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Old November 20, 2007, 07:08 PM   #1
Join Date: November 18, 2007
Location: Georgia
Posts: 45
New to reloading... sorta

I have family that reloads and each one has a different idea of what the best kit to start with should be. I like Dillon products and have looked at the 550B and XL 650. I plan on reloading mainly .223, .308, .45ACP. I am also working toward getting back into local competitive sport shooting. I am not set on Dillon but I have seen it in action. Any suggestions are welcome and any information on ways to save a few bucks on the back end would be appreciated.
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Old November 20, 2007, 07:27 PM   #2
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Go with Dillon. Get it from Brian Enos. He has great packaged deals and excellent customer service. He will make sure you get what you need, and if he doesn't understand why you are ordering something, he will call you and make sure your order is correct before he processes it.

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Old November 20, 2007, 09:12 PM   #3
Join Date: November 18, 2007
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Thanks for the link. Can anyone tell me the advantages of Dillon over Lee.
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Old November 20, 2007, 10:23 PM   #4
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as to comparing Lee to Dillon it depends on which presses your talking about. I have two Lee Presses a Classic Cast and a LoadMaster. I would compare the Loadmaster to the 650 Dillon has a better warrentee but you pay for it. the Lee is cheaper but needs careful attention in it's setup. It's not a forgiving press. Once set up properly it works like a champ. Both are good presses and will serve you well. As i understand it the 650 won't handle large cases but the loadmaster loads 30-06 just fine.

You will now hear from the "blue" guys on how Dillon is the only game in town.
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Old November 20, 2007, 10:40 PM   #5
Join Date: April 9, 2007
Posts: 25
I don't know much about the lee progressive presses I only have their single stage presses and factory crimp dies, but I do have the 650 dillon.
The things I really like about the dillon are

low primer warning alarm
low powder alarm
powder check alarm
power case trimmer
case feeder
how quickly i can make quality ammo ( 380acp, 9mm, 38spl, 357mag, 45acp, 223, 308, 30-06 )

7/8ths of what I have has been purchased used, search online for deals they are out there

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Old November 21, 2007, 07:36 AM   #6
Join Date: October 13, 2006
Location: NC
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Thanks for the link. Can anyone tell me the advantages of Dillon over Lee.
The Dillon will keep you from cussing as much.
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Old November 21, 2007, 01:48 PM   #7
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First, JeepinGA, WELCOME TO TFL!

When I got my 550, I then became an official member of the blue buffoon battalion, and then became guilty of spreading “lots of BS” blue bullroar. I was like so many of the dishonest or blindly brand loyal people who have never owned or loaded with any other progressive, yet cluelessly advocate a single brand.

I had loaded on a friends 650 quite a bit, but when I first saw the Hornady LNL Auto Progressive, my product loyalty was badly shaken. I soon after bought the LNL Auto and have never regretted it.

The most important factor to consider in reloading is accuracy. The LNL not only has a better powder measure, the "run out" on the cartridges is far superior to those produced on dillons. MY 650 friend told me that and then we confirmed it, much to his chagrin.

Also consider that the LNL is much less in price, has more inovative quick caliber change features, and the powder measure quick change is readily more accurate and repeatable. And the one point that always nagged at me was, If Dillon was so wonderful, why do they recommend and sell a spare parts kits for their perfect presses????????
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Old November 21, 2007, 02:07 PM   #8
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Interesting comments on the LNL. I've thought about replacing my 550B with one of those to get the additional station. The powder measure is a sore point with me in the two Dillons I currently own, though the .45 ACP dedicated Square Deal B is something I probably won't ever trade away.

That said, I got no measurable runout in my Dillon 550B rifle loads because I used the Redding Competition Seater dies. They straighten things right up in every press I have. I've heard the less expensive Forster version does too, but don't want to mess with success, so I haven't tried them. I do my rifle loads all on a Forster/Bonanza Co-ax press these days, but when I was doing them on the Dillon the dies corrected that issue.

The JDS Quick Measure loads stick powder more accurately than any other measure I have. It has an adapter available to replace the measure on the Dillon. Its only drawback is it is less convenient to set up than a micrometer adjusted measure. I haven't set mine up on the Dillon, since I use it only with handgun loads these days, but thought I would mention it to anyone interested in financing powder measure replacement rather than replacing their Dillon press.
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Old November 21, 2007, 04:04 PM   #9
Join Date: November 18, 2007
Location: Georgia
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Thanks for all the feedback.

The fact is I was never really impressed with Lee like it was said before, they aren't very forgiving. Dillon obviously has a following and are great products. The Hornady LNL Auto Progressive has gotten my attention though due to the fact it seems to be a good all round press for the money and user friendly for an amateur reloader. If anyone has anymore info on Hornady, good or bad, it would be greatly appreciated. Oh yeah and how is Hornady customer service if there is an issue.


Last edited by JeepinGA; November 22, 2007 at 10:02 AM.
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Old November 22, 2007, 04:14 PM   #10
Join Date: October 6, 2006
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The Dillon can load more solidly than in its stock form if you install a pair of locking set screws sold by a third party - they jam the die plate in place and keep it from flopping around. Redding premium dies will provide better seating accuracy regardless of the press you use. I also agree that you will have to replace the powder measure if you want a quality dispenser which approaches the engineering of the Hornady.

That being said, and because the press comes with 1,000 free jacketed bullets (avg price on the second hand market $100) if you purchase before the end of 2007, the effective price of the press is about $220 (I pre-sold my bullets online so the purchaser could choose any of about 30 types of bullets).

Two caveats for the LnL AP and the calibers you load, if you use all 5 die stations, the last being to taper crimp, you will have to use Hornady's proprietary taper crimp die, or modify another brand, such as a Lee FCD die and bend the ejection wire a bit. The 9mm ejection problems won't effect you. You can avoid the 5th station if you expand/dispense in station 2 (and also assuming you don't use a powder cop or lockout die) but for the 45acp you will need to replace the expander tube with a wider expander plug of another die, like the expander which comes with the Lee 455 Webley expander die. You don't have to buy the whole expander die, just the expander plug for $3 as a service part. The 223 & 308 and other calibers are fine with this press.

I've been drooling for a Dillon since the early 80's. Got a LnL AP instead with Redding Titanium Carbide dies and have no regrets. For serious shooting I would get the Redding competition dies at double the price instead.

I also owned a LoadMaster for 14 years. For $35 more (because the Lee comes w/ a die set for that price) you can get a Hornady LnL AP. Between the two at similar prices, I can't recommend the LoadMaster.
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Old November 22, 2007, 10:16 PM   #11
Join Date: November 18, 2007
Location: Georgia
Posts: 45
Double up

Thanks for the info PK. I have began to see a trend among my research that says Hornady is the best for rifles loads while a Dillon 550B may be best for pistol loads. Whats is your opinion?

Last edited by JeepinGA; November 23, 2007 at 07:57 AM.
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Old November 24, 2007, 05:53 PM   #12
Join Date: November 1, 2006
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Consider the 550

You may want to consider the 550 especially if you are going to load a lot of rifle rounds. I have 550, 650, & sq deal. They are all great, but when it comes to rife rounds, you may want to use an RCBS or Lymann mannual type powder measure with your Dillon 550 (450 powder die required). This will give you the best accuracy, especially with ball powders. Brass prep is still required for once fired brass. I recommend small base dies for semi-auto rifle and Lee factory crimp die. Good Luck - Arizona Rick
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