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Great to see the reloading forum up again.
I shoot .40S&W approximately 200 rounds per week.
That is all I will be shooting.Possibly .45acp,but that is not in the near future.
Possibly two SDB's,one now for .40 and one later on for .45
No rifle rounds.
Taking this into account , would I be better off with a 550B.
What can a 550b do,loading .40 that a SDB can,t do.
Would I be able to finely tune my ammo with the 550B, more so than the SDB.
I realize the 550b has more room to work on and is possibly a more rugged machine than the SDB.
To keep costs down,could I skip the bullet tray and strong mount on the SDB?
All insights greatly appreciated.
 

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I currently reload on two 550's; one with large pistol primer and one with small pistol primer. For a couple of years I had one 550 and one SDB, but sold the SDB to buy another 550.

I prefer the 550 over the SDB for several reasons, other than the ability to load rifle calibers. However, IMHO, the SDB will make ammo every bit as good as a 550 will. And, to give my opinion on your other questions, no, a strong mount or bullet tray are not necessary. I shoot with a friend who loads (at least) 1000 rounds per month of 45acp using a basic SDB mounted on a bench without strong mounts, bullet tray or roller handle. He's done this for years and sees no need for any additions.

Both my 550's are mounted on strong mounts. I believe they're a good thing to help spread the stresses over a bigger "footprint" on your benchtop. I also have roller handles, one purchased from Dillon and one "jerry-rigged" from black iron pipe & PVC pipe. I also have bullet trays "jerry-rigged" from 9x9 aluminum cake pans.

IMHO, a SDB will suit your needs. But, if you can afford it, I would recommend the 550.

Good shooting....Rod.
 

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Just about every blown up gun story you'll read on the net starts with ammo from a 550. It's a fine machine, but intolerant of error. Lose concentration for an instant, cycle the handle without thumbing the advance star and you have a double charge. IMO, the auto advance on the SDB is a great safety feature.
 

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I don't own any Dillon's, but I do own a Lee Pro 1000. If you are not going to load rifle rds go with the SDB. I personally don't like manual indexing. I prefer the idea that I can't double charge by using an auto index style press. If I hadn't found the Pro 1000 for such a good price, I prob would have gone w/ the SDB.
I personally feel that the Dillon's are the highest quality presses being made, but I like the ease of function of the Pro 1000.
Easier primer tray filling, less than 5 min caliber change, easier powder change, powder measure disks-no playing with getting the perfect adjustment of the gr of powder (though Lee does have an adjustable powder charge bar if you want it). Just my .02 worth. Tracy
 

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I began on a SDB, wish I had a 550, but I have to admit, the auto advance feature on the SDB is great for beginners. The best I can do on my SDB is about 200 rounds an hour, but I check each piece of brass, and every round goes into a case gauge. I think either way you will be happy, my SDB seems to load .40 much easier than other calibers, but I have no idea why that would be. I think you will be happy either way. Buy the strong mounts if you can afford, them, if not, it's no big deal.
 

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I've got the SDB and am very happy. I can fill up my 500rnd coffee can in two hours while plodding along at a steady pace, but not breaking a sweat. I think Dillon claims a faster rate per hour, but that's my speed. Considering the SDB has auto indexing, which isn't available again until the 650 model, it's a good deal. If going the 650 route, I'd also get the case feeder and be SET. But that's more coin than I want to spend right now, and the SDB is filling the bill. Using my old Rockchucker to take all week to fill the can.
 

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Either is a good press and will work for you. I prefer the 550 though because you can do more with it when you get ready. I do not consider manual indexing a problem. You need to exercise care in reloading no matter what machine you're using. My 550B has loaded many hundreds of thousand of rounds. Sent it back to Dillon a couple of years back because of honest wear and they overhauled it and shipped it back for free. Think my cost was $17 to ship it to them. Their no bull**** warranty is exactly that. If this will be your only progrressive press go with the 550B.
 

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Go for the 550B. More versital machine and you won't be hampered by the manual advance. I specifically bought my 500B because of the manual advance. I now have control. MY old hornady progressive that had auto-indexing always screwed up and it was a PITA to clear it and fix it. Manual indexing is my preferred way.

On another note the roller handle accessory is great and don't skip the strong mount. I did and regretted it. I load standing up and this puts the machine and the stroke at the perfect height.


Check ebay and other boards for 550Bs on sale. You can usually get a great price when folks are upgrading to 650 and such. With the No BS warranty you can always ship the used machine back to Dillon and get it back as new condition.


Steven
 

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Started with a RCBS Jr press then to a 550 then to two 1050's. My son & I shoot USPSA matches in several calibers. Go with the 550. It is more versatile and changing calibers is easy. I have loaded for the past two years on the 550 (45 ACP) for L-10 division and its a good press. I'm thinking of getting another 550 for small pistol primers. Good deals can be found on E-Bay and other places (one guy found a 650 for $200.00 at a local range sale board!!!!). In either case load carefully then have fun!! Good luck.
 

