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Old November 11, 2009, 09:42 AM   #51
Waldog
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I never owned a Dillon 550 or 650. But, I HAVE USED BOTH. I bought the LNL instead. That would make me a "Shoney constituant"
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Old November 11, 2009, 09:58 AM   #52
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Could you tell me what was for you the deciding factor?
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Old November 11, 2009, 10:27 AM   #53
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LNL for me. I briefly owned a used/as new 550b that came with 6 toolheads with dies on the Dillon stands, each with a powder measure.
I hated all the real estate those things took up in my small reloading room. I came to the conclusion that I didn't care for all of the materiel redundancy that some Dillon owners think is so cool. My loading needs aren't such that I need 30 second changeout between cals.
Another thing I really disliked about the Dillon was the horizontal movement of the powder measure. That slap-slap and the linkages going just bugged the pee outa me.
While I'm at it I disliked all of the die cast alloy parts - nothing at all wrong with them I just didn't like the look of them.

Finally, and without tongue in cheek, I really, really dislike that damn neon baby blue color. HATED it. Seriously. When the guy came to buy my 550b from me I gave him the 8 or so blue Dillon bins that had come with my buy. I wanted everything in that color out of the room. It was to be his 3rd 550b and he kidded me about my idiosyncracy and I laughed with him.

LNL works great for me. I like the bushing system. I like the functionality of the powder measure and the quiet, snick-snick sound it makes as the lever is worked. I like the spring retainer much better than Dillon's buttons. I like everything about the LNL. I don't care that it's red, just so long as I have none of that blue in my shop.
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Old November 11, 2009, 12:42 PM   #54
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Wow, this thread is almost like the 1911 vs. whatever bunch

HI, I load with a 550 Dillon and a Pro 1000 Lee.
As for me they are all finiky. This is no pop up toaster.
"Buy the best only cry once! "-anon.

Good luck,

Max
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Old November 11, 2009, 03:48 PM   #55
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I've a 550b setup just for 45LC. I've a Lee Classic Turret I use for EVERYTHING else. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't have purchased the 550b. IMHO, it is a PITA to swap calibers. It is expensive to do caliber changes. And, it is a PITA to keep functioning. HOWEVER, it'll produce loaded ammo like nothing I've ever seen and it is CONSISTENT. I'll keep it for the 45LC. But, if I ever get another, it'll probably be a L-N-L AP or another Turret of some kind.
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Old November 11, 2009, 11:48 PM   #56
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Thanks to All. For the Price/Quality Range...

I got a private message that questioned the LNL AP's price and the writer thought a Dillon 650 was only $9 more when equipped the same. I respectfully disagree and yes prices are ridiculously higher in Canada for the same equipment.

I also understand a little more about why Americans valus their rights so much...something I learned to do more and not take life in North America for granted.

I got my LNL AP on Amazon for 371+tax=$402. Free shipping for Amazon Prime members (something I highly recommend if you buy online with Amazon a lot).

LNL AP = $402
Dillon XL650 = $550+tax+shipping (barebones, ordering online is confusing, I don't even know what a comparable Dillon would cost)
So without tax and shipping, I saved $150. Since I'm new to handloading and not a competitive shooter yet, the 1000 free bullet offer does make a difference (when it's a quality press, not a gimmick).

Before seriously checking out the LNL AP--after reading through a lot of forums,--my mind was set on the Dillon. When I seriously factored in the final price of entry, the Dillon was far more expensive than the LNL AP (Hornady customer service is great too). As a beginner, the LNL AP makes sense and so does the 1000 bullet offer, plus 100 per die set. When I want more accuracy, I can cheaply upgrade to the micrometer inserts (for on press Powder Dispenser) and microjust die insert for bullet seating (0.001").

I just completed my first 100 rounds, shot 20 before sunset and was smiling all night.

For a budget restricted starter, I still think the Hornady LNL AP is the way to go. Thanks for all the great comments. Even the battles back and forth are helpful, as many different points (some not useful but...) get brought out.

