Titan ReloadingLee PrecisionWidenersRepackbox
Inline FabricationRotoMetals2MidSouth Shooters Supply

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 54

Thread: Best entry level Dillon press

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Posts
    62

    Best entry level Dillon press

    I've been using the same-ol RCBS rock chucker. You know the old ones that are a light green and blue. I picked it up a long time ago when I got into reloading. It still works as good as the day I got it but I figured I could maybe treat myself to a Dillon, always wanted one. What is the entry level Dillon?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bryan, TX
    Posts
    373
    The 550 is the most cost effective if you are going to reload for several calibers. The 550 and the 450 use the same caliber conversions (Shellplate, Powder Funnel, Locator Pins). So used parts are plentiful.

    Also, once you get a few caliber conversions, you don't have to purchase full conversions for similar cartridges. If you have a 45 ACP conversion, you can buy a 308 Powder funnel and not have to purchase a full 308 conversion to load 308 because it uses the same shellplate and Locator Pins.

    Caliber conversion chart: https://brianenos.com/dillon-rl-550b...ference-chart/

    There's not much plastic to wear on on a 550. Lube the shaft with motor oil. The presses last a long time.


    If you are going to only load for one caliber, a Square Deal will be cheaper.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
    1,699
    I started on a Square Deal B because I thought I was only ever gonna load 9mm. Then I got a single stage to load 270 and 223 with and lost my mind with how slow going it was. My SDB conveniently had a part failure, told SWMBO that it was gonna be down for too long, and that I could sell the SDB after it was fixed to cover 75% of the new 550C I wanted(and had already ordered before telling her all this). So now I have a 550C with 4 caliber conversions and I need 2 more conversions. I should have started on the 550

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


    Finster101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    SW Fla
    Posts
    2,230
    Just some food for thought. I have never been unhappy by buying a better or bigger tool than I thought I needed. Infact, it has saved me much money and aggravation over the years.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Lenore, WV
    Posts
    2,738
    It depemds on what you are loading. If one or two pistol calibers the SDB may be the way to go. IIRC the sdb will not handle rifle calibers.The deluxe route would be the 750.
    For versatility and several calibers the 550 is the way to go. Beware that caliber conversions will some add up to the price of the press.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Posts
    62
    Quote Originally Posted by wv109323 View Post
    It depemds on what you are loading. If one or two pistol calibers the SDB may be the way to go. IIRC the sdb will not handle rifle calibers.The deluxe route would be the 750.
    For versatility and several calibers the 550 is the way to go. Beware that caliber conversions will some add up to the price of the press.
    I got a soft spot for 38 caliber. I do a lot of 9mm/38/357 but here soon I hope I will be reloading some 45/70 for a 1895 Marlin. What I want to know is since that cartridge length is long will I be able to use it or will I need to do the 45/70 on the single stage? Never have dealt with that caliber before but I have done some 308 and 30-30 on the single stage

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy 1006's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    South of Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    435
    Dillon sells a 45-70 kit for the Dillon 550. So, it will handle them. I went from a 550 to a 650 and immediately missed the simplicity of the 550 for doing a few rounds at a time for many different calibers.

    The 650 has more leverage than the 550, and is easier to operate for sizing large rifle cases.

    I think to use a 550 for the 45-70 you will need the optional/sold separately Magnum Powder Bar for the powder dispenser.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    7,369
    Even when I had 5 Dillon’s, I loaded rifle ammunition on a single stage. Unless you shoot a lot of rifle rounds, moving them to a progressive may not make sense. I can see .223 on a progressive, but little else...ar least for me.

    I suggest the 550. It was my first Dillon and will be my last. I put out about 300 rounds an hour on it but I am not very fast. If you want greater productivity, the 750 should get you to 550 or so, and the 1050 to about 600-700....all numbers based on loading pistol ammunition. Others reportedly can run faster than that.

    BTW, do not buy the case feeder for the 550. If you want a case feeder, step up.

    Good luck
    Don Verna


  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Posts
    62
    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Even when I had 5 Dillon’s, I loaded rifle ammunition on a single stage. Unless you shoot a lot of rifle rounds, moving them to a progressive may not make sense. I can see .223 on a progressive, but little else...ar least for me.

    I suggest the 550. It was my first Dillon and will be my last. I put out about 300 rounds an hour on it but I am not very fast. If you want greater productivity, the 750 should get you to 550 or so, and the 1050 to about 600-700....all numbers based on loading pistol ammunition. Others reportedly can run faster than that.

