Ready to move up.

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Guest, Feb 24, 2003.

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    Dave3
    Member
    Posts: 8
    (1/15/02 6:27:52 pm)
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    I've been loading with my Lee Anniversary for about a year now and think I'm ready to move up to a faster press or some thing. I mainly load 223,243,and 308. Do those progressive jobs load rifle bullets as well as pistol? Are the manual indexing a good way or not I know there is a ton of answers out there and I want all of them. I hope to teach my children how to reload one day so I want a good one.

    shooter22
    Moderator
    Posts: 809
    (1/15/02 6:43:07 pm)
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    I'll give you a report about the Hornady Lock-N-Load when I get back home tonight. Your choices should be between Dillon, Hornady, and RCBS. My vote goes to Hornady. Do plenty of reasearch.


    shooter22
    Moderator
    Posts: 815
    (1/15/02 10:46:27 pm)
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    Dave, When I got into reloading, I did as much research as I could. The hornady Lock n load was new on the market. I was told by many old time loaders that I should start with a single press. I had only the money to make one decision, so I went with the Lock n load. It was the one of the few presses that could be used like a single if I needed. It was also the only one that would drop powder only when a case was persent. The Hornady will crank out the bullets with the best of the Dillons. You can change fron rifle to pistol in minutes, change from one caliber to another is less time than that. Once the dies are set, no need to reset them. With the Micro-meter seating stem, you can seat bullets in .001" increments. There is also a micrometer powder measure feed system.

    I Have developed all my shooting round for my pistls, so now, we just crank out the developed rounds by the hundreds. With my rifle rounds, I'll develope good accurate rounds and if varmint hunting, I'll use the progressive press to pump out the rounds. But if I am target shooting, or developing long hunting rounds I use my progressive like a single stage. I like the Hornady soo much, I just bought a lock n load classic which is a single stage so that my brother can load at the same time. Not to mention I got it for a steal. The guy must have needed money, I got it for near nothing.

    When the Progressive LOck n load first came out, I got one of the first machines to come out. I hac some problems with it. This is usual for a newly manufactured product. I told them my problem, and they re-engineered the base pivot on the ram. They also changed the sprawl from nylon to metal as a result of complaints from the few users that had them. All the parts that I have had trouble with, or that have broken, have all been replaced very quickly and without question.

    I have to say that I am sold on Hornady, but there are many that can make good arguments for the dillon and RCBS. I have many RCBS components. Like the digital scale and electronic powder dispenser, case prep center. Truts me, once you get hooked, you can't stop.


    Dave3
    Member
    Posts: 12
    (1/16/02 9:40:21 pm)
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    Thanks Shooter, It's really great that this site is around because you get honest opinions about different products instead of some guy trying to sell you what he has in stock. I'm heading to the big shoe this weekend and hope to look over several presses.

    tuckerd1
    Moderator
    Posts: 1060
    (1/17/02 7:26:01 am)
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    I don't know abouit the Hornady, I know Shooter loves it, but I went thru this last summer and I settled on the Dillon 550. And I have never looked back. Great manual indexing progressive press and company.

    Have not tried to use it as a single stage. It does not drop powder unless the case is present and the primers do not feed extra until the one in the drop is used. So I guess it could be run SS. But for continous progressive use it would be hard to beat.
    "They that can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither Liberty nor safety." (...Benjamin Franklin, 1759)

    loader44
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 118
    (1/17/02 2:18:23 pm)
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    When I got started reloading 7 years ago, I started with what my father left me. A Lee Auto Indexing Press. I took out the auto indexing part and made it totaly manual. If you are just startin out the Lee is the best way to go, jmho.

    When I was ready to move up to a truly " Progresseve Press " i got a Lee " Load Master ". I load all my pistol on the Load Master. But I still use the semi-progressive Lee for all my rifle bullets ( the auto indexing ), the Load Master is sopposed to by able to load " EVERYTHING " , but it does a less than great job on rifle. Since you load manily rifle according to your other post, I would "NOT" go with a Load Master. If you only want to load hand gun, go with the loadmaster.

    If you have the money, go with the Dillon 550, its about 100.00 more than the Load Master, its the only other press I have ever used. And it seems to work just fine. if you don't have the money for the Dillon, I could not say what else to go with.

    Don't get me wrong, I am not talking bad about the other presses, I have just never used any of them except, Lee and Dillon.

    jmtcw.

    Loader44.

    Smoky14
    Member
    Posts: 42
    (1/17/02 3:13:05 pm)
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    Just my 2cents worth; DILLON... I've been loading with Dillon press for 10yrs now and can say it's a damn fine product. I've had a few minor things go wrong and just a phone call got me all the help I needed; no charge no BS.
    Lately I had a minor problem and they offered to overhaul it if I would send it back. As I am mechanically gifted they instead sent me the parts and I had the fun of doing it myself.
    Good loaders and good people!

    Moskovskyya
    Member
    Posts: 59
    (1/17/02 8:59:23 pm)
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    Dillon's no BS waranty is tops. When I first got by 550 I screwed it up by being stupid, I offered to pay, they refused the money and sent parts for free. Back when I used to call them all the time, the tech guys were exceptional, they practically taught me how to reload. And there's the blue press magazine. You have to determine if you one of the guys that looks at the girl on the cover first or the gun she's holding!

    And to be completely informative, some of the longer extruded powders do not meter very well through the Dillon dispenser. I don't know for sure, but I think all will have that problem.

