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Old April 5, 2008, 01:53 PM   #1
Knezz
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Location: East Coast
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I've decided to go with the Dillon XL-650. What am I missing?

I’ve labored with which press to start with for a few months now. The only negative thing I’ve heard about the Dillon was the cost. After resolving that, I’ve heard nothing but great review on its reliability and customer service. I did read some say it’s a bit complicated for a fist time user but I thing that’s “bologna “. If you spend the time reading the manuals, watching the videos and asking questions on forums like this all will be well. I have decided on the Dillon XL-650 press. I plan on loading .45ACP, .40S&W and .357Sig rounds. I first plan on purchasing unfired brass and reloading them to their limits. I want to be as automatic as I can (with low primer and low powder checks). I will later get into purchasing once fired brass. I’m attempting to have caliber changes as easy as possible. Safety and comfort is paramount.
I have limited space in my basement as well as limited overhead height.
Here is my list. What am I missing to make a successful loading station in my basement?

XL 650 Unit
Powder measure
Prime system w/ lrg & sm parts
Small Primer pickup tube
Large Primer pickup tube
Loaded cartridge bin
Tool head
Powder die
Caliber conversion kit
set of standard allen wrenches


Low powder sensor
Strong mount
Kinetic bullet puller
Aluminum bullet tray
4 small pick up tubes
Powder Die
Primer flip tray
650 Toolhead (9mm, .40, .357)
Casefeed Assembly Small 110v

.45 ACP Case gauge
.40 S&W Case gauge
.357 Sig Case gauge
Case/Media Separator
RSBS Case trimmer

Aluminum roll handle
Dial Calipers
Digital Scale
Vibrator/Cleaner/Tumbler
Safety glasses
Reloading books
Check weights
Powder Check
.357 Dies
.40 Dies
.45 Dies
Mr. Dial
Primer loader
Rolling handle
Primer pocket brush
Primer flash hole deburring tool
Spare parts kit
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Last edited by Knezz; April 5, 2008 at 10:32 PM.
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Old April 5, 2008, 02:03 PM   #2
rwilson452
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two things come to mind. a balance beam scale. and another loading data manual. The balance beam scale back stops the digital. The extra data manual backstops the one you get. In this endeavor safety first, double check everything.
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Old April 5, 2008, 02:30 PM   #3
snuffy
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Order the 650 in one of the calibers mentioned, it will come with a set of dies for that caliber, shell plate, loaded round bin, AND one powder measure. IF you get it in 40 S&W you will have the shell plate for the 357 sig, and the case feed bushings are the same. The sig will need a powder funnel for it that also will work for 9mm. It also comes with both large and small primer feed parts and a low primer alarm.

If you have low ceilings in your basement, you may not be able to use the strong mount. It depends on whether you will be loading standing or seated. Mine measures 34 inches from the base to the top of the case feeder,(it's mounted directly to my bench).

If you use other dies, non dillon, you will need a powder die for each. Otherwise you will be moving the powder die from one tool head to another. Same goes for powder measures. Get a tool head for each caliber, moving dies around is a major PITA.

Order a set of the dillon allen wrenches, or go to a hardware store and get a set of ball-end allen wrenches. The first time you do a caliber change, you'll know why I recommended those!

The powder check/sensor is a nice reassuring addition to the toolhead. I move mine around from one head to another, but I do a season's reloading while it's set up for one caliber,(I have 7).





It's set up for .223 in those pics.

I would suggest just ordering the loader in one caliber. You can save some money by NOT getting a full caliber conversion for each of your intended calibers. The back of the destruction manual has a listing of all the parts needed to make up a caliber conversion. SOME of them are duplicates from other kits, like the 40 S&W and .357 sig use a lot of the same parts. Same goes for .308, 30-06 head size calibers all use the same shell plate and powder funnel.
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Old April 5, 2008, 02:34 PM   #4
cnjaxx
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I have a 650, and feel that is one of the best presses ever built. There are growing pains that you will incounter, when making caliber changes. If you go with the instructions, you will have no problem. Me? I'm a know it all, and that caused me to have some minor difficulties.

After I really found out how the press operated, and made a few caliber changes, I basiclly made, and still make bullets faster than I can shoot them.


IT IS A WONDERFUL MACHINE.

Another thing is, to get used to using a mechanical scale. I do have a digital, but I like the feel of using the beam scales.

After expressing my thoughts here, let me say that you will not be dissapointed with that machine, and they hold ther value.
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Old April 5, 2008, 07:13 PM   #5
clayking
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Case loader, case loader, case loader.

And a strong mount with the bullet tray.

Did I mention a case loader? Without it, I would quit reloading, honest!......................ck
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Old April 5, 2008, 09:17 PM   #6
AKGunner
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Posts: 152
I started on the 650...

there is a bit of a learning curve, but you can always call Dillon or ask for advice here if need be. If I can do it anyone with half a brain can too.

You might want to order the spare parts kit for about 20 bucks from Dillon. it has lots of little springs, pins, etc. that could break or zing acrossed the room and get lost during change overs. It's good to have them so you can get right back in business if you have a stoppage. That way you don't need to wait on spare part inr the mail to get back to loading.

I have a case loader for 45acp because that what I do the most off.

Good Luck.
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Old April 5, 2008, 10:37 PM   #7
Knezz
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Spare parts kit is now on the list. Thx.
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Old April 6, 2008, 05:12 AM   #8
Vitamin G
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 307
Quote:
I've decided to go with the Dillon XL-650. What am I missing?
About $200-$400 that you could have saved with a comparible brand


I kid, I kid. I second the balance beam scale.
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Old April 6, 2008, 06:32 AM   #9
xtargeeter
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Location: Tucson, AZ
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I have the 650 and I’m very happy with it. Changing calibers can be a PITA until you get use to it, especially if you change primer size, The best I’ve been able to do is about 300 rounds per hour because you have to keep adding primers. If you don’t get a case feeder, that will slow you down also.

I had a major problem with primers not seating properly, but once I learned how the machine worked, that disappeared for the most part. Having said that, primers stuck in the tube can be a problem, so you need to watch the primer holder to make sure you get them inserted, otherwise you end up with a lot of shells that don’t have primers and dump power everywhere and you need to take them apart.

If overhead space is a problem, you might not be able to use a case feeder, which is a shame as it is a wonderful addition.

The main weakness of the unit is the power charger. I try for 5.4 grains for my .45 and it will throw 5.2 to 5.6 grains. This is a much discussed problem and for the most part doesn’t matter unless you are reloading for match ammo.

Before you get it, make sure it will load all the calibers you want. I didn’t and now I have to load .50AE and .416 Rigby in a single stage press, and I go through a lot of .50 AE ammo.

Ditto the suggestion on several reloading books. You will be using different makes of power.

It takes me about 10 minutes for a caliber change and another 15 or so to get the power adjusted, YMMV.

Tech support is wonderful. Call and you get a human that knows the equipment.

I bought one of the Dillon electronic scales and it died within a year. Dillon doesn’t make them, so I get referred to the manufacturer. Fair enough.

You might want to add a small shop vac and some paint brushed to your list for cleaning.

I have the Dillon Automatic Primer Filler. Once it is adjusted, it woks fine, but make sure you put the pin clip back in the bottom of the tube or the primers will spill all over the place. DAMHIKT.

Primers are my major problem. Occasional one will get stuck in the tube and you have disassembled the equipment to clear it, or one will get stuck sideways in a bullet. Your bullet puller will get used a lot the first several times you reload.


All in all, I’m happy with mine and would buy it again. The extra money I spent was worth it for the tech support and life time guarantee.
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Old April 6, 2008, 01:42 PM   #10
Alleykat
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I'm loading on a 650, and I use CCI primers, mostly. I NEVER have a problem with primers stuck in the tube or in the primer mechanism. I wish I'd bought several Vibra-Primes when I bought the one that I'm using. They're not made anymore, and they beat the crap out of spending over $200 for the Dillon unit. I can load up five tubes in a couple of minutes.
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Old April 6, 2008, 03:15 PM   #11
cnjaxx
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Snuffy What is that powder measure that you are using on your 650?
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Old April 6, 2008, 04:40 PM   #12
Alleykat
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I'm not Snuffy, but that looks exactly like the Hornady measure that I'm using on my 650, for rifle reloading.
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Old April 6, 2008, 06:52 PM   #13
arizona98tj
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I picked up a 650 about a month ago configured for 9mm. I bought a .45 ACP caliber conversion for it two weeks ago but opted to use my 30 year old carbide die set. (I still have all of my single stage press equipment.)

This past weekend, I swung by Dillon and picked up a set of their .45 dies....which are notably longer than mine. I didn't like the lock ring holding on by just a quarter thread on the 1st station when I had my old die in the tool head. The Dillon dies do fit and set up easier than their Lyman equivalent.

Changing primer systems is a bit of a hassle. I can see that I'll be planning future reloading sessions more carefully to minimize this.
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Old April 7, 2008, 01:16 AM   #14
snuffy
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Quote:
Snuffy What is that powder measure that you are using on your 650?
That's an older model Hornady measure. It's teamed up with the older version of the Hornady CAPD die.

Here's the toolhead with the powder check sensor removed to show the linkage.

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Old April 7, 2008, 04:11 PM   #15
Jim Thompson
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Could I do that on my 650 with the RCBS powder hopper?
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Old April 7, 2008, 07:11 PM   #16
BigJimP
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I think you have it covered - unless you want to add the case feeder - but you can do that down the road too.

I have a 650 as well - and I think its a great machine - no problems with mine.
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Old April 7, 2008, 07:38 PM   #17
Unclenick
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Primer pick-up tubes and primer pick-up tubes. At least 10 of each size. Enough to hold a full carton of 1000 primers. Whether you own the automatic filler machine or not, you can then set up to sit in front of the TV filling these tubes. When you go to reload, you don't have to stop before your arm gets tired.

You won't need a flashhole deburring tool except for rifle cases, and then you often can only tell the accuracy difference with ball powder. Pistol cases often have no burr formed on the inside of the flashhole since an anvil die can reach in to back the punch up. I don't know about the .357 SIG in that regard, but I the effect on handgun accuracy will be awfully difficult to detect. You may want a primer pocket reamer for military cases, to cut the crimp out. The Dillon swaging tool works well for that, too, but costs more.
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Old April 8, 2008, 12:33 AM   #18
snuffy
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Quote:
Could I do that on my 650 with the RCBS powder hopper?
Yes. The new CAPD,(Case Activated Powder Die), will work with the RCBS uniflow and others that have a drum that the CAPD will screw into,(in place of the handle).

Copied from Hornady.com
CASE ACTIVATED POWDER DROP IMPROVED
Item No.

Price

050073

$62.97
The new and improved Case Activated Powder Drop has been re-engineered with quick change-overs in mind. The retainer spring has been re-engineered for smoother function than previous models and the powder drop only dispenses a powder charge when a case is present. Works with the Lock-N-Load AP™ or other progressive presses that use 7/8" - 14 threads.
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Old April 10, 2008, 06:33 PM   #19
Knezz
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Join Date: February 9, 2008
Location: East Coast
Posts: 4
1 XL 650 Unit
1 Powder measure
1 Prime system w/ lrg & sm parts
1 Small Primer pickup tube
1 Large Primer pickup tube
1 Loaded cartridge bin
1 Tool head
1 Powder die
1 Caliber conversion kit
1 set of standard allen wrenches


