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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, thanks in advance for any help provided!

I am brand new to reloading and have zero tools, NOTHING. My intent of this post is to get a quick buy list of things I absolutely must have in order to get setup for my reloading journey. I just bought a Dillon 550C and it is on the way. My ideal eventual minimum output per month would be:
1) 1.5-2k 9mm
2) 1000 .40 (for USPSA Limited, major obviously)
3) 500 .223
4) 200 .45ACP
5) 200 6.5CM (match grade equivalent, hence 6.5CM)

I know this is quite vague, but I am trying to squeeze all the mid-big ticket items in before the end of the year and figured you all could be a much faster resource than me searching 5000 forum posts. I do not plan to rush into this and plan to be extremely methodical but like I said, trying to squeeze in all the purchases before the end of the year. Any help on the below items would also be greatly appreciated.

From what I have gathered I will at minimum need the following:
1) 2-3 reloading books, loads and process
2) Die sets in aforementioned calibers, the .40 is for competition and the 6.5CM is for ELR
3) caliber conversion kits for the 550
4) toolheads for each caliber
5) Precision digital scale of at least +/- .1 (preferably better) for initial calibration and the 6.5CM individual pours
6) Precision calipers
7) Primer flip tray
8) Case Lube
9) Case prep equipment (vague I know)
10) Primer tubes

I have a moderate budget. Also, I know there are a lot of items for the above. If it helps I am looking for good quality and you get what you pay for, however, I know there are some items that can double and triple in cost for only slightly modest at best gains in performance. Also, I consider there to be three categories: items that are must have to function, items that will greatly increase performance and output, and fringe items that you would want out of preference but do not really need at all. Thank you in advance for your wisdom.

- Anthony
 

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Hey everyone, thanks in advance for any help provided!

I am brand new to reloading and have zero tools, NOTHING. My intent of this post is to get a quick buy list of things I absolutely must have in order to get setup for my reloading journey. I just bought a Dillon 550C and it is on the way. My ideal eventual minimum output per month would be:
1) 1.5-2k 9mm
2) 1000 .40 (for USPSA Limited, major obviously)
3) 500 .223
4) 200 .45ACP
5) 200 6.5CM (match grade equivalent, hence 6.5CM)

I know this is quite vague, but I am trying to squeeze all the mid-big ticket items in before the end of the year and figured you all could be a much faster resource than me searching 5000 forum posts. I do not plan to rush into this and plan to be extremely methodical but like I said, trying to squeeze in all the purchases before the end of the year. Any help on the below items would also be greatly appreciated.

From what I have gathered I will at minimum need the following:
1) 2-3 reloading books, loads and process
2) Die sets in aforementioned calibers, the .40 is for competition and the 6.5CM is for ELR
3) caliber conversion kits for the 550
4) toolheads for each caliber
5) Precision digital scale of at least +/- .1 (preferably better) for initial calibration and the 6.5CM individual pours
6) Precision calipers
7) Primer flip tray
8) Case Lube
9) Case prep equipment (vague I know)
10) Primer tubes

I have a moderate budget. Also, I know there are a lot of items for the above. If it helps I am looking for good quality and you get what you pay for, however, I know there are some items that can double and triple in cost for only slightly modest at best gains in performance. Also, I consider there to be three categories: items that are must have to function, items that will greatly increase performance and output, and fringe items that you would want out of preference but do not really need at all. Thank you in advance for your wisdom.

- Anthony
books are first...they tell you what powders to get, same with bullets. read the front of any reloading manual several times till you think you are comfortable before you reload anything. by the time you get there you should have the basic tools, parts ect to start. Dillion is a good choice, a single stage would be better to start, it gives a better understanding of the process. good luck,

rick
 

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Discussion Starter #4
books are first...they tell you what powders to get, same with bullets. read the front of any reloading manual several times till you think you are comfortable before you reload anything. by the time you get there you should have the basic tools, parts ect to start. Dillion is a good choice, a single stage would be better to start, it gives a better understanding of the process. good luck,

rick
Yeah I figured the single stage would have been the best start but I wanted to be efficient in my buying and get something that will sustain the output I am looking for down the line and figured the manual indexing is a good compromise.
 

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It looks like you've done your homework and have listed pretty much everything you'll need. As GoJoe said, you'll need a way to clean brass. You're going to eventually need a bullet puller, it happens to all of us. I prefer the hammer type but others may recommend the collet. With the collet type you'll need individual collets, with the hamer type you can use a shellholder. As to the dies, any of them will work. I have heard that the thickness of the toolhead on the dillon makes it a little difficult to set the lock rings on Lee dies.
Again, good luck finding components, you chose a rough time to start.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It looks like you have thought it through pretty well and you already have a shopping list of the "essentials". I would only add a case tumbler. Now, if you can just find the reloading components...primers...brass...bullets...powder...Good luck !
Yes I also am having quite the time choosing between dies, the dillon ones seem to be revolving out of stock which makes me consider others. At this point I have zero brand preference.
 

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The nice thing about the 550 press is that it can be used as a single station press, you don't have to index it. Just process all you want at one stage and then move to another after.

You are going to get a million differing answers on the dies. I have Lee, RCBS, Hornady, CH, Redding and Star. They all will make great ammo.
 

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The nice thing about the 550 press is that it can be used as a single station press, you don't have to index it. Just process all you want at one stage and then move to another after.

You are going to get a million differing answers on the dies. I have Lee, RCBS, Hornady, CH, Redding and Star. They all will make great ammo.
Thanks! Yeah I figured as much, I was slightly more concerned with the 6.5CM dies just because I know ELR requires extreme precision. Although I do not plan to even attempt to load those before I have a few thousand of the other calibers done, going to start with standard middle of the road 9mm loads for a few thousand before I figure I can even start to get the hang of it.
 

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Thanks! Yeah I figured as much, I was slightly more concerned with the 6.5CM dies just because I know ELR requires extreme precision. Although I do not plan to even attempt to load those before I have a few thousand of the other calibers done, going to start with standard middle of the road 9mm loads for a few thousand before I figure I can even start to get the hang of it.
I agree with howlnmad about getting a hammer-type bullet-puller. It sure does come in handy ! Also, for your 6.5 CM, check out the Forster Bench Rest die set ($135) for 6.5 CM. It consists of a full-length sizing die and a micrometer-adjusted seating die. Forster seating dies are known for their concentricity accuracy in seating the bullet.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I agree with howlnmad about getting a hammer-type bullet-puller. It sure does come in handy ! Also, for your 6.5 CM, check out the Forster Bench Rest die set ($135) for 6.5 CM. It consists of a full-length sizing die and a micrometer-adjusted seating die. Forster seating dies are known for their concentricity accuracy in seating the bullet.
Will do, thank you!
 

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I had a 550 and still have a fair amount of parts. Shell plates and well, who knows. I had other stuff in green and now I'm on a XL 750. Anyway, would you be interested in parts for the 550?
 

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There is no way to put this "gently", so right out with it - if you are on a budget, then Dillon wasn't the way to go. Conversion kits are pushing $70 apiece, tool heads are going for between $20 and $40. Your original post mentioned 5 calibers, so that is an additional $500+/- for just those two items. One good thing is that the primer tubes (one of each size) will come with the press. You can find some deals on eBay and Amazon, but still not cheap. Now that I've said all that, I do love my Dillon 550B and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, expensive or not!

I would take cannonman up on his offer, but do it via PM, since offers to buy or sell are not allowed on the open forums.
 

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There is no way to put this "gently", so right out with it - if you are on a budget, then Dillon wasn't the way to go. Conversion kits are pushing $70 apiece, tool heads are going for between $20 and $40. Your original post mentioned 5 calibers, so that is an additional $500+/- for just those two items. One good thing is that the primer tubes (one of each size) will come with the press. You can find some deals on eBay and Amazon, but still not cheap. Now that I've said all that, I do love my Dillon 550B and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, expensive or not!

I would take cannonman up on his offer, but do it via PM, since offers to buy or sell are not allowed on the open forums.
I was vague in saying "moderate budget". And I knew roughly the price it would cost for entry into this. The budget comment was more closely aligned with someone recommending a good quality product that works very well over one that costs 2-3 times as much for a small increment in performance.
 

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Probably should have started two years back...components are non-existant, unless you are willing to pay $200 per thousand for primers (usually a $30 dollar item) I have enough for my needs, mainly because I bought a couple thousand lpp and spp before the crash. I refuse to bow to a hoarder, or gouger...I do try to buy local.
 

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Probably should have started two years back...components are non-existant, unless you are willing to pay $200 per thousand for primers (usually a $30 dollar item) I have enough for my needs, mainly because I bought a couple thousand lpp and spp before the crash. I refuse to bow to a hoarder, or gouger...I do try to buy local.
Yeah I know not a good time, but I was a bit too busy a few years ago. A lot of time has opened up. Plus I was going through 10-15k free at work so no reason to reload back then!
 

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I've been loading about 4 years and jumped into a 550C a couple months ago. Expect to more than double the price of the press: quick change kits, caliber conversion kits, dies, press mount, bullet tray, extra bins, etc.

I am glad I started with a single stage and worked up, although the 550 can be used as a single stage. Start slowly, the 550 is a busy press until you get used to it, there are several functions happening at the same time. When I first started using the 550 I kept my output bin to no more than 20 loaded rounds so that if I noted a hiccup, I would have fewer to pull. . . and I pulled a few the first week. Also, if you are going to vacuum any powder flakes off the machine, pull the locator pins first! I made that mistake.

Great machine, hope it works well for you.
 

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When I first started using the 550 I kept my output bin to no more than 20 loaded rounds so that if I noted a hiccup, I would have fewer to pull. . . and I pulled a few the first week.
Great machine, hope it works well for you.
I have been using my Dillon for about 8 years and I still do that but now I usually go about 50 rounds. So far, I have, only once, ran out of powder and and had to pull about a dozen .45 ACP bullets. In that dozen, there were only three or four that had no powder. Those Dillon powder measures are pretty amazing, they will maintain an accurate drop right up until they run out of powder. I have checked that a few times since that one time of running out.
 

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