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Old December 19, 2000, 01:43 PM   #1
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My decision is down to one or the other.

The 550 has the image of total reliability. The 650 sells a fifth station with an optional powder check station. Also has a shield around priming station to help prevent any unpleasantness.

Other than the higher speed and safety features, is the 650 worth the extra $118.00? I'm not interested in spending the extra but I will if the safety or other features are worth it.

Advice, please.
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Old December 19, 2000, 03:06 PM   #2
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There are three important differences between the RL550 and XL 650:

1) The 650 has an additional station. This is very useful if you want a powder-check station.

2) The 650 auto-indexes. Manual indexing works fine, but if you really want to crank rounds through quickly, the auto-index makes a big difference.

3) The 650 has a casefeed option. This seems like an unnecessary luxury until you use one, but is *very* nice. You simply dump a box of cases in the hopper, turn it on, and crank the handle until you run out of primers or powder. I have managed over 600 rds. in one hour (and boy, your arm gets tired!).

You won't go wrong with either, but I personally suggest the XL650, even if you don't plan on getting the casefeeder (for now).

-A Dillon lover
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Old December 19, 2000, 03:50 PM   #3
Steve Smith
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Personally, I don't like auto indexing. The Dillon primer drop tube is inside another tube, and the priming mechanisim moves the primer you're using from all the other primers, so I don't see a "need" in the "sheild." As far as powder checks go, here's my opinion. As long as you get into a rythm and you're doing everything right, you shouldn't have a powder problem. The only time I check my powder is if I have to stop for something (the interruption could easily confuse me as to whether I've just charged one or it's about to be charged.) Actually, that's not even true. If there's a seated bullet in station three, then powder muct have already gone into station two, so I turn the plate and keep going. The other time that I check is about every 100 rounds to check my charge weight. sure, some guys say every 10, but every time I check it, it's the same. If I check it every 100 and it's still the same, I've saved time. If it's not the same, I toss all of them in the "pull-me" box and reset to powder measure. All in all, checking every 100 saves me time, because the measure just doesn't change. I've been very pleased with the precision of my charges. All in all, I like the 550B.
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Old December 19, 2000, 04:24 PM   #4
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I think the coversions for the 650 are more expensive then the 550's.I like the 550B but I only used the 650 once and had a lot of trouble with it.Maybe just me but i did find out that if you screw up the 650 takes more time to get the cases out and redue.IMO
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Old December 19, 2000, 04:33 PM   #5
E. BeauBeaux
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If money is no object the 650, otherwise the 550. The powder check station [imho] is a nice feature on the 650.
Taking my time I can do 400 rounds an hour on my 550. You won't go wrong no matter which way you go.
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Old December 19, 2000, 04:51 PM   #6
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I've tried both, and liked both, but we settled on a 650 because my wife likes the auto indexing and the powder check station. I personally preferred the 550, but she couldn't get into a regular rhythm when she was reloading.

The 550 is simple and easy to use, and I found that I could see down inside the case to make sure there was a charge before I seated the bullet. My wife, being shorter, wasn't able to do that as easily, thus she likes the powder check system. She also has a healthy level of skepticism about the whole reloading process, which keeps us both safer.

I find the 650 to be more troublesome if I screw something up, but that's okay because I regard loading as fun, not a chore. You sure can crank'em out when everything is set up properly. As to the case feeder, I don't have one, but I keep forgetting to restock the feeder tube, so maybe I'll get one for my birthday.

I will say that I'm glad I started with the 550, because I think it's easier to learn on. I don't think you can go wrong with either one.
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Old December 19, 2000, 04:55 PM   #7
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Something else about the XL-650, it won't accept nearly as many different calibers as the RL-550B. That may not mean much if you only do a few calibers, but when you're dealing with over 20 different ones, like myself, it comes in darn handy.

But for blazing speed in reloading the standard longer rifle calibers like .308 and .30-06, The XL-650 with brass hopper is sweet! I don't have my 650 anymore, but for the belt-fed guys, that would be a must-have!
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Old December 19, 2000, 08:49 PM   #8
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The powder-check station alone is worth the added expense of the 650.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old December 21, 2000, 10:27 PM   #9
mike benedict
Join Date: September 4, 1999
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I have both the 550 and the 650. The 650 is the hands down winner.
I also have a 1050 which is the best of all.

If I had to do it over again I whould just buy 2 650s
Mike Benedict
Talon Tactical Holsters

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Old December 23, 2000, 12:26 PM   #10
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I own a 650 w/ casfeeder. I like it Never owned a 550 so I have no opinion.
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Old December 23, 2000, 12:47 PM   #11
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I have owned a 650 for over a year. I really like it. I just bought a 550B on ebay, but haven't had a chance to use it yet. I wanted one set up for small primers and one for large primers. The 650 is more difficult to change than the 550. The 550 conversion kits are cheaper and more available through ebay. The 650 is rather expensive. Because I am used to the 650, the 550 seems to be not as convenient. However, it apprears that the 550 would be a press that one could use instead of a single stage press in most instances if desired. In a few weeks I will have a better handle on it. Jerry
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