Dillon progressive purchase advice needed

Ape_Factory

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About to pull the trigger on a Dillon progressive reloader. I am reloading for semi-auto rifles (except for the 9mm which is handgun only). I've read through dozens of threads and found these particularly useful so yes, I've done some reading/research:

I am reloading for the following and already have dies for them:
-9mm
-300 Blackout
-5.56
-.308

Because I want to reload in bulk for 9mm, and I have use for large and small primers with the rifle rounds, I’m considering the XL750 over the 550. I’ve even considered just getting the 550 basic, perhaps even two of them. My goal is to eliminate the massive time suck I’ve created in reloading for the semi-auto rifles. It’s not unusual for me to reload 500 at a time over the course of a few days.

I am aiming for practical precision and hunting, not shooting out to 1,000 yards out of a bolt gun (yet). I’ll keep my single stage if I really need to be precise and work up to that on the Dillon.

Here’s my current process for rifle using an RCBS single stage press.
-Short wet tumble with stainless media
-Dry in dehumidifier
-Decap with universal decapping die
-Swage with a Dillon Super Swage 600 when needed (I use a lot of Lake City brass)
-Ream and unify when I really want to torture myself. Otherwise just a quick ream on an RCBS to make the primers go in easier
-Anneal
-Lube and full length resize using Hornady custom grade dies
-Set neck tension with Century 21 mandrel
-Trim to length if needed on a Giraud
-Longer wet tumble with stainless media
-Dry in dehumidifier
-Prime with Franklin hand-held
-Measure powder with either an RCBS Chargemaster 1500 or use an RCBS thrower or Lee thrower depending on powders used and if load is developed.
-Seat bullet with a Hornady seater and micrometer
-Crimp in separate step with a Redding crimp die


This has worked well for me in terms of the quality I’ve been able to produce. I know I could likely do an initial longer tumble and forget about cleaning primer pockets. I may go that route. I haven’t really looked but are there rifle full length resizing dies with a primer punch but without the neck expander ball? That’d eliminate a separate step right there.

I currently use the following powders with the caliber in parenthesis:
-H335 (5.56)
-Benchmark (5.56)
-IMR 4064 (7.62)
-Varget (7.62)
-CFE Blk (300 Blackout)
-Lil Gun (300 Blackout)
-H110 (300 Blackout)
-VV N120 (300 Blackout)
-VV N340 (9mm)
-Alliant Sport Pistol (9mm)

I get really good results with the Lee thrower and the extruded powders like Varget. Anything that’s ball, non-extruded, goes through the RCBS thrower although I have not tried all the powders above through the RCBS or Lee throwers just yet. I will likely simplify my powders and stick to one for each cartridge if I’m able but like the flexibility depending on availability.

**I am going to separate brass processing and reloading into two different steps on the Dillon.**

**I almost never load more than one caliber in a “session”. I may load up say 300 .308 cartridges with a single stage and will move on to something else at a later time. So setup time isn’t a major factor but it is a factor.

One quick question, when ordering the XL750 from Dillon, you must specify a cartridge. Is there any advantage in ordering one over another? My most pressing needs (I see what you did there) are 300 blackout and 9mm.

I don’t want to go overboard with add ons that I may not make a difference based on my practical accuracy requirement. I don’t have an unlimited budget and want to keep it smart. I may try out the Dillon products first and want to keep my dies preset. If they don’t work for me, I’ll look towards the aftermarket, toolheads not included. With that said, here’s what I’d like to order from Dillon;
-XL750 basic kit
-Extra primer tubes for small/large
-Caliper conversion kits for the other three cartridges
-Powder dies (3) so I can swap over the powder measure between tool heads
-Bullet tray
-Possibly the RT1500 trimmer, short trim toolhead and rapid trim size/trim die

I am willing to make mods/adjustments to the powder drop system (polish everything) and the priming system which I know can also be a hangup. I'm also willing to move the powder measuring step off-press if need be.

