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Thread: Beginning reloading

  1. #11
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    Thanks for all the replies. I figured a rock chucker was a good place to start because my father had one and I could reload pistol and rifle. I was thinking of a Dillon square B but I will take a hard look at the 550

  2. #12
    Fornicates with shovels Hambo's Avatar
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    When you switch calibers on a single stage, you need dies and a shell holder.

    When you switch calibers on a 550, you need dies, a tool head, powder die, and caliber conversion kit. If you only have one powder measure, you need to reset it, which is a major pain in the balls (unless you buy a $80 custom micrometer powder bar). If you're switching primer size you need to swap out the feed as well. It's not something you want to do if you aren't loading a lot of caliber A before you switch to B. You can make swaps easier, but the best thing to make it easier is another powder measure, and they aren't cheap.

    I'm not saying not to buy one, in fact I'd say you should have a single stage and 550. Just be prepared to justify to your wife why the initial cost was nothing compared to the continued costs of reloading.
    Reed, the dicks have their job, and we have ours.

  3. #13
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    I've used a Lee Turret (first the original 3-hole cast aluminum model, then the 4-hole upgrade to that one, and for the last decade or so the classic cast version) for 20 years. I've used it for everything from 32swl and 32acp to 300WM and 35Whelen. It's a bit slow compared to a progressive, but I can ramp up to 100rnds/hour once everything is set up. It's compact, easy to use, and can be easily run like a single stage if necessary.

    I'm considering getting a progressive to give me more rnds/hour for the higher volume handgun stuff (38special and 9mm if I decide to reload that caliber), but it's not a pressing concern.

    I used the Lee Turret with Lee dies and a Lee powder measure for 44 special, for what it's worth.

    Chris

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Poconnor View Post
    I was thinking of a Dillon square B but I will take a hard look at the 550
    I am sure the SDB is a great machine, but...
    Right now the pricing is that it is only $3 more to get the 550. The SDB comes with dies, with the 550 you would need to spend another $40-$50 (Lee prices) for the dies. The SDB also indexes automatically, which would be nice, but maybe not while you are getting up to speed, though one feature is that the automatic indexing should/could/might make it more difficult to double charge a case, something that fast powder in a big case would be a little easier to overlook.

    Quote Originally Posted by Poconnor View Post
    I figured a rock chucker was a good place to start because my father had one and I could reload pistol and rifle.
    IMO nobody is ever gonna wish they didn't have a Rockchucker

    As mentioned, there are also a lot of good options from Lee, including the turrets. And some of their single stage presses are pretty darn good. One advantage of (most of) their powder measures is they are fixed volume, and list charge weights from a chart, so you probably could get by initially without a scale, especially if you are probably gonna stay below maximum anyway.

    I would, however, recommend avoiding the Loadmaster. Maybe I was part of the problem because I had so much time on my 550 when I tried it, but I had a lot of experience and still struggled. YMMV and all that, and there are people that rock out the ammo with them, but that was not my version of the process

  5. #15
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    I am a big fan of Dillon 550s. I use Lee dies and for pistol I use the Lee Powder Disc drops. I do not feel the need to "tune" my pistol loads - I have always been satisfied with the Lee Powder Discs to get a load. I use the Dillon powder drops for rifle like 223 or 6.8.

    If I was going to load a lot of just one pistol cartridge - say 9mm - and a then a few other cartridges - a viable alternative would be a Square Deal for 9mm or such plus a single stage for other.

  6. #16
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    Honest question guys; trying to figure out why 550? Seems like if you just shoot pistol, the Square Deal is the answer and for progressive anything else, the 650 is the answer. Whyís the 550 a good option when the price is so close to the 650 and you donít even get a true progressive? I get the ability to start slowly and work up the process with the increase in experience. But most will very quickly graduate to full progressive and wish they had the capability of the 650. And for pistol calibers you have the full progressive with a much cheaper price in the SD.

    Seriously asking. I donít have any skin in for any blue product. I load all my precision stuff on a Lee single stage and pistol calibers on a Pro 1000. That thing hums for such a small price! Itís a great deal from my experience. I also got a Loadmaster to run for a friend but had to keep it for a month and customize a third of the small parts.

