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Thinking about setting up a progressive press for 9mm, 38, 357, 44 and 223, have never seen a Dillon in person, but I believe they are supposed to be the best. If so, which model is best. Other brands? Any help would be appreciated. I'm actually setting it up for my grandson who is in Africa (Ranger), will be back in a year, and I'm turning everything over to him.

Last edited by DouginLa; 01/24/23.

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I was looking at their 550’s just today. Never owned one, but brother in law has one. Another friend has the big Hornady Ammo Plant. I’ve only ever ran the Dillon once, and that was a good while back.

I always said my Rock Chucker was enough, but reloading is taking too damn long in my old age.

No real experience, just musings.

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Hornady all day.....
But if Dillon 750
Got both, no problems with either. Just prefer red

Last edited by LeeC; 01/24/23.
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Originally Posted by LeeC
Hornady all day.....
But if Dillon 750
Got both, no problems with either. Just prefer red
Dillon needs it's own dies? And Hornady uses your existing dies? Is this correct?

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Dillon can use any 7/8 dies. Their dies offer some efficiencies in the their press though like spring loaded decaps pins and some other features.

Pros of the 550:
Quick to change for another caliber
Simpler in use
Doesn't auto-index (Con: Can also be a con which may lead to a double-charge if not paying attention)

Cons of the 550:
Can not use a powder check due to only having 4 stations

Pros of the 750:
Has more stations allowing for a powder check
Auto-index (Cons: Can create a bigger problem if load is wrong and not caught in time)

Cons of the 750:
Slower to switch calibers if loading multiple calibers
Components more expensive (quick change systems, etc)

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I have a 650 and 550 and there is no comparison. The 650 with case feed is 2 times as fast, maybe even faster.

The change over from different calibers isn’t that big of a deal, I don’t understand the criticism of that when both take time to change shell plates and tool heads.

If you are just loading pistol cartridges, you may want to consider the Square Deal loaders, they are much cheaper and work well.

Dillon has no peer in reloaders. They work and if you have any issues they will help over the phone and are very knowledgeable. I have sent my press back for reconditioning at no charge. No one makes as good a progressive and stands behind it like Dillon…


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XL 750

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I have only ever used the Square Deal B because I don't reload center fire rifle in big volumes. It does take it's own dies,not 7/8".

I have loaded 9mm, 38 sp, .357 mag, 45 ACP, and 44 mag on mine. 44mag, I found I was stretching it's capability a bit and I ended up sizing on a std RCBS Rock Chucke first.

Along with all Dillon systems they have gone up in price tremendously. You get one caliber of your choice with purchase, all set up ready to go. Complete shell holder plates and tool heads for other calibers, I think are about $125 each now.

Average volume is about 300 rounds per hour. They quote more. I may get 400 but that is pushing it and I get mistakes every once in awhile.

Consider it if there is no likely hood of wanting large volume of center fire rounds be loaded.

If .223 is in the mix, step up to the next bigger model


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I’m looking at the basic 550.
I just want to size and bell on the press, then prime and dump powder outside of the press, the seat and crimp on the press.
Not the way most guys do it, but a better “fit” for me.
Plus I don’t have to buy their dies.

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Originally Posted by Potsy
I’m looking at the basic 550.
I just want to size and bell on the press, then prime and dump powder outside of the press, the seat and crimp on the press.
Not the way most guys do it, but a better “fit” for me.
Plus I don’t have to buy their dies.

You don’t have to buy their dies anyway…


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I'm learning a lot, I read up on them, several different company's, reading the reviews on them. It will be a gift for my grandson when he gets back to the states and settles in. I will probably turn everything over to him. One thing for sure, he won't have to buy powder and primers for a long time.

Please keep 'em coming.

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When I went looking at what to buy, I wound up buying the Square Deal B. It only does pistol calibers, but I love it. I do rifle cases on a single stage Rock chuckerII. I am very happy with my set up. I usually leave it set up on 9mm which I shoot the most. You will have to figure out what is best for your application. Good luck.

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Have all three (550, 650, Ammo Plant).

IF you are needing to reload in high volume, go with 650/750. 800 per hour is the norm. YOU have to keep the monster fed with the ingredients.

The red item is finicky. Sorry, it just is.

550 - CAN be used with a no/low powder sensor, if you seat and crimp with one die.

Output of the 550 is 300 per hour, without breaking a sweat, regardless of caliber.

There is more aftermarket items offered for the Dillon brand. Only non Dillon item that I use - dead primer catch tray. Strong mount, roller handle, bullet tray.....and you are set.

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Had a 550...gave it away..
Like I said above Hornady LNL, or 750..auto indexing to keep you out of trouble. Any die will work with both
I have put 5 LNL together. In every instance From box to loading in 30 minutes. Including strong mount, roller handle, tool holder
I get tired of people pissing on the LNL, if you have trouble with it, then you are not good enough to put it together.
Both companies make lemons, but the majority are good loaders. I have more love for Dillon, than Hornady, but The LNL is my pick.
I have green, red, blue, so I use what works.I dont drink any Cool aide
I have no prejudice, I have both

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Another question, we will use the .223 for an example, I have only used single stage presses, but on a progressive how do you resize the case? I use one shot on my press, but how can that work on a progressive without extra steps? Do they make carbide dies I'm not aware of for a .223, and I don't mean Lymans carbide as my understanding it is the center bell sizer and not the die itself? I have all kind of tumblers to shine the cases with, which is easy to do now, but with a progressive?

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You need to lube the case. What you use for lube is up to you. You can tumble the loaded cartridges, wipe them down individually, or do nothing - depends on the lube.

For example, I've used Ideal Wire Pulling Lube and it dries completely leaving nothing but a hazy smudge on shiney brass. I've also used Johnson's Paste Wax which dries completely. And I've used Hornady One Shot, which is the most expensive but easiest to apply in bulk. And on and on. If I don't like the finish, I toss the rounds in the tumbler for cleanup

Last edited by dla; 01/26/23.
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Originally Posted by shrapnel
Dillon has no peer in reloaders. They work and if you have any issues they will help over the phone and are very knowledgeable. I have sent my press back for reconditioning at no charge. No one makes as good a progressive and stands behind it like Dillon…
This^^^^


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Originally Posted by dla
You need to lube the case. What you use for lube is up to you. You can tumble the loaded cartridges, wipe them down individually, or do nothing - depends on the lube.

For example, I've used Ideal Wire Pulling Lube and it dries completely leaving nothing but a hazy smudge on shiney brass. I've also used Johnson's Paste Wax which dries completely. And I've used Hornady One Shot, which is the most expensive but easiest to apply in bulk. And on and on. If I don't like the finish, I toss the rounds in the tumbler for cleanup
Kinda what I figured.

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I have had 2 or 3 650's (now they are upgraded and called 750's), I have a 550 and a Square deal. If I were starting from scratch, I would buy a 750 and call it a day.


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I have a shotgun so I have no need for a 30-06.....
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I've had a Dillon 450 for will over 30 years. Even looking at their newest catalog that I got last week, I can't see any difference between it and a 550, other than some available add ons for the 550. My Dillon will accept any 7/8" dies. I use RCBS, Lee, Hornady (it doesn't matter) dies in mine.

I mainly use my Dillon, with their powder measurer, for all of my pistol reloading and my .223 and .308 Win reloading. I use carbide size dies for pistol reloading and Lee collet neck size dies for my rifles. My .223 and .308 rifle reloads are consistantly accurate enough to hit golf balls at 100 yards, a 10" steel plate at 300 yards, and the 15" steel at 430 yards.

I shimmed up under the die holder on my Rockchucker press so I can interchange my loading dies between my Dillon and Rockchecker presses without having to make any adjustments.


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