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I'm think about upgrading my 550 with the casefeeder for loading several pistol cartridges. For those of you who have one, what are the pro and cons ? Is the added efficiency worth the cost ?

If one wants to occasionally load rifle cartridges what must be removed/reinstalled to do so ? Is it a big job ?
 

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I don't have any personal experience with adding a casefeeder to a 550, but my best shooting buddy did this about a month ago. He said it was easy to install, and he is highly pleased with the operation. He also said that it makes his reloading a little safer (not that he's ever had a kaboom) because, with the auto casefeeder, if you fail to rotate the shell plate the new case can't be fed into the shell plate and jams up the works. So, you can't "fail" to rotate the shellplate, thereby preventing a double charge of powder.
 

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One more thing to maintain. Be sure to get ALL the media out of your cases. I used one with a Dillon 1000 back in the early 80s. I guess it speeds things up, but there is additional maintenance and cleaning during the process. Not worth it to me. I have almost 10,000 rds sitting in ammo cans downstairs. Why do I need to be more efficient?
 

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Don't know about how a casefeeder would affect the speed of the 550, but I wouldn't be without a casefeeder for my 650. Nothing "more to maintain" that I can see.
 

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I have read that caliber changes are a pain.

If you are serious about the case feeder I'd sell the 550 and get a 650. As much as I love my 550, the 650 works better with a feeder than a 550 does.
 

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What Walter said!

I also have a 650 with case feeder, and I load a lot of .45 ACP. The case feeder is a great convenience.

It's important to sort your cases well, to ensure that smaller cases are not nesting inside whatever you're loading. The case feeder will handle a .45 case with a 9MM Luger case nested inside, and send it on to the press: Bad news, usually a broken primer pin.

A .45 case with a .40 S&W (or 10MM) case inside will jam the works where the case is removed from the feed tube. That's easy to correct, and the press isn't affected.

It should be noted that these problems are due to operator error, not equipment malfunction.
 

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The casefeeder with a 550 is pain but it does speed thing up a bit. Maybe 150 rds hour. I can do 500 per hour pretty easy on my 550 but I rarely load more than 300 rds. I suppose it's worth the $ but I sold mine to a friend. He reports 9mm to be a bit of a hassle but worth it as he is pressed for time, pardon the pun.:biglaugh:
 

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The casefeeder with a 550 is pain but it does speed thing up a bit. Maybe 150 rds hour. I can do 500 per hour pretty easy on my 550 but I rarely load more than 300 rds. I suppose it's worth the $ but I sold mine to a friend. He reports 9mm to be a bit of a hassle but worth it as he is pressed for time, pardon the pun.:biglaugh:
Once the casefeeder is installed is it a lot of work to switch back/allow reloading rifle cartridges ?
I have 5 tool heads and 3 cartridge conversion kits for my 550 and although the 650 is a great machine I can't justify starting over with a 650.
 

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Once the casefeeder is installed is it a lot of work to switch back/allow reloading rifle cartridges ?
I have 5 tool heads and 3 cartridge conversion kits for my 550 and although the 650 is a great machine I can't justify starting over with a 650.
Unless the 550's casefeed design is a lot different/more cumbersome than the 650's, then it's not much trouble at all. You only have to change the feed disc (big wheel in housing), two plastic parts and one screw-out part on the press.
 
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