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Posted: 7/13/2008 3:16:40 PM EDT
Hi,

I am thinking about taking the Dillon plunge. I have a few questions about what to get. I have decided on getting the XL 650. I want to load for .223 and 9mm to start out. I will possibly get into using it for .308 and .45 ACP later on. My first question is, is the strong mount really necessary? I sit down to reload so I am not sure if I should get it or not. Also, since I use my attic as my reloading area, how much space should I have in order to comfortably use the 650 with case feeder? The Dillon web site says that the machine is 38.5'' high with the case feeder, but how much extra clearance is needed to ensure there is enough room to load the feeder, etc.?

My next question is, Are the .223 carbide dies from Dillon worth the extra money? Or should I just get the regular dies? Or even another brand of Dies.

I am planning on reloading for multiple calibers and I want to be able to switch calibers quickly without having to adjust the machine each time. So what is necessary to accomplish this, say for 9mm and .223? I know I need an extra toolhead and powder measure but what else?

I think that is all the questions I have for now. I have been reloading on a single stage for over five years, and I have made several thousand rounds without a problem in case it matters.

Thanks,

Nic
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 3:43:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/13/2008 3:52:32 PM EDT by ma96782]
Read and trade notes with this guy.........

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=42&t=248582

Aloha, Mark

PS.......yes, he has a 550 but the issues are generally the same.
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 4:11:10 PM EDT


My first question is, is the strong mount really necessary? I sit down to reload so I am not sure if I should get it or not. Also, since I use my attic as my reloading area, how much space should I have in order to comfortably use the 650 with case feeder? The Dillon web site says that the machine is 38.5'' high with the case feeder, but how much extra clearance is needed to ensure there is enough room to load the feeder, etc.?


Strong mount isn't absolutely necessary. It's a nice thing to have since you can mount the bullet tray and their wrench set to it.

The case feeder adds about 1 foot to the overall hieght of the machine, you'll want another foot on top of that to toss cases in, to be able to change plates, ideally another 2 feet or so so you can get on a step stool and peek down into the case feeder. I sometimes stick a vaccuum hose up there to suck up stray tumbling media.



My next question is, Are the .223 carbide dies from Dillon worth the extra money? Or should I just get the regular dies? Or even another brand of Dies.


the non carbide dies will serve you well. You'll still have to lube even with the Dillon carbide .223 dies.



I am planning on reloading for multiple calibers and I want to be able to switch calibers quickly without having to adjust the machine each time. So what is necessary to accomplish this, say for 9mm and .223? I know I need an extra toolhead and powder measure but what else?


All you want are dies, extra toolhead, powder die, caliber conversion kit. A whole new powder measure isn't necessary, you can use the same powder measure but will have to switch out the small and large powder feed bars. Technically you can use the same toolhead and powder die but that means having to remove the current dies, add the dies for the new caliber, and readjust them all over again each time you do a caliber change. PITA!

I highly recommend the Dillon powder checker


Link Posted: 7/13/2008 8:27:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Nic4433:
Hi,

I am thinking about taking the Dillon plunge. I have a few questions about what to get. I have decided on getting the XL 650. I want to load for .223 and 9mm to start out. I will possibly get into using it for .308 and .45 ACP later on. My first question is, is the strong mount really necessary? I sit down to reload so I am not sure if I should get it or not. Also, since I use my attic as my reloading area, how much space should I have in order to comfortably use the 650 with case feeder? The Dillon web site says that the machine is 38.5'' high with the case feeder, but how much extra clearance is needed to ensure there is enough room to load the feeder, etc.?

I sit to reload also, no strong mount for my SDB or 550.

My next question is, Are the .223 carbide dies from Dillon worth the extra money? Or should I just get the regular dies? Or even another brand of Dies.

Forget rifle carbide dies, get the Dillon regular dies.

I am planning on reloading for multiple calibers and I want to be able to switch calibers quickly without having to adjust the machine each time. So what is necessary to accomplish this, say for 9mm and .223? I know I need an extra toolhead and powder measure but what else?

I think that is all the questions I have for now. I have been reloading on a single stage for over five years, and I have made several thousand rounds without a problem in case it matters.

Thanks,

Nic
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 9:49:08 PM EDT
First off, I am a newbie at this, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. I've done research and reading books, but have no real practical experience reloading yet.

I am planning on sitting to reload, but I have a pneumatic Craftsman workbench chair, so I went with the strongmount so that I could hang other things off the press (bullet tray, etc). I also went the route of mounting the press to some hardwood and then securing it to my workbench with clamps when I reload (so I can remove it if I need room for other activities) since my workbench is relatively small.

I thought about the 650 instead of the 550, and in the Dillon storefront, you can even get hands-on with all their machines before you buy. I figured that the 650 only added one more station (powder check), and the auto-progressive feature would mean more problems since I am new to reloading. That was my motivation for the 550.

