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Old June 18, 2001, 12:37 AM   #1
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progressive presses

How about some opinions from those using RCBS 2000, Hornady LNL, Dillons 550b & 650 and any others such as Lee. I am approaching a new press purchase (first progressive) and these have caught my interest. Loading for 3+ pistol calibers and 2 rifle. Money is burning a hole in my pocket. I need to make a decision soon. Any help?
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Old June 18, 2001, 12:43 AM   #2
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Dillon XL 650.

Loads all the normal (some not so normal) handgun and rifle calibers... easy to set up and use... great guarantee.

(I do not work for Dillon, except in the sense I am forever sending them money for gadgets and stuff.)
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Old June 18, 2001, 01:54 AM   #3
David Wile
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Hey Cal,

I have quite a number of metalic and shotshell presses of various brands including Lyman, RCBS, Hornady, Pacific, and MEC. I like them all, and I still use them all. Nearly ten years ago I started thinking about getting a progressive press for metalic shells. I was interested in looking at RCBS, Hornady, and the Dillons, so I talked to a lot of people at the ranges to find a few who had these progressives and were willing to let me see how each model worked.

I saw them all, and I was able to actually use them all before I actually made a decision. If you took a poll on this site, I am pretty sure you would find there are more Dillon users out there than anything else. I did not, however, choose any of the Dillon models.

Everyone talks about how good the Dillon warranty is and how quickly Dillon replaced or repaired something that went wrong and that it did not cost anything. If you listen to such comments, you have to conclude the Dillon users are having a lot of problems that Dillon is fixing for them free.

I did not find that to be the case with the Hornady Lock n' Load. Hornady also claims to have a good warranty. I already had owned and used two Hornady progressive shotshell machines for quite a few years. Since nothing ever went wrong with my Hornady shotshell presses, I never had to have anything fixed or replaced under warranty.

Many of the Dillon users seem to have chosen Dillon because they can change shell heads and not have to change die sets. I suspect that Hornady came out with its Lock n' Load feature in response to the Dillon removable head feature. Both features do the same thing, but, quite frankly, I do not care for either of them. Not that they do not work, but rather, because I prefer to change my dies and reset a powder dispenser the old fashioned way.

The Hornady L&L is a massive five station press that works well and is a lot less expensive than a comparable Dillon. I would suggest that you actually see the different presses in operation before you make a choice. At that point, you might prefer a Dillon or some other press, but at least look for yourself. Do not take my word or anyone else's word for what they do.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
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Old June 18, 2001, 07:56 AM   #4
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I highly suggest you run a search on Dillon 550 650 etc. There's a wealth of information in the archives.
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Old June 18, 2001, 09:21 AM   #5
Steve Smith
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Agree with Son. There's been more info on this subject here in the Reloading forum than you can imagine.

Dillon 550B
Favor the X.

Steve Smith
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Old June 18, 2001, 11:30 AM   #6
Fred S
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Dillon 550B

>If you listen to such comments, you have to conclude the Dillon users are having a lot of problems that Dillon is fixing for them free. <

Don't let that bother you. The very few problems I've had with my Dillon, I induced by doing something dumb. Although I screwed it up, Dillon replaced the part with no questions asked. Regardless of the press you get, you will make a boo boo somewhere along the line, you're going to make a mistake like getting a case stuck in a die because you forgot to lube it and it won't come out.....
Fred S

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Old June 18, 2001, 11:33 AM   #7
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I use a Lee Pro 1000, it will only load for pistols, but if their higher end press, the Load Master (loads both rifle and pistol), loads this good and consistent, you won't be able to beat it for the price. Check it out
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1747 (Smyth, Writings of Benjamin Franklin, 2:352.)
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Old June 22, 2001, 09:12 PM   #8
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You can't go wrong with Dillon presses. My press is a RL450B which is the ancestor to the 550B. Thousands upon thousands of rounds have come off this press with no breakdowns. I could update my press to 550 specs, but it fits me well now.

Just because you hear about Dillons great warranty and service does not mean they break a lot. If they did they probably go out of business.

I would buy another Dillon without a second thought.

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Old June 22, 2001, 11:37 PM   #9
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I have had two problems with dillon products.
1-electrinic scale went south.I only live about 90 mi so went to dillon.Replaced and out of there in 10 min.
2-My fault.A screw loosened up on my powder measure and jammed the system,broke a casting.Again a no questions asked 10 min replace.
Dillon is a very trouble free system.These two problems are all the problems I have had in about 8 yrs of useing dillon 450's and now a 550b.No system will not break but dillon is well built and doesn't give user much for problems.A progressive press has more moveing parts then a single stage thus is more prone to problems.That is common sense so don't be fooled by people telling you that dillon has more problems with breakage then any other unit don't believe it.The simple fact is that when you do have a problem you have some of the best backup and warrenty that is around.
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Old June 23, 2001, 02:36 AM   #10
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I know a guy who owned a Dillon 550 for over 25 years. Millions of rounds have been loaded with the press, he was a competition shooter. He sent it back to have it refurbish because all the pivots were loose and to bill him for all the work. A couple weeks later, he got it back and the bill was $0. If they actually refurbish the press, they did a damn good job. He couldn't tell the difference between that press and a brand new one. How's that for customer service.

You can't go wrong with a Dillon.
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Old June 23, 2001, 10:42 AM   #11
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I have 2 x 550's and a 650 and won't own anything else!
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Old June 23, 2001, 11:40 AM   #12
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rcbs pro 2000

is the way to go built like a tank.and very simple to use .great all the way around.break a part its just a phone call away.ex for the aps you would need a hammer to break a part
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