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  #1  
Old 04-23-2020, 9:31 AM
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Default Progressive Press Recommendation

I am an experienced rifle reloader using a single stage press for rifles, but wish to add a progressive press for pistol rounds. I remember Dillon being regarded as the "go-to" brand, but maybe things have changed.

I will likely be reloading 9mm, 45ACP, 357 Mag, 38 Special, and 45 Colt. Maybe 223. I expect to shoot about 500 rounds a month (depends on where I live and gun shooting venue availability). I would likely load up 500+ rounds per caliber. It is likely caliber changes on the press would be rather infrequent.

It seems like the Dillon 550c would be adequate for my volume and offers the advantage of lower cost caliber change kits.

Suggestions and thoughts welcome.

Phil
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Old 04-23-2020, 9:33 AM
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  #3  
Old 04-23-2020, 9:42 AM
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Dillon 650/750. Buy once and forget about it

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  #4  
Old 04-23-2020, 11:26 AM
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Drink the blue kool-aid and be happy

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Old 04-23-2020, 11:30 AM
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I don't think there's a wrong answer. I stay away from Square deals or caliber specific setups. I have a pair of 550's and I don't see any reason to upgrade them
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Old 04-23-2020, 11:36 AM
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I drank the blue koolaid and have never been happier. A 550 will fit your volume requirements with less expensive caliber conversion kits. 750 would be better if you plan on shooting a lot more. However a 750 shines with a case feeder and that will be added costs for your initial setup.
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Old 04-23-2020, 11:37 AM
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A Dillon 650/750 with case feeder and bullet feeder will bring you the most satisfaction.

The 1050 isn't worth it unless you make it fully automated.
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Old 04-23-2020, 3:00 PM
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Dillon is still the one to get
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  #9  
Old 04-23-2020, 10:49 PM
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Drank the red cool-aid and it works for me. If you can try both the blue and the red, both excellent units then make a choice. I find that the ergonomics of the Hornady AP works better for me than Dillon. Personally I don't care for the other red though, which is Lee.
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:57 PM
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Two question ?
- How many round do you shoot per month, you said 500 per one caliber or total all calibers is 500 round per month ?
- How much you plan to spend, the progressive press can go from $200- $1400 ?
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Old 04-24-2020, 4:04 AM
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Might also look at the cost for changing calibers and factor that in. Red or Blue are both leading brand presses.
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Old 04-24-2020, 7:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil3 View Post
I am an experienced rifle reloader using a single stage press for rifles, but wish to add a progressive press for pistol rounds. I remember Dillon being regarded as the "go-to" brand, but maybe things have changed.



I will likely be reloading 9mm, 45ACP, 357 Mag, 38 Special, and 45 Colt. Maybe 223. I expect to shoot about 500 rounds a month (depends on where I live and gun shooting venue availability). I would likely load up 500+ rounds per caliber. It is likely caliber changes on the press would be rather infrequent.



It seems like the Dillon 550c would be adequate for my volume and offers the advantage of lower cost caliber change kits.



Suggestions and thoughts welcome.



Phil
Dillon 550 is the press you want. Fits your ammunition requirements, has cheaper conversion kits, and is simply enjoyable to use letting you control every aspect of the reloading process.

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  #13  
Old 04-24-2020, 8:05 AM
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THIS... caliber changes are less expensive and far simpler. And you can use it in progressive mode for volume, as well as single stage for precision.

Got mine 10 years ago or so as my first press and haven’t needed anything else. It works flawlessly, and I use it for nearly 15 different calibers. Each has its own toolhead, and several have two for FL and neck only, so caliber changes take less than 5 minutes if I don’t have to change primer sizes, and about 10 minutes with the primer tube change.

For plinking ammo, I use the powder funnel system and can knock out a lot of rounds in a short amount of time.
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Old 04-24-2020, 9:41 AM
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I have been a Dillon fan for over 30 years. The 550 is an adequate press for what you want. I sold my 550 and got a 650 and don't regret it. The downside to the 650 is it takes longer to change calibers.

BTW, I do the same thing you do. I use the 650 for pistol and .556, and a single stage press for accurate rifle reloads
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Old 04-24-2020, 10:54 AM
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For the volume you are talking about a 550 will be a great fit and be muct more cost effective as you add more calibers.
The 650/750 is a amaizing machine as well but with the casefeeder it can get expensive quick when you load a bunch of different calibers.

