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Old May 13, 2012, 07:35 PM   #1
sigshepardo
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Going to Buy a New Press

I am looking to upgrade from my single stage Lyman and my Lee turret. I do not load very much but I have decided I want the top of the line progressive press. I typically load .308, .25-06, .44 Magnum, and .45 ACP. I have narrowed it down to the big three: Dillon, Hornady, and RCBS. Which do I buy? Anything you guys could provide would be substantial. Thanks.
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Old May 13, 2012, 08:07 PM   #2
Lost Sheep
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I would recommend Dillon or Hornady. Which model of Dillon would depend on the quantities you need.

Please tell us more about your loading style, how much you load at one sitting, how many rounds you load before changing calibers, what is your budget, how much space you have for your operation, will you leave everything set up permanently or take down between sessions?

I also wonder how you eliminated the Lee Loadmaster and Lee Pro-1000 presses.

Thanks for asking our advice,

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Old May 13, 2012, 08:50 PM   #3
south.texas.dead.I
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Well I'm assuming he eliminated the loadmaster when he decided he wanted the best. I've spent about a year tryin to get that thing puttin out results as consistently as my mec 650 shotshell press and I've just about given up on it. I cannot speak for the other lee but the fact that its supposedly a step down from the loadmaster.


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Old May 13, 2012, 09:35 PM   #4
flyguy958
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Why not RCBS? I've been looking at all three too. Leaning toward the RCBS.
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Old May 13, 2012, 09:38 PM   #5
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If you dont load much, then I dont understand why you want to go to a progressive? You arent going to get better ammo, and in fact have a chance of getting worse ammo if you dont pay attention....

Just my opinion, but a progressive to me seems like kind of a waste for someone that loads less than a few thousand rounds a month..... My press sits idle and me with nothing to do most of the time.... If i had the money I could spend all that time loading, but even then, I could easily put out a few thousand rounds a month without even really trying hard....

Of course, I guess "I dont load much" can be subjective. To me that means less than 500 rounds a month, but could mean something completly different to someone else...
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Old May 13, 2012, 10:28 PM   #6
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I own the Hornady LNL, if I had to do it over again I'd get a Dillon.

Never loaded on a RCBS progressive so I can't comment other than to say the priming strips are interesting and the powder drop is top notch.
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Old May 13, 2012, 11:06 PM   #7
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I own a Dillon and Hornady LNL. I prefer the LNL by a wide margin.
BOTH are great machines though!
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Old May 13, 2012, 11:11 PM   #8
south.texas.dead.I
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumbo719 View Post
I own the Hornady LNL, if I had to do it over again I'd get a Dillon.
Why would you do that? If you don't mind me asking? I was thinking about dumping my loadmaster and going lnl ap


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Old May 14, 2012, 12:41 AM   #9
GWS
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All three are great presses with different strengths that fit different people best. RCBS's Pro 2000 excels if you want to load lots of pistol and rifle calibers. Fastest and safest primer system, fastest, and easiest caliber changes. Only cast iron frame this side of Dillon's commercial 1050. Fewest moving parts and once setup, Zero resyncing.
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Old May 14, 2012, 12:45 AM   #10
Lost Sheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by south.texas.dead.I

Well I'm assuming he eliminated the loadmaster when he decided he wanted the best. (edited for brevity) I cannot speak for the other lee but the fact that its supposedly a step down from the loadmaster.
Yes, the Lee Loadmaster is inferior to the Dillon higher-end units (in speed, warranty and possibly features), and the Pro-1000 is a step down from that.
For the price and capacity, the Lee tools might be just the thing.

I asked for the OP's reasoning (and did not denigrate his choices).

You admitted that you cannot speak for the Pro-1000. Can you speak for sigshepardo?

If you REALLY want to trash the Lee Loadmaster, I'll pay shipping.

Lost Sheep

Last edited by Lost Sheep; May 14, 2012 at 09:13 PM. Reason: correct spelling of "mike" to "might" (be just the thing.)
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Old May 14, 2012, 08:52 AM   #11
south.texas.dead.I
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Sheep View Post
Yes, the Lee Loadmaster is inferior to the Dillon higher-end units (in speed, warranty and possibly features), and the Pro-1000 is a step down from that.
For the price and capacity, the Lee tools mike be just the thing.

I asked for the OP's reasoning (and did not denigrate his choices).

You admitted that you cannot speak for the Pro-1000. Can you speak for sigshepardo?

If you REALLY want to trash the Lee Loadmaster, I'll pay shipping.

Lost Sheep
No I cannot speak for sigshepardo he said it himself "I want the top of the line progressive" and me and you both agree that the loadmaster isn't on the same level as the others. I'm not with my press and won't be back to the house that I have it setup at till the end of the summer. I'm on the last straw with it, If I don't get it pressing rounds out reliably within a week of me getting back I am going to a different press. I'll put it up for sale though


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Old May 14, 2012, 12:02 PM   #12
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The Dillon progressive presses are clearly the top of the line in this lineup of three. In my opinion, comparing Lee to Dillon is like comparing Harbor Freight to Snap On. There's no comparison of quality possible.

RCBS progressives do not match Dillon quality either. I like RCBS products, but I understand that progressive presses are not RCBS's specialty. Dillon's specialty is progressive presses, so your choice seems clear.
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Old May 14, 2012, 04:25 PM   #13
Gerry
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Changing between 4 different calibers all with different primer types isn't really something you want to do with a Dillon often. Changing out calibers from say 9mm to .45 ACP on a Dillon XL 650 with a case feeder is not a trivial task, and you better be prepared to load many thousands of rounds once you change calibers to make the change over worth it.

