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Blue team or Red team?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Cavalry Doc, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Cavalry Doc

    Cavalry Doc MAJ (USA Ret.)

    34,969
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    Feb 22, 2005
    Republic of Texas
    Probably been done before, but I'm looking at progressive presses.

    Hornady vs. Dillon.

    If dillon, is the 650 good enough, or will the 1050 become a necessity.

    Mainly .380, 9mm, .40 & 45, maybe later do some .223 and .308.

    Cost is always an issue, but if a few hundred more saves me some time and frustration, I'll be able to swing it.

    What are your thoughts? Most interested in those that are willing to discuss the shortcomings of the ones they own. I don't expect perfection, but would prefer enough advice to go in with my eyes wide open.

    Thanks,

    Doc
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011
  2. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    Not gonna open the Red vs. Blue can of worms, I own both and like both but be aware that with separate tool heads caliber conversions will run around $400 each on the 1050... maybe a bit less since you'll only have to buy one primer conversion.

    It's really at it's best when it's used as a dedicated caliber machine or maybe converting just a few times per year.


    Jack
     

  3. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    With out a budget and and a volume that you load of each caliber all you will get is peoples bias. Advice should be based on your need not people's bias. Also, what are you loading on now.

    Trust me. You don't need a 1050 for all those calibers.
     
  4. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

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    The Dillon RL550B

    RL550B is manual-indexing four station progressive press. The Dillon RL550B is the workhorse Dillon press line. It can load almost any center fire rifle or pistol cartridge. It has 120 caliber conversions available for it. In the Dillon line the Dillon RL550B is the most economical add calibers to. It has less expensive caliber conversions than other Dillon presses. If you were buying just one Dillon press and wanted the most bang for the buck, it would be a Dillon RL550B. According to Dillon more RL550s have been sold than any other progressive machine in the world.
    One Hour Production Rate 400 - 500, I average about 450 rounds an hour (pistol).
    Cost $376.00 12 2010
    Upside simple and easy to use.
    downside the primer system is the Achilles heel of the 550. You have to clean it every 1K rounds or so. 8 out of 10 times you have a problem with the 550 it has something to do with the priming system. The optional case feeder only works with pistol cases. It is a four station press. My biggest gripe is letting go of the handle each time to place a new case.


    The Dillon XL650
    The XL 650 is auto-indexing five station progressive press. The XL 650 was built from the ground up to be an auto-indexing press with a case feeder. The Dillon XL650 comes standard with a tube system for an automatic case feeder. The automatic case feeder is sold separately So the advertised starting price doesn’t accurately reflect the true price of a Dillon XL650. A fully set up Dillon XL650 cost twice what a Dillon RL550B cost but produces twice as much ammo an hour. The caliber conversions for the Dillon XL650 are noticeably more expensive than the RL550B and the LNL. For large volume reloading, versatility and ease of use a Dillon XL650 is hard to beat.
    One Hour Production Rate 800 – 1150
    Mine was not adjusted right from the factory and it took a little fiddling to get it working 100%. Five station press so you can use a powder cop or a bullet feeder with it. People who try to force the primers in when they have had a problem have set off the entire tube of primers.
     
  5. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

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    I personally don't know of anyone other than one person that has a LNL and he loads not more than a couple hundred rounds at a time with it. Does not have a casefeeder and to be honest I'm skeptical that his experience is a good basis for comparison. I can only speak of the XL650 and my experience with it being pretty much zero problems after a little over 6K rounds of 9mm since October last year.

    If you go the 650 route is your conversions are pretty much interchangable. Meaning if the between the 6 calibers that you could actually mix up parts and need only 4 of the conversions along with a extra piece or two.

    Between the .380, 9mm, and .223 you only need the 9mm and .223 conversion plus the .380 case feed adapter ($12) and .45 and .308 share more than half the same parts.

    That being said. I wouldn't advise going the 650 route unless you load at least 1000-1500 rounds of 2 or more of the calibers you have listed and in that don't get a 650 unless you shell out right at the get go with a casefeeder. YMMV.
     
  6. EL_NinO619

    EL_NinO619 EX-Swage Monkey

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    I load hundreds i mean hundreds to near a thousand rouns on my LnL all the time. After initial setuo problem, I think mostly to being unfamilar with PP I havr haf no problem. For me the lnl was a no brainer, caliber and primer change over is faster even witg the ubber expensive dillon tool head. Five stations for the price of a 550. The shellplate has a lot less play in it, which makes for easier primer seating on military .223 brass, thr spring case retaner is far better than the brass pins and auto indexing is where its at IMPO. But the Dillons are great and have far many more "expensive" upgrades. But for me the LnL is great thats why I have 2..
     
  7. EL_NinO619

    EL_NinO619 EX-Swage Monkey

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    Sorry about spelling on new smart phone, not looking so smart hey..

    But I also forgot to mention the 500 free bullets you get from Hornady..thats right
     
  8. albyihat

    albyihat

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    I have a 550 and love it, my neighbor just got a LNL and from the few hundred rds loaded on it he loves it. Both presses are solid I can't speak for the 650 never used it.
     
  9. fredj338

    fredj338

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    The 1050 is a great press for loading 1000s of rounds at one time in one caliber. The 650 is not all that much slower, but is slower, easier to reset for diff calibers, less comlicated & cheaper. IMO, unless you shoot more than 1000rds of one caliber per week, no one needs a 1050. Now want, whole nother question. IMO, get the 650 & case feeder, spend the extra money on a bullet feeder, Hornady or RCBS, & you'll be loading pretty much w/ the 1050, 1000rds/hr, w/ sim complications, but less cost.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  10. Dillon 450/550 platform... not auto-indexing, has primer problems and needs a lot of cleaning, on the up-side you have more control and caliber conversions are less expensive. I know a LOT of people that have had 550s for YEARS and really like them. The 450 is great if you want a decent production rate for a single caliber but a ROYAL PITA if you want to change calibers. The 550 changes calibers easy if you have tool heads with powder measures all set up and ready to go.

    Dillon XL650... This is a pretty nice press, very fast, but if the priming system ever gets screwed up, it will take some time to fix. I only load one caliber on my 650, that's 45 ACP... and so I don't change calibers on it very often (more like NEVER). Like Fred said, it's fast if you deck it out, but will have limitations. The block that actuates the rotation of the primer disc wears down over time and will need replacing eventually, and so will the auto-index pawl on the under-side of the ram head. If you know a good machinist, you might be able to get it made out of aluminum or something that had a little more durability to it if you aren't the kind of person that will try to force something if there's a problem. Caliber conversions are more expensive for this press than the 550, but, if you have all the shell plates for your casefeeder, they have everything you need to change calibers.

    Hornady LNL.... A really close friend of mine bought one of these about the same time I bought my 650... the only drawback I've seen for this press is that the powder measure HATES 4198 stick powder for 223s, you'll ruin more case necks trying to use stick powder for 223 than you can imagine. Other than that, and despite Steve's issues with his, this is a fine press and the cheapest of all of them to change over from caliber to caliber. The casefeed system costs a bit more than Dillon's, but the press is a bit less expensive so it all evens out. I don't own one so I'm not quite as intimately familiar with their foibles and tendencies. :)


    The four station progressives allow you watch what's going on a little better than the 5 stations but still leave a hole for a FCD (Factory Crimp Die) for your AR ammo.

    The 5 station presses leave room for a powder check if you'd like one and are MUCH faster.

    That's all I can tell you, sir!
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  11. jmorris

    jmorris

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    I have them all and would say a 650 with case and bullet feed will cost less and be faster than a base 1050 by quite a bit. I would also rather have two (large and small primer) 650's than a single 1050. Looking at current pricing, the 1050 is almost 3 times the price of the 650. I have GSI bullet feeders on mine for 38/357, 9mm, 40 and 45 with powder check dies. It takes around 3.5 minutes to load 100 rounds once you have everything full.

    If money is not an issue a 1050 with bullet feed is the fastest way to load .223/.308 with crimped primer pockets (I also use a 650 to trim though). After I anneal and trim loading rifle on the 1050, also with bullet feeders, is just as fast a pistol on the 650. With an auto drive it actually loads slower than I do by hand but I can case gauge as it's loading so it still cuts total process time by 25% or so.

    The LNL works and the base machine price makes it a good deal but if you plan on having case feed some day the 650 is a better idea as it comes standard with the case feeder (and it works). What Dillon calls their case feeder is actually the collator for the case feeder.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  12. Cavalry Doc

    Cavalry Doc MAJ (USA Ret.)

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    Republic of Texas
    Under 4 grand. What I don't spend here will be spent on other toys and gifts.

    Now, loading .270, 30-06, .308 on single stage presses. Want to shoot much more, 500 rounds or so of handgun every 2 weeks or so. I figure at that volume, a progressive is starting to make sense, even when I calculate an hourly wage for myself + components.
     
  13. El_Ron1

    El_Ron1 AAAAAAAAGHHH!!!

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    Dirka dirka Dillon.
     
  14. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

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    O.P. Rifle length cartridges don't work out well on progressives because they are top heavy and ten to fall over when the press advances. The Hornady press is better in this regard because the shell plate only advances half a station on the down stroke and half on the up stroke.

    It sounds to me like you would be well suited for a Dillon SDB and a turret to load your rifle stuff on.

    If you are not involved in a shooting sport -- i.e. you don't shoot competitively -- then you really don't need a progressive press.
     
  15. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    550 would make perfect sense. You don't need a casefeeder for that volume. You could always add a casefeed machine later for your 1 or 2 high volume calibers and use the 550 for everything else. 550 will load rifle easily because indexing is controlled by your hand not the machines indexing speed.
     
  16. unclebob

    unclebob

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    I well just say either get the 650 or 550. Depending on how much you want to spend. Time you have to load.etc. Yes on the 650 caliber conversions cost more. And if you do it right changing from one caliber to another is not hard or time consuming. Last night I just changed from 45acp. After only loading 30 test rounds on it to 9mm. It took me 6 minutes.
    If you look at the LNL with case feeder and the Dillon 650. The Dillon is about $70.00 more. But to me you well have a better quality of a press. And from what I can see a lot less adjustments to set or to go out of whack.
    So for you and what you have said so far either the 550 or 650.
     
  17. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Before you buy price out the 650 with all the stuff you think you would buy.
    Then again with the 550 all the stuff the same as 650 (but no casefeeder).
    Then price out two 550's. One for LP and one for SP. Save you one complete caliber conversion as well.

    That should help you decide.
     
  18. fredj338

    fredj338

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    At that rate for handgun ammo, the 1050 may actually be slower do to change over. 500rds a week is easily done on a LNL or 550B w/o case feeder, maybe 75min for 500rds on either running leisurely. For rifle, the manual advance of the 550B does not slow you down. You have to wait a bit for the 30-45gr of powder to drop, auto index isn't much of an advantage there & since you only need two stations for most rifle rounds, you can put the powder check die in #3.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011
  19. jmorris

    jmorris

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    The half stroke is a PITA with long rifle rounds as you have to start the bullet up into the die and then set in onto the case once it comes around.

    Not sure what "well" is to you but the link below is a video of my bullet fed 1050 loading at a 100 rounds in 2.5 minute rate.

    http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/1050.mp4
     
  20. cole

    cole Millennium Member

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