P.S. Amazons price went up, but Grafs.com has it for 399.99.

Last edited by miykael; November 12, 2009 at 12:27 AM.
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Old November 12, 2009, 07:22 AM   #57
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So without tax and shipping, I saved $150
No, you did not. You paid less.

You only "save" when you buy the same performance for less money. By many accounts you bought less performance, so you simply paid less for less.

Otherwise you could have "saved" $402 by not buying anything.
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Old November 12, 2009, 09:40 AM   #58
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Hey Foxbat,

You might want to dial it down a bit. Your statements or arguments are really sounding desperate. Throughout this thread it has seemed as if something really important to your own well being was dependent on Miykael buying a Dillon rather than a Hornady. Now that he has bought a Hornady and says that he saved $150 over buying a Dillon, you tell him he did not save anything because he "...simply paid less for less."

Come on! The guy asked questions about progressive presses, people made different comments about different presses, and the guy made an informed decision to buy his press. It should be no skin off you whether he bought a Hornady press, but you then have to really put him down by telling him his purchase was lower quality than your Dillon presses. It sounds like grade schoolers yelling, "My bike's better than your bike."

I saw the picture of you loading bench with all those Dillon presses, and you certainly do have a very nice setup. It is very neat and orderly, and I wish I could same the same for mine. I also noticed how you went from one Dillon and a couple of what looked like Lee presses to where you have four Dillon presses and one RCBS Jr press showing.

As for myself? I only have one progressive press for metallic cartridges, a Hornady L&L AP (and I bought it in 1997 - long before any free bullet offer was out there). I had three friends with progressive presses back then; one had a Dillon 650, one had a Hornady Projector which preceded the L&L progressive, and a third friend had an RCBS Piggyback mounted on his RockChucker. I wanted to get a progressive press at the time, so I spent a lot of hours working with the Dillon and Hornady presses. It only took me one night of working with the Piggyback to know I did not want one of them. As I said, I learned quite a bit working on the two presses, and in my opinion, I liked the workings of the Hornady press better. My Dillon friend kept telling me about how much better the Dillon was because of its ability to change tool heads, but I still thought the Hornady was better for me.

Then in an apparent response to the perceived advantage of the Dillon tool head feature, Hornady came out with its own quick die change feature, the L&L AP. That was it for me. I boought one of the first ones available. I spent a lot of time learning how to use my new press. I had to learn how to adjust the priming system so it would work flawlessly, and I had to learn how to make die adjustments with the new L&L bushings. I very quickly learned that I did not actually like the L&L bushings just as I realized that I also did not like the Dillon tool heads. In fact, I realized that I did not like the whole quick change die system in concept. This was probably for the same reason I never liked presses with turret systems. I never had a problem changing dies on a single stage press, so I quickly found that I really had no need for the quick change die systems on both the Dillon and Hornady presses.

Ask a hundred other folks about the quick change systems on their Hornady and Dillon presses, and I suspect that over 90% love the quick change systems on their own presses. Does that make me wrong for disliking mine? Absolutely not. We each have our own preferences, and just because we differ in those preferences, that does not mean one person is right and the other is wrong.

I also noticed you have case feeders on each of your Dillons. I wouldn't think of putting a case feeder on my Hornady. I have seen them in action, and I do not like them. My biggest complaint is that they are noisy and distracting to me. I see you also have the roller handle on your Dillons, and I read some other posts where the roller handle is praised to the Heavens while the standard handle is made to sound like junk. I have used both, and it makes no difference to me which I use. I will take the cheaper of the two since they both work the same for me.

Does this mean folks who buy roller handles are wrong in my eyes? No, absolutely not. You have to buy what is right for you. You have four Dillon machines mounted on your bench while I have just one Hornady machine. I would guess that you set each machine up for a particular caliber and leave it that way so you do not have to spend time changing from one caliber to another. I find no fault with your choice since that is what you value. For me, I would not think of spending the money for all those machines when I can very easily change calibers on my machine and do not mind doing so. My one machine takes up less space also. Does this make me right and you wrong? No. It is just our individual differences in our values.

