Lee or Dillon??

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by jboo37, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. jboo37

    jboo37 New Member

    Feb 24, 2011
    Hi guy's, I've been reading this forum everyday and you guy's are great! Seems like a great community.. My question is whether to fix my Lee pro 1000 or to buy a Dillon 550b. I started on a Lee single stage turret press, which I still use and have produced some great ammo over the years. The only problem with the single stage is time, it takes so long to make a lot of rounds. The pro 1000 also has many years on it, but very few being used. The press was fine at first then became problematic. It has sat on the bench for many years and collected dust. I pulled it apart the other day and found at least one spring missing and to be honest I don't know how many parts I'll have to buy to make it function again. I spoke with a friend of mine yesterday about whether he was still using his pro 1000, he said he switched over to Dillon and said it's night and day difference between Lee and Dillon. I thought I would get your opinions before I sunk $400 into a new press. Thanks, JB
  2. A-FIXER

    A-FIXER New Member

    Jan 25, 2009
    I can say that many people have and swear by the dillon, but I have a L&L hornady press the I have had some small issues with it but what I can say is that some of the attachments are less than the dillon. And now with the small glitchs are out of it it serves me well, shellplates 29.00 but the best cost saving maybe in the casefeeder which is appx 289.00 and the casefeeder plates are about the same cost where as the RCBS one as I read it you have to undergo major purchases for each pistol or rifle casefeeders so with this the hornady also you get 500 free bullets to bad when I got mine I think they were offering alot more. hope this helps

  3. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    Oooohhhhhh man just when i thought we buried the hatchet!
  4. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    While I absolutely love Lee reloading stuff and have never had a problem with any of it, the only thing I would NEVER buy is their Progressive 1000...it first came on the market in the 1980s right about the time Dillon came out with their first progressive and it looked like a steal in comparison, but luckily before I bought mine (I too started my IPSC career loading on a Lee Turret press, and STILL have it and still load with it:p) I knew some guys who bought one and to a man they ALL had problems with theirs, so even though I didn't want to spend $400 on a Dillon (yeah, even back then, so $400 now doesn't seem so BAD:p) i bought a Pacific Pro-7 for $299.99 with dies, and even then used my Lee carbide dies and auto disc measure on it...

    But to this day I have NEVER heard anyone with a Lee Progressive 1000 that is truly happy with it, and even though I am NOT a Dillon fan, (in the 1980s at IPSC shoots the joke was "How do you tell if a guy uses a Dillon?---It's the guy with his hand up on the line with his .45 with a stuck bullet in the other asking "Does anybody have a dowel rod and a hammer?":p) I begrudgingly admit the OTHER way on them...EVERYBODY who owns one becomes a "Big Blue Nut" even to the point of being annoying!:D
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  5. Waldog

    Waldog Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    I have loaded with a Dillon SDB, 550, 650 and 1050. I currently own a Dillon SDB and a Hornady LNL. I prefer the operation of the LNL by a WIDE MARGIN.

    Dillon, Hornady and RCBS make fine progressive loaders. Each has it's quirks and each has it's benefits. They each operate a little differently. Your best bet is try and find samples of each and see what you like.

    In spite of what Dillon owners claim, none of them, works flawlessly. All of them have to be "tweaked" to get to work smoothly.
  6. dksac2

    dksac2 New Member

    Jan 14, 2011
    Dillon 550. I had a lee progressive and threw it right out the door of the shop, got the Dillon, have loaded thousands of rounds with it, fantastic press.
    Good reloading equipment will last a lifetime. Get the dillon, far less frustration and you can pass it down to the next generation.

    John K

    P.S. the only thing I buy from Lee is their Factory Crimp Dies and they can't even make them right sometimes. Lee rifle dies start scratching the necks of the cartridges, even when the cartridges were tumbled and cleaned first, a couple thousand re sized and the necks were being badly scratched by the dies.
    Buy quality.
  7. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    :D:D At least the hatchets don't fly very often !

    I will tell you the same thing, you'll have some adjustment tweaking and parts with any mechanical machine will wear over time. I just got my 550 last week, but I had a SDB for a few years before. The stoutness, ease of use and the support from Dillon makes it worth the money for me.

    I still have yet to load on the LNL, but it's always got good reviews. It's a stout press and got a great company behind it to support it. I would like to try one if anyone has one in the central TX area. I would like to compare it to the 550.

    The frustration level is the same thing that drove me away from Lee presses, I found it much easier to adjust and get the machine set up smoothly with RCBS equipment which I started out on. I don't have the temperment to sit there and tweak on equipment half the day, it shortens my reloading time. The guy that started me into reloading has several single stage presses and has 2 Lee Pro 1000, a LoadMaster and 2 Turrets. They all work ok, except for the LoadMaster, it is a constant tweaking and plastic part replacing monster. The Pro1000's are ok but just not as "tight" and stout as I think a piece of precision equipment should be. I am picky about certain things and Lee hasn't been up to snuff for me.

    This is one question that is certain to always get alot of different views; these are just mine; perfectly ok to think 180* out if you want too.
  8. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    If you want to buy just one press and never HAVE TO buy another then buy the Dillon RL550B. Dillon service is superb. In fact until Dillon came along, service from reloading tool companies was a bad word. Dillon changed it all. The 550B is more versatile than other progressives BECAUSE it does NOT have auto advancing of the table. That allows easy single and turret press operation, as well as full progressive operation. Mine is over 20 years old and works great. I had a Square Deal and it did not serve my purposes anymore. Dillon took it back at full value and applied it to the RL550B cost. Hornady would not do that for me when I had one of their POS progressive shotgun presses that never worked. They had introduced a new "better" model that actually worked and felt no responsibility to owners of the previous model. I buy few Hornady reloading tools anymore.

    But this is just my opinion.

  9. Insulation Tim

    Insulation Tim Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    I agree with everything that our resident reloading guru says.

    From a personal experience, I too was reloading on a Lee Breach Lock Press quite satisfactorily. I wanted something that would speed the process and purchased the RL550B. I failed miserably, mainly because I didn't understand the machine and its setup (nor do I spend much time reading manuals). Through this forum, LD and others helped get me back on track and the Dillon churns out 45 ACP extremely fast.

    I think that it would benefit you to purchase new Dillon Dies for your machine as they have some distinct advantages over the Lee dies (at least IMHO).

    Good luck.
  10. jboo37

    jboo37 New Member

    Feb 24, 2011
    Thanks for the replies. I have a ton of Lee die's, you really think Dillon's are that much better? Just from what I've read so far I think I'll go with the Dillon. Thanks again..
  11. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth

    Without any doubt in my mind, Yes, Dillon dies are better. So are RCBS and the others out there too. You can still make good ammo with the Lee dies. I would suggest you try to find someone else that reloads in the area and see if you can "try before you buy". Not sure where you located, but if there's a gun range nearby, there are reloaders nearby.
  12. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Harriman, Tn
    My thoughts exactly. I wonder how many pages this will go on for?

    Maybe buying the Dillon 1050 and painting it Lee red would quickly put this to rest.
  13. Have had my L N L now for 6 months,, this is the one to buy,,, I'm so happy with it I will buy one more ,, but not from Midway usa,,,, this is a useless co.
  14. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    What happened with your Midway experience?:confused:

    I have had great dealings with them so far, my only complaint is paying the extra shipping on back ordered stuff.
  15. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Active Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2010
    Medina, Ohio
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