Dillon 550B/650 comparison

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Boria, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Boria

    Boria New Member

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    I have been doing some research on these two presses. I really like the 650 since it is a little more progressive. I was wondering if some one could give me some disadvantages between the 550b & 650 other than price. I am planning on loading 9mm, 45 acp, 30-06, .243.

    There seems to be a lot more 550 users than 650 users. Is the 650 more limited or complicated to switch from one round to another? Is it possible to disengage the turret on the 650 and turn it manually?

    I have some knowledge of progressive presses. I have been loading 12 ga shotshells on a MEC 9000 with automate for around five years. I prefer the least steps to get a finished round on a press.
  2. ejkoechling

    ejkoechling Well-Known Member

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    I like the 550 due to the fact I can check things as I'm loading. I have no experience with a 650 though
  3. zant

    zant Active Member

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    I don't like auto-indexing...my 550 has spit out beautiful rounds for over 20yrs...good enough
  4. aa1911

    aa1911 Active Member

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    I have only used the 650, I couldn't stand a 550 after using it. Highly recommend spending the extra bucks and getting the full progressive.

    Swithching calibers is easy and takes less than 5 minutes if that plus you can buy additional blocks to keep all your stuff set up.
  5. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    A few more amenities can accommodate the 650
    My choice with the 550 was simply the manual indexing.
    The 550 can be as fast with the basic set-up.....
    you get used to the manual indexing...

    I will not load to the speed capacity of either,
    if only from a safety point of view.....
    I want to check my stuff on occasion, and the 550
    seems to allow me more comfort in that area.

    Either press is awesome.

    For the record, I probably average 200 rounds/hour.
    I could increase it.....but I see no need.
    I load rounds by the 100
    I only fill one primer tube[pickup] at a time, whereas friends
    load up 4,5,6,7,8 100round tubes of primers first,
    then start cranking them out.
    Wife and I shoot less than 1000 rounds per week
    and I have plenty of time to make them without rushing.

    I simply prefer the manual indexing, yet I have all my
    stations set to go.
  6. RAJBCPA

    RAJBCPA Member

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    I had a LNL with auto indexing that never worked properly.... just bought a Dillon 550B and I do not miss auto indexing at all.

    The 550 is a solid performer..... you cannot go wrong with either press
  7. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    There is the obvious increased base cost of the 650, but then when you start adding the caliber conversions and toolheads, it goes up even more. It comes down to this IMO, if you want 4 stations or 5. The whole auto index vs manual index is really not even an issue. There is almost no time lost with the manual indexing and it allows for a better chance to check case charges visually too.
    Neither press is complicated to use or set-up, they're both great presses. Pick based on how you want to use the stations and you will love it.

    Welcome to TFF too !
  8. X Ring

    X Ring Member

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    Both are great presses, you will be happy with whichever. You can check your cases at any point on a 650, so I don’t understand the previous posts about checking more. The 650 is faster than the 550, but you will not likely need any more speed than the 550 provides. Unless you are a competitive shooter that is.
    The 650 will not load some of the larger rifle calibers, but if you load them you will not likely need thousands and will load them on a SS.
    The 650 is a 5 station press and the 550 is a 4, no powder check on a 550 but it’s not needed if you pay attention to what your are doing.
    You could disable the auto index on a 650 but it would be a bit of a pain to advance by hand.
    Happy Loading
  9. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    More complicated and more expensive to switch calibers.

    No.
  10. Boria

    Boria New Member

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    Thanks for the info everybody.

    I am still leaning towards the 650. I haven't seen much of a disadvantage by going with the auto index over the manual. I also like the idea of a powder check station which will most likely be added at some point. The largest shell I would be loading is a 30-06 and I believe the 650 will handle that. Most of the volume loading will be 9mm & 45 acp.

    When I started looking into loading shotgun shells, everyone advised me to go with a single stage press to start. After a couple of months of deliberation I went with a progressive and never looked back. I made the right decision. I load around 15K shotshells per year. Most likely the brass reloading is going to end up in the thousands also. This is why I am leaning towards the 650. Not really after speed, just want a good quality load with the least effort. What can I say, I am little on the lazy side. LOL
  11. cutter

    cutter New Member

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    I had to make this same dicision, I went with the 650 and am glad I did. I can't say enough good things about this press. Tonight I loaded 100 rounds in less than 15 mins with only 1 rd that I had to redo. As has been said both are great presses. Have fun and good luck.
  12. Bud0505

    Bud0505 Member

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    I've been loading on my 550B for 25 years and have never felt the "need for speed". I don't remember the 650 being in production when I opted to buy a 550. The Dillon 550 meets all my reloading requirements.
  13. BobMcG

    BobMcG Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I chose to go with manual indexing and very happy with it; there's no lack of speed with it either.
  14. HAGEN442

    HAGEN442 New Member

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    Auto Index and the Powder Check Position on the 650
    Other differences but to me these are the main ones
    Both are great machines
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