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Thread: Dillion RL450 Press

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Dillion RL450 Press

    I just refurbished this press from a rusty hulk. I need a few items to get her up and running.
    Small primer magazine
    Powder measure setup
    #3 locator button (2 each)

    Let me know what's available and we can work a deal.

    Brasso

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy Rapier's Avatar
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    Dillon should still sell the 550B conversion kit for the 450. My 550b was originally a 450. The 550 has several options that easily make the conversion a good thing to do.

    The primer tubes are available from Dillon, the proper brass spacing buttons are included with each shell plate in the box. The 450 powder throw is a gaggle, with the push button activation, you get primer only fires, known as a “Dillon” at matches. Call Dillon’s 800#, they are very helpful.
    Last edited by Rapier; 10-21-2021 at 12:34 PM.
    “There is a remedy for all things, save death.“
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  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    The small primer tubes and locator buttons interchange between the 450 and 550. Call Dillon for those. If you have Dillon dies, get a Dillon powder measure. Anyone else's dies, think about a Lee powder through expander and a Lee powder measure.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thank you all for your replies. I'll see what Dillon can supply.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I like my old RL450!!! Before the 550’s, before the SDB’s, it was what we had to load with besides old Pacific single stage tools. And you are correct, that push knob powder measure was a hoot to use! It REALLY made you pay attention to your steps before indexing the table! Still got it. When my Dad brought it home we just looked at each other, and I said, “ Pop, what the hell you went and bought now”??? Never looked back.
    I firmly believe that you should only get treated by how you act, not by who or what you are!!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    Bought my RL-450 new years ago. The 45acp case mouth has trouble finding the entrance to the 1970's RCBS carbide size die. Newer dies have a larger tapered mouth. Do get and use the alignment tool.

    Orginial used to load for my Colt M16A1 Carbine .

    Dillon manuals https://www.dillonprecision.com/manuals.html
    Last edited by 243winxb; 10-23-2021 at 11:04 AM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    TNsailorman's Avatar
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    I have said it before here but I will say it again. The 450 is best machine that Dillon has made (in my humble opinion). You don't need die heads like the 550 and later machines. Just use your old dies and adjust them to the machine. You will need shell plates for each caliber but that is minimal compared to the shell heads. I did own one 550 but the movement in the shell plate didn't inspire confidence. I used the 550 in competition loads but after a few squib loads, I sold it and bought a 450 and never looked back. I foolishly sold my 450 and have been trying to find another for some time but people who have them want a small fortune for them. I may be in a minority opinion on this but that is my preference anyway, james

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


    Alvarez Kelly's Avatar
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    I have many RL450 spares. There are at least 3 different primer magazines tube styles. It depends on what you have now. I have several manual powder measures. PM me. Pictures help.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy gnappi's Avatar
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    Unless you need to change calibers fast, there's absolutely no reason to convert a 550, even then with setscrew locking rings changing dies on a 450 is a no brainer, well maybe some would have issues but not anyone who can walk and chew bubble gum couldn't do.

    And I agree with TNsailorman, the 450 is the best press Dillon made. I use mine for my .308's accuracy work, there's no tool head slop just solid machine!

    I also have two 550's and wouldn't trade my 450 for anything Dillon makes especially not a 550. Like Scotty on Star Trek said (paraphrased) "Captain, the more complicated you make the plumbing, the easier it it to clog it up" Sage advice to heed in many things

    At any rate Dillon has everything you need, some of the newer parts have bug fixes like the powder measure you may want to investigate.
    Regards,

    Gary

  10. #10
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    Dillon shell plate caused case separations

    Loading 223 on the 450 caused many case separations, when loading in 1979. Found each station of the shell plate sized to a different head to datum measurement. Shoulders pushed back as much as .014"

    If the FL die was set on the worst station, every 4th round loaded was a case separation. Loaded many rounds, around 250 rounds were defective, bullets pulled, brass scrapped.

    I no longer load many round to put in storage for later.

    Today, i know about using case gauges & comparators. Unheard of before the internet. Didnt get online till 2000.

    Dillon would not replace the shell plate or send me an alignment tool under warranty, in the 1980s.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy Liberty1776's Avatar
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    550 Toolheads Aren't Truly Interchangeable Between Different Presses

    Bought a 450 in 1985. Wow. So much faster than my single stage Rock Chucker. And I only reloaded a couple of calibers in those days.

