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Old April 24, 2007, 08:26 PM   #1
clayking
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What is the High end reloader?

I've owned a dillon 650, with caseloader, for some time now, but I find fault with it due to all the small, little parts that cause the entire operation to shut down if lost or misplaces. For instance, the little spring at station one that keeps the shell casing pressed in, lose it and you are shut down for a penny part. Yea, yea, I know, order the parts kits and go back to work. Been there done that. It just seems to me, that there has to be a higher end reloader, sure, it will cost more, that is not so dependent on small parts being lost (small indexing ball under shell plate, hitch pin in seating stem, etc. etc.). Don't get me wrong, for the price the dillon is a great machine, but is there something easier & quicker to change from caliber to caliber, less small parts, dial a die kind of adjustment?

You know, the BMW/Mercedes of reloading machines?
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Old April 24, 2007, 09:23 PM   #2
benedict1
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Don't know. I have the "Ford-Chevy" of reloading machines that costs about 20% of a Dillon 650 setup and it just keeps chugging. Try a Lee Load Master.
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Old April 24, 2007, 11:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
You know, the BMW/Mercedes of reloading
The top is the Dilllon 1050. It's in a class completely by itself. It's the first choice of commercial reloaders who don't use fully automated equipment such as the Ammoload or Camdex.

When I was in the commercial reloading business, we had Dillon 1050s set up for several calibers, and I would guess that I personally loaded over 1/2 million rounds on them. VERY FEW problems with them, but like any piece of machinery, they do require ocassional cleaning, lubing and adjusting.

An experienced reloader can EASILY load 1,000+ rounds per hour SUSTAINED hour after hour.

And all reloaders have little parts that break every once in a while if they're used heavily. Especially the cheap ones.

Its expensive, but top of the line always is.
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Old April 25, 2007, 09:18 AM   #4
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Don't know. I have the "Ford-Chevy" of reloading machines that costs about 20% of a Dillon 650 setup and it just keeps chugging. Try a Lee Load Master.
+1. And I didn't have to re-mortgage to buy it either. My buddy has a 650. I've tried it and its a nice machine, But it has its issues just like any other mechanical device. I didn't find it any better than my Loadmaster
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Old April 25, 2007, 01:43 PM   #5
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I didn't have to mortgage anything to buy my Dillons. you get what you pay for.

Anyone who thinks that he can get a Mercedes or a Lambhorgini for the price of a Ford/Chevy is fooling himself!

You get what you pay for.

And the thread starter asked what was the BEST reloader, not the cheapest.
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Old April 25, 2007, 02:14 PM   #6
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It may be picky, but the word "best" was not used by the OP; the terms "high end" and "BMW/Mercedes", but not "best".
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Old April 25, 2007, 02:25 PM   #7
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It may be picky, but the word "best" was not used by the OP; the terms "high end" and "BMW/Mercedes", but not "best".
You're right! You're "picky."

And to be even more picky, I suppose that I really shouldn't have mentioned the 1050, when the Ammoload machine with accessories such as a case processor, roll sizer and inspection table is the real "high end." OTOH, I guess that I just "assumed" that the OP didn't want $60,000 to $75,000 worth of equipmrnt. I stand corrected!
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Old April 25, 2007, 02:40 PM   #8
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cheygriz , Have you ever tried a Loadmaster ? If not you should and see for yourself. If not I don't see how you could speak so bad about something you know nothing about.
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Old April 25, 2007, 06:25 PM   #9
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RERICK
cheygriz , Have you ever tried a Loadmaster ? If not you should and see for yourself. If not I don't see how you could speak so bad about something you know nothing about.
It seems to be common with most Dillon owners. It's almost like they are embarresed to admit that anything else can be as good because of how much they had to pay to buy the Dillon. It seems strange to me that for how much a Dillon cost and how great they are supposed to be I still see a lot of threads with, help me with my 650 primer feeder or something else.
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Old April 25, 2007, 07:59 PM   #10
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First off, a BMW/Mercedes means top of the line in quality and most likely in price, although not always the case. The problem with this equipment is the difficulty in using it before purchase, unless you have a friend who uses one. I bought the Dillon as my reloading store sells them, set it up for me and I've been happy ever since. IT just seems that the adjustments could be easier than getter out wrenches each time one changes the type of bullet, tweaks the powder, etc. etc. Adjustments have no memory of where you were, there's no indicators which lead to inconsistency no matter how hard one might try. Rather than weighing the powder load to achieve a certain weight, why not a dial to simple get me where I was two months ago with a special load? Then weight to confirm.

I'm looking for that type of machine. Does it exist? Likely not due to cost. Maybe what I need are several more machines so I can set them all up and leave 'em alone....................ck
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Old April 25, 2007, 08:29 PM   #11
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Sure it exists, at far less than the cost of a Dillon press.

1.) The Lee Auto Disk system--once you find the cavity you want for a particular powder it always repeats the same amount, until you go to a new lot. Since the density might be different you must weigh some charges to find out which cavity in the Auto Disk is right. Then, again, it's set and forget it.

