Dillon RL 550B?

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by Mike P, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. A co-worker has offered to sell me a brand new un-used, still in unopened box Dillon 550b that an old girl friend bought him. His selling price is $250.

    I'm considering buying it but don't know squat about reloading or reloaders. I would most likely only be reloading one caliber and that would be 9mm since I burn through so much of it at the range. I already have countless thousands of once fired brass so the cost savings is there and the pay back on the press shouldn't take long.

    I guess my question is, are Dillon's any good? Was the price offered to me good?
  2. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

    At that price point, the Dillon 550 is a good buy, BUT you will throw a couple hundred more at it in parts.*

    Quick check on eBay, they go from 390 to 450, or thereabouts. Used and BNIB.

    Would you know offhand if it is a Progressive or Manual Indexing? If it is progressive, with a couple hundred bucks worth of add-ons, you can pump out any caliber pistol ammo (just about) at a rate of about 150-200 in 20 minutes or less. If it is a manual-indexing, in other words "turretted", your tops would be around 150 or so in 20 minutes.

    Do you know what else is in the box, in addition to the actual press itself?

    * For comparison, Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive reloader kit (lacking only the digital weighing scale to adjust your powder charges and the case trimmer, as well as the dies themselves and a few other gadgets) can be had on sale at Scheel's (www.scheels.com) for about $350. It is the same kit for sale at Midway USA here:

    An RCBS single-stage reloading kit complete (less digital scale -it comes with an analog scale- and case trimmer as well as the dies) is available at Cabelas on sale for $270 or so, but it is a SINGLE-STAGE press, so your productivity drops to about less than half of that of a progressive or turreted reloading press. It is available for viewing here:

    I have been using RCBS Rockchucker Supreme (what Cabelas is selling) for over a decade now, and have fine-tuned my reloading routine so that the cases are all prepped and primed before I actually start loading powder and seating bullets. I can pump out about 100 rounds in 30 minutes, but I've been doing it this way for years now. If I can justify throwing more money to "fix" something that is not broke, I would buy the Hornady progressive kit.

    My $0.02, hope it helps, Mike.

  3. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

    Just checked the Dillon Precision website, the RL-550B is a progressive press, and retails (on their website) for $439.95.

    Check it out here: (click on the OPTIONS tab to see what you will be purchasing in order to begin using this press:

    That is, in addition to a case tumbler and tumbling media (or an ultrasonic cleaner and concentrated cleaning agent! :D)
  4. malladus

    malladus New Member

    The 550b is a progressive press that you manually rotate the 4 shell carrier plate around. If you know what you are doing you can load 300 - 500 rounds an hour. I got mine at Christmas and ran through all my reloading components on hand in a couple of weeks.

    4 stages -
    1- size and decap on the down stroke prime by pushing back past neutral once sized.
    2- bell and powder
    3 - seating
    4 - crimping

    You need a calibre conversion for each calibre. The conversion comes with 3 locator pins, shell carrier, and powder funnel which also acts as the bell die.

    I have one and set up a separate tool head for each calibre and bullet weight I commonly reload. All I have to do is swap the tool head, replace the shell plate and locator pins and I'm good to go.

    To use the dillon besides the press you will need some primer pickup tubes, a primary flip tray, powder die and cylinder. You can use any dies you like except (1) powder die/belling die and a separate seating and crimping die. You can back out the crimp on the dies that do both and get a separate crimp die.

    Other then that you need a scale, brass cleaning set up, and some reloading books. There are a ton of good you tube videos that cover setup and use. PM me if you like and I can link them to you.

    The 550 can as take an auto case feeder, but if you plan on reloading more then one calibre it's more trouble then it's worth.

    That is a good price and the kit should have everything you need except the calibre conversion and pickup tubes unless he bought a starter kit.