    Then I got married and, after a couple years, quit reloading until 2017. (My dedicated "Reloading Room" turned into a "Craft Room" and then a "Laundry" and all my reloading stuff went into storage bins. She was worth it, however and it turned out great eventually.)

    After retiring and moving to Arizona -- with a great gun range only 5 miles away -- we both shoot a lot now. And now I have a giant garage with plenty of room for reloading. So out came the old 450 and the Rock Chucker.

    I found out Dillion offered to upgrade the 450 to a 550 for $153, so I drove down to the Dillon showroom in Scottsdale and handed them my old 450. They converted it to a 550 and sent it back in a few days.

    Interchangeable toolheads! Woo-hoo!

    Then I decided to add a second 550 so I could reload two calibers, as we shoot .38 SPL and .32 H&R Mag for SASS.

    Well, guess what?

    If I precisely set the dies in a toolhead in one 550, the dies don't maintain the same precise settings in the other 550 press.

    I now note which toolhead is set up with which press. Otherwise, I'm back to adjusting dies as if I had my original 450.

    I realize I'm complaining about nits here -- a real first-world problem, eh? -- but be aware that we're talking thousandths of an inch in die adjustments here, and the manufacturing differences between presses is enough not to allow true interchangeability of RL550 tool heads.

    That said, I still really like my Dillon 550s for fast, reliable reloading.

    I do deprime before wet tumbling, as I have experienced the Dillon very occasionally pushing out the old primer and then pulling it back into the case during sizing, leading to a dud round. Depriming means always getting a fresh primer loaded into the case. But I digress.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    ALVAREZ KELLY,
    Here are a couple pics. Hope you can determine what I might need.Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	290673Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Brasso; 10-22-2021 at 01:24 PM. Reason: Add another picture

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    two pics appearing identical with identical .jpeg numbers. So let’s call it a couple of the same pics. No, your pics have not helped.
    “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.” Ronald Reagan


  15. #15
    Boolit Mold

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    Quote Originally Posted by 243winxb View Post
    Bought my RL-450 new years ago. The 45acp case mouth has trouble finding the entrance to the 1970's RCBS carbide size die. Newer dies have a larger tapered mouth. Do get and use the alignment tool.

    Orginial used to load for my Colt M16A1 Carbine .
    RCBS did offer to cut the chamfer into their early carbide dies at one time. Do not know if still available GW

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    oley55,
    I' ll try to do better tomorrow. Any particular angle I should try?

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I don’t where to begin, because I’m not sure what you need or think you need. I have two copies of the original manuals for my two 450’s. I can’t get to them until Monday, but would be happy to take pics of the whole manual and send them to you. if you are interested PM me your phone or email.

    I have two complete powder measures that I am not currently using, but uncertain I’d want to give them up. Right now I am using RCBS uniflow measures with the Hornady Case Activated Powder dispenser. I always had trouble with really fine ball powder clogging/binding the slides on the Dillon measures. Having the powder automatically dispense powder is like magic for me. as someone else mentioned keeping track of what you were doing with manual primer and manual powder required intense concentration.

    as for a small primer magazine, not sure what that means unless you are referring to the aluinum tube that holds the primers. if it’s that I am betting the same tube is used i. the 550 primer system. again having the old manual with part numbers would help when ordering, (on line or phone). The folks at Dillon have always been helpful and should be able to help you finger things out.

    apologize for format and missed words but thumb typing on a cellphone suxs.
    “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.” Ronald Reagan


  18. #18
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    Google "Dillon RL-450 manual" to see the original manual. I cant link to it because is a PDF file.

    Its tne same manual that came with mine, thats in the shop now.,

    All Dillion manuals- https://www.dillonprecision.com/manuals.html

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    OK, I'm going to try these pics again.
    Edit: Can't get them to load!!
    Last edited by Brasso; 10-23-2021 at 01:51 PM. Reason: Correction.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    using 243’s link for your part/item numbers and lookup parts for the 550 . many parts are the same between machines. from your original picks that 450 is both a later version and has some upgrades. the original 450 had a solid frame press. yours has the diagonal cutouts to lighten it. yours has the upgraded shell plate platform for the automatic case ejection. the nylon wheel on the feed platform is for the automatic primer. in your case with a manual primer that wheel. is just an ornament. I don’t see the knob/bolt that would be on the end of the primer feed.

    is the top of your press solid or have a removable toolhead?
    “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.” Ronald Reagan


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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