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Dillon Square Deal B: Opinions?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Flipz, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. Flipz

    Flipz

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    Nov 9, 2009
    Maryland
    Ive been wanting to get into reloading for awhile. At first I was looking at the Dillon 550B. What a beast. But the cost of the press and all the accessories was a little to much. And for me, I think it would have been a little overkill since I only plan to reload 9mm since that is the only centerfire caliber I have.

    So, I started looking at alternatives. Hence, the SDB. Since Im only looking to reload 9mm it looks like a good choice. But before I put down a chunk of change I wanna know what you guys think.

    So whats your opinions, the good, the bad, the ugly. Tell me what you think of the SDB. Is it a good choice for someone new to reloading that will only be reloading 9mm?

    Thanks!
     
  2. BlayGlock

    BlayGlock

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    Texas
    I have a SDB set up for 9mm. Ive reloaded several thousand rounds on it in the 6 months or so that Ive had it. It is a great choice for a progressive press newbie since it comes set up with minimal tweaking involved.

    Its also compact for a progressive press which I like.
     

    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010

  3. XDRoX

    XDRoX

    6,451
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    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    I think it's a pretty cool press if you'll only be loading 9mm. The fact that it only takes its own dies instead of the standard ones that all the other machines take is a turn off. I have also heard that it's a little cramped for space so someone with large hands may have a more difficult time fiddling with it.

    But besides that, I think it's a pretty nice machine. But what is the cost difference between it and a 550b? Like $50???

    For me, I'd just spend the extra $50 and get one of the best reloading machines available.

    But lots of folks around here own SDB's and like them a lot.
     
  4. Flipz

    Flipz

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    Nov 9, 2009
    Maryland
    Do the dies, powder measure, etc... hold the dialed in adjustment? Or do you have to tweak them every now and then?

    I know the Powder Measure is something to keep your eye on and double check with a scale every now and then. So Im more curious about the dies holding their adjustment.

    Have you had any problems with them?
     
  5. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    $365 for the SDB
    $419 + 35 for some Lee dies for the 550.
    Difference of $89

    $89 is not nothing but it's also not a huge amount. I don't know if you have looked at the SDB vs the 550. SDB is much smaller (not in a good way in my opinion). It is more expensve for every future caliber conversion. I would just keep in mind that it does limit you in the future a little. Eventually someone is going to say the 550 doesn't have auto index and that makes the SDB a better choice. Lack of auto index is no reason to avoid the 550. If you ever want a Roller Handle (heaven in my book) your going to wish you had the 550. If you truely never think that you will ever load anything but 9mm the SDB is a good choice. I would just think the 550 doesn't box you in in the future.
    Good luck with your choice
     
  6. D. Manley

    D. Manley

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    Southern US
    Terrific press for pistol rounds...simple, quick learning curve, easy to "fine-tune" and very safe due to the auto-indexing feature. The powder system functions essentially the same as other Dillon machines. The die setup on a SDB is the utmost in simplicity and holding their settings is a non-issue. As for checking your powder throws, this should be done periodically with ANY press. In my own loading practices, I double-check the powder charge weighing 10 throws before a session and on the SDB, I check the throw in the last round when changing a primer magazine.
     
  7. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn

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    Feb 20, 2003
    Memphis
    I have the SDB, got it for $100 from a guy trying to sell a bunch of reloading equipment. The press is great, Dillons service is awesome!

    If you don't plan on doing any rifle calibers, the SDB will be prefect.
     
  8. BlayGlock

    BlayGlock

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    Feb 18, 2010
    Texas
    My powder measure holds its charge very well with most modern powders. It had trouble being consistant with Unique.
     
  9. Brucev

    Brucev

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    Jul 19, 2009
    Bought and used a SDB in .45ACP with extreme success and complete satisfaction. I had no trouble setting it up. It ran like a clock. When my wife would help me with the brass it was amazing the amount of ammo that could be produced in an hour. Using ball powder the who process of loading was extremely easy. I was very pleased that rounds loaded on the SDB were in every way fully as accurate as those loaded on a standard single-stage press. I never had any problems with feeding, firing or ejection in my rattle trap Argentine 1911 or my COLT Ser. 80 Gold Cup. When I go out of .45's, I sold the press. Now that I again am shooting .45ACP I will be buying another SDB.
     
  10. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    6,173
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    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    If your requirement is to load 9mm only, and maybe a additional straight walled pistol caliber or two later down the line. The SDB is a great press. I run 2 one for 9mm the other in .45ACP.
    The SDB produces as good quality ammo as it's bigger brothers in the Dillon line and I know being a auto progressive it can do it faster that a 550XL in 9mm. I do 300 an hour without breaking a sweat and have done 500 inside an hour.
    My only advice is to not buy new... with the Dillon warranty and others upgrading there really is no need if your patient and look for a good deal. I calculate I have paid on average $230 for each of mine and that includes additional dies and tool heads to load 10mm/.40 - .38/.357 - .380 ACP.
     
  11. Flipz

    Flipz

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    Maryland
    Well, I know for now I'd only be reloading 9mm. But in the furture maybe 45ACP. Maybe the 550 is the way to go. Im so confused, lol.

    I dont plan on ever reloading rifle calibers. I just dont have any use for rifles where I live. There are no outdoor ranges for atleast 50 miles.

    So say I plan on one day also loading 45ACP on top of 9mm, would the 550 be a better choice? If when it comes down to it the 550 is the better choice then I dont mind spending the extra $100.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  12. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Of course the other option, is to get a Hornady LNL for 369 from Manventure Outpost... add on a $25 for a #8 shell plate, and $35 for some Lee dies...

