief. I "fixed" that by using a hand primer...
I don't like the way Dillon retains cases to the shell plate. The little buttons keep the cases in place well, but sure are fiddly when you have to remove cases mid cycle. The spring that holds the case in the first stage needs fairly close adjustment, too. I also have trouble with extruded powders....
But, I've had great luck reloading reliable ammo on this press, and once I really figgered how to use it to single load rifle cartridges my turret press hasn't been used.
 
I just spent two months reading and researching progressive presses because I am getting into more handgun shoots and I could shoot in one evening what it took three evenings to reload on a single stage.
After looking at all the angles, I bought a Hornady LNL. I was completely sold on the Dillon XL650 because of it being a machine that didn't require "tinkering"... And then I tale to several Dillon owners in my club who started telling me about all the "tinkering " they had to do on their 650s.
When I compared the $ investment and the fact that it would be very costly to load several different calibers on the Dillon, I went red.
I was willing to pay the extra bucks for a out of the box and it runs machine, but that's just apparently not true. They ALL require dinking around, but as someone mentioned above, watch 76Highboy videos on the Hornady LNL and follow his suggestions and everything just runs. I have cranked out over 1000 rounds of the LNL without issue . .. well, there was one issue.... the nut behind the handle wasn't watching his primers and let them run out so he had two cases without primers in them on one batch... but that was hardly the machines fault.
In addition, Cabela's has them on sale right now for $60 off regular price plus you get 500 free bullets (you pay $14 for shipping) from Hornady. It's an awesome press IMHO. Dillon is great too, but with the sale price, using my Cabela's bucks, I was out the door for under $200 with all of what I needed for all 3 calibers not including the free bullets.
Also, I didn't buy the case feeder for the LNL as its easy to run without it, but the Dillon really is set up for running a case feeder. One reviewer made the comment accurately the to run the xl650 without the case feeder is "just plain silly". For me it was $200 for the whole enchalada or a little over a grand to go blue....
 

2ndtimer

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Hate to fan the fire, but I operated both before buying blue and have run a LNL helping a friend since. In my experience the priming system on a LNL is in no way better than the xl650, and the xl650 is far from perfect but can be good if you understand how to properly align the base.

His comment about customer service really left me puzzled. I've sworn to never again but a Hornady product due to their horrible customer service yet Dillons never seems to not impress me.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and we've all had different experiences. There's no perfect anything that will work for everyone, presses are no different.
I have to agree. Both times I have contacted Hornady customer service, I was underwhelmed with their response, or lack thereof. Dillon has had a stellar reputation for their service, and the one time I needed it, the part was in the mail and in my hands in short order. We have to wait and see if that continues now that Mike passed away, but I am hoping they will honor his legacy by continuing their service to their customers. I am purely a red state voter in elections, but when it comes to progressive presses, count me as true Blue. (If we are talking single stage, I am green all the way, in case anyone is keeping track. RCBS customer service is the best in the industry, in my experience.)
 
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I've had my LNL for about 5 years now and am happy with it - have had good experiences with their CS as well.

When I bought it came down to cost for the #of calibers (2xrifle; 5xhandgun). If I was only going to reload for 1-2 calibers I would have gone with the 650 but the cost of keeping a ready-to-load setup for 7 calibers made the LNL a no-brainer.
 
I have heard more good than bad about Hornady customer service, but I can't speak personally as mine so far has just run without issue.
 
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When I first started reloading I bought a rock chucker
Then I bought the L&L . Yes I was new but there was just little crap all the time fubaring things up. Mostly the primer feed but the case feed ramp sucked too. Now I am a mechanical minded person so just because I was new didn't mean much to me
So I sold it to get a 650. It was the bomb. Everything went fine 99% of the time. 308 brass didn't always drop down the tube perfect but everything else did. 223 was great.
There was a little prime problems but minimal compared to the L&L
I kinda got out of reloading so I sold the Dillon too.
Now I just thought of this. The last time I ran that hornady press was 6 years ago. Maybe they have been improved?
Don't know, but if I decided to get another progressive press it would be a Dillon for sure
 
As someone said somewhere else, a lot of people have sold their LNL machines to buy a Dillon; you never hear of someone selling their Dillon to buy a LNL.... Now that isn't necessarily an absolute; I did read a number of reviews by folks who bought both machines with the idea that they would sell whichever one they liked least and they reported to have sold their Dillon. I think it comes down to individual style, and preferences, and of course how deep your wallet is. I am happy with my LNL. It was very cost effective to get into, especially for wanting to load for 4 or more calibers.
My experience with the LNL has been flawless, and caliber change over is a snap, ready to roll in under 2 minutes..less if I don't have to change primer shuttles and rams.
As I said earlier though, check out the videos online. I implemented the suggestions by 76Highboy and my machine has been great. For example, one of the problems reported with the LNL is with the primers not feeding. Watch the videos and you find out people drive themselves nuts trying to fix that issue by tweaking the primer setup when really the culprit is the shell plate bolt working loose. I have never had this problem because I bought a 35 cent lock washer at the hardware store and installed it during the initial setup.
 
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As someone said somewhere else, a lot of people have sold their LNL machines to buy a Dillon; you never hear of someone selling their Dillon to buy a LNL.... Now that isn't necessarily an absolute; I did read a number of reviews by folks who bought both machines with the idea that they would sell whichever one they liked least and they reported to have sold their Dillon. I think it comes down to individual style, and preferences, and of course how deep your wallet is. I am happy with my LNL. It was very cost effective to get into, especially for wanting to load for 4 or more calibers.
My experience with the LNL has been flawless, and caliber change over is a snap, ready to roll in under 2 minutes..less if I don't have to change primer shuttles and rams.
As I said earlier though, check out the videos online. I implemented the suggestions by 76Highboy and my machine has been great. For example, one of the problems reported with the LNL is with the primers not feeding. Watch the videos and you find out people drive themselves nuts trying to fix that issue by tweaking the primer setup when really the culprit is the shell plate bolt working loose. I have never had this problem because I bought a 35 cent lock washer at the hardware store and installed it during the initial setup.
I didn't have to make any 'fixes' to make the Dillon run smooth
'The Ultimate Reloader' from 5-6 years ago shows him loading 223. The cases ride smoothly across the ramp to the holder.
Now I know for certain he had to have polished that ramp cause mine had machining grooves on it that made the 223 cases shake and fall over.
The vids on YouTube aren't always what you think they are. The best thing I can tell anyone to do is find a couple guys with both machines to see which one you like.
The money part isn't any thing to think about if you realize it will be over a few thousand rounds.
Why would you buy a machine you know you will have to alter?
Is that worth the peace of mind over many years of reloading and only a couple hundred bucks?
One gun?
 
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I have to agree. Both times I have contacted Hornady customer service, I was underwhelmed with their response, or lack thereof. Dillon has had a stellar reputation for their service, and the one time I needed it, the part was in the mail and in my hands in short order. We have to wait and see if that continues now that Mike passed away, but I am hoping they will honor his legacy by continuing their service to their customers. I am purely a red state voter in elections, but when it comes to progressive presses, count me as true Blue. (If we are talking single stage, I am green all the way, in case anyone is keeping track. RCBS customer service is the best in the industry, in my experience.)
I completely agree. RCBS has a great CS record with me. Multiple time I've emailed them stating that I bought x part used and need to buy this peice which is missing.....and they send it free of charge. I finally took down my 50+ year old rockchucker to try a Forster CoAx which I got in a deal, my bench is all mixed red blue and green.
 

Goosebrown

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Had a LNL and the ram is pot metal coated in steel and polished and mine broke. I broke it but it did break. Custer service was fast and free. All fixed. But not shooting much pistol and not good enough for precision loads for rifle. Sold it. Would only buy again if doing three gun or pistol.
 
Had a LNL and the ram is pot metal coated in steel and polished and mine broke. I broke it but it did break. Custer service was fast and free. All fixed. But not shooting much pistol and not good enough for precision loads for rifle. Sold it. Would only buy again if doing three gun or pistol.
Ok, I gotta ask... what in tarnation did you do to break the ram? It's pretty much enclosed in the cast iron press.... You tried to use it as a floor jack to change the tire on your truck, didn't you! :p
 

Goosebrown

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Ok, I gotta ask... what in tarnation did you do to break the ram? It's pretty much enclosed in the cast iron press.... You tried to use it as a floor jack to change the tire on your truck, didn't you! :p
Nope it was normal use. The Shell Plate was on wrong and I applied pressure and the ram snapped. It wasn't indexing properly so I was being a boy and using the force available. I was to blame, but on an RCBS I would have hurt myself before the press.

Just my opinion. I like Hornady a lot. I like RCBS and Redding better. However I don't think you can beat dillon for handgun reloading in quantity.

I load 22 rounds at a time mostly so I don't need that much speed or throughput.
 
Lol... well, I guess I am about to find out... I just stumbled onto a deal on a XL650 and I am going to do my own side by side comparison, after which I will probably sell whichever one I decide I don't like as much as the other.
 

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