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Dillon RL550b thoughts Login/Join 
Cat Whisperer
Picture of cmr076
posted
A friend (more of a mentor) of mine met me for lunch today and we were talking reloading. He's an older guy (40 years my senior) and know a lot about pretty much everything.

He told me he wanted to give me two of his reloading setups, scales, dies, bullets, powders, etc. one progressive setup is for 12ga, the other is a Dillon RL550b.

What does everyone think of this setup? reliable? easy to use? Im 100% new to reloading, so I figured I would start with straight necked pistol rounds (45acp I was thinking). The end goal is to do 308 and 223.

Any opinions are appreciated!


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246R
 
Posts: 3715 | Location: SE PA | Registered: November 13, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Plowing straight ahead come what may
Picture of Bisleyblackhawk
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Great press...

I'm still loading on the 550's predecessor, the RL450, bought over well 30 years ago...I've upgraded everything except the frame to the 550 over the years. It is pretty much fool proof if you don't get distracted (pretty much the same practice no matter which loader you use). You manually index it to the next station...I like that. It's easy to change calibers and primer size. The learning curve on use and setup is not that difficult and the powder setup is solid, when it's in adjustment it stays there.

Dillon has great customer service...great folks to deal with.

You will like that press Smile...let Dillon's Cathy show you how slick the 550 is Smile...




Link to original video: https://youtu.be/k0__OViMcaA


********************************************************

"we've gotta roll with the punches, learn to play all of our hunches
Making the best of what ever comes our way
Forget that blind ambition and learn to trust your intuition
Plowing straight ahead come what may
And theres a cowboy in the jungle"
Jimmy Buffet
 
Posts: 7223 | Location: Southeast Tennessee...not far above my homestate Georgia | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Cat Whisperer
Picture of cmr076
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Awesome! Thanks for the response. I watched a few videos on its use and it seems really simple, and for $free.99, how could I turn it down! Thousands of bullets, 10's of pounds of powder, thousands of rounds of 38 super (a round I've been intrigued by, 45 brass, etc), primers, scales, tumbler, I'm pretty excited!


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246R
 
Posts: 3715 | Location: SE PA | Registered: November 13, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Plowing straight ahead come what may
Picture of Bisleyblackhawk
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by cmr076:
Awesome! Thanks for the response. I watched a few videos on its use and it seems really simple, and for $free.99, how could I turn it down! Thousands of bullets, 10's of pounds of powder, thousands of rounds of 38 super (a round I've been intrigued by, 45 brass, etc), primers, scales, tumbler, I'm pretty excited!


Dude...you are going to be shooting SO MUCH MORE! Big Grin


********************************************************

"we've gotta roll with the punches, learn to play all of our hunches
Making the best of what ever comes our way
Forget that blind ambition and learn to trust your intuition
Plowing straight ahead come what may
And theres a cowboy in the jungle"
Jimmy Buffet
 
Posts: 7223 | Location: Southeast Tennessee...not far above my homestate Georgia | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Cat Whisperer
Picture of cmr076
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Bisleyblackhawk:
quote:
Originally posted by cmr076:
Awesome! Thanks for the response. I watched a few videos on its use and it seems really simple, and for $free.99, how could I turn it down! Thousands of bullets, 10's of pounds of powder, thousands of rounds of 38 super (a round I've been intrigued by, 45 brass, etc), primers, scales, tumbler, I'm pretty excited!


Dude...you are going to be shooting SO MUCH MORE! Big Grin



That's the plan, my wife's about to kill me since I've been shooting every weekend the past few months and buying 2-300 rds of 9mm, 100-200 45, 90-120 223 and 20-60 308 each weekend. I don't shoot it all every weekend, but it's getting freakin expensive!


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246R
 
Posts: 3715 | Location: SE PA | Registered: November 13, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
slam fires
Picture of 45 Cal
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You are going to love the 550,I know I have for three + decades.
Stock piling ammo is a hobby for me,last week I got the bug and loaded 400 06 for the M-1 and 03.
My kids and grandkids will enjoy it,my age has slowed me down on shooting
 
Posts: 21133 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of 2tonicP220
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I love my 550B, ever since I got her back in 95. Ram is still tight, still precise, and a real joy to use and operate. I load nearly every caliber I own on it, from 9mm Mak to 30/06. I love loading .223 and .308 on the 550, and even very precise varmint ammo for my .243. I think the 550B is the ideal progressive for a beginner to use. Only thing I wish could be a bit faster, was primer size swap-out... Some folks solve this by having another 550B set up with the other primer size Smile.

