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Got Dillon 550?
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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Handloader
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:32 pm    Post subject: Got Dillon 550? Reply with quote

How many use the 550? What cartridges are you reloading? Do you use Dillon dies? Would you buy the 550 again or recommend it to others?
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FALPhil
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:23 am    Post subject: Re: Got Dillon 550? Reply with quote

For people looking to get into progressive reloading, I never recommend a Dillon 550. Rather, I recommend the Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive. For about the same money as a 550, maybe a little less, you get the capability of a Dillon 650. The Hornady is just so much more value, there is no justification for ever purchasing a 550. For that matter, the Hornady is so much more economical than the 650, there really isn't any justification for that either. My shooting buddy has over twice as much invested in his 650 as I do in my Lock-N-Load, and my ammo consistently has a smaller standard deviation and I can put out about 30 more rounds per hour than he can.

Dillon makes good dies, but then so does Lee.

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Crackshot
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 4:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Got Dillon 550? Reply with quote

I can and will recomend a Dillon 550B! I have been useing mine for over 17 years and have several trophys, certificates and medals from shooting matches won with ammo produced on a Dillon 550B. My Daughters have been shooting and loading on this old 550B for the last 6 years and my olsest girl just won a local 3 gun match useing 45 acp and 223 loaded on our 550B.
As far as the Dillon not producing ammo thats consistant Shocked ......Alot of top IPSC shooters and NRA high power shooters use Dillons to load ammo that win!
But its still a matter of choice. Buy what you want. I can also recommend the Hornady. However, I will never recommend a Lee Progressive. Crying or Very sad

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 4:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Got Dillon 550? Reply with quote

Use my Dillion 550 for loading 9MM, 40S&W, and 45ACP. Also have Dillion dies for 38/357 and 44mag.
IMO they make the best pistol dies out there.

I will recomend only Dillion to anyone wanting advise on a progressive loader.

When I first got mine I did alot of weighing and measuring just to see how consistent the press was. I was not disapointed at all.

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Handloader
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Got Dillon 550? Reply with quote

I should point out that we sell Dillon and Hornady at the store where I labor (it really isn't work) and we can attest to satisfaction with these and RCBS products. I would observe that for most people, arriving at the Dillon 550 level is an inevitable progression from lesser progressive presses. So, we get some trade in presses that have seen their share of useage, but, we never NEVER see Dillons traded in. Nor do we see Rockchuckers come back through the door.

Great choices abound in the progressive press/die market, however, we are prone to recommend the Dillon based on customer satisfaction and a "no cost, no BS guarantee". I conduct a monthly reloading clinic at the store where we have presses set up for those attending to use and purchase if they wish. We sell lots of Dillons, mainly, the 550.

I am aware however that in FALphil's area, gravity and its effect is a tad different and perhaps other presses work better in that region. Maybe not. Texas and North Carolina shooters are top buyers of Dillon products.
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Vince
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Got Dillon 550? Reply with quote

If I harken back to the mid 80's when I was a member of a Pistol Club in Sydney, I remember that all of the IPSC shooters in the Club used 550's to reload, and they swore by them as being the best thing since canned beer. I might add that at least 1 of our members (a Police Officer) from that time used reloads made on a 550 to take out the National Police and Services Championship.

The only progressive I have owned was a LEE 1000, and honestly, I had no complaints with it. These days I only have a single stage Simplex O Frame Master (a clone of the RCBS RC)

Cheers, Vince

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FALPhil
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:00 am    Post subject: Re: Got Dillon 550? Reply with quote

Handloader wrote:
I am aware however that in FALphil's area, gravity and its effect is a tad different and perhaps other presses work better in that region. Maybe not.

Naw, it's the design of the powder measure. Hornady has had a lot more time and experience to tweak their design than Dillon has. I actually get even better results from my RCBS Uniflow (except for stick powder), but I keep that set up for my single stage press where I load precision ammo.

Two things that Dillon is exceptional at: customer service and marketing. I think Hornady's customer service approaches that of Dillon, at least the one time I had to exercise it to get more primer tubes. But nobody beats Dillon's marketing, with the cute little teeny boppers on the cover of the catalogs and the fact that they send out catalogs like periodicals. But Dillon pays for that marketing and passes the costs on to the consumer. I think that's why he sells a lesser press for the same price as the Lock-N-Load; he has to recover those costs somewhere.
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Handloader
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:43 am    Post subject: Re: Got Dillon 550? Reply with quote

Some aspects of your post FALphil are absolutely correct. The Dillon Girls calendar is spectacular! The profits from the sale of that calendar offset model costs and add to the bottom line. It surprised me to find out that some of those models actually own firearms and are engaged in the sport.

FWIW, Dillon recommends avoiding long stick powder in their measures. The measure itself is somewhat ingenious. It isn't designed to be a tight mount to the press, rather, it has some built in movement that keeps powder compaction consistent. I would note that weighed drops with most powders are within a tenth of a grain. That's adequate for me.