2.) Once I set up the dies in the turrets for my Lee Classic Turret Press or my Lee Load Master, they are set. When I change calibers I just pop in a new turret with the dies that have already been set up. Takes a couple of minutes.

3.) Changing from large to small or small to large primers is a snap! For the Lee Safety Prime on the Classic Turret just hang the right assembly in the bracket, change the lever arm and go. Takes about 15 seconds.

4.) To change primer sizes for the Load Master, just remove the shell plate and lift out the primer assembly; insert the proper size and re-attach the shell plate. Maybe takes 5 minutes, max. to do it.

All this at budget prices--
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Old April 25, 2007, 09:17 PM   #12
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benedict1,

You misunderstand what I'm looking for in a reloader. What you said if fine, my dillon does all that. What I want likely does not exist at anything close to a resonable price, if at all. Likely a dream..................ck
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Old April 25, 2007, 09:27 PM   #13
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Every time I look at my ammo supply, and get ready to load another few thousand rounds, I think I might just go out and buy that Dillon that I hear so many talk about. While I am thinking about it I start buying components and then look in my wallet. Don't think I'll do it this time, I'll just load them on the old Lee 1000. Then, when I'm done (last session was 1,000 .223 with a 3,000 round session on 9mm) I say to myself, "why replace something that still works fine".

I've been going through this conversation with myself for over 20 years now with the same press. I have had a total of $35 in replacement parts required over those years. Maybe someday I will step up but it will be to the Loadmaster.

For those that prefer Dillon, I support your choice. After all, Mike needs the income to support all his toys
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Old April 25, 2007, 09:53 PM   #14
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I appreciate everyone's loyalty to their own personal reloader, but that has absolutely nothing to do with my original question..................ck
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Old April 25, 2007, 10:10 PM   #15
Jim Watson
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There was a big manual progressive loader known only as The Machine about 25 years ago. Much more expensive than Star or early Dillon, fast and powerful. It would probably qualify as being at the high end, probaby THE high end for manual equipment.
I can look up the article in an old Handloader's Digest if it REALLY matters.
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Old April 26, 2007, 06:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
cheygriz , Have you ever tried a Loadmaster ? If not you should and see for yourself. If not I don't see how you could speak so bad about something you know nothing about.
Well, yes and no. I've never actually pulled the handle on one, but over the last couple of years two of my shooting buddies have purchased them. I more or less helped set up one of them (I read, while he worked )

Within six months, both of them had upgraded. One to a Hornady, and the other to a 650.

Having said that, I must acknowledge that Richard Lee has done more than anyone to get more people into the reloading hobby, and I heartily applaud him for that. And his customer service is excellent as well.

Over the years, I've had three sets of Lee dies. Each set had one die that was defective and had to be returned. In each instance, I had a new replacement die very quickly. But it bothered me that their QC was such that these ever got out of the factory in the first place.

(I don't know what Redding's customer service is like, because I've never had to send anythng back to them )

I own, and regularly use, 5 Lee Factory Crimp Dies. Never had a problen with any of them. I don't like to seem like I'm bad mouthing Lee all of the time, but when the Lee fans tell me that the little loadmaster is a better machine than the RCBS, the Hornady, or the Dillon, I seriously doubt that they've ever used a high end machine.

Way back in the seventies, a good friend allowed me to load my .45 ACP on his Star reloader. Now there's a machine built like a Swiss watch!

I've also used a C-H Auto-Champ. Both of these were fine machines, but limited to one caliber.

When Dillon first started producing the RL450, I bought one. It was the closest thing I had seem to the Star, quality wise. I still have it, and it's been upgraded. I also have a 650. And I've loaded commercially on a 1050.

I guess I'll use the analogy of cars again. I drive a Cadillac. Why? Two reasons. First, I like nice things. But more importantly, I can't afford a top end Mercedes or a Bentley. And I know that my Cadillac isn't in the same category with those two. But when someone tells me that his KIA is a better car than my Cadillac, I laugh out loud. And I do not pretend that a Cadillac is the equal of a Bentley.

I'm very glad that all of Lee's products are out there. Many new reloaders would never have started if they hadn't been able to buy low priced equipment.

And I guess it's easy to say what a great car a KIA is if you've never owned a Cadillac.
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Old April 26, 2007, 09:23 PM   #17
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I guess I don't really understand...I have 35k+ pulls on my 650 and I don't recall ever going "down" due to a "penny part". Yes, I do have a spare parts kit in case (or I should say for when I loose one) but I don't understand how all these "penny parts" find legs and leave your 650 out of commission.

I'm not saying I have not had to work thru issues with my press...I had to learn and still do learn...but not for any of the parts you say are not hanging in there.

Good luck with your dream press.

