Which progressive press?

Which progressive press?

This is a discussion on Which progressive press? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; OK, the tax refund and annual bonus (the latter absent for 2 years) are now in hand. This year the priority is on reloading equipment, ...

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  1. #1
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    Which progressive press?

    OK, the tax refund and annual bonus (the latter absent for 2 years) are now in hand. This year the priority is on reloading equipment, and I'm getting ready to invest.

    The choice as of now is narrowed down to a Dillon 550B or a Hornady Lock-n-Load AP - comparable price level. I'm looking for qualified opinions that will push me firmly in one direction or the other.

    Both are backed with lifetime warranties. Dillon is famous for their ruggedness and great customer service; the Hornady has some features which seem a bit more advanced and more comparable with the higher-priced Dillon 650, like a 5th die position and auto-indexing. For caliber changes, the two machines take different approaches (shell plate change vs. toolhead change) but the cost comes out about the same. The Hornady powder measure seems easier and cleaner to change, but it looks like the Dillon handles primers a little better.

    The Hornady progressive is a bit newer than the Dillon 550, so I suspect it won't have as large or loyal a fan bases as the Dillon, but I'm more interested in overall performance than popularity.

    Opinions?
    Smitty
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  2. #2
    Member Array jwarren's Avatar
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    If you will be loading several calibers, I would go with Hornady as the Dillon is a harder caliber change. But, it is hard to beat the proven Dillon machines.JMO

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwarren View Post
    If you will be loading several calibers, I would go with Hornady as the Dillon is a harder caliber change. But, it is hard to beat the proven Dillon machines.JMO
    Very hard to top a Dillon.

    Friends, who can own any reloader they desire steered me to a 550B. One was a professional reloader, so I value his input on all things related to reloading, and seriously contemplate anything he has to say. Another used to sell reloading presses, and while he didn't sell Dillon, he believed in them enough that he has one and also steered me to the 550B.

    Biker

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Dillon 550,I have turned out thousands of rounds and like RCBS dies,what I like about the 550 is you can run one at a time ,or if you think you messed up back it up,the 650 isn't as user friendly
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwarren View Post
    If you will be loading several calibers, I would go with Hornady as the Dillon is a harder caliber change. But, it is hard to beat the proven Dillon machines.JMO
    I never used a hornady,but
    On the dillon I remove the powder funnel,unpin the die holder and swap with the next die holder,place powder funnel on top and adjust powder amount,change shell plate and buttons,and unless I'm changing primer size I'm ready to crank out cartridges
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  6. #6
    Member Array jwarren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    I never used a hornady,but
    On the dillon I remove the powder funnel,unpin the die holder and swap with the next die holder,place powder funnel on top and adjust powder amount,change shell plate and buttons,and unless I'm changing primer size I'm ready to crank out cartridges
    You are correct.

    I should have stated "that use different PRIMER sizes" in my post.

  7. #7
    Member Array mongovb's Avatar
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    I have the XL 650 with case feeder that I got for a really good deal(400 with 45 acp dies and case feeder). It still boggles my mind that the 550 is not auto indexing. Some of dillons stuff to me is too expensive and too me your just paying for the name in SOME CASES. The primer flip tray is 19 bucks! The RCBS version is 5 for example. I havent priced the set up of the Hornady press, but, I think it would be close to the same. I myself love the auto indexing feature. I think I would go for the Hornady for the auto indexing and 5 stations vice the 4 of the 550. I use all 5 stations on mine for 45 and 40, but, not 223. I still use my Lee turret press for loading 308 since its not about volume.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I would go with the Dillon. If nothing else the monthly Dillon publications with the Dillon "models" are worth it.

  9. #9
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    Oh, I get them anyway! Even met one recently (one of the advantages of living in the Phoenix area).
    Smitty
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  10. #10
    Member Array houdini's Avatar
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    buy a dillon it worth the money

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Rob99VMI04's Avatar
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    I have both the 550 and the 650 if your doing many calibers Pistol, and rifle, go with the 550.

    never used the hornady, however its really hard to beat dillions warranty policy .

    The nice thing about the 550 is it can still crank out lots of ammo per hour, and still gives you the control of a single stage, however, you can double charge on a 550, 650 are nearly impossible to double charge a load. When I first got the 650, I tried for 30 minutes to double charge a load just to see if it was possible, and unless i physically moved the case back a station, it seems impossible. However, the 550 would double charge if you pulled the handled two times on the same case.
    “Are you a thermometer or a thermostat, do you reflect or become what is happening in the room or do you change the atmosphere, reset the temperature when you come into the room”?--Chuck Swindoll

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  12. #12
    Member Array mandalitten's Avatar
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    I would go with the Hornady because of auto indexing and the extra station. If you like the Dillon brand, I would pay the extra money to get the 650.
    Here is a very good comparison of three popular presses (Dillon, Hornady, and Lee).
    http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillon...Comparison.pdf

  13. #13
    Member Array showmebob's Avatar
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    A little late but my .o2.
    I've loaded with both Dillon 550 and Hornady LNL AP. For ease and speed and cost I bought the Hornady. The Hornady features are more along the lines of the Dillon 650 even though most folks like to compare it to the 550. Both companies have great warranties and customer service.
    I suggest you use both machines before purchase and choose the one that is the best "fit" for your needs.
    Good luck!

  14. #14
    Member Array xpertz1's Avatar
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    I had a Hornady Progressive when they fist came out. Biggest waste of money. I hated that junk so bad I didn't even sell it. I junked it.

    Dillon 650 all the way..

    Lyman T-Mag for less used calibers.
    Peace is that brief, glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading.

  15. #15
    Member Array AZ_Larz_NY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mandalitten View Post
    I would go with the Hornady because of auto indexing and the extra station. If you like the Dillon brand, I would pay the extra money to get the 650.
    Here is a very good comparison of three popular presses (Dillon, Hornady, and Lee).
    http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillon...Comparison.pdf
    This is a great link with so much good info. I am debating the Dillon 550 or the Hornady myself now...

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