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Old March 1, 2018, 12:33 PM   #26
F. Guffey
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i have the option to buy an RCBS 5 station press brand new at a reasonable price.
I do not know what that means, The Piggy Back 11 RCBS press is a 5 station press but is limited to loading short cases.

And then there is the PRO 2000, I will not load on a progressive unless I have room for the lock out die. That is not a problem for me but it seems reloaders seat on one station and crimp on another station; that is a problem if they are using the 4 station press like the RL550 B.

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Old March 1, 2018, 09:37 PM   #27
jmorris
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The Pro 2000 can be had in a number of configurations, Manual or auto index and tube or strip primer feed.

I even rigged up a case feeder for the one I had.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hObNbSATBOE
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Old March 4, 2018, 12:54 PM   #28
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Pchris,
I do case processing in volume, and I reload 200k - 250k a year.
I've tried about all the progressive presses up till about 6 years ago when I got a Dillon XL650.
Now, keep in mind I spent a second retirement on presses & proprietary equipment for those presses...

Once you educate yourself on how the press works and how to tune it, Dillon simply works.
Most of the Dillon machine is proprietary, so you WILL have to gear up for Dillon, but it does work as advertised, and works much better when you tune it a little...
I was butt hurt about the price, but after about the third batch of rounds I got over that real quick!
I've added a couple aftermarket upgrades that worked well, a few more that were marginal.
Some hand fitting makes things work smoother/faster/better, you will figure that out pretty quickly as you use the machine, watch a few videos and converse with other owners.

Keep in mind the decision to buy a progressive is a TIME OVER MONEY decision...
If you want to load FASTER to save TIME, then your time is worth more than the ammo you consume.
If your time would be spent in front of the TV or some other non-productive effort, then the Progressive would be wasted money.
If you are cutting into something productive, then a progressive makes sense, but keep in mind there is a LEARNING CURVE, and you have to be capable of diagnosing issues with your ammo and be mechanically inclined enough to adjust the machine to produce proper ammo.

Some people simply can't keep up with the mechanical end of things in a processing machine, and often this is why people complain about progressive machines.
Some machines simply have unreasonably poor design and won't adjust to produce reasonable ammo, or won't stay in adjustment, and/or have parts or designs that wear/bend/break in very short time frames. These machines drive people nuts, I beat a Lee Load Master off the bench with a hammer after messing with it for a month or more, the design is faulty from the beginning, and the parts are simply too cheaply made & I'll fitting to ever work correctly for more than a hundred rounds at a time.

There ARE ISSUES with the Dillon machine, but they are small. The parts are high enough quality to do the job, the design actually works pretty well, and the customer support is excellent,the warranty is second to none.
You get what you pay for, the couple hundred extra dollars saves you TONS of time & effort, and if time savings is your consideration, then I can recommend Dillon over the other progressive machines I've messed with.

The Dillon XL650 will easily produce 400-450 .223 rounds an hour (once primer tubes are filled and with the optional case feeder, cases pre-lubed).
There are people that can crank out the advertised 650 an hour, I don't work that hard and I stop/sample for QC along the run just in case I need to adjust something... So it's 350 to 450 an hour.

With increased powder bin size, bullet feeder, etc, you can crank out the advertised 650 an hour and still stop a couple times for QC checks, but pumping that handle at 650 an hour is more work than I want to do, and I feel my QC suffers... I'd rather have quality than volume.

The XL650 cranks out handgun rounds quite well, the only issue I have is such a long stroke, a large rifle stroke for a short handgun case... Again, you can't have everything, but it does make a very good handgun round.
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Old March 4, 2018, 01:38 PM   #29
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I chose the Hornady LNL over the Dillon 650 mainly because I found a great deal on the Hornady. I don't regret the decision.

Regarding the safety of reloading on a progressive I would argue that a single stage press has many more opportunities for errors than an auto indexing progressive. With an auto indexing press you place a new case down, put a bullet down and pull the handle - the efficiency of this also reduces the chance for human error. Setting up the dies is no different - if the dies are setup incorrectly on either press the rounds will have problems.
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Old March 4, 2018, 02:40 PM   #30
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I don't think you mean that a single stage press has more opportunities for errors than an auto indexing. Rather that you meant to say a manual indexing press has more opportunities for errors. Not that I agree about applying that statement to a manual indexing press, but just wondering if single stage is what you meant to say.

