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Old August 21, 2011, 03:07 PM   #1
Petespacking
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Hornady LocknLoad V/S Dillon 650, opinions?

I'm moving away from my Lee loaders and wanting to step up production of 9mm and .45 ACP. I'm tossed up over the two presses. Do you have an opinion as to what you use or would choose? I'm not going to put on the case feeder so they should be somewhat equal. I'd appreciate any replies. Thanx
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Old August 21, 2011, 03:22 PM   #2
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I have posted this before and I hesitate to do so now. This topic always starts a ruckus. It is important to note that BOTH SYSTEMS ARE EXCELLENT! But, they operate differently. You need to choose the press that matches your style. Good Luck!

Which is Better? What’s best?

This question usually ignites a firestorm of of "Blue verses Red verses etc." What you are not going to find is very many people that have actually loaded on BOTH DILLON AND HORNADY. I have loaded on the Dillon SDB, 550, 650, 1050 and the Hornady LNL.
I currently own a Hornady LNL and a Dillon SDB.

Here is my perspective:

Consider the Hornady Lock and Load Progressive. It’s cheaper than the Dillon and has several features that, IMHO are better than Dillon.

The Dillon has been on the market a long time and have great customer service, as a result, Dillon users are very dedicated to their blue presses. Dillon presses are EXCEPTIONAL and do an exceptional job in reloading. The competition to the Dillon is the Hornady Lock and Load Auto Progressive. Because most of the Dillon users are so satisfied, when you ask the question “Which is better?”, you get swamped with comments like, "The Hornady LNL is Junk!" If you asked if they have ever loaded on the LNL and 99.9% said no. When I did find someone that had experience with both presses, most liked the LNL and many had sold their Dillon's and bought the LNL. However, there have been those that sold their red presses and bought blue. I can also unequivocally state, based on my experience, that HORNADY has equal customer service. You just have to decide what you like best. Some times it’s just the color, red or blue!!

IMHO the Dillon has one major shortcoming and, most Dillon owners will agree if they are honest. The Dillon powder measure is sorely lacking in ease of use and adjustability. It is sliding bar type measure. It meters ball type powder well but, flake type powder less so. Extruded stick type powder is VERY troublesome and not all that accurate. To be fair, extruded powder is difficult in all powder measures, irregardless of design. Be advised that flake powder has been known to “leak” around the Dillon sliding bar as it is activated back and forth. Particularly if the sliding bar is worn. The LNL powder measure is a rotary barrel design that handles all types of powder MUCH better than the Dillon. A rotary barrel is the same design used by RCBS, Sinclair and other manufacturers. I have never heard of a rotary type measure “leak”. Also, it is a pain to swap out the Dillon powder measure to another die plate. As a result, many owners have several powder measures on separate die plates for changing calibers. This significantly drives UP the COST. I have never heard of a LNL owner that has more than one powder measure. There is no need. It is easy to adjust. Many LNL owners, myself included, own several "Powder Dies" that are pre-adjusted to load a specific case. (Note: Powder measure fits into the Powder Die.) Each LNL powder die costs about $20. A Dillon powder measure costs $75.

Also, IMHO, the Dillon de-priming/priming system is less reliable than the LNL. With the Dillon system, spent primers drop through the bottom of the shell plate into a small cup. It is an “open” system and is easy to empty. However, the press gets dirty with carbon. Whenever carbon/dust/dirt or “primer dust” fouls the primer seating station this causes "flipped" or "skipped" primers. The DILLON de-priming system works well provided it is kept CLEAN. With the Hornady LNL, spent primers are dropped completely through the press into a plastic tube and into the trash or bottle or whatever you want to use. It is a “closed” system. You never get carbon in and around the bottom of the shell plate. The point is the dirt off the spent primers does not foul the workings of the press. I have never had a “flipped” primer. Although, I have had “missed” primers that I feel were operator error (ME!) and not the fault of the primer system. (I forgot to seat the primer!) In all fairness, the LNL primer seating station will also not work properly if the primer slide is fouled with dirt or powder. Please note that neither Dillon or LNL primer systems will work flawlessly unless they are adjusted properly. Users of BOTH systems have expressed exasperation with these adjustments.

If you want a “Powder Check” system you need a press with at least five stations. The Dillon Square Deal and Dillon 550 both have 4 die stations. The LNL and Dillon 650 both have 5 stations. However, the 650 costs significantly more than the LNL. The Dillon 1050 is really an industrial machine and has eight stations.

How the presses indexes is an issue for some people. In reading the web about "KABOOMS" (Blowing up a gun!!), many of the kabooms I have read about were directly traced back to a manually indexing press. This is not the fault of the press but, operator error. However, with a manually indexing press, If you get distracted while reloading, you can easily double charge a pistol case. (A double charge will depend on the powder you are using and the charge weight.) IMHO, a double charge is less of a problem with auto-indexing presses. The Hornady LNL, Dillon 650 and, Dillon Square Deal auto index. The MOST POPULAR Dillon press, the 550, is a manually indexing press. Some people prefer manual, some people prefer auto.

In addition, the LNL auto indexing is significantly smoother than the Dillon 650. The LNL indexes 1/2 step while the ram is going up and 1/2 step when the ram goes down. The 650 indexes a full step on the ram down stroke and can cause pistol cases to spill SMALL AMOUNTS or powder with the indexing "bump". IMHO, the LNL is dramatically better. Of course, the amount of powder "bumped" from a case is dependent on the powder charge, operator and, speed of reloading. As I stated above, you get primer problems with a dirty press. "Bumped" powder fouls BOTH Dillon and LNL.

Next, the LNL uses a really slick bushing system for mounting loading dies and powder measure to the press. It makes changing calibers and SNAP. After a die is adjusted for whatever you are loading you can remove the die from the press with an 1/8 turn and insert a different die. Each die has it's own bushing. The Dillon uses a die plate that has the powder measure and all loading dies installed. The Dillon die plate costs more than LNL bushings. Another neat feature with the Hornady is that you can buy a bushing conversion setup and use the same bushings on your RCBS, Lyman or other single stage press and the LNL!

Additionally, the LNL seems to be built like a tank! The ram is about 2"+ in diameter and the basic press is similar in construction to the RCBS Rock Chucker. I would say that a side-by-side comparison to the either the Dillon 550 OR 650, the LNL is at least as sturdily built. And, in some areas I think the LNL is better built. i.e., The massive ram, powder measure, and primer system. The head/top of the press is solid except for where the dies are inserted. The Dillon has a large cutout that is needed for their die plates. By just looking, it would seem the LNL would be stronger. But, of course, that may not be the case.

There is one piece that can get damaged on the LNL. There is a coil spring that holds the cases in the shell holder that can get crushed if you improperly change shell holders. That's the bad news. The good news is that they are only about $2-3 for three and they won't get crushed if you change shell plates correctly. Also, recently Hornady sends these out as a warranty item free of charge. The other good news is that this spring is the primary reason while loading you can easily remove a case at any station. The spring is durable if it is not abused. I have been using my current retainer spring for about 2 years. I have loaded at least 12,000 rounds in that time. With the Dillon you have to remove small individual brass pins in order to take a shell out of a shell plate. My fingers require needle-nose pliers or forceps to remove the brass pins. It is a PITA.

(For the next discussion keep in mind that BOTH DILLON AND LNL shell plates rotate CLOCKWISE.)

Another item to think about. For NON-CASE FEEDER users; all Dillon presses (Except 1050) require you to use BOTH hands to insert brass and bullets on the press. The Dillon 650, 550 and, SDB operates as follows;

1. Right hand inserts an empty case at the right, front side of the press.
2. Left hand then sets the bullet on the case mouth at the left, rear side of the press.
3. Right hand then activates the operating handle.
4. For Dillon 550 only, Left hand manually rotates shell plate.
5. You then release the operating handle and insert another case with your right hand and so forth. (Right, left, right, left, right, left)

(Note: With the Dillon 550 you also have to manually rotate the shell plate at step 4. Most people do this with their LEFT hand.)

With the Dillon, “right-left-right-left” hand operating procedure, clockwise rotation and, the fact that you start your loading process at the front, right side of the press, your bullet seating die is at the rear, left side of the press. Why is this important? The Dillon powder measure drops powder into the case and the case is rotated clockwise to the REAR of the press to the bullet seating die. It is very difficult to see inside of the case to see the gunpowder. Many Dillon owners rig up flashlight, mirror or, believe it or not, a video camera to “look” into the case to see the powder charge.

With the LNL you start your loading process at the REAR, left side of the press. As your case rotates clockwise, after the powder is dropped, your case is directly in the front of the press and the bullet is seated directly in front of the person operating the press. Is is VERY EASY to look directly into the case to see the powder charge. Even though I use a “Powder Check” die. I look directly into each case as I am loading. I have never had a squib load OR a double charge. This is not to say that it can’t happen. It can. I just haven’t experienced one.

Loading cases and bullets with the left hand is very natural to me. Others may really dislike this feature and prefer the right/left/right/left/right operation of Dillon. Please note that a case feeder eliminates this operation and both Dillon and LNL only load bullets on the left side of the press. Dillon at the back of the press and LNL at the front of the press.

Dillon Customer service is legendary. You can buy a used Dillon press that is a total wreak and they will rebuild or send you a new one for about $40-$50 bucks. Any parts you break will be replaced free of charge. Hornady service, in my experience, is equal. When I needed some replacement springs that broke do to age, Hornady replaced them free of charge. They will also rebuild your press if it needs it. I think most other manufacturers are matching Dillon’s service. Dillon raised the bar pretty high for customer service and other companies see how devoted customers are to the BLUE presses. I do feel that is one of the primary reasons Dillon’s prices are HIGH. But of course, I have no way of knowing that.

You can load anything on both the Dillon and LNL from .25 ACP to 500 N.E. Realistically, I would say that people with progressive loaders mostly load pistol ammo 99% of the time. After using the LNL, I feel confident that my Grandkids will be using when I'm gone.

In summary, the Hornady LNL has all the features of the Dillon 650 but, is much cheaper. However, the Dillon automatic case feeder is about $50 cheaper than the Hornady. Changing calipers on the LNL is faster and cheaper. The powder measure on the LNL is VASTLY SUPERIOR TO THE DILLON, at least in my opinion. I bought the LNL and am very satisfied. A shooting buddy of mine is a long time, dedicated Dillon user. He has three! After giving me a ration of "stuff" about my choice, he came over and used my LNL and sheepishly said, "That's a very nice setup!!"
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Old August 21, 2011, 05:08 PM   #3
WESHOOT2
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I own and prefer the XL650.
I bought it for manufacturing, and it worked.
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Old August 21, 2011, 07:14 PM   #4
Petespacking
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Holy cow, Waldog, you just wrote a review! I've been leaning toward the LNL and having a detailed report to go on makes the decision easier. Thanks very much for your detailed post.
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Old August 21, 2011, 08:53 PM   #5
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I only own the LnL and have no experience with the Dillon presses. I only reload 9mm Luger and 38 Special, with 80% to 90% being 9mm. I shoot a lot (18K to 20K per year), so I use the press frequently (log shows over 45K loaded on the LnL). I have elected to prime off the press, so each piece of brass is run through the case feeder twice to become a finished round. This decision was made because of the occasional "high" primer with the LnL priming system. Just the decision I made and not entirely necessary if you are willing to live with the occasional high primer. Did not keep records, so I can't give you the definition of "occasional".

The LnL has some shortcomings, which are mainly in the case feeder parts, and seem to be specific to 9mm (based on my participation in other forums). My case feeder has been modified in 3 different areas (the bowl discharge area, the pivot area, and the drop onto the base plate area) to reliably handle 9mm brass (I still have an occasional jam at the bowl discharge that I'm not able to eliminate), and Hornady has been of no help in offering any suggestions to solve the problems. They are more than willing to keep sending parts, but not willing to suggest solutions. I'm speculating they know there is a problem with 9mm and don't have a solution.

I would suggest that you consider the Dillon 650 if you intend to use a case feeder and load 9mm. If I had it to do over I would buy the 650, which, again, I have never used.

If you want more detail you may PM me.

Here are two links you may want to visit for details on the above comments.
http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1357208
http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1350902

Last edited by jbrown13; August 21, 2011 at 08:58 PM. Reason: Added links
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Old August 21, 2011, 09:53 PM   #6
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Not long I had to make a similar choice. One of the things I learned as a freshman engineering student is that every design is a compromise. Each designer picks the factors that are important to him (or his company) and designs the product to meet those requirements. Things that may be VERY important to you may be completely unimportant to the designer. My opinion:

- The Dillon 650 is optimized for for high-volume and infrequent caliber changes. By high-volume I mean 1500-2000 rounds.

- The Hornady LnL-AP is optimized for lower volumes (500-1000 rounds) with more frequent caliber changes.

If you are shooting 2000 rounds of one caliber every month then there is no question that the Dillon 650 is probably the best machine.

On the other hand, if you are shooting 3-4 calibers and maybe 500 rounds per caliber each month then I'd probably recommend the Hornady.

Some supplemental data:

1. Go watch the videos here at http://www.UltimateReloader.com and pay particular attention to his videos of the caliber changes for the two presses.

2. While I was going through the same exploration and research that you are undoubtedly doing now, I documented what I learned in a series of blog posts here:

http://www.shootandreload.com/catego...ressive-press/

3. Here is a very detailed article by a guy who owned both presses (as well as a Lee Loadmaster) for a year and is probably the best comparison on the 'net:

http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillon...Comparison.pdf

Disclaimer: After it was all said and done, I bought the Hornady LnL-AP and am extremely pleased.
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Old August 22, 2011, 08:10 PM   #7
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OK, disclaimers first. I've never owned a Dillon. I know lots of people who have Dillons. Everyone I know personally who has a Dillon, sings its praises. I'm putting internet stuff aside for purposes of this reply.

For some good info on Dillon presses check out Brian Enos' website and forum. Brian recommends the RL550 over the 650 for most shooters who don't plan to add a casefeeder.

I loaded on a single stage RCBS press for many years. After I started shooting cowboy action I decided to spring for a progressive. One feature I wanted was a five station machine so that I could use a powder check or powder lockout die (ended up with the RCBS Lockout Die which is great) for an extra layer of safety. That eliminated the Dillon 550 for me.

Cost was not the only consideration but the Hornady was less expensive than the 650 by a good bit. Hornady gives you 500 free (well, almost, with postage and handling) jacketed bullets with the purchase of the press. It does seem that the cost of loading multiple calibers is less with the Hornady. I am currently loading two small pistol calibers and one large. Switching over is relatively simple. If you buy a separate powder die body for each caliber you can set it up once and then changeover is pretty simple.

You will read some issues with priming. Once I got mine polished up a and "worn in" a bit, it primes very well. You might find a difference with brands of primer.

I am running mine without a casefeeder. Thinking of adding one but I am getting pretty decent output with the press as is.

I've had to call Hornady Customer Support with a couple of issues and they were pretty helpful.
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Old August 22, 2011, 10:11 PM   #8
Petespacking
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Great info guys! Thanks for posting, I'm sure there are more people going to benefit from all the information besides myself.
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Old August 22, 2011, 10:36 PM   #9
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Wasn't going to comment on which press, as I use an RCBS Pro 2000. But you mentioned that you weren't going to use a case feeder. That really makes the Hornady look a tad better than the Dillon, because (like my press) the Hornady loads cases and bullets from the same side. Add a case feeder and the two presses are pretty equal, but with different pros and cons. The Dillon 650, Hornady AP, and the RCBS Pro 2000 are all great products. Which ever you buy, you will become a dyed in the wool fan of progressive reloading.

There is a cheap equalizer that you may want to know about, that should work equally well for blue, red or green presses.

How about a Bullet Feeder for $28 per caliber?

Too bad you aren't looking at the RCBS offering as well. Their APS primer system is faster, safer, and more fun to use than any tube primer system, when you use preloaded CCI primers. And, it's the only cast iron press of the three.