Aftermarket in no particular order;
-Inline Fab locator pin tabs
-Inline Fab Ultramount
-Inline Fab ERGO roller lever
-Uniquetek powder tube baffle
-Uniwquetek Powder bar micrometer (assuming I just need one if swapping out the powder measure
-Uniquetek powder measure quick change, QD Tab
-Billet tool heads, possibly floating die variety like Armanov, for each caliber
-Shellplate bearing kit (like Hit Factor) which’ll come in hand with 300BLK supers especially
-Possibly the Area 419 master funnel kit if I’m dropping manually
-KMS LED light kit

What else might I need to swap the powder system from tool head to tool head easily? I’ll eventually add more but would like to save a few $$$ initially by moving it from toolhead to toolhead.

Anything else that might be absolutely necessary? I’m sure I’ve left some stuff out as there’s a lot to consider and you don’t always know what you don’t know until you’re hands on.
 

CK1.0

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If you plan on doing a bunch of 5.56, get a RL1100, the on-press swage is worth the extra money up front.

If you go XL750, just get a "no caliber" version (Dillon dies aren't bad, but you can pick out your own dies and end up better off). You'll absolutely want the case feeder.

Definitly do the Inline Fab mount and ergo handle, the other stuff isn't as impactful.
 

Ape_Factory

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Ah ok, I didn't realize there was a "no caliber" option, didn't look closely enough.

If Varget is a no-go with the Dillon, I'll throw off the press, hence the Area419 funnel addition. If anyone has a suggestion for powder, .308 that's not temp sensitive and works with light and heavy bullets, and is ball, I'm all ears.
 

TheOfficeT-Rex

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    You're going to want the casefeeder. I wouldn't run a 750 without one.
    The KMS LED systems are the best setup I've found for press lighting. Big upgrade.
    I'd skip extra primer tubes, and get a primer tube filler like DA or the frankford instead.
    For throwing off press, the 419 funnel is money. You dont need the kit, just the dillon funnel head. For on press, the dillon throwers are good for ball and small stick powders 8208 size and smaller. I tend to only use them on certain calibers and leave them set up.

    The rest of the 'upgrades' aren't going to net you much, IMHO.
     

    JsnSanko

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    Ah ok, I didn't realize there was a "no caliber" option, didn't look closely enough.

    If Varget is a no-go with the Dillon, I'll throw off the press, hence the Area419 funnel addition. If anyone has a suggestion for powder, .308 that's not temp sensitive and works with light and heavy bullets, and is ball, I'm all ears.
    BL-C(2), Tac, AR Comp, CFE-223

    Not sure on the temp sensitive side.
     

    Ape_Factory

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    You're going to want the casefeeder. I wouldn't run a 750 without one.
    The KMS LED systems are the best setup I've found for press lighting. Big upgrade.
    I'd skip extra primer tubes, and get a primer tube filler like DA or the frankford instead.
    For throwing off press, the 419 funnel is money. You dont need the kit, just the dillon funnel head. For on press, the dillon throwers are good for ball and small stick powders 8208 size and smaller. I tend to only use them on certain calibers and leave them set up.

    The rest of the 'upgrades' aren't going to net you much, IMHO.
    Primer tube filler...DA is double alpha? I didn't even know that existed! Thank you for that.

    Understood on the 419 funnel. This is why I ask questions :)
    If you go XL750, just get a "no caliber" version (Dillon dies aren't bad, but you can pick out your own dies and end up better off). You'll absolutely want the case feeder.

    I just realized, if I pick a one of the four caliber versions I load for, it doesn't include dies. It's just a "caliber conversion kit" and the same cost as if I order them separately ($115). I'd have to order four, one in 9mm, 5.56, 300 Blk and .308 correct?

    So right now in my cart I have the following:
    (1)XL 750 (no caliber)
    (4) caliber conversion kits for the four calibers I load for
    (4) powder dies but wondering if I only need 3 as one should be included in the basic kit

    If I go with the case feeder, I'll need it in whatever caliber and then corresponding plates for the other three calibers.
     

    Threadcutter308

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    Primer tube filler...DA is double alpha? I didn't even know that existed! Thank you for that.

    Understood on the 419 funnel. This is why I ask questions :)


    I just realized, if I pick a one of the four caliber versions I load for, it doesn't include dies. It's just a "caliber conversion kit" and the same cost as if I order them separately ($115). I'd have to order four, one in 9mm, 5.56, 300 Blk and .308 correct?