You can start out using it just like a single stage to learn the craft, then load a single round using all stations, and when ready go full tilt with all stations filled. I chose the 550B precisely because it is manually activated. You will have two chances to verify powder charge level before bullet seating at a comfortable pace... This is great for any reloader. Dillon CS has been exemplary, and the "No BS" warranty is tops. Great thing too is say you want to sell your press, resale is very high; I know I could sell mine for more than I paid for it 22 years ago.

Good luck, and welcome to club blue.


______________________________
Nitro smoke rewards a long days toil...
 
Posts: 2010 | Location: W PA | Registered: March 03, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of 1967Goat
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Must be a great friend/mentor. The value of that stuff new is probably over a grand!
 
Posts: 3848 | Location: 7400 feet in Conifer CO | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Cat Whisperer
Picture of cmr076
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quote:
Originally posted by 1967Goat:
Must be a great friend/mentor. The value of that stuff new is probably over a grand!


he is, I've also sold a lot of guns for him, many on here.


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Posts: 3715 | Location: SE PA | Registered: November 13, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Cat Whisperer
Picture of cmr076
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by 2tonicP220:
Some folks solve this by having another 550B set up with the other primer size Smile.


That's what I'll do Smile I have no interest in reloading shotguns, so I'll swap that one over to a rifle caliber loader!


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Posts: 3715 | Location: SE PA | Registered: November 13, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of sigcrazy7
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quote:
Originally posted by cmr076:
quote:
Originally posted by 2tonicP220:
Some folks solve this by having another 550B set up with the other primer size Smile.


That's what I'll do Smile I have no interest in reloading shotguns, so I'll swap that one over to a rifle caliber loader!


Confused

Never heard of a press that can do shotty and metallic. What make is the shotgun press?

If you mean you'll sell it and buy another Dillon, then disregard the question. BTW, shotgun loading is super easy and fun. I have my little kids do it for me. It's that easy.



[i]
 
Posts: 4981 | Location: Utah | Registered: December 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I have not yet begun
to procrastinate
Picture of KMitch200
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by cmr076:
quote:
Originally posted by 2tonicP220:
Some folks solve this by having another 550B set up with the other primer size Smile.

That's what I'll do Smile I have no interest in reloading shotguns, so I'll swap that one over to a rifle caliber loader!

The shotgun loader and the 550 are two different animals.
I'm not certain since I don't have one but I doubt the shotgun loader can be switched to metallic cartridges.


--------
After the game, the King and the pawn go into the same box.
 
Posts: 2163 | Location: AZ - West side of the valley | Registered: October 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Cat Whisperer
Picture of cmr076
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by KMitch200:
quote:
Originally posted by cmr076:
quote:
Originally posted by 2tonicP220:
Some folks solve this by having another 550B set up with the other primer size Smile.

That's what I'll do Smile I have no interest in reloading shotguns, so I'll swap that one over to a rifle caliber loader!

The shotgun loader and the 550 are two different animals.
I'm not certain since I don't have one but I doubt the shotgun loader can be switched to metallic cartridges.


Hopefully you're wrong, I know nothing about reloading though, so you're likely right


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Posts: 3715 | Location: SE PA | Registered: November 13, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Expert308
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quote:
Originally posted by Bisleyblackhawk:
Great press...

I'm still loading on the 550's predecessor, the RL450, bought over well 30 years ago...I've upgraded everything except the frame to the 550 over the years. It is pretty much fool proof if you don't get distracted (pretty much the same practice no matter which loader you use). You manually index it to the next station...I like that. It's easy to change calibers and primer size. The learning curve on use and setup is not that difficult and the powder setup is solid, when it's in adjustment it stays there.

I'm also using a 450, but I did the opposite - I upgraded the frame so that I can use the quick-switch toolheads. The primer size change is kind of a hassle, but most of the stuff I load on the 450 uses large primers (.45ACP, .45LC, .44Mag/Spl, .308Win), so I mostly leave it set up for large primers. Most of my rifle loads are hand-primed and loaded on a single stage press, except for .223 range ammo which does take a primer size changeout. I haven't bothered with the primer and powder system upgrades.
 
Posts: 5005 | Location: Portland, OR | Registered: February 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Cat Whisperer
Picture of cmr076
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is there specific books I should read? From watching the videos it seems incredibly easy on this setup. I guess I would want to measure the powder in? every 5th round loaded? Or do I not even have to spot check like that?

My friend is including a bunch of books with load info, but he said they're really old. Has that much changed in the last 20 years?


