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Dillon SDB or 550

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by eaglefrq, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. eaglefrq

    eaglefrq NRA Member

    1,525
    42
    Oct 4, 2009
    The Twilight Zone
    I am looking at getting back into reloading after MANY years. I had a 550 in the past because I was loading 3-4 different calibers and I liked the ease of changing calibers.

    I am now going to be reloading only 1 caliber and was wondering if the additional cost of the 550 was worth it since I will only be loading 9mm.

    For those that have or had both, what are your opinions?
     
  2. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

    14,937
    166
    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    SDB is tiny. It works but it is just really small and not very solid feeling. None of that maters as long as long as you don't have huge hands. You are going to find people split on this. Just don't cheap out and get a LnL.
     

    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012

  3. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    6,147
    26
    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    I'm known to many of the guys I shoot with to have some pretty big mitts, and I never had problems loading up to 500 rounds an hour on a SDB. That said, if you are absolutely sure you will only load 9mm and budget is an issue. I would look for a used SDB in the $300 and under range. I would never buy a new SDB. Otherwise if time and patience isn't on your side just go 550B.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  4. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

    14,937
    166
    Nov 2, 2006
    CO
    God laughs when you tell him your plans. Get the 550 just to have flexibility.
     
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

    4,301
    46
    Jul 10, 2001
    Alabama
    I never had any trouble loading 9mm on a SDB and have thought about getting another one for the job even beside the 550 and 1050.

    I did with .45, it hasn't got much leverage to seat a large primer in a pocket with maybe a little crimp remaining and you really have to heave on the handle.
     
  6. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    6,927
    20
    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    I'm also not a fan of the proprietary SDB dies. While I'm a big Dillon fan, I prefer the Lee resizing dies and without a doubt, the Redding Competition Seating die. It has a dial to spin to adjust OAL, way better than trying to adjust the die every time you want to try a different bullet size/profile.
     
  7. SigFTW

    SigFTW

    2,385
    39
    Nov 4, 2010
    TX
    Go with the 550B, you never know, you may want to reload rifles in the future.
     
  8. fredj338

    fredj338

    21,698
    917
    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    I love Dillon stuff, but would never buy a SDB. The proprietary dies alone make it a no deal as well as the lack of expansion into other calibers. The 550B is a larger press, easier to work on & can reload just about anything you want & for a tiny bit more money. No brainer, how I went 25+ yrs ago..
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  9. sellersm

    sellersm disciplinare

    453
    1
    May 28, 2009
    CO
    550. Don't like it? sell it for pretty much what you paid...
     
  10. dkf

    dkf

    5,434
    125
    Aug 6, 2010
    Easy choice for the 550. Maybe in future you will want to load another caliber or even want to try a different die for 9mm. I would never buy anything that takes proprietary dies.
     
  11. bush pilot

    bush pilot

    2,865
    2
    Jan 29, 2004
    northwest
    I have large hands and can easily load on a Square Deal. BTW, I have a 1050 and 2 550s and would still suggest a SDB if you're only loading 9mm.
     
  12. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    2,950
    1
    Aug 4, 2008
    FL
    I owned a SDB with three conversion die sets (9, 45, 38). Kept it about six months, set up for 9mm and running it alongside the 550b which was also set up in 9mm at the time. I couldn't get used to it, no matter how much I tried to like it. Sold it without thinking twice about it, and haven't since unless someone wants an opinion.

    The 550b (I have two in operation and one in storage) just seemed to be a smoother machine. While the auto indexing of the SDB is somewhat convenient, I found myself just as fast on the manually indexed 550b.

    Given that the 550b has much more flexibility and much less expense for same, it's a no brainer to me.
     
  13. fredj338

    fredj338

    21,698
    917
    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    ^THIS^^
    Auto indexing is not faster, just more convenient. You either wait for the case to come arourn & place a bullet or place a bullet & advance the cae manually. There really is no speed advantage to auto indexing n any press.
     
  14. eaglefrq

    eaglefrq NRA Member

    1,525
    42
    Oct 4, 2009
    The Twilight Zone
    Mama has spoken!

    She told me to go ahead and get the 550 so I wouldn't be limited.

    There is a gun show this weekend and I've seen a couple of used ones before at the shows. I know Dillon has the no B.S. warranty, but is there anything I should be looking for that raises a red flag? Also, how much would you offer for a used 550? (I know that last question is subjective based on wear & tear and what comes with it.)
     
  15. Murphy's Law

    Murphy's Law

    552
    3
    Nov 1, 2007
    Tampa, FL
    Trust me.....sometime down the road you'll want to load rifles. Having said that, go for the 550B, you won't regret it.
     
  16. SigFTW

    SigFTW

    2,385
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    Nov 4, 2010
    TX
    Good wife!!

    No matter the condition you can always send it back to Dillon and they will make it like new. I paid $350 used for a 550B with 45 APC die, Strong Mount and powder thrower. It was never used. There are deals out there you just have to be patient. :thumbsup:
     
  17. GlockRik

    GlockRik

    770
    22
    Sep 14, 2001
    I have SDB in 9 and 45 and have loaded lots of good ammo on them. I also have a 1050, but never used the 550. I would go with the 550, just for the dies versatility alone.
     
  18. eaglefrq

    eaglefrq NRA Member

    1,525
    42
    Oct 4, 2009
    The Twilight Zone
    Crap! I guess I'm screwed, patience is not my strong suit. :supergrin: