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Old October 7, 2000, 10:28 AM   #1
Eric of IN
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I've been thinking of getting a reloading set-up, and I was looking at the Rock Chucker Master Reloading Kit that Midway has for $287, but everyone talks about how good the Dillon is, so I'm trying to figure out how much more the Dillon will be for the complete set-up. Is the strong mount truly an option, or do you have to have it to mount the press to the bench? How big of a "footprint" does the 550 have, because I live in an apartment, the bench can only be 27" deep, but it will be 48" long.
Thanks
Eric
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Old October 7, 2000, 12:07 PM   #2
johnwill
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You won't have any trouble fitting the 550B on your bench, mine is mounted on a smaller stand with a large table nearby. The RCBS single stage and the 550B progressive are totally different presses, both are good at what they do. If you plan on loading lots of pistol ammo, the progressive is the way to go. If you're going to be doing rifle ammo only, I'd be tempted to get the Rock Chucker. Naturally, you'll need some of the extra stuff that comes with the RCBS kit to start reloading, since the Dillon won't have any of that with it.
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Old October 7, 2000, 12:37 PM   #3
Hard Cast 44
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Eric, with the Dillon you wont need to buy the powder measure or any priming tools. The only thing that you would need that the RC kit comes with is the scale. Beam scales are really not that expensive. If you reload any quantity at all buy the Dillon now or buy it later. If all that you load now is pistol, buy the Square Deal B for less money than the RC kit. Its a great machine (3-400 per hr)and comes with dies. Caliber conversions are only about $65. I have had mine for about 12 years. Still going strong. Either way you dont have to buy the Strong Mount, they just came out with these a few years ago. They are nice to add later though. Hope this helps, TED
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Old October 7, 2000, 02:00 PM   #4
Eric of IN
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I forgot to add, I'll be doing .45 acp for now, but I see an AR in my future, so the Square B is out. Is the case trimming stuff and the deburring tool necessary for casual target/plinking ammo, or is it more for the benchrest boys? So far the Dillon is still within reach of my wallet, but I don't want to spend that kind of money, and find out I don't have the stuff I need.
Eric
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Old October 7, 2000, 02:44 PM   #5
Hard Cast 44
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Eric, No need for case trimming on most pistol brass. I shoot mostly .44 and .45 for 15 years and dont own a case trimmer. Buy your AR after the 550 and then send enough surplus ammo down range to accumulate some brass. Buy the case tuning tools later. By the way I didnt have one for a number of years, but now I do, I like my shiney brass. I would buy the case cleaner at some point in time. TED
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Old October 7, 2000, 02:47 PM   #6
JHS
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Putting my Dillon 550 on the bench right now.
Just taking a little break. Back to work.
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Old October 8, 2000, 01:42 AM   #7
Guy B. Meredith
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Unlike the Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Progressive at about $300, the Dillon 550 does not come with 5 stations, auto indexing, ability to change out one die at a time while maintaining setting, flexible location for case actuated powder measure and a tame spent primer waste system.

I am curious as to how the primer system is set up as someone indicated that changing primer settings is annoying. The Hornady primer change involves two screws.

The Hornady does not require the strong mount.

The Dillon systems are good, but seem to require a lot of add ons for any given price/model. One day I would like to graduate to a unit with auto case and bullet dispensing, however, and that looks like a Dillon or Lee.

[This message has been edited by Guy B. Meredith (edited October 08, 2000).]
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Old October 8, 2000, 07:31 AM   #8
ArmySon
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Guy B. Meredith:
The Hornady does not require the strong mount.

[/quote]

Neither does the Dillon.
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Old October 8, 2000, 11:19 AM   #9
Hard Cast 44
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So JHS, you should have a few thousand rounds cranked out by now, huh. Hows it goin. TED
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Old October 8, 2000, 11:36 AM   #10
Hard Cast 44
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Guy, Whats a "tame spent primer waste system"?

Eric, as far as switching dies goes. With the Dillon, what I do is just buy a extra toolhead for each caliber, $12, and leave all my dies set up in the head.