    So right now in my cart I have the following:
    (1)XL 750 (no caliber)
    (4) caliber conversion kits for the four calibers I load for
    (4) powder dies but wondering if I only need 3 as one should be included in the basic kit

    If I go with the case feeder, I'll need it in whatever caliber and then corresponding plates for the other three calibers.
    I'd suggest giving Dillon a call to discuss with them. My experience with them has been that they are pretty good at not trying to load you up with things you don't need. The 550 is strictly manual. It's a great press, but I'd go with the 650/750 for speed/convenienc. The casefeeder is a no brainer. I have a 650 set up for 9 and a second 650 set up for 45. Both have casefeeders and Mr. Bulletfeeders. Dreamy......
     
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    TheOfficeT-Rex

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    I'd have to order four, one in 9mm, 5.56, 300 Blk and .308 correct?

    Three - 556 and 300BO share the same shellplate and buttons. You'll just need the 300 funnel for the powder die.

    DA is double alpha - I have their primafil, it works for me.
     

    Ape_Factory

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    Yeah for some odd reason I thought the case feeder was more than the XL750 but that's doable. I'll look into Mr. Bulletfeeder although I likely won't have a problem setting the bullet in there myself. I know that's something I can add down the road. I'll take your advice and give them a buzz.

    Not sure what to do on the tool heads. I know I'll need two for each caliber. I'm still leaning towards aftermarket/floating.
    I'd suggest giving Dillon a call to discuss with them. My experience with them has been that they are pretty good at not trying to load you up with things you don't need. The 550 is strictly manual. It's a great press, but I'd go with the 650/750 for speed/convenienc. The casefeeder is a no brainer. I have a 650 set up for 9 and a second 650 set up for 45. Both have casefeeders and Mr. Bulletfeeders. Dreamy......
     

    JsnSanko

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    I am shopping the same as you. One thing I am looking at is doing two case prep heads.

    First is only a decapping die. Run with a case feeder and just decal as quick as possible. Then wet tumble/sonic/dry clean (whatever your method).

    Second is a size, mandrel, and then trim with the 1500 set up. After this step again your method clean the sizing lube off. Chamfer the case mouths between this and the next,

    Then move into your loading setups. First step would a mandrel. Choose your method. Maybe even load real long range stuff on the old Rock Chucker.

    The power trimmer is a game changer to me. As well as the dragging set up. Have heard spare parts kits are good.

    Am going to go play with a buddy’s that has some experience, we are going to do a caliber change also. Only ever loaded on a single stage.
     
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    TheOfficeT-Rex

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    Not sure what to do on the tool heads. I know I'll need two for each caliber. I'm still leaning towards aftermarket/floating.

    Either dillon heads, or whidden if you want to be fancy. I didn't like the clamping toolheads, they have their own quirks.

    I load rifle in two pass, so I can tumble off lube and trim/chamfer/debur off press. 9mm and rifle rounds that don't get a trim every pass are done on one toolhead.
     

    Threadcutter308

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    Yeah for some odd reason I thought the case feeder was more than the XL750 but that's doable. I'll look into Mr. Bulletfeeder although I likely won't have a problem setting the bullet in there myself. I know that's something I can add down the road. I'll take your advice and give them a buzz.

    Not sure what to do on the tool heads. I know I'll need two for each caliber. I'm still leaning towards aftermarket/floating.
    Keep in mind that you do lose a hole in the toolhead to MRBF. MRBF has to have a dedicated position, usually hole number three (on a 650/750). Also, you have to change out the Dillon drop tube/bell in the powder measure for the MRBF one. The MRBF one is intended to slightly bell the mouth of the case so the bullet being dropped will go into the case mouth. This does make the whole concept of "quick caliber change" less viable. If you've never had a 650/750/1050 before, you'll find that changeouts get to be a PITA pretty quickly. I haven't tried MRBF for centerfire rifle cartridges, but both of them go like raped apes for pistol ammo on my 650's. Since the Dillon 1050 has more holes in the toolhead, it might be the better choice if using MRBF's.

    I'd suggest that rather than going all in on buying all kinds of parts and pieces ($$$$) to cater to 4 different calibers, just buy what you need to set the press up for one caliber initially. I'd probably set it up for 45 first. Once you're up and running with the press in one caliber, you'll have a better idea of what the nuances are in changing over to other calibers. you'll be in a better position to know what you need to buy (and more importantly, what you DON'T need to buy (saving $$$$)) for a successful caliber conversion.

    When I want to load 9, the biggest PITA is just getting the 9/650 press out of the storage cabinet and bolting it to the bench. Other than those 4 bolts, it's always ready to go. Same with my 45/650 press.
     

    Ape_Factory

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    Either dillon heads, or whidden if you want to be fancy. I didn't like the clamping toolheads, they have their own quirks.

    I load rifle in two pass, so I can tumble off lube and trim/chamfer/debur off press. 9mm and rifle rounds that don't get a trim every pass are done on one toolhead.
    Yeah I guess my concern is I loose a bit of accuracy with the Dillon heads and then have to spend more for floating billet heads to get it back. I won't know until I actually sit down and load though. Just going by what I've read on this forum. Didn't consider loading 9mm on one head. One less part to buy!
     

    Ape_Factory

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    Keep in mind that you do lose a hole in the toolhead to MRBF. MRBF has to have a dedicated position, usually hole number three (on a 650/750). Also, you have to change out the Dillon drop tube/bell in the powder measure for the MRBF one. The MRBF one is intended to slightly bell the mouth of the case so the bullet being dropped will go into the case mouth. This does make the whole concept of "quick caliber change" less viable. If you've never had a 650/750/1050 before, you'll find that changeouts get to be a PITA pretty quickly. I haven't tried MRBF for centerfire rifle cartridges, but both of them go like raped apes for pistol ammo on my 650's. Since the Dillon 1050 has more holes in the toolhead, it might be the better choice if using MRBF's.

    I'd suggest that rather than going all in on buying all kinds of parts and pieces ($$$$) to cater to 4 different calibers, just buy what you need to set the press up for one caliber initially. I'd probably set it up for 45 first. Once you're up and running with the press in one caliber, you'll have a better idea of what the nuances are in changing over to other calibers. you'll be in a better position to know what you need to buy (and more importantly, what you DON'T need to buy (saving $$$$)) for a successful caliber conversion.

    When I want to load 9, the biggest PITA is just getting the 9/650 press out of the storage cabinet and bolting it to the bench. Other than those 4 bolts, it's always ready to go. Same with my 45/650 press.
    Good advice. It did cross my mind to just get it set up for one caliber first just to see what's what. With that said, if I set it up for 45 first, I'll have to buy a new handgun chambered in .45, LOL. I kid of course (but not really because gun acquisition syndrome is real, aka GAS).
     
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    Huskydriver

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    Honestly clamping the tool head and floating my dies with a rubber oring has yielded the same run out I get on a single stage for me. Ymmv.

    Yea I tumble pistol brass first and let er rip in one pass Mr bullet feeder is also a must for me. I like luxury
     
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    MJC

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    Reaming a long taper and polishing the inside of the powder funnel (the sleeve inside the powder die that contacts the case) will help a lot with stick powders. Short kernel powders such as Vhit N100 series do quite well afterwards given a few seconds delay. Varget, 4895, etc. and other larger kernel stick powders may still give bridging problems but you will just have to try it and see. The delay is very important. Don't rush it even with ball powders.
     
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    padom

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    Ah ok, I didn't realize there was a "no caliber" option, didn't look closely enough.

    If Varget is a no-go with the Dillon, I'll throw off the press, hence the Area419 funnel addition. If anyone has a suggestion for powder, .308 that's not temp sensitive and works with light and heavy bullets, and is ball, I'm all ears.

    8208...been throwing it on a XL650 for years with excellent results making precision 5.56 rounds with 77's...8208 is great for 5.56 and 308...

    See some of my previous Dillon threads about the mods I've done to get more accurate and consistent throws....polished hopper, polished powder bar, polished funnel, powder baffle, Micrometer powder adjustment install...
     

    Lightning8

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    I will be the 550 fan. I would suggest getting two Dillon 550s and leave one dedicated to small primer and one dedicated to large primer. Run the 9mm and the 223 on the small primer press and 45/308 family on the large primer press.

