Question for progressive pistol reloaders

wburke2010

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I have finally almost got everything I want to reload for precision rifles, so I want to get ready to buy a progressive to reload for pistols. I mostly shoot 45, but also shoot some 45. I am looking at getting a dillion but I am not sure which press to get. I know that I want a auto shell feeder. I know the difference for the dillion presses are how many stations there are. I was thinking that the 550 would be the way to go.

Which dillion press are you using and what made you pick it.

What dies are you using per station.

And if you don't mind sharing what it costs you to reload per shot.

Thanks

Walter
 

ShtrRdy

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I started out with a Hornady LnL about 11 years ago. At the time there was no way to use a powder check station. I ended up with a very light load during a match which almost pushed the bullet out of the barrel. The next round blew up the gun. So I got a Dillon 650 with powder check station and sold the Hornady.

As for cost per round - I load mostly 38 Super and 9mm - cost me about 16 cents per round since I buy components in bulk.
 

wburke2010

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Not dead set on going blue, but I know they had a little more options and accessories to go with the press when I looked into it a while ago. Is dillion the only one that has a five die progressive press to run a powder check?

Walter
 

gpz750

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dillon 650 great press, lots of options. One of the differences is it is auto index, no need for you to turn the shellplate. At current prices 45acp is
.29 for jacket and .25 for lead if you count brass cost. Can't really compare to loaded ammo price since there isn't any to buy around here.
 

Mschloss

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I too load all my rifle rounds (except .223) on a single stage. For my pistol rounds and .223 I love my LnL. Using powder check as a back up to visualizing the loads. To be honest, now that I am using steel media and a tumbler to clean brass I have changed my workflow a bit. Decapping brass then tumbling. Resizing in station one. Priming/Bell at station two. Powder at three. Powder check at four. Seating at 5. I very lightly crimp with seating. After I'm done, I run all the rounds though a taper crimp at station 5 (with all the other stations open).

The powder check is a little redundant with handgun, as it is pretty easy to visually check for powder, but I do it anyway. With .223 its impossible to really see the powder so the powder check is imperative IMO. I had to reverse to rod in the powder check die so it would fit through the case mouth of .223 and this works fine.

When I get in the groove I can pretty much load 400-500 handgun rounds in an hour or so without the bullet or case feeders. This does not take into account the extra time it takes me to deprime before tumbling.

Discounting brass (too much .40 and .45 at my range too even pick it all up) I am loading .40 and .45 for about 17 cents/round. I use Berry's/Ranier/Zero bullets bought in bulk.

Matt
 

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wburke2010

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Thanks for all the replies, When running a case feeder or bullet feeder does this take up one of the stations. I am either going to go with the dillion 650 or the lnl ammo plant, just not sure which way yet, but it looks like I will want five stations.

Walter
 

drglock

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    I've been using Dillon loaders 15 years started out with a square deal then switched to a 550 the one thing about Dillon is nobody will beat the warranty that the have.
     

    jagged77

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    I've just started using a progressive press for 44 mag, finding a Dillon is not easy but I came across a dirt cheap Lee Loadmaster set up for 44. Needed a few spares but I got those easily enough. I know they are either loved or hated but I quite enjoy reloading on mine. Just the primer feed system has given me cause for concern. It certainly cranks at loads at a good rate and the powder charging system has been surpisingly accurate. I'm hoping eventually a friend of mine is going to sell me his 650 that's been sitting in a corner of his workshop gathering dust for the last 5 years...!
     

    Pinecone

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    I am a Dillon person.

    For pistol and high production rate, get a 650 with case feeder. I can do about 1000 rounds of 45 per hour.

    I don't think a bullet feeder would make it any faster. And I eyeball the powder at the 3rd station, as I put the bullet on the case.
     

    Stoked4AA

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    I own both the 550 and 650. It all depends on how many rounds you need to load. I use the 550 for bulk .308 and .45 same shell plate is used and I use the 650 for 9mm, 9 major, and .223

    If you only shoot a couple thousand rounds a year get a 550. Consider cost of loader especially if you are doing this to save money. until you hit the 10,000 rounds a year mark i dont see how much you save with 650
     

    EddieNFL

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    The current LnL model has 5 stations.

    Has so from the beginning. Its predecessor, the Projector also had five stations. IIRC the previous model, the Pro 7 also had five stations.

