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I usually use 200-300 rds. of WWB .45 ACP FMJ during practice every month. @ $20 per 100, that's over $500 per year. For $370.00 I can purchase a Dillon RL 550B. Please advise as to the best system under $600.00. I will be reloading .45 ACP, 38 Spl., 8mm Mauser, and .308.
 

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I use a Hornady LNL press Dillons are good to each there own ive looked at dillion a few time but liked the hornady set up better
The powder measure better

Changing calibers is easyer on the hornady and also resetting the timing of the press is too
 

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I'd go with either one depending on what you like, as Bud said.
The Dillon 550 doesn't have timing, it's manual indexing. Hornady is the one for changing calibers, given everything equal. IF (I want to shout this) you want to really spend some money, you can get spare toolheads for the Dillon where each has its own powder measure. Then, provided you're staying with the same primer size (not type, just size, like large pistol and large rifle), you can change calibers by pulling out two pins, exchanging the toolhead, exchanging the shellplate, and loading up with whatever primer. To change from large to small primers takes a few minutes.
Hornady's powder measure is a "real" one - it has something to turn to carefully adjust powder. The Dillon measure is a pain for me to get set, since it's turn a bolt head a little, check, turn a little, check, etc... however, once a Dillon is set, they are amazingly stable. I haven't had to change my 44 Magnum setting in over 10,000 rounds.
Best bet is try to find people with both and take a look. I run a 550 and really like it - a great friend of mine runs the Hornady and he really likes it.
Oh, I have found that reloading doesn't really save money since you'll just shoot more!!!
 

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I like my 550 , but have not tried any other loaders either.
 

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I am ''stuck'' with mostly Lee stuff - it always did me OK and I reload less now in quantity. I'd like better but it does OK. It is a fairly cheap way for folks to start off - at least for step one, after which Dillon etc could be a way to go.

Some gear is from other sources tho - Hornady powder measure, Lyman moulds, scales etc.

Remember if starting - the press is not everything - and that's why Lee can save pennies initially. You'll want dies, scales, numerous accessories.

Do also - go get some reload books - Lyman #48, Speer #13 - and the 2nd Edition Lee book perhaps. Try not to start until familiar with the whole process and if poss' - find someone else who already does it - and watch and pick their brains.
 

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Agreed Bud - mine is #47 - just mentioned the other as latest but I am well happy with the #47.

Hard to have too many reload ref' books IMO - sometimes you have to check in several, particularly with hot loads - try and evaluate and sometimes extrapolate from all to find what can be regarded as a safe load.
 

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Your right there plus dont forget the free load books you can get t from the powder makers..

I find for Hot loads the Powder makers stuff is usually the best like Hodgdon h-110 there loads seem to be the best and what weird is there hotter than the loading manuals say

Where my lyman says is max with h-110 in 500 smith Hodgdon Starts and donts lock the gun up with unburnt powder as do the lyman loads...


If you do decide to get into loading feel free to ask Me or Chirs or some of the others everyone will usually be happy to give you a hand.
 

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dont forget the free load books
I near forget - yeah - some free stuff is out there and - do a search for each powder manufacturer and if you get to a suitable site - sometimes the maker's own - you can often download a darned useful PDF file for reference.

Free = good :smile:
 

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Buy the best Dillon you can for the money.
There is no substitute for a Dillon.

I went with a Lee Pro1000 first and regretted it from day one. Sold it after 30days and bought a Dillon XL-650. That was over 12 years ago and it's been the best investment I've made short of the guns it feeds. :)
 

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The Lee Pro is indeed not the best recommendation for Lee stuff tho I believe it is way better - or whatever its equivalent is now.

I always went with turret presses and with those - tho slower, always had very satisfactory results. They are certainly all I need now. For instance, loading my 45-70 rounds is a very one-at-a-time deal but would not want to go any faster.

I am way too old to upgrade now!
 

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usually use 200-300 rds. of WWB .45 ACP FMJ during practice every month. @ $20 per 100, that's over $500 per year. For $370.00 I can purchase a Dillon RL 550B. Please advise as to the best system under $600.00. I will be reloading .45 ACP, 38 Spl., 8mm Mauser, and .308.
You've already figured it out. You can get the Dillon with .45,.38.,.308 and 8MM dies and shell plates for under 600$.

If you value your time, the Dillon is the only way to go. For instance, the average reloader that takes his time will reload at least 500 rounds per hour. You can load your 300 rounds a month in about 30 minutes using a leisurely pace.

Eventually, you want to get the die holder blocks and keep your dies set for your favorite load. This is where the Dillon beats everyone hands down. Once you set your dies where you want them, you just change out the whole block when loading a different caliber. Two months later when you want to load that caliber again, you just put the die block in and you dont have to mess with adjustments. That beats the Hornady. Another thing about the conversion plates is that there are different groups.

The shell plate for the .45 is the same one for the .308. All you'll have to get for that is a power funnel and you are good to go. Any case head that fits the .45 will fit in that particular shell plate.

Ive got a dozen different plates, and thats good for a couple of hundred calibers.

The more research you do on the net, the more you'll hear the word "Dillon" pop up. They have the best warranty in the business. Ive been reloading for over 25 years and I finally stripped out the threads on the powder measure rod. I called them and told them about it and they sent me a new one.

Service like that is hard to beat...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Guys, You are the best, many thanks. I'll be ordering a press in the next couple of months. HotGuns, I'll be getting back to you when the Dillon arrives. Thanks you all.
 

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oregonshooter said:
You won't be sorry with the Dillon. Good choice! And welcome to the "money saving club." LOL
+1 I bought my RL-450 in 1984, upgraded to a RL550 in 1989. Wouldn't go any other way. Best dang customer service in ANY industry.
 

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~sigh~ I remember my Square Deal B. It paid for itself the first time I used it. But as time wore on, it got to be a case of repetitive injuries associated with standing long periods of time and constantly throwing that lever....I just buy my ammo in bulk now. Or by the IDPA competition. Like this weekend. Since I finally got my wife to agree to go out and participate, I'll be buying a double load. I'll try and post some pics here Saturday night.
 

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Glad to here you are thinking about reloading. The way the factories are putting out such great quality these days, it seems to me that fewer people are doing it . I have been reloading for about 11 years now , and I think that it has become a greater hobby than the process one goes through to make the cases empty again. The 8mm Mauser and .308 Win. are two of my favorites. I can give you some data sometime if you are interested.
 

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have not tried the Hornady, but my Dillon turns out some good 45acp rounds...just bought a tool head and powder measure for .223 rem
 
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