I am kind of, well not kind of, partial to Mike Dillons company. I have been using their products for a long time and when I have had any kind of problem (usually because of me) they have taken care of it no ? asked. One time I messed a die up on my SDB and brought it over to the store. When I got it back the whole maching was upgraded with new parts at N/C. Heard of one guy who had his machine melt in a garage fire and they replaced it. No BS is not just a sales pitch.

Read and interview with Steve Hornaday by Tom Gresham the other day in G/A mag. He, like Mike Dillon, seems to have a very firm stand on the 2nd Amendment and its protection.

TED

[This message has been edited by Hard Cast 44 (edited October 08, 2000).]
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Old October 8, 2000, 01:40 PM   #11
Johnny Guest
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Eric--

I've had my Dillon 550B for nearly ten years and my ONLY regret is that I didn't get into progressive reloading several years sooner.

I am not talking down any other company when I say that I can't say enough about the Dillon company, products and customer service. I could tell several stories of a phone call to their service line and the very prompt, courteous and zero-cost warranty service received.

It having been several years since I unpacked my 550 I don't recall if they sent along ALL the hex keys (Allen wrenches) I needed. You always need a few more anyhow, so have 'em on hand when the press arrives.

Order one of their bench wrenches. Not strictly necessary but nice to have and reasonably priced.

Dillon dies are very nice to have. You can use other brands, but these are chamfered to make progressive loading easy. They are the easiest to clean out when using lead bullets, too.

You need to have some sort of primer flipper. They sell a really nice one.

Get extra primer tubes. And extra tool heads. They sell them singly, or in three-packs for a savings. Always have at least one more on hand than you think you'll need.

It is not strictly necessary to have a vernier caliper--you can set dies by use of a factory round--but it makes life much easier. Buy one somewhere.

You need a small kitchen-type funnel for changing powders. For cleanup, you'll want a whiskbroom and possibly a small hand vacuum, a couple of tooth brushes, and a can of spray air from the camera shop.

You already know about a scale, either balance type or electronic.

There are numerous other gizmos and accessories you'll want later, but you can do very well with just the minimum stuff above.

Seems I end a lot of posts with this wish: Whatever you get, I hope you enjoy your reloading as much as I have mine. Best wishes - - -


------------------
---The Second Amendment ensures the rest of the Bill of Rights---
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Old October 8, 2000, 04:00 PM   #12
WalterGAII
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So, when did Dillon start offering a bullet feed system?? I've tried the crappy Lee system, but it's truly a p.o.s.
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Old October 9, 2000, 12:59 PM   #13
Mikul
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You will need a minumum of 8x16" for the 550B, although you'll probably want space on both sides of the press for bullets and brass.

The strong mount is NOT necessary, but might be nice if you want the press to sit higher. The roller handle sounds great, but I haven't regreted not buying it.

You'll need the dies, a scale, and calipers, but nothing else. A case guage is convenient, and the primer flip tray is useful. A bullet puller is very nearly a necessity.

As for the Hornady progressive, look around for first hand advice. I was interested until I did some reading on the 'net. There were a lot more complaints about them than Dillon's units. Maybe they'll work the bugs out in a few more years.
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Old October 9, 2000, 06:57 PM   #14
Guy B. Meredith
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Mikul,

Your report of complaints on the Hornady is interesting. I bought the Hornady L-N-L AP as my first press due to features and nearly NO negative comments.

I have now loaded about 5400 rounds with almost 100% performance (I failed to seat about a dozen primers properly in one run and learned from that). Only other problem was learning to keep stray powder out of the primer punch--easily done.

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Old October 10, 2000, 11:05 AM   #15
Mikul
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It was hardly a scientific study. I just searched Alta Vista for "Hornady" and "Lock and Load" and read about 25 different posts on various BBS's. There were a fair number of complaints, with very little going to Dillon.

My perception of Hornady as a high quality company disappeared after that bit of research. There were a lot of complaints about their bullets and manuals too. It was very disheartening.

A lot of this is hearsay and perhaps rumor, but I went with what I had.
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