Question for you Dillon guys.

Question for you Dillon guys.

This is a discussion on Question for you Dillon guys. within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I have been reloading for almost 60 years now and have always used either a single stage or turret press. Thinking about getting a Dillon ...

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Thread: Question for you Dillon guys.

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Question for you Dillon guys.

    I have been reloading for almost 60 years now and have always used either a single stage or turret press. Thinking about getting a Dillon 550 B.

    My first question is ------does a set of dies come with the loader and--can I use standard dies with it or do I have to buy all new Dillon dies?????

    Any other tips and suggestions are more than welcome !!


    THANKS !


  2. #2
    Member Array LeMat44's Avatar
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    Dies don't come with it. I have a couple sets of Dillon dies, but mostly use RCBS dies with it. If you plan on doing more than one caliber, I'd suggest picking up a couple tool heads so you can have the dies already set up. Just swap tool heads out.

    You will need different caliber conversion kits depending on what calibers you'll be loading. These are significantly more expensive than a simple shell holder.

    I still do most of my loading on an old Rockchucker, but I don't shoot the volumes I used to either. I only got the Dillon when I was hot and heavy in IDPA, USPSA and CAS. Loading a large volume of ammo is where the Dillon shines. I was shooting 12,000+ rounds a year then and simply did not have the time to sit at a single stage for hours. Besides not having the time, I simply can't afford to shoot those volumes anymore. That's when you could get 1,000 cast bullets for around $24.00.

    You'll have to determine whether the cost of the unit is worth the amount you'll be shooting. If you're only shooting a couple thousand rounds a year like me anymore, I'd stick with a single stage.

  3. #3
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    If you are shooting a lot of handguns, I'd definitely go with the Dillon dies. I have used all makes of dies and the Dillon's work best due to the fact that they are designed for a progressive press. The decapping die is radiused at the bottom which really speeds thing up, it doesn't require the cases to be aligned exactly where as the other dies with square shoulders on them do.

    The powder die is great and greatly speeds up the process. Most of the Dillon's use taper crimps which aren't as persnickety if your cases aren't exactly the same length and that makes for more accurate ammo when the crimps are uniform. The bullet seating die and the crimp die are two different operations vs. most other dies that are not.

    Having started out using whatever I had at the time, I eventually went to all Dillon dies.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Thanks guys ! Here is my deal. I don't plan on doing much more shooting than in the past,but one of my son-in-laws has recently gotten a 1911 and already had a .243 and a .308. He wants to get in the game and I know he shoots a great deal more than I do nowdays.

    Looks like I will be picking up more stuff for my widow to get rid of-----or---better yet I may just be buying some things the S-I-L can use. I can see a set of 9mm Dillon dies in my near future along with a couple others.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
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    You can't go wrong with a Dillon RL-550B.
    marcclarke likes this.

  6. #6
    Member Array dennis40x's Avatar
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    I use RCBS and or Lyman die sets. As an example 45ACP die set is RCBS and dates from 1988. I have three Dillon Progressive units and satisfied with what I have. If I were starting from scratch I'd take a close look at Hornady thou. The worst thing you can do with a progressive press is be consumed with rate of production. Some times you have to go slow in order to go fast eventually. Some individuals get confused with multiple operations going on simultaneously. Its best in my opinion to insert one cartridge case with only that one going thru the complete loading cycle before inserting another until you are comfortable with the process.

  7. #7
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    I believe with a new Dillon loader does come with one set of dies. I love my 550b and it works well with pistol and rifle.
    MrBuckwheat and flintlock62 like this.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by flintlock62 View Post
    You can't go wrong with a Dillon RL-550B.
    I think you can. Dillon makes good stuff to be sure but they are too spendy these days. The Hornady LNL progressive press has 5 stations and is auto indexing for about the same money. If I were buying today I would go Hornady instead of Dillon. The value just isn't there right now.

    Hornady Lock-N-Load AP Progressive Press

    https://www.dillonprecision.com/cont...atid/1/RL_550B
    gasmitty likes this.
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  9. #9
    Ex Member Array all357mag's Avatar
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    Standard dies work. Doesn't come with dies. Only con with the Dillon is the caliber conversion kits you have to purchase, to reload different calibers. They're $55 shipped from Dillon. Look for them used on Ebay. You won't have any regrets switching over!

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array high pockets's Avatar
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    You can order the Dillon with, or without, dies. If you order "with" dies, they will be Dillon dies. You can use almost any dies in the 550, but most people end up with either RCBS, or Dillon dies.
    "If you make something idiot proof, someone will make a better idiot."

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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array high pockets's Avatar
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    Buying used Dillon equipment does not usually save you very much money. If you find a "great" deal on Dillon parts, or machines, the seller either does not know what he/she has, or there is something wrong with what they are selling.

    One of the good things about Dillon is that even if there is something wrong with a used Dillon, Dillon will stand behind it and you can get it repaired at no charge.
    "If you make something idiot proof, someone will make a better idiot."

    - Anon

  12. #12
    Member Array Sgt45's Avatar
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    I got my first Dillon back in the '70's (a 450 B which I upgraded later to the 550 B) My only regret is that I don't have space on my current bench for two of them. One for large primers and one for small. Any standard die will work, though I do like the Dillon dies, but I have Lyman, RCBS, Pacific and Hornady dies that I use. Rugged and Dillon is tops to work with if anything goes wrong.

  13. #13
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    Dillon has a lifetime warranty.
    One day I came home from work and walked into my shop...only to find that my powder measure was busted. I had an eyeball to eyeball discussion with my two boys and found out that they had been wrestling...which wasn't all that uncommon but they got a little rough and one of them got thrown into my 550 and busted the plexiglass hopper off of it.

    I called Dillon and told them exactly what happened and was prepared to pay for the damages and that I certainly did not expect them to send me a new one free. They sent me a new measure free of charge anyway.

    Another time I called to order a conversion kit for my .444. I ended up talking to a guy named Mike for over an hour and he told me that they had chambered a Thompson Contender in .444 and had a ball with it. He made sure that I had every thing that I needed and we even talked about loads, powder, bullets....the whole bit. Before we hung up I told him that I appreciated the info and enjoyed the discussion and that I wanted to know his name so that I could tell the owner how great a job he did. He just laughed and said thanks...that he was the owner of the company, it was Mike Dillon. He said that every now and then he would answer the phone to get a "feel" for things on the customer end.

    I have had excellent customer service from them. I got mine in 1982 and its still going strong.
    rocky, atctimmy and welder516 like this.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


    AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
    Like custom guns and stuff? Check this out...
    http://bobbailey1959.wordpress.com/

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array SatCong's Avatar
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    One more for DILLON.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array High Altitude's Avatar
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    Just bought a 550b from Brian enos (free shipping). Nice press, very simple design. Manual indexing adds a lot of flexibility. You can do everything from load development to production, single stage to progressive.



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