Bob
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Old April 26, 2007, 09:28 PM   #18
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cheygriz, I'm not trying to be a smart a$$ I'm just trying to understand. If somebody put a Load Master and a Dillon 650 side by side, had one person on each machine. Both presses were putting out the same amount of ammo trouble free. Why couldn't the Load Master at least be considered equal? I think Dillon makes great presses. I also think Lee, Hornady and RCBS make great presses. I don't believe every press in any one manufacture line is great, they all have their flaws. I don't have any experience with progressives but would love to have a chance to load on a Dillon, Load Master and Hornady LNL AP.
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Old April 26, 2007, 11:53 PM   #19
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Crusty,

I'm not saying that the Loadmaster is "bad." What I do believe, is that a light duty, inexpensive machine is not going turn out the same amount of ammo per hour, SUSTAINED, that it's not going to last as long, and that it's going to have a helluva lot more down time.

I have loaded as many as 5,000 rounds on my Dillon 650, changed calibers and loaded 3,000 more without a single stoppage other than a few damaged cases, which will stop any machine.

Back when I loaded commercially, I've loaded over 10,000 rounds of ammo on a 1050 in one day, stopping only to refill powder hopper and primer tube. This went on day after day. About every 4-5 days, we stripped these machines to clean and lube. That's 40K to 50K between cleaning and lubing. I should add that we had a brass processor and roll sizer, so no bad cases made it into the 1050s case feeder. Each of the 5 machines kept this up day in and day out. Adjustment was a bit more critical for the .223 due to small size, but once you got the hang of it, these were also very easy and fast to load. .308 was no different than loading pistol brass.

Now I will readily admit that the 650 is definitely not in the same class with the 1050. But from my experience, the 650 sits between the 1050 and the the other high end machines.

I know a lot of people are happy with their Loadmasters, and I'm glad Lee makes it for those people that don't need to load a great deal. But when you load your favorite calibers in lots of 2000 or more at one sitting, I think most folks are eventually going to upgrade to a heavy duty machine. I know loading those quantities on my old RL450 drove me nuts.

I guess that I've been loading for so long, that when I get a bucket of 4k-5k of fired 9mm or 5.56X45, I just want to gt them loaded as fast as possible. The "thrill" of handling each round individually is long gone, and most reloading today is work that needs to be completed.

I still use the upgraded 450 for calibers that I don't use a lot of, like .44 Magnum, .45 Colt, .303 British etc., where I might only load 500 at a time. But the stuff I shoot a lot, I buy components in bulk, and load on the 650.

BTW, if you ever want to test your patience, or get your mind off of something that's troubling you, sit down at a big ol' honkin' single stage, like the Redding Big Boss and load up 500 rounds of .25 ACP. I guarantee you that you won't think about anything else while doing it!!
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Last edited by cheygriz; April 26, 2007 at 11:59 PM. Reason: to add info
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Old April 27, 2007, 01:42 AM   #20
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Wow! And some people think Ford vs. Chevy discussions get outta hand...

In the interest of taking automotive analogies too far... A BMW/Mercedes reloading press wouldn't necessarily be more trouble-free, as implied by the OP. It might be overpriced, german, high-performance, or have a certain cachet, but it will probably be trouble-prone and expensive to fix.

What you want is the Lexus of reloaders, excellent value, consistent, smooth performance and absolutely bulletproof reliability. (pun intended)
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Old April 27, 2007, 09:22 PM   #21
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Cheygriz,

What is the major differences between the 650 and the 1050. Do they set up pretty much the same, ie, same die adjustment, same switchover process between calibier's etc. etc.. Dillon web site does little in the way of explaining the difference...................ck
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Old April 29, 2007, 05:53 PM   #22
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I had both a Lee LoadMaster and RCBS 4x4 for a while.

I don't have them anymore, nor do I have my Lee hand press and RCBS Jr. I have kept my Hornady 007 O-Frame, C&H 206 "linear-turret" C-Frame, a Dillon XL-650, Dillon 550B, Dillon Square Deal B, and a Huntington "Compac" hand press. They work well, with minimal hassles. If you don't count the benchrester's arbor presses, I find this particular little press to be my "High End" achievement:

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Old April 29, 2007, 09:01 PM   #23
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I reloaded on (and still have) one of the Huntington Compac's too. Fantastic hand press. Accurate, strong (excellent leverage), and rigid (no flexing/springing). I put a ~4" circle of hardwood on the bottom of it so it would stand up on its own, yet is still very portable. Windowed seating dies work very well with it, so you don't have to juggle a bullet between the guide rods. Would be an excellent range reloading tool.

The only reason I don't use it much anymore is my wife got me a Forster Co-Ax for Christmas. Now THAT is a high end press!

Between them, they are probably the best two designs/executions available in single stage presses.

Andy
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Old April 29, 2007, 11:52 PM   #24
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High-end?

The Camdex 2100.



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Old April 30, 2007, 07:22 AM   #25
Jim Watson
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Clayking, the only similarity between the D650 and 1050 is that they reload ammo. The only interchangeable parts are the dies. The 1050 is an 8 station commercial machine with primer pocket swage and positive primer seating to a mechanical stop. Caliber changeover takes pretty thorough disassembly. Mine will stay in .45 ACP, I have a 550 and a C-H for the other stuff.
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