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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Morning,

I'm in the process of purchasing a new Dan Wesson 1911 and am seriously considering the 10mm cartridge, which will pretty much require that I start reloading. I've been considering reloading for quite a while and have become even more serious about it since my younger brother began competing in IPSC which required him to start reloading in order to both afford to shoot as well as tune his ammo.

My question then is the Dillon 550 a good all around unit? And would purchasing a used on be wise? Currently I don't compete, and will not do so in the foreseeable future as I'm in the midst of a career change and am back in college while still working. Therefore, I don't necessarily need extremely high output of just a few calibers. I would also rather not limit myself to pistol calibers, meaning I would like flexibility. Also, being a student again, I'm not in the position to spend the money that jim42 did on the Dillon 1050 press.

Any and all thoughts, comments, and questions are appreciated.
 

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The answer is yes, the Dillon 550 is the way to go. I started with a Lee and it is what it is inexpensive and loaded with plastic, sorry if this offends anyone but I can only speak from my own experience and I spent to much time fiddling with the Lee to keep it running. The Dillon has run like a champ from day one and I never looked back.
 

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550 is good. But take a look at this one too.

http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/item.asp?sku=00005095100

accessories are a bit more for the Dillons. This one is more like the Dillon 650, plus it still gets you a 1000 bullet rebate from Hornady. Just in case you can use a few of those! It's my preferance shy of the Dillon 1050, but that's a whole nother bank account.

Reading material:
http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillonLeeHornadyComparison.pdf

Rebate:
https://www.hornady.com/get_loaded.php
 

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If you are looking at all possibilities you may want to look at the RCBS Pro2000 too. The materials in this press are top notch, in fact no one else makes a progressive outside of high volume automatic commercial stuff that has a cast iron press in a progressive, unless there is something I'm not aware of. As a long time machine shop owner I refuse to buy anything with an aluminum frame, and there are good reasons for that.
 

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Buying the Dillon used is not an issue. Dillons no BS warranty is lifetime for the press not the original owner. So if it happens to be broke. They will fix it at no charge..period. the 550 is an excellent press. It's dillons #1 selling press for a reason. Top pistol professionals in the country use blue. they don't use those other colors. Again there is a reason. The other companies make good products. but Dillon is the press that all others are measured by.
 

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I finally took the plunge and got a 550B, and have to say that this is an amazing machine after reloading on a single stage press for almost 20 years. I started reloading my Jr year in college, and at the time a single stage made the most sense cost-wise for me, and it served my needs for pistol and rifle for a long time.

I even reloaded on a single stage for my first year's worth of USPSA competitive shooting where I think I reloaded approx 8,000 rounds. So it is doable to do high volume loading on a single stage provided you have the time. I was averaging 100 rounds per hour on the single stage, and was spending a couple hours on the reloading bench a week. Some people find that onerous, but I didn't mind. However Mrs 2MoreChains has started shooting USPSA as well, and while I could keep up with one shooter on a single stage press, two was going to push it. So I went with the 550B. The decision to go with a 550B over a 650 or LnL Ap is a whole different discussion!

Some people start out on a progressive press, and IMO the Dillon would be a good choice. It may seem a little daunting at first, but there are plenty of YouTube videos and manuals on line that can help.

On the other hand, I think a single stage press is a great way to learn the in's and out's of reloading. I don't say this because that's the way I started out, but because the machine is a lot less complicated which allows you to focus on making quality rounds. I'm keeping my single stage press, and will be using it for working up new loads or small runs when I don't want to mess with changing out the toolhead on my Dillon.

Good luck on your decision.
 

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Buying the Dillon used is not an issue. Dillons no BS warranty is lifetime for the press not the original owner. So if it happens to be broke. They will fix it at no charge..period. the 550 is an excellent press. It's dillons #1 selling press for a reason. Top pistol professionals in the country use blue. they don't use those other colors. Again there is a reason. The other companies make good products. but Dillon is the press that all others are measured by.
herd,
Don't mean to be disagreeable, however when I see statements like that about 'top shooters' etc., it makes me wonder why they use blue. Do they even buy one or is it provided? Or do they get thier presses for free like some get cases of ammo and wear the clothes to prove it? I know musicians that blow Yamahas because they are on the Pro list and get a new horn everytime a new model is introduced.