    Try to just run commercial, uncrimped 223 brass - save the crimped brass for when you have a lot of time to deal with it.

    PS: I like TAC for heavy (75-80) 223 bolt gun loads using Dillon powder drop
     
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    padom

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    The 550 is great, use it for all my precision bolt gun loading... but for mass producing 9mm and 5.56...no thanks...a 550 doesnt come close to a properly tuned 650/750 with case and bullet feeder.. not only do you have to handle all your cases and bullets..you also have to manually advance your shell plate...great for precision loading....not for cranking out ammo fast or in large qty...

    Quick video I made for a buddy of mine during final testing getting it dialed in for my 9mm subs 147gr/N340 before going full steam...just pull the handle and keep the hoppers full...

     

    Ape_Factory

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    The 550 is great, use it for all my precision bolt gun loading... but for mass producing 9mm and 5.56...no thanks...a 550 doesnt come close to a properly tuned 650/750 with case and bullet feeder.. not only do you have to handle all your cases and bullets..you also have to manually advance your shell plate...great for precision loading....not for cranking out ammo fast or in large qty...

    Quick video I made for a buddy of mine during final testing getting it dialed in for my 9mm subs 147gr/N340 before going full steam...just pull the handle and keep the hoppers full...


    Great video. I have read many of your posts regarding the Dillon so much appreciated!

    I've seen 8208 mentioned in a few threads, I'll take a look at that powder as well.
     

    Lightning8

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    I just picked up a fully decked out 650 from an estate sale so I will soon see the magic. However, I never felt the 550s were "too slow" and the 650/750 with feeders is a lot more $$ and complexity. No doubt 650/750/1050/1100 faster.
     
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    Choid

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    I would not load pistol on a 650/750 machine, but I am a lazy SOB, so there you go. There are a number of reasons, you can't swage, the priming system sucks and you just don't have enough toolhead space to do everything you need to do for pistol rounds. I actually much prefer the Mark 7 Apex to the 1100 for pistol, mainly because you have a few extra stations, and they are really useful. Also, it is better for automation.

    There is no real advantage to the 1100 over the 750 if you are just loading rifle, other than if you are using mil brass, the 1100 is a no brainer. Hell, it is still a no brainer just given the ability to set and forget primer depth rather than to fuck with manual priming. The downside is that the 1100 is much worse for precision ammo, imo, because of the moving toolhead and stationary shellholder setup. Also, it's not well equipped to throw charges off the press.

    There are a lot of people here who make these presses work really well outside their comfort zone, but they are doing extra work in order to do so. I guess, having used all of the presses in question, other than the 750 but having used a 650 briefly, I'd rank them thusly:

    For pistol - Apex, 1100, wouldn't bother.
    For semi rifle - 1100, 750, 550
    For precision rifle - 550, 750, just use a single stage

    Other than the 550, use a MBF if you can. They really speed things up. The downside of seating and crimping in one stage is huge, though, so it is definitely a compromise.

    As far as filling primers, the Primer xPress on the Apex is a true gamechanger. Hopefully Dillon will do something like that as well. The automated small primer filler from DAA is hit or miss for me. I have one that is great, one that often flips primers. The manual one is a POS.
     
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    Gustav7

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    I would not load pistol on a 650/750 machine, but I am a lazy SOB, so there you go. There are a number of reasons, you can't swage, the priming system sucks and you just don't have enough toolhead space to do everything you need to do for pistol rounds. I actually much prefer the Mark 7 Apex to the 1100 for pistol, mainly because you have a few extra stations, and they are really useful. Also, it is better for automation.

    What all are you doing for pistol cases? lol

    I've done maybe 10k+ of 9mm on my 550 and I do it all in one toolhead. Now that being said, its slow and I plan on adding a 750 soon for 9mm, but I can't imagine actually using more than 5 stations for pistol cases.

    The 750 also has the 550 style priming system, which I actually really like. Is the Apex or 1100 significantly better? It looks like a similar system, holds 100 primers vertically, etc.
     

    Choid

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    What all are you doing for pistol cases? lol

    I've done maybe 10k+ of 9mm on my 550 and I do it all in one toolhead. Now that being said, its slow and I plan on adding a 750 soon for 9mm, but I can't imagine actually using more than 5 stations for pistol cases.

    The 750 also has the 550 style priming system, which I actually really like. Is the Apex or 1100 significantly better? It looks like a similar system, holds 100 primers vertically, etc.
    I use a Mark 7 apex on an autodrive.

    First I decap in an auto decapper, then wet clean. Then I rollsize them.

    Stations on my loader are decap (in case something got through), swage, size and prime, expand, powder w/o expansion, powder check, bullet drop, seat, crimp. On the swage station there is a sensor to check if there is a primer pocket issue. On the expand station there is a sensor to make sure the primer is in and seated properly, and at the seating station there is a sensor to make sure the bullet is present and turned in the right direction.

    It's probably overkill, but I like it, and I can load a shit ton of ammo quickly knowing that there aren't going to be issues that come up when I am shooting.

    The 1050/1100 and Apex prime on the downstroke, not the upstroke, so it is completely different. The 1050/1100 priming system is not dissimilar in that it is a vertical, sliding system, but it is a set depth system, unlike the 550/750. The Apex comes with a vertical rotary system, but you can switch out the vertical part for an automatic system, where you dump in the primers and it shakes and shuttles them down as it goes. It's an extra $600, but man is it worth it.

    So, I guess to answer your question, I really like to have a bullet feeder and a powder check, and to seat and crimp on separate stations. I also much prefer to expand separate from powder dropping, as I seem to be able to set it for much less expansion that way. As far as primer seating, I prefer the ability to set the depth mechanically, and I don't particularly like priming on the upstroke, especially with straight walled cartridges.
     
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    SmithM21

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    I ordered a 750 at my LGS 3 weeks ago. The LGS is a Dillon approved and stocks their products. In the mean time I have a Redding T7 on it's way. I will do my Pistol on the 750 and my rifle on my Redding T7.

    I need to purchase some Inline Mounts. Due to my low ceiling I will be mounting my 750 on a Inline Quick Mount with a spacer plate. That is the only way I can mount a case feeder on my 750. The Redding T7 will go on top of a Inline High Mount with the Quick Mount Change Plate Option. It will be mounted next to my MEC Marksman.
     
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    Threadcutter308

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    I ordered a 750 at my LGS 3 weeks ago. The LGS is a Dillon approved and stocks their products. In the mean time I have a Redding T7 on it's way. I will do my Pistol on the 750 and my rife on my Redding T7.

    I need to purchase some Inline Mounts. Due to my low ceiling I will be mounting my 750 on a Inline Quick Mount with a spacer plate. That is the only way I can mount a case feeder on my 750. The Redding T7 will go on top of a Inline High Mount with the Quick Mount Change Plate Option. It will be mounted next to my MEC Marksman.
    You may or may not already know this.......Some people have cut down the casefeeder support tube and also cut down the casefeeder feed tube. You ought to be able to reduce the overall height by at least (?) 6 inches, maybe more. If you are going to add a Mr. Bulletfeeder, you're going to need even more height (reduction) for it. (All this, given a low ceiling).
     
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    Gustav7

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    I use a Mark 7 apex on an autodrive.

    First I decap in an auto decapper, then wet clean. Then I rollsize them.

    Stations on my loader are decap (in case something got through), swage, size and prime, expand, powder w/o expansion, powder check, bullet drop, seat, crimp. On the swage station there is a sensor to check if there is a primer pocket issue. On the expand station there is a sensor to make sure the primer is in and seated properly, and at the seating station there is a sensor to make sure the bullet is present and turned in the right direction.

    It's probably overkill, but I like it, and I can load a shit ton of ammo quickly knowing that there aren't going to be issues that come up when I am shooting.

    The 1050/1100 and Apex prime on the downstroke, not the upstroke, so it is completely different. The 1050/1100 priming system is not dissimilar in that it is a vertical, sliding system, but it is a set depth system, unlike the 550/750. The Apex comes with a vertical rotary system, but you can switch out the vertical part for an automatic system, where you dump in the primers and it shakes and shuttles them down as it goes. It's an extra $600, but man is it worth it.

