Dillon press

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Dillon press

Post by jakuda on Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:38 pm

Yes, yet another Dillon question.
Right now I'm using a Lee Pro1000 for loading 45s. I do no other reloading. Speed and output isn't a big deal for me as I don't shoot other sports.

Is a SquareDeal really that bad of a machine? Everyone always recommends the 550 and 650. Thoughts?

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Re: Dillon press

Post by DavidR on Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:42 pm

Not bad, but it doesn't use standard dies, you have to use ones made specially for a square deal by dillon, all other dillons use standardized dies.

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Re: Dillon press

Post by jakuda on Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:03 pm

Understood, but are the squaredeal dillon dies of the same quality as the standard Dillon dies?

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Re: Dillon press

Post by DavidR on Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:47 pm

They are not easily cleaned as the standard dillon dies which come apart by just pulling a locking pin out. The SQB is a base line reloader, but i know many that use them and are happy. The SQB's biggest selling feature to many is that it comes pre-set up with dies already adjusted and ready to load bullets.

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SDB vs 650

Post by Glenn Smith on Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:07 pm

I bought my first SDB about 20 years ago, and then ending up selling it when my shooting took a hiatus. When I started in Bullseye 5 years ago, I bought another new one, and about 3 years ago bought a used one so I didn't have to change out primer feeds between .38 and .45. Several of my club mates used my presses until they got their own. I wish I knew how many rounds went thru the .45 press, but it was a boatload. We experienced an occasional high primer, but all in all I really feel like the SDB's are great value.

But Big Blue in a fit of incredible marketing genious, sends out a small glossy monthly communication to the faithful, and soon I lusted after a press with a powder checker station. So, this Fall I ordered a 650, and figuring this would likely be the last reloading press I'd ever buy, I decided to live large and get the case feeder and strong mount and bullet tray, and roller handle, etc. My plan was to keep one of my SDB's to load .38's on. But, while waiting for my new press to arrive, a used 650 with feeder showed up on Craigs list, in .38 no less. I figured that was surely a sign from above, and now I have a pair of 650's side by side. And the 650's are smoooooth. And fast, less time reloading = more time for DRY FIRE. Yea!!

I think the SDB's are a perfectly servicable press. Had I never went to the mail box again, I'd probably still have 2 of them. They are simple to use, set up right out of the box. I would have no qualms recomending them to anyone. The 650's are more complex, and you have to do your own initial set up. Having loaded 1000's of rounds on the SDB and being mechanically minded that was no big deal either.

Lastly, Dillon has great customer service, and great resale value. If you think you want a SDB, buy it, use it, love it, and when the upgrade bug bites, sell it and scratch the itch.

Glenn Smith

Elkhart, IN

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Re: Dillon press

Post by Rob Kovach on Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:20 pm

Jakuda,

Is there something wrong with the Lee 1000 that has you looking at Dillon?

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Re: Dillon press

Post by jakuda on Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:07 am

Rob Kovach wrote:Jakuda,

Is there something wrong with the Lee 1000 that has you looking at Dillon?

Lee pro1000 is only a 3 station press. So one combines seating and crimping (which is what I've done) or uses a separate single stage press to do one of the other functions to keep seating and crimping separate.

ALSO, the disk powder measure doesn't have fine granularity so one must weigh powder separately, live with the disks, or use the crappy adjustable lee powder plate.

It has served me well for two years, but I think an upgrade is justifiable.

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Re: Dillon press

Post by xringshooter on Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:06 pm

I bought a used SDB that I use for .45 Auto only. It is one of the earliest models, and has loaded countless thousands of rounds. Works great, and I have nothing but praise for it and for Dillon. I have an old RCBS single stage press I use for rifle reloading, but I don't do very much shooting with long guns anymore, so it is fine for my needs. If you are only into pistol shooting, a SDB is all you need. It you plan to load pistol and rifle, get a 550 or 650. You will save money in the long run because you can use conventional dies which are cheaper than Dillon's proprietary dies required for the SDB.

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Dillion---Lee---Star????

Post by John on Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:53 pm

A lot of talk lately about Dillion and Lee for loading handgun. Why no remarks/accolades about STAR? Probably run about 250,000 45 loads through my machine with nary a broken part. I know they are still available (though no longer produced) from retiring shooters, estates, etc. Lets hear from the "old Timers" who are still using this great, fast producer of very accurate ammunition. John

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Re: Dillon press

Post by Toz35m on Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:17 pm

I use my SDB for loading long line and by 550 for short line and 9mm. They both are great presses and as mentioned above they have amazing customer service.

