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550b vs LNL

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by High Altitude, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. High Altitude

    High Altitude

    Nov 19, 2005
    Hi guys, I am researching both presses and I am wondering, why would you purchase a 550b over a LNL.

    With the LNL you can start with out a case feeder and then upgrade as money allowed. Be able to load both pistol and rifle with a case feeder. Costs less. Auto index. 5 vs 4 die stations. Very easy and not too costly to change calibers.

    What advantages do you get with the 550b?

    It seems you could start out with the LNL, upgrade to a case feeder if you ever wanted to for both pistol or rifle, load multiple calibers with out the high conversion cost that comes with the 650 and you get the extra die station if you want to use it. Seems very versatile and you wouldn't ever have to sell your press and upgrade, you just keep upgrading the press you already have.

    Basically you start with an auto index 5 station 550b and then upgrade to a 650 with case feeder per se.

    Seems like a good way to go if you want a progressive.
  2. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    That's the old red vs blue debate. Do a search and you'll find many a argument. Pay particular attention to Colorado4wheel's posts regarding his experiences.
    I really all depends on what your intentions are, how many different calibers, the gun you use, the primer you use... search and all will be told.
    My personal view is if your intention is to go casefeeder in the end... the XL650 is the only way to go.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011

  3. cole

    cole Millennium Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    The Blue one. Both work. But, I read/hear about more Red going Blue, hardly ever, actually can't recall one time, the other way around. That's a statement.

    Me, I'm Blue. And, I freely admit I drink the Blue Kool-Aid. My simple reasons: 1) Blue works and 2) Blue's customer service is second to none. And, resale on Blue is stellar in case you ever want to upgrade.
  4. Personally I'm purple. I use lee dies on a dillon AT450 I upgraded to a 550.
  5. kshutt


    Aug 24, 2001
    The advantage you get with the 550, is that it works. Don't get the LNL. Until Hornady hires some of Dillon's R&D personnel, I wouldn't take one of their presses again for free. Period. Get the 550 or 650, and don't look back.
  6. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    You haven't been on this forum long then?

    Steve (C4W) was a longtime 550B user and sold it to buy a LNL within the last six months. However, he had problems, so now the factory is buying that one back and he has already ordered a 650.

  7. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    Well, Steve would actually be classified as going Blue to Red, then back to Blue. :).

    My personal opinion, just from the things I've read... If you have no intentions of a case feed, then the LNL will probably serve you fine. If you want a case feeder, then either save longer, and get a 650, or just accept that you're going to have to live w/o one for the time being. Again, just what I've read, the LNL nor the 550, implement a case feed very well.


  8. Myke_Hart

    Myke_Hart Handloader

    Dec 5, 2007
    Mount Eden, KY
    Bottom line is if you are doing lots of caliber changes the LNL is the way to go.

    What sets the LNL apart from the blue presses is the ability to do caliber changes on the cheap. The ability to move dies from press to press without having to change the die setup. The press uses bushings on your dies so the dies can also be shifted and switched to other presses or move the order around with no re-setup. Twist lock them in and your done.

    I move the dies from my progressive to my RCBS single stage with just a twist of the die.

    Now when you add the bullet feeder and case feeder you do add complications to the caliber changes, it just takes longer to reset but it is still fast enough.

    If you are only loading one caliber there is no real advantage.

    One more thing I like better than the blue guys is the hornady powder measure, with the micrometer insert. It is as good as I have ever gotten. Drops the same volume every time, doesn't leak or make a mess. Easy to change powders by twisting it to remove it and dumping it out.

    Yes there has been a few blue users on here that have switched to the LNL.

    It is a awesome press. They run excellent without any mods. Most mods that we do to our LNL's are little simple things to make the press a little more ergonomic and to make them run a little smoother for certain calibers.

    I say you can not go wrong with a dillon or hornady progressive, they both have awesome customer service and will take care of any problems you encounter.

    You should watch the videos on to get a feel for both presses.

