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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to start reloading my 9mm, .40, .45acp and 7.62x39... Would prefer progressive, price not an issue, will likely get a few more different guns/calibers so which brand and model press should I get? I have a friend that has a Dillon 550B and he likes it. Any RCBS, Dillon, Hornandy, Lee or any other press owners out there with suggestions/inputs for me before I make an impulse purchase? Also, anyone have a good tumbler setup they recommend with certain media? I'm hearing everything from corn cob to stainless steel media is best to clean brass...

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I use a lee 1000 pro for 9mm.the lee 1000 dose all pistol and 223 with the right parts and I would just use a single stage press for 7.62 but that's just me and with my tumbler I use walnut media and that cleans the brass up nice but if money isn't A problem the dillons have a good name
 

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For case cleaning, I use ultrasonics (see this thread: http://www.glockforum.com/forum/f12/how-clean-brass-cases-using-ultrasonic-cleaners-4106/ )

For case polishing, I use the Cabela's vibratory tumbler (similar to the Frankford Arsenal tumbler, which I also have) and crushed corncob with liquid polish (I use Cabela's case polish) to bring the brass to a remarkable shine.

For loading I use an RCBS single-stage...obviously not what you want.

If I were to buy a rig today, it would be the Hornady Lock-N-Load auto progressive with the motorized accessory Case Feeder and motorized accessory Bullet Feeder.

You may also want to look at the Hornady Case Prep Center (the powered one). I use a combination of RCBS Case Prep Center with a Lyman manual Case Length Trimmer.

Also look at tools: a good digital weighing scale to calibrate your powder dispenser, and a decent digital caliper to check case lengths and cartridge overall length (COAL).

Have never used a Dillon, cannot comment on them, but I was told by a salesman that the Dillon 550B will not do rifle ammo, the ram stroke is too short. You may want to look into that if you are looking at a Dillon.

Cheers!
 

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For case cleaning, I use ultrasonics (see this thread: http://www.glockforum.com/forum/f12/how-clean-brass-cases-using-ultrasonic-cleaners-4106/ )

For case polishing, I use the Cabela's vibratory tumbler (similar to the Frankford Arsenal tumbler, which I also have) and crushed corncob with liquid polish (I use Cabela's case polish) to bring the brass to a remarkable shine.

For loading I use an RCBS single-stage...obviously not what you want.

If I were to buy a rig today, it would be the Hornady Lock-N-Load auto progressive with the motorized accessory Case Feeder and motorized accessory Bullet Feeder.

You may also want to look at the Hornady Case Prep Center (the powered one). I use a combination of RCBS Case Prep Center with a Lyman manual Case Length Trimmer.

Also look at tools: a good digital weighing scale to calibrate your powder dispenser, and a decent digital caliper to check case lengths and cartridge overall length (COAL).

Have never used a Dillon, cannot comment on them, but I was told by a salesman that the Dillon 550B will not do rifle ammo, the ram stroke is too short. You may want to look into that if you are looking at a Dillon.

Cheers!
Here is a link to their site that describes the 550B. You'd be amazed at the rifle loads it can produce. http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/content/p/8/pkg_id/8
 

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I am leaning heavily towards the RCBS Pro 2000, however, I still haven't ruled out the Dillon 550B. The Pro 2000 has 5 stations, where the 550B has 4. The 5 stations is a nice feature. I think if they both had 5 I would go with the 550, and I still may. The other nice thing about the RCBS is that you can get it in manual indexing and can upgrade it to auto later if you choose to. You can't do that with the 550B; if you want auto-indexing, you have to go with the 650. From what I have read, caliber changes with the 650 is more time consuming.

I think the only drawback and my only reservation in getting the P2K is that there doesn't seem to be as many out there as opposed to Dillon, which may not be a good thing should you need support from fellow reloaders. I know the P2K has been around since around 2000, maybe earlier but that seems to be the consensus. I have searched for threads, comments, videos, etc. on the P2K and have done pretty well getting the info I was looking for. There is one write-up on a forum where a guy has loaded hundreds of thousands of rounds with it with minimal issues. He has hundreds of primer strips to prove it. Speaking of primer strips, that's another thing I like about the P2K. It uses the APS strip loader as a priming system. I really like the looks of that.

Most people who have drank the "blue cool-aid" will tell you simply "go with the Dillon, it's the best and they have the no BS warranty". This is true but RCBS has the same warranty. I have been on the phone with RCBS a few times asking them questions. They have always been more than helpful to answer all my questions on the P2K. I have read where people have had nothing but good to say about their warranty.

A huge plus for anything Dillon: I have scoured eBay for used Dillons and every auction I have watched brings ridiculous prices. This is due to the unquestionable quality but also the fact that it doesn't matter whether you bought it new or bought it worn out and used, they will send you anything you need for free if it is broken or worn. This does not include upgrade components (there have been some things that were upgraded).

I even looked at the Hornady Lock n Load but ruled that one out just because some people have expressed issues with indexing and priming. Others have said they have had no issues. If you do choose Hornady, make sure you get the "E-Zject" system. This is a fairly new system of ejecting the completed round and was replaced by the earlier wire-type ejection system that had issues. From what I have read, there may be a few of the older presses floating around with the wire eject. I do like the bushing system for dies that Hornady has. It also looks like a very durable press but other things, like indexing, for instance, look a little delicate.I also hear that some things can get "out of time" and need adjustment. I have also read where Hornady is not completely helpful with issues. They may be good but it's hard to measure up in the area of customer support when compared to Dillon and RCBS.