When it comes to shotshell loading, I do have three Hornady/Pacific 366 progressives (12 GA, 16 GA, and 20 GA), and I also have three single stage MEC presses in the same gauges. While one can change die sets for different gauges on these presses, it is far more complicated than changing caliber die sets on metallic presses. I draw the line for shotshell presses, so I purchased one for each gauge. In addition to the six shotshell presses I use, and my Hornady L&L, I also use several single stage RCBS presses. If you count them all up, you might guess where I am going here. There is not enough room on my bench to keep all my presses mounted at one time and still have room to work on the bench. Therefore, I mounted two half inch thich steel plates (12X18 inches) securely to the bench, and then I drilled and tapped numerous holes in the steel plates so they would accept all the presses I own. I have a seperate shelf where all my presses are stored when not in use, and I can use two presses on the bench at one time. It seems like a good idea to me and works for me, but I still do not have a bench that is as neat and orderly as yours.

Since your maintain your bench in such an orderly fashion, I would also suggest that you try to do the same with your attitude toward others and add a little tolerance for individual differences and individual opinions. I think I saved money buying my Hornady L&L AP rather than a Dillon 650, and I do not think I paid less for less. I have used both presses, and I think they are comparable machines even though they do different processes differently.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
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Old November 12, 2009, 10:50 AM   #59
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"No, you did not. You paid less.

You only "save" when you buy the same performance for less money. By many accounts you bought less performance, so you simply paid less for less.

Otherwise you could have "saved" $402 by not buying anything."



If I had to do it again today, I might end up with a L-N-L instead of a Pro2000 so I think the OP and all the folks buying L-N-L lately are proving Dillon is no longer the undisputed king of progressive reloading.

I think the L-N-L has a fantastic feature in being able to pull dies one at a time and put any die in any station with ease. I have my Pro2000 die plates setup so a complete caliber is on each plate. As a result I have several powder check dies and lube dies. With L-N-L I would only need one of each a save a few bucks.

That the Hornady has a factory case feeder available sweetens the deal further. The Pro2000 has a bullet feeder, which for me is better than a case feeder. I mean who wants to handle the bullets? Handling each cases on the other hand gives a last check for those pesky .380ACP or 9x18 mixed in with the 9x19 or those damn .45ACP "Green" (small primer) case mixed in with the regular .45ACP. So touching & inspecting the cases I'm really okay with.

The priming systems, I can't stand messing about with primer tubes. I buy the CCI primers already loaded on strips for 80% of my loading. No messing about with primers at all. I load an entire box of Montana Gold bullets (3000 or so) not stopping once to mess with tubes, just grabbing another preloaded strip from the box. It's nice.

The OP is happy, the Dillon fanatic is not. All is good in the world.
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Old November 12, 2009, 03:31 PM   #60
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I definitely smell a vast anti-blue conspiracy here... I will call Hillary and make her aware...
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Old November 12, 2009, 06:53 PM   #61
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Old November 12, 2009, 08:48 PM   #62
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Are you still working on that Dillon question?
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Old November 14, 2009, 08:00 AM   #63
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There are probably a lot of satisfied Lee owners out there reading this with a smile on there face.
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Old November 18, 2009, 12:50 AM   #64
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I,ve been reading all of your posts about which press this guy should buy. Poor guy is probably more confused than ever. Here,s a concept- since this site seems to be all about helping each other out with our sport.( I,m new ) How about one of you lend this guy your Pre-used Hornady or Dillion for a short period for trade or whatever. How great would that be. Besides, times are tough , People are a little short right now. So, one of you help this guy out. I would, But don,t have either press. I,ll bet if you helped him out he would, I,m sure return the favor to someone else, and so on...... Just a thought. Good luck. Great info from all of you....
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Old November 18, 2009, 02:41 AM   #65
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You know thats a great point. I am in California, e is in Rhode Island? might be a bit of a stretch... anyone in that neck of the woods?
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Old November 18, 2009, 08:55 AM   #66
Foxbat
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Quote:
I,ve been reading all of your posts about which press this guy should buy. Poor guy is probably more confused than ever. Here,s a concept- since this site seems to be all about helping each other out with our sport.( I,m new ) How about one of you lend this guy your Pre-used Hornady or Dillion for a short period for trade or whatever.
That is not going to work, because to lend the press, you would also have to lend a bunch of accessories. Then the guy would have to climb that learning curve. He would need to have the place to install it properly, and have all the components, etc. on hand.

