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Dillon 550 vs 650

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by steelfingers, Apr 1, 2018.

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  1. steelfingers

    steelfingers Sharpshooter

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    Some of you have extensive background in reloading. I've decided to go with a Dillon, and even though I've been told a single stage is best for new loaders, I like these two. Plus I think I'd end up wanting a progressive.
    What are your thoughts please?
     
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  2. D. Hargrove

    D. Hargrove Sharpshooter

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    I am a lee guy, I have 7 Lee presses, 1 RockChucker and 7 MEC and 2 Lee loadalls for shotgun. I also have a Dillon SL450 and love it. It is far better made than anything I own except the rockchucker.
    IMHO the 550 is Dillons most universal press and for the money cannot be beat. I upgraded my 450 to a 550C with their kit and feel it is the best press I own. Hope that helps my friend..
     
  3. Perplexed

    Perplexed Sharpshooter

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    I’m still relatively new to reloading, but I started with an RCBS turret press. Once I saw a 650 in action, I thought to myself, “This is crazy.”

    And bought a 650.
     
  4. Pokinfun

    Pokinfun The Most Interesting Man in the World

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    have a hornady LNL progressive press, it is great for mass productions. I cranked out 200 357 MAG rounds in about 25 minutes yesterday morning.
    But, for precision rifle rounds I do everything on a single stage press.
    I am going to reload .223 rounds on the progressive press this summer. Once it get loads figured out, I am going to load about 3000 rounds. I figure it will take me a few hours to make that many rounds.
    I would go with the 550 if you are going to be changing from one caliber to another very often.
    I just ordered a case feeder for my progressive press.
    Don't forget you will need a good case trimmer.
     
  5. Pokinfun

    Pokinfun The Most Interesting Man in the World

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    That is a question for Dillon folks.
     
  6. Uncle TK

    Uncle TK Sharpshooter

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    I use Two Dillon 650 with the case feed
    One press set up for Small Primer and one for Large Primers.
    A separate Tool head with dies and power measurer for each different calibers. (I never adjust them)

    I use a old Lee three hole turret set up for single stage for Glock bulged brass (45-40-380)
    Small reloading jobs like 32 ACP & 25 ACP and Etc
     
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  7. Mad Professor

    Mad Professor Sharpshooter

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    What is an "automatic charger"
    I thought the only difference were the pivot pins, grease zerks, and mods to allow both.
    I don't see anything that the 550c offers to make me overlook a good deal on a used 550b.

    [/QUOTE]
     
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  8. Mad Professor

    Mad Professor Sharpshooter

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    I recommend both! LoL

    550
    I would call it a manual progressive since it does not auto-advance with each stroke. many get caught up with this thinking it is slower. Not really, because you will be reaching into the same area to place a bullet. Advancing the shell plate at the same time.
    Cheaper for conversions
    Easier to learn on, correct a mistake on etc. Backing up a 650, means moving each case in the shellplate.
    A case feeder is available for the 550 but only for pistol caliber use. (although I have seen one hacked for 223). Most will tell you to go with a 650 if you desire to use a case feeder/collator. I agree.
    A bit easier on primer size changes.
    650
    If you ever have a desire to speed up operation, a 650 is a better host to start with.
    has an extra station to add a powder check. Although I don't like a powder check as I think they create more problems than they solve.
    More time needed on primer size changes but can be speeded up by buying a complete primer unit in the other size.
    A 650 has a case feeder built in. You can drop cases into the tube. However, adding the hopper collator is what everyone means when they say add a case feeder. You are still manually placing the bullet at each stroke, but it does speed up operations.
    Adding a bullet feeder really speeds up operations.

    Just guessing you will only be loading a couple hundred at a time with the 6.5, maybe the same with the 223 and .45, you might want more per session with the 9mm. At one time I owned two 550s, and a 650. One 550 setup for small primers, the other for large. The 650 was originally dedicated for 9mm, .223, and 300 blk. I ran everything else on the the 550s. I mostly left the 650 set up for 9mm and didn't change it over unless I was going to make a large run of another caliber. I'd just run then on one of the 550s instead. Then a deal on another 650 came along. I sold a 550 to finance more 650 conversions. The first 650 became dedicated to 9mm and the other for .40, 45, 223, and 300 blk. But, I still have the 550 for all of my odd calibers. Sometimes it even works better for a bit of load development to leave my other stuff alone.

    So based on that, if someone plans on loading several calibers, I would suggest a 550. If later you really think you want to speed up operations, think about a 650 (or 1050). Likely you will only have a caliber or two that you want to speed up operation on. If you invest in a Mr. Bullet feeder for a 650, it will move straight to a 1050. You won't get hurt on used Dillon equipment if you buy right. You'll have no problem in selling one if you decide to upgrade.


    Read thorough Brian Enos' comments. I think he is spot on.
    http://brianenos.com/pages/dillon
     
  9. Shadowrider

    Shadowrider Sharpshooter

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    Which you will be best served by will be determined by what you are loading for and caliber/quantity. From what you've stated the 550 sounds like it would be plenty. One caveat that you need to consider is that the 550 doesn't case feed rifle rounds. You'll not have an option for that. But it will serve the average reloader quite well in almost all instances. Make sure you plan on having a single stage too, I promise you'll be using one for various things no matter what.

    No way I would consider a 1050 in multiple calibers, I'd rather have multiple 1050s. But I can't justify feeding one much less two or more. I'll differ with the poster before on the quantity, I wouldn't think of changing over a 1050 before I'd loaded at least 10k rounds, which would be easy to do in a weekend if you were ready to load them. 1050s are best left to single calibers in mass quantities, that's really what they are for.

    My 650 is setup for 9mm, .40, .45, .38/.357, and .223. I rarely switch it even though it only takes a few minutes. Another strategy might be a 550 for the rifle stuff and a dedicated Square Deal B for high volume pistol. A bunch of things to consider.

    ETA: Mad Professor already weighed in. I'm a pretty seasoned reloader but he's a guru on all things Dillon.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
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  10. Mad Professor

    Mad Professor Sharpshooter

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    How many 1050s must one have? :)
    They aren't that bad to change over IF you have a dedicated tool head for each caliber AND you are not changing primer size. Still a pain in the @$$ and very expensive. A conversion kit, spare tool head quick change conversion, and a $50 bill will equal the cost of a complete spare 550c. :cry11: Add a case feed plate and the parts to change primer size and you can buy a spare 650. :crying:

    Edited
     
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