With a manual indexing press you also place a new case and bullet and then index to the next station. But if some glitch presents itself, matters are not made worse as might happen with auto indexing.
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Old March 4, 2018, 04:30 PM   #31
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20+ years ago my first press was a lee pro1000. They were $99 at midway at the time and i believe that included dies. I purchased a second so i wouldnt have to change setup for another caliber. Over time i was quickly frustrated with the priming issues and shell plate rotation. I decided to but a 550b. Because the lee was all i knew (there was no internet forums and none of my friends reloaded) I thought progressive meant auto indexing. When i set up the dillon and found out it was manual indexing, i was very disappointed. There was no 650 at the time. After about a week of high volume and high quality ammo, i forgot about auto indexing and never looked back. I would make the same purchase today. The 550 is a blend of simplicity and speed. If you plan to reload a lot of different calibers this is the machine. If you want to reload 1 or maybe too and are loading extremely high volume (>1000) a week 650 is a better option imo. You need very high volume consistently. Dillon numbers are pretty accurate. A 550 with load about 500 rds an hr. If you really crank and set up a bunch of primer tubes and pound them out you can probably get close to 600.
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Old March 4, 2018, 05:29 PM   #32
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I did mean that a progressive is safer than a single stage. This is a concern of the OP. With a progressive press you touch each piece of brass once. This reduces the chances of errors that a person can make.
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Old March 5, 2018, 05:04 PM   #33
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Be sure and pick up a bullet puller. Trust me .
You will have a few "oops" while getting everything up and running and the puller comes in real handy. I use a kinetic puller so I can reuse the components.
Gary
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Old March 5, 2018, 05:47 PM   #34
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+1 ...on RedDog81's comments.... I agree !!
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Old March 5, 2018, 10:18 PM   #35
Eddietruett
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I bought a Dillon 650 about a year ago to load .38. While I did compare prices, bottom dollar wasn't my deciding factor. All the research I did pointed towards Dillon having the best customer service. About 2 months ago, I had a mishap. A primer went off causing a chain reaction up the primer feed tube. It was basically an explosion. The steel pipe protecting the primer feed tube probably prevented me from any injury as the aluminum tube was ruptured in two! It also damaged the complete primer feeding system and destroyed the low primer sensor as well. I got together a parts list and called Dillon fully expecting to pay for all the parts as there was no way I could find any fault of the equipment. After telling the rep what had happened and giving him a list of what I needed, he said they would get them out asap and there would be no charge! Included in my package was a complete new primer feed assembly and everything else I needed plus a few things he figured might need replacing as well. Going by the parts price list it was probably at least $300 worth of parts! His only reply when I offered to pay was "We will take care of you". How can you put a price on equipment with service like this? In the 6 months I've owned the 650, Other than this mishap, I've probably loaded 10-12k rounds with only a few minor hiccups that were of my doing. Even then the Customer Service guys have been very patient in giving advice. I have a Lee progressive I use for .357 Mag and its been a good machine, although a lot slower. As you can tell, I'm sold on Dillon. Quality of equipment and the No BS Warranty can't be beat.
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Old March 6, 2018, 02:00 AM   #36
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Ive had my 550 for over 25 years and tens of thousands of rounds. The ram began to get very sluggish. I took it apart and cleaned and lubed it according to their instructions put is back together and it was still not right. I called dillon to send it back as they offer a cleaning service for $67 including shipping. They said they would call me when it wss ready and i could pay before they shipped it back. Two weeks it was at my door, they replaced a ton of parts, just about everything other than the ram and the press itself. No charge and runs like new.
Best customer service anywhere. No question. This is why people drink the blue kool aid
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Old March 6, 2018, 09:39 PM   #37
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Dillon customer service must be busy

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Old March 6, 2018, 11:49 PM   #38
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I will be the first to give Dillon credit on the starting the great warranty that is known threw out the industry. Now, Dillon has the No BS Warranty, and Hornady has the No Risk Life Time Warranty. I don't know what the RCBS warrant is called but they are all almost the same thing.

