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Thread: Still a poor....RL450

  1. #1
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    Still a poor....RL450

    So I gave my brother my Hornady LNL when I moved to an apartment and he was buying a house. Seemed a better option that he get the big press so he can put out more bullets and have some fun with it. But today, as my wife and I are finishing the process of closing on a house, the local gun shop had a box that said "As is, reloading equipment. $150" but I thought I spied a blue reloading press amidst another single stage, a bunch of various dies and case trimmers and what looks like a primer pocket swaging tool

    I thought "why the hell not right? Dillon is known to have some of the best service in the biz"

    Turns out, the press is a RL450, which is apparently a child of the 80's and not something that Dillon currently sells. Not sure if it can be serviced or brought back to life. That said...I think it can be converted into a 550 for a few dollars more. So what's the common wisdom here? Do I just try to get it to run with it's manual powder and primer systems and enjoy it for what it is? Or should I shell out another hundred or so bucks. I still come out ahead given that a 550 goes for quite a bit more than 300 and change.

    I think it will likely still be a step above my Lee Classic Turret.

    Sincerely,
    Still a poor.

  2. #2
    I would buy that in a heart beat.

  3. #3
    Site Supporter SecondsCount's Avatar
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    Do it!

    I load my precision 223 loads on a RL550B and there is a powder funnel in place of a powder measure. The powder measuring is done off press as I measure every load to 0.1 grains. It adds a little bit of time but is still way quicker than a single stage.

    Just be certain that there is powder before you seat a bullet. Squibs can be a bad thing.
    -Seconds Count. Misses Don't-

  4. #4
    Member jtcarm's Avatar
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    Dillon claims lifetime warranty, no matter where you got it.

  5. #5
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    Glad to hear. I definitely thought I was taking a bet on this one, as the mainshaft of the press was pretty rusty, but it has cleaned up decently and moves smoothly with a little oil. I'll need to get some shell plates looks like. I think it's previous owner was using it for .223 as there was a 2 die set in there...maybe he used it for .44 as well, as a three die set marked "Lyman All American" that came in a black box...not sure if these are carbide or no, but I guess it means I need to now buy a .44 and a .223, jeez here I thought the deal on this press would save me money...

    Also there was a C shaped single stage press that was with the little haul marked "Bair" along with two case trimmers (one from Forster and one from a "pacific tool" or some such) and an extra powder measure (aside from the one that came with the 450) also marked Bair.

    Some of the more interesting things were a few .45 colt cases that were cut down and had little handles attached...one that was taped "13 gr. alliant 2400"

    I got the vibe that this was probably a lot of stuff that a pretty avid shooter once owned, but was left rusting in a garage somewhere until their family members figured out what to do with all of their stuff.

    Tons of other smaller things that I'm not sure would be a good idea to get rid of until I know what it all is and does. All in all a pretty decent deal for one and a half benjamins.

  6. #6
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    My 550 started out as an RL450 which I bought used. I bought the parts to upgrade it to a 550. A few years back, the part the handle screws into that drives the ram (which was original to the 450) cracked. I called Dillon and they told me to ship the press to them and it came back with every part replaced except the ram and the handle, no charge. Their warranty is real!

    IIRC, Pacific Tool was bought by or turned into Hornady. I'm unfamiliar with Bair.
    "Everything in life is really simple, provided you dont know a fg thing about it." - Kevin D. Williamson

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by 45dotACP View Post
    Turns out, the press is a RL450, which is apparently a child of the 80's and not something that Dillon currently sells. Not sure if it can be serviced or brought back to life. That said...I think it can be converted into a 550 for a few dollars more. So what's the common wisdom here? Do I just try to get it to run with it's manual powder and primer systems and enjoy it for what it is? Or should I shell out another hundred or so bucks.
    Sounds like a smoking deal, right place & right time!
    My 550 started out that way, and changed it over completely to a 550, and I would say I would go part way. I forgot about the manual primer operation (this was, after all, almost 40 years ago...), I would try and do the primer upgrade. Probably change the powder measure, either upgrade the Dillon or get a Lee.

    I would NOT do what I did and try and change the frame, it was just not worth it. I would get some nice lock rings (I like the Lee with the screw) and just spin them in and out. Or you could double up on the Dillon nuts and use a second one as a jam nut.

    If you list out what all you are planning to get I might be able to help. I have a lotta crap accumulated and since I have an 1100 and a 650 and a single stage there is probably not much I will end up loading on the 550, probably just 38/357 and 45ACP.

  8. #8
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    Thanks, y'all have provided some very helpful info.


    OK, so there were also a number of interesting little gadgets with the reloading stuff, and I was wondering if I could get a hand ID'ing it?

    The powder measure appears to have two different brass inserts...one calibrated for 2.7gr of Bullseye and the other for 4.0gr of bullseye, so that's kinda neat. Our boy must have been a bullseye shooter.

    I also found two additional homemade scoops to measure out H110 and 2400, so our boy liked big bore handguns (incidentally, there's a stripped-down N frame prelock hammer and a grooved trigger among all the little widgets)

    But there are a couple of things I can't figure out. This thing (a .38 special case with a stick soldered in to it) and this black tube that sorta looks like a die of some type. Any ideas what these are for?

    Oh, and here's the other single stage. I will probably need to buy a rifle after this just so I can start loading for it.

    Sent from my SM-A326U using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Site Supporter SecondsCount's Avatar
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    The black threaded tube look to be a powder thru die. Screw it into the press and a powder measure mounts to the top of it.

    I have a Bair shotgun reloading press that my neighbor gave me. It just sits in a box, waiting for me to find someone who could use it.
    -Seconds Count. Misses Don't-

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by 45dotACP View Post
    This thing (a .38 special case with a stick soldered in to it)
    That is probably the stick that chases the primers down the tube, many people have added weight to it, this is one thing I would replace. If the primers ever do detonate you do not want them driving something heavy...
    Also maybe research some of the BL550 stuff (the Basic Loader), I know they do a primer feed upgrade for it, that is probably what you need, and it will come with the chaser rod.

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