Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Welcome to Glock Forum at

Why should YOU join our forums?

  • Connect with other Glock Enthusiasts
  • Read up on the latest product reviews
  • Make new friends to go shooting with!
  • Becoming a member is FREE and EASY

Glock Talk is the #1 site to discuss the world’s most popular pistol, chat about firearms, accessories and more.

Dillon 550 or 650?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by longrangedog, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. I know the 550 is manually indexed and the 650 mechanically indexed and that the 650 has a charge check station. What other differences are there and how important is the charge check station on the 650? I'm going to get one or the other. I'll reload 10mm, 45acp, 38spec., and 9mm in volumes of about 500 to 1000 rounds/month. Don't mind spending more for the 650. Primary concern is producing safe ammo and based on info obtained here and elsewhere see Dillon as a quality machine.
  2. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    Your main concern is going to be cost of caliber conversions both moetarily and time to do them. If you have the time the 550 is you best choice to start. The 40/10mm and 9 share the same shellplate on a 550 so thats a plus, the .38 and .45 will need thier own.
    Your primary concern in regards to safety is a good point. Personall I prefer a auto indexing press but a 500 in you case makes sense to me... if your concerned about safety and don't trust yourself one on Alan's press monitors would be a good investment.

  3. Firecop203


    Aug 23, 2004
    The 550 does not have a casefeeder, although one can be added and the 550 can not load rifle cases. I don't use the powder check station and I've never had any problems.

    I load 38 special, .357 magnum, 9mm, 45GAP, 45ACP, .223, .308 with mine.
  4. lockmup68


    Jan 3, 2008
    650 is the way to go.
  5. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    550 does load Rifle but the 550 casefeeder does not load rifle.

    Get the 650 is you have bottomless pockets and don't mind the cost.

    Get the 550 if cost is a object and you don't mind loading with out a casefeeder.

    I would not get the 550 is you think you might want a casefeeder in the future.

    How many rounds TOTAL you going to load a month?
  6. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    If you want to use a powder check die in a 550 simply seat and crimp with one die... like it's been done for the last 130 years or so.

    You'll see absolutely no difference in accuracy or function reliability plus your caliber conversions will be considerably cheaper.

    Just a thought. :whistling:

  7. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL
    The amount you are planning reloading you are in the 550 range. But for safety I like the 650 better. With the auto indexing and the fail safe power system. Unless you put a charged case back under the powder measure there is just about no way you can get a double charge. Squib load yes but not a double charge. The powder check is a nice feature on the 650, but it is no substitute for a visual check of the powder in the case, if possible. Having owned both press’s I like the 650 100% better.
  8. CobraR6


    Jul 4, 2006
    Duncansville, Pa
    If you don't mind spending the money, buy the 650. No question. The 650 is an amazing machine. I use one to produce all my match ammo, and I've never had an issue with anything I've ever taken to the range. It is fast, efficient, and Dillon is #1 in customer support.
  9. wrx04


    Sep 25, 2008
    I have a 550, but wish i would've got the 650. Auto-indexing and casefeeder makes it worth it.
  10. cole

    cole Millennium Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    Whatever it takes to get autoindexing. My 650XL was a nice press; glad I sold it. I prefer my pair of SDBs for the ol' pistole. Cost and value is always a factor for me. I love the Blue kool-aid because, well, BLUE RULES.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011
  11. kshutt


    Aug 24, 2001
    I don't see how anyone can go wrong with purchasing a 550. It's not a money thing for me at all. If I wanted a 650, I'd pick the phone up and order one. I just don't need one for the amount of shooting I do. If I ever retire, I see a 650 or 1050 in my future. :wavey: :cool:
  12. My 650 is approaching 20 years old and I'm constantly amazed at what a reliable machine it's been.
  13. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    The 650 is twice as expensive as the 550. Each caliber conversion is also twice as much. If money isn't an issue the 650 is the way to go. manual indexing the 550 never bothered me. Letting go of the handle to insert the next piece of brass did.
    The 550 is a better press for small runs of ammo and switching calibers. the 650 is a mass production beast.