I have bought 22 Hornady AP presses in different configurations and have sold 19 of them. So I have had the pleasure of calling Hornady many times. I let them know that the parts I was ordering I wanted to pay for and after I convinced them I was buying paperweights and selling perfectly running presses. So they sold me the parts that I needed.

Now, I have a habit whenever I call a company I wait for the "Company XYZ, this is ZYX, how can I help you" I then ask "How the hell are the kids from company XYZ?" There is always a moment of silence then they always say "Good how are you?" That is when I say "Not too bad for an old geezer" This set the tone of the entire conversation to follow. They find out that you have an ornery streak but you are willing to pick on your self.

Now this one time I called Hornady and got through with the "How the hell are the kids from Hornady" I got the immediate response "Not too bad how the hell is Smitty". She remembered who I was. Well, I told her that I had just got the new swage and had to try it out and proceeded to crush the snot out of the spring in the case slide because I was a Bonehead and didn't remove the V block and I wanted to buy a new spring because it was my fault. She then told me that they would send a new one at no charge because the instructions didn't say "Hey Bonehead remove the V block" I then told her if she wouldn't let me pay I wasn't going to give her my address. That is when she told me "Not only do we know who you are but we know where you live." Two days later not only did I get the new spring but I got the entire case slide assembly.

Now, I sent this photo to prove that I was the Bonehead, to no avail.
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Old March 7, 2018, 07:52 AM   #39
locknloader
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@drain smith, what is this "V Block" you speak of? I just got the swage kit and am about to give it a whirl, any advice or tips would be appreciated (already read over the manual). Any tips on getting the swage depth dialed in or is it all trial and error?
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Old March 7, 2018, 10:27 AM   #40
drain smith
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Now you notice the piece that pushes the brass into the shell plate? that is the V Block. You should all so notice that the swage has no place to go into the shell plate.
Now, for adjustment I raised the ram and adjusted the swage down until it touched the brass...lowered the ram and turned it down another 1/4 turn. That worked great for me a little more or less wouldn't hurt.
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Old March 7, 2018, 12:36 PM   #41
locknloader
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Ahhhh thank you, i don't have a case feeder, but i have a feeling it wont be long before i get one. That would speed up things quite a bit!
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Old March 7, 2018, 12:43 PM   #42
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Ive had my 550 for over 25 years and tens of thousands of rounds. The ram began to get very sluggish. I took it apart and cleaned and lubed it according to their instructions put is back together and it was still not right. I called dillon to send it back as they offer a cleaning service for $67 including shipping. They said they would call me when it wss ready and i could pay before they shipped it back. Two weeks it was at my door, they replaced a ton of parts, just about everything other than the ram and the press itself. No charge and runs like new.
Best customer service anywhere. No question. This is why people drink the blue kool aid
My dad had a Dillon 450 that we used for years and it was starting to bind. He call Dillon and they said to send it in. A new 550 showed up about 10 days latter.

Their customer service is top notch.
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Old March 7, 2018, 01:58 PM   #43
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Dillon in my opinion is the way to go unless you on a tight budget.
I really like my dillon 650 the only thing i dont like about dillon is that i cant go to the reloading shop and buy anything for dillon. You have to order everything on line unlike RCBS or Lyman that you can get at the store if your in a pinch.
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Old March 7, 2018, 11:48 PM   #44
drain smith
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I wish I could afford a Dillon..... Wait I can but I chose a press that makes their own bullet feeder and other accessories and does not rely on another company to make their press complete.