    It's a 5 station press, auto indexing(if that's a hangup), and it can grow with you.

    IGF
     
  13. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    6,173
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    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    I honestly don't think there is a better choice for one or two pistol calibers unless your requirements are 1500-1800 rounds and above a month... then I would jump to a 650XL.
    It's your money spend it as you will... personally knowing what I know now it's really a matter how much you need to load a month. I load about 1200 rounds total, that's 3-4 sessions a month. Plus I play around with some odds and ends barin bullets and powders I find to develop plinking loads.

    Once again look for a SDB used, there is a good one for sale right now in the classified here in .45 ACP and a set of dies for 9mm on BE for $60 both shipped. That's $360 total un-negotiated price... to get you loading 2 calibers and you get the no BS Dillon warranty along with it.
     
  14. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Thats $429. Add another $30 for the Low Primer alarm to make it the same as the SDB/550 in that regard. Add $30 for shipping as well. Thats $489 for the LnL with shipping and primer alarm or $459 with out the primer alarm. I can't imagine not having a primer alarm. To make it actually work like a normal 5 station press you have to add a PTX setup of some sort. Otherwise it needs 5 stations to do what the 550 does in 4 stations. It's only a $10 part from Hornady (which people generally don't like) or another $30 from the guy who actually makes one that works. With out the PTX the LnL's 5'th station is not even available to you for anything as you have to use it to flare the case. Dillon Flares and drops powder at the same time. You do get 500 free bullets. Thats something.

    Brian Enos will ship the 550 for free. Just need to spend over $400 for free shipping with a Dillon..
     
  15. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    10,016
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    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO

    So as not to appear overly biased I had to wait until Indy gave me an obvious opening. Being the highly competent straight man that he is I knew he would not miss his cue.

    The SDB is a very, very good machine in its roll for which it was designed. The ability to load most pistol calibers, (with a few notable exceptions) wrapped up in a small footprint and alleviating the user of having to choose what brand of dies or hybrid accessories to use.

    These qualities can also be shortcomings to a percentage of loaders. It would be a rare situation indeed for a loader to stay with one caliber, or even two or three, his entire loading career. Conversion costs for the SDB are relatively high and negate the possibility of ever using the dies on another press.

    The small footprint becomes a problem if you have, or at a future date develop arthritis in your hands. I didn't think it would ever be a problem... turns out it is a problem, a very big and painful problem. I make notice of these points after 18 or so years of experience owning and using a SDB. All in all, however, it is a very fine press.

    Present day pricing gives you gives you options that maintains quality, rate of production, customer service, resale value while providing much more versatility.

    Although you may ultimately decide that the SDB meets all of your needs better than any other machine you will probably be doing yourself a disservice if you don't investigate and consider the benefits of either a Hornady LNL or Dillon 550B. For very little more monetary outlay you will find yourself operating in a world of options rather than within a narrow niche. Good luck.


    Jack
     
  16. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    25,930
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    Jan 26, 2001
    Indiana
    Just don't ask Jack for Dillon's phone number.

    IGF
     
  17. Flipz

    Flipz

    1,515
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    Nov 9, 2009
    Maryland
    Jack,

    Thanks for being straight forward and to the point.

    And youre right, right now the SDB might be the best choice. But having a press that can grow with me as my collection expands is more important. That, and also having larger hands makes me think that the SDB, although a great press, might not be right for me in the long run.

    Im gonna look further into things and see if an LnL or the 550B might be a better choice. I appreciate all of your opinions and will continue to bring my questions to you as I try to decide which press to purchase.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  18. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    10,016
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    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO

    Those who have experience with the Hornady PTX and say that it doesn't work are the same people who need help opening a flip top beer can or have no idea how to adjust a sizing die. There's nothing wrong with their PTX and it works fine, you simply adjust it to produce the amount of flare you want.

    While it's true I took the low primer alarm off my SDB and adapted it to one of my LNL's I did it out of curiosity and boredom, certainly not out of necessity or ease of use.

    The follower rod supplied with the LNL locks the primer shuttle to the rear when primers run out, a very distinctive action that can only be missed if you're not paying attention... watching a flat panel, for example.

    The follower rod is also in your direct line of sight so you see it lower into the primer tube with each pull of the handle. When the tip of it is about two inches above the top of the tube you have a couple of primers left... stop and fill the tube, the same as you'd do if a SDB alarm went off. (I you have the sound system on the flat panel turned up you can't hear the alarm anyway.)

    If the shuttle locking back or the obvious dropping tube isn't enough of a clue that you need to refill the primer tube then put a red line around follower tube with a magic marker or stick a piece of red tape where ever you want on the follower to tell you how many primers are left.

    If none of those systems, or any combination thereof are not enough of a warning and safety feature you probably shouldn't be loading ammunition to begin with. :whistling:


    Jack
     
  19. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    I didn't realize the follower rod locked the action back. Why in the world did it take someone that long to say anything? I still like the buzzer but that a servicable option. I like how the Dillon warns you when you have 5 primers left. No interuption of the workflow. But at least the LnL is not running you till you feel the "crunch" from a missing primer.

    You might be OK with the Hornady PTX setup. Most people say it sucks. Hornady recently came out with a new "lead friendly" PTX to resolve some of that issue I think.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  20. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Nov 2, 2006
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    Yeah, I said the same thing several post back. :whistling: