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Is two 550's worth it?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Bayou, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. Bayou


    Mar 8, 2011
    I have a 550 that I have been using lately for 9mm and want to start 45 and 308 soon. I have seen many posts about people having two 550's. Is the change over that bad or tedious to by a 2nd 550 to have one set up for each primer size? From my expierence which is very limited it doesn't seem to bad to switch over. A deluxe quick change is a $100 and maybe $30-40 for an additional primer assembly for a total of around $140. Another 550 would be about $326, a difference of about $186. I would be buying a deluxe quick change anyways, another 550 would save that. Whats the consensus on this
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  2. XDRoX


    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    Personally I wouldn't run two. I'd get a 550 and a 650. And just use the 650 for the caliber that I shoot the most.

    A progressive really just doesn't do it for rifle. You still have to do so much prep work a single stage is almost just as good.

    Also something to consider is switching to SPP 45's.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011

  3. I think it depends on how many cases/bullets you have and how many rounds you will be loading.
    IMO, the best bet is to load all of the cases you own in the same caliber at one time before change over. I just finished loading 600 .45 colt rounds (that's all the cases I have) and tonight changed my 550 over to 9mm. The primer change is a 5 minute job (Or less if you aren't ham fist ed like me). My dies and powder measure had to be set up from scratch. All together about a 1/2 hour job. If you have plenty of dough, buy a 2nd 550, or better yet, by more components.
    If you only load 2 rounds, the 2 presses make allot of sense. Since I load more then 6 pistol rounds, the 2nd press would only save me the primer setup time.
    But if you have the $, go for it.
  4. RustyFN


    Sep 29, 2006
    West Virginia
    I think the change over on the 550 is fairly easy when I switch from small to large and back. I did go with the quick change to keep from having to change over the powder measure.
  5. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    I used to run two 550s, only because I had them. One I got back from my father after he passed on a few years ago. It is very convenient to have two setup, one for small & one for large, just change the tool head & shell plate & go. If you load for a bunch of diff calibers as I do, a good way to go. Would I buy another just for that, probably not. So I sold one & financed my 650, which I just run 45acp & maybe 45colt if I get back into CAS. I still run a ss press as well. You can never have enough reloading gear.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  6. thorn137

    thorn137 Walther

    Jan 8, 2006
    Tallahassee, FL
    It seems foolish to me to purchase a 2nd press merely to save the few minutes involved in changing primer sizes, unless you need to change primer sizes several times a day and a 2nd machine would truly save some time.

  7. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Total waste of money, I can see if you got a smoking deal on one. Then it's a investment you can always sell later. But two at regular cost is a huge luxury.
  8. Bayou


    Mar 8, 2011
    The more I think about it the more it seems silly. I guess I will just order some other items instead. I think I will go ahead and order the bullet tray, strong mount and empty cartridge case bin that I passed on in the begining. My needs don't require a 650 or probably won't but I find myself thinking that a 650 would be nice for a primary round. I might have to keep putting back for that.
  9. michael e

    michael e

    Nov 20, 2010
    I load 8 calibers and can't see the need for another machine. If I have enuff money to have 8 , and enought room for all of them maybe. But have way to many guns on the list infront of getting more loaders any time soon.
  10. njl


    Sep 28, 2000
    I was going to suggest that, but I haven't heard of SPP .308. I just got about 3k .45acp SPP. It's my first batch of SPP .45 brass.

    I disagree on the single stage being just as good for rifle. Sure there are more steps, but it's still a big win priming, charging, seating, and crimping rifle ammo on a progressive vs a single stage.
  11. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

    Get a 1050 and pay the $100 for the other primer size system. Pay for the press in 3 installments of ~$500 and be done with it.

    I'd rather a 1050 setup to run everything than two presses to run everything.
  12. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

    Jul 10, 2001
    I had two SDBs, large and small primer.
    But I think it is easier to swap out primer feeds on a 550, IF you keep complete feed assemblies set up and adjusted. I would not want to change out inner tubes and bars or cups frequently.
  13. n2extrm


    Feb 24, 2009
    Personally I wouldn't run 2 550's. The reality is it is so quick to change over a 550. Add to that the 550 needs to have the primers slide cleaned pretty regularly so you need to take it apart any way. When I had the 550 I would often take the primer slide hanging up as a chance to change what I am loading.
  14. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Invest the money you'd spend on an extra 550 in women... you'll get a lot more bang for your bucks and have much nicer memories when you're sitting on the porch of the nursing home.

    Who the hell wants erotic memories of high primers.

  15. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    I'd think of a 650 first for your high volume caliber, leaving the 550 for "other" stuff.

    That's where I'll be eventually. 650 for my 9mm, 550 for .45ACP and whatever.
  16. Bayou


    Mar 8, 2011
    Yah, I think I will wait and see about a getting a 650. I may go ahead and get the primer assembly, not sure yet but I don't even think that would be worth it since I can use that as an excuse to do a quick cleaning and just switch the tubes.
  17. Beanie-Bean


    Apr 23, 2011
    Central Texas
    Appreciate the feedback from everyone--I was considering another press to handle the more-frequently shot rounds, or to setup one for small primer, one for large primer.

    However, after reading everyone's comments, I'll go ahead and setup the 550 for 9X19, so I can go through the exercise of swapping out from large primer to small primer.

    Good to know that the primer assembly needs cleaning regularly--that'll be an excuse to swap out tubes/punches and load something else.

    I'm still eyeballing another press, perhaps a 650 or an LnL--something with a casefeeder. I saw that Dillon has one for the 550, but I'm interested in something that will index the shellplate after each cycle of the handle.

    The Hornady interests me, because of the bullet feeder assembly that was just recently released, but I've also seen the Mr. Bullet units in some videos, too.

    Ahh....decisions, decisions.
  18. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Bullet feeders don't care what kind of press you got. As long as it takes standard dies.
  19. Beanie-Bean


    Apr 23, 2011
    Central Texas
    Thanks, C4W--I've seen Gavin (Ultimate Reloader) using the RCBS bullet feeder with an XL 650, but to me that just didn't seem right!
  20. i got two 550. the only reason i got the second one it was a deal on a used one. i load 6 different pistol cals on them. use one for small primmer the other one for large. the big thing is to have tool heads and powder drops for each cal.