I researched the dies, and ended up with Dillon steel dies. From what I read, the carbide dies will just last longer if you plan on commercial-level reloading. I don't, so I saved a bit and also figured that I might end up getting some Redding competition dies for 223 and 308 down the road anyway.

For each of my calibers, I bought the whole shabang to make changing to different calibers as fast and easy as possible. Mark referenced my earlier post with the items I bought for the caliber changes. All I need to do is swap the already-set-up tool head and the shell plate. Also may have to swap the primer assembly depending on the caliber - but that's fairly easy as well.

Even though it was more expensive, I am glad I went with the Dillon 550 right off the bat. I had it down to the 550 or the 1050 and went with the 550 due to cost and being less complicated.
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 11:03:57 PM EDT
I'd say get two toolheads with two powder measures - one for pistol and one for rifle.

Skip the strong mount. I've never used them and don't need them because my bench is the proper height (I also sit when reloading).

Regular dies are all you'll ever need. A carbide expander ball is a nice addition to standard dies. Redding makes them. It really makes it easier to resize the case.

BTW, Redding makes great dies - the best.
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 3:25:39 PM EDT
Thanks for the replies. It has helped me alot. I have one more question. I am looking at the Dillon pistol die sets. It looks like they are 3 die sets. A resizer/decapper, bullet seater and a taper crimp die. Shouldn't there be a fourth die for expanding the case mouth? OR am missing something?

Also, I already have Redding Rifle dies for .223 with the carbide expander so I will just use those with the Dillon.

Thanks again,

Nic
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 3:49:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Nic4433:
Thanks for the replies. It has helped me alot. I have one more question. I am looking at the Dillon pistol die sets. It looks like they are 3 die sets. A resizer/decapper, bullet seater and a taper crimp die. Shouldn't there be a fourth die for expanding the case mouth? OR am missing something?

Nic


The powder funnel that operates the powder measure expands the case mouth for you for straight wall pistol cartridges
Link Posted: 7/19/2008 3:54:22 PM EDT
You don't need two powder measures between .223 and 9mm. You can just swap the powder bar between the pistol and rifle and your settings will stay very close. Both powder bars are included.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 11:23:52 AM EDT
I thought of more questions. When reloading for a caliber that needs case lube, like .223, you lube the cases, put them in the case feeder, then reload. So wouldn't you have a bunch of loaded ammo that is covered in lube? What do you do to get the lube off? Do you tumble the live ammo, or just leave it?

Also, for caliber conversions, I need to buy a caliber conversion kit and a quick change kit for each caliber, right?

Thanks again,

Nic
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 12:32:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Nic4433:
I thought of more questions. When reloading for a caliber that needs case lube, like .223, you lube the cases, put them in the case feeder, then reload. So wouldn't you have a bunch of loaded ammo that is covered in lube? What do you do to get the lube off? Do you tumble the live ammo, or just leave it?

Also, for caliber conversions, I need to buy a caliber conversion kit and a quick change kit for each caliber, right?

Thanks again,

Nic


Tumble it for a few minutes.

Caliber conversion kit (includes the powder funnel, shell plate and tab thingies. Check your manual, some calibers can use the same shell plates (like .45 ACP and .308), so in those cases, you'd only need the powder funnel.

For me, I was willing to spend a bit more $$ to make it easier, so I bought the quick-change set-up for each caliber that I was going to reload.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 12:45:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2008 1:09:16 PM EDT by ma96782]

Originally Posted By Nic4433:
I thought of more questions. When reloading for a caliber that needs case lube, like .223, you lube the cases, put them in the case feeder, then reload. So wouldn't you have a bunch of loaded ammo that is covered in lube? What do you do to get the lube off? Do you tumble the live ammo, or just leave it?


My way of doing things.........well, differs..........

So, anyway.......my first step is to clean cases. I use a liquid brass cleaning solution to clean cases. I sold my viabaratory case cleaner a longtime a go. I've found, that it's not really needed.

Being that I don't have a viabaratory case cleaner (or tumbler)..........I just give the cases a second bath (to get the lube off) after re-sizing and trimming (or just after re-sizing, either way).

Or.......

You could always just wipe off the empty cases (or loaded ammo) with a cloth dampened with solvent.

Aloha, Mark

PS.........But, IF you got one............use it OR not.


There seems to be a consensus among the ammunition manufacturing engineers that a minute or two of vibratory cleaning has no discernable effect on burning rates, especially for loads that are compressed, or nearly so. However, all have emphasized the need for EXTREME CAUTION not to overdo the process.

They also pointed out that there is a considerable difference in effect on the powder charge depending on whether the process is by "tumbling" or "vibrating." It would appear that tumbling has less effect on the powder than vibrating, though this is mostly a matter of degree. The admonition to use EXTREME CAUTION to insure that the process never exceeds a couple of minutes applies equally to either process.

Taken from...........

http://www.frfrogspad.com/miscellc.htm#tumbling


FYI........RCBS does NOT recommend using their tumbler or vibaratory cleaners with loaded ammo.

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