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Thread: Square Deal B Owners

  1. #1

    Square Deal B Owners

    I have been reloading for a total of 4 years , all on a Lee classic Turret. I shoot competitively so am wanting to increase production and decrease fiddling . The Lee had been pretty good but the " safety prime" system has always been quirky. I can do about 100 rounds an hour and would love to be able to do 300. I only shoot and load .38 special for competition and would keep my Lee for my smaller volume stuff including rifle. Would love a 650 but need the ability to remove the press and store between sessions and space is limited. Due to the way the SDB has to be operated , i.e.; letting go of the handle, I am having doubts about the speed. Would really like to hear from folks that own both presses.<br />
    Am I crazy or what? If I buy a progressive, it will be auto-advance. Help!


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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Not a helpful answer perse, but IMO what most helps progressive productivity, along with auto advance, is a case feeder. I suggest planning in advance for that. That way, all you do is pull the handle, start a bullet, pull the handle, start a bullet, pull the handle....

    Can the SDB handle a case feeder?

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
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    Get the 550b, much better build unit. Cheaper on the assy than the 650

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    The SDB is fine if you only load one caliber. The dies are proprietary so you can't substitute standard 7/8" dies. The SDB is the only Dillon press that uses that type of die; all of the others used standard dies.

    I prefer the 550 and I say that after using the 650 & 1050. The manual index is not an impediment. With pre-loaded primer tubes, rates over 400 rounds per hour are easily obtained with a 550B.

    If space is a problem consider some type of removable mount. I made mine but there are commercially made units as well.
    Here's a MEC shotgun press on a removable bench top section and the spare blank "plug" section for when there is no need for a press.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    With pre-loaded primer tubes, rates over 400 rounds per hour are easily obtained with a 550B.
    Does that time include loading the tubes. This is an area where people fudge the numbers. Doesn't matter if you're filing the tubes while watching TV. All time has to be accounted for.

    The OP has said he wants auto advance. That precludes the 550. In his situation the SDB should meet his needs. The downside to the press is the proprietary dies and the small window to work in. I've heard people w/ larger hands complain about this.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master lefty o's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    Does that time include loading the tubes. This is an area where people fudge the numbers. Doesn't matter if you're filing the tubes while watching TV. All time has to be accounted for.

    The OP has said he wants auto advance. That precludes the 550. In his situation the SDB should meet his needs. The downside to the press is the proprietary dies and the small window to work in. I've heard people w/ larger hands complain about this.
    he stated with pre-loaded primer tubes.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by lefty o View Post
    he stated with pre-loaded primer tubes.
    Which was my point. The time loading them has to be accounted for. If the 400 rate included loading the tubes then the rate is legitimate. If the time didn't include loading the tubes then the rate is lower than 400. All time has to be accounted for when discussing loading rates.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    If all you're going to load is 38 Special the SDB will work fine for you. Safely loading good ammo at 300 rounds per hour can be handled nicely by the little Dillon.
    "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you." Joe Heller

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Reddirt62's Avatar
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    I run a 550 and a 650 not a SDB. I run all my presses on inline fabrications quick change mount which means I can rotate between my 4 presses and my swager in moments. The 650 is a lot of machine for a single caliber, I reloaded just 45acp on my 550 for many years. It is a fantastic machine. If auto advance is a deal killer then the SDB might be for you. The pic is of the quick change mount, forgive the mess.

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    if I were you I would go with the 550b for the type of reloading you do you will not regret it I had a lee 25 years ago and hated that thing it is now resting on the bottom of Mirror lake then I got a 550b and love that press I load for 45acp 44mag and now223 and do not have to change to another press when changing to another cal. D Crockett

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    HeavyMetal's Avatar
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    The Square Deal makes sense if your only loading one Caliber, in the OP case that would be 38 Special.

    The down side is when, not if, he decides to reload for more than one caliber because the press is A. dedicated to pistol rounds only and B. proprietary dies for the press.

    There are primer tube fillers on the market which will reduce the time spent loading prime tubes.

    However if at anytime the OP thinks he may reload other calibers the 550B is the ticket, the lack of auto indexing is actually a blessing for those not use to this feature as it allows easier visual inspection of each station while getting used to the new press.

    The other advantage of the 550B is reloading both pistol and rifle shells and 400 an hour is easily done.

    HM


    Add in the ability to use any 7/8'sx 14 die set with Four stations is huge as well, something you can't do with a Pro 1000.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I don't own a Dillon but I do own a Lee 3 hole Value turret and a Lee Pro1000. I have watched enough of the youtube videos on the Dillon to have good idea how it works when compared to the Pro1000.

    If I were to be loading only one caliber and lots of it and that was pistol then the Square Deal B would be at the top of my list. It is much faster than a turret press and doesn't take up a lot of space. If like you I was only loading 38Spl then I would watch for a used one already set up for that. To me that would seem to be the Best deal.

    But because I load for more than one pistol caliber, 3 and hope to soon be 4, I chose the dreaded Lee Pro1000 and it is serving me well.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    I find 400 an hour on an SDB is an easy pace including loading the tubes.

