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I'd like to start cranking out my pistol rounds a bit faster. I don't know much about the progressive presses yet. I'll be doing mostly pistol cartridges, but eventually 223 and 308. What models are top of the line at the moment?
 

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I'd like to start cranking out my pistol rounds a bit faster. I don't know much about the progressive presses yet. I'll be doing mostly pistol cartridges, but eventually 223 and 308. What models are top of the line at the moment?
A turret press like my avatar is a "LEE Classic Turret Press", will give you an inexpensive way to start out into a progressive type press.

If you are ready to jump in with both feet than a Dillon would be my only recommendation. A 550 will serve you well and the 650 is more of a "high speed" press which also has more toys. From there... depends on how deep your pockets are?
 
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I'd like to start cranking out my pistol rounds a bit faster. I don't know much about the progressive presses yet. I'll be doing mostly pistol cartridges, but eventually 223 and 308. What models are top of the line at the moment?
You could search this, it comes up every week. So there will be lots of opinions, here is mine.
Dillon is top of the pile for a reason, best engineered, least amount of problems keeping them running. I bought a progressive to load ammo quickly, not to tinker with the press.
How much you shoot has a lot to do with what you buy. Realistic production numbers; Dillon 550, 400-500rds/hr. Dillon 650, 700-800rds/hr. Diff between the two, the 550 is Manual indexing, which I like for rifle, 4stns for dies. The 650 is auto indexing, 5stn, best run with a case feeder, auto indexing.
Yes there are other choices, they all vary as to reliability, they are also cheaper. Cheaper isn't always most economical though. My time is worth $$, so if I gave to spend time making my press run' I'm not saving much of it making ammo. Jmo, there will be others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You could search this, it comes up every week. So there will be lots of opinions, here is mine.
Dillon is top of the pile for a reason, best engineered, least amount of problems keeping them running. I bought a progressive to load ammo quickly, not to tinker with the press.
How much you shoot has a lot to do with what you buy. Realistic production numbers; Dillon 550, 400-500rds/hr. Dillon 650, 700-800rds/hr. Diff between the two, the 550 is Manual indexing, which I like for rifle, 4stns for dies. The 650 is auto indexing, 5stn, best run with a case feeder, auto indexing.
Yes there are other choices, they all vary as to reliability, they are also cheaper. Cheaper isn't always most economical though. My time is worth $$, so if I gave to spend time making my press run' I'm not saving much of it making ammo. Jmo, there will be others.
I must admit that I was after a quick browse, I became lazy. I've been shooting as much as a few thousand a month, but am looking to start little IDPA shooting. After a brief search, the 1050 looks to be overkill for sure. The 650 has my attention.
 

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I'm interested in this as well.
 

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Easy. Dillon 550.

If you decide later you need more speed you can sell it for 75-80% of what you paid for it and get a 650 or a 1050.
Or keep it & get a 650. I use the 550 for rifle & handgun I don't shoot a lot of. I use the 650 for the higher vel stuff. You need more loading speed, put a bullet feeder on your 650, probably faster than a 1050. If I shot 1000s of 223 a month, a 1050 for that alone, because of the primer pocket swaging & extra stn for a power trimmer, makes a lot of sense.
 

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If $$$ is not the biggest factor then I would go with the 1050.

If $$$ is a factor and you are planning on a lot of different types of cartridges then either a 650 or a Hornady LNL (which is what I have and like).

The price diff between a 650 and an LNL isn't that big a deal for the 1st caliber...but unless you want to constantly re-adjust your dies you'll find that the LNL is a lot less expensive as the #of calibers increases. In my case I know that I wanted to be able to load 9, 38, 357, 44, 45, 308 & 30.06 from the get-go and later 223. I also knew that I was only going to load about 500-1,000 rounds at a time/caliber and probably no more than 3,000 rounds/month in total.

The net $$$ is what drove me to the LNL and overall I've been very happy with it. Only thing that I would do differently if starting again would be to omit the bullet feeder as I only use it for 9 & 45 and could get close to the same speed without the collator and just using the bullet feeder dies.

If I were only loading 1-2 pistol calibers + 223 I would be very tempted by the 1050 especially due to the ability to swage and trim in the reloading process.

I don't think that you can go wrong with either Dillon or Hornady. Both make great presses and both have great customer service.
 

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Without trying to hijack the thread, what press recommendations could be made for a person that only has the use of one hand/arm.
 

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If $$$ is not the biggest factor then I would go with the 1050.

If $$$ is a factor and you are planning on a lot of different types of cartridges then either a 650 or a Hornady LNL (which is what I have and like).