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I went to their Scotsdale store what a great place and as I have 2 SDB and love them I played with their other reloaders, At first I was looking at the 550 but I have been spoiled by the auto index on the B so with that said I started playing with the 650. All I can say is what a machine! Price is not that much more than a 550 and you can add all the stuff that makes it really fast later as your budget allows. At least that is what I palan on doing.:p
 

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I went ahead with the 550 because I could use my existing dies. I've only loaded a couple thousand pistol rounds with it but haven't had any problems with the manual indexing. I do primarily use Unique powder for heavier charges so even if I did fail to index, the powder would overflow the case and I would know something is up. The other "plus" to the 550 was the ability to load rifle rounds (.223) as well.
 

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I have two 550b's. I have had one for about 7-8 years. About 3 years ago, I bought a 650 at an estate sale(NIB) . After studying the press and the video that came with it, I sold it and bought another 550. The manual indexing has never been a problem. I load for 9mm, 45 Acp 45 Colt, 454 casull , and 44 Special and Magnum. I make it a point to use powders which will overflow in case of a double charge. Rifle calibers are .308 Win, .308 Norma and 45/70. Most other rifle calibers are loaded on single stage presses.
Both are mounted straight to the bench and use the standard ball handle that comes with the presses.
 

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I'd recommend the "Square Deal B. if all your going to load is pistol/revolver.
I've loaded over 10,000 rounds on mine.
I don't like a progressive press for rifle. I prefer a single stage such as a "Rock Chucker".
I recently got a super deal on a 650XL. It's probably too much press for what I need. I currently have the Square Deal setup for small primers, 38/9mm. The 650 setup for large primers, 45 ACP, A/R, and 45 colt.
Here's some pictures of my bench, with the square Deal, my Rock Chucker, and Old Lyman turret. The rock chucker is mounted on a mobile base.
The 650 is such a beast that I made a seperate stand for it. The base is a 24" cast iron sheave off of a sludge pump. It has a 2" column, and is mounted on a piece of 1/4" aluminum plate. It's mounted on casters so I can move it around. It makes for a sturdy rig. I use a 4' step ladder to fill the case feed hopper.
 

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Derrick said:
Great to see the reloading forum up again.
I shoot .40S&W approximately 200 rounds per week.
That is all I will be shooting.Possibly .45acp,but that is not in the near future.
Possibly two SDB's,one now for .40 and one later on for .45
No rifle rounds.
Taking this into account , would I be better off with a 550B.
What can a 550b do,loading .40 that a SDB can,t do.
Would I be able to finely tune my ammo with the 550B, more so than the SDB.
I realize the 550b has more room to work on and is possibly a more rugged machine than the SDB.
To keep costs down,could I skip the bullet tray and strong mount on the SDB?
All insights greatly appreciated.
I am very happy to see the reloading forum back up as well... Going by your original question, I would reccomend the SDB for shooting the 40sw which is the only thing you are going to shoot now. If down the road you get a .45 then you can either buy another SDB or just buy the conversion die unit for the .45. It is not all that hard to convert from caliber to caliber on the SDB. If memory serves, the 550 is much easier to convert calibers. However since you are working on limited funds, go for the SDB now and buy it without any mounts or shelves. I load sitting down at a very heavy metal desk. If you get the mount you are stuck on standing up or sitting on a wobbly bar stool. Also, if you get to the point where you want to upgrade to a 550 or 650 the SDB holds about 80% of its value in resale... Sometimes even more vaule if sold on Ebay... Good luck with your first reloading press... You can't go wrong choosing Dillon Blue....
 

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Hornady is an alternative

If your set on a Dillon, then buy a Dillon. I have used a Dillion. I bot the LNL and I like it (more better) than the Dillion. The DSB is $290. The LNL is $299. For $9 more you get auto indexing, and the ability to load more than just straight-wall pistol cases. Here is why:

Things I Like about the LNL:
1) For the price as compared to the Dillon, the LNL will get you auto-indexing.
1-a) Auto-indexing is a very nice feature because UNLESS you are jerking around during a setup OR a case gets crunched or somehow stuck during reloading, you will NOT double charge a case. This is because the next lever pull will push the case to the next step.
1-b) The post powder case will always be right in front of you so that you can visually check the powder in the case. The dillion is near the back, in an awkward position.

2) The LNL frame and plunger is larger and much stronger, and operates smoother than the blue. (Yup, true..film at eleven)

3) The LNL powder measure is easy to drain when U R done. Just insert the drain tube. Also, for $15 you can buy the case activated powder drop gismo, that you have pre-set for another caliber, drop in your powder measure and your ready for another caliber. It's not the X-tra $50 for another powder measure.

4) LNL bushings...change calibers in a few minutes.

5) Old primer drop tube--yer old primers go to an old bottle or can, then you throw them away. Easy and no mess.

6) Case spring retention---easy to get a case in and out--no brass pin to pull, mess with, drop on floor, ect.

Things I don't like about LNL:

1) Case spring retention----buy a bunch, as easy as the case is to get in and out, you will break the spring and you better have a replacement---or your Dillon buddies will laugh at you!!!

