Which Reloading Press?

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Which Reloading Press?

Post by Tim:H11 on 12/17/2018, 7:16 am

First topic message reminder :

Lets talk reloading presses for a moment. When it comes to a reloading press I've enjoyed, have come to love, and based on my experiences highly recommend the Dillon 550. However, the Dillon 550 in my possession is not mine. I've been borrowing it from my pistol coach/mentor for over a year now. Things are soon to change for me involving a move to a another state and I will be returning the Dillon 550 to it's owner. 

I will probably not have a great need for another reloading press in the future for quite some time but I would still like to have one of my own for my own personal use when the time calls for it. After looking into the cost of the Dillon presses and the accessories and attachments the cost is great. This of course only makes me appreciate the loan of the press I have that much more. But it also is a damper because I'm not about to spend that kind of money on a press that may not be used much so sadly I have to find a different rig. 

So for other options besides a Dillon... what's affordable that still manufactures ammunition in a relatively quick manner that doesn't have a bunch of quirks or issues?

Tell me your experiences good and bad. Thank you.
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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by Tim:H11 on 12/22/2018, 12:45 pm

Looks like I'll lay in wait for a good deal on a used Dillon or save up and in a year or two buy a new rig. Thanks all.
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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by Jack H on 12/22/2018, 1:06 pm

What calibres?
Just 45?
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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by Sc0 on 12/22/2018, 1:46 pm

Another vote for the Dillon BL550, can use a traditional powder measure and dump the charge in the AT500 powder die using the funnel.  Also hand prime cases while watching tv, I normally hand prime anyway except when doing larger production runs.  Dealer price runs a tad under $250, not a bad deal for a 4 station press.

The 650 is great but has a learning curve until you understand the settings and adjustments, mistakes take longer to clear.  The 1050 is the best with more stations and deswager for the primer pocket but it's pricey!

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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by zanemoseley on 12/22/2018, 4:41 pm

Personally I never recommend a press to someone for pistol loading unless it has either auto index or a 5th stage for a powder check, having both is ideal (650 & LNL AP). Its simply too easy to have a double charge with a manual index and no check, with a 45 target load you could even triple charge and possibly not notice the powder level. Heck if you damage one match barrel you could have paid for more than the difference between a 550 and a decked out 650.

Personally I think the Hornady LNL AP is a great value, I have 2 of them, one for small primer and the other large. Once you learn how to use and maintain them they make as good a ammo as any. I also just got a Dillon SDB for loading 32 S&W, there are more custom accessories for the SDB and Dillon that helped with the 32. I've not used the SDB much yet but seems nice, the shell plate advance isn't nearly as smooth as it is on the LNL.

What ever you get be sure to go to Inline Fabrication for a strong mount and other nice goodies. My shop looks like I'm sponsored by Inline lol, if only.

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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by Jack H on 12/22/2018, 5:22 pm

The 550 is very versatile for multiple calibres.  But not for high volume single calibre loading.  650 or LnL would be minimum for volume.  Maybe SDB if loading jacketed only.  Budget might say Lee.  There are so many "it depends" involved.
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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by Tim:H11 on 12/22/2018, 5:31 pm

Just 45 ACP
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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on 12/22/2018, 7:35 pm

Wellllll, you say you had to return a loaner Dillon 550.
Were there any deal breaker deficiencies?  If not why change?
I've used the Dillon 650 & Hornady L&L and agree that they are somewhat faster, until something stupid happens.  Given a choice between the 650 or L&L I'd probably go with the Hornady.  That being said  I have (2) Dillon 550s plus an old 450, and have no problems keeping my various toys fed.
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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by Tim:H11 on 12/22/2018, 8:47 pm

STEVE SAMELAK wrote:Wellllll, you say you had to return a loaner Dillon 550.
Were there any deal breaker deficiencies?  If not why change?
I've used the Dillon 650 & Hornady L&L and agree that they are somewhat faster, until something stupid happens.  Given a choice between the 650 or L&L I'd probably go with the Hornady.  That being said  I have (2) Dillon 550s plus an old 450, and have no problems keeping my various toys fed.