The price diff between a 650 and an LNL isn't that big a deal for the 1st caliber...but unless you want to constantly re-adjust your dies you'll find that the LNL is a lot less expensive as the #of calibers increases. In my case I know that I wanted to be able to load 9, 38, 357, 44, 45, 308 & 30.06 from the get-go and later 223. I also knew that I was only going to load about 500-1,000 rounds at a time/caliber and probably no more than 3,000 rounds/month in total.

The net $$$ is what drove me to the LNL and overall I've been very happy with it. Only thing that I would do differently if starting again would be to omit the bullet feeder as I only use it for 9 & 45 and could get close to the same speed without the collator and just using the bullet feeder dies.

If I were only loading 1-2 pistol calibers + 223 I would be very tempted by the 1050 especially due to the ability to swage and trim in the reloading process.

I don't think that you can go wrong with either Dillon or Hornady. Both make great presses and both have great customer service.
This cost diff, way over stated. Set up with case feeders, the 650 is less than $75 more. Conv cost diff, about $20 per caliber. 4 lnl bushings or one tool head, less than $10. The cost comparison is skewed as the lnl basic price is cheaper, but The 650 comes with most of the case feeder parts. Why equipped the same, the 650 isn't much more expensive.
The cost issue for any equip shouldn't be a big factor IMO, considering the $$ and time saved as you buy better gear. It may be subjective, but you get a better designed press in the Dillon. Buy once cry once, $75 isn't a deal breaker for me if I am getting value. There is a reason 95% + of the IDPA national shooters choose Dillon. The lnl isn't a bad press, just not quite as good with the case feeder.
 

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Without trying to hijack the thread, what press recommendations could be made for a person that only has the use of one hand/arm.
You need a auto indexing, case feeder & bullet feeder would be helpful. Then you are just pulling the handle. So lnl or Dillon or rcbs would work fine.
 

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In the high multiple 1000 rounds per month, I wouldn't even consider a 550. They're a great press but I would absolutely want a case feeder.

The 650 would be a good choice for all high volume ammo. I'm not using mine for accurate .308 but I probably could.

If lots and lots of .223 is a requirement, the 1050 is the way to go. That's how I load mine specifically because of the primer pocket swaging station. I size and trim on a 650 (1400 cases per hour) and load on a 1050 (850 rounds per hour). But I bought the 1050 for .45 ACP and now I'm back to loading that on a 650 and it is entirely adequate. I also load .40 S&W and 9mm on the 650.

I think you want to avoid caliber conversions on a 1050. Yes, they can be done but it's a little more involved than on the 550 or 650.

In any case, volume really determines which press is workable. That, and how long you want to spend loading ammo. I want to spend as little time as possible. Loading is not my hobby, shooting is.

Richard
 

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What kind of volumes in each caliber are you shooting per month?
Right now, the calibers are .45 ACP and 9mm at well under a grand a month. Cash has been extremely tight so far this year. On average though, I would say somewhere between 150 and 500+- rounds per month. Most of that being 9mm, as the .45 is a fairly new acquisition. Never really kept track until here recently. With some .380 or .38 spcl and .357 mag. thrown in occasionally. The latter being mostly just "knockin' the dust off" shooting.
 

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Right now, the calibers are .45 ACP and 9mm at well under a grand a month. Cash has been extremely tight so far this year. On average though, I would say somewhere between 150 and 500+- rounds per month. Most of that being 9mm, as the .45 is a fairly new acquisition. Never really kept track until here recently. With some .380 or .38 spcl and .357 mag. thrown in occasionally. The latter being mostly just "knockin' the dust off" shooting.
A 550 is totally adequate for 1000rds a month, especially of multiple calibers. 250rds a week, take you less than an hour going slow. Swapping calibers is cheap & easy, no case feeder needed for 250rds a week. With Lee dies, you can go all in for 3 calibers for about $650 w/ good scale, calibers & cheap dry tumbler. That is about the cost of 2k rds of 9 or 45acp. I have a 550 & 650, but honestly, my 550 easily handles all my needs. I bought the 650 when I inherited an extra 550, sold it to a friend & got a 650. IMO, the auto indexing is just soooo over rated.
 
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I agree with FredJ338. I have 2 550's and a SDB and have no problems loading several thousand 9mm,.45,.40sw,357 sig and .223 mixed rounds with them. Just for info Dillon offers a casefeeder for the 550, have never used one but available.
 

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I agree with FredJ338. I have 2 550's and a SDB and have no problems loading several thousand 9mm,.45,.40sw,357 sig and .223 mixed rounds with them. Just for info Dillon offers a casefeeder for the 550, have never used one but available.
IMO, case feeder negates one of the best things about the 550, it's simplicty. If you want a case feeder, pop for the 650, only about $150 more.
 
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