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Old March 7, 2018, 11:55 PM   #45
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I got more but you get the idea.
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Old March 8, 2018, 12:00 AM   #46
drain smith
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ORDER THREW MIDWAY
View Backorder Policy
October 29, 2017
Order #: 35145798
View Invoice
Billing Information

Mastercard - XXXX
Expires XXXXXX

Hornady Rotary Brass Tumbler 110 VoltHornady Rotary Brass Tumbler 110 Volt
Qty: 1
$174.99
Waiting on 1 Item
Cancel Backordered Item
Hornady Rotary Media SifterHornady Rotary Media Sifter
Qty: 1
$35.99
Waiting on 1 Item
Cancel Backordered Item

And I have not quite yet!
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Old March 8, 2018, 09:01 AM   #47
rebs
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I am very happy with my Hornady progressive
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Old March 9, 2018, 01:19 AM   #48
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Thanks for everyone's input. I got a pretty beat up well used RCBS & a MEC from an old WWII vet neighbor who passed away in 2013. I used to get wheel gun, .30-06, .270, & .45ACP from him, but those presses & everything have seen better days. I had the Dillon & Hornady websites open before I read this, so it looks like I am on the right path. I have friends that use Lee & Lyman, and yeah, meh, uhm, erm. Not top tier stuff. The old RCBS stuff may go to one of them. That's how much they like Lyman & Lee. They are ogling my old used junk press. The MEC is not too bad. He didn't load shotgun shells, like he did pistol & rifle. My only experience with Hornady was building a 50Hz converter inverters to run a European machines on American 60Hz power, back during the ammo shortage. I was very impressed with the Hornady equipment.
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Old March 11, 2018, 03:09 PM   #49
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Drain Smith must have stock in Hornady!

Honestly, Hornady was the least problems next to Dillon.
It's WAY too expensive for casual reloaders, but Dillon Super 1050 is the least issues of the presses I've used. It has 'Issues', but it works longer & harder than any progressive I've tried so far.
Less glitches than a Camdex even... Which start about $34,000 and go up from there.
I know you can't put a manual Dillon & factory driven Camdex in the same category, just an example of how the presses stack up on problems/parts.

For around $600 the Dillon XL650 makes most people crazy happy, small complaints & reliable production.
I have die hard Hornady fan friends, but they don't complain about the Dillons, so I'm good with that.
Someone will make a straight line press for smaller volume someday (one that works), and I'll try that one for sure.
Straight line let's you get to/monitor everything easier, (like Camdex) but the two or three small scale commercial tries failed. Someone will try it again, and I'm in when they do.

Good luck with your press & loading!
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Old March 11, 2018, 11:42 PM   #50
drain smith
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Six months before I bought my first press I watched every youtube on reloading that I could. The next thing I did was I stalked reloaders at the local gun shop that sells reloading supplies. I would be there at least 3 night a week and at least 1 day on the weekend. If I saw someone would pick up some primers, some powder or bullets I would ask them if they reloaded. When they said yes I always asked what kind of press they use. When they told me I would say "I would like to see that work" Now most males like to show off and some like to help you out and a lot of them would invite me over to watch.

The first press I go to go see was a Hornady AP. Now this man was proud of his press. But when I got there I found that the timing on his press was so bad that he didn't prime on his press and he had to manual advance the shell plate to go into the dies. The next three presses I saw were all Lee's One was a single stage one was a turret and the other one was a Load Master. All loaded better than the Hornady. So I basically wrote the Hornady off. Now, the next 2 presses were the Dillon 550. Needless to say, I am not impressed with the manual advance. Then I had a young 20 some year old that told me that he used a Hornady AP. I told him I had tried one and what problems that I found. He just explained that the timing was off. So not to be disrespectable I followed him home. And damn if he wasn't right. That press ran perfectly. Now, 4 months into my search I was at the LGS and in walks, my DR. Come to find out he loads on a 650 and 1050 both with case feeders.

Well, after 6 months I had made up my mind and found myself on the phone with Dillon. I had just ordered a 650 and a 1050 and was being treated like a king. As I was ordering the accessories that I needed I ask about a bullet feeder. That is when I was treated like a king to a zero. At that point, I canceled my ordered and got online with Midway and ordered a Hornady Ammo-plant and a single stage.

Now, most folks would be happy to get their Hornady running as good as a Dillon. This was not my goal. I wanted my Hornady to outrun the Dillon.

And I have. For the last 4 years, I have offered to bet my 100% Hornady up against any 100% Dillon.

Note to Dillon:
1. Don't rely on another company to complete your press and 2. Don't piss an old geezer off.

Last edited by drain smith; March 12, 2018 at 01:25 AM.
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