Dillon Folks usually and deservedly bring up Dillon's no BS Warranty. I found this very interesting thread tonight. Seems a guy from the Netherlands has both a Dillon 650 and an RCBS Pro 2000....Check out his experience from way over there! http://forums.handloads.com/archive/...=3564&get=last Read the 12th post down. That's typical of every experience I've had with RCBS for the last 40 years. I have no doubt you will get good service as well from Hornady and Dillon. So see, you have a quandry! Decisions decisions!

The smart move would be to research all three and decide what pros best fit your personal reloading style, and what cons you can most easily wink at. Though all are good, there's no such thing as a perfect press.

BTW, Hornady's "vastly superior" powder measure is a licensed copy of RCBS's Uniflow Powder Measure. RCBS's progressive linkage for their Uniflow that works so nicely on their progressive press...is a licensed copy of Hornady's linkage.....amusing isn't it?

Last edited by GWS; August 22, 2011 at 11:38 PM.
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Old August 23, 2011, 08:44 AM   #10
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There is nothing wrong with Dillon’s powder measure. I have 7 of them, none have ever leaked as much as a single flake of powder. All of them are accurate and consistent within 0.1g. Most have loaded countless thousands of rounds, with no sign of wear, and if any one ever does, replacement parts will be shipped quickly and free under Dillon‘s no BS warranty. It takes only 30 seconds to change the measure from one tool head to another. The only reason I own 7 is because I am just to lazy to adjust the powder dropped from each.
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Old August 23, 2011, 03:42 PM   #11
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Two things. 1 - You can get a closed de-priming system for the Dillon XL650 Here -> http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1346. It works great.

2 - The biggest difference between any Dillon vs Hornady press is "Resale Value".

In 1988 I bought a new from Dillon, an RL 550b with 1 caliber conversion for $289 out the door. Over the next 18 years I used this press, added another 6 caliber conversions, loaded many thousands of rounds (both Pistol and Rifle). In 2006 my reloading needs exploded due too a couple of NFA items. I upgraded to a Dillon XL650. Here is what happened to the old 550b. I sold it with one caliber conversion for $375, and sold all of the 550 caliber conversions for over $150 (included just the conversion + toolheads). So if you can find a 1988 LNL and sell it for more than you paid for it, buy one now, but I doubt you will be able to sell it for that.
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Old August 23, 2011, 03:51 PM   #12
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+1 on what Shootest said. And if your doing alot of extruded powders, do this:



Really stops the bridging that happens with extruded powders.
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Old August 24, 2011, 08:45 AM   #13
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Good review Waldog. I have the same setup a Hornady Lock n Load progressive and the Hornady Single Stage. I also have the SDB Dillon machine and did own the 550 Dillon.Both are equal in quality just which you like better.The Hornady is built better and easy to change calibers and powder drops. the Dillon SDB does a great job on pistol rounds better than the 550 and better on 45acp than the Hornady. CS is great with either company. Hornady rebuilt this press free even though I bought it secondhand.Dillon has always been great as well. A person could not go wrong with either.
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Old August 24, 2011, 12:47 PM   #14
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Both the Dillon 650 and the Hornady LNL are good machines ...but yes, they are a little different.

I own a 650 ( had it about 6 yrs) ...with a case feeder...and for what its worth, I'd buy it again.

I think the issues on the Dillon powder measure are overblown. Hornady might have an edge there....but its not significant in my view. Neither one of them are particularly consistent on large flake powder .....but most of us don't use large flake powders on metallic anyway .... Whether a powder bar slides or rotates ...really doesn't make any difference ...it still has to pick up the right amount of powder ...and smaller granuales just work better in both systems.

There is a difference in price ..and on conversion kits etc ...and Dillon is a little more money. I do have powder measures for every caliber I load ( 6 calibers ) ...and its for my personal advantage in terms of setup time ...not because the powder measure is a hassle to adjust. Dillon powder measure is easy to adjust ...its one bolt - that moves clockwise or counter clockwise ....its easy to do. I use the corners on the bolt head - to measure the changes - and adjust back and forth - its easy ( 2 one way, 1 the other way / or a 1/2 one way ...) and its done.

I don't think the cartridge case holder is smoother on one over the other ...

Personally, I think the Dillon is the heavier built of the two machines.

Dillon "powder check" vs hornadays powder cop ....choose one, they both work. Having one is important in my view ...and I wouldn't use a progressive press without it.

This talk about time to convert between calibers is just a lot of talk ...most of us, will load a volume of ammo, and then box it and store it - before we change calibers. I will typically load a case of bullets ( 2,000 in .45 acp / or 3,750 in 9mm ) ...and then break the press down, clean and lube it ...and setup the next caliber I want to run. When I get down to 5 - 10 boxes of ammo in a particular caliber ...I setup that caliber and run a case of bullets..

I think Dillon having solid customer service people answering the phones ...able to answer setup issues, help with parts when you lose something ( like I've done ) is a plus ...

You're not going to make a bad decision either way ...pick one and go with it. They will both make high volumes of ammo ...and a very, very high quality.
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Old August 25, 2011, 03:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
This talk about time to convert between calibers is just a lot of talk ...most of us, will load a volume of ammo, and then box it and store it - before we change calibers. I will typically load a case of bullets ( 2,000 in .45 acp / or 3,750 in 9mm ) ...and then break the press down, clean and lube it ...and setup the next caliber I want to run. When I get down to 5 - 10 boxes of ammo in a particular caliber ...I setup that caliber and run a case of bullets..
That's your opinion, based on the way you reload. I don't give a diddly how you or a thousand IPSC pros do it. You certainly have the right to your favorite shooting activities, reloading methods, style, equipment, and opinions. They don't reflect the needs of everybody. This subject comes up often enough that I know there are plenty like me who reload more than one caliber a night. The ease of caliber change was a prerequisite for me, when I chose a progressive, and I'm not even a little sorry, disappointed, or challenged because of it. On the contrary, it makes my style of reloading much more enjoyable.

I don't have any desire to load an armory. I load what I shoot, and my enjoyment is being with like-minded friends at the range shooting everything we own. If I'm invited to such an outing Saturday, and I'm low in few calibers, I'm sure not going to say okay, but I'm only bringing my .45, because my press is not set up to load anything else for a week or two. Not on your life. I'm going to load 200 rounds of each....before Saturday morning. If that don't fit the way you do things...that's your privilege.

Last edited by GWS; August 25, 2011 at 10:20 PM.
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Old August 25, 2011, 07:33 PM   #16
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Dillon vs. lnl

"It’s cheaper than the Dillon and has several features that, IMHO are better than Dillon."
Typical internet BS...
Equipped THE SAME the Dillon 650 and LnL are virtually the SAME price.

"Some times it’s just the color, red or blue!!"
To be nice, that is just silly.

"...most Dillon owners will agree if they are honest."
Dillon owners are "honest" if they agree with your dishonest statement?

"I have never heard of a rotary type measure “leak”."
You are hearing it now, they can leak also.

"Also, it is a pain to swap out the Dillon powder measure to another die plate."
Truth is it is very easy, unsnap the operating rod and loosen 2 screws and the Dillon measure comes off without problems.

"As a result, many owners have several powder measures on separate die plates for changing calibers."
And, many owners do NOT... For loading 13 cartridges I have just 2.
For convenience only, 1 has the small charge bar and the other has the large charge bar installed. Really not much different than doing the same with different inserts on the LnL.

"This significantly drives UP the COST."
Not if you don't do it.

"Many LNL owners, myself included, own several "Powder Dies" that are pre-adjusted to load a specific case."
And the difference with the Dillon is? Again for convenience, I have a powder die on each toolhead that stays with that are adjusted for that die set.

"Each LNL powder die costs about $20. A Dillon powder measure costs $75."
This is just idiotic, comparing the price of a powder die to a powder measure.
FACT is, from the Dillon website, powder dies are LESS than for the LnL, they are $10.95.
From the Hornady website, Lock-N-Load® Powder Measure, SKU: 050069, $93.25
Then (I assume) you have to add the Case Activated Powder Drop, SKU: 050073, MSRP: $72.59
At $165.84, I can understand why LnL user only own one powder measure.

