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4/18/2021 9:59:29 PM
Posted: 4/19/2017 8:45:03 PM EDT
Okay everyone, I've recently been "informed" by the wife that I should start reloading in an effort to save money (especially since most of my purchased target ammo is reloads anyway) so I'm looking to you to help me spend my money.

I've been looking at the Dillon Precision XL650 and Super 1050 (want to get the best to start to save on upgrades later).

The only issue I've seen that is keeping me from 'biting the bullet' on the 1050 is that I've read reloading .300 BLK is a massive pain involving retooling parts that I don't want to bother with.

The XL650 doesn't seem to have these issues, but I want to be able to get the best volume-value-caliber range I can.

I wouldn't be against getting a Lee or RCBS single stage or turret press in the future for more specialty type ammo (i.e. precision long range, hunting, etc.).

I plan on reloading at least to start: 9mm, 5.56 (maybe .223 for target), .300 BLK, .308 for my next build (custom AR10, should be fun).

I know that I'll need dies, calipers, tumbler, head space gauges, case lube, powder scale, and of course consumables.

Looking for anything I may be missing, and any advice on what to buy (favorite brands, etc) and which press ya'll think I should go with.

Thank you all! AR15 has never let me down in the past and I hope it won't now!
Link Posted: 4/19/2017 8:57:20 PM EDT
Welcome to the dark side. Best advise I can give you is a couple of things. Start with a Rockchucker package. Ever hear of starting a new shooter on iron sights? Same with reloading, get the mechanics down with a single stage press first.
2nd: DONT get the Dillion 1050! I have one and love it but it is basically a one caliper set-up. I also have two Rockchuckers and Lock and load Hornady progressive.
The 1050 is set up for .45's, such a pain to switch over that is all I load with it. The Lock and Load is set up for .223, I switch it over once in a while but there is little else ammo I need any quantity of. All my other stuff is loaded with the Rockchuckers. If you want to load 45-70 your not likely to need more then a 100 rounds, easy set up, load them and done. All my other rounds, 30-06, 338 etc are all small numbers. 20-50 rounds.
If you go with a Dillion the 650 is a great way to go. Much easier to convert then the 1050.
Just my 2 cents.

Edit: 223 is hardly worth loading for just bangity bangity rounds, I load them for accuracy. If I am just going to blow rounds off with my kid I just buy 500 or so. You can get them for .33-.36 cents a round and they will cost you .26-28 to load.
Link Posted: 4/19/2017 10:14:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/19/2017 10:23:52 PM EDT
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Quoted:
We have several posters here that load multiple calibers on a 1050, hopefully they will see this and post.

I don't have a 1050, but I never heard about issues loading 300 blk on one.

Matter of fact I have loaded 300 blk on a friends 1050, it works fine.

I load on a 550 and some SDB's, if I was choosing between a 650 and a 1050, I would pick the 1050.

From the above you can probably guess I'm not a 650 fan. But that's why Dillon makes different presses so you can get what you like.
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Nobody said a 1050 has a problem loading 300 blk. you totally missed the point, a 1050 is a lot to change from caliper to caliper, if your not loading 1000 rounds of each caliper it is not worth the time to switch it over.
A 650 is much faster to switch over.

And did you switch it to another caliper after you loaded with it????? You loaded 300 blk with it because he had it set up for 300 blk and he wanted all the 300 blk loaded he could think of before he broke it down and went to another caliper.
Link Posted: 4/19/2017 10:59:00 PM EDT
2-650s 1 small primer and the other large.  I have heard the 1050 is considered a commercial unit and isn't covered under the same warranty?  2-RL 100s one small and one large primer.  Dies, and all the setup for each calibers. 2 RCBS ChargeMasters and Dillon trimer and you are ready to go.
Link Posted: 4/19/2017 10:59:18 PM EDT
4 calibers with a 650 with case feed and quick change setups.

1400 bucks.

This does not include dies.

I love my 650! Sorry Dryflash
Link Posted: 4/19/2017 11:57:47 PM EDT
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Quoted:


Nobody said a 1050 has a problem loading 300 blk. you totally missed the point, a 1050 is a lot to change from caliper to caliper, if your not loading 1000 rounds of each caliper it is not worth the time to switch it over.
A 650 is much faster to switch over.

And did you switch it to another caliper after you loaded with it????? You loaded 300 blk with it because he had it set up for 300 blk and he wanted all the 300 blk loaded he could think of before he broke it down and went to another caliper.
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I used to think this too. If you only have a few calibers, then get the toolheads too. They are not as cheap as 650's, but they not just a piece of aluminum either.

