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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dillon user's front and center :) Looking to get a Dillion in the near future! I shoot 9mm,.357 and .38 no Rifles. I see the Sd has to use their dies I also like the 550 B price difference isn't much. which is the most bang for the buck? Ease of set up and use? I have a few sets of RCBS dies so would like to use them! Is the any advantage on using Dillon dies ?
Thanks

Rich
 

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I have a 650, so cannot comment on the SD or 550.

That being said, my only frustration has been with the primer feed, having to switch between large and small primers. Since your cartridge lineup is all small pistol primers, you should be ok once you have everything adjusted.

My RCBS dies work just fine, as do some other brands. Dillon advertises that their dies have more tolerance for misalignment, but if you already have RCBS, by all means use them.

HHH
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a 650, so cannot comment on the SD or 550.

That being said, my only frustration has been with the primer feed, having to switch between large and small primers. Since your cartridge lineup is all small pistol primers, you should be ok once you have everything adjusted.

My RCBS dies work just fine, as do some other brands. Dillon advertises that their dies have more tolerance for misalignment, but if you already have RCBS, by all means use them.

HHH
Thanks H for you input. The 650 is not out of the picture. Not sure if I want to spend that much but I am divorced and no wife to tell me not to :)
 

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My son-in-law and I reload 9mm, .38/.357, and .45 ACP and we have a 550B. I think the .45 ACP is the only Dillon dies we have. The others are Hornady and we have no issues. We do have to occasionally switch from large to small primers and back, but we tend to plan our reloading to minimize that. And, it is not really a large problem. Like anything else, you just need to pay close attention and focus on what you are doing.

Can't comment on any other systems as this is the only one we have ever used.

Whatever you choose, have fun!
 

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I went over to Dillon when they were 279.95. started on a Lee, outgrew it and made the change. the Dillon has been a rock since. the CS is also second to none. when I got custody of my reloading bench during the divorce, it was left at the curb minus several parts. called to order, credit card in hand, and was denied the right to pay for those pieces. that is a warranty! also they will provide answers to issues that arise in relation to their product.
over the years I have acquired tool heads and dies (the Lee dies work just fine) for all the pistol calibers I load. the machine is also able to do rifle, I just don't. one of the reasons I bought it is because I can load almost any caliber on the 550.
there are machines that are faster, speed is not what I am looking for. in my dungeon the desire is get it right. it is plenty fast enough, and I would rather relax, pay extra attention.
set up is faster when you can have all your dies on a different toolhead. I now have a separate setup for .357, 38 special, .44 magnum, .44 special, .40 caliber, 10mm, in addition to 9mm, .380 auto and .45ACP.
currently am running a batch of 38 special +P for my Vaquero. it likes a 125 plated bullet behind 6.7 grains of longshot. that is less abuse than the .357 125 grain, and shoots to point of aim around 1175fps. next back to 10mm 180 grain with 8 grains of silhouette. I really don't save money, but I do shoot more!
I am so well pleased with the Dillon I am considering a second 550, because I am lazy and get tired of changing from large to small primer. God bless America, where else can this be possible?
 

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If you buy a XL 650 with case feed you will not need to spend much time at the reloading bench. If you like spending time at the bench go with the RL 550.
 

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I have had a 550B for over 25 years now, and I can't imagine a better press. Over the years, I have acquired several toolheads, and keep them set up for my most commonly loaded calibers. I load pistol amd rifle, and have had no trouble with any brand of dies I have used to date. Iif you need dies, Dillons are great and are made for the press, after all.

As another poster noted, the customer service at Dillon is legendary. I have ordered parts that I have broken (dropped my powder measure one time) and they were replaced without charge. The 550 is a more automated press than the SDB, and you are not limited to pistol calibers with the 550.

About all I can add is to buy one and see for yourself. No complaints here, for sure.
 

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I bought my first RL550 in 1993 and have loaded literally tons of ammo with it. I started out with RCBS pistol dies but slowly converted to Dillon Pistol dies. They are indeed superior to other brands and are specifically designed to work with a RL 550 or 650 press. I now have 8 sets of Dillon handgun dies that cover my reloading needs. I also have 223 Rem and 308 Win (Redding) dies that I use occasionally on my Dillon. I use my RCBS Rockchucker for most rifle reloading.

