New Dillon 550b owner

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by flashman2002, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. flashman2002

    flashman2002 New Member

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    I just happened to get lucky and win an auction. It is my first press and first post on this forum. I have been lurking the Brian Enos forums for a little while and this one is just as good for info. I am looking forward to start reloading in the next several months. Lots of great info for me to read.
  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    Congrats, you've joined a great group of folks here. what calibers are you going to start with? Welcome to TFF
  3. ALR

    ALR New Member

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    I just got one too, been reloading for years and finally upgraded. Giving my old presses to my SIL so he can get into it with minimal expense...
  4. flashman2002

    flashman2002 New Member

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    I will only be reloading 9mm for now. I only have two guns, one Sig Sauer SP2022 and a Ruger SR22 for my wife. It took me 10 years to talk her into buying a gun. The purchase was not supposed to have happened (I had to really work some magic after the fact haha). Eventually though, I do plan on getting some other calibers, probably .40 first, then maybe .45 ACP. Just depends on how much fun we have shooting together. So far she has really enjoyed it and I told her how much cheaper it is to reload after your initial investment is paid off. Of course, there are those that say you don't save money, you just get to shoot more. I am ok with either scenario. Plus, it gives me a chance to really learn about guns, Air Force doesn't have us regular folk shoot anymore unless we get deployed.
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    YEah. you aint gonna save a dime. What you do get is more range time with better quality ammo for the same money.
  6. flashman2002

    flashman2002 New Member

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    That is basically what most people have said on various forums. I am lucky that Powder Valley Inc is just 30 miles from Wichita, so buying reloading supplies will be really cheap and easy. Plus, I won't have to worry about hazmat fees for primers and powders.
  7. Bud0505

    Bud0505 Member

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    Enjoy that new 550B. I've had mine for 25 years and have cranked out thousands of rounds, mostly 9mm and .45 auto.
  8. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    I think you'll find the Dillon a joy to use. I've had mine for over 25 years and loaded over 30 different calibers on it from 38SPL to 7MM Mag and 45-70. It works just as well on rifle cartridges as on pistol cartridges. Here's a tip:

    Don't just buy the caliber conversion kits. On the last page of the instruction book is usually a table that tells you what you need for shell plates, powder funnel and pins for each and every cartridge. Keep track of what you already have and when you want to get a new caliber consult that chart to see if you don't already have some of the parts. Then, only buy exactly what you need. Invent some way to know what you have and were it is stored so you have quick access to what you need when you change calibers. The cross use of parts is huge because so many of the cartridges share dimension of the cartridge base (shell plate)and the caliber of the bullet (powder funnel).

    LDBennett
  9. Bud0505

    Bud0505 Member

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  10. flashman2002

    flashman2002 New Member

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    Thank you all for the info. I will certainly use that chart when I get more calibers. I am just looking forward to trying my hand at this. I am in the dog house right now, but she will forgive me the more we shoot... I think! Plus, I keep talking about this as a bonding moment for us; quality time shared which would otherwise be wasted doing nothing.
  11. rmorgan9718

    rmorgan9718 New Member

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    I have 2 550's in the garage, son has one, adopted son has one, three friends have one, other friends have 550's or 650's. Guess who was elected as chief technician/Mr. Fixit? Me.

    they are not indestructable, but are damned forgiving. as you get started, several bits of learning jump to mind:
    1. if you tumble your brass, make sure no media bits get caught under the primer punch,
    2. check COL about every 200 rds or so - sometimes the die may loosen,
    3. the powder dispenser likes flaked powder, but sometimes ball powders - especially Tite Group, will over dispense, so weigh about every 10th or so round until you are confident of the drop rate,
    4. if you are interrupted, stop the press on the up stroke, less chance of missing a step
    5. Dillon dies are about the best pistol dies on the market, but the Lee Carbide sets for straight wall pistol cases are also great, plus their Taper Crimp die is the best.

    drop anyone a note, and we'll all try to help

    stay safe, read the manuals, and ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK!
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to TFF rmorgan. I like you already. You are well on your way to suffering the wrath of LDBennett for condoning the use of dillon presses fitted with Lee dies. :D

    Welcome to the club. :patriotic:
  13. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    What? Huh?

    Did someone say LEE dies?

    LDBennett
  14. flashman2002

    flashman2002 New Member

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    Well help me out. The press I bought is coming with Lee dies. I know I have read many people don't like them but am I going to be hating life for using them before upgrading, or is an upgrade really necessary? I doubt they are carbide as it wasn't specified.
  15. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    You'll be ok with the Lee dies and if they're pistol dies, then they're carbide most likely. I'm not sure if Lee even makes non-carbide pistol dies, but I don't think so. I'm not a fan of Lee dies myself, but I won't knock them for the ability to make good ammo; they're just not finished to my taste. I also prefer RCBS or Hornady lock rings ( which both work just fine with Lee dies)
    I do use the Lee Factory Crimp Dies though, they're worth the money and do a great job.
    For cast loads, I really like the Lyman "M" dies. They expand the case just a hair more in the body to allow for easier seating of cast bullets.

    It's all a matter of personal choice though, use what is best for you.
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