    IMO/experience if you plan to load nothing but straight walled ammo, go with a 650. If you want to load rifle as well, go with the 550. I load nothing but .45ACP on my 650 and love it. But I prefer the manual indexing (more user control) of the 550 for rifle ammo.
     

    wburke2010

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    It will be used for mostly 45 only and maybe 40, but I have more 45 pistols and shoot them more. I don't shoot but maybe 5k rounds out of my pistol a year at the most. The cost of the 650 over the 550 I am not too worried about as I will be reloading and shooting for a long time so I want to do it right the first time. Looks like the 650 with the case feeder will be the way to go.

    Thanks

    Walter
     

    Deadshot2

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    Over the last decades I have owned progressive presses of every color. When I finally stepped up to a Dillon XL-650 with Casefeeder I kicked myself for having not bought it first.

    As for adding a bullet feeder, so far I haven't found the need. I need something to do with my left hand so it is my "feeder". I have a "Press Monitor" on the 650 that shows my loading rate for pistol rounds, using my hand bullet feeder to be well over 700 rounds per hour. If I load all my primer tubes in advance (10 of them), and keep the powder jug handy, I can load as long as my bladder will hold out ;);).

    Other than setting up the dies the first time around there's no more fussing needed. This press is just like the energizer bunny. It keeps going, and going, and going -------
     

    wburke2010

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    So here is what I am looking at ordering

    Dillion 650XL
    Strong Mount
    Dillion carbide dies for 45 acp
    case feeder
    low powder alarm
    Powder check
    4 extra powder pick up tubes
    Aluminum bullet tray
    little tool holder with allen wrenches and what not.
    XL 650 maintenance kit
    cover for reloader

    Total comes out to about 1200 straight from dillion.

    Is there anything that I am missing or does that about cover it?
    Does the powder die that comes with the machine have the powder hopper or do I have to order that too.

    Thanks

    Walter
     
    Last edited:

    EddieNFL

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    Get the spare parts kit. Not so much for wear and breakage, but (if you're like me) loss.
     

    wburke2010

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    Get the spare parts kit. Not so much for wear and breakage, but (if you're like me) loss.

    Yeah that is how it works for me too, I was just looking at that the maintenance kit is supposed to have spare parts and everything to clean and lube the machine If I am not mistaking.

    Forgot to add that to this list but I also had already planned on the aluminum roller handle.

    Walter
     

    Genius.

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    I don't know if the low powder sensor is worth it.

    The powder measurer is right in front of you, and it's one of the basic things to reloading, paying attention.

    Roller handle for sure.

    Dillon dies are the cats ass. Especially if you load lead. You just pop the seater out to clean the lead out and don't need to readjust.

    More Akro bins are always nice, but there are cheaper places to buy them than Dillon.
     

    wburke2010

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    I don't know if the low powder sensor is worth it.

    The powder measurer is right in front of you, and it's one of the basic things to reloading, paying attention.

    Roller handle for sure.

    Dillon dies are the cats ass. Especially if you load lead. You just pop the seater out to clean the lead out and don't need to readjust.

    More Akro bins are always nice, but there are cheaper places to buy them than Dillon.

    Thanks, I will add a few extra bins, I figured that I might as well get all the options while I can so I only have to do it once that is why I was going to get the alarm.

    Walter
     

    2Shots

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    550, add the case feeder, powder alarm is a waste of money, put a piece of piano wire down the primer tube to indicate when you are about out. Put a small inspection mirror over the case at the bullet station and look at the mirror before you set the bullet on it, you'll never miss a low powder case. Dillon dies are good for handgun. I have both a 550 and a 650. 550 is less trouble, especially when it jams up.
     

    hofhine1

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    So here is what I am looking at ordering

    Dillion 650XL
    Strong Mount
    Dillion carbide dies for 45 acp
    case feeder
    low powder alarm
    Powder check
    4 extra powder pick up tubes
    Aluminum bullet tray
    little tool holder with allen wrenches and what not.
    XL 650 maintenance kit
    cover for reloader

    Total comes out to about 1200 straight from dillion.

    Is there anything that I am missing or does that about cover it?
    Does the powder die that comes with the machine have the powder hopper or do I have to order that too.

    Thanks

    Walter

    Give Brian a call at Brian Enos.com, he sent me my first 1050 and threw in the bullet tray and a spare parts kit, which is imperative for your machine, as it keeps you running, and you just call Dillon once a month and refresh the parts you've broken. He also ships for free, and generally he's just a good guy. I'll bet he can slot you higher than if you order it by yourself, he has sold a metric shit ton of Blue iron over the past ten or fifteen years.

    I've got my 650 straight to the bench, (33.75"), and it is perfect for me with a drummers throne, I don't run it standing like the 1050 because it is so easy to pull with straight walled case. your powder measure is included as well as a powder die with the machine, the conversion kit has the caliber specific tube thing that sits inside the powder die.

