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Old March 5, 2000, 11:18 PM   #1
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Join Date: November 3, 1999
Location: Pembroke Pines, Florida
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Ok. Buying ammo is starting to get expensive. Very expensive. It breaks down to 400-500 rounds of .308, 400 rounds of .223, 500 rounds of 9mm and .45, and about 200-300 rounds of .38/.357. Per month. There are other calibers, but these are the highest volume I shoot. In all, 8 rifle and 6 handgun calibers.

Reloading has always interested me, just not been necessary till now. I have Lymans 47th and I have read it thru. I understand the very rudiments of the process. Problem is, I dont know what the heck equipment to buy! I know I dont want a single stage, and I know I want a Dillon. Probably a 650.

I have searched these forums for the right setup for me, but it is really overwhelming with all the options and manufacturers.

With a cap of $1000 dollars, how would you spend it? I know Lee Dies are highly regarded..but which ones? I know the vibratory tumbler from Midway USA is a good deal. Check. I know Dillon makes good presses, but the accessories are over priced. Turn to RCBS for that?

Please help me out here, im very motivated and ready to do this. I am reading everything I can get my hands on. But I need a final setup. Everything essential needs to be included.

Bullets, brass (i have plenty), powder and primers are above and beyond. The $1000 is only for equipment.

My sincerest graditude for any and all help and advise.

Did I miss anything? Whew!


Zeebrahed is offline  
Old March 5, 2000, 11:37 PM   #2
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Join Date: February 7, 2000
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The dillon 650 is a great press,i would not recommend another.I have a 1050,which i have had for 4 or 5 years and use it on 45 acp.The accuracy is amazing I can`t say enough about it.I also would get the dillon scale and the optional case feed for the 650.The dillon dies in my opinion are some of the best dies out thier .I do not like the lee dies even though i have a few sets of them.You may pay a few dollars more for the dillon dies but they are really designed to be used for the progresive presses as the lee dies do not work as good or as smooth on my 1050.The case cleaner you can get from midway or will also need a good case trimmer .i got mine from other thing you might need is a case swager if any of your brass has a military crimp.and also you will need a good caliper and a few case gauges .Finally dont forget to get some good reloading manuels like the ones from Lyman

hope this helps

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Old March 6, 2000, 12:41 AM   #3
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Join Date: June 7, 1999
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I suggest Dillon 550 and add the following. When loading rifle ammunition, 30-06, 7.62mmNATO, you need to lube these cases, no carbide dies availanble, generally, I used an old single stage RCBS JR press.

Have used RCBS dies for years, never had any problems with them. As for a scale, again I've been using an Ohaus magnetically damped scale for years too. It has always worked for me.

It strikes me that yu could set up for a lot less than $1000, press, scale, dies, along with perhaps a mike and or a good calipers.

Handloading is NOT rocket science or black magic, though you might want to obtain another, or two manuals. You will see interesting differences amongst them. Just be carefull.

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Old March 6, 2000, 02:10 AM   #4
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Dillon 650 with all the xtras, casefeeder and a RCBS Jr single stage press for sizing rifle brass. I prefer Redding dies, especially in rifle calibers.
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Old March 6, 2000, 08:48 AM   #5
Bill in NM
Join Date: January 21, 2000
Posts: 95
Hmm...I'll probably get some disagreement here, but what the heck. First, let me state that I do NOT have a 650. I do have a Dillon 550, and love it. From what I have heard and read, swapping calibers on the 650 is a pain, and unless you're going to run 1000+ round batches, not worth the hassle over going with a RL550b. Once again, this is strictly second hand info. If nothing else, maybe someone with a 650 will dispute this.
Either the 650 or 500 will be a great press.
As far as accessories, here's a good starter list.
Digital scale - I have the Dillon and love it.
A good dial or digital caliper.
Quick Change kits for every caliber you plan to load.
Carbide dies for the straight walled pistol cases.
A tumbler and media seperator
A bottle of Dillon Rapid Polish - Really shines up the brass.
At least on more reloading manual. "Metallic Cartridge Reloading" seems to have more loads of different powders.

That's about all I can think of right now.
Welcome to the hobby,
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Old March 6, 2000, 09:52 AM   #6
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Join Date: February 20, 1999
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Highly recommend the XL650 with case-feeder and optional powder-check (safety first!).

Lee Carbide pistol dies, Redding or Hornady for everything else.

Scale weight check set - and use it religiously.

Pamphlets from all the major powder makers.


"All my ammo is factory ammo"

WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old March 7, 2000, 08:33 PM   #7
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Dillon XL 650 with casefeeder,also Dillon dies.I have a 650 and changing calibers doesn't take that long but when I change calibers I inspect and lube every thing unless I have just loaded a couple of hundred rounds then I just change over.Also get extra large and small primer tubes.Go with the 650 you won't be dissapointed. BILLG
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Old March 7, 2000, 09:47 PM   #8
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Zeebrahed, Save up your bucks while saving money while loading for your small primer rounds and get two RL-650s! Leave one set up for small primer and the other for large.
The rest of the swap is very quick and easy if you go for the caliber conversions. Seriously, with the 650 you can load far enough into the future that you should not need to switch the primer size that often.
Should have also said that a single stage press is a very good place to learn about reloading. You will learn the basics as well as what to look for when you get those progressives humming. I am very serious here.

[This message has been edited by HankL (edited March 07, 2000).]
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Old March 7, 2000, 11:25 PM   #9
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I have read several posts about how hard it is to change primer sizes on a 650,I really don't see what is so hard about it.With the shell plate off take the 2 allen screws out ,lift the primer assm. off.Use a 1/8 inch allen take primer support shim off,remove primer disc,replace with one of proper size,replace shim and screw reinstall primer assm.Takes less than 5 minutes.I use this as an chance to clean any spilled powder out of machine. BILLG
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Old March 8, 2000, 04:19 PM   #10
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Join Date: October 16, 1999
Location: Surprise, Arizona, USA
Posts: 171

Here is my advice for what it is worth. First, take half of that thousand dollars and put it into a retirement account (IRA). Second, with the money left buy a Dillon 550B, several extra tool heads and Lee dies for every caliber you intend to reload. Make sure you get the carbide dies for all calibers available. Also, get the factory taper dies for all of the auto pistol you intend to reload and let the seating die just seat the bullet and size it with the sizing die. Pay particular attention to the cartridge dimensions as auto pistols headspace on the sides of the round.

Then you will need a good balance beam scale (a digital is simply not necessary), a set of calipers, a good loading manual (Lyman is excellent), and a pair of safety glasses.

Retired, Broke, and In Need of Brass, Powder, and Shot. Will Work To Shoot!
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