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Thread: RFI - Presses

  1. #1
    Site Supporter NPV's Avatar
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    RFI - Presses

    So I am looking to dive back into reloading when the market eventually, ahem hopefully, settles down a bit.

    To provide some background I’m not new to reloading but I am new to “volume” loading. Previously I loaded for precision rifle shooting on a single stage press. And with that came all of the OCD accessories including precision mic, micrometers, bullet comparator, etc. I previously was setup with an RCBS case prep station and Hornady Lock n Load powder station. About 6 years ago I decided to get out of that section of shooting to focus on handguns and all of it was moved on.

    Right now I am taking some time to try and make an informed decision on how I want to approach my next setup. My goal is to be able to load high volumes of 45 Auto and 38 Special as well as smaller volumes of hard cast 44 magnum.

    Looking at the current presses on the market I am drawn to the Lee Loadmaster based on price and my experience with Lee products previously.

    Realistically speaking I am not looking to go full boat and get setup with a Dillon and I know that a Lee will never be in that league; but will I be happy? Or am I simply wasting my time and should be looking at something closer to middle of the road?

  2. #2
    Dillon 550C with the dillon roller handle & inline fabrication ultramount.

  3. #3
    Lowly Production C-Class olstyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NPV View Post
    My goal is to be able to load high volumes of 45 Auto and 38 Special as well as smaller volumes of hard cast 44 magnum.
    Define "high volumes" in terms of a number of rounds/year.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by edison View Post
    Dillon 550C with the dillon roller handle & inline fabrication ultramount.

    ^^^^THIS x's INFINITY^^^^

    I purchased a Dillon RL-550B in 1990. I have replaced (2) springs on it in 31 years of moderately heavy use. It is the single best example of great engineering design and manufacturing excellence I have ever seen. Mike Dillon was an aerospace engineer after all. I was just talking about this with my Wife last night, as a matter of fact. I estimate I've probably loaded 100k plus rounds on this machine with no major issues. I can load 400-500 round an hour at a leisurely pace with this machine.

    Here is the bottom line: You get what you pay for. You mentioned price being a motivating factor in your decision. I have never heard of anyone throwing their Dillon in the dumpster to buy a Lee anything. Save your pesos a little longer and get a Dillon. At the end of the day you won't regret it. Buy once, Cry once, so they say. Otherwise you will buy the Lee and then the Dillon.

    "It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better."
    John Ruskin

    Thus endeth the sermon.

  5. #5
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    I third the Dillion.

    I have or had a number of Lee presses and the Lee Breach Lock Pro is a decent press but the priming is not great.
    I bought a used Dillion last summer and have been very happy with it. You might to also look at the Dillion Square Deal, if you don't already have dies and all you will be reloading is handgun rounds this seems like a good way to go as well.

    I still use the BLP for smaller runs of .45 and .38 ammo and my Dillion is my 9mm bullet making machine.

  6. #6
    I asked the same question to two extremely knowledgeable reloaders (30 years plus experience). These gentlemen have multiple presses of all brands, yet for one press to cover rifle and pistol the answer was the same from both of them: Dillon 550.

    I planned on picking one up before the whole ammunition shortage happened and was just figuring-out where to put it inside of the house (I don't have a dedicated reloading room).

    I currently reload rifle rounds (.308 and .223) on single stage presses and appreciated the efficiency in comparison to my methods when I tried a Dillon 550. Once it is set-up correctly, you can really produce quite a few quality rounds.

  7. #7
    HAS ELECTROLYTES LittleLebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edison View Post
    Dillon 550C with the dillon roller handle & inline fabrication ultramount.
    #RESIST

  8. #8
    Member miller_man's Avatar
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    So also find myself in the same boat, looking at options and hoping sooner or later things will begin to return to some level of normalcy.

    I am looking to load + shoot exclusively 9mm only, probably 10-20k/yr, and want to be able to load a lot quickly/easily. Also, biggest thing - once I have prepped brass and primer tubes filled - I want my only job to be pulling the handle and keeping an eye on things. Seems like, from dillion I will be looking at a 750 with Mr. Bullet feeder and dillion case feeder?

    Sound about right? Still have an eye on the new offering from Frankfort arsenal but pretty sure I wouldn't need a 10 station press for what I'm looking to do.
    The stupidity of some people never ceases to amaze me.

    Humbly improving with CZ's.

  9. #9
    Lowly Production C-Class olstyn's Avatar
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    I am a broken record on this topic, but whenever people mention the Dillon 550, I have to question why anyone would choose it over the 650/750 or the Hornady LNL AP. I have no doubt that you can produce good ammo with a 550, but why limit yourself to 4 stations and manual indexing when 5 stations and auto indexing is easily available?

    If the motivation is price, the LNL AP is barely different than a 550 on price. If price isn't the motivation and you're a believer in Dillon being the best, then the 650/750 is not insanely more expensive than the 550.

  10. #10
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    Any Dillon will be a considerable and worthwhile upgrade over a Lee progressive. If you plan on loading ammo for the next 20 years then investing in a good press like 750 or even a 550 is pretty minuscule compared to the cost of components you will be purchasing or the guns you'll be shooting. Go ahead and get the Dillon. I decided years ago to invest in dedicated 1050's for 9, 40 and 223. I use 550's for my revolver loads. I've never regretted the decision to invest in good reloading gear.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

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