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Reloading 45 acp

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Jwhelan939
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71firebird400
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Reloading 45 acp Empty Reloading 45 acp

Post by njbowman Thu Jan 27, 2022 5:27 pm

What is the best progressive reloader for doing 45 acp?

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Post by gasixgunner Thu Jan 27, 2022 5:40 pm

Dillon 550

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Post by PhotoEscape Thu Jan 27, 2022 5:44 pm

Mark 7 Revolution.

AP
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Post by Dcforman Thu Jan 27, 2022 5:57 pm

Realistically, you can "learn to love" any press. In terms of best, that's sort of a loaded question. If you're looking, take the time to research Dillon, Mark 7, Hornady LNL, and Star. Each one could be the best for you...

Dave

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Post by Jack H Thu Jan 27, 2022 6:01 pm

gasixgunner wrote:Dillon 550
Depends on how many whistles and bells you want to meet a desired loading rate.

Dillon, Hornady, RCBS, are all good. 

I have a Dillon 550 pair.  One for large primers, one for small. 
For occasional separate use I have the Hornady LNL single stage.
Sitting unused is a Hornady AP LNL.
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Post by mspingeld Thu Jan 27, 2022 6:15 pm

Old review but interesting. www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillonLeeHornadyComparison.pdf

I have a Hornady LNL but hear great things about Dillon as well. Both companies are great to deal with. See if any of the shooters near you will show you their setups so you can compare. I definitely would recommend progressive.

Hope this helps.

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Post by SteveT Thu Jan 27, 2022 6:16 pm

Assuming you mean a progressive press... Loading lots of ammo on a single stage gets old quickly.

Dillon SDB is the easiest to set up, but you can only load pistol calibers and can't use standard dies.

Lee 100 is the cheapest. Lee makes some amazing stuff for the price they charge, but it won't feel as refined as the other brand names

A Mark 7 or Dillon 1050 will be the best to crank out lots and lots of ammo. These are really small scale commercial machines. Once they are set up they are awesome, but there is a lot to do every time you make a change.

A turret press like the Dillon 550 or Redding T7 will be stiffer and probably have tighter tolerances than the progressive presses. Will it load better ammo in 45ACP? probably not that anyone will notice. You have to remember to move the turret each time or you risk double charges. If you really want to go overboard, then get one of the specialized rifle turret presses

A Star reloader will give you the most cred' on the shooting line. They are cool.

The best compromise in my opinion is Dillon 750 or Hornady LnL.
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Post by Pinetree Thu Jan 27, 2022 6:18 pm

Perfectly happy with my Dillon SDB, and their customer service is unbelievably excellent.

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Post by ric1911a1 Thu Jan 27, 2022 6:54 pm

I have a couple of ancient Stars, one in .45, one in .38 Special, and I like them both.

A good friend has a Dillon 550C (I think) that he has always been happy with...........

If you want versatility, I would go with the Dillon, I believe. I'm considering getting one to load some other calibers..........

Ric
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Post by rburk Thu Jan 27, 2022 7:47 pm

I have a Dillon SDB, bought it used here on this forum.  It almost seems like when Dillon designed it they were thinking 45 ACP.  I'm sure it has seen a lot of use, but it just keeps on chugging along.

I also have a single stage press to deprime cases before wet tumbling.

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Post by WesG Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:55 pm

I bought the LNL because it was configured better for hand feeding brass than the Dillon's with auto indexing. I don't recall what the Square-Deal was like, but it was off my list for not using standard dies.

I've got a couple friends with SD's, and they like them. At least one of them has 2, one setup for 45, and another for 9mm, to avoid the hassle of switching them over.

I don't prime on my LNL, so swapping dies and shellplate is a couple minute job. Set the measure and go.

I'm sure I'd love a Star, from my background as a toolmaker/machinist, and mech designer. Maybe someday just for fun. But you never know ...

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Post by zanemoseley Thu Jan 27, 2022 10:29 pm

Better yet get 2 LNL AP's so you can leave one set up for LPP and one for SPP. Crazy quick to change calibers especially if you stick with the same powder, can swap the quick change powder drum stem to change your drop.