The RCBS is the expensive option.
Hornady is looking for market share, and now that they have the EZjector version, they have the product to back it up. Dillon did, in fact set the standard, and the price as well. Besides which, I'm kind of fond of Hornady as I grew up in Nebraska where they are located, so I guess I may be biased at that.

However if you discount the bullet rebate value to half of retail, it's still worth $150 or so. $370 minus $150, leaves you with a $220 press that works like or better than a 650. Also the acessories ie caliber conversions are less expensive as well, so it's a win/win for the LNL AP EZJector press. It's hard to justify the price of even a 550 if you are on a budget of any sort. Paint it blue if you don't like red, but you can't even buy a used 550 for that kind of money. Oh and the warrenty from Hornady is good too, just like RCBS and Dillon. I also prefer the Hornady primer system, and their powder measure over the blue ones.

Current price at Dillon is $365 for the 550.
Price for 650 is $529, but that does include an $80 caliber conversion kit. So it's really $449 bare.

But then again, I don't suppose the OP has any use for 1000 10mm Hornady XTPs. So maybe it's Not all that wonderful a deal after all.
 

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It doesn't matter if it's given to them or not. That's the press they choose. I'll bet if brand "B" would offer them a press...and it was a better press. They would use it. It is a fact. Period. I'm certainly not telling them what press to use. They can choose any press they want. all companies like to sponsor top athletes. The vast majority are using blue. And I think I said there are other companies making good presses. But blue is the press they chase when looking for "market share". :)
 

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I recomend the Hornady LNL. I like it better than the Dillons, up to the 650. The 1050 is in a leauge of its own though.

And as said before - 1000 XTPs!!! That aint exactly pocket change!!!
 

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I've loaded thousands of rounds on my Dillon 550b and have yet to find anything about it that is unsatisfactory.
 

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Basically everyone thinks the press they have is the best.

It is my understanding that Dillon is a very good press (I don't own one).

I would recommend that you check into other brands as well, and make your own mind up. I think you will find other brands have great presses at less starting cost.

Read some of the other threads here about presses and you can learn a lot.

Best of luck starting a really fun and cost-saving hobby!

KEN
 

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Good Morning,

My question then is the Dillon 550 a good all around unit? And would purchasing a used on be wise?
Yes, the Dillon RL550B is a good unit; fast, reliable, etc. No problem buying used (the warranty transfers) but make sure it's complete with a kit for the caliber you want to start with.

A good machine will last your entire shooting career, so don't get too hung up on initial purchase price.
 

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Yes, the Dillon RL550B is a good unit; fast, reliable, etc. No problem buying used (the warranty transfers) but make sure it's complete with a kit for the caliber you want to start with.

A good machine will last your entire shooting career, so don't get too hung up on initial purchase price.
Well said. Especially if you have all the dough and no worries about the amount of it are going to spend.

I'm only suggesting that there MAY be a better deal out there for the OP who May Not want to spend more than he needs to. The only continueing interest in Blue paint that I have is a THEFT on a 1050, maybe.:biglaugh::biglaugh:

Pagaah: If your brother or someone you shoot with is close to your location, you might just otta buy your reloading supplies, keep them at your premises [to avoid possible storage overages] and use their press and dies. If they don't load for your caliber buy the dies and take them with you. I currently have two people who use mine in that situation. They are responsible for their own components, so that we all know what's available in our own inventory. Doesn't bother me, cause the presses are warrentied, so no worries. They of course have to coordinate loading times, but it's not been an issue for us. This could allow you to possibly use two or three different machines personally and Then make an informed descision. People who reload tend to be real and helpfull.
 