As for the Square Deal B ... good press but it has its limits ... mostly due to the proprietary Dillon dies and the fact it can't reload rifle ammo. The SDB also takes much longer to convert from one cartridge to another. Most people that buy a SDB dedicate it to one specific handgun cartridge.

I put a document in the Forum Library titled "Dillon RL550B" that might be of interest to you. Here's a link: http://rugerforum.net/library/36988-dillon-rl550b.html
 

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Friend and I have 2 550Bs. One for Pistol and one for Rifle. The thing I like about it is we have separate tool heads and powder measures for each caliber we reload. It's a good chunk more expensive to do it that way but with the multitudes of calibers we reload, it was worth it in our opinions.

As others have said, the CS is Ruger like in taking care of you.

I haven't used any other progressive presses so, I can only tell you I really like our Dillons.
 

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Do you have dies? If so, the 550 is the better bet IMHO.

The other difference between a SDB & 550 is that the SDB automatically advances.
The 550 needs to be advanced by hand.

For some people, that's a deal breaker, but you get used to it in short order.

Also, I've found the 550 to be much more adaptable.
Lots more calibers can be loaded on a 550.

I love my 550, couldn't be happier!

While I bow to the superior knowledge of Iowegan, I personally have not found Dillon dies to be superior.
I've had Dillon, Redding, RCBS & Lee dies.
I didn't find a difference, so I use Lee because they're so much cheaper.
Just my 2¢ worth.
 

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Yurko, Yes other brands of dies will work but I found Dillon dies have the feature I want. I think it's silly to spend big bucks on a press then go cheap on dies .... but that's just my opinion. For openers, if you use non-Dillon dies, you have to buy a 4-die set or buy an extra crimp die, so it's not a huge cost advantage. Of course the expander die is not used because the powder funnel does that function .... wasted money. Dillon dies come with a sizer, a bullet seater, and a crimp die ... the expander function uses the powder die. Further, Dillon dies are designed to come apart for cleaning without removing the die body from the tool head. That means you can clean your dies without having to readjust them .... can't do that with any other brand. This is especially important for the bullet seater and crimp die when loading lead bullets because they get packed with lube and lead pucky. I tried using a 45 ACP Lee sizer die on my Dillon .... no workie .... the die body was so short I couldn't get a lock nut on it. If you buy non-Dillon dies, you still have to buy a Dillon powder die and powder funnel (part of the caliber conversion kit).
 

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I started with the SDB and loved it. I got an XL650 because the SDB can't reload the 460 S&W magnum. If you'll just do the common pistol calibers, the SDB is a great buy.

The 650 w/ the auto case feeder is a beast of a machine. It's more than I need, but I love the thing. I know that speed is not the main goal of reloading, but that thing can really crank out the ammo. The only downside is that caliber changes are a bit involved due to the extra parts of the case feeding mechanism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Lowegan Thanks for the link

Everyone thanks for your input that is what I was looking for good or bad :) leaning to the 550 now Thanks
 

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I load everything on an XL650 and currently load for 9mm, 38/357, 44 mag/spcl, 45 ACP, 45 Colt/Casull, and just ordered stuff for 475/480. When I went in for the original order I was hesitant to use an auto indexing progressive and initially leaned to towards a 550 for my first press but in hindsight I'm really glad I got the 650 from the start. It's been running like a well oiled machine (because it is) and cranks out about 10-12K rounds per year in mixed calibers. The only problems I've had were a (1) CCI primer jamming up the primer feed tube, Dillon said CCI had a bad batch out there and sent me a replacement free of charge, (2) the carbide ring coming off my 45 ACP die, same story, Dillon sent a free replacement via 2 day air. Their customer service is amazing. I use Dillon dies and accessories for all calibers and have been very pleased. Aside from 9mm I shoot about 95% cast bullets so the dies being easily cleaned during a long session helps with getting bullet lube out if I get sloppy on placement and it scrapes on the rim. If you ever get into big bores that need to be seated and crimped in two steps the 5 die systems is a huge plus. I get crimp jump on the 454 loads if you don't give it enough so I really like that Dillon's 3-Die sets have separate seating and crimp.
 