The Lock-N-Load is an excellent concept and you see several companies offering conversion kits for quick die interchange. If Joyce Hornady could only see what his company has become, he would be absolutely amazed. They offer some great products and always deserve consideration for the dedicated reloader. I'm glad you are pleased with yours and, I add, we have numerous customers that are pleased with their Hornady reloading items. When customers sit and reload on the various progressive presses, they often choose Dillon and some find Hornady is a better price point if they can't afford the Dillon or simply prefer Hornady's approach. Either way, the customer wins with great products which is not always the case with some of the reloading presses being offered by other firms.
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SwampFox
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 12:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Got Dillon 550? Reply with quote

Hey Phil,
Has Hornady fixed the sideways primer problem they used to have? The ones from the 80s required the entire machine be taken apart when a primer flipped. That primer, unless you stopped, would also strip a gear or shear a pin.

I had a 450, then a 550 and now I have the 550 with measuring stick powder throw and I also have a PW. But the star of the bench is the green Rockchucker bought in 1968. It still works like new. The Rockchucker must be the most reccomended reloading machine in the world.

Vince, IPSC and IDPA was why I got into the 450 to start with. But that old hand punch powder throw was a real test..... pop, OH YA GOT A DILLON, HUH.... at the range, razz.

I think every company could take lessons from Mike. He is simply a master at marketing and customer service.
Ed

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Handloader
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Got Dillon 550? Reply with quote

Prior to the advent of the Rockchucker, RCBS built a massive single stage called the A-2. It has a tad more leverage and, when mounted, has a slight rearward angle. I found one and bought it years ago and continue to use it for forming some brass for wildcats.

The Rockchucker used to have the date of manufacture stamped on the top. So did their dies. Like SwampFox's, mine is dated 1968 and has been the "go to" press for all centerfire rifle and some handgun. It has loaded literally hundreds of thousands of rounds without missing a beat.
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Crackshot
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Got Dillon 550? Reply with quote


The center of this target is .5", AS you can see, The first three shots went into that half inch. The ammunition was loaded on a Dillon 550B useing a Dillon powder measure and shot from a AR platform rifle.
All supposedly inaccurate systems! wtf
I guess I'll stick to my Dillon's. Oop's I also have a Lyman Spartan thats 30+ years old I think, and I just purchased a Lee Classic Turret press .....................Just for the Hell of it. Shocked

I never know what Im going to do from one minute to the next...But I do know that the Dillon presses bolted to my bench are never going to go any place.
Hornady makes a darn nice press too. But when I purchased my first Dillon 19 years ago Hornady had not yet got their progressive off the ground yet.

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SwampFox
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Got Dillon 550? Reply with quote

Sorry, I responded to half of the question. I load 223, 30-20, 30 Carbine, 9mm, 38spl, 357 mag, 357 SM, 44 Mag, 45 ACP, 45 Super and 445 SM on the 550. I use RCBS and Hornady dies. I do not use Dillion or Lee dies at all. My big stuff I load on the Rockchucker while I use the PW for the 7TCU cast bullets.
Ed

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Got Dillon 550? Reply with quote

PRESS DILLION 550 B

Gun STI 1911 9MM
Chronograph Pact Model 1 @ 6'
Load:
Winchester case
Winchester WSP primer
Hodgdon Titegroup powder @ 3.4 grains
147 grain Rainer plated bullet

Shot # / Velocity
#1/ 927.4
#2/ 928.0
#3/ 914.1
#4/ 922.5
#5/ 927.6
#6/ 915.3
#7/ 921.3
#8/ 930.6

Avg. 923.4
ES 16.5
SD 6.1
AD 5.1

This was the best of 3 such tests
The other two also kept AD and SD under 10

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TRBLSHTR
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Got Dillon 550? Reply with quote

wtf FWIW-I have been reloading for over 39 yrs,started with an old C-H press,then in '78 bought a rockchucker,loaded with it till '83 when I bought a dillon 450 and the rockchucker got retired and the C-H was given away,in '84 got a "speed-up" kit for the 450,along came Y2K and I bought a 550B,I load all of my pistol cases in the progressive mode and am only seeing less than one tenth of a grain deviation by either the 450 or the 550,when I load my rifle cases the dillons are used as single stage presses and each powder charge is weighed and trickled separately!I gave away my rockchucker to my cousin that was just starting to reload and have never looked back because either one of the dillons take up any slack left by the rockchucker!I run rcbs,lyman,lee,pacific,hornady,and a couple other die sets on these dillons with no headaches.I just can't fault the dillon except it won't operate by mental telepathy! Very Happy
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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Got Dillon 550? Reply with quote

The Dillion can be ordered off their website for 400$, lets add ~100$ shipping and its actually 60$ cheaper (with ~50$ worth of shipping) then a Hornady L-N-L progressive bought from a Canadian source I just looked up. Confused

Dimitri

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