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Posted: 11/16/2008 7:10:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/16/2008 7:10:28 AM EDT by Zhukov]
I would like opinions on the Dillon presses. Mainly the rl 550 and the xl 650. I have a 10% off coupon for ebay that I have to use by the 30th and I've been thinking of buying a press. I shoot 223/5.56 and .40 s&w I very rarely shoot but I tend to go all out when buying something. I hear the dillons are top of the line. I read on a site that it's cheaper to upgrade the 550, wondering how much cheaper though. I probably won't ever be loading any other calibers so once I get what I need for the 223 and .40 that shouldnt really be an issue anyway. Any advice recommendations appreciated. Thanks!!
Link Posted: 11/16/2008 6:46:16 AM EDT
I have been loading on a 550 for some 15+ years now.

I think the 550 would be a better first press than the 650 for the basic reason that it is simpler and doesn't have auto index.

I learned to hate auto indexing when I loaded on a Square Deal prior to moving to the 550.
Link Posted: 11/16/2008 9:30:47 AM EDT
thanks innocent, can you go into a little more detail on the indexing thing? I assume indexing is the turret turning on its own when you do a cycle??? and why is indexing bad for a beginner? just curious thanks!!
Link Posted: 11/16/2008 12:12:18 PM EDT
imo get the 550. you can always add the case feeder later and be just as fast as the 650 for the 40. for 223/556 you need to prep your brass midway through the process. ie size, trim, clean, then reload. if you are flush with coupons and cash get the square deal for the 40 and 550 for 223.
Link Posted: 11/16/2008 1:20:35 PM EDT
Go for the Koolaid
Link Posted: 11/16/2008 3:55:47 PM EDT
Been reloading .270 and 40 S&W for 5 years now. Looking at doing the .223.
I use a RCBS and have no problems with it. Dillon is a better system but there is nothing wrong with RCBS. I have too much invested to switch and I can do everything on my RCBS that the Dillon can do.
Link Posted: 11/16/2008 7:34:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/16/2008 7:34:40 PM EDT by COSteve]
Originally Posted By Kevenater:
thanks innocent, can you go into a little more detail on the indexing thing? I assume indexing is the turret turning on its own when you do a cycle??? and why is indexing bad for a beginner? just curious thanks!!
Progressive presses don't have a movable turret (the turret holds the dies) but rather a movable shellplate (the shellplate holds the cases). That way you can have a case being processed in every station (hence the name progressive) vs having a complete set of dies rotate to process only one case as is the case with a turret press. The auto indexing vs manual indexing is just the method of how the shellplate moves.

I started reloading on a Dillon 550B and after about 70K+ rounds I sold it to get an XL650 w/casefeeder. I'd suggest that you learn to reload on a 550B as you can operate it like a single stage press at first while you're learning easier than you can do that with a 650. Then as you get more comfortable, you can switch to a progressive method on your 550B. Very nice machine; I would have kept mine if I had the room for both.
Link Posted: 11/17/2008 8:40:40 AM EDT
thanks for the answers, gives me a much better understanding on reloading. Now i'm considering going a different direction.......I'm thinking about just gettin a ""LEE CLASSIC CAST 50 CALIBER KIT" I'm about to be receiving a .50 BMG at the end of the month and think I'll be better off getting something that I can do the .50 on. No more than I shoot i'll probably be better off going that route and save some money on a fancy press that I don't really need, just want lol. I tend to go overboard often.....If I go this route I'll just buy the dies etc that I need to do the .40 and .223 as the classic comes setup for .50 bmg. any more input on this option is greatly appreciated!!!!!!
Link Posted: 11/17/2008 3:53:49 PM EDT
Buy the RL550B. The 500 gives you complete control over the reloading process, including when to cycle the shell plate. Because it is manually cycled, it also makes an excellent single stage press, if/when you need that.
Link Posted: 11/17/2008 5:15:11 PM EDT
I have a 550 and two Square Deals.

Dillon makes a great progressive press.
Link Posted: 11/17/2008 5:28:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kevenater:
thanks for the answers, gives me a much better understanding on reloading. Now i'm considering going a different direction.......I'm thinking about just gettin a ""LEE CLASSIC CAST 50 CALIBER KIT" I'm about to be receiving a .50 BMG at the end of the month and think I'll be better off getting something that I can do the .50 on. No more than I shoot i'll probably be better off going that route and save some money on a fancy press that I don't really need, just want lol. I tend to go overboard often.....If I go this route I'll just buy the dies etc that I need to do the .40 and .223 as the classic comes setup for .50 bmg. any more input on this option is greatly appreciated!!!!!!



I am doing a 1000rd 50 cal job for a customer right now. I am using a Lee setup. It works well. Proper case lube is critical. For the money it does a good job. If I have to complain about one thing, that would be that the prees opening/amount of stroke could be about 3/4" bigger/longer. When you go to put a case in you have to tip the mouth to get it in because the decapping pin sits to low and gets in the way. If you are doing 50 at a time not such a big deal. But at 1000rds it gets annoying.