    I have a 550 and think it is slower. The manual advance and longer handle throw are the difference. The 550 is certainly a more versatile machine, but I load my highest volume ammo on an SDB.
    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-shooter

    The Pewter Pictures and Hallmarks thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I have owned every Dillon press they make from the 1050 to the square deal.

    If all I was going to reload was a single pistol caliber, I'd buy a Square Deal in a heartbeat. They are a great press and can be found used for a great price especially in 38 special.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyMetal View Post
    The Square Deal makes sense if your only loading one Caliber, in the OP case that would be 38 Special.

    The down side is when, not if, he decides to reload for more than one caliber because the press is A. dedicated to pistol rounds only and B. proprietary dies for the press.

    There are primer tube fillers on the market which will reduce the time spent loading prime tubes.

    However if at anytime the OP thinks he may reload other calibers the 550B is the ticket, the lack of auto indexing is actually a blessing for those not use to this feature as it allows easier visual inspection of each station while getting used to the new press.

    The other advantage of the 550B is reloading both pistol and rifle shells and 400 an hour is easily done.

    HM


    Add in the ability to use any 7/8'sx 14 die set with Four stations is huge as well, something you can't do with a Pro 1000.
    To clarify, I the OP, as stated in my post will use my Classic Turret for my other calibers. I have No interest in a manual index press.


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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    Does that time include loading the tubes. This is an area where people fudge the numbers. Doesn't matter if you're filing the tubes while watching TV. All time has to be accounted for.

    The OP has said he wants auto advance. That precludes the 550. In his situation the SDB should meet his needs. The downside to the press is the proprietary dies and the small window to work in. I've heard people w/ larger hands complain about this.
    It does not include the time to fill the tubes. You are correct that the time needed to fill the tubes should be included. However, by separating that task from the actual reloading operation, you can speed up the reloading operation. It is fudging the numbers but if you have an hour to dedicate to reloading it allows you to get the most out of that one hour.

    I really don't think auto indexing is all that important, which is why I included the 550 in the discussion.

    If I was only going to load one handgun cartridge and never expand to other calibers, the SDB might be a good option. The odds of never adding additional calibers is pretty slim for most folks.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    And just to be clear, not every user will be able to get the highest production rates out of the 550B.

    I've been doing it so long that I combine motions. My right hand places the new casing in station 1 while my left hand is placing a bullet on the casing in station 3. As I pull the handle down with my right hand, my left hand is picking up another bullet. After the handle is cycled, I use my left thumb to advance the shell plate. This is done while pinching the bullet between my left thumb and forefinger. As soon as the shell plate hits the next detent, the bullet goes on the case while my right hand is fetching a new casing.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I have the Lee CCT that you have and really thought I wanted auto index as you do. I came across a deal on a 550b that I couldn’t pass up, so I got it thinking I’d get rid of the CCT. I’m honestly glad the 550 doesn’t have auto index, but I also plan to load multiple calibers on it. But it allows me to set up one stage at a time, correctly, instead of chasing my tail.
    I’ll also be keeping my CCT as I’ve learned doing load development and small batches on the 550 just aren’t worth the effort, it’s more of a pain than it’s honestly worth. Set it up, crank out a few hundred rounds and be happy, but don’t think you will make 20rds on a progressive and enjoy the process!
    When I first started out, pre-internet, I bought a pro-1000, it scared me enough I never even tried to get it set up. Some years later I sold it and went with a single stage and am glad I did. If I’d had my ultimate choice the second time I’d have bought a SDB in 10mm, I’m glad I didn’t go that route as I wouldn’t have the options that I do now to load various calibers, including.308 and .243. I’ve also watched a lot of videos on the SDB, maybe I’d have put up with it, but now, I don’t think I’d put up with the small window for loading! It’s really tight in there!
    I understand a lot of this doesn’t apply to you, and I understand you have reasons for wanting what you want and why, I completely respect that. All I’m asking you to do is look at what some of your future needs may be and how well this investment will fit into that plan. In my world it’s a rather sizable investment and I like to be able to get as much out out of my money as I can. If the SDB fits your current and future needs, by all means get one, but as you get into this, at least most of us, we tent to buy more “tools” and aqiuer more firearms as we go on. Just some things to think about is all. Good luck in your decision!
    Quote Originally Posted by sniper View Post
    Irish Proverb: Never approach a Bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or an Idiot from any direction!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    I have both the SDB and the 550, plus a Rockchucker and a Lyman turret. That said, I am not selling the SDB, I'LL continue to use it for pistol rounds. 250-300 rounds an hour is a nice slow deliberate pace to make sure everything is done right.

    Dillon's tech support is great and just a phone call away.
    Last edited by 15meter; 11-05-2017 at 07:47 PM. Reason: stupid auto correct

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I’ve never timed myself in the SDB, but I’m happy with the number of bullets that fall out of it. Unlike most here, I have dies for 5 calibers, although I mostly load 38spcl and 9mm. The changeover doesn’t bother me.

    If you’ll add your location someone might just let you come load on their SDB for an afternoon.

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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