I still use my 550 regularly (380, 38SPL, 357Mag, 44 etc) next to my Mark 7 powered Super 1050 (9mm, 40, 45, 223)
I can easily run 200 rounds in 4 or 5 different calibers in a few hours on my 550 whereas my 1050 would be 2+ hours (more if changing to large primer) to setup, clean and change to a new caliber.
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  #16  
Old 04-24-2020, 10:56 AM
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Based on the title, I thought the OP was looking for news outlet recommendations.
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Old 04-24-2020, 4:17 PM
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I have a (Dillon) 550 and a 1050. I use the 1050 for 9mm because it has a swaging station for stupid military crimped brass. HOWEVER, with the lee APP press around, it would have been way more practical to get a decked out 650 and the lee APP to swage cases in a pretty fast batch method.

The 1050 is not cost effective for that many calibers (each toolhead is over $100).

Normally I recommend the 550 for ease of caliber change, cheapness of toolheads and it's just a darn good machine. BUT I'd recommend a 650/750 with casefeeder AND bullet feeder. But if it's too pricey, then the case feeder for sure. I added a casefeeder to my 550 and it works, but it's a retrofit. The 650 was made for a casefeeder.

So ... bottom line ... I like DIllon and although I have a 1050 and a 550, I actually recommend a 650 with a casefeeder (really it doesn't work as well without one, and the 550 can be cumbersome with one). The toolheads are a touch more expensive, but not bank-breaking like the 1050. Plust the 650 has an extra station for something like the bullet feeder which the 550 does not.

I do not know about Lee or Hornady progressives, but would like to point out that Dillon is the most popular progressive and there are reasons for that (again I only have the dillons).
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  #18  
Old 04-24-2020, 6:27 PM
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I use twin Lee Pro 1000 presses, primarily. One is for large-primer rounds, and the other is for small-primer rounds. My handgun cartridges are .38/357, .44 Spl/Mag, .45 Colt (two loadings), .45 ACP, and 9mm Para.

Those recommending the "blue Kool-Aid", i. e. Dillon presses, are not wrong. They're just a bit incomplete; Lee makes a good, functional press as well, and I often recommend Pro 1000's to people looking for a good progressive press. Every press has its quirks; make no mistake. With Pro 1000's, it's the primer chute getting dirty after about 5,000 or so rounds. It's easy enough to clean and takes maybe half an hour, start to finish. Both of my presses have spit out tens of thousands of rounds in the now-11 years that I've owned them. I stopped counting about 6, maybe 7 years ago; by now it's gotta be in the hundreds of thousands.
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Old 04-29-2020, 3:08 PM
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since everyone else recommend blue I'm going to recommend red or rather the Hornady LNL AP, besides that is what I have so of course I am going to try to justify why it is better than the dillon...

don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Dillon I just went with Hornady because of price and for an auto indexing press, which was/is a requirement for me, the Hornady was cheaper... the Dillon 550 is not an auto indexing press.
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  #20  
Old 05-01-2020, 12:49 AM
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  #21  
Old 05-24-2020, 10:23 PM
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Why not get the RCBS and go Green. I have their turret and like it. I will probably get their progressive soon. My friend just got his.
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Old 05-24-2020, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil3 View Post
I am an experienced rifle reloader using a single stage press for rifles, but wish to add a progressive press for pistol rounds. I remember Dillon being regarded as the "go-to" brand, but maybe things have changed.

I will likely be reloading 9mm, 45ACP, 357 Mag, 38 Special, and 45 Colt. Maybe 223. I expect to shoot about 500 rounds a month (depends on where I live and gun shooting venue availability). I would likely load up 500+ rounds per caliber. It is likely caliber changes on the press would be rather infrequent.

It seems like the Dillon 550c would be adequate for my volume and offers the advantage of lower cost caliber change kits.

Suggestions and thoughts welcome.

Phil
Dillon is still the best.
The 550 will serve you well.
Even at a pretty leisurely pace, you should be able to swap toolheads and shellplates and load 500 rounds in under 2 hours.
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Dillon is still the best.

The 550 will serve you well.

Even at a pretty leisurely pace, you should be able to swap toolheads and shellplates and load 500 rounds in under 2 hours.
I have to agree - I produce 350-400 rounds an hour (an actual timed hour) at a leisurely place checking my charges, adding primers, and inspecting cartridges multiple times a session. A caliber change w/o primer swap? About 5 minutes. Even the primer swap doesn't take more than a few minutes. I don't see a point in purchasing a 750 w/casefeeder unless you shoot multiple thousands per month. An hour a week to produce ~400-500 rounds is efficient enough to support buying extra toolheads, powder measures, and caliber conversion kits.



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Old 05-25-2020, 1:13 AM
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550. Will do the job.
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Old 05-25-2020, 7:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil3 View Post
I will likely be reloading 9mm, 45ACP, 357 Mag, 38 Special, and 45 Colt. Maybe 223. I expect to shoot about 500 rounds a month (depends on where I live and gun shooting venue availability). I would likely load up 500+ rounds per caliber. It is likely caliber changes on the press would be rather infrequent.

