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Thread: Progressive Press for 45 ACP

  1. #1

    Progressive Press for 45 ACP

    Good morning to all,

    My neighbor is getting out of the 45 ACP and is giving me about 4000 rounds worth of bullets and brass. I just so happen to have enough powder and primers to finish them off.

    I currently have a single stage press, but not the wherewithal to crank out 4000 rounds on it. I guess I could if I really wanted to, but am pretty busy with work right now. I was thinking about getting a progressive press that could load both the 45 ACP and .357 mag. These are the two pistol rounds I shoot and reload the most.

    I had a Dillon 550 in the past when I was varmint shooting, but was wondering if a handgun specific press might be better.

    Any suggestions from the hive?



  2. #2
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Is that thunder? No, just Fort Hood.
    I have a very old Dillon Square Deal B that I’ve always been completely happy using. If I were staring fresh, I think I’d look at that again.

    BBI: ...”you better not forget the safe word because shit's about to get weird”...
    revchuck38: ...”mo' ammo is mo' betta' unless you're swimming or on fire.”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    I load pistol rounds on a 550 and have been doing so for the last 14+ years. My first year of competition shooting I did all my loading chores on a single stage press I bought in college in the early 90’s. I think I loaded close to 6K rnds that year on the single stage before I caved and bought the 550. Once the press is setup I can load 100 rnds in about 12 mins, or 400 rnds in an hour which includes filling the primer tubes. Personally I’ve never felt the need to crank out ammo faster than that. I also prefer the D550’s manually indexing shell plate as opposed to the auto-indexing that the other Dillon models offer.

    I have friends who swear by the D650 (replaced with the D750) but they also admit to really make the best use of the 650/750 you need to add the shell dispenser and bullet dispenser. Otherwise, if you run it without, the main difference is the priming system and auto-indexing shell plate. And I suppose the ability to add a powder checker that you can’t on a D550.

    I also know shooter who reload on the D1050 or Mark 7 Autodrive, which is a next level of “going all in” that I could never justify the cost vs time savings.

    I spent 25 mins this morning to reload after this weekend’s match. I guess it all depends on how valuable your time is.

  4. #4
    Square Deal has lower leverage, I was getting high primers loading .45 ACP (but not 9mm).
    A 550 is better but I don't know if only 4000 rounds will amortize a progressive.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Kansas City
    If you dont already know you need a faster press I would buy a 550, I think its dillons best press and I load the bulk of my stuff on an automated 1050.
    CZ-USA and Cajun Gun Works shooting team member

  6. #6
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Asuncion, Paraguay
    Another vote for the Dillon 550, it has served me well for almost 30 years...

  7. #7
    For what you describe a 550 is just such a sweet spot that it is just hard to not. The cost comparisons with the 750 are a little confusing, because the caliber conversions are not included and are more, and you will want (some say need) the case feeder. But if you think your volume could go up the indexing and case feed make it a much more relaxing process.

    Some of the Lee tools are worth considering, but you already know the 550 and you could buy a 550 and load your rounds and sell it if you decided you wanted to.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Site Supporter SecondsCount's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Utah, USA
    If you are the type to sit down and load a couple hundred rounds at a time, the 550 is a great press, but if you want 600 an hour, get a 650 or 750.
    -Seconds Count. Misses Don't-

  10. #10
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    I load 9mm on my first press-a SDB. I load .45 on my second press-a 550. After 20 plus years, it could stand to go back to the mothership for a lube/oil/adjust.

    My first shooting mentor had a conga line of Square Deals in 9mm/38-357/44/45/223.

    He ultimately sold them, made money and bought 2 650s, one for small primers and one for large. He was the kind of guy that made a good faith effort to reload 100 rd a day 5-6 days a week so he always had ammo ready to go .

    Given that you "know" a 550, are just getting back in, it is a press that you can crank 300-400 an hour easily and caliber swap should the mood strike-550 seems to be an answer.
    I am not your attorney. I am not giving legal advice. Any and all opinions expressed are personal and my own and are not those of any employer-past, present or future.

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