    you said 500 to 1000 rounds/month. Each caliber or all total? 500 to 1000 round a month or 2000 to 4000 rounds a month?
    Even with the 550 I can make 450 round an hour. So if you are talking 1000 rounds a month you should be taking a harder look at the 550. 4000 rounds a month is still doable with a 550 but would be more in line with a 650.
  14. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011
  15. unclebob


    Oct 14, 2000
    Mary Esther FL

    There is only $127.00 difference between the two presses. Then you add if you want the case feeder that runs $218.00. But if you want a case feeder for a 550 that is $250.00. $32.00 dollars more. Yes the caliber conversion costs more. You have a few more parts. But like with everything else. Speed, connivance etc. comes with a price tag. But for me 32.00 dollars more is well worth it. And the tool head is $5.00 more.
    For speed of conversion I can go from 9mm to 45acp in about 8 minutes. But I use the small primer punch for small and large primers, as was suggested by Dillon. I have been doing so for a couple of years now and have no problem in doing so. I also have two primer magazine assemblies. So it is just a matter of remove and replace. If I remember right it took me around 5 minutes to do a caliber conversion on the 550. But the difference in time, you make up in reloading.
  16. XDRoX


    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    Money was not a concern for me (I'm not rich, just love to spend money:supergrin:) and I went with the 550b. I'm very happy with my choice. I enjoy most, the simplicity of it. So much so that I'll never put a case feeder on it.

    When I need more volume I'm going to get a 1050 to compliment my 550b.

  17. hoffy


    Jun 12, 2007
    I don't have a Dillon now but my next press will be one. I have a LNLAP (low serial # lemon) an RCBS AmmoMaster Progressive, and a Star Universal . The Star whomps them all for durability, designed when machines were substantial, and IIRC Dillon got his start modifying Stars to take standard dies. Like GioJack said, you can crimp and seat in one step(my Star even roll crimps 45acp-gasp, and ammo from it shoots fine). I use a clip on flexible neck LED light that I use to shine down into the case with powder. Even though the Star makes accurate ammo, I still like to seat and crimp in two operations, but with the RCBS, indexing can be automatic or manual, and I use both. Me, I would probably go 650 , even though I will probably never use it for rifle ammo.
  18. themighty9mm


    Sep 19, 2008
    I bought the 550. I like feeling like I am completly in control. For what you are wanting 500-100 a month you could rock a single stage, provided you have some time to spend. A 550 will have plenty of put out for you depending on how much time you have. Once you get in a rythem (provided you are watching what you are doing) not much safety concern. Also from what I have seen the 550 is comparable to the 650 w/o case feeder as far as rounds per hour. Casefeeder is additional cost
    With that said, and while I would not change my purchase choice. A 650 does have some pretty nice things. A casefeeder would not be bad, and auto indexing isnt a bad thing either, depending on how you look at it. Also I beleive with the 650 you get a additional die slot.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011
  19. I posted this same thread about a month ago. I went with the 550 and am very happy.. Why did I make that choice? Well I was not going to reload more then maybe 1000 per month and that is walk in the park on the 550 after years of single stage reloading..Which I will still use for small projects.. The case feeder noise would have drove me nuts so I was not going to get one of those..I can very easily crank out 400+ rounds an hour..What ever your final decision is you will be happy with the Dillon..Brian Enos was great and helpful on getting the right parts for multiple calibers..Free shipping as well for orders more than $400..
  20. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    Almost no one puts a case feeder on a 550 and almost everyone puts one on the 650.That is were I get the difference in price. Heck Fred is the only person I have herd about that had a 650 without a case feeder and he recently rectified that. I like the 650 also. I recently upgraded from a 550B to a 650. But not everyone needs a 650.

    Going from 9mm to 40 with the 550 takes about 2 minutes. It took about 10 with the 650. Neither took an excessive amount of time. Everything I reload uses a small primer so that isn't an issue for me.