    Dave3
    Member
    Posts: 17
    (1/17/02 10:05:01 pm)
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    So you are saying these Dillion Machines are pretty good stuff. Here's a funny story, I parked in there parking lot for six months (Job Site was across the road). I didn't know what they made there for over a year when I came across a "Blue Press" and read the address. Dang I could have been in there looking and touching stuff, maybe the girls on the cover would be in there.

    kdub01
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 171
    (1/18/02 11:00:09 pm)
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    Wouldn't trade my Bonanza Co-Ax for ANY durn'd progressive! An' I been reloadin' since 1961!!!!!

    shooter45 us
    *Senior Chief Moderator*
    Posts: 1196
    (1/19/02 1:24:28 pm)
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    Dillon 550-B is the only way to go. I have used a Lee Pro-1000 and didn't think too much of it.

    Moskovskyya
    Member
    Posts: 69
    (1/19/02 10:36:21 pm)
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    For you guys that don't like progressive presses. the 550b is for you too! Tool heads for the 550b are in expensive in the 3packs. I have several set up with 1 die, some with 2, 3, and 4. You lift 2 pins and change is 2 seconds! I ususlly decap, size and prime a bucket full of brass, then later, switch the tool head, and charge seat and crimp. I also have a head setup for expanding to make different calbers. It's really a universal system that can do several single stage operations at the same time! Since the tool heads use 7/8" X 14 tpi, most brands of dies may be used.

    As an example, making 7.5 x 54mm french from 6.5 x 55 Swede. I have lee 7.5 French FL sizing die with long expander in tool head 1 position 1, with 2,3,4 empty. I run the brass to mouth expand and prime. They then must be trimmed to 54mm. After trimming, I install tool head #2, position 1 empty, 2 has dillon 308 powder funnel for charging, #3 has Redding micrometer seating die, #4 has Lyman 30 cal crimp die. Practically any combination is possible, and brass can be inserted or removed at any of the die positions.

    Dillon is not cheap, but they're like cars, you can drive a Ford, or a Mercedes!

    Dave3
    Member
    Posts: 26
    (1/19/02 10:45:28 pm)
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    Moskouskyya ,What you've suggested sounds about right. I'll be looking up my local Dillion dealer when I get off here. That really sounds like the way I want to go. Thanks!

    Moskovskyya
    Member
    Posts: 71
    (1/19/02 11:05:40 pm)
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    Dave, look at www.dillonprecision.com there's a lot of info that might help. Especialy the tech manuals for the 550b. I use the shellplate cross reference charts all the time. Cartridges that use the same shellplate, have the same head dimentions.

    AGunguy
    Moderator
    Posts: 1227
    (1/20/02 12:50:06 pm)
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    When I finally went to a progressive press last year, took me about 40 + years of loading to finally do that. Best move I've ever made for reloading ammo.

    Bought an old Dillon 20 year plus RL 450 which is totally manual in progression, but converted it myself to fully auto progressive.

    Then a few months later bought a smaller Dillon 450 frame, and acquired enough parts to cobble it together. It too has been fully automated.

    Then decided I needed one machine with the removable tool head inserts as the old 450 didn't have that wonderful quality of convienance.

    Ordered Dillon 450 up grade frame, $65 shipped, press now has 550 B frame and is now a 550 B machine.

    Now I'm looking at the other machine and it saying to me: what am I...an old has-been.

    This has got to stop, I'm already looking for more parts to rebuild the old 450 that I've up-graded the frame to a 550 B.

    Dillon is a fiendish crafty old businessman, he's made reloading press junkies out of a lot of us.

    Gunguy

    Edited by: AGunguy at: 1/20/02 12:52:36 pm

    rayra
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 196
    (1/21/02 7:45:41 pm)
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    Quote:
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    Dillon is a fiendish crafty old businessman, he's made reloading press junkies out of a lot of us.
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    Agreed.

    Used a Lee single stage the first couple years, on the advice of my grandpa - "harder to make big mistakes that way" - bought a Dillon 550B ~14yrs ago and haven't looked back.

    Maybe $12-15 more per caliber in shell holder plates, tool head etc., but once you have a few, there are some savings - the shell plate for .45ACP is same as .30-06, 9mm / .223 the same.

    I've been getting respectable accuracy from both .223 and .30-06 loads.
    Load development is also not very difficult with a progressive, you just need to do a couple of things differently - you can start an empty casing at the powder station instead of the first / sizing-depriming sta., and go through a couple of powder-charging strokes to test your powder throw/amount. Same for bullet seating and crimping.
    Takes me about 10mins to set powder, bullet seat, crimp, when started with a NEW caliber.
    Takes ~5mins to change primer feed tube size and powder charge bar when switching between rifle and pistol or small vs large primers.
    Another few minutes to charge 2-3 primer tubes.
    Then all of 25-30mins to crank out 300rds.

    Once broke part of the armature on the powder transfer bar assembly, due to my setting the powder-charging system it little too tightly.
    Dug out my parts diagram, called Dillon to order the part.
    Described the problem, and when I asked, they said, "no charge" and shipped it out.
    It's a great business model - a few bucks worth of parts, and I'm happy to re-order forever, and here I am pimping their products, too
    That's a win-win.


    Edited by: rayra at: 1/21/02 7:46:20 pm

    Duncan
    Member
    Posts: 4
    (3/5/02 9:19:05 pm)
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    Dillon a businessman....big deal...have you seen his daughters!!!! Hubba Hubba

    rayra
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 251
    (3/7/02 3:44:16 am)
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    Duncan, you just want them for their machine guns.
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