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Re: Dillon press

Post by Jack H on Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:37 pm

I have used a Star, the one Roddy has. But it was when owned two owners prior to Roddy. And it still makes great ammo. But I need a quick change press for multiple pistol and rifle calibres. I barely have room for 2 units set up so they are a 550 and a LnL progressive. The take apart and clean feature of the Dillon regular dies is an absolute requirement for me when loading lead bullets. Therefore my third press, a SDB is used for 45 hardball only. Most of the time though, it sits on the floor in the corner on its strong mount waiting its turn on the table.

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Re: Dillon press

Post by BE Mike on Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:27 pm

John wrote:A lot of talk lately about Dillion and Lee for loading handgun. Why no remarks/accolades about STAR? Probably run about 250,000 45 loads through my machine with nary a broken part. I know they are still available (though no longer produced) from retiring shooters, estates, etc. Lets hear from the "old Timers" who are still using this great, fast producer of very accurate ammunition. John
Stars are top notch machines and like everything of it's time, it was over-engineered. They were expensive, even back in the day. My father has a universal set up for .45 ACP, .38 SPL and .32 S&W Long. It produces great ammo. The Dillons are much more versatile and the reason they zoomed past the Star was price point, versatility (use any standard dies and reload rifle too) and customer support.

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Re: Dillon press

Post by Richard Ashmore on Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:53 am

jakuda wrote:Yes, yet another Dillon question.
Is a SquareDeal really that bad of a machine? Everyone always recommends the 550 and 650. Thoughts?

Mine is over twenty years old; I've been completely satisfied. I also have an RL550B and am happy with it, too.

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Re: Dillon press

Post by ChuckS1 on Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:02 pm

Another vote for the SDB. I have a Square Deal (not the "B" model) that I bought back in 1987 and it runs great! There's nothing wrong with the proprietary dies it uses and the machine itself is simple to set up and use. I have separate conversion setups for 9mm, .38 Special and .44 Special, as well as a separate primer setup for small pistol primers.

Probably the best thing about Dillon is the support you get. I've yet to have to pay for a replacement part when the inevitable "fair wear and tear" fairy pays a visit and the tech support on the phone has always been very knowledgeable.

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Re: Dillon press

Post by noylj on Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:22 am

Dillon is almost a cult. I have three Dillon 1050s, but I don't worship the company. Good customer service--as good as Hornady or RCBS. No BS Warranty is great and the stability of the line is excellent.
I could never see a 3- or 4-hole progressive press. When Dillon came out with their first press (only sold directly from Dillon), it was a 4-holer. I decided to wait until a 5-station press came out.
Hornady came out with a 5-station press and I bought it and was completely happy for about 30 years. When the L-N-L came out, my press started to give me problems and I decided to get a L-N-L. Really liked that machine.
Then I came into two great buys on 1050s and bought them. Still used the Hornady for all my miscellaneous loading. Then my son finally decided to get into reloading (after enjoying my loads for years) and my wife "suggested" that I should give him my L-N-L since I had two other presses.
I gave the press to him and taught him how to use it. Very easy learning curve and press is nice and simply and open.
If you look at the Dillons, they have smaller shell plates than the Hornady and they just feel more cramped and hard to work on (just me, probably, but I had 30 years plus to get used to the openness of the Hornady).
I had two friends who I taught how to reload on my Hornady but they decided to join the blue cult since that is what another loader at their clubs used.
I used their 550 and 650 without a case collator. This meant that either I fed one case into the case feeder on the right side at a time or I stood up and loaded a tube with about 25 cases to load. I found both presses to be awkward to use without a case collator and told them so. The 550 at the time had no case collator and my other friend, after he and I worked with his new press, went out and got a collator.
Thus, I recommend NOT getting a Lee progressive. The Pro 1000, if I remember correct, is a 3-hole and really limits your die set-up and the LoadMaster is effectively only a 4-station press, as one station is only for priming. The Dillon SDB and 550 are only 4-station presses and the 550 is NOT auto indexing which is a requirement for a progressive if I am going to buy it.
Thus, of the presses I have used, my recommendation is to bite the bullet if you want and get a Hornady L-N-L without a case collator/feeder or an XL 650 WITH a case collator.
Since you are happy with the Pro 1000, you might as well stay with it as, in my opinion, the SDB is still a "crippled" progressive.
There, now you have a different look at things to consider. Either step way up or stay where you are, realizing that your current press is meeting your current needs.

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Re: Dillon press

Post by jakuda on Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:42 pm

I ended up getting the 550 from Grafs and couldn't be happier. I thought I would dislike the manual indexing and lack of [included] case feeder, but I'm not loading significantly slower than my old LeeProgressive. Less primer-feeding issues for sure.

I did end up getting the Hornady "new dimension" (or whatever they're called) dies and a separate taper crimp die. The seating die has a sleeve that helps straighten any bullet before it's seated.

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Re: Dillon press

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