I have gotten really fast at switch overs (even if I don't have a dedicated toolhead). I use Hornady lock rings for some calibers.

I then turn my autodrive on which speeds up the 1050 beyond what is humanly possible. Huge time savings making a setup session not so bad.

I agree with Dryflash. I like my 550 too. I don't like a few things about the 650 so I went all in with a 1050 (or two). One thing about the 1050 is that there are not a lot of "adjustments". Unlike other brands of presses. I have owned Hornady and RCBS. They both take a lot of time "adjusting" things (case feeders, etc). You never get them working 100%. The 1050 runs nearly flawless.

OP,
Only thing you need for 300BO on a 1050 is a "trim toolhead" if you plan to buy a dillon trimmer. If you are new to reloading, I do NOT suggest starting with 300BO. But if you plan to load a lot of 300BO, 1050 is a fine press.

good luck!
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 2:19:04 AM EDT
I get tired of reading all the crap about how hard it is to switch over a 1050. It ain't that hard, and I'm never in a hurry anyway, I take the time to clean and inspect, set it up properly.

All My load development, and precision work is done on a LEE Classic and Forster CO-AX.

Ideally I'd have a S1050, XL650, 550, Couple LEE Classic's and a Forster CO-AX, and a 40' x 80' heated shop with heated floor, and about 80' of bench in a 25' x 25' dedicated reloading room.

But it ain't ever gonna happen.

OP, You need to read the threads at the top of the page, and start with a SS kit. You WILL need a SS press no matter what. Cut your teeth and see if you like it, then go BIG. You will save money by buying the good stuff right off the bat.

But, you will actually never save any money reloading.You will have more fun, better ammo and a whole new addiction.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 6:03:34 AM EDT
My favorite do all press is a Redding T-7 turret press. Good enough quality to load precision loads, but not so expensive to buy dies and shell holders for odd ball sizes. If you have a lot of different calibers you load for extra turrets are about $70 and hold 7dies.

I have a Dillon 650 for 9mm and 223. I have a Mr. Bulletfeeder on it for 9mm. 223 requires 2 passes though the press, prep brass and then for loading.

I also have an older 550 for 45 and 6.8, for 308 those are all done on the T-7 since they are all precision rounds and want a very precise powder charge.

Only real advantage the 1050 has over the 650 is the ability to swage primer pockets on 9mm and for brass prepping 556.

For 300 Blackout the easy way to load it is is buy prepped brass and just load it. You can buy outright 300 Blackout for $120-130 per thousand ready to reload. For plinking, testing at the range I use a brass catcher on my rifles so I can size and reload my prepped brass again. Only place I lose my brass is at matches.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 7:58:11 AM EDT
I have a Dillon XL650 (and LOVE it) and a Lee Classic Turret Press (LCT). You can pick up the LCT for just over $100, and it is a great press to learn on as you are focusing on one step at a time, but since it has an auto-advance function, it is *much* faster than a single-stage.

If you have the cash, I would buy both and learn for a month or two on the LCT, then switch over your production work to the XL650 and use the LCT for load workups and some precision work (although the LCT is not what I could call a precision press, get the Co-Ax for that!).

You can use the same dies on the LCT as the Dillon, so you are really only out may $150 extra (press + priming system + powder drop). If you hate it later, you can always sell it for $75 or so and recoup a lot of the cost.

Starting out on a progressive such as the XL650 can be done, but there is so much going on at once that it can get overwhelming for the new reloader IMHO.

Also: Get some books and start reading!!! I recommend two books to all new reloaders:

1) Lyman 50th Edition
2) ABS's of Reloading - by James

Tons of great information in those two books that will help a *lot*. I have read them both several times over (well, an older version of the Lyman, but still the same...).

Also, get a good scale. Even if you end up with an electronic scale (don't skimp here, get a good one), be sure to get a good old-fashioned beam scale as well. You might be able to still find the RCBS 5-0-5 around somewhere on sale. They have been discontinued recently, but are still pretty easy to find. I have an RCBS Chargemaster 1500 that I love (look for YouTube videos if you are not familiar with them). It is an auto-dispenser combined with a scale. The auto-dispenser part is a wonderful friend when it comes time to do load development.

Best of luck!!!
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 9:03:00 AM EDT
You are a long, long way away from saving money.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 10:46:54 AM EDT
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Quoted:
You are a long, long way away from saving money.
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Shhhhhhh... don't say that so loud!!! My wife thinks we are saving tons of money by reloading!!!
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 11:54:23 AM EDT
Boy is your wife going to be pissed when she discovers how much your reloading equipment and supplies cost.

