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Thread: Dillon 550B Progressive Reloading Press

  1. #1
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    Default Dillon 550B Progressive Reloading Press

    I have been the owner of the 550B progessive press from Dillon for about a year now. All I can say is what a machine! Dillon presses are made in Tempe, Arizona and are outstanding quality machines.
    I have loaded with other brands, but when I started shooting competitively, I found them lacking in production speed and consistency.
    Of all the Dillon presses available, I chose the 550B mainly due to the fact that it was NOT an auto indexing press, so that I can still use it as a single stage press for my hunting loads and small batch loading using non-Dillon brand dies. When using this press I highly recommend using Dillon dies as they have radiused mouths for progressve loading speed, but they will accept all brands of dies.
    What I am most impressed with is the powder measure system. After thousands and thousands of rounds loaded, it is amazingly consistent. I check my powder drops every 25 rounds or so out of habit, and have yet to find one single load out of whack once the drop is set.
    Dillon makes it very easy to change between calibres, and the 550B will load 160 different pistol and rifle calibres. With an interchangable toolhead system, it takes about 10 minutes to change calibres. Just leave your dies in a toolhead, install the next calibre toolhead on the machine, set your powder drop and you are loading.
    The Dillon dies are amazing. No more having to remove a die to clean it out or change your seating die from round nose to SWC. With the Dillon die, pull a clip, the innards fall out into your hand, clean it up or switch the bullet seat, slide it back up into the die head and replace the clip. Literally that quickly and never ever have to readjust. And Dillon die sets come with a seperate seating and crimp die, for far more consistant seating and crimping.
    Dillon's customer service is simply out of this world. Test them out. Purposely break something.....call them and tell them its your fault that it is broken....there is a replacement on its way the SAME day at NO CHARGE!!!! Unbelievable, but true. When there is some issue with adjustment or you are having trouble with the machine, there is no such thing as tech support. Whoever answers the phone walks you right thru whatever it is, right then, right NOW. They know thier product and know it VERY well. And they speak ENGLISH!
    The only down side, and the longer I use the press, its not really a downside for long.....they are not inexpensive. Delivered to my door, ready to load one calibre was $562.00. This is with a few extra peices and parts like extra parts kit, primer tubes, etc. However, with the amount of loading I do, the press paid for itself in ammo cost savings within 3 months. No kidding.
    With practice and planning ahead, it is no challenge at all to load over 400 rounds per hour.
    When anyone asked what press they should look at, I will never hesitate to recommend a Dillon, I have drunk the blue Kool-aid and liked it!
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  3. #2
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    Dillon Rocks AGAIN!

    I borrowed a friends Dillion Precision Motorized Trimmer to start trimming the thousands of .223 brass that I have. It makes the toolhead vibrate some, and while trimming, the decapping pin and expander ball fell out of my sizing die. WTH??? Took the die apart and found that the shaft inside that the decapping pin screws into was badly bent. HUH??? This is after I had replaced it and received 3 decapping pins (FREE OF CHARGE) from Dillon after not using the proper lube and having a few stuck cases. My screw up, but Dillon sent me the replacement parts FREE.
    So, I called Dillon and once again, found out after they explained why the shaft was bent, my screw up, I did not set up the die properly, the decapping pin shoulder was impacting the base of the case when inserted in the die, bending the shaft.
    Once again, the replacement part was mailed to me, FREE OF CHARGE. Folks, customer service like this deserves loyalty! I highly recommend Dillon to anyone looking at reloading equipment.

    And, I tell ya what....the trimmer, on the same toolhead as the sizing die makes for an incredibly fast
    case prep. Insert case, size/decap, turn the shellplate, insert another case to size/decap, the first case goes into the trimmer while next is sizing. Took me about 3 hours to resize, decap and trim over 1500 cases and the consistency is spot on. After using thier Super Swage to swage the military crimp out of the pirmer pocket, will never use any other product.

    It is so cool to pull the trigger on my own 223 rounds thru the AR.
    HUG YOUR KIDS EVERY DAY AND TELL THEM YOU LOVE THEM
    R.I.P. Zachary, 6/19/95-10/25/12

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  5. #3

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    Great post, thanks for all the info. I haven't gotten into reloading......yet. I've heard nothing but good things about Dillon and your recommendation cements it.
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    I am asking Santa for a Dillon 650 this year, it will be a $1200 investment to load 5 pistol rounds. I am loading now with a Lee classic turret, which has done me well for three years, but I am ready to step into the "big league"...if the boss approves!
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    I had to give my buddy his trimmer back, but over 2 days resized and deprimed almost 4000 pieces of 223/5.56 brass. Now to get them all swaged and borrow the trimmer again. Won't have to touch another case until time to reload them. I am tumbling all the cases again before loading, removes all the lube and small pieces of brass from trimming. Yea, have to clean out a lot of flash holes, but my reloads look and shoot awesome!

    Store bought on left, my reload on right.DSC04263..jpg
    HUG YOUR KIDS EVERY DAY AND TELL THEM YOU LOVE THEM
    R.I.P. Zachary, 6/19/95-10/25/12

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    Default how about a home video ...

    Hello michael ..I was thinking, how about you doing a home video showing the setting up of the press and making a few rounds .. i know Dillon probably has a video but that is not the same as a ASD member and person you know doing a video of the reloading . ..I think that would be cool.
    I have been reloading with the Lee turrent press, slow going but mostly because I am learning and too chicken to go faster.. your right, reloading your own ammo is a very amazing thing to do. I was reading an article about how some factories actually glue the bullets in place .. so i guess i will let you know how it works out super glueing the 223 rounds in the casing (just kidding!!) but I am spending a lot of time fishing the 223 bullet from inside the casing (very carefully) when the bullets fall inside the casing ... I know it has a lot of fine adjustments to get the process working well ...keep up the good work micheal.
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    so i guess i will let you know how it works out super glueing the 223 rounds in the casing
    Yikes! Ah...chamber pressures may be a little high dude...
    Yea, a video would be kinda fun, need to ask the daughter if I can borrow hers. Would be interesting to show the entire process on military brass as there are more steps to getting the brass ready. Things not in the videos would be things like the first powder drop I did when first loading 223....didn't turn the adjustment down to begin with and not only overfilled the first case with powder, but also poured powder all over the press. I might tell ya about it, but I won't show ya!
    HUG YOUR KIDS EVERY DAY AND TELL THEM YOU LOVE THEM
    R.I.P. Zachary, 6/19/95-10/25/12

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmszbi View Post
    Yikes! Ah...chamber pressures may be a little high dude...
    Yea, a video would be kinda fun, need to ask the daughter if I can borrow hers. Would be interesting to show the entire process on military brass as there are more steps to getting the brass ready. Things not in the videos would be things like the first powder drop I did when first loading 223....didn't turn the adjustment down to begin with and not only overfilled the first case with powder, but also poured powder all over the press. I might tell ya about it, but I won't show ya!
    Welcome to the world of re-loading! EVERYTHING must be double checked and the checked again. I do not re-load rifle just because it is too hard and to many steps to get it right. When I am re-loading pistol rounds, I check the first 10 for weight and OAL. After that, I check every 10th round...been on the money for three years.
    Retired USAF
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  12. #9

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    I like the video idea--would be nice to be able to ask questions about any of the process after watching, something you can't do with a company-made DVD.
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