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Posts: 3715 | Location: SE PA | Registered: November 13, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Plowing straight ahead come what may
Picture of Bisleyblackhawk
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As far as checking powder charges for accuracy...after running and dumping a dozen cases to settle everything in, I check and weigh 5-6 drops to make sure it's where I want it. If it's OK, I might check the dropped weight when I refill the primer tube, but then again I might not...having loaded tens of thousands of .45 Colt and .357/.38 with Hodgdon Clays (my pistol powder of choice for Cowboy Action) I have found that with Clays, if my measure is set to drop 5.4 grains (my standard .45 Colt 200 grain bullet load)...it will drop 5.4 grains (+ or - 1/10 grain or so) from then on...even if the powder hopper gets low. So once I set my powder measure...I'm not prone to check it regularly. Truthfully, I find anything that breaks your rhythm once started increases the possibility of a mistake...just be mindful...

If you have to stop reloading for any reason like to pee or eat or just take a break...don't load another case into station 1 (deprime and resize)...just continue your normal rhythm until the shell plate is empty...that way when you come back you will be starting from a clean slate. I do this when recharging the primer tube...when the alarm goes off (there will still be 4-5 primers in the tube...I stop putting empty cases to be deprimed/resized/reprimed into station 1 (don't worry, the few primers left in the tube will not stack up or continue to feed...the primer left in the cup will prevent them from dropping). Again, when you restart loading with a full primer tube, you will start over clean with an empty shell plate (less chance of loosing you place in the rotation Smile

Fluffy powders like 700X or 800X not so much...the ball powders like AA5 and AA7 meter well. I've never had any big swing with Unique, which was my go to pistol powder before Clays/Clay Dot...

Dillon also offers their own instructional DVDs for their various presses...I have never watched one personally, but I do know several new reloaders that bought one for their presses and was told they were very helpful in setting up their presses and using them...

https://www.dillonprecision.co...hines_8_1_25562.html

If this particular book is not in the books he is giving you along with the equipment...I recommend it highly... The ABCs Of Reloading...

https://www.amazon.com/ABCs-Re...abc%27s+of+reloading

Same with this book from LEE Precision...even though it is biased towards LEE products, it still has good info on general reloading... Modern Reloading By Richard Lee...

https://www.amazon.com/Lee-Pre...Format/dp/B000N8OKAU

Purchase or borrow different reloading manuals and read over them before you start...the ones from Speer or Hornandy are excellent...this latest one from Lyman is also a must have IMHO...

https://www.amazon.com/Lyman-5...Manual/dp/B01N76GD2F

As far as data on the internet is concerned...stick to the various manufacturers websites such as Hodgdon, Alliant or Ramshot to be on the safe side...I've seen some recommended data in forums that is "iffy", to say the least Eek

The Hodgdon website is user friendly and has reloading data from both Hodgdon and IMR...

http://www.hodgdonreloading.com

As to changing over from small to large primers...check out this YouTube video from our own jmorris...this makes it so easy...




Link to original video: https://youtu.be/0rCGV-JPYaE

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Bisleyblackhawk,


********************************************************

"we've gotta roll with the punches, learn to play all of our hunches
Making the best of what ever comes our way
Forget that blind ambition and learn to trust your intuition
Plowing straight ahead come what may
And theres a cowboy in the jungle"
Jimmy Buffet
 
Posts: 7223 | Location: Southeast Tennessee...not far above my homestate Georgia | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of cxm
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What a wonderful gift... The Dillon line is the gold standard for reloading...

V/r


CHuck


Hoist on High the Bonny Blue Flag that Bears the Single Star!!!

Certified SIG Armorer
Certified Glock Armorer
 
Posts: 1254 | Location: Florida, CSA | Registered: September 02, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of chansen92
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by cmr076:
is there specific books I should read? From watching the videos it seems incredibly easy on this setup. I guess I would want to measure the powder in? every 5th round loaded? Or do I not even have to spot check like that?

My friend is including a bunch of books with load info, but he said they're really old. Has that much changed in the last 20 years?
Those books have a lot good info on how to proceed loading. Get a couple of new loading manual which will have up to date load data.
 
Posts: 1572 | Location: owosso,Mi. USA | Registered: August 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Cat Whisperer
Picture of cmr076
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Thanks everyone for the advice! I'm taking him and my dad to shoot sporting clays and will pick all the gear up then. Once I sort through it all I'm sure I'll have 10,000 more questions!


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Posts: 3715 | Location: SE PA | Registered: November 13, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"Member"
Picture of cas
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Got my first 550 in 1986. Its still going strong.


_____________________________________________________
Sliced bread, the greatest thing since the 1911.

 
Posts: 14622 | Location: A little box of pine on the 7:29 | Registered: May 17, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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