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Talk to me about Dillons, 550 vs 650, specifically Login/Join 
Web Clavin Extraordinaire
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posted
So after years, I've finally started to get back into reloading. I started with sorting and cleaning like 7 years worth of brass and have been making my way through depriming like 2500 9mm cases...on my RCBS single stage.

I'm wanting to start putting way more lead down range in training, like 300ish a week, so I'm thinking an upgrade to a progressive may be in order. I'd start with 9mm and would eventually like to do .40, 5.56 and .300 BLK.

So talk to me about Dillon 550s and 650s. Is it worth it to just go big and get the 650 right out of the gate?

My one concern is that Dillon is a money pit. So many add-ons and they all cost a ton. Like their dies. Jesus. You can use other companies' dies in Dillon toolheads, right?

What all do I need to know about these presses? Suggestions about which to go with?


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Educating the youth of America, one declension at a time.
 
Posts: 18305 | Location: SE PA | Registered: January 12, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
teacher of history
Picture of maxwayne
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The 550 you manually index, the 650 is automatic with each pull of the handle. I have had a 550 for years, reload several calibers and not one set of Dillon dies.

I think the 550 is for those who are mechanically inclined and those who are not. I am among the latter and I get along fine with it.
 
Posts: 4635 | Registered: March 04, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Avoiding
slam fires
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Just my opinion , the 650 can be a money pit with all the accessories you can cram on it.
I have for decades ,two 550's that serve my needs.Reason for two is the primer sizes,I just hate swapping that small shit out.
The same reason I don't text,fat fingers Wink
 
Posts: 21968 | Location: Georgia | Registered: February 19, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Go for the 650.... The auto index is great. Caliber changes are relatively simple. Takes about 10-15min.

The case feeder is a must do. Roller handle and Strong Mount are nice to have. Beyond that, the LED light strips is a nice aftermarket upgrade.

It's well worth the investment.

Andrew



Duty is the sublimest word in the English Language - Gen Robert E Lee.
 
Posts: 627 | Registered: May 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've had a 550 for a few years. Works great, no problems, load 400rds 9mm a week. If I were buying again, would get a 650 with a case feeder.
 
Posts: 2644 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
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I'll be facing this decision after I eventually finish the man cave project.

I'm with El Cid 92. I think I'd want the auto-indexing.

However, after reading Dillon vs Lee vs Hornady - Or “How I spent my Winter and Then Some”, I may go with the Hornady LNL AP.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
The dominant media is no more "mainstream" than leftists are liberals.
 
Posts: 16251 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by ensigmatic:
I'll be facing this decision after I eventually finish the man cave project.

I'm with El Cid 92. I think I'd want the auto-indexing.

However, after reading Dillon vs Lee vs Hornady - Or “How I spent my Winter and Then Some”, I may go with the Hornady LNL AP.


With the level of quality and customer service... Dillon would win in any arena. I have always been impressed with Dillon's ABSOLUTE commitment to their product and by extension the customer. I cannot recall any product or company that achieves their level responsibility within the firearm community or any other for that matter.

A friend had a Hornady LNL AP and he was forever tinkering with adjustments to ensure it would properly produce ammo. Hornadys customer service was less than helpful.

I'd definitely go Blue again without hesitation.

Andrew



Duty is the sublimest word in the English Language - Gen Robert E Lee.
 
Posts: 627 | Registered: May 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I run both a 550 & 650, both are good progressives. The biggest diff is the case feeder on the 650. Yes it auto indexes but that is not where the speed advantage comes from, it is the case feeder.
When my students or fellow shooters ask, for pistol ammo, 300 a week, worth the cost of a 650. All in, you are right about $1000 for one caliber. Yes use dies you already have will work fine. I like Dillon dies but run just about every brand on my Dillon tool heads.
the 550 is great if you change calibers often, just easier to do that. The 650 with case feeder is a production beast, easily doing 600-700 per hour. The 55o is no slouch, 400rds per hour is pretty sustainable, but you will be doing more hand work with no case feeder. Yes a case feeder is available for the 550 but it was designed to feed by hand & works well that way. There is no way to feed cases in a 650 by hand, but for filling the drop tube, which is kinda slow & brings your output down to about a 550.


IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
 
Posts: 7787 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
However, after reading Dillon vs Lee vs Hornady - Or “How I spent my Winter and Then Some”, I may go with the Hornady LNL AP.

There really is no comparison. If I wanted auto indexing & no case feeder, the LNL makes sense, it can be run with or without. The 650 is a better press, just fact. More robust, more rigid, better case feeder & better priming by far. All for about $100 more all in.


IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
NRA Instruc: Basic Pistol & Met Reloading
 
Posts: 7787 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I used a 550 for a bit, when it was time to finally buy, I bought a 650.

With a case feeder and no bullet feeder, I’m about 600rds an hour counting filling primer tubes.

You can spend a bit of money on extras for either, but don’t need too. Other than the case feeder for the 650. I tried the 650 without the case feeder for a bit just to see, not happy.

I did buy the InLine Fab raised mount because I like to stand to load. I also bought the roller handle, bullet tray and the LED light kit but all 4 are available for the 550 and are niceties.

Another advantage is the extra station on the 650 so you can add either a bullet feeder or powder check die and still seat and crimp separately.




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Posts: 7390 | Location: West | Registered: November 26, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
semi-reformed sailor
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Ensigmatic...I’ve had the LNL and a 650.....650 wins by far.