A far better approach would be to find someone with the press and get some time on it. Many people would let you come and use their press. You would learn much quicker and more and better that way.
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Old November 18, 2009, 09:14 AM   #67
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I have 2 Dillons both 550B's(One set for large primers one for small). I got both of them used and very cheap that is what sold me on them. Now I am kind of married to them with all the stuff I have. That said I think the LNL is a good machine. I have a friend with one and I have used it. It works nice and Hornady has a good product. It is more like the Dillon 650 and the cost is less.

Dillon customer service is out of this world though. I have called them a few times and they were all over it. Most of the time they send a part to me free. So in that aspect I am glad I got the Dillon.

You got a great deal on the LNL!
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Old November 18, 2009, 10:54 AM   #68
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Hey LALineman,

I frequently loan dies to different folks, and I have loaned an extra single stage press to a few folks on occasion. Not a big deal to me. Better yet, I have also frequently offered on this and other forums to have someone new to reloading come on over and load whatever they had and see for themselves what is involved in reloading.

This past summer I made a new friend from this forum. He mentioned he wanted to start reloading metallic. I noticed he lived nearby and offered to have him come over jump right in. He did and we became new friends. I left 1 November to spend a few weeks in Florida, and before I left, I offered him several sets of dies, a single stage RCBS press, scale, and some other stuff to use while I was gone. I am confident he will take care of my stuff, and did I mention I have a new friend?

No, I did not loan him nor anyone else any of my progressive presses. I will loan my single stage presses but not the progressives. They are a lot more complicated to use, and when someone else uses one of my progressives, I want to be able to keep an eye on what is going on.

SwampYankee is in Rhode Island, while I am in Pennsylvania, but if he is willing to make the trip, he is welcome to come on down and work on every press I have. In fact, as long as he takes a shower regularly, he would be welcome to visit with us for a while in a spare bedroom. My wife is a good cook. Heck, even if you are from LA, I would be happy to also put you up for a week's vacation too. You would also be subject to maintaining a reasonable level of personal hygiene, however.

It was in the late 1950s that an older neighbor down the street showed me how to reload metallic ammo, and before he was finished with me, I had learned from him that making new ammunition was more than a hobby if you were serious about it. It was a craft. I worked with signle stage metallic presses for maybe 35 years or more, and then I got interested in buying a progressive press. I went to several friends who each had different brands of progressive presses at that time, and they were all happy to show me how they worked, and they all allowed me to reload my ammunition on their presses. That experience provided the most valuable information necessary for me to make an informed decision as to what progressive press I wanted to buy.

I have met a lot of folks in the reloading community who are willing to help someone else. In fact, I would suspect that it is the norm rather than the exception.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
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Old November 18, 2009, 09:28 PM   #69
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Quote:
Here,s a concept- since this site seems to be all about helping each other out with our sport.( I,m new ) How about one of you lend this guy your Pre-used Hornady or Dillion for a short period for trade or whatever.
Asking to ship out my press to borrow is like a pilot asking to borrow my Snap-On tools....NOT gonna happen.
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Old November 23, 2009, 09:42 AM   #70
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Dave,

My sentiments exactly; come over and try my presses. I have both Dillon and Lee, but am relatively new to reloading myself. Maybe that is better as your frustrations and exercises are way back when I was in knee pants.
This has been an extroadinarily good thread. I am going to look for a Hornady next time I want to add a press.
LA Lineman, I'll keep your offer in mind. I am local.

