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Thread: Search ? on progressive press

  1. #81
    Boolit Master
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    All you guys with POS Lee Loadmasters.....I will pay postage for the first couple that will ship them to me.

    charlie

  2. #82
    Boolit Master trixter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc_Stihl View Post
    I keep popping into these threads to say.... "Check out the RCBS Pro 2000".
    Best priming system in the business in my opinion. 6 Stations. VERY EASY to convert calibers and primer size.
    I would concur on this one. I just set one up on my bench and very simple set up and smooth as glass. I took my time and from un-boxing to reloading In 5 hours. I took my time and made sure everything was clean of preservative and oiled and all went smooth.

  3. #83
    Boolit Master
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    I don't want to get into the, "I use brand X so I think you should validate my decision and use brand X also" BUT I'm going to do just that.

    I've used a Dillon 550 to load tens of thousands of rounds and it's an impressive machine. Equally as impressive is the service from Dillon. RCBS and Dillon are two companies that I'm loyal to because of their excellent customer service. The Hornady LNL looks like a good press but I'm happy with the blue one. The only small complainant I have is the priming system. It works but switching from large to small primers takes more effort than it should. The obvious solution is to have two 550's, one set up for small primers and the other set up for large primers. Changing calibers within the same primer size is quick and easy.
    I've used a 650 but frankly I'm very happy with the 550. For the money I don't think you can find a more durable machine that can consistently produce rounds at 400 + per hour. I don't need or want auto indexing. I don't need a case feeder. And with pre-loaded primer tubes 400 rounds an hour is easy and I'm sure I could exceed that if I wanted.
    The 550 is a solid machine. Simple is a good thing.

  4. #84
    Boolit Master Gliden07's Avatar
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    I have to say I started with a Pro 1000 (Given to me) learned the way a progressive works. Wanted a better progressive and did tons of research!! Settled on 2 companies Dillon (550 or the 650) and Hornady (LNL AP). I did not consider the Square Deal because of there propitiatory dies (already had dies for pro 1000) and its inability to load rifle cartridges. After pulling out what little hair I had left, I decided that I wanted full progressive so that left me with the 650 or the LNL! At the end of the day dollar for dollar I couldn't afford the 650! I bought the LNL AP and it works fine! I bought it at Cabelas and after all the discounts and points off on my card the LNL out the door cost me $185 plus or minus 5 bucks!! I still have my PRO 1000 and use it for loading 45 ACP. I think any of the Loaders listed in this thread will do what you want to do but remember no matter whose you choose there will be a learning curve. In retrospect the PRO 1000 was not a good progressive to learn on but it did teach me patience LOL!!!!
    45 ACP because shooting more than once is just silly!!

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

  5. #85
    Boolit Master
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    Search ? on progressive press

    Quote Originally Posted by alleyoop View Post
    I think I've seen it here before but had no luck searching. I think someone posted a head to head comparison of the big 3 progressive presses, any help locating would be great. I'm tired of fooling with the loadmaster, the piggyback I'll keep but I'm thinking I want a real progressive. Thanks
    Let's just make it a sticky.

    Always surprised it's not the big 4. RCBS gets no love? Not that I own one, but I never see any reviews.

    I must say,this is right up there with the best forum rivalries, like Stihl vs. Husqvarna over on The Arborist.

  6. #86
    Boolit Master



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    Here is comparison

    http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillon...Comparison.pdf

    Hard to to make an article a sticky without permission I would think.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  7. #87
    Amazing that this topic is still getting action after a year. This could become as big as "witch is better 38 special or 9mm"
    Bill

  8. #88
    Boolit Man

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    Ok it's been a little over a year since I ask the original question. The big question for me then was LNL or 650 with the Pro 2000 on the back burner. After reading here and the comparison in post # 86 and several earlier post, green was out of the running. I stopped in @ Graf & Sons and they had several presses set up, after seeing the LNL and the 650 side by side I went blue. As the first year of using the 650 comes to an end, I have no regrets other than waiting so long to get one. Thanks for everyone's help.
    Noli Me Tangere

  9. #89
    Boolit Master
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    I have owned and loaded 10's of thousands of rounds on a lee and a dillon and loaded maybe 5000 rounds on a lnl.

    The lee after several mods worked well for me and the ammo was fine in my rugers and 1892 for cowboy action shooting. However the primer seating depth was never consistant. A friends 1873 colt clone would lock up due to a high primer every 300 rounds or so due to a slightly high primer.