I would also tell you to get the Wilson 50bmg case trimming kit, with the primer pocket reamer and power adapter. DO NOT forget the Wilson 50bmg headspace/case guage.

Also the Hornady 50bmg powder measure is a good buy.


As for the press the 550 might be the way to go, but my vote will be for the 650 as I have a dislike for manual indexing presses.
Link Posted: 11/17/2008 6:06:22 PM EDT
If it don't have auto indexing don't buy it. That's something you can't upgrade to. You would need to buy another press, basically it means you have to turn the shell plate by hand to each station while operating the press handle.(more work)=(more time). I've used my Hornady pro-jector for 20 years and it's still pumping out brass. Hope this helps
Link Posted: 11/17/2008 6:17:35 PM EDT
I don't get the consensus on NOT getting a 650 as a first.
I did and had NO problems.I just learned the press as you would any new press.
and manually turning it? no way.
as soon as you get into loading you'll do more and wish you got the 650.

I say get a 650 and if you want to specialise get a dedicated press for the 50cal.


I guess I should change my name to XL650 whore
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 7:39:45 AM EDT
Hey Flamethrower, are you familiar with the Lee Deluxe Turret Press Kit??? On another forum they were discussing it. I got the impression that it'll do .50bmg AND it's a turret press. If so, and I could set it up for just a little more than the classic cast with .50 bmg kit, then I'd rather go that way. The deluxe doesn't come with dies like the classic with the .50 kit. but it comes with some other stuff, looks to be a super deal. Just don't know how to compare the two moneywise. Can somebody that knows their stuff go look at the two and come up witha ballpark price for me to do .50 bmg for now. Just can't see buying the single stage when/IF I can get a turret capable of doing .50 for a little more money. I know pretty much nothing bout loading at this point so I don't know what all to figure up on the deluxe to compare its price to the classic cast with the .50 kit. If somebody can do this for me and give me the rundown i'd greatly appreciate it!!!!
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 10:39:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By innocent_bystander:
I have been loading on a 550 for some 15+ years now.

I think the 550 would be a better first press than the 650 for the basic reason that it is simpler and doesn't have auto index.

I learned to hate auto indexing when I loaded on a Square Deal prior to moving to the 550.


Why?
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 1:15:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Kevenater:
Hey Flamethrower, are you familiar with the Lee Deluxe Turret Press Kit??? On another forum they were discussing it. I got the impression that it'll do .50bmg AND it's a turret press. If so, and I could set it up for just a little more than the classic cast with .50 bmg kit, then I'd rather go that way. The deluxe doesn't come with dies like the classic with the .50 kit. but it comes with some other stuff, looks to be a super deal. Just don't know how to compare the two moneywise. Can somebody that knows their stuff go look at the two and come up witha ballpark price for me to do .50 bmg for now. Just can't see buying the single stage when/IF I can get a turret capable of doing .50 for a little more money. I know pretty much nothing bout loading at this point so I don't know what all to figure up on the deluxe to compare its price to the classic cast with the .50 kit. If somebody can do this for me and give me the rundown i'd greatly appreciate it!!!!



I am a Lee dealer. To my knowledge the turret will not do 50bmg. The press is is NOT strong enough, not large enough, and the turret holes will not accomadate either 1-1/4' or 1-1/2" dies.

I do not believ anyone currently makes a turret or progressive press for 50 bmg. You are best off with a single stage for 50bmg at this point. There really is nothing else, unless you want to move up to a hydraulic machine and you have $8,000 to spend.

If you want to load smaller than 50bmg, than go with the 650, get the video all the needed equipment and several good manuals.

If you want I can also sell you Dillon equipment at a better price than most if you are interested.
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 2:07:39 PM EDT
With an auto-indexing setup, can you use it as a single stage press? I like to prime all my brass first and then do the rest progressively. I just like having control over the whole process. Now I've never used an auto-index press so I don't have much to compare but I'm just wondering.
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 2:23:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By dsmegst:
With an auto-indexing setup, can you use it as a single stage press? I like to prime all my brass first and then do the rest progressively. I just like having control over the whole process. Now I've never used an auto-index press so I don't have much to compare but I'm just wondering.


Yes you can to a degree. You can prime all your brass and not do anything else. Just remove the tool head. Of course reffering to the XL650.
Link Posted: 11/18/2008 11:16:49 PM EDT
Just found this on the Lee website, looks like this is probably the one I'm gonna go with!

Lee Classic Turret Press

This press has all the features of the award-winning Turret Press with quality touches that make this the finest, most convenient press to own. The Classic Turret features the solid steel linkage of the Lee Classic Cast. Your first stroke of the hardwood gripped lever will convince you this is one, solid silky smooth press! The sturdy iron base shows its Classic Cast roots.

The long stroke allows rifle cases over three inches long to be loaded using the automatic index. Deactivate the Auto-Index and cases as long as the monster 50 BMG can be loaded. The rigid cast iron frame supports the ram with over 12 square inches of area. The industry's largest ram is drilled completely through to dispense primers in an attached clear PVC tube. Every primer is caught––guaranteed.

Instant change turrets are the same as the famous Lee Turret Press. The Classic Turret uses the new Lee Lever Primer System (LPS) and the Lee Safety Prime tool makes priming on the press a delight.

