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Old April 9, 2001, 11:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: February 9, 2001
Location: Mt. Vernon, IL.
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I've never reloaded anything before, but I'm going to start and need a lot of help. Please understand, while these might be silly questions to some of you, I have no clue, only the desire to learn....
My first question is, what exactly (in laymen's terms) is the difference between a single stage press, a turret and a progressive?
I have narrowed it down to at least a Dillon press, I just don't know which one, the RL550B I can get for around $300.00, the XL650 for about $450.00, the RL1050 for about $1200.00 and the Super 1050 for $1300.00 or so. No great deals just the going rate. My second question is, is the 1050's worth that much more than the 550 or 650? That's $800.00+ in difference! They look the same in the mag but for that kind of money there has to be a BIG difference, what is it?
It would also help you to know that this is a "one time shot" or at least kinda, there will be little "adding on" later on down the road.
Any help would be most appreciated.
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Old April 10, 2001, 08:08 AM   #2
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Join Date: August 10, 2000
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Sounds like you have a budget I'd like to have.
I started with the Lee Deluxe Pistol Kit. It is a Semi Progressive turret. I only load Pistol and revolver. The single stage does each step one at a time, It is the strongest type if you doing large rifle calibers,

The turret rotates each die and you get a round in 3 pulls of the handle (I get 200-250 rounds an hour this way)

Full progressive is neat to watch and can really crank out the ammo. Dillon is great,many say the best for progressive,I suggest that you read everything you can before you buy anything,I also suggest you find a friend and get a few lessons in handloading before you buy any equipment. Go to each companys web site and get all the Info you can. My uncle has several Dillon 1000's and 1050's again best for high volume loading,He suggested that If I go to a Dillon get the 650 and I'd be happy,for now I'll stay with my Lee setup For $88 delivered I load as much as I want,and I do not have any problems. Setup is a snap.

Get several reloading manuals
Go to the Library and get the ABC's of reloading and read it cover to cover.
Get some lessons,it will save you some headaches.
Remember Everybody's way is the best way to Load
Also SEARCH this site you will spend hours getting opinions.

Good Luck,
Hello My name is Coolray.............And I'm an Addict
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Old April 10, 2001, 12:54 PM   #3
Steve Smith
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Join Date: December 9, 1999
Posts: 4,131
Wow, lots of questions. As Coolray said, singe stages do one operation at a time. Basically you get, say, 100 cases together and run each one through the press once to deprime,size, and prime. Then you put the powder in...via a little scoop and a scale, or a powder measure that throws the same amout of powder every time you pull the handle (faster). Then you replace the first die in the press with another die called the "seater" or "seating" die. That pushes the bullet into the case, to a depth that you choose (according to reloading manuals specs). Note: if you were reloading pistol ammo, you'd more than likely "bell" the case mouth before deating the bullet, and then crimp the bell after the bullet is seated. This step is usually skipped with rifle least with boat-tails liek I use.

The Turret press is for a person that likes the "one action with every pull of the handle" concept, but wants to speed it up a little. The turret holds several dies at once on a "wagon wheel" setup. You rais the ram and do one operation, then turn the turret, and raise the ram again to perform the next. This saves a lot of time.

The progressive is for a person that thinks that waiting more than 10 mintes per 100 rounds is agony. I can reload 500-600 rounds per hour on my Dillon 550B. It holds four cases at a time. Each is aligned with a die, and when you raise the ram, a process is done in each. Then you turn the shell plate, and it all happens again. The quesiton is, do you shoot enough to warrant this press? If so, great, but you shouldn't need mroe ammo than a 550 or 650 can put out...the 1050 is for people PRODUCING ammo for sale, basially. You're fooling yourself if you think that $300 is all you'll spend. Don't forget about calipers, scale, case trimmer (for rifles), chamfer tool, dies, bullet puller, tumbler (not necessary, but nice), lube, and a half dozen other things just to get you started.