2) Primer feed---go to the hardware store, spend $.59 and buy a wooden dowel rod that will fit down the tube. This will put enough pressure on the primers to provide continues feeding of primers. Hornady...come on..there's gotta be a fix for this. You could buy the Dillon low primer warning thing...but $50 or $.59--you make the call.

Dillon makes a fine product. My shootin buddy has one and he loves it. I have used it and it works just fine. But, I like the features of the LNL better.

Rounds per hour??? I don't know and don't care. It's not a race. I am more concerned about quality of ammo. I bot a progressive so that when I pull the lever 50 times, I get 50 rounds of ammo. On my single stage, I had to pull the lever 200 times to get 50 rounds. (size,prime,bell,seat---plus powder in there).

I have seen the result of some of the race guys--squib loads, upside down primers, no primers--makes me cringe. That's not a LNL or Dillon issue, that's a quality issue. The progressive press will save time. Just don't make time savings the priority.

.02

Dave.
 

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davemuzz said:
If your set on a Dillon, then buy a Dillon. I have used a Dillion. I bot the LNL and I like it (more better) than the Dillion. The DSB is $290. The LNL is $299. For $9 more you get auto indexing, and the ability to load more than just straight-wall pistol cases. Here is why:

Things I Like about the LNL:
1) For the price as compared to the Dillon, the LNL will get you auto-indexing.
1-a) Auto-indexing is a very nice feature because UNLESS you are jerking around during a setup OR a case gets crunched or somehow stuck during reloading, you will NOT double charge a case. This is because the next lever pull will push the case to the next step.
1-b) The post powder case will always be right in front of you so that you can visually check the powder in the case. The dillion is near the back, in an awkward position.

2) The LNL frame and plunger is larger and much stronger, and operates smoother than the blue. (Yup, true..film at eleven)

3) The LNL powder measure is easy to drain when U R done. Just insert the drain tube. Also, for $15 you can buy the case activated powder drop gismo, that you have pre-set for another caliber, drop in your powder measure and your ready for another caliber. It's not the X-tra $50 for another powder measure.

4) LNL bushings...change calibers in a few minutes.

5) Old primer drop tube--yer old primers go to an old bottle or can, then you throw them away. Easy and no mess.

6) Case spring retention---easy to get a case in and out--no brass pin to pull, mess with, drop on floor, ect.

Things I don't like about LNL:

1) Case spring retention----buy a bunch, as easy as the case is to get in and out, you will break the spring and you better have a replacement---or your Dillon buddies will laugh at you!!!

2) Primer feed---go to the hardware store, spend $.59 and buy a wooden dowel rod that will fit down the tube. This will put enough pressure on the primers to provide continues feeding of primers. Hornady...come on..there's gotta be a fix for this. You could buy the Dillon low primer warning thing...but $50 or $.59--you make the call.

Dillon makes a fine product. My shootin buddy has one and he loves it. I have used it and it works just fine. But, I like the features of the LNL better.

Rounds per hour??? I don't know and don't care. It's not a race. I am more concerned about quality of ammo. I bot a progressive so that when I pull the lever 50 times, I get 50 rounds of ammo. On my single stage, I had to pull the lever 200 times to get 50 rounds. (size,prime,bell,seat---plus powder in there).

I have seen the result of some of the race guys--squib loads, upside down primers, no primers--makes me cringe. That's not a LNL or Dillon issue, that's a quality issue. The progressive press will save time. Just don't make time savings the priority.

.02

Dave.
Dave;
I think you answered the question on which to buy. My Dillon square Deal worked right out of the box. without having to buy spare springs, or "use a dowel rod" to feed primers. After loading over 10,000 rounds my Dillon broke. A bushing on the toggle link wore out, bound up and a toggle link broke. A call to Dillon got me a set of new toggles upgrade with bronze bushings in a couple of days. I could have sent the press to dillon, but this was quicker. I then ordered a rebuild kit for it. dillon would have rebuilt it for me, but I felt it wouldn't be right after I'd had the machine for many years, and loaded that much ammo. I now have basicly a new machine for a few bucks.
Other equipment works good, but you can't beat dillon quality and service.
 

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There is no "too much press"

The SDB is fine; the auto-indexing is IMO mandatory.

I use an XL650; it offers me the case-feeder and the (reason I own one) the powder-check station.

800--1K 45 ACP per hour....less in 40 and 9.

Can't go wrong with Dillon (or RCBS or Redding or Forster/Bonanza or Lyman).
 

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Lnl

On my Hornady LNL, I have the case feeder. Very nice option. All I do is pull the lever and set the bullet. The cost is much less than the 650 Dillon.


FlaJim...I was letting the guy know there are other options besides Dillon. There just are. But, thanks for repeting the entire thing that I wrote. I guess seeing it once was not enough. I guess you never once dropped those wonderful brass Dillon pins that hold in the brass? And since the machine works so good, why do you even need to mention Dillion service? I mean, since you have never had one issue with the product, how would you know about the Dillon service? Unless...waite...you DID have a problem...and you had to call Dillon...So...the machine didn't work as perfectly as you claimed!!!

Hmmmm.....another honest Dillion owner.:biglaugh:
 
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