    BTW, do not buy the case feeder for the 550. If you want a case feeder, step up.

    Good luck
    I don't shoot much rifle and I you make a good point. It seems like the 550 is the way to go but which one?

  10. #10
    Bear in mind that if you buy a Dillon AND you prime off press AND/OR you swage the pockets you will be taking the cart on and off the press defeating the purpose and rapidity. Also if you trim (like rifle carts) off press it will be even worse....

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
    1,699
    There's only one model of 550 available, the 550C. Only thing you need to decide is which cartridge conversion you want included.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master


    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aberdeen, South Dakota
    Posts
    6,322
    Quote Originally Posted by gifbohane View Post
    Bear in mind that if you buy a Dillon AND you prime off press AND/OR you swage the pockets you will be taking the cart on and off the press defeating the purpose and rapidity. Also if you trim (like rifle carts) off press it will be even worse....
    You can trim during loading, but it's going to be less hassle not to. Say what you will, but I can promise you you will be WAY faster by doing processing, and loading in two steps, rather than just doing everything on a single stage. On a single stage, I really doubt a person can honestly do more than 100 in an hour start to finish from dirty brass to loaded ammo. Your hand will be sore for sure, even with a case kicker. 50 would be more realistic. That's if you don't clean the cases at all. You are way better off running brass first through for sizing, then trim, and / or swage primers on a Lee APP. Then clean, and proceed to load on a progressive. There's no way you are getting a single round done this way in an hour, but if you skip cleaning, you could have 500+ done in about 3 hours.

    Bottle neck cases are a PITA, no way around it. I'm not one to skip case trimming, mine grow too much to risk it.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    1,907
    Quote Originally Posted by CZbob9 View Post
    I got a soft spot for 38 caliber. I do a lot of 9mm/38/357 but here soon I hope I will be reloading some 45/70 for a 1895 Marlin. What I want to know is since that cartridge length is long will I be able to use it or will I need to do the 45/70 on the single stage? Never have dealt with that caliber before but I have done some 308 and 30-30 on the single stage
    Sounds like a large percentage of the ammo you reload is pistol calibers. If that's the case I'd look at the SDB. It does pistol calibers well. If the rifle is only a couple hundred a year stick with the Rockchucker.

    I have both a SDB and a 550. All the pistol goes across the SDB. High volume rifle, 30 carbine, 30-06 on the 550.

    I load about 50 different rifle calibers, all low volume. 50 to 100 at a time. Those all go across either the Rockchucker or the T-Mag. (T-Mag has a skoose more room for the silly tall ones).

    Not worth setting up the 550 for low volume runs.

    Works for me.

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Posts
    62
    Quote Originally Posted by 15meter View Post
    Sounds like a large percentage of the ammo you reload is pistol calibers. If that's the case I'd look at the SDB. It does pistol calibers well. If the rifle is only a couple hundred a year stick with the Rockchucker.

    I have both a SDB and a 550. All the pistol goes across the SDB. High volume rifle, 30 carbine, 30-06 on the 550.

    I load about 50 different rifle calibers, all low volume. 50 to 100 at a time. Those all go across either the Rockchucker or the T-Mag. (T-Mag has a skoose more room for the silly tall ones).

    Not worth setting up the 550 for low volume runs.

    Works for me.
    What is SBD

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


    Finster101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    SW Fla
    Posts
    2,230
    Square deal B. For what you have mentioned, I would go the 550 route. With it, if you are able to shoot more in the future you have a machine capable of keeping up with demand.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bryan, TX
    Posts
    373
    Another positive with the 550 is that it is manual indexing. So, you can also use it as a single stage.

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Posts
    62
    Who is the best place to buy a 550 from? Planning on getting it on the way today.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    433
    I've started with 550 and absolutely love it. I've added a 650 later on but still keep 550. I've bought both my presses directly from Dillon.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,466
    Old Dillon RL-450 in use here.
    Go with a 550C . The best part is time to change to a different cartridge. The 550 has the removable tool head.
    I should upgrade or buy a 550C.
    Pure lead contains no arsenic. Its been removed by law.

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    7,369
    Quote Originally Posted by CZbob9 View Post
    Who is the best place to buy a 550 from? Planning on getting it on the way today.
    I have bought new presses from Dillon and used ones on this forum. Even got a decent deal on one on eBay years ago.
    Don Verna


Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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