    Also while change over on the lee was quick it took a lot of fiddling in adjustments to get the next round running right. I would leave a lee set up on one round if I still owned it. I like the auto disk powder measure after I converted it over to rod return instead of chain.

    I bought a used dillon 650 and every thing was right as rain. It's had a small primer feed issue and new parts were free and quick to arrive. I wish I could dump primers into a flip tray like lee and not use a primer pickup tube but I am happy with the press. I find the dillon powder measure to be acurrate without fault. Just as accurate as my rcbs uniflow or lee auto disk. Never has varied more than a 10th of a grain. Also I have one measure for 4 calibers and don't understand the issues with setting it up? I have a 7/16 socket on a screwdriver type handle. I open the charge bar fully( don't over tighten). Then open it how many turns I need (written down from reloading log). A uniquetek micrometer would be even better for those who can't count turns. I end up whith in 2 tenths nearly every time.

    My my shooting buddy and neighbor has a lnl. It's an early one and has priming issues. No one can get it to prime consistently and it skips one every 100~ rounds. This cause powder to dump and then really slows things down. Hornady is more than willing to send parts but won't exchange it or take it back and rebuild/repair it like dillon will(it's an early model) It is very picky about clean primer pockets as well and will leave a high primer every so often. I am a mechanic and machinist and could not make it work. I reloaded a years worth of ammo trying to pin down the priming issues for him.

    He finally gave up and primes off press and things work ok but why buy a progressive. He paid for a tool head for my 650 and reloads 44 special on my press now as that's his high volume round.

    I resisted buying a dillon for years because of price. I would have never bought one if I had not come across a used one at a really good price. (Dillon you will almost alway get 80% of your money back). Looking back it would have been cheaper and less frustrating if I had just ponied up and spent the money for a 650. If your not willing to pay for the case feeder on a 650 get a 550.

    They are pretty worthless without a case feeder. But again, pony up as the case feeder is awesome!

  10. #90
    Boolit Master
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    my lee loadmaster is "ok" to powder, seat and crimp.

    have to manually feed cases.

    IMO, casefeeder is ****, and priming is even worse.
    I have completely stopped trying to make priming work. it doesnt work on my machine.
    I just manually resize and re-prime every case on a lee single stage. works ok. processing brass twice kind of pisses me off, I am considering a 650. dump cases into feeder, crank handle, done...

  11. #91
    Boolit Master
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    oh and if you care, I'm buying a dillon xl650 one day.
    I might even sell a few pistols to buy it. or not :P

  12. #92
    You won't be sorry.
    Bill

  13. #93
    Boolit Mold
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    Progressive presses

    Being a Bullseye pistol shooter and shoot allot. I have two Dillon Square Deals which I'm very happy with. The price may scare you, but they are guaranteed for life. Send one out a few years ago and they rebuild it completely.

  14. #94
    Boolit Man
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    I have Dillon 450 x 2 and 550 x 1, but my favorite 45 acp reloader is an old C-H Progressive that is an inline and has auto prime and auto case feed, you just pick up a bullet, place it pull the handle and when you push back up to seat the primer on one, the finished shell drops down a ramp and into a collection box.

  15. #95
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    As a youngster I was lucky to be exposed to firearms at an early age. I never could lay my hands on enuf ammo to suit me. Dad's Savage Model 23 was a dandy classic old bolt rifle and I plumb wore it out along with a Colt Woodsman with a 4" bbl and a finishing nail front sight. I finally bought my own Remington Model 514 single shot .22 at age 10 and it really was a cheap rifle but it was mine and with it I was very accurate. My best shot was taking down a woodchuck at a measure 114 yds through the eye. DRT.

    Dad also let me fondle but never shoot his war prize Mauser .32 ACP. It looked so evil with the perfect blue job in a polished leather holster with a spare magazine. I do not think he ever fired it either. .32 ammo was expensive and scarce. He also had a Baker 12 gauge sxs that I used a lot for taking out skunks and possums at night. At 21 I joined the NYC Police Department and I was married to a smith model 10 with a 4' bbl. I never failed to shoot expert with it and I had to use it a few times and it always worked and saved my bacon. After 20 years of service to the City of New York I retired in '84 and always packed a Smith .38 when I could.