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Well the DW is an excellent pistol and the 10MM’s are a great cartridge
I’ve been loading it since the mid 80’s
(I was loading some on one of my 550’s when I read your post, see photo)
Most guns perform well with target lead at moderate velocities and the 10 as you probably know can really haul the mail with jacketed stuff if that is the desire.

The 10MM is my favorite auto-loading cartridge.
(Although my new 9x23 gun is running a close second as of late)

I won’t bother you with all the usual get this or get that comments, speed sells in more than guns and ammunition so in that respect many feel if you are not using the fastest press you aren’t correct in the venture.
Everyone has there own demands, requirements and end result objective.
From your stated post there is lots of equipment on the market that will fulfill your needs.
The 550 will load all Standard and Magnum Rifle and Pistol calibers and most wildcats from these parent cartridges.

If you were going to pursue the comp games, the 650 with case feeder (or similar) would be a better choice for mass production with the autoloading cartridges.

I will say that as in most endeavors you get what you pay for in Handloading equipment.
Some of the more less expensive units may require more tweaking and adjustments to keep up on the track and running correctly than others, some folks do not mind this kind of annoyance.

The 550’s are stable, (I have two, one setup for small primer, the other large and a SDB) mine never require or demand much fussing with after the initial setup has been completed.
I just change out the tool head, load the primers, install the powder system, make a few powder adjustments and go.
The 550 or any press like it (Hornady unit) are robust units, just make sure it is completely and fully “Earthed” I mean the only movement you want on the bench is the parts of the press that cycle or reciprocate in normal functioning.
The 550 is great because you can work the manual indexing at a high rate if you want or slow things down like when you want to make precision rifle (or pistol) ammunition.

In rifle I use it more like a modified single stage, I go on and off the press between some case prep procedures then if I like (Or the cartridge calls for it) work the case “around” the shellplate in the manner of a single stage setup.
But if you just want to just cycle a bunch of .223 or .308 blasting or plinking ammo it will do this as well.
Your FAL will never no the difference anyway (at least mine doesn’t)

The 550’s are capable of making extremely accurate cartridges.
But as you know, case prep and proper load technique are the keys to this success.

Buying used is an option; most folks take relative good care of their equipment, either way the “No BS Warranty” will protect you.
Mike and the gang in Scottsdale have never let me down.
(Even when I broke the damn thing doing something stupid on the press)

So, shop around, buy what you want
Just remember that in Handloading like the mental and physical commitment you have to make to either make precision or volume ammunition.
A similar “financial commitment” is the basis or foundation for the success of the former requirement.

Buy as much quality as you can afford, it will serve you well.
Good Luck :)

550 loaded with 10MM (Yee-Haw!) Dies
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for All of the Help!

Thanks to everyone for their comments, thoughts and "ever so humble" opinions. ;-) Lots of Great Intel!!! I've printed out all the replys and am using all your guidance to develop my reloading plans.

And once I begin digging into the specs and looking at all the various products available, I'm sure I'll have more questions. I will be back here, as you gents have been a tremendous help in pointing me in the right directions. As Pow-ding suggested, I'm also going to dig through a lot of the posts here in the Reloading Bench forum to gather as much intel from other's questions as possilbe.

@rehoppe, thanks for the idea about teaming up with my brother, but unfortunately he's out in K.C. KS and I'm living here in the "Garden of Eden" on the far, far West side of Cincinnati. I am, however also seeking his counsel on reloading as he started doing it before me. I still give him lots of Grief though, since his Older Brother the former Machinist had to teach his sorry arse how to read a Mic a long time ago! ;->

@TheGerk, thanks for the Reloading Porn as well as all your other detailed commentary. You remind me of Me! ;-) And just for the record, I plunked down just a little over 1K Green for a spanking new DW RZ-10 Sportsman, 10mm yesterday. Looking forward to a whole new shooting experience!
 

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10-4, and congratulations on the new DW 10MM
If you need any loading help or data for it I and others here have tons for it so don’t hesitate to ask.
Good Luck with the new adventure. :)
 
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