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Thread: Why Dillon will always be my main press

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Thumbs up Why Dillon will always be my main press

    I purchased my first Dillon RL550 Used off of craigslist 4 years ago and got a steel of a deal on it. An older gentleman was getting out of the hobby and was selling all of his reloading equipment for $650. Got the Press with all the bells and whistles, 8 sets of dies and quick change stations, CV500, separator, scales, caliper, manuals and more! (added it all up and would have been $3k+ new for everything I got in the deal.) Got up and running with it quite quickly and very happy with the results.

    1st encounter with Dillon Support and warranty:
    When setting up found I was missing a few parts and a couple pieces were warn out. I contacted Dillon to purchase the new parts I needed and at the end of the conversation I was told new parts were on the way at no cost!?! Extremely pleased and received everything quickly to boot! Didn't even know about the warranty until this call!

    2nd encounter with Dillon Support:
    After mastering reloading in 9mm and 45ACP I wanted to expand into some other calibers that came with the kit but I noticed the powder safety system was different on several of my powder drops compared to the two primary ones I used. I contacted Dillon and found out that over the years they had come up with an improved version of the powder drop system hence the changes (I know some debate the improvements but I rather be safe than sorry) Since the return springs were rusted and needed to be replaced anyway I opted to upgrade them all to the newest system. Again to my pleasant surprise no charge!

    Recently I purchased the RL550 Case Feeder (after finally seeing a few personal reviews on it) to speed up my reloading process (mainly for decapping the brass prior to cleaning. I like to have the primer pockets cleaned at the same time) I had thousands of 9mm/45ACP brass to deprime and clean. So I went online and purchased the case Feeder brand new from Brian Enos. Received the unit in perfect shape and right on time. Went to install the unit and found that things didn't line up quite as they should. I'm a pretty handy guy when it comes to mechanics and I was pretty sure it wasn't just me so I dropped Dillon an email explaining what I found. It may be better to share the correspondence from here:

    First email to Dillon:
    I just purchased the case feeder for my rl550. I am having some fitment issues and not sure what to do. My aluminum roller handle hits the case feeder unless I rotate it a full 90 degree making it unusable. Also the primer feed rod where the wheels roll on interferes with the case feeder on the other side. I tried rotating the guide but that doesn't seem to make any difference. Also when the head is raised to the top position it seems to interfere with the head causing a small deflection. Looking for guidance in what I can do.

    To this I received an email back the next day:
    It sounds like you have an early RL550 machine. We need to change the crank and regrind the frame profile for theses to work. Send your address information (back with this email) and we’ll create a Return Merchandise Authorization for repair for you.

    Note: earlier this same week I had found another RL450 upgraded to RL550 again on craigslist and had purchased it along with lots of brass, dies, bullets and more. Figure if I was going to be able to easily reload rifle I would NEED a second press so I wouldn't have to pull the case feeder off and on all the time right? Besides if I wanted to still be able to take advantage of all my current quick change heads and plates it would have to be another RL550.

    So I gave Dillon a call before sending in the first one to discuss the new unit I had just received as it had the older frame design also. I wanted to make sure I could move the case feeder back and forth between the two if I needed. The new unit also had some missing pieces to the auto prime system so while it was in I asked them to install a new unit ($80.95) and I would pay for it and also agreed to pay for a "clean and lube" maintenance fee of $47.95 each to have the units brought up to spec/refurbished conditions. My original unit had a lot of play in the head left to right and has a fair amount of play in it. The other was really tight but needed cleaning and a tune up. It even still had the old RL450 Arms.

    I received RMA numbers for both of the units and shipped them off to Dillon for service. I was told service could take up to 4-5 weeks for turn around. Which was fine with me.

    Two weeks go buy and I get a shipping notice and the units show up. Open up the boxes and low and behold two full reconditioned RL550's!!! And the kicker? A couple of invoices showing 142 dollars of repairs to one and another 127 to the other..... with a total balance due of $0.00

    So now I am the proud owner of two brand new condition RL550's with a speedy case feeder that YES it does make a difference!

    A+++ to you Dillon! Customer for life!

  2. #2
    I've only had to use there customer service a couple times, and it was no questions asked, parts on the way.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    hiram1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    i have a rockchuker and 3 dillons and want to get more dillons i love there no bs thing and it has always worked for me.you dont have to use it a lot but if you do it is there .

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Texas Hill Country
    I had a low primer warning buzzer go out. It just quit working, was not from leaving a dead battery in too long either. They told me it was not covered. I've always read and heard about how great they were. Not to me.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    N.E. Missouri
    Quote Originally Posted by L1A1Rocker View Post
    I had a low primer warning buzzer go out. It just quit working, was not from leaving a dead battery in too long either. They told me it was not covered. I've always read and heard about how great they were. Not to me.
    Stuff like that is only covered for a year , now if you had called about it having a broken case, repair parts would be on the way BTDT

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    DCM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Upper midwest
    Electrical stuff is covered for 1 year.

    My son decided to use the gorilla method to try and open my media separator years back and broke one of the latches. I called Dillon and tried to order a new one. I told them exactly what happened and they said a new one was on the way, and refused to let me pay for it!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    N edge of D/FW Metromess
    I'm a proud owner of one of the very first 550's. Instructions were Xerox copies with handwritten notes but very clear. Had several problems but Rob Leatham had one of the first (prototype?) units and when he had a problem, they developed a fix and they were ready when I called. All the folks I talked to were reloaders, knew the machine and a few got to know me. Instructions were always clear but more than once were handwritten and copied. I never missed a match due to a broken machine and all repair parts were free. I wound up purchasing several upgrades and tool heads. Their dies worked better with their machine than anyone else's so I bought a few sets of them as well.
    Some folks may say I was a volunteer Beta tester but I feel like I got the best machine available for the money and it came with world-class customer service.
    I recently brought the old soldier out of retirement and after several hundred rounds something broke. Web site was a new experience but the excellent customer service hasn't changed.
    Endowment Life Member NRA, Life Member TSRA, Member WACA, NRA Whittington Center, BBHC
    Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
    I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
    Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Bryan, TX
    I changed from loading 45acp to 223. Didn't change out the powder measure with the one with the large powder bar. Starting cranking on the powder nut to increase the grains... needless to day the small bar, doesn't go up to 23 grains. Ended up snapping the nut. Called Dillon. Told them what I did and they wouldn't let me pay for the replacement parts.

    Dillon support is awesome.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check