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Old June 5, 2012, 05:02 PM   #1
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Dillon Presses

I've been reloading for 10 yrs. now on a single stage press, and am thinking of upgrading to a progressive press for my .357 magnums. I'm eyeing the Dillon square deal B press. I am wondering if this press is the right choice for my needs? Or should i get a different Dillon press? I am only going to use this for my 357's. I'm still going to use my single stage for all my rifles. Are these presses good? I've never delt with any dillon products. Thanks
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Old June 5, 2012, 05:48 PM   #2
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Dillon makes some of the best equipment available, and their warranty is second to none. If you are only loading for 357mag as you say and want about 400 rds per hour, the SDb is a good choice.
The dies for it are used only on the Square Deal b and not on any other press.
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Old June 5, 2012, 06:44 PM   #3
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I have a dillon and I love what I can do, not square deal but they are nice!

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Old June 5, 2012, 07:09 PM   #4
Misssissippi Dave
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I have a Dillon 550b and it works well. I have been thinking about getting a square deal press to load one pistol caliber to make life easier. Loading 2 to 400 rounds per hour is easy to do. You might only be loading 200 per hour until you get the feel of things. After that over 200 per hour is easily accomplished by just about anyone. One suggestion for you. If you don't plan to load anything for a few weeks empty the powder measure. Some powders tend to do nasty things to the clear plastic of the powder measures. Ball powders work really well in Dillon presses. Often flake powders give problems.
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Old June 5, 2012, 08:34 PM   #5
Bill Daniel
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Dillon Presses

I've had a SDB for 10 plus years. For what you want it is the best. Mine is set of 45 ACP and will drop Hogdon Titegroup dead on. I will cycle a primed case past the powder drop 4 to 5 times to settle the volume to my desired grain load and then crank out all I want. Also you can't beat Dillon customer service. They have replaced parts that I lost on my press at no charge and are great at answering questions.
All the best,
Bill Daniel
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Old June 6, 2012, 06:30 AM   #6
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I think the 550 would be a better choice, just for versitility down the road, should you change your mind. I was considering a SD, but questioned the proprietary dies. Good thing I went with the 550. I later went to Lee dies for sizing and seating. They do a better job,IMO. If I had gone with the SD, I would have been stuck with what I had.
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Old June 6, 2012, 07:38 AM   #7
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The SD will do the job; however, you might consider the 550 could have greater resale value if you ever stopped rolling your own.
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Old June 6, 2012, 09:51 AM   #8
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The Square Deal is the best value if you don't intend to load several calibres. It is less expensive, will produce prodigious ammounts of ammo. Die sets are expensive and somewhat more difficult to change however. The 550 uses conventional dies and is a little more expensive. Either is a quality machine that has perhaps the best warranty out there. My opinion? If you're going to load only one calibre in quantity get a square deal and keep your single stage for everything else you load in smaller numbers. I've owned Dillon products for years now but still have my OLD Lyman turret press mounted on the bench.
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Old June 6, 2012, 08:35 PM   #9
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I've used a Square Deal since the mid 90s and love it. I load 45 ACP, 44 mag, 357 mag and 9mm. Each conversion kit cost me around $65 which I consider reasonable.

Buy it. You can't go wrong. It'll do any straight wall caliber.
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Old June 6, 2012, 09:35 PM   #10
David Wile
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Hey Ruger,

I know you said you only planned to use your proposed progressive press for .357 cartridges, and that you will continue to load all your rifle cartridges on your single stage press. If that is still what you will want a year or two or three from now, then the SDB would probably be a very good choice for you, and so would the 550.

On the other hand, if you do find that your interests change down the road a bit, and you find you might like to also load some of your rifle cartridges on a progressive, then I would think the Dillon 650 or the Hornady L&L AP might be a much better choice since they are designed to use standard dies and load most rifle cartridges short of BMG 50s.

Before you blow away my thoughts noted in the last paragraph, it really is not such a stretch to think you might just possible want to be able to do progressive work on rifle rounds as well as other pistol rounds. Once you get used to cranking out a finished cartridge with every cycle of the handle, it really is a pretty good feeling. I am not, however, suggesting that you or anyone else would or should throw away their single stage press once they get a progressive. I first bought my metallic cartridge progressive press in 1997. Since that time, I have loaded more rounds on the progressive press, but I have still spent more time loading special rounds (both pistol and rifle) on my single stage presses.

Please do not think my intention is to tell you what to do. I only wanted to give some things to consider while you make an informed decision. Whatever you do, have fun.

Best wishes,
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Old June 6, 2012, 11:49 PM   #11
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Have a 550 that I have used for 22-23 years now. Just getting broken in.
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Old June 7, 2012, 12:33 AM   #12
Jammer Six
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Started on a Square Deal B, for .45 ACP, and now load .45 and .38 Super.

Didn't realize there was another kind of press...

The one point I would make is that humans are creatures of habit. Hands learn habits, and it can be very difficult to override them.

Therefore, given that there is auto-advance and manual advance, I would chose one and never change. I demand equipment that fits my habits, and I don't try to override habits. I've seen too many experienced, veteran carpenters get hurt trying to do exactly that.

So I believe that the wise man chooses his habits deliberately, and then fits his equipment to his habits from then on.

Otherwise, if you bounce back and forth between auto-advance and manual advance, sooner or later you'll be pulling the trigger on a double charge.

So having started on a Square Deal, if I upgraded, I'd go to a 650, not a 550, because the type of advance would be the same.

But that's just my opinion.
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Old June 7, 2012, 06:37 AM   #13
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had my 550b for 15yrs now still going
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Old June 7, 2012, 10:35 AM   #14
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Square Deal

I have both a 550B and Square Deal. The SD is excellent. It is designed for pistols and is superior to the 550B if 357 is your goal.
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Old June 7, 2012, 11:41 AM   #15
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I have 2 SDB's and they are great. I tried a 550 and didn't like it. No auto advance on the 550. Less chance of a double charge on the SDB. The SDB dies aren't a problem at all, unlike what some would indicate. The SDB works and cranks out piles of first rate ammo.
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Old June 9, 2012, 12:11 AM   #16
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I have a 550 and a square deal,and I much prefer the hand room and visibilty of the larger 550b.You can use the dies have now on it,and u can do rifle if u decide to.
Flipping the flipper is very easily learned,and I doubt that the output is much different in real lifea sit rounds per hour.I can hold a half dozen bullets in my left hand while flippiing,so very very little time difference between the 2 machnines.IMHO

either machine will allow the user to run one round thru at a time if need be,as when lerning to operae it. I like that.

IMHO the roller handle and the risers are unecessary .the ball handle works great for the 550b,and if ur bench is tall enuff or u sit to reload,the strong mounts aren't necessary,haven't needed them in 18 years of running the macnines.I bought the roller handle,would not do it agin.

keep in mind,speed comes with experience,and no matter how slow u go,it's till gonna outrun a single stage. been there,done it.
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Old June 9, 2012, 06:45 PM   #17
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I love my 650. I am not suggesting it for what you need...just saying Dillon's equipment is top-notch. I just cranked out 400 rounds of .38 Spl in no time. Good luck with your search and happy reloading.

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Old June 9, 2012, 08:00 PM   #18
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Well today I went to a LGS that have the dillon line on display. I'm really liking the 650 so I think I'm going to save up a little more money and get that one. Thanks for all the replys.
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