"Next, the LNL uses a really slick bushing system for mounting loading dies and powder measure to the press."
Dillon uses an even slicker "toolhead".

"After a die is adjusted for whatever you are loading you can remove the die from the press with an 1/8 turn and insert a different die."
Or with the Dillon remove 2 pins and ALL 5 dies come out at the same time. Take your pick 1 die at a time 5 times or all 5 dies at 1 time.

"The Dillon die plate costs more than LNL bushings."
I know you mean the Dillon "toolhead" but you are still wrong again. The Dillon "toolhead" lists for $26.95. For the LnL you need 5 bushings. Hornady lists a Lock-N-Load® Die Bushing 3 pack, SKU: 044093, for $18.45 and a Lock-N-Load® Die Bushing 2 Pack, SKU: 044094, for $12.93 or $31.38 for 5 bushings.

"By just looking, it would seem the LNL would be stronger."
Bigger isn't always better and looks can be deceiving but to me the LnL looks like a out of date, 3 generation older but fat and overweight Dillon 450 with a 5th station added.

"For NON-CASE FEEDER users; all Dillon presses (Except 1050) require you to use BOTH hands to insert brass and bullets on the press."
NOT true. I keep my right hand on the roller handle and my left hand easily feeds BOTH cases and bullets.

"In summary, the Hornady LNL has all the features of the Dillon 650 but, is much cheaper."
Again, wrong and wrong. Most of the features but not all plus some "different" features but the price equipped THE SAME, is virtually THE SAME.

"Changing calipers on the LNL is faster and cheaper."
If you think changing 5 seperate dies is faster than just one toolhead and if you think $31.83 is cheaper than $26.95.

"The powder measure on the LNL is vastly superior to Dillon..."
At least in your supposedly "unbiased" opinion and on what planet/dreamworld? Different measure types each have different advantages and disadvantages. As someone already pointed out, there are very simple changes that make the Dillon work well with any powder type.

Buy the press that works best for YOU and NOT someone else.

Want to use a different brand powder measure, use it. Want to use a different brand of dies, use them.

As long as you buy what is best for YOU.

The Dillons are SO popular there are a lot of after market products available that make them even more versatile and allows me to better tailor the Dillon to MY specific needs. There are few if any of these products for the LnL.

T.
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Old August 25, 2011, 10:18 PM   #17
Shootest
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You tell them TimW77.


The truth of the matter is my XL650 takes no more than 15, sometimes less than 10 minuets for a total change of calibers including primmer size, powder measure, case feeder, and everything else. I don’t believe any other press can be much quicker. And with its true production rate of 750+/hr I don’t think any other press can out produce it, except the 1050. Isn’t that the reason we load on a progressive in the first place? Now I will admit that with all the extras the 650 will cost a little more than most, but I don’t care. I have guns that cost a little more than most too.
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Old August 25, 2011, 11:09 PM   #18
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The O.P. doesn't want a case feeder, remember? Without that your 650 does not load so fast. The Hornady (and my Pro 2000) will load faster in that scenario. We don't have to take our right hand off the press handle to load a case. I'm not so sure the 650 was designed to be used without a case feeder. Have you ever seen a picture of a 650 on Dillon's site with out that option?

You are right that no progressive can load faster (case feeder enhanced) unless you automate everything, but using a single feeder, case or bullet, the Hornady AP and RCBS Pro 2000 can load every bit as fast. And when you guys have to stop to reload primer tubes, I'll still be cranking, since my CCI's come preloaded.

As for caliber change, I routinely change out calibers including primer size and bullet feeder in 5 or 6 minutes. That includes dumping, reloading and resetting the mic on a SINGLE powder measure. (Does not include testing the load on a scale for final tweaking)

BTW my Hornady bullet feeder takes an unhurried 1 minute 8 seconds to change calibers. I wouldn't know how long it takes to change calibers on a case feeder? Care to enlighten us?

The smartest thing said so far in this thread was that the O.P. needs to choose based on his needs not ours.
Quote:
As long as you buy what is best for YOU.
He would be wisest to do his own research on that.