    I moved out to Las Vegas in '93 and I obtained my CCW and packed legally and began to shoot more. I got tired of pay big bucks for ammo so in '95 I bought a Lee Loadmaster. What a trip that was. I was always tinkering with it. I never could get the primer feed to work consistently beyond 25 rounds. I fell into a great deal on a Dillon 550B (free from a older gent) and it has stood the test of time and produced thousands and thousands of .38's for me during the years. Then I got into casting boolits and I expanded my gun collection to today's 25+ firearms along 16 calibers that I shoot with regularity. Along the way I picked up a Star lubersizer, 3 Square Deal's, a XL 650, a rockchucker, a Lyman Spar-T turret press, a Lee Classic 4 hole turret press, a FA single stage, a Lee Challenger Single stage and a Lee hand press. One Square Deal is dedicated to .45 ACP, another to 45 Colt and a third to .44 S&W Special. The 550B is used heavily for 41 Magnum and .223 Remington rifle along with a spate of other calibers. The Lyman Spar T is used mostly for 50-90 Sharps BPCR. The rockchucker for 6.5x55 and 30-06 to feed my Garands. I have the casefeeder on both big Dillons and I love 'em.

    Were I to start over I would still buy the SDB's and the Rockchucker. However I really like what I have read about the Hornady LNL progressive and I would probably buy that instead of the big Dillons. To keep that 550B running a top efficiency takes a lot of attention to detail and constant awareness at all times when operating it.

    I have never had a double charge in a case but I have had many cases go though without powder at all and only one gun blown up but a dud round followed by a properly loaded round. On that occasion it was my wife on the trigger and it only blew up the barrel on EAA Witness 9MM and she only got a face full of oil and grease all over her glasses. She was shooting a fast string and did not notice the dud (weak explosion but cycled the action on only the primer) and kept on the trigger.

    It cost me about $200 to have the barrel replaced but my wife learned a valuable lesson I hope.

    The Lee loadmaster was a horror. The Dillons have been working for me for years but I would buy Hornady's LNL if I need a new press.

  16. #96
    Boolit Master


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    Regardless of which brand of progressive you use, here's a tip I got from a friend. Any time you walk away from any progressive while still loading, leave the handle down/stage up. If the stage is down, did I or did I not charge the case? If the stage is up you know exactly what the status is. This friend only loaded one caliber for USPSA on his progressive press and shot 2000-3000 rounds/month so it was always mid-stream. Any time he walked away he handle was down/stage up.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  17. #97
    Boolit Mold
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    I know this is an old thread but it's still a good discussion for others just finding it.
    I've owned a Hornady Pro-jector progressive press (the predecessor to the Lock-n-load) and even though it was a good press, I never fully trusted it. I finally sold the Hornady and bought a Dillon XL650 and have far more trust for the Dillon than I had for the Hornady. The Hornady worked but not always. There was always a failure here and there – usually with the powder drop. The Dillon works all the time and I’ve not had any failures to date. Go Dillon all the way!

  18. #98
    Boolit Buddy Gunners Mate's Avatar
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    The 2 progressives that I own and use are the RCBS pro 2000 and a Dillon 650 XL, I use the dillon to load with and the RCBS 2000 to size brass with the RCBS primer strips suck big ole richards. Of the two if I could only have one it would be the Dillon hands down. Gripes about Dillon are if you want to do quick caliber change outs buying tool heads, tool head stands, powder measures, powder drop funnels, locator pins, and case feed locator plates, shell plate holders, ect can get a bit pricey, FYI there quite a few mods that can be done to a dillon to make them run really smooth namely a couple of roller bearing and 1 thrust bearing upgrade. The dillon priming system is the better than the RCBS Strip primer, (((However))) you need to upgrade it with a spent primer catch and a live primer catch. The DIllon will deposit primers everywhere. If you buy a Dillon be prepared to have your wallet lightened, make a few inexpensive mods mentioned above, and get extra small and larger primer tubes and the case feeder and the case feeder conversion plates, the case feeder is the one must have with the Dillon 650. I Load 308 Win, 6.5 Grendel, 5.56mm and 45 ACP on mine and can easily load 500 rounds an hour. I am planning on adding a bullet feeder and the Mark 7 PLC autodrive to mine which can get you upwards of 1500 rounds per hour I beleive.

  19. #99
    Boolit Mold 10or45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alvarez Kelly View Post
    I LIKE this! I drive a Ford and reload mostly on Dillons. I guess I'm exceptional. Or something like that...
    Ford/Dillons

  20. #100
    Old retired Seabee

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    I would like to add a case feeder to my 550 and dillon is sling them. But they sure look over complicated. They should have used a Hulme design and kept it simple.

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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