1 Low powder sensor
0 Aluminum bullet tray (will I be sorry for not getting this?)
1 Pick up tubes (2 small & 2 large)
1 Powder Die
1 Primer flip tray
3 650 Toolhead (9mm, .40, .357)
1 Casefeed Assembly Large 110v
1 Casefeed Plate - Small
1 Aluminum roll handle
1 Powder Check
1 Caliber conversion Kit .40S&W
1 Caliber conversion Kit .357Sig
1 Spare parts kit


Chose the Lee over Dillon for cost and many others like them best
1 Lee Deluxe 4 Die Set .40 $31.99
1 Lee Deluxe 4 Die Set .45 $31.99
1 Lee 3 Die Set .357 $20.99 (non-carbide)


1 Case/Media Separator
1 Dial Calipers
1 Digital Scale
1 Lyman 1200 Vibrator/Tumbler
1 Kinetic bullet puller

0 Vibra-Prime (Discontinued) **If anyone know where I can get one let me know. I currently don't want to spend $280.00 on the Dillon primer filler. Will I be sorry?


1 Reloading book (Lyman #48 manual)
0 Mr. Dial (Decided against it for the moment)
1 Dremel (no cost - already have)
1 Safety glasses (no cost - already have)


I only plan on loading .45ACP, .357Sig & .40S&W. I was told that these won't be needed for pistol loading?
0 RCBS Case trimmer
0 Primer pocket brush
0 Primer flash hole deburring tool
0 .45 ACP Case gauge
0 .40 S&W Case gauge
0 .357 Sig Case gauge


1 Check weights
0 Strong mount (plan on the bench being the correct height)

Decided to go with the Lee Dies as they are cheaper and others recommend them highly.
0 Dillon .357 Dies $67.00
0 Dillon .40 Dies $58.95
0 Dillon .45 Dies $58.95

===========================================
A few additional questions:

1. Is it true I will need a caliber conversion kit for each caliber I'm loading? The .45 will come with the press therefore I will need a .40 and .357Sig?

2. Do I need a poweder die for each caliper or will one work for all?

3. Some have suggested that I purchase the die that stops the press when powder is low. I will be using a powder die and powder check. Do I still need that?

4. I would like to get a Vibra-Prime but MidwayUSA discontinued it. Anyone know were I can get one. $33.00 vs. $280.00.

I think that you need to primer fillers - one for large and one for small primers? If so that is extremely steep.

5. On the Lee 4 die set - Is it 4 dies as the move the crimp to seperate die or some other reason?
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Old April 11, 2008, 05:00 PM   #20
swmike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arizona98tj
This past weekend, I swung by Dillon and picked up a set of their .45 dies....which are notably longer than mine. I didn't like the lock ring holding on by just a quarter thread on the 1st station when I had my old die in the tool head.
I had the same issue with my Lee sizing die which I had to press into service when the de-capping pin broke on my Redding Die. I put the lock ring on the bottom of the tool head. Only had to adjust the die once and then tightened by removing the tool head for easier access with the bench wrench. Haven't had to adjust since. The lock ring is not in the way of any of the operations when installed from beneath.

Knezz---

Get lots of primer tubes. I started with 5 (one with the XL-650 and 4 more). Bought several more so I can have at least 1,000 primers ready for a session. Hate having to stop and load more tubes once I get a rythym going.
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Old April 13, 2008, 08:40 AM   #21
Knezz
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I guess that means - go with the Dillon dies. I've also heard elsewhere that Lee is a tad bit short. There may be ways to work-around but I don't want to accept the possibility of having issue. My novice status dictates that I go for the sure bet. I want to begin with minimal issues - leaving more time understanding reloading, my press and testing out loads.
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Old April 17, 2008, 05:22 PM   #22
readr1
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DON'T DO IT! The XL650 is a home wrecker!!! Its more addictive than heroin!! JK! Its one of the best presses around, you will be able to make ammo faster than you can shoot it. Once you get it a great site for information and tweaks is http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.php?showforum=4 specifically this thread http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=584
Good luck with your reloading.
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