Another option is to buy a progressive, but keep your Lee Turret to load the calibers you shoot less often and change over the most. The other option is to buy 4 Dillon presses. And yes, I know folks that have a bench full of Dillon presses devoted to each caliber they shoot.
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Old May 15, 2012, 08:45 AM   #14
Vance
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It amazes me how much people complain about spending 10 - 15 minutes doing a caliber change. Not that big a deal.
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Old May 15, 2012, 08:55 AM   #15
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Reloading

I've had a Dillon for over 20yrs. Loaded 1000's of 45.s and 38. 148gr. wadcutters, and never had a problem. Parts that ware out are replaced by Dillon and shipped free of charge.
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Old May 15, 2012, 09:54 AM   #16
45_auto
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My Dillon XL650 is also over 20 years old and has easily loaded over half a million rounds (I load at least 2000 per month). Just loaded 900 9mm and 300 45ACP for my son and I last night for the GSSF match in Monroe, LA this coming weekend. The only thing that has worn out or been replaced is the low primer buzzer switch. The switch quit working about a year ago, Dillon sent me a new one.

I have friends with Lee, Hornady, and RCBS progressives and we've all loaded on them all. None of the other presses come close to the Dillon. Of course, the Dillon is also the most expensive.
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Old May 15, 2012, 12:30 PM   #17
TimW77
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The advise given by someone with no experience...

Gerry, it is obvious from what you wrote you know NOTHING about Dillon presses.

"Changing between 4 different calibers all with different primer types isn't really something you want to do with a Dillon often."

Have you ever loaded anything? Do you not know the .25-06 and ..308W used the same primer type? (LR) Do you not know the .44 Magnum and .45 ACP also use the same primer type? (LP)

The 4 cartridges the OP mentioned need just one primer feed (Large), and NOT the 4 different sizes you state. There is NO changing required.


"Changing out calibers from say 9mm to .45 ACP on a Dillon XL 650 with a case feeder is not a trivial task..."

Have you done this or just "heard" about it? Again based on what the OP wrote, 3 of the 4 cartridges he mentioned use the SAME shell plate and require NO TIME to change. Only the .44 Magnum uses a different shell plate.

If you had ever done it you would know that the casefeeder changes are equally non eventful.


"The other option is to buy 4 Dillon presses."

Although it would be nice to have, this is... to be nice just silly!!!


"And yes, I know folks that have a bench full of Dillon presses devoted to each caliber they shoot."

Well there it is, you really do NOT know anything about Dillon products. You give advise based on what you have heard!!!

T.
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Old May 16, 2012, 12:45 PM   #18
BigJimP
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I like the Dillon 650 .../ have had one for several yrs ...and for what its worth, I'd buy it again.

Changing calibers really isn't a big deal ....but I do take a few minutes to clean and lube the press when I change calibers...but even if I go from a caliber in small pistol primers ...to large pistol primers.../ its only a 20 min operation...( if you have toolheads set up with dies, ready to go )...

I don't think the LNL is a bad press ...but I do think the Dillon 650 ( especially with the powder check die - is hands down a better press ). RCBS - although I've got a buddy or two that have them ...not really a contender in my view.
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Old May 16, 2012, 07:31 PM   #19
otasan
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My best recommendation

is the great Dillon Model 550B.
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Old May 16, 2012, 07:47 PM   #20
ak40
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press

i got a dillon xl650 the way to go
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Old May 16, 2012, 08:35 PM   #21
jepp2
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Quote:
I typically load .308, .25-06
What powders do you use (ball powders or long stick) and what sort of metering accuracy are you looking for? This might impact how you intend to dispense powder. If you change how you dispense, it might impact your press choice due to your loading sequence.

I have a pair of Dillon RL550B's, but prefer to do most of my rifle loading on a single stage press. Things like use of Lee collet die for neck sizing, bullet seating on a Forster Co-Ax for reduced bullet runout, etc. are just part of the reasons.
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Old May 16, 2012, 09:20 PM   #22
osageid
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Dillon XL 650 was my first press as a new reloader, not hard to operate at all. Caliber changes not hard . Don't take our word for it, hundreds of videos on YouTube about dillon press changes watch and decide!


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Old May 17, 2012, 03:23 PM   #23
GWS
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Quote:
RCBS progressives do not match Dillon quality either. I like RCBS products, but I understand that progressive presses are not RCBS's specialty. Dillon's specialty is progressive presses, so your choice seems clear.
You understand wrong. The Pro 2000 is their flagship press, not the Rock Chucker. If RCBS presses couldn't match Dillon quality, then RCBS wouldn't guarantee them for life...the only question asked: what's your shipping address?

The important thing for you to keep clear is that there is a red choice and a green choice that is every bit as good or better, depending on your needs and style of reloading, than the blue choice.

You ought to be researching which feature set fits your reloading needs best. It may or may not be Dillon. I spent hours with the 650 before I decided on Green. I haven't been sorry even for a minute.
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Old May 17, 2012, 06:35 PM   #24
Stick895
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How much you reload may be a factor in why he wants a progressive. Sometimes peoples desire and enjoyment follow their tools, i.e., if it's easier to load 1K-2K rounds a month on a progressive, then he might do it. IMHO.
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