    But as soon as I get a better paycheck Iím upgrading to Dillon.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by TOTS View Post
    Honest question guys; trying to figure out why 550? Seems like if you just shoot pistol, the Square Deal is the answer and for progressive anything else, the 650 is the answer. Whyís the 550 a good option when the price is so close to the 650 and you donít even get a true progressive? I get the ability to start slowly and work up the process with the increase in experience. But most will very quickly graduate to full progressive and wish they had the capability of the 650. And for pistol calibers you have the full progressive with a much cheaper price in the SD.
    Well, IMO, there really are no wrong answers here, but...

    One thing I didn't like about the SDB is the unique dies. It comes with them, but if you would ever want to switch they are not something that fits the other (including other brands) machines. Also if, as I did, already have dies, you are buying dies you didn't need. So the main thing you get is indexing, which is nice. But you cannot load any rifle at all.

    As far as price, the current pricing is:
    Name:  SDB 550 750.JPG
Views: 155
Size:  31.3 KB
    So I would not say the 650/750 is that close in price, it is like 45% more, and that is without the case feeder, it is another $300. Though as awesome as the case feeder is, you could drop one case at a time in the tube and wait for another day to get the case feeder. ETA: Once you get used to not taking your hand off of the handle, it is just a much more relaxed process. You just concentrate on picking up and orientating those pesky little bullets, not picking up and orientating a case at the same time.

    And additional setups are simpler and cheaper, 650/750 conversions are $82 and the 550 is $50, and the tool heads are an additional $6. The 650 with the case feeder is awesome sauce, but that all adds up to $100 more than double. But after probably three decades with a 550, and then two 550s, I got a 650 and liked it enough I got another one. The 550 just seems to me to be a sweet spot, both from cost and simplicity.

    But like I said, not many wrong answers.
    Last edited by mmc45414; 08-18-2019 at 08:56 PM.

  8. #18
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    I am a fan of Square Deals- I have loaded a lot of 9mm, 40, and 45 on SDBs. If - IF - you only load pistol and dedicate a SDB to that caliber - great solution. I would not suggest changing calibers on SDBs - caliber changes are expensive and "clunky" to change back and forth.

    If you want to load multiple calibers on one press - get a 550.

    You can get 550 conversion parts cheap on Ebay and other firearms oriented classifieds. I have bought multiple Square Deals and 550s in Atlanta used. Seen some 650s too but never moved that direction.
    Last edited by ranger; 08-18-2019 at 09:17 PM.

  9. #19
    Fornicates with shovels Hambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOTS View Post
    Whyís the 550 a good option when the price is so close to the 650 and you donít even get a true progressive?
    Take a look at this:https://brianenos.com/pages/dillon



    Quote Originally Posted by mmc45414 View Post
    Well, IMO, there really are no wrong answers here, but...

    One thing I didn't like about the SDB is the unique dies. It comes with them, but if you would ever want to switch they are not something that fits the other (including other brands) machines. Also if, as I did, already have dies, you are buying dies you didn't need. So the main thing you get is indexing, which is nice. But you cannot load any rifle at all.

    As far as price, the current pricing is:
    Name:  SDB 550 750.JPG
Views: 155
Size:  31.3 KB
    So I would not say the 650/750 is that close in price, it is like 45% more, and that is without the case feeder, it is another $300. Though as awesome as the case feeder is, you could drop one case at a time in the tube and wait for another day to get the case feeder. ETA: Once you get used to not taking your hand off of the handle, it is just a much more relaxed process. You just concentrate on picking up and orientating those pesky little bullets, not picking up and orientating a case at the same time.

    And additional setups are simpler and cheaper, 650/750 conversions are $82 and the 550 is $50, and the tool heads are an additional $6. The 650 with the case feeder is awesome sauce, but that all adds up to $100 more than double. But after probably three decades with a 550, and then two 550s, I got a 650 and liked it enough I got another one. The 550 just seems to me to be a sweet spot, both from cost and simplicity.

    But like I said, not many wrong answers.
    The actual price of the XL750 in the pic:
    The XL750 is shown with the following options:
    Electric Casefeeder
    Roller Handle
    Strong Mount
    Bullet Tray
    Powdercheck Die
    Low Powder Sensor
    Die set
    (Price with all options $1318.05)
    Last edited by Hambo; 08-19-2019 at 08:05 AM.
    Reed, the dicks have their job, and we have ours.

  10. #20

    Oops, I goofed on the 550 price

    The $440 does not include a caliber conversion:
    Name:  550.JPG
Views: 127
Size:  53.4 KB
    So it is more than $3 more than the SDB, more like $103.

    But like @ranger said, if you find the SDB in the caliber you need, you can always use it for a while and then sell it as a package.

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