    So, I guess to answer your question, I really like to have a bullet feeder and a powder check, and to seat and crimp on separate stations. I also much prefer to expand separate from powder dropping, as I seem to be able to set it for much less expansion that way. As far as primer seating, I prefer the ability to set the depth mechanically, and I don't particularly like priming on the upstroke, especially with straight walled cartridges.

    Understandable lol. Sounds like a legit setup.
     

    Ape_Factory

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    Quick question...if I go with one of the billet toolheads, can I use it just like a standard toolhead in "non-floating die" mode? Or does the dimensional precision negate necessary play to use it like a normal Dillon cast toolhead?
     

    padom

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    Quick question...if I go with one of the billet toolheads, can I use it just like a standard toolhead in "non-floating die" mode? Or does the dimensional precision negate necessary play to use it like a normal Dillon cast toolhead?

    Huh? A billet toolhead ?? Or a billet floating die toolhead?? You can buy a billet toolhead both ways...I have many of both...
     

    Ape_Factory

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    Huh? A billet toolhead ?? Or a billet floating die toolhead?? You can buy a billet toolhead both ways...I have many of both...
    Specifically the Armanov billet floating die toolhead. Can I run that without floating the dies? If there's less play in the toolhead vs. the standard Dillon cast toolheads, does that cause alignment issues if you don't float the dies?
     
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    padom

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    Specifically the Armanov billet floating die toolhead. Can I run that without floating the dies? If there's less play in the toolhead vs. the standard Dillon cast toolheads, does that cause alignment issues if you don't float the dies?

    I mean why buy a floating die toolhead if you aren't going to floating the dies for the least runout??? Just buy a non-floating billet toolhead if thats what you want to do...
     
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    Ape_Factory

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    I'd like the option to do both. To float if its needed or to keep it more simple if it's not. If I can buy one toolhead and use it both ways, great. I buy the floating toolhead once, pay for shipping once and have some flexibility.
     

    padom

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    I'd like the option to do both. To float if its needed or to keep it more simple if it's not. If I can buy one toolhead and use it both ways, great. I buy the floating toolhead once, pay for shipping once and have some flexibility.

    You can get 2 packs of billet toolheads on eBay with free shipping for dirt cheap. Don't limit yourself.. I have at least 50 toolheads between 3 presses....

     

    Wiillk

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    To me, that’s a hard choice of caliber. My initial thought is to go with a 750 for the 9 and a 550 for the rest, but the biggest time issue and the most worry is changing out the primer assembly on the 550, and now the 750 as it uses the same primer feed system. Yet the choice of two 550’s, one small primer and one large primer is a hard choice because you would be purchasing an entire system to load one caliber. Plus, the 550 case feeder only works with handgun rounds, fine for the 9 but would it be in the way for the .223 and the 300 BO.

    Whatever you do, if you go Dillion, spend the money and get a full setup for each caliber. However for the .223/300 rounds, buy one caliber conversion and separate a powder die and funnel. The faceplate and buttons are the same. Saves a good bit of money. Plan on at least $200 for each caliber Plus the costs of the press and accessories and dies.

    Strong mounts and bullet holder are a must. Spreads the loads on the center of your table instead of the edge. The bullet holder puts bullets right where you want them.

    I run two 550’s one for large and one for small primers plus a good single stage for small runs and case forming.

    Our son runs two 550’s again for small and large primers plus a dedicated 650 for 9mm..

    What ever you do, its not cheap, but when you get it running the way you want it, its fairly fast.
     

    Jackomason

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    I run the 550c and have a 2 part video series on reloading precision rifle on it. For rifle ammo it's been awesome. I wouldn't mind getting a 750 for knocking out 5.56 and 9mm but I don't feel like loading 5.56 is a waste on the 550. But for bolt gun/ gas gun the ammo coming off the press is perfect.

    I know your needs are a little different though. Just know that you're making the right move!
     

    Cascade Hemi

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    I use a Mark 7 apex on an autodrive.

    First I decap in an auto decapper, then wet clean. Then I rollsize them.

    Stations on my loader are decap (in case something got through), swage, size and prime, expand, powder w/o expansion, powder check, bullet drop, seat, crimp. On the swage station there is a sensor to check if there is a primer pocket issue. On the expand station there is a sensor to make sure the primer is in and seated properly, and at the seating station there is a sensor to make sure the bullet is present and turned in the right direction.

    It's probably overkill, but I like it, and I can load a shit ton of ammo quickly knowing that there aren't going to be issues that come up when I am shooting.

    The 1050/1100 and Apex prime on the downstroke, not the upstroke, so it is completely different. The 1050/1100 priming system is not dissimilar in that it is a vertical, sliding system, but it is a set depth system, unlike the 550/750. The Apex comes with a vertical rotary system, but you can switch out the vertical part for an automatic system, where you dump in the primers and it shakes and shuttles them down as it goes. It's an extra $600, but man is it worth it.

    So, I guess to answer your question, I really like to have a bullet feeder and a powder check, and to seat and crimp on separate stations. I also much prefer to expand separate from powder dropping, as I seem to be able to set it for much less expansion that way. As far as primer seating, I prefer the ability to set the depth mechanically, and I don't particularly like priming on the upstroke, especially with straight walled cartridges.

    Agreed. I've loaded several hundred thousand rounds on a 650 and loath loading 9mm on it. The only caveat is 40SW is exceptionally easy on a 650.
     

    padom

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    Yea this thread is getting funnier and funnier.. I've loaded 100k's of 9mm on a 650 with bullet and case feeder...I did not like the all in one crimp/seating die so I went back to my Redding Micrometer 9mm seating die and Dillon crimp die by removing the powder check and using a small camera and 7" screen for powder checking... I just pull the handle and keep all the hoppers full.. I have ZERO issues pumping out lots of very accurate 9mm.
     

    Cascade Hemi

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    Curious why 9mm is a pain, but 40 is a breeze?

    There is an infinite variation of 9mm cases, from every country in the world, on the market; crimping, stepped, more/less taper, thickness, etc. There is only one 40SW, there is no crimping, and straight walled. Mixed 9mm brass on a 650 sucks.
     

    CK1.0

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    I think 9mm is a little easier on the 750 than on a 650, the 550/750 primer system is pretty easy to deal with as compared to the 650's primer system once you figure it out. (JMHO)

    For me, mixed brass on a 750, with a MBF and a Vibra-Prime (no pre-filling primer tubes), I can pump out ~600-800rds per hour (closer to ~1000 per hour once I shake the rust off). I shoot all kinds of typical range pickup crap, no special brass.

    The only thing "special" I do is: I sort out all the mil/crimped brass the old-fashioned way before it makes it in the case feeder. Yes, it sucks. and it's slow. But, I've found that probably more than anything else, this one stupid step eliminates the most headaches before they happen. Mil/crimped brass won't mess you up on a 650/750 every time, just 9 out of 10 times.

    99.8% of my shit passes the Hundo, 100% passes a Glock.

    If I was going to automate? Fuck no. It'd be a Mark 7 and a roll sizer without even thinking about it or I wouldn't even bother.
     
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    Choid

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    I don't think that anybody claimed that you can't reload 9mm on a 650/750, though given Dillon will tell you that a 1050 maxes out about 800 RPH normally, I don't buy 1k on one of the smaller machines as the 1050 is undoubtedly faster. All I said, and will certainly stand by, is that if you can afford it, and are getting a new setup, choosing a 650/750 as a pistol press is madness. I have also said that if you plain to change primer sizes, or to load precision rifle on it, that changes the calculus, but they aren't particularly good high volume pistol machines, and no number of rounds you might have loaded on one changes that.

    It's a great all around machine, and if that is what you are using it for, perfect. But if you are sitting there saying, "I've got rifle covered, and I really want a dedicated 9mm machine, I am going to get a xl750," you are making a bad choice unless it is coming down to cost.

    @CK1.0 I would definitely agree on the mk7 plus rollsizer, it is a great combo. I would further say that if you aren't going to automate, the mk7 is probably worse than the 1050/1100, because the various leverage curves are obviously built for automation and not that natural by hand. I am sure some use it that way, but in my opinion it isn't optimal.

    For the record, I have all of these machines sitting in my shop, except the 650/750 which I disliked and gave away, so I am not just talking out of my asshole.
     
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