I don't see where you've narrowed anything did not know the differences in presses pefore Coolray and I said anything. You first have to decide whther you want a progressive or not. Yes, a Dillon is a great press, but it may not be right for you. Keep the Q's coming.

BTW, how many rounds do you plan to shoot per month, and what calibers?

[Edited by Steve Smith on 04-10-2001 at 02:33 PM]
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Old April 10, 2001, 02:13 PM   #4
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And keep in mind that I see more than a few benchresters out there, who are able to load 20 rounds _and_ clean their rifle, all within 20 minutes between relays, who use single stage presses. One gentleman uses three RCBS Partners, set up side by side, one with a sizer, one with a bump die, and the other with a seater.

Plus, some things just seem to work better with single stage presses - For instance, I size and decap my .223 stuff, then I clean the lube off and trim it, and then I prime it with a Lee hand primer. Only then is the case charged (in a loading block) and bullet seated and crimped.

I'd recommend a progressive if you shoot a lot of handgun stuff.
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Old April 10, 2001, 02:20 PM   #5
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My son and I are new to reloading too. What are some good book titles to get from the library on reloading?
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Old April 10, 2001, 03:26 PM   #6
Steve Smith
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Join Date: December 9, 1999
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Pay no attention to Bogie, thos BR guys do everything different

ABC's of Reloading comes to mind, as well as Gun Digest Book of Handgun Reloading.

I especially like to read reloading books from the 60's and 70's...I think they have some unique information.
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Old April 10, 2001, 07:48 PM   #7
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I loaded for almost 25 years on a single stage (RCBS Jr) before getting a Dillon 550. I would recommend that you get the Dillon video. It is most informative.
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Old April 10, 2001, 09:33 PM   #8
Steve Smith
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Johns50ae, sometimes there are Dillon dealers nearby. They will often have the video and they'll loan it to you when you buy a press.

Oh, and another thing, Ebay can have some great deals on items...but you have to be careful. I've bought several reloading items there for great prices, but I've seen some items go for way about the retail price. If you see something that you think you might want, ask us, and we'll tell you what we think a good price is...and I promise, since you're getting started, I won't try to outbid you.

Update: I checked Ebay for you...there's a 650 selling today (22 hrs). It's at $387 right now. My gut says it'll go over the $443 retail price though. It has a few extra items, but as always, be careful. Here's the link:
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Old April 10, 2001, 10:00 PM   #9
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RE: Steve Smith

I shoot about 600 rounds a month, give or take, the calibers vary, .40S&W, .357/.38, .454Causull/.45LC, .223, 7.62mm and of coarse....50AE. The amount would vary from round to round, month to month, but I would shoot a whole lot more, if I could do it for less money. .454=$25.00 A box, .50AE=$22.00 a box.
What I realy need to know is, is the extra stuff that comes with the 1050 worth the money?

Thanks for all the help.
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Old April 10, 2001, 11:57 PM   #10
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Well, I really have no idea what the 1050 does to justify it's cost, but imagine that it is primarily useful for high-volume reloading of a single caliber. I look at it this way: for the price of a 1050 you can get 4 550s, 2-1/2 650s or at least 5 Square Deal Bs. With all the different calibers you shoot, I think that owning several presses would be more beneficial than having just one big one. I doubt that the 1050 can produce better ammo than any of the smaller ones, and would think that the greater complexity would just get in the way when you have to change calibers. Just a thought.

BTW - whatever you get, you're going to enjoy using it immensely.
Old April 13, 2001, 09:38 AM   #11
Joe Gulish
Join Date: March 15, 2001
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 49
I would go with the 550B.The 1050 is a comercial grade
press. I love my 550B because I can switch calabers in
about 5 min. I have tool heads setup for .45acp,9mm,
.38spl, .357mag (don't want to change the die settings)
and .40s&w. For the amount that you are shooting and the
number of calabers. I would sugest that of the choies
you give go with the 550B.

BTW, the 550 can be used like a turret press. Just put
one case in at a time and do each step.
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