It seems like the Dillon 550c would be adequate for my volume and offers the advantage of lower cost caliber change kits.

Suggestions and thoughts welcome.

Phil
If you want a to be able to use a case feeder for rifle, then you have to get a 650/750. The 550 case feeder will not do rifle.
The 550 is a solid choice
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Old 05-25-2020, 4:20 PM
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I had a 650 and liked it----primer station was annoying at times. HAd two separate primer stations for large and small and quick change set ups for multiple calibers. Could do a caliber conversion and a primer conversion in 7-8 minutes. Bought the 750. Every thing carried over except the primer station. That takes a little longer cause you have to change the primer bar. Solid 15 minutes to d a conversion on the 750 but man is it loading machine. Did 500 rounds in 26 minutes. I haven't loaded on Red but have seen several people's set ups. I just think Blue is a more alll round solid set up. Buy once buy it for life. I do 6 pistol calibers and 223 on the 750 and the rest of rifle and low volume off caliber pistol on a green single stage. Just my 2 cents worth----get what you can afford, learn it well and enjoy!
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Old 05-25-2020, 7:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhilliker@comcast.net View Post
I had a 650 and liked it----primer station was annoying at times. HAd two separate primer stations for large and small and quick change set ups for multiple calibers. Could do a caliber conversion and a primer conversion in 7-8 minutes. Bought the 750. Every thing carried over except the primer station. That takes a little longer cause you have to change the primer bar. Solid 15 minutes to d a conversion on the 750 but man is it loading machine. Did 500 rounds in 26 minutes. I haven't loaded on Red but have seen several people's set ups. I just think Blue is a more alll round solid set up. Buy once buy it for life. I do 6 pistol calibers and 223 on the 750 and the rest of rifle and low volume off caliber pistol on a green single stage. Just my 2 cents worth----get what you can afford, learn it well and enjoy!
I didnt want to hear that

The 650 is ok, but like you said, it has its quirks. It requires a knowledgeable operator paying attention. I would really like a machine that doesnt require so much finesse like watching the shell plate, watching the case insertion and making sure its indexing right for the primer.
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Old 05-25-2020, 8:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarikinaMan View Post
It requires a knowledgeable operator paying attention.
News flash!!!

ALL progressive presses require this.
The fully automated ones simply have lots of sensors to stop them when a problem occurs.

If you spend a few thousand on a fully automated press, you can set the alert buzzer loud enough that you can hear it from another room and walk out of the room until you hear the alert buzzer.
Then you come back and fix the problem and walk away again.
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:10 AM
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I bought my Dillon 550 in 93 180.000 rounds later,very happy with it.
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:30 AM
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If you plan on automating later down the road, go Dillon or sell your house and first born and buy a Mark 7.

That said, I run a Hornady LnL AP and its been great. I prefer that the handle is on one side and the case/bullet all come in from the left, so its easier to address issues like a bad case or something. It also makes it easier to run without case and bullet feeders until you are ready to up your automation.

Caliber changes are a few minutes and inexpensive. You need dies regardless so exclude that from the cost considerations.

The shell plate is not expensive. Depending on the powder needs, you can get an entire powder measure or just adjust the meter and possibly pull one screw to swap the insert if needed (to go between short and long cases).

All of the presses need tweaks and adjustments and maintenance.
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:47 AM
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I bought a Dillon 750 in September and have loaded 3000 rounds or so. It is my first press (no reloading experience at all) and I am quite happy with it. I load .357 and 9mm.
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Old 05-26-2020, 1:57 PM
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Yet another support response to the Dillon 550B. It takes care of my pistol needs quite well. Tolerances are very minimal for casual pistol shooting and my ability at 25 yards. Now if you want absolute precision then head back to your single stage press.
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Old 05-26-2020, 7:06 PM
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Ive used the RCBS Rock chucker for years and years for rifle and revolver loads. The slow process was and is enjoyable. I recently purchased the Dillon 750. after getting it dialed in, Its a joy to hammer out sever hundred rounds in short order. It took me some time to trust the process but I got used to it. I have the case feeder too but feel more comfortable dropping my brass down the tube 25 at a time. Im sure that will change for me but Im old school and Im ok with it. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 05-26-2020, 7:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigguy552 View Post
Dillon 650/750. Buy once and forget about it

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Old 05-26-2020, 9:15 PM
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I’m very happy with my 750. I started out with a 550 and it is also a very good press. I still use that for 308 and 6.5 creedmoor. For 223 it’s amazing what a rt1200 will prep per hour compared to single stage. Still have to swage but that’s 1 step instead of 2-3 extra steps. It all comes down to what you want to spend and what your expectations are. If anyone is near San Andreas that wants to get hands on before pulling the trigger let me know.
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