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I have had the 550B for about 15 years now and have loaded thousands of pistol rounds using it. The Dillon pistol dies are nice BUT if you shoot lead look for a Lee Seating Die. Dillon mchines a hole in the top of their seating plugs. If you load flat point lead bullets particularly in the 9MM you can run into problems with OAL. The lead noses tend to push into the hole in the plug causing varying OAL in cartridges to occur. I had a machinest make mr up some Lee plugs for my Lee dies to match the olgive of the bullets. I now don't have problems with OAL in the 9MM using truncated cone lead bullets.

Take Care

Bob
 

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GONRA uses the 9mm and .45 ACP Dillon die sets in my XL 650.
BUT - switched to older RCBS SIZERS (very small entrance bevel) for better sizing.

Realize that the large Dillon sizing die entrance bevel improves the
progressive loading press machine operation,
but am willing to suffer a little bit to get perfect resized cases.
 

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I have the SDB and load the 38, 357, 41 mag, and 44 mag and use the 357 and 44 mags in handguns and rifles. I really like it and will probably expand as time goes on. I am really happy with Dillon's customer service too. All questions answered by their staff and some parts my errors damaged were replaced free of charge. Think just get a Dillon but get the model you think would serve your purposes best.
 

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Dillon user's front and center :) Looking to get a Dillion in the near future! I shoot 9mm,.357 and .38 no Rifles. I see the Sd has to use their dies I also like the 550 B price difference isn't much. which is the most bang for the buck? Ease of set up and use? I have a few sets of RCBS dies so would like to use them! Is the any advantage on using Dillon dies ?
Thanks

Rich
3 RL450's, one SD, 2 RL550B's.

The SD seems like it's perfect for you but I have a few concerns. The SD press uses special die sets that run over $80 per set. I load for a lot of different calibers, both rifle and pistol so the SD ate my lunch on changeovers.

It's a great little press and well supported by Dillon. It also indexes automatically which, when everything is working well, is a real plus!

I have huge hands (XXXL) and that little SD is just impossible for me to deal with! THAT is the reason that the SD had to go. It is now owned by a forum member who cranks out a bazillion rounds with it. It just wasn't right for me.

The RL 550B is another breed of cat. The interchangeable tool heads make caliber changes fairly easy. It's not a drop in change as several other things need to change as well, but it's fairly painless. That is my choice and recommendation.

Dillon dies have a trumpet shaped area at the base that helps locate the cartridge case. That's nice but I wasn't willing to scrap years worth of RCBS and other dies to replace them with Dillon Dies.

I use mostly RCBS dies because I keep complete repair parts for them at home. The Lee dies have done a very good job for me, too and I've started using Lee taper crimp dies on all of the pistol rounds.

The neat part about reloading gear is that you can use the heck out of it or let it sit. Either way, after the original cost is paid, cost for the press maintenance approaches zero. I have two large shipping trunks that I used to ship all my gear all the way down the center of the US in many moves.

Depreciation on a Dillon press is very low. Other brands may depreciate a lot. I've done very well in selling/trading some of my older units.

Flash
 

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I have the RL550B and LOVE IT! I, luckily didn't have to buy mine. An old friend had it sitting in a barn for ages and gave it to me. I sent it back to Dillon and they refurbished it free of charge. When I got it back I would swear it was a new one, may actually have been, not sure... Have been cranking out tens of thousands of rounds since. I am loading just about the exact same rounds as you without any issues. I like that the cost of dies and tool heads are cheaper than the SD and if I decide to move into rifle calibers I can...


BTW, I load lead, plated and FMJ. Have never experienced the issues that RobertBank has with the hole in the Dillon Die causing OAL variances. I do use Dillon dies and One Shot lube just to make it all run smoother.


Good Luck
Kurt
 
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