If you like to own the best, then treat yourself to the Lee Classic Turret. The finest reloading system made.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 5:18:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Kevenater:
Just found this on the Lee website, looks like this is probably the one I'm gonna go with!

Lee Classic Turret Press

This press has all the features of the award-winning Turret Press with quality touches that make this the finest, most convenient press to own. The Classic Turret features the solid steel linkage of the Lee Classic Cast. Your first stroke of the hardwood gripped lever will convince you this is one, solid silky smooth press! The sturdy iron base shows its Classic Cast roots.

The long stroke allows rifle cases over three inches long to be loaded using the automatic index. Deactivate the Auto-Index and cases as long as the monster 50 BMG can be loaded. The rigid cast iron frame supports the ram with over 12 square inches of area. The industry's largest ram is drilled completely through to dispense primers in an attached clear PVC tube. Every primer is caught––guaranteed.

Instant change turrets are the same as the famous Lee Turret Press. The Classic Turret uses the new Lee Lever Primer System (LPS) and the Lee Safety Prime tool makes priming on the press a delight.

If you like to own the best, then treat yourself to the Lee Classic Turret. The finest reloading system made.


I stand corrected. Thank you for the info. I will be going to the Lee plant today then. I will look into this. I could as well use a turret that will do 50bmg. Only issue I see is that you still have to trim brass.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 7:25:07 AM EDT
I'd still like to know why someone would "hate" an auto-indexing system.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 10:50:22 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Flamethrower:
Originally Posted By Kevenater:
Just found this on the Lee website, looks like this is probably the one I'm gonna go with!

Lee Classic Turret Press

This press has all the features of the award-winning Turret Press with quality touches that make this the finest, most convenient press to own. The Classic Turret features the solid steel linkage of the Lee Classic Cast. Your first stroke of the hardwood gripped lever will convince you this is one, solid silky smooth press! The sturdy iron base shows its Classic Cast roots.

The long stroke allows rifle cases over three inches long to be loaded using the automatic index. Deactivate the Auto-Index and cases as long as the monster 50 BMG can be loaded. The rigid cast iron frame supports the ram with over 12 square inches of area. The industry's largest ram is drilled completely through to dispense primers in an attached clear PVC tube. Every primer is caught––guaranteed.

Instant change turrets are the same as the famous Lee Turret Press. The Classic Turret uses the new Lee Lever Primer System (LPS) and the Lee Safety Prime tool makes priming on the press a delight.

If you like to own the best, then treat yourself to the Lee Classic Turret. The finest reloading system made.


I stand corrected. Thank you for the info. I will be going to the Lee plant today then. I will look into this. I could as well use a turret that will do 50bmg. Only issue I see is that you still have to trim brass.


I was at the factory today. The Lee Classic Turret Press will not load 50bmg. There is no adapter to make it work from Lee. It will do calibers "as long as" the monster 50bmg. I don't mean to crush your hopes, I just want you to have the correct info. I still think that if you want a progressive press a Dillon would be a better choice. The Lee 50bmg kit with the classic cast press is still the best choice for the money for your 50bmg.
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 12:17:10 PM EDT
Thanks flamethrower, yep that is crushing news!!! lol BUT if I could get a machinist to copy the turret thing so that the .50 bmg dies would go in it do you think it would work then? So the press is tall enough, just not a turret designed to accept the .50 bmg dies correct?
Link Posted: 11/19/2008 2:09:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2008 2:12:26 PM EDT by Flamethrower]
Originally Posted By Kevenater:
Thanks flamethrower, yep that is crushing news!!! lol BUT if I could get a machinist to copy the turret thing so that the .50 bmg dies would go in it do you think it would work then? So the press is tall enough, just not a turret designed to accept the .50 bmg dies correct?


I looked at that today. I think the whole top plate would have to be remade. I do not think you could just drill and tap the holes, but I am not sure. Might be worth a try.

As for the height. It is tall enough in theory, BUT from the looks of it, it may not auto-index and after measuring my classic cast I think it would have the same problem with the decapping pin protruding down past the case mouth. If you want pictures of how tha cast is with the sizing die and a case I can take some pictures. If you like.

They tell me they are selling s-loads of 50bmg kits. I was there for an hour and a half today with the engineer and we talked about having them make a 50 cal turret press. It sounded promising, but who knows. I think if they would make one they would have the market by the ass and would sell tons of them.

Maybe i should have my Machinest make a turret for me and start selling them.



Link Posted: 11/20/2008 1:55:34 AM EDT
I don't know enough about presses for any pics to do me much good but thanks for the offer!! lol I was wondering, since lee makes custom dies for people they should be able to make me a custom turret that would work on the classic turret. I can't believe they don't already have them. I'm sure alot of others have probably called them and asked for them...seems likely at least. I sure like that turret press and that's the one I want!! May have to settle for the classic with bmg kit though. I'm gonna call lee friday and see if they can come up with something for the turret though. seems easy to me but I dont know much like I said.... I sure appreciate your help!! I'll keep you updated.
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