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Old June 19, 2002, 03:49 PM   #1
Futo Inu
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Two separate reloaders or one?

I've have planned on getting a Dillon 550B for some time, to finally get started in reloading. But my friend has a possible deal on a Square Deal B. He says I should look into using the SDB for pistol calibers, and get a second reloader for rifle calibers, since the SDB is so easy to change out pistol calibers with. But neither of us know whether the 550B is as easy to switch out between calibers as the SDB is. If it is, then obviously, I will simply wait and get the 550B. But is there some advantage to having a SDB strictly for pistol rounds, and having a second, in terms of ease/speed of changing? The 550 is progressive, additionally, so I would think the time saved in using it would more than make up for time spent swapping dies, anyway. So, basically, I just need more info on how the 550B works, as I believe it will serve all my needs quite well, but just not sure. BTW, I'm going to be reloading:

Near-term: .45acp/.450 triton, .40 *&*, and 6.5x55
Long-term: Add 9x19, 10x25 (same dies as .40), .308win (and possibly .223, 7.62x39, and .30 carbine).
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Old June 19, 2002, 04:16 PM   #2
Steve Smith
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As a Dillon 550b owner,

I'd suggest the Hornady LNL. Nothing wrong with the Dillon, but the caliber change kits are much cheaper with the LNL.
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Old June 19, 2002, 04:22 PM   #3
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Depends on what kinda rifle - I wouldn't load "accuracy" loads on a progressive. SDBs are nice for handguns, but they use NONSTANDARD dies - you're stuck with Dillon, and if you wanna use something odd, you're screwed.
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Old June 19, 2002, 04:31 PM   #4
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I load all rifle except my 223 and 7.62x39 on a single stage. I think that it is easier and I don’t shoot the high amount of rounds that make it useful to use a progressive. The SDB is a good reloader but the 550 is an excellent reloader. I would wait for the 550 but that is just me. I saw a used 550 the other day in the paper for 200 with 3 sets of dies. Find a deal like that and you wont have to wait long.
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Old June 20, 2002, 06:47 AM   #5
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my thinking exactly

i have a sd upgraded to B for my pistol cals.
currently load for .357,.44,.45acp.
yes you are stuck w\dillon dies.
i use the quick change tool heads,pretty fast change.
for rifle cals.i have a 650
currently load for .223 & .308 both w\carbide dies.
boy,can i crank out some ammo,or what?
but that's what those evil hi-cap mags require

to each their own

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Old June 20, 2002, 10:04 AM   #6
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I just bought a Hornady LNL progressive thanks in large part to advice from folks on this board but I'm keeping my Rock Chucker too for rifle loads. All of my rifles are mil-surp bolts so I don't need a high volume loader for them. Plus, the only one I seriously reload for is my Swede. Now all I need to do is figure out how to shoehorn that RC onto the bencj

Choose your progressive by what works for you and you'll be happy but don't get rid of your one-lung.

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Old June 20, 2002, 10:23 AM   #7
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Check out, and order a few plates of aluminum. Permanently mount one to your bench, and set the others up to mount onto it.
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Old June 22, 2002, 08:49 PM   #8
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It's never a bad idea to keep a single-stage press around.

Some days you don't need to set up the progressive for a few experimental handloads, etc.

This was a table saw bench made in a high school metal shop. It's all box-channel steel with a 3/8" thick plate top, but I put the particle board top on top of that, then mounted the Dillon 550 and Hornady O-Frame. They both get used a lot, in addition to a Square Deal mounted on one of those Midway press stands.

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Old June 23, 2002, 04:16 PM   #9
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The Dillon 550 (or, better yet, 650) will sufice for all of your Ammo needs. I use my 650 for most pistol loads and loading varmint hunting loads in .223 and 6MM Remington. It also turns out match grade .308 and .30-06 faster than I can shoot it.

A single stage is also useful for small experimental batches when you're working up a load. I use a Lyman Orange Crusher.
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Old June 23, 2002, 06:54 PM   #10
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two separate reloaders or one?

I load most pistol rounds on my Square Deals - and once I get one dialed in and adjusted to load the loads I want to shoot I don't like to fool around with it (at all). I load on multiple Sq. Deals, have a 650 for 223 and do all other rifle reloading on a RCBS rockchucker.
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Old June 23, 2002, 07:05 PM   #11
Peter M. Eick
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I load all my pistol rounds (45acp, 10mm, 40s&w, 357sig, 9mm, 380auto, 357mag and 38 special) on my RCBS Pro2000, while all the rifle rounds (25-06, 7-08, 7.62nato) into the Rock-chucker.

For rifles, I would rather weight every charge and be as careful as possible. For pistol, I rely on spot checks and a rhythm.

Just my approach.
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Old June 25, 2002, 10:16 PM   #12
Chief Jones
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I use the same technique Peter does, except I use a Lee Turret press for pistol and Rockchucker for rifle.
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Old July 1, 2002, 01:44 AM   #13
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If you're gonna load for rifle accuracy, or use a stick powder like IMR4895, N140 or the dreaded IMR4064, the Dillons aren't the way to go. Dillons and the progressives are great for pistol loads and pounding out high volumes of rattattat ammo, but they're a nightmare for consistent powder drops and primer seating for accuracy no matter what you hear. I'd guess 80% of the rifle shooters would be with me on this. For 100yd, you probably have nothing to lose with those light charge ball powder accuracy loads, but get out to 300-500 or 1000yd and the Dillon production line just won't cut it. There's match grade ammo, and then there's match grade ammo. I can buy ammo like BH or FED GM that's capable of a routine .75 MOA in an OEM bolt action, but handloads should be capable of at least 1/2 that on a bad day, for all the work I put in.

My experience votes with Peter and Steve on this one; you may need two presses. I think the Dillon will also gouge you for better than $100/ caliber conversion. An Hornady LNLAP will cost the price of bushings and possibly a shellplate. Dies are separate for all manufacturers. The LNL offers the best powder measure of the big three. It also offers 5 stations instead of 4. That's great when you want to add a lockout die.
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Old July 1, 2002, 07:12 AM   #14
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In all my years of shooting and reloading never heard anyone say they were sorry they had a single stage press mounted on their bench.
As your starting out I do not know how much of the extra needed equipment such as manuals, scales, calipers, etc. etc. you have. If you have to buy all the auxillary equipment, it may make sense to buy a complete kit with the press included. RCBS Rock Chucker kit comes to mind.
As previously mentioned only certain rifle powders will work in a progressive. I love Reloder 15 and Varget but do not trust any powder measure to consistantly drop a large 40+ grain charge particularly if working near max loads. Keep this in mind for your future needs.
Getting back to your original question, I know shooters that use the Dillon SDB and 550 and are pleased with the performance of both. It sounds like you'll have assistance getting started on a progressive so that's a plus. If forced to make a recommendation I think the 550 with its ability to use standard dies from other manufacturers makes more sense.
Take Care
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