Everyone needs a single stage. Lee's Classic Cast Iron press is as good as any and cheaper. A RCBS Rock Chuck is top notch as well. One or the other should be on your bench.

I personally think a Dillon 550 would be a great press for several reasons. The manual indexing will allow you to carefully watch each step of the process. The caliber changes are relatively simple. It allows for an easy 300 to 350 rounds per hour at a casual pace. That's fast enough for me and I've been shooting twice a week lately.

Buy better dies. Forster or Redding full length dies with their match grade micrometer seaters are worth the extra money. Dillon pistol seating dies are a requirement if you plan to shoot lead bullets in your handguns. The have a cotter key that allows you to disassemble them for cleaning (built up lead and lube) without changing your die adjustments.

I won't promote Lee dies mainly because they look and feel cheap. (They are cheap). They work just fine, but there lock rings are not lock rings. If you buy Lee dies purchase a set of real lock rings from one of their competitors, the type that use a hex head bolt or screw to hold the lock ring firmly in place. If you don't, every time you swap dies you'll have adjust everything all over again.  

DO NOT BUY A MANUAL TRIMMER! You will hate it inside a year. Buy Giraud's drill press/power drill unit that trims, deburs and chamfers in one pass.

Since you are just getting started you should consider wet tumbling with stainless steel pins. Nothing works better and the brass looks like it's brand new when you're done. The main benefit is every primer pocket is spotless and so is the interior of the case.

You'll need a bullet puller and a cheap Kinetic style works just fine. I prefer balance beam scales. Good electronic scales are expensive, the balance beam will last your lifetime unless you drop it or step on it.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 11:59:26 AM EDT
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Quoted:
Shhhhhhh... don't say that so loud!!! My wife thinks we are saving tons of money by reloading!!!
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Quoted:
Quoted:
You are a long, long way away from saving money.
Shhhhhhh... don't say that so loud!!! My wife thinks we are saving tons of money by reloading!!!
Load 200 300gr Sierra MK 338 Lapua rounds and see the savings vs store bought kick in really fast. By the time I shoot out my barrel, most of my reloading "fixed" costs would be covered. ;)

All depends what u load.
Link Posted: 4/20/2017 12:04:40 PM EDT
BTW - I own two 550B's, one set-up for small primers te other set-up for large. One Lee Classic Cast single stage, two RCBS Rock Chuckers, one Redding Boss and one Lee cheapo press that's dedicated to decapping only. The cheap Lee press I use for decapping cost around $10.00 new, I think they are $25.00+/- now. It's so worn out I have to wiggle the ram to align the decapping pin in each case. Perhaps it's time to buy another?

You can save a lot of money buying equipment used. Estate sales, online auctions etc. are all good sources for this equipment. Lots of people buy reloading equipment and never really use it that much. I think it's close to impossible to wear a good press out. They can get ruined by being left to rust, but well cared for and stored inside they will last several lifetimes.
Link Posted: 4/21/2017 11:17:33 AM EDT
I'd go with a 550 or 650.  I skipped the single stage learning process and started on the 550, now I have a 650.
Link Posted: 4/21/2017 6:32:06 PM EDT
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Quoted:
We have several posters here that load multiple calibers on a 1050, hopefully they will see this and post.

I don't have a 1050, but I never heard about issues loading 300 blk on one.

Matter of fact I have loaded 300 blk on a friends 1050, it works fine.

I load on a 550 and some SDB's, if I was choosing between a 650 and a 1050, I would pick the 1050.

From the above you can probably guess I'm not a 650 fan. But that's why Dillon makes different presses so you can get what you like.
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Here I am. I have 2 1050's and a 550. I stumbled into good deals to get the 1050's. I spent the extra coin to get extra quick change kits and everything stays in place. When I change calibers, I change the tool head and shell plate, then primer slide and magazine tube if necessary.

If I added up the cost for each caliber, I know it is expensive. I load 308, 223, 9mm, 45ACP, and just picked up stuff to load 300BO. Quick change kits are $276, then dies and conversion kits, $127 each. So a little over $400 + dies for each caliber. It takes about 10 minutes to change the press over to a different caliber. Confirm all the die settings and you are off and running.

Now for a 650, It's a bit cheaper, but you don't get to swage on the press. So that adds another step to the brass prep. I get a bit of crimped brass, so that is important to think about. If you do the crimped brass, that is another step with a Swager, reamer or something to that effect.

Anyway, you must remember this will not save you money. You will either shoot more. Buy more supplies and load more ammo to keep on hand. Or you will hate it and sell everything.
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