Much obliged,

Max
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Old December 2, 2009, 05:36 PM   #71
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dillon vs hornady

I have had a dillion. (lost in a home fire) I was about to order the 650 when a buddy got me hot on the hornady lnl ap. The free bullets swayed me. I would get a dillion. My LNL AP has so many problems its not funny. I have been reloading most of my life and i cant make this press work for more then 200 rounds before something goes wrong. Case feed has problems, the primer system has many issues. The timing changes often, the ez eject stops working and you need a $74 sub plate. Then you call hornady and wait 20 min to talk with someone who has never hear of a problem like yours. They will send you parts but they are often the wrong parts. Dont forget the powder system is not that accurate even with the micrometer.
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Old December 2, 2009, 05:41 PM   #72
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Dont forget the powder system is not that accurate even with the micrometer
Okay, you can't say something like that without some responding . .. what the hell I'll do it.

Coming from a Dillion user that is just too funny.

Yeah, Dillions have super accurate powder measures.

I don't know what you are doing, but I suspect you are doing it wrong.
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Old December 2, 2009, 09:25 PM   #73
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Hey anilson,

I'm going to join in with Spencerhut in being critical of your decision on buying a press.

First of all, you started your post with the wrong idea - "dillon vs hornady." I would submit to all of us that there really should not be a Dillon vs. Hornady mentality here. They are both good machines. You just need to try them both and see which one has the features you like the best.

Then you said you bought the Hornady LNL AP because of the free bullet offer. I keep telling folks not to buy the Hornady for the free bullets. You shouldn't buy any machine for the free bullets. Once the bullets are gone, all you have is the machine, and if you really do not like the machine, you made a mess for yourself that you really cannot blame on someone else. I bought the Hornady press many years before they had any free bullet offer. At that time, if Dillon had been making a free bullet offer, you couldn't give me those bullets to buy the Dillon. I used both brands of presses, and I really liked the Hornady far more than the Dillon. Notice, however, I did not say the Hornady was better, I simply said I liked it more. Big difference.

Then you state your Hornady press has:

"so many problems its not funny. I have been reloading most of my life and i cant make this press work for more then 200 rounds before something goes wrong. Case feed has problems, the primer system has many issues. The timing changes often, the ez eject stops working and you need a $74 sub plate."

Geez, what can I say? You went for the free bullets and got a lousy press I guess. Other than replacing the shellplate spring, my press has been working just fine since I bought it in 1997. Of course I don't have one of those case feeders to go wrong. Never could see where a case feeder would benefit me, and I also can't stand the racket they make. I was loading some .357s for a fella last week, and I also had a problem with my primer feed system. After a few minutes of not working right, I got a flashlight out and checked the shuttle race and noticed there was some dirt and powder in the race track that was keeping the shuttle from sliding all the way forward. I cleaned the track, and it works like a charm again. I havn't had a need to change the timing on my machine since I first set it up in 1997. What can I say? You must have really bought a lemon. I don't have an EZ Ject thingy because my original system with its wire eject is just great for me.

I can't speak poorly of the Hornady folks. I only ever called them a couple of times, and when I did so, they were quite helpful. And then you say your powder system is not that accurate. Boy, did you ever get stuck on that free bullet deal! My case activated powder system is just the best for me. Of course, I do not use extruded powder for any progressive machines. With ball and flake powder, however, it is very accurate. Of course, you do need to know how to assemble the powder drop parts correctly. If you put one of the drop tubes in upside down, it really does ruin accuracy in your powder drops.

Now, let me remind everyone, do not buy any press based on some free bullet offer. Buy the press that you have tried and like the most. They both are really good presses, and I certainly could be happy with a Dillon 650 if the Hornady LNL AP was not available. I would also be that if I did have a Dillon 650, I would not have the troubles with it that so many Dillon owners complain about. I suspect that most of the problems owners have with Dillon and Hornady presses are owner operated errors or just plain lack of knowledge about the workings of their presses.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
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