The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 11, 1999, 05:11 PM   #1
Join Date: March 13, 1999
Location: Kingsport,TN,USA
Posts: 22
Ok, I've started shooting enough to justify reloading. I'm thinking about getting a Dillon 550b. Starting with a progressive doesnt bother me as I am very mechanically inclined and a progressive best suits my needs (practice, plinking, IDPA). As there are no Dillon dealers it my town I'm probally going to mailorder. Are there any online dealers (other than Dillon itself) with good prices? Anyone know of any places/people selling used equipment? What would be the minimum amount of equipment nessary to get started? What options/accessaries for the 550b are the most usefull. And lastly which items should I buy the best quality I can find, and which can I compromise on.
Also can anyone recomend a good book on progressive reloading (so far all I have to go on is the Dillon catalog and what I've learned here.

Theo is offline  
Old November 11, 1999, 06:19 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: October 16, 1999
Location: Surprise, Arizona, USA
Posts: 171
OK, Theo! You asked a lot of questions. First, there are adds on a couple of boards selling used Dillon 550Bs. Check out Tom Bower's reloading board at Also there is a note on Tom's board about a 550B being sold (or more precisely, auctioned) on e-Bay. Don't worry about buying Dillon equipment used because Dillon will stand behind it's products forever. I know there is somebody who is discounting Dillons a little and I'm sure somebody will give you that info. One thing I would suggest is getting the video tape from Dillon on setting up and using the 550B. I found it helped a lot and I still go back and refer to it from time to time (I'm not techincally oriented and think tech writers write in circles).

OK, to get started you will need the following (besides the press, caliber change, and dies)

1. A good reloading scale. Everybody sells them and they are mostly all good. If you are going to reload, you need to make contact early on with, and They both sell components and about everything else.

2. The next thing (or really the first thing before the press) is a good reloading manual. The powder manufacturers all produce booklets which give loads for (surprise, surprise) their company's powder. Get a manual produced by a bullet manufacturer like Speer or Sierra....they both have good instructions on the art of reloading.

3. You are going to need a place to do it. Try to make it a dedicated bench so you can store all your things. You will find that you will begin accumulating powder, primers, projectiles and a whole assortment of other things.

4. Finally, make sure you have safety equipment. Saftey glasses (or prescription safety lenses) are a must, and ear protection wouldn't hurt either.

I'm sure I have left some things out. The others on this board will jump in and let you know. You will find that reloaders are a friendly lot, willing to share knowledge with their fellows.

Hope this helps, Mikey

PS: Almost forgot. Make sure you use taper crimp dies on all your automatic pistol cartridges to give them a good, snug, factory crimp.

When Guns Are Outlawed, I Will Be Another One Of The Quarter Million Violators Who Are Not Prosecuted

[This message has been edited by TheOtherMikey (edited November 11, 1999).]
TheOtherMikey is offline  
Old November 11, 1999, 07:43 PM   #3
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,164
And browse the archives, here. You're only the three hundred and nineteenth person to ask...

Have fun!

Art Eatman is offline  
Old November 11, 1999, 09:08 PM   #4
Join Date: October 11, 1999
Location: Loveland,CO,USA
Posts: 34
One corner I feel you should not cut is on the dies themselves.
Dillon's are more expensive then every other out there but worth the money. If you load lead at all the dies need to be cleaned once in a while. With the dillon, you just pull a pin, clean the dies, and reassemble, all without changing the setting of the die.

Karl Fittinger
karlfitt is offline  
Old November 14, 1999, 12:43 AM   #5
Junior member
Join Date: October 2, 1999
Location: AZ
Posts: 1,759
Let me recommend the Dillon electronic scale.It will add about 100.00 to your start cost but I sure think its worth it.They stay dead on and take all the agrevashion(sp) out of wieghing charges.IMPORTANT to get charges correct.
beemerb is offline  
Old November 15, 1999, 06:22 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: June 7, 1999
Posts: 3,844
re "bargains", when dealing with a reputiable supplier, midway and 0or widener's seem to qualify, though there are certainly others, "quality often turns out to be the best economy".

On dies, I have used RCBS for years, and have yet to have a problem with any of them. This is NOT a criticism of any other brand, but merely a statement of my experience. Dillon's Blue Press lists Redding Dies, which might say something re product quality.

I have used a Dillon 550 for roughly 20 years. It's a first class piece of stuff, though actually it is "semi-progressive" in that the operator advances manually, from step to step, rather than "automatic advance" as is the case with their Square Deal (pistol calibers only) press. Hope this helps.
alan is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:00 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.06633 seconds with 9 queries