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Post by WesG Fri Jan 28, 2022 12:15 am

I went straight for the micro adjust pistol drum. Too many years loading for rifle maybe. But I've used an RCBS Little Dandy for about forever, and still will if I'm loading single stage. Not so great for fine tuning though.

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Post by 71firebird400 Fri Jan 28, 2022 1:01 am

I own both a LNL AP and a Dillon 750; the differences between them are made out to be far greater than they actually are. Honestly, I've had better customer service with Hornady which goes against the internet consensus.

Hornady Pros
Cheaper conversions
Quicker setup for individual dies
Simpler machine overall
Consistent powder measure
Very little powder spillage

Hornady Cons
Must keep the priming system clean
Required Black Cat Works casefeeder inserts
Slightly more play in the linkage

Dillons Pros
Solid feeling machine
Reliable priming system (less likely to be impacted by powder spillage)
More leverage than the Hornady

Dillon Cons
More powder spillage
Powder measure isn't as consistent as the Hornady
More expensive conversions (overpriced IMO)
Poor mounting hardware locations

Ultimately all of that stuff is pretty minor but the one big thing is the increased leverage on the Dillon. It makes for a more pleasant loading experience, and I leave that machine set up for 9mm since that requires the most effort to size of the cartridges I load. The two machines cost very similar when set up for one cartridge but the Dillon really gets more expensive when you add in cartridge conversions. But all of that pales in comparison to what you'll ultimately spend on components....so get the one you like. They both work great for me.

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Post by SingleActionAndrew Fri Jan 28, 2022 7:40 am

I have three Dillion powder measures one for each toolhead and haven't experienced spillage. VV 310 320 3N37 and Longshot. VV310 in the Dillion with a pyrex hopper and internal polish I typically get +/- 0.02gr consistency. The bearing kits resolve the powder shaking from the cases during indexing.

I'm a happy Dillon 750 user. Have a great Redding T7 too but I've learned to reserve that for obscure cartridges or when loading to max. Otherwise I have a toolhead and crank em out. The 750 took a bit of tuning to get singing (I also recommend everything you can buy on PhotoEscape's website, bought most of his through UT before learning he's 20 minutes away) but less than I expected from reading online.

Good friend has a Mark7 and he's had a Lot more issues, regularly his press is down and waiting for parts.
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Post by BE Mike Fri Jan 28, 2022 9:50 am

I have a Dillon 550 and 650. I keep my 550 set up for small pistol primers, these days, mostly loading 9mm on it. I've kept the 650 set up for many years for loading .45 ACP with large pistol primers. For centerfire competitive pistol shooting today, I'd go with the Dillon 750 with the case feeder and Dillon powder check (or similar) die. That extra hole in the press for the powder check keeps one from loading with no powder or double charging the case. Although I don't compete anymore, being able to load good rounds in a short time is a big plus in my old age. The Lyman Mark 7 press looks like a winner. The only things that make me wonder about it is that it is a "new kid on the block" and might still have some bugs to be worked out. I'm unsure how the primer feed system works and how the dies work with the press. The Dillon dies works best with the Dillon presses, but other dies work, just not quite as slick. There is a large "after market industry" built around Dillon. I especially like the lights (old farts like me like more light). I can load about 250-300 cartridges per hours with my Dillon 550 (I am slow and methodical). I load from 400-450 rounds per hour on the Dillon 650. BTW, I have extra primer fill tubes and use a Frankford Arsenal "Vibra-Prime" to fill them. There is a little learning curve using the Vibra-Prime to fill Dillon tubes rather than the Frankford Arsenal ones that come with it, but it is worth it to learn the technique. It really saves time compared to picking them up one-by-one from a primer flipper.
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Post by James Hensler Sat Jan 29, 2022 9:00 am

Best one is the one in stock! They all work great for 45 ACP
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Post by Jwhelan939 Sat Jan 29, 2022 10:29 am

Lots of info already. I'll just add my experience. Take it or leave it. In the way of progressives I've had lee pro 1000, Hornady lnl, Dillon 650, and Dillon 1050. 

The pro lasted about a month. 