    Here is my setup.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  9. Glock30Eric

    Glock30Eric .45 ACP

    Feb 3, 2011
    Southern Maryland
    ^ Wow, why do you need two set of LNLs? One for Pistol and other for Rifle?
  10. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Hornady owes me money. I am not going to rock the boat even a little.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  11. Flipz


    Nov 9, 2009
    Both are great presses. Having said that, I have thousands of rounds through my LnL without any problems.
  12. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    Just out of curiousity are you loading with a casefeeder and what is you average load rate with it?
  13. StaTiK

    StaTiK Get Some

    Jan 22, 2002
    SE Michigan
    I'm probably going to buy a LNL, but here are the reasons why the 550 is still in the running:
    • Dillon has a long history of support. I'm not sure the Hornady Pro-Jector or Pro-7 is supported as well as older Dillons.
    • The 550 has been around a lot longer, so it is easier to find used presses slightly cheaper with a chance at a bargain. Its also easier to find people with 100k reloads through their press, which to me says a lot about the quality.
    • The 550 is manually indexed, which has the benefit of being simpler mechanically and therefore seems less likely to break. There's no timing to mess up.
    • All Dillon presses have great resale. If I were to buy a used one at a slight discount I have no doubt I could sell it later for at least the same amount. Thus, I can later upgrade (if needed) without the financial risk. Imagine being able to buy a car, drive the hell out of it for 5 years, and then upgrade and sell it for more than you bought it for.
    • The casefeeder system seems better on the 650. If you're not sure if you want/need a casefeeder then, considering resale listed above, buying a 550 and test driving it for a while is a viable option. I think I want a casefeeder, but after watching certain videos on Youtube (ie XDroX's) I'm really not convinced that I need it.
    • I agree with you that the one-handed LNL loading looks better than the 550's two-handed method. But, none of my friends have a LNL without casefeeder so I haven't tried it. Again, referencing XDroX's video, try to find a video of a one-handed LNL loader that looks as smooth and fast at a sustainable rate.
    Again, most of this is conjecture. Hornady may very well be the equal with regards to quality, warranty, longevity, etc AND still be better certain ways. But at the end of the day I have no doubt that a 550 will work and be supported in 15 years, I have some reservation about the newer LNL.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  14. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    I bought an LNL and kept it for 28 days and returned it in my 30 return period, Had I kept it longer I might have got used to it and liked it, But I had to make a timed choice. I just didn't find it better than the 550.
    I like that it has a solid stable top vs a tool head.
    I like one handed feeding.
    I really liked the cheap caliber change cost.
    I didn't like the powder throw system.
    In the end (with the bullet feeder) I just didn't think it was equal to a 650.
    So i swallowed a bit of my pride and the cost of caliber conversions and just went with the 650.
    If I had to start over and chose between a 550 and a LNL well?

    The 550 Is a proven press with a proven track record. So the safe sure bet is the 550. I might consider another LNL but not for several years time to see how they are holding up for the people who own them. Who am I kidding with Dillon's warranty I am never going to need a new press.
  15. 44terryberry


    Feb 18, 2011
    I thought you were talking about bench pressing 550 for a minute...
  16. XDRoX


    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    El_Nino put that video up on YouTube for me. I can't believe its still there and I cant believe you've seen it.

    You've inspired me to make another video. This time pistol. I think I'll see if I can load 100 9mm in under 15 minutes.

    My press looks way different now. I added a lot of things to it.
  17. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Hornady has been around for 62 years... probably a good chance they'll be around when you need 'em.

  18. Flipz


    Nov 9, 2009
    Im not using a casefeeder yet, but will sometime soon. My loading pace is generally very relaxed, Im in no rush. I dont really need a casefeeder, but it would be nice to have one.

    Ive never timed myself really. But if I had to take a guess maybe somewhere around 250 rounds an hour. I do a loading session just about every weekend.

    Also, let me just say that Ive only been loading for around 6 months. The LnL was my first and only press. For me, its functioned like clockwork. Ive never had a problem with it. Everything was easy and self explanatory to setup, including the PTX expander. Setting up the dies and switching calibers couldnt be easier. Well maybe easier if Jack's butler was doing it for me, lol. All in all, I love the press and am very happy I got it.

    My opinion is obviously based on only my experience with my LnL. Since I have never had a 550 I really cant say anything about it since I have no basis for comparison with the LnL. Its been said many times that the 550 is an excellent press, and Im sure it is. One thing I can say is that I have nothing bad to say about the LnL. Its functioned 100% for me. I think anyone would do well with either press, 550 or LnL.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  19. Myke_Hart

    Myke_Hart Handloader

    Dec 5, 2007
    Mount Eden, KY
    One set up for large primer/large cases the other for small primer/small cases.

    I do not load any rifle on the LNL other than .223.

    Rifle loading is very complex to do on a progressive without an expensive on press trimmer.
  20. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    I can safely load 100rds of 9mm on a 550 in under 8 mins. I can easily load 100rds of 9mm on a 550 in 10 mins. EASILY. It takes a while to get fast with a 550. It's not something you can force. But it is possible to get going pretty quick once the muscle memory kicks in.