How long to change calibers on your press???

How long to change calibers on your press???

This is a discussion on How long to change calibers on your press??? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; And how many rounds per hour can your press put out? Please mention make and model. Some friends and I are thinking of buying in ...

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Thread: How long to change calibers on your press???

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    How long to change calibers on your press???

    And how many rounds per hour can your press put out? Please mention make and model. Some friends and I are thinking of buying in together, and we'll need to do several calibers in a given day. Wondering how much day we'll waste just changing calibers, and how many rounds extra we'd need to reload per caliber-session to offset that time.
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    Member Array Airedale's Avatar
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    I have two Dillon 550Bs. I don't track rounds per hour but would guess 400-500 would be fairly easy (possibly more). I don't reload for speed or for hours at a time.

    Caliber conversion is easy. I have tool heads set up for each caliber I reload. I can switch calibers in less than five minutes without hurrying. If you need to switch from large to small primers, it takes a few minutes more. I have two 550bs simply so one can stay as a .45ACP press and the other .38 Spc, .38 Super, .40 S&W.

    I bought both of mine used off Ebay and have had no problems. Dillon has the no BS lifetime warranty but I've not needed it.

    Dave

  3. #3
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    That depends.
    I've got a Dillon 550b.

    If the primers are the same size, say a large pistol primer, then the time will be reduced.

    Lets say I am loading .45 ACP. I remove the tool block (3 seconds) and place another tool block with the dies for a .44 in it. (3 seconds). Now I change the shell plate, from one that fits .45 to one that fits .44. That'll take about 2 minutes, counting removing and replacing the buttons. If I have to remove the powder measure and put it on the other tool block, add a couple of more minutes.

    Changing primer sizes takes about 5 minutes.

    Getting the powder measure to drop the right charge can go anywhere from fast to slow...its just trial and error. Drop,measure, adjust,drop,measure,adjust over and over till you get it right.

    Out of all the presses our there, I'd say the Dillon is the fastest to change from one caliber to the other...but like any other there are alot of variables.

    I've got 18 tool blocks with different calibers set up, so its a simple matter of changing it out. I also have several powder measures, so that helps reduce the time.

    The average reloader can do 450-500 rounds an hour with no problem once they get set up and cranking. Of course, that varies with the operator and their methods.
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    Member Array Sharp's Avatar
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    I use a single stage RCBS Rock Chucker, and changing dies only takes a matter of seconds. The amount of time it takes depends on how fast you can screw...

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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    I use a Redding Ultramag single stage press. I can do 50-100 an hour depending if I'm trying to go fast or not. 50 is a piece of cake. I have a Hornady Lock-N-Load bushing on it so I can switch dies in about a second. I like it....probably not what you're looking for though.

    Austin

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    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    I have a Dillon 550B and am reloading all small primer, so it is very quick... 5 minutes or less to change out dies and pins, but a few more minutes to change the powder load.

    Usually I reload a couple hundred per hour, because I double check everything every 50 or so rounds.
    Be Observant and Be Safe.

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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    I see. I was somehow under the impression that it took from 20-40 minutes to change calibers on the dillon. That's what I get for listening to my idiot friends instead of coming to you guys first.

    So then, at what caliber does the primer go from the small one to the big one? (am I even correct that there is only 2 sizes?)
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  8. #8
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    It takes considerably longer on the Dillon 650 and 1050.

    Small primers are 9mm,.40sw and below.Pretty much everything else is large,like .45ACP,45LC and .44.

    Rifle primers can be either size. Large pistol and large rifle are the same size as well as small pistol and small rifle.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  9. #9
    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    I see. I was somehow under the impression that it took from 20-40 minutes to change calibers on the dillon. That's what I get for listening to my idiot friends instead of coming to you guys first.

    So then, at what caliber does the primer go from the small one to the big one? (am I even correct that there is only 2 sizes?)
    The Dillon 550B is quick... I've heard that the 650 may take a bit longer to change.

    Yes, pistol primers come in two sizes (small and large). I reload 9mm and .40S&W, and both use small primers and they use the same shellplate on the Dillon 550B. Check this site out: Dillon Precision RL 550B Caliber Conversion Cross Reference Chart

    I will be adding .38 dies sometime this year and they use small primers as well, but it will require a little more work to change out the shellplate.
    Be Observant and Be Safe.

    Current: S&W 442, Springfield XD9sc, XDm9, and Glock G26, G19, G23C,
    and SIG P226-40 TT, and Ruger GP-100, and Beretta 92FS
    Former: Taurus 92SS, SIG P220 TT, S&W 360, SIG P239-40, Ruger 22/45 MKII

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    I can do a full caliber change on my Dillon 550 in 5-7 minutes including primer system change.

    The Lee Classic Turret I can change out in 20 seconds, then calibrate the powder measure.

    I use the RCBS Rockchucker as more of a utility press for bullet pulling, reforming brass into other cartridges, etc. Don't ever load on it.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  11. #11
    New Member Array SSDD's Avatar
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    Been loading on a Dillon 550B for a as long as they have been out, and before that 450.

    My all out best pure speed run with loading 45ACP is way over 600 not quite 700 in an hour. I have 10 Primer tubes, so that helps. But if I pace myself and stuff I can easily get 500 done in way under an hour. It take me a tad longer to do 9mm, which I attribute to having smaller stuff to handle.

    Conversions from say 9 to 45 are easy! I have an extra primer shield housing so the biggest time consumer is changing the powder measure over. I have two, one for rifle and one for pistol rounds.
    I had a complete quick change kits it would be easier. But, I would say from start to finish under 5 min and the time it takes to dial in the powder measure. Setting up for 223 is a bit more of a chore.

  12. #12
    Member Array johnnyrigger's Avatar
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    Well the first time i did a change in my caliber size was on my 550B. I went from 45ACP which is a Large primer to 40 S&W and that is small primer, the whole time was 6 mins. And that was my Vary First time doing so.

    Johnny

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