So I have a Dillon 550 that I've loaded thousands and thousands of pistol rounds on over he past 12 or so years. Trying to break into rifle reloading, mostly .223 for my new prairie dog bolt gun as well as to help feed the ARs. Would eventually branch into some other low-production rifle stuff (.30-06, 7.5 Swiss, etc.).
But loading rifle intimidates me, especially on a progressive. I've always figured I'd buy a Rock-chucker or something. Learn how to do rifle, step by step, and slowly. So as luck would have it, a good buddy of mine bought a 550 years ago when he saw how much I was shooting, but then he never even set it up. Fast forward eight years and he's divorced, cleaning out his garage, and sells it to me for a song, still dusty in the Dillon packaging. I figure I don't need 2 550s, so maybe I can find a single-stager looking to make the leap to progressive and we trade?
How's this plan sound to you? What would be a good trade? Is the Rock-chucker the obvious press, or what else is out there?
i've got a single stage RCBS rs press, with uniflow powder measure that i'm looking to get rid of. My uncle gave it to me, but i'm looking to load pistol rounds so i've been checking out the 550. interested?
Please use IM's to members if you wish to trade/buy/sell items. Read the Conduct Code (right side of every page) for more info.
As a new member, I will give you a break instead of editing your post. Any questions IM me. dryflash3
Actually, with two 550s as a resource, I'd go the other way, sell both, and get a 650 with casefeeder.
I started pistol on a 550 and then expanded to rifle calibers, specifically the .223. The big difference between pistol and rifle handloading is case prep. You see, with necked cases you have to process your brass ahead of time before you can reload it. As part of the case prep process, you must trim your brass and that can be a pain or a snap depending what you buy to do it.
So you have to handle the brass twice as much as with pistol brass and that's where a casefeeder really shines. Add to that a Dillon trimmer on your case prep cycle and rifle brass isn't as intimidating as it first appears. After I got my 650, casefeeder, and Dillon trimmer, I was in heaven. Below is a writeup I post from time to time showing the steps I use to reload rifle calibers and why I picked the Dillon trimmer over the Giraud.
There are many different steps one can perform on a rifle case prior to reloading it to squeeze the last bit of accuracy out of each round. I require an efficient and timely reloading process. For my needs, I've found many those processes to be too time consuming and unnecessary as I was looking for 1MOA accuracy and speed and ease of reloading and I can achieve that without those extra steps.
Straight walled calibers don't usually require trimming and therefore, can be processed and reloaded in a single cycle. Necked calibers do require trimming and therefore require both a case prep and reloading cycle. It should be noted that no consumer press currently made can perform case prep including trimming of a necked caliber as well as reloading in a single pass. Therefore, a separate case prep cycle followed by a reloading cycle is required with all currently available presses.
That brings me to my choice of a trimmer. While the Giraud is a fine machine, it trims as a completely separate step that requires one to hand process each case. I'm satisfied with the job the Dillon trimmer does and chose it primarily because it is mounted on my case prep toolhead and therefore, it trims during the case prep cycle without me touching the brass. Therefore, it eliminates completely the separate trimming step. In addition, because it is mounted on the press, it will trim the brass to your set length every time the brass is process automatically without any action on your part.
Here are my personal necked rifle reloading steps on my XL650 w/casefeeder for information. I also use a Dillon trimmer in my case prep process. There are other ways to do it, but this works well for me and my XL650 w/casefeeder. I check my brass twice during the brass prep process (after initial cleaning and then again after cleaning the lube off) and then again after I've completed reloading the rounds just to make sure I've caught any bad brass and/or rounds.
Brass Prep (using your case prep toolhead setup):
1. Inspect Brass2. Tumble / Clean Brass - Lizard Litter Walnut & Turtle Wax car polish - 1 hr max
3. Lube Brass - Dillon Spray Lube not One-Shot• Dillon Decapper / Resizer die in #1 - I resize and decap at this stage
4. Install Case Prep Toolhead in XL650 - confirm adjustments
• Dillon Trimmer in #4 - I have the die set to just touch the case but trim at the proper length
5. Drop Brass in Casefeeder and crank handle to Decap / Resize and Trim - if necessary
6. Tumble / Remove Lube - Lizard Litter Walnut - 10 minutes max7. Inspect brass again and Dillon Case Gauge - Lot samples: 10% of total. If question, then gauge every case.
8. Swage - only if needed
9. Store prep'd brass for reloading in future
Note that I neither chamfer, de-burr the case neck, nor clean the primer pockets.
You may decide to include these steps in your process. For me these processes are unnecessary. I don't do Bullseye shooting and never clean my primer pockets to achieve the accuracy I'm looking for and, the Dillon Super Swage does a great job at both removing the crimp and swaging a uniform primer pocket and, the Dillon trimmer leaves a smooth, 4° slanted, bur free edge and, I use boat tailed bullets so inside chamfering to aid in bullet seating has been unnecessary to achieve MOA accuracy.
Reloading (using your reloading toolhead setup):
1. Install Reloading Toolhead in XL650, fill powder measure, primer feed, and bullet bin - confirm adjustments• Lee Universal Decapper die in #1 - to remove any media in flash hole
• Dillon Powder die in #2
• Dillon Powder Check die in #3
• Dillon Bullet Seater in #4• Dillon FCD in #5
2. Drop Brass in Casefeeder and crank handle while adding bullets3. Inspect finished rounds
4. Box and label
Go to range and make empty brass to start cycle once again.
I do all my rifle sizing on a Rock Chucker, finish off the rounds on either a 550B or 650
i have 3 single stage presses on my bench, the only reason i'v thought about getting a progressive is for pistol but i havnt been shooting as much of that recently.
and realy, with 3 single stage presses its prolly not much slower then a progessive, i just have to move from one stage to the next manualy.
yea, i love my single stages presses
Pretty happy with the Lee Classic Cast
My experience. Started loading .223 on the 550B but soon realized I was using it as a pseudo-single-stage. Bought a T-7 turret and couldn't be happier. Still use the 550B for my pistol rounds.
Originally Posted By Mike_Mills:
I think the choices are three - Redding T-7, Forster Coax and RCBS Rockchucker.
If I were buying another single stage it would be the T-7, but the Coax would be tough to pass up. There's nothing wrong with a Rockchucker but these other two have it beat.
I have a Rock Chucker & it works just fine...and I've pondered getting a progressive quite a bit, but I keep going back to the T-7 in my thoughts.
I just like the idea of having 3 sets of dies ready to go with a simple turn of the turret.
Thanks for the info. That T-7 is looking pretty good. Found a guy who might just be at the edge of shooting enough to warrant reloading, and if he starts reloading, of course he'll shoot more. Might sell the press to him for the cost of the T-7. I'm sure I could get a bit more out of it if I tried but every new shooter is a win for all of us.