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Bit the bullet...550 ordered!

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by crni4, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. crni4


    Jan 14, 2008
    Well, after a lot of deliberation, reading numerous reviews/threads, watching too many youtube videos, but most of all, on my wife's insistance, the 550 ordered tonight from Brian Enos. Got the press, dies and strong mount. the rest I don't see to be crucial right now.

    This would be my first swim in the reloading waters. the entry price is hefty, but i also ordered (from midway) the bullet puller, digital calipers, tumbler, 500 Winchester bullets, and some ammo boxes and from Brian the digital scale.

    already have heavy & ugly bench :cool:, two reloading books (ABC, and Lyman), primer flip tray, CCI primers, some misc 9mm brass, and I think the only thing missing is powder. Going to bass pro tomorow for Unique (did not want to pay haz mat shipping surcharge)

    Please be patient with yet another noob, and share words of wisdom!

    Happy New Years to all, and will see you around a lot more once this is all set up!
  2. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    You are being smart, buying a # local to test is a better bet than buying 8# of something you hate after 100rds. You need anoher loading manual IMO, ABCs has no data. I suggest the Speer #14, you already have a good one in the Lyman. SHy away from Midway for bullets & look at PrecisionDelta. Shipping cost matters & Midway is never cheap, especially for primers & powder as they charge two HM fees.:wow:

  3. Beanie-Bean


    Apr 23, 2011
    Central Texas
    Congrats, and welcome to the fold! These guys helped me get going this year, and I've learned quite a bit from everyone here.

    Powder Valley seems to have good pricing if you have to order anything online, and they will mix primers/powder on the same order. I think that Midway may double charge (ha!) you on that...

    I can recommend the new Hornady reloading manual, as well--lots of good load information in there, especially if you shoot any of their stuff. I also picked up an RL550B this year, and settled in on a Hornady LnL single-stage press, too. The latter has been really helpful for decapping all the brass, as well as for lead development for new calibers. I've got some new stuff I haven't tried yet to remove the bulges from .40 and 10mm cases, and I'm looking to do that really soon.

    Good luck on your maiden voyage, and be sure to ask lots of questions here--the folks here are very helpful.
  4. mdm3


    Aug 19, 2004
    You will not be disappointed. I got a 550 for Christmas and just finished setting it up with a new bench from Costco tonight. After everything was set I loaded my first 50 to test and am anxious to try them out. I followed the Lyman manual so I think I should be good to go. I went with bullets from Missouri Bullet and they were a pretty fair price if you don't need jacketed.

    This forum has been a huge help in getting everything going.
  5. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    I wish I kept mine. I sold it after I bought the 650 but now I wish I still had it for some off calibers that I don't a lot of.
  6. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    BassPro's powder prices are a little higher than online, but they aren't obscene.

    Don't feel like you HAVE to use the strong mount, it's a personal thing. Mine came with it so I use it, but I wouldn't have bothered with it otherwise. The roller handle is over rated too IMO. It's well made and all, but I put the ball handle back on my 650.

    Start loads are best, but only load ten or so because start loads in 9mm often won't cycle the gun with the meow data that the manuals are using these days. Any published data you see with Unique will be safe. There is nothing "wierd" about the powder. You almost can't get too much Unique in a 9mm case and still get the bullet in.
  7. rpgman

    rpgman SCGLOCK

    Jul 27, 2011
    This IS THE PLACE for reloading help.
    In the last few months everyone here has helped me learn reloading.

  8. One of the big decisions after purchasing the press is will I sit or stand to reload. I stand when I reload. You might try temporarily mounting your press in both positions to see which one suits you. Good luck, and welcome to the madness that is both reloading and GTR.
  9. BK63


    Sep 15, 2005
    Keep in mind that while the initial price may be hefty, once you have this stuff, you have it. It will last a life time. Years down the road you'll be glad you have it and the initial price is not a concern anymore. You will have many enjoyable years of reloading. My first progressive was a very very old 450 I bought used in a gun shop. I liked it so much I ordered a 550 because I had other stuff to load and I didn't like unscrewing the dies to change everything. I liked the 550 so much I bought the conversion parts for the 450 to make it more of a 550. Now my old 450 is my 45acp loader and the 550 is used to load all my other calibers. They will outlast me.
  10. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    That's a good point. Many people will spend the cost of a 550 on a TV that only lasts a few years without batting an eyelash, but will hem and haw at the idea of spending that on a press that their children will be using 50 years from now. For some people the money is real tight though, and they need to really think about what kind of production speed they actually need.

    For people on a tight budget, they are better off getting a cheap press NOW, rather than putting off buying the be all end all press two years from now. The $150.00 or so they spend on a Lee turret now will allow them to save money now. They will save more than the $150.00 they spent on it in short order and will still be able to use it for somethings when they "move up" to a 650 etc. that costs seven times as much.
  11. minderasr

    minderasr NRA Life Member

    May 19, 2009
    New York
    Just curious. Which bench? I tried searching the costco site and came up empty. I need a small work bench for my shoebox apartment.

  12. Outer Rondacker

    Outer Rondacker

    Dec 28, 2011
    First off happy new year. Second Congrats on the new order. I was unable to make up my mind but after taking a trip to a guy I have know for years who does nothing but reload for a living and asking what to go with? He sat me behind a 550 and I loaded some rounds. I said this is it you use this and nothing else. He said well there are three Rock chuckers over there for bigger loads that I dont do so much of but yes. By the time I left he was doing all the research on just how much he could get one for and going to order another one for himself. After seeing him go and if you knew what his shop looked like there is no question the 550 can pump some nice ammo out. Once again congrats on the purchase please do let us (me) know how you like it when it comes.
  13. Bello

    Bello America/Italia

    Sep 24, 2008
    East Coast
    yay another blue member!
  14. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    I posted this info last week but here it is again: my workbench is 38" high and I use the strong mount. As a result, the ball is 53" above the floor.

    I load standing up and when my arm is extended the ball is all the way down. I do not want to have to lean over to fully lower the lever.

    FWIW, I'm about 6'1".

    I'm not sure I could get enough leverage if I were sitting down.

  15. mdm3


    Aug 19, 2004
    I got the Whalen Mobile Workbench. They don't list it on the website, but they usually have them in stock near the tools. Its a really sturdy bench and easy to assemble.

    Attached Files:

  16. HexHead


    Jul 16, 2009
    Or spend about $100 more on a 550 Basic Loader than can be upgraded to a full 550 later on by adding the powder measure and auto primer.
  17. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    That would work too. I haven't gotten a Blue Press in a long time so I'll chekc out their sight and see what the Basic does. If it has the simplicty and relatively low cost of the Lee Turret, with Dillon quality and support, it's a great idea. The quality and support are a given, and I know it will cost a bit more than the Lee turret, I just am curious about the features and process. It might be good option for my buddy.
  18. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    The BL 550 is essentially an RL550B without the automatic priming and powder systems.

    It's about $260. Has a great upgrade path but for a person wanting to load pistol I am not sure ti makes a lot of sense over the 550 or LCT.
  19. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    I just don't see using the BL550 for much of anything. Sure, I have the powder funnel arrangement for my RL550B so I can trickle charge some precision rifle loads but manually inserting a primer into the seating post would just take too much time. Not to mention the possibility of contaminating the primer.

    Measuring each powder charge for a couple of hundred pistol rounds would get old real quick.

    If I couldn't afford the RL550B and was thinking about the BL550, I think I would just wait until I could.

  20. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    From what I can tell by looking at it, admittedly not much, I think a Lee turret is better for what the BL550 seems to do. It says it doesn't have the autoprime, but it doesn't say how you prime. I ASSume it has a traditional primer punch that you load individual primers into. With the Lee turret, you can keep your right hand on the handle which is a big advantage from a lazyness standpoint. You could put the Lee autodisc and Lee PTE die on either one so that would be a wash. It probably approaches double the price of the Lee by the time you get dies and a powder measure for it, unless you already have a measure. The shell plates will cost more than the Lee shellholder, which is free with Lee dies and be more work to change.