I had the Hornady for 16 years. We had a love hate relationship. It was a nice press with a large number of weaknesses. The priming system always gave me problems. The bushings were a nice idea, but would occasionally come loose and give me issues. The pawls were a nightmare. The case feeder was obviously an afterthought. One of the most annoying this was loading any taller cartridges. The stage 5 tilt was awful. When I asked Hornady service about it they acted like they never heard of it, even though it was very well documented all of the web. For a while I had it and a 650, but eventually sold it and got a second 650.

I love my 650. So much I actually have 3 now. I have had zero issues with them. If you maintain them they just work well. I also have a 1050. It is a fantastic press I have it set up exclusively for my 45 lswc rounds with a mini Mr bullet feeder. I would not be as big of a fan of it I loaded more than one caliber on it though. Changeover is a nightmare. 

The Dillon are obviously more expensive. The best thing for me has been patience. Only one of my 650s was purchased new. All the rest were like new pickups where someone got into reloading, realized it wasn't for them, and posted them on eBay at poor times. I couldn't get a new 1100 for what I purchased 2 650s and a 1050 for.

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Post by Allgoodhits Sat Jan 29, 2022 11:00 am

If you are a very high usage reloader of one caliber, I would suggest a Dillon 1050 or the new 1100. Maybe even if you reload two very high usage calibers of the "same" size primers and shell plate.

However, if you are not a high usage reloader I would recommend the Dillon 650 or 750. They are much less costly to buy and much less costly to add caliber conversions. Further, they are pretty easy to change primer size systems and shell plates. When it comes time to scale back, keeping one 650/750 and multiple conversions is easier to move about, lighter and takes up less space than a 1050 with conversions.

I had two 650 for a dozen or more years. I was talked into upgrading to a 1050. Once I bought one 1050, then I got the second one. Looking back if I had a do over, I would have kept the 2 - 650s and added another one, or two. It would have been much cheaper, and parts crossover within the series would be interchangeable.  

My $.02 and the matter.
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Post by Slamfire Wed Feb 02, 2022 10:09 am

I have been using the same Dillon 550B since the middle 1980's.  The compound leverage block broke, more than a decade later,  and Dillon replaced it for free. I have had small wear out issues on parts and Dillon has replaced those for free. I am satisfied with Dillon's no BS warranty.  Since I do not have another progressive I can't compare. But mine works, and continues to make ammunition that goes bang and goes where it is aimed.

My Dillon is a manual index and I am of the opinion that is a good thing, as I can stop, take everything off, if need be, or just remove the case under the powder horn, and clear the problem. The most frequent problem I have is priming related. Many of the troubles are not due to the press, but rather with range pickup brass. Some have crimps, which I did not notice or remove, sometimes the pockets are small, sometimes they are small primer. I will pick up my fired cases, and sometimes there is a small primer brass, not of  mine, that was in a corner, or under something.  Sometimes there are feed issues, a primer won't drop down, or a primer has flipped. The little plastic feed ends in the primer feed wear and must be replaced.

I have found that grit like ball powders will roll down the powder bar and cause issues. Accurate Arms #9, a great magnum pistol powder, causes function issues because the manufacturer of my lots, made the powder as fine as grit. I have to periodically wipe the powder bar to keep the surfaces clean and from jamming with AA#9.  Accurate Arms changed powder makers so often I have no idea if this is still an issue. I never had any problems with W231, a flattened ball powder. My Dillon powder horns  love short stick powders and Unique, Bullseye, and 2400. All these powders are trouble free.

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Post by jglenn21 Wed Feb 02, 2022 10:21 am

Get a set of Alex's (photoescape)brass primer tube ends that work on the 550 and 750..prototyped them for him a while back and now have them on all 4 of my dillons. No more issues with the plastic tips..... ever
.
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Post by bruce martindale Wed Feb 02, 2022 12:12 pm

The 550 is a simpler press ...l like it but don't like their powder measures. For that, l use a Lee measure and their powder thru expander die. I also don't change the priming setup. I have two Stars, a Lee loadmaster and my first press, a Pro 1000. The latter is used for odds and ends, not much. Loadmaster is " de Lee'ed" no auto index. Match ammo comes off that one. A little fussy but manageable . Bulk ammo comes off the Star

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