BTW, about:
Quote:
"I have never heard of a rotary type measure “leak”."
You are hearing it now, they can leak also.
I've used a Uniflow Powder Measure for 40 years....it never leaks. The Redding and Hornady tools are copies of that design. Do elaborate on your experience....curious.

I'm not arguing against choosing a Dillon, its a great machine if it fits you, and stands up high on its own merits. One certainly doesn't have to knock the other brands to make it shine. Ditto on the Hornady. Good but different. That's why the O.P. has to analyse his needs, and figure out which imperfections, features, and undocumented features he can live with. (There's no perfect press)

Last edited by GWS; August 26, 2011 at 10:11 AM.
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Old August 26, 2011, 08:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
The O.P. doesn't want a case feeder, remember?
The OP says that now, but what about a year from now. We all know we shoot more since we started reloading, because the cost of our ammo is reduced, and never say never. This is in fact what I did, by adding a case feeder to my LnL about 15 months after purchasing the press. Until I modified that case feeder in 3 areas to reliably feed 9mm brass, it actually slowed down my output. I'll say it again, IMHO if you think you'll ever need/want a case feeder and load 9mm, the stock LnL case feeder is not a reliable piece of equipment. In saying that, I must admit that I haven't used a Dillon 650 and can't comment on its case feeder reliability.
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Old August 26, 2011, 12:49 PM   #20
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Petespacking,

Quote:
I have posted this before and I hesitate to do so now. This topic always starts a ruckus. It is important to note that BOTH SYSTEMS ARE EXCELLENT! But, they operate differently. You need to choose the press that matches your style. Good Luck!
I told you this would start a ruckus. So far the LNL owners have been accused of being "idiotic", full of "internet BS" and, "dishonest".

Good luck choosing. You WILL BE HAPPY with either Dillon or LNL. They are both excellent systems.
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Old August 26, 2011, 01:31 PM   #21
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I have to agree with most of what Waldog said.

I went through this debate a while back.

Bottom line, Dillon or a LNL, go either 650 or LNL. I wouldn't even consider the 550.

I ended up purchasing an LNL AP and haven't looked back. Hornady's customer service has been great. I'm sure Dillons is just as good.

Good luck!
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Old August 26, 2011, 02:17 PM   #22
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FWIW, I own the Hornady Projector, the LNL's predecessor, and a Dillon SDB. I had 2 SDB but gave one to my brother in law.
The Projector was bought new in 1985, it loads all pistol calibers I use and several of my rifle.
The SDB was bought in 1996 and is set up for 9mm , I also have a tool head setup for .38 wadcutters but I sold my Gold Cup N.M Midrange so it is gathering dust.
The only thing I will say is that my SDB is the only press I have owned that required a spare parts kit and I have had to replace more than a few parts on since it was new.
My Hornady (and my RCBS single stagers)have loaded countless rounds and have never had a single part replaced, even the retainer spring for the shell plate is still the original.
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Old August 26, 2011, 05:24 PM   #23
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What a wealth of information! I've read and re-read all the post and the PM's (thanks guys) and I went with the LNL. I think either press would serve my needs very well, however the LNL seemed better for me. I really like the rotary powder measure, very similar to the RCBS measure I use with my old rock chucker and that makes me feel good about accurate charges. The Lee charge bar was a problem with fine powders, actually most any powder in smaller calibers, and I just went with what is more familiar to me. I totally agree with the Dillon fans, I think Dillon makes a superb press but I chose the LNL because it suits me better. Thanks all for being generous with your time and posting.
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Old August 26, 2011, 07:02 PM   #24
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Congrats on your decision. Welcome to the growing throngs of "idiotic, dishonest and full of internet BS owners!"

There is a pretty good learning curve with any new progressive press. ALL new presses will require a little tweaking to get it to operate smoothly. If you have any set-up/operating issues be sure and ask Hornady customer service or your fellow LNL owners for help.

Good Luck!!
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Old August 26, 2011, 07:38 PM   #25
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Quote:
Congrats on your decision. Welcome to the growing throngs of "idiotic, dishonest and full of internet BS owners!"
LOL! Those throngs include us RCBS Pro 2000 owners too.
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