Cost. When I get my own press cost is what is weighing heavily on my choice. But I think I’ll just save and wait to get my own 550.
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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by PhotoEscape on 12/22/2018, 8:51 pm

IMHO, I'd wait longer and save more in order to go with 650, - it is way more efficient and expandable platform.  Next step up would be a 1050 Super.
AP
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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by chopper on 12/22/2018, 9:41 pm

Wouldn't a 550 and a auto case feeder be a good setup? It would be a little less expensive, but not have auto index or powder check. I always check my powder and visually make sure the primer cup has a primer in it. I hated using the bullet puller because of no primer.
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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by Wobbley on 12/22/2018, 11:10 pm

The 550 and a case feeder buys you not very much.   Multiple reports of difficulties.  The 550 just wasn’t designed for a case feeder.
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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by Aufidius on 12/24/2018, 4:40 pm

I've got both a Dillon Square Deal (later converted to a B) and a Dillon 550B. I can usually do a case (500) of 45 on the SD in about 2 hours, topping off powder, primers, checking charge weight, scratching the cat, etc. I'm in no hurry- like many here, my income isn't pegging the needle where it is more valuable than time, because, let's face it- someone has to spend the Social Security.  Smile

I can go faster on the 550- probably close to 400+ an hour, or nearly a what used to be full case (1000) in 2. If you figure you shoot x amount of 45 in a year and you want to invest y amount of time, then you can use these figures above to determine what you need to get between them, or, if you want to spend less time, then 650 or 1050. 

I've always passed on the Star stuff- not made anymore, no BS warranty as with Dillon; but, it sure is pretty to look at!

Ho ho ho!

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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by fc60 on 12/24/2018, 4:44 pm

Greetings,

"Star stuff- not made anymore"

Star is still alive and well.

I know the owner personally.

Nice guy.

Cheers,

Dave
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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by Aufidius on 12/24/2018, 4:48 pm

fc60 wrote:Greetings,

"Star stuff- not made anymore"

Star is still alive and well.

I know the owner personally.

Nice guy.

Cheers,

Dave
 Oh, has something changed from this:
November 16, 2014
Dear  Star Enthusiast:

I am pleased to announce that Star Machine Works is under new management.   I have completed the purchase Star Machine Works from Bill Cunningham and everything, parts, jigs, fixtures etc. have been moved east to New Jersey.  We have completed the process of unpacking and organizing the tons (literally) of “New Old Stock” parts and look forward to serving fellow Star enthusiasts for years to come.


My goal is to provide all of the parts needed to keep these fine machines operating.   As mentioned above, I have tons of original Star parts in inventory.  Unfortunately, some parts are sold out, so I will be working to replenish stocks of those parts as quickly as possible.


I currently have no plans to produce “New” Star Universals or Progressives, but I will continue to rebuild/refurbish/refinish Star reloaders into like new condition.  The many original Star jigs and fixtures I have acquired will greatly enhance my efforts in this area.   I generally have fully rebuilt Star Universals and Progressives available for purchase.

Sincerely,
R. Bruce Williams

Because that doesn't sound like making new presses to me, no warranty, etc. 

I'm sure the guy is nice, but no new presses, no dealer network, parts only, no warranty- Dillon is a slam dunk here. Then again, some people like to buy old cars and hot rod them...

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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by Jwhelan939 on 12/26/2018, 8:15 am

This topic always ends in fighting. I've had or have a lee progressive, lnl classic, lnl ap, coax, 650, and 1050. In my experience they all have strengths and weaknesses. I think what's best for you depends on how much reloading and how many calibers. I lucked into a very cheap 1050, and I wouldn't trade it for the world! Both the 650 and the 1050 are great presses.

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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by Aufidius on 12/27/2018, 3:40 pm

I don't think the topic ended in fighting? fc60 and I differ over what "new" means in terms of Star stuff. I'm not being critical of him, Star, or anyone else who likes to use the gear. For my reasons, I like to deal with a company that has a dealer network, isn't going away any time soon, warranty, and that company happens to be Dillon.

Just a difference of opinion- certainly not the end of the world.

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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by Jwhelan939 on 12/27/2018, 9:47 pm

Sorry, I wasn't implying that it had. But the topic comes up every other day on many of the Facebook forums. And they almost always end in arguing, bickering, and name calling.

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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by Steve Brown on 12/28/2018, 3:57 am

No love for the RCBS 2000?

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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by SW-52 on 12/28/2018, 6:04 am

Tim,i dont reload,but in my opinion,if you use a 550 and for you is great,go for it. The 650 is a great machine,you will add case and bullet feeder but is for reload high volumes of ammo in less time. I bet for a 550!!
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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by mhayford45 on 12/28/2018, 6:33 pm

I believe I have tried them all at some point in my reloading journey. I use a Dillon 550 but have to admit i would like something with better/tighter specs as I have had to float my dies to get the concentricity i expect and custom mount a Harrell Schuetzen Pistol powder drop . When I need true precision, I use my Harrell single stage.

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Re: Which Reloading Press?

Post by tceva on 12/29/2018, 4:41 am

Jason,
If you are just loading 45. pm me.  I have a Star Press that kind of fell into my possession.  I have toyed with adding some deluxe features, like the auto indexing to it, but when reality slaps me I resort back to a tricked out 650.
The stars are a precision instrument.  However caliber changes are not as easy as a Dillon.
Alex
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Re: Which Reloading Press?

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