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Thread: Progressive press for Pistol fodder?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Progressive press for Pistol fodder?

    I have an RL-550B (can't get at it ATM but only used it for rifle ammo.)

    Have a C-H (IIRC) straight line press, only used for pistol ammo.

    Are there folks getting good results with any newer press? (The old straight line press works, but to say that it's worn / aged is like saying the Mona Lisa is worth a few dollars...)

    If I get back to shooting a LOT of pistol, I may want something progressive for it - Lots less work and I can focus on making good Varminting rounds :P

    Thanks all, such good info in here!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    HeavyMetal's Avatar
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    what CH Press do you have, the only in lines they made, that I know of, are the Auto Champion, Mark I to VI.

    Early units are no longer supported by CH4D but the later IV and VI's are with most parts. A rebuild may be possible pending model number.

    Other than that the Dillon 550B is a great press, the 650 has a rep for primer feed issues, Don't have a feel for the Lock and load Hornady stuff at all and the Dillon's are just better, LOL!

    If I wanted a new in the box progressive it would be a Dillon, Model would depend on how much I was shooting and the lump in my wallet, LOL!

    HM

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I’ve been using a Dillon SDB which has been great for modest volume of pistol. Working on setting up a Hornady LNL with case and bullet feeders. Gotta find time to swage somewhere.

    Also have an RCBS green machine, but that’s going backwards from just about everything currently available.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Skunk1's Avatar
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    I would also go with the Dillon. It's all about funds available and how much you plan on shooting. I have 2 Dillon 550's. One set up for large primer and one for small. I only load pistol rounds on those and use my rock chucker for rifle.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Two Dillon SDB's, one in 40 and one in 45, both are faultless when learned. RCBS for single stage stuff. RL 550B for .223 and .38's, it just worked out that way. Go blue, it's your best choice! Just my opinion only. Good luck in whatever way you decide you want to go.
    I firmly believe that you should only get treated by how you act, not by who or what you are!!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    While not a "true" progressive press, I really like my Redding T-7 (both of them).

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    There's nothing wrong with using your 550 for pistol.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    If the 550 is too slow for you get a 1050 or 650.

    While I can load faster on my SD's than my 550, its not as big a difference as a press with case feed, add bullet feed to that and 100 rounds can be loaded in under 4 min, with one hand.


  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    You will get a lot of opinions. Most will not fit your needs

    Think about:
    How much you shoot
    How much time you want to spend at a press
    If you enjoy to reload or is it a just a means to get cheaper ammunition.
    How many calibers you will load for
    How much your time is worth
    How much you wish to invest...yes invest....you never lose money on a good press.

    I have owned 8 progressives. The worst piece of junk was an inline Green Machine. I really like the Dillon 1050's but sold one when I reduced my amount of shooting. The Hornady has mixed reviews. Very rarely do I hear of issues with the Dillons. If you find a Star in good condition, they are a good press as well and can be made to auto index with the proper add on.

    Most people will be fine with a 550. I have two of them and they just plain work and are well supported. Caliber conversions are not too expensive either if you intend to load a number of different calibers.

    The Star is not a good option if you want to load multiple calibers, as are NONE of the in-lines. Actually, most in-lines are not very good at even loading one caliber. There is a good reason no one makes an in-line any longer.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    You can't go wrong with a Dillon! They have some of the best support in the industry and they hold their value well. The biggest problem is picking which one you you want. There are other choices and they have their loyal followers but my experience with Dillon has been very good.

  11. #11
    Boolit Man
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    HeavyMetal that's why I put a question mark there, its lost in a family members' back room, I can almost see it. I need to mount an expedition in there to get it & the RL550B. I haven't seen it in 15-20 years, not at all sure what COLOR it is even; 25-30 year old press.

    dverna - How much I shoot has been the PROBLEM. Family member stole my ammo almost all of it - Others are quite 2A hostile. I want to get back able to shoot 500 rounds a weekend, of some caliber. Used the 550B for 223 / 308 plinking fodder, if I do one for pistol fodder as well I'd be in good shape; Planning some trading to get the funds together. I'll use the rock chucker for varmint loads, I am so OCD on those it's not funny But they work well. Then I need to get ME back shooting well again, attainable once I have ammo.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    HeavyMetal's Avatar
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    well if you get the expedition mounted and get lucky send me a PM with specific's on the in line.

    I have some spare parts and i know CH4D has others, if it's an Auto Champion it should do 500 to 600 an hour with minimal effort, pending which model it is of course.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Mytmousemalibu's Avatar
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    I shoot USPSA, IDPA, and 3-Gun, needless to say I go through a LOT of ammo! Everything goes through my Dillon 650 and the press has been stellar! I couldn't/wouldn't do what I do without it. I can't recommend a blue machine enough!
    ~ Chris


    Casting, reloading, shooting, collecting, restoring, smithing, etc, I love it all!
    Quote Originally Posted by GRUMPA View Post
    This innocent till proven guilty is more like a fantasy as time goes on. I don't know about you folks, but I for 1 am getting mighty tired of having to prove I'm innocent just because of what someone else thinks....

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    This is going to be one of those, "Well I use..........." threads.

    So, I'll join in and say - I use a Dillon 550B

    OK, now that we have that out of the way; the 550 B is a phenomenal press. I've used the 650 and 1050 but still prefer the 550.

    For loading handgun cartridges, the 550 can't be beat, IMHO.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I use the Dillon too for all my pistol needs I have a RCBS 4x4 and the Dillon runs easier for me so the RCBS runs rifle only now but it does a very good job on that

  16. #16
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    I want to get back able to shoot 500 rounds a weekend
    Thats only 26,000 + rounds a year but where I decided to go with the bullet/case fed machines.

  17. #17
    Boolit Man
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    At one point I was using a green press (Hadn't mounted one of the 3 RC's I owned yet) and hand loading 3000 or so 45ACP rounds a week. For some reason, feeding 3 family members' needs that way seemed a terrible burden, thus the progressive. But I liked the 550B, I can see one for pistol, just didn't remember if it would be a happy camper doing that. Now I know

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    There are four choices IMO, and they're all blue. 550, 650, 1050 or SDB. If you don't mind proprietary dies then a SDB may be the way to go. I'm saying this as someone who only owns a 550. But I've read enough over the years to hear all the problems w/ the other progressives. People's main complaint w/ the Dillon's is the upfront cost.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    What about Lee Load Master? anything wrong with this brand ?

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I run a dillon 1050 and mr. bulletfeeder and use it for 9 and 40. It is built like a tank.

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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