Which Reloading Dies to use in a Dillon 550B?

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

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Author Comment
    Posts: 1
    (3/30/02 5:40:11 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del All Which Reloading Dies to use in a Dillon 550B?
    Hello everyone and Happy Easter.

    I am writing to ask for thoughts on reloading dies(.357mag,.44mag,.45acp,.3006,.223) to use in my new 550B. The Dillon dies are pricey, but are they worth it? I know their are other die makers and I have read/heard MANY good things about the Lee "factory crimp dies" for pistol and rifle( I have been told older Lee dies are shorter and require locking from the bottom of the toolhead, but the newer dies are supposed to be longer and don't require this..is this true?). I would like to hear any and all thoughts with regard to die choices and why. Right now, I am leaning towards just buying the complete Lee pistol die sets...should I? Thanks again everyone....I appreciate your efforts to help.

    Edited by: FuNeGuy at: 4/1/02 6:49:08 pm

    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 1661
    (3/30/02 6:25:12 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Which Reloading Dies to use in a Dillon 550B?
    Welcome, FuNeGuy, to the forum. Always happy to see another reloader sign on.

    Your question about what dies to use in the Dillon 550 B press is a good one.

    I've used RCBS, Redding, Lyman, and even Lee.

    I've heard people before saying you need to put the locking ring nut on the bottom of the die plate for the Lee dies. But having a Dillon RL 450 and a 550 B press I have never had to do this. I just mount them on top like any other set of dies. This includes short case calibers like .45 acp, .45 AR, .38 S&W. I have yet to try the .380 acp caliber but don't expect any problems with it either.

    What brand dies do you presently own. I have never heard of the 550 B press rejecting any well known die maker brand.

    I've heard that Lee is making extra long dies now, and I consider them an excellent value.

    Welcome again, and let us know what brand you decide on.


    Edited by: AGunguy at: 3/31/02 9:34:27 am

    Posts: 2
    (3/30/02 6:50:27 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Which Reloading Dies to use in a Dillon 550B?
    I have not purchased any dies yet for my 550B. I thought I would ask all of you before I decide. I am new to metal cartridge reloading, but have good experience with progressive shotshell reloading, having reloaded approximately 10,000 rounds using a MEC 9000G and a hydraulic MEC 650 Grabber. I've read/heard SO MANY good things about all the die makers that I am unsure as to a choice. The Lee pistol dies are the least expensive and I keep hearing about the so-called "Factory Crimp Die" being the greatest thing to come along in a while....Is this too easy and straightforward? Lee is the least expensive AND a good performer? Could it be true?..
    Anyway....thanks again for everyones help.....

    *TFF Staff*
    Posts: 1663
    (3/30/02 6:56:48 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Which Reloading Dies to use in a Dillon 550B?
    Well, I'm pro lee die buyer, and I buy them because they cost less if you buy them from some catalog store like Lock Stock & Barrel of Valintine NB. Contact those people for one of their catalogs...great bargains in there.

    Try 'em, you won't be wasting your dough.


    Red Dwarf
    Posts: 9
    (3/30/02 8:02:46 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Which Reloading Dies to use in a Dillon 550B?
    Well, the Lee dies are hard to beat for the money.

    Are the Dillon dies worth it? Yes. They have some good features, are well made and the NO BS Warranty applies.

    I only use the Dillon dies in the Dillon press. Why?
    The Lee seat dies have a tendency to back out with use, which is why I relegate them to single stage use. I have three of the little Lee presses fixed to a 2x6" sort of like a "semi-progressive" arrangement.

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 267
    (4/3/02 2:59:51 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Which Reloading Dies to use in a Dillon 550B?
    Have been using Lee's Carbide series of dies for all my pistol cartridge loading with my 550B, locking ring on top, have not had a single problem or issue with them in ~15yrs.

    Had the dies already, when I moved up from a single-stage press to the Dillon 550B.

    And I use a mix of Lee and Dillon dies for my .223, .270, .30-06 loading in that press, as well. Again, no problems (other than my routinely brutally destroying the replaceable depriming pin in my 30-06 die, pesky berdan-primed surplus brass getting mixed in at the range).


    Posts: 7
    (4/13/02 7:01:40 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Which Reloading Dies to use in a Dillon 550B?
    I use Lee, Lyman,and RCBS in my 550. I use a Lee factory crimp die in the last station.

    I have Dillon dies, but find the seating die much too time consuming to adjust. Some say that they find the Dillon sizing die doesn't size the base enough, but this will be taken care of by the Lee FC die, if one finds that condition.

    The length of the Lee dies makes them harder to keep in adjustment, but they are good dies and if one is careful to watch for looseness they are an excellent choice for the money. They pose a bigger kproblem in the 650, and I find I have to put the lock rings on the underneath side of the block.

    At the price, I would not buy the Dillon.

  2. yodar

    yodar Guest

    Oct 4, 2005

    I differ from Jerry. I load my own cast bullets and also some jacketed military loads. The Dillon day STAYS set, doesn't drift, and when bullet lube accumulates and you wanna clean the Dillon die, you pull one clip and you can gut the die right out'a the toolhead , clean it, and re-install it and all adjustments are retained.

    I have half a dozen toolheads of Lee and Dillon dies and the Dillon dies hold their settings perfectly. I only use Lee dies where Dillon doesn't make them


  3. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville Active Member

    Aug 28, 2007
    I'm mostly using RCBS dies, and I have one set of Dillon dies.

    The plus on the Dillon dies is the fact the seat and crimp die can be cleaned without re-calibrating the die.

    When using the RCBS dies I have had to buy a separate crimp die for the fourth station on my 550b, and the expander dies sits unused in the box.

    also Dillon makes only a few rifle dies, so then you have to get another company's die, and I usually add a Lee factory crimp die to the rifle set.

    Dillon dies are worthwile if you don't already have a set in the caliber you need, but if you already have dies, just add a crimp die to what you already have.

    I have several 550 toolheads and 3 Dillon powder measurers.
  4. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

    Oct 12, 2007
    Dillon's seater die is no longer capable of crimping; they removed that feature to save cost. You also have to loosen the lock ring and screw the whole seating die in/out to adjust seating depth, since they also removed the adjusting screw. The Hornady seating die has the same on-press disassembly feature as the Dillon seater, plus it features a floating alignment sleeve and an optional micrometer adjusting screw. Except for some competition style seating dies, most other brands of seating dies will also will crimp if you want to use a powder check die in station 3 and seat+crimp in station 4. That seems to work better with roll crimped cartridges than taper crimped ones.