    The 650 should be ready to run with everything you have one the list, and the only thing I'd add is Dillon's flip tray, which is the best one ever made, and a case gauge or two, I run all mine through a gauge before I can them, but that's just me, I want 100%. Sometimes friends are over having a cold adult beverage and I take a sheet of plywood on a couple sawhorses and we check a couple cans full over a six pack and everyone is happy.

    This will be a game changer for you.

    Have fun.


    Sean
     

    EddieNFL

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    Here is another option to consider. LED LIGHTING SYSTEMS

    I agree with ditching the low powder sensor. The measure is right in front of your face; easy to monitor. A word of caution about the powder check: Don't rely on this alone. Train yourself to look in each case. Batteries die and mechanical devices can bend, break or bind.

    You'll love the roller handle.
     

    280nosler

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    I reload on a Dillon 650. I too have a powder check system in station 3.

    I reload 9mm, 40 SW and 223 from that press. Not inclusive of the press cost (or brass for that matter), my reloads for 9mm run about 12 cents, but I have not bought powder or primers in the last 7 months, so that is sure to go up. My 223 rounds are based on 55 GRAIN BT-FMJ from Hornady, which I (have to) buy 18K at a time (3 boxes of 6K, each box was $449 delivered to my door). I buy powder and primers in bulk as well - typically 44 lbs of powder and 20K primers under 1 haz mat fee. My average price per lb of powder with haz mat and shipping is around $19, and primers have averaged $24. My average 223 round costs me about 16.5 cents, and my average 40SW round costs about 14 cents on average.
     

    EddieNFL

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    Nosler, where do get your powder and primers? Most places have a combined 50 pound limit. Some won't even combine.
     

    Cuckler

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    Dillon 550b. Definitely buy from brian enos. If you do you will get exactly what you need and nothing more. Its very easy to spend money on add ons with reloading machines.
    Standard set up for dies, deprime, powder die, bullet seater die, crimp die.
    The reason i got my 550 is because it is very easy to convert to other calibers. Also, ive heard that some other progressive machines need constant adjustment.
     

    Deadshot2

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    Nosler, where do get your powder and primers? Most places have a combined 50 pound limit. Some won't even combine.

    Those places that won't combine aren't shipping from a single location. Midway is one of those. They have to ship primers from one location and powder from another as they can't stock large quantities at their main location. Order one or the other from them or you'll get shafted by two Hazmat fees.

    Powder Valley Inc. is the best in all categories. Price and Customer Service are hard to beat. When times are normal they go out of their way to fill a hazmat container to the max so you only have to pay one charge.

    Now all we need to do is wait until things return to normal.
     

    wburke2010

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    Thanks guy will check out the flip tray. Also eddienfl I have already planned to get the led light kit. I actually got one one from inline for my coax as well as their strong mount and new linkage arms for my coax. About Brian enos I have a local gun store here that I try to buy stuff from because the guy takes care of me and he is a Dillon dealer so I am going to give him the first shot as long as his price is competitive which it should be.

    Walter
     

    EddieNFL

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    Those places that won't combine aren't shipping from a single location. Midway is one of those. They have to ship primers from one location and powder from another as they can't stock large quantities at their main location. Order one or the other from them or you'll get shafted by two Hazmat fees.

    Powder Valley Inc. is the best in all categories. Price and Customer Service are hard to beat. When times are normal they go out of their way to fill a hazmat container to the max so you only have to pay one charge.

    Now all we need to do is wait until things return to normal.

    Yeah, I'm familiar with Midway's SOP. Only time I purchased powder was five or six years ago. They had TAC on sale for $9.99 per pound. Bought 40 pounds. Been using PV for years. They've always limited me to 50 pounds per container. They consider primers as one pound per K unless buying Federal; they're two pounds per K.
     

    280nosler

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    Nosler, where do get your powder and primers? Most places have a combined 50 pound limit. Some won't even combine.

    Powder Valley. I usually get between 40 and 44 lbs of powder, but my last shipment was 41 lbs of powder and 24K of primers, meaning I was well over 60lbs. I was told from the good people at powder valley they they would work with you to make sure you take advantage of all the space in the box. They never mentioned weight.

    Of course this was before December too. My last order (for an in-stock item) has yet to ship, and was ordered on February 10th.
     

    EddieNFL

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    Powder Valley. I usually get between 40 and 44 lbs of powder, but my last shipment was 41 lbs of powder and 24K of primers, meaning I was well over 60lbs. I was told from the good people at powder valley they they would work with you to make sure you take advantage of all the space in the box. They never mentioned weight.