I got mine thru Brian enos website and they can add cool stuff..I got mine with the roller handle and some extras..super easy to use



"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

 
Posts: 6373 | Location: Texas! | Registered: October 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Plowing straight ahead come what may
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I’ve been using an RL 450 (upgraded to a 550 without the quick change toolhead) since the 80s and the manual index has never been a big deal to me (it goes fast enough for my needs)...if I were starting over today, I would still go with the 550. Just my two cents Smile


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Forget that blind ambition and learn to trust your intuition
Plowing straight ahead come what may
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Posts: 9688 | Location: Southeast Tennessee...not far above my homestate Georgia | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Go with the 650 and the case feeder, and never look back....trust me!!
 
Posts: 4570 | Location: Az | Registered: May 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Like Bisleyblackhawk(love mine in 41mag and 45ACP/Colt!), I started with a Dillon 450 in 1984, with most of the upgrades except the frame. I also have a Square Deal B for 9mm, and I prefer the Manual indexing of the 550. If you make a mistake with the manual indexing(primer doesn’t seat fully, case doesn’t enter resizing die properly, or any one of several reasons things don’t go perfectly) you can pause and fix it before going to the next station. A lot harder to do with auto indexing.
I can easily load 400 rds per hour, which is plenty for me, so an hour or so each week will easily give you the 300-400 rds you are looking for, with money left over for components.


A superior pilot is best defined as one who uses his superior judgment to avoid situations requiring the use of his superior skill.
 
Posts: 277 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: June 15, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
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I was in the same place you were a couple of years ago. I was debating between the 550 and the 650, but I didn't feel that I needed the case feeder. I wanted auto-index, and I didn't like the way the 550 design requires you to feed cases and bullets from opposite sides of the press. I ended up with an LNL, and I've been very happy with it. I can in about 400 rounds an hour, feeding cases and bullets with my left hand and running the lever with my right.

I really have no complaints with the press...it's simple to maintain and operate, and has been very reliable. My buddy has a 650, and it is much more complicated to set up and switch between calibers, especially if you are changing between large and small primers. With the case feeder, though, his 650 definitely has the edge on speed.

My recommendation is if you want a case feeder, get the 650. If you don't, take a long look at the LNL.
 
Posts: 3161 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you are going to do 223/5.56 I have a tool head set up with a RT1200 trimmer and a small base sizer die. I can process 1000 brass in less than an hour. There is a swager that you can buy to knock out hat tedious job too, but I have have not done it yet. I heard it is hard on the frame of the press.

I have loaded for more than 20 years on a single stage RCBS. Kept telling myself I like the QC that I had. With a powder check station I feel I have the same QC.

I always you a case checker on whatever I load and the 650 is always spot on and I can do 500 rounds of 45 or 9mm in an hour and not break a sweat.

That said, I have a quick change set up for several calibers. It is expensive but pull a couple of pins and change out the caliber conversion and you are good to go. I also bought a separate priming system so I just change out the entire prime system when I go from large to small.


Browning Buckmark Target, Colt Junior, Colt .22 Target Model, Colt .22 New Frontier, Colt Cowboy .45 LC, Colt Trooper, Colt Cobra, Colt Gov't Model, Colt Combat Elite, Colt Competition Model, CZ Scorpion EVO, CZ-75 TSO, H&k P30L, S&W 625(.45 LC), S&W 642, P290RS, Beretta 96, Glock 21, Ruger Blackhawk 45 LC
 
Posts: 348 | Location: North Central Ohio | Registered: February 08, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
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quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:
I was in the same place you were a couple of years ago. ... I ended up with an LNL, and I've been very happy with it.
...

I really have no complaints with the press...it's simple to maintain and operate, and has been very reliable. My buddy has a 650, and ...

I'm not real close to making a decision, so I've yet to have done my usual uber-thorough research, but, from my superficial research, so far: LNL AP vs. Dillon 650 is looking a lot to me like "Ford vs. Chevy."

Given the pros/cons I've read of each: If I was forced at the point of a gun to choose now, I'd probably choose Hornady.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
The dominant media is no more "mainstream" than leftists are liberals.
 
Posts: 16251 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dillon support and the machines robust design makes this an easy decision. A friend just purchased the Hornady, nice machine with some differences not to my liking. I have two 550's, have used the 650, for a smaller overall investment the manual indexing is fine. I have loaded all my match ammo and my precision rifle ammo on these presses. Many thousands of rounds later, no regrets. I use several different primers in various calibers. The AP primer thing is a non starter for me.
 
Posts: 1199 | Location: Montana | Registered: October 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
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quote:
but, from my superficial research, so far: LNL AP vs. Dillon 650 is looking a lot to me like "Ford vs. Chevy."


In a way, yes. But my primary piece of advice would be to figure out what workflow you plan to use, and buy the press that best fits that workflow.

Also, don't hear me saying the LNL is perfect. It took a little "aftermarket modification" (read:hillbilly engineering) to get it running smoothly. Nothing major or complicated...just a lock washer for the shellplate, a dab of loctite here and there, and punching the detents in the shellplate a bit to stop it from sloshing powder.

Don't let anybody tell you that the 650 doesn't have it's own minor quirks, though, because it definitely does. The 650 is a great press...if I needed the volume I'd have one. But for the 300-500 rounds a week that I shoot, I'm very happy with my LNL.
 
Posts: 3161 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Quit staring at my wife's Butt
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here is my set up with bullets feeders I built myself, never owned a 550 but love the 650- 1050 for me it's all about how many rounds I can crank out in a limited time. both machines have easily paid for them selves in the first year I had them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rzxsrG2vK0
 
Posts: 4958 | Registered: February 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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