Dillon 550, what a machine!

This is a discussion on Dillon 550, what a machine! within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I got my loading room set up months ago and just haven't been able to get back to loading. Winter weather has its own list ...

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Thread: Dillon 550, what a machine!

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array svgheartland's Avatar
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    Dillon 550, what a machine!

    I got my loading room set up months ago and just haven't been able to get back to loading. Winter weather has its own list of chores on the farm. This weekend the weather was miserable and with my stocks of ammo running low, I was determined to get cracking on the loads. I finally dialed in my Hornady Progressive and started cranking 40's. Damn but it's a persnickety machine. All I have to do is leave it over night and we have to go through its personality quirks the next day.

    After exhausting my brass on the 40's I focused on my dad's Dillon. He passed away a year and a half ago so I'm sure the press has been idle for 2 years or more. He'd had it set up for 45's and I figured that'd be a good place to find out about this new to me operation. I inspected it, cleaned it a bit, lubed it up and started playing with it. It had sat unused all this while and I had removed it from the old bench. It was hauled around in the car and bolted to a new bench. Basically its had a lot of reasons to be hard to start, but no. Every adjustment that I made to it I backed off to the original. Dad had had it right and the Dillon had held the settings. I did back off the powder throw a tad and that was it. In no time I was out back on my test range, playing with the first loads. This press is the cats backside.

    I wish I'd never bought that red one. Everything that folks say about Dillon seems to be true. It's shown itself to be rock solid so far.
    Savage Heartland

    What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about?

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    To be fair dillon machines can have a few hang ups now and again. My biggest kissue has been the primer feed sticking . I used some dry graphite powder to help lube it with success. Overall I am pleased with my 550b.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I started with a Lee Pro 1000,had many problems with the primer feed system and the powder reset chain kept breaking resulting in some cases without any powder,changed to a Dillon 550 about 5 years ago and haven't regretted it since.I load everything from 380 to 44 mag in pistol and 223 and 308 in rifle.

    I was having some issues with the primer feed not always picking up a primer etc,I was tightening the mounting bolts down when I had the handle pushed forward lining up the feed in the shell plate...I fornd out it needs to be tightened down on the upstroke when everything is lined up where its dropping a primer into the feed,haven't had a problem since
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    Yes it is a great machine! Make sure to keep it clean and take your time with all of the actions. I spend extra time when swapping out primmer sizes or calibers. I make sure all of the actions are smooth and no hang ups. Only problem for me is extruded rifle powder can vary more than I would like. So I hand measure all of my long range stuff (+600 yard).
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.
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    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    got my first dillon in 1985, it was a 550. still going strong. pickup a use 550b several years ago and it is still going strong. i only load pistol on the dillons. single stage press is what i use for rifle. had a small problem with the primer bar on the 550 and several of my powder drop systems have given me problems. dillon send new parts free of charge. all in all i am glad i went with dillon.
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    Member Array AZ_Larz_NY's Avatar
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    Are you going to get rid of your Hornady stuff? I might be interested if you do.

    Be safe!
    NEVER point a gun at something you are not prepared to destroy!
    AND for GODS sake, get your finger off the trigger until you are ready to squeeze the trigger!

  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array svgheartland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky View Post
    To be fair dillon machines can have a few hang ups now and again. My biggest kissue has been the primer feed sticking . I used some dry graphite powder to help lube it with success. Overall I am pleased with my 550b.
    Funny that you mention that. I went out this evening and had that very problem. I decided that I was a bit too tired to mess with it and I'd remembered your post from this morning. Graphite I got. Thanks for the tip. Tomorrow is another day.

    I've already started looking at the used market for both blue and red to consider swapping my Hornady for a Dillon. A knee jerk reaction I know but something to play with for a bit. I may be married to that red one, like it or not. Years ago I was married to something quirkier than that.

    It was nice to have a few moments with my dad while I messed with his settings and then put em back.

    Seems you can't get a decent press now without a 2 month minimum wait. I think a lot a new guys a getting on board. That's nice to hear on one hand but a bit scary on the other.
    Savage Heartland

    What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about?

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