    Of course this was before December too. My last order (for an in-stock item) has yet to ship, and was ordered on February 10th.

    Interesting. A friend and I placed an order in November and (don't recall the lady's name) was told 50 pounds. We maxed out three shipments. Oddly, the website says 48 pounds. Still, no way local shops can match.

    We received a four pounder of Clays, but had ordered all eight pounders. Called and spoke with a nice lady. She called me back a hour or so later and asked for the lot number so she could match it. I'm bettin' most other businesses would have issued a credit rather than eat the shipping.
     

    280nosler

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    Interesting. A friend and I placed an order in November and (don't recall the lady's name) was told 50 pounds. We maxed out three shipments. Oddly, the website says 48 pounds. Still, no way local shops can match.

    We received a four pounder of Clays, but had ordered all eight pounders. Called and spoke with a nice lady. She called me back a hour or so later and asked for the lot number so she could match it. I'm bettin' most other businesses would have issued a credit rather than eat the shipping.
    HMMMM. I ordered last from them in July. I wonder if they implemented something since then. I guess I will just start cutting my orders down to 36lbs and get 15K primers at a pop. My current order is 44 lbs of powder, no primers, which I am eagerly awaiting.
     

    normbal

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    So here is what I am looking at ordering

    Dillion 650XL
    Strong Mount
    Dillion carbide dies for 45 acp
    case feeder
    low powder alarm
    Powder check
    4 extra powder pick up tubes
    Aluminum bullet tray
    little tool holder with allen wrenches and what not.
    XL 650 maintenance kit
    cover for reloader

    Total comes out to about 1200 straight from dillion.

    Is there anything that I am missing or does that about cover it?
    Does the powder die that comes with the machine have the powder hopper or do I have to order that too.

    Thanks

    Walter


    One other thing... the roller handle is a real plus, but consider a minor modification to it. Find some sorbothane sheet, 1/4 inch - I used a cheek-eez pad - wrap this around your handle, and wrap some COBAN sports tape around to hold it in place, absorb sweat and grime (you can replace this when needed). I found, after reloading maybe 30k rounds this makes a HUGE difference.

    And this tip: overloading the akro bin will bend the ramp. The zip tie holds it up against the frame and keeps your rounds from spilling off onto your loading bench, floor, wherever.

    416A7B4D-D25F-4FF6-91A5-0D98CDC199DF-1359-000002C70E327655.jpg
     

    Pinecone

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    Instead of the Strong Mount, I built my loading bench high enough to direct mount the press.

    This also means the output bin sits in the bench, so no bending.

    No need for the bullet tray either, I just put a bin on that side and dump the bullets in.

    I don't have a powder check, I just stand to the left slightly and look into each case.

    Low powder alarm is, IMO, a waste of time. I just double check powder level every 100 rounds when I refill the primer feeder.

    If you are going to load calibers with both small and large primers, get a second complete primer feeder. MUCH faster and easier to swap the entire feeder than to change the one back and forth.

    I set up tool heads for each cailber, complete with a powder measure. Resetting the Dillon powder measure is the only thing that is not easy. One day, I need to convert a bar to a micrometer setup.
     

    EXTREMEPREJUDICE

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    Contrary to most opinions I find the "powder check" worthwhile when cranking out large volume as I find looking into each case a PIA. Also, I recommend the low primer sensor for the same reason.
     

    normbal

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    Contrary to most opinions I find the "powder check" worthwhile when cranking out large volume as I find looking into each case a PIA. Also, I recommend the low primer sensor for the same reason.

    Couldn't agree more. When cranking out 600+ rounds/hour this little addition makes life SO much easier. Well worth the investment as part of the package.
     

    Deadshot2

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    Contrary to most opinions I find the "powder check" worthwhile when cranking out large volume as I find looking into each case a PIA. Also, I recommend the low primer sensor for the same reason.


    I thought the low primer sensor was standard equipment. I didn't have to pay extra for it back when I bought my 650.

    I too like the powder check. When I load, it's a day long job and having it there as a double check is defiantly worth the cost.

    If one has the money to do so, buy as many items as you feel you will ever use when you purchase the press. Most items won't add significantly to the cost of shipping especially if you get free shipping. You'll have them when you finally realize their value rather than having to special order them later or searching for a Dealer that has it in stock.

    One thing, have lots of primer pickup tubes. At least enough to hold all the primers you expect to use in a single session. Makes things flow better if you have them ready to go rather than having to stop and play "Pac-Man" in order to continue.