Here is a site where a guy demos and reviews different presses. The brand names are located at the top of his page; you can click on the brand you are interested in (or all of them) and watch his videos. He has some excellent videos that are in HD. They give very good and close up detail. I have noticed that he is careful to not prefer one over the other. This may be due to the probability that he is sent different presses to demonstrate...not sure. Also, off to the side, he has links you can click to watch other videos of the same presses.

Here's the link: http://ultimatereloader.com You can also search YouTube. There are many videos on all of these presses.

I have no experience with either of these presses; all of the info I have provided has been internet searching I have done for the last 6 weeks or so. I am out of town and not in a huge hurry yet, which is the only reason I haven't finalized my decision and ordered. Good luck. I don't think any one can go wrong with any of the presses I mentioned. By the way, I definitely have ruled out anything "Lee". I know a lot of people use them and they have loaded thousands and thousands of rounds but I have read too much that has deterred me from it.

I threw this together real quick this morning on my way out the door so it may be loaded with typos...I am not responsible :D
 

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I pulled the handle on a couple Dillon 1050's at Caswell's Shooting Range in Mesa,AZ. for about a year as their ammo reloader. I can highly recommend them, excellent products, top notch customer service and their prices aren't all that bad either. For handgun ammo you can use a Square Deal "B" or 550 and they'll work just fine. I think the 650 will work for rifle length ammo but I'm not 100% sure, you'd have to hit their web site and check out the details.
All this being said, for home use I've been using an RCBS Partner Press for over 20+ years and it's still going strong. Loaded everything from 380acp to 45/70 ammo with that little press. Being a single stage it does take some time but back when I bought it I got it on sale for $27 bucks so I've more then gotten my money back on it over the last 20+ years.
Just remember, faster is not always better. If something is wrong you can run off a bunch of "junk" in no time at all. With a good single stage if you get something wrong you've got a chance to fix things before much damage is done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, thanks for all the good posts. It's going to take me a while to digest all this and do a little research myself. Well, it looks like LEE is out of the equation for sure. RCBS and Dillon are in close runnings with Hornandy still an option. I want a progressive reloading system, but not one that does all the work itself. I like the idea of sitting for an hour just to decompress and load a couple to three hundred rounds.
 

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There are a number of things you should consider. Just because money is no object does not mean the the most expensive presses are best for what and how you intend to reload.

How often do you intend to change calibers? -- Some presses require more time to change calibers than others.

How many rounds do you plan on reloading per week or month? -- Keep in mind that once you start reloading you will probably start to shoot more and more often.

I personally reload about 200 to 300 rds of 9mm per week and about 150 to 200 rounds of .40 S&W per month.

I have a Lee Turret with Pro Auto Disk powder measure. My normal pace (checking each tenth round) is about 100 rounds in 35 to 40 minutes. That time does not count the few minutes involved in adding powder and primers to the press prior to actually beginging loading. For the amount that I shoot and reload The Lee Turret fits the bill for me.

The Lee Turret is very easy to set-up and also a breeze to change calibers. I personally love it. Because of the amount that I reload each week I don't need anything faster. Keep in mind that "faster" relates to more mechanical parts. More parts can possibly relate to more adjustments and/or failures IMO. I enjoy reloading and find it relaxing, so why would I want to have a faster press and lessen the amount of time that I spend reloading. On the other hand, someone that needs or wants to pump out 500 - 1,000 rounds a week would probably want a faster press that a Lee Turret. It really depends on how much time you want to spend each week to keep up you inventory of loaded rounds.

Dillon 550's and 650's are highly regarded and have great reviews. The prices on Dillon's are of course much higher than a Lee Turret. If you spend a higher dollar amount on the press and accessories it will take you longer to offset the investment and to actually start realizing the cost savings benefits of reloading. That is not to say that there are not other benefits to reloading aside from cost savings on ammo.

Personally for a first press I would highly consider a Lee Turret. After you have gotten your feet wet and have at least a few thousand rounds under your belt you may (or may not) want something faster. If, at some point in the future so decide that you want something faster you can always buy a faster press and use the Turret for a caliber that you don't load too often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Captain said:
There are a number of things you should consider. Just because money is no object does not mean the the most expensive presses are best for what and how you intend to reload.

How often do you intend to change calibers? -- Some presses require more time to change calibers than others.

How many rounds do you plan on reloading per week or month? -- Keep in mind that once you start reloading you will probably start to shoot more and more often.

I personally reload about 200 to 300 rds of 9mm per week and about 150 to 200 rounds of .40 S&W per month.

I have a Lee Turret with Pro Auto Disk powder measure. My normal pace (checking each tenth round) is about 100 rounds in 35 to 40 minutes. That time does not count the few minutes involved in adding powder and primers to the press prior to actually beginging loading. For the amount that I shoot and reload The Lee Turret fits the bill for me.

The Lee Turret is very easy to set-up and also a breeze to change calibers. I personally love it. Because of the amount that I reload each week I don't need anything faster. Keep in mind that "faster" relates to more mechanical parts. More parts can possibly relate to more adjustments and/or failures IMO. I enjoy reloading and find it relaxing, so why would I want to have a faster press and lessen the amount of time that I spend reloading. On the other hand, someone that needs or wants to pump out 500 - 1,000 rounds a week would probably want a faster press that a Lee Turret. It really depends on how much time you want to spend each week to keep up you inventory of loaded rounds.

Dillon 550's and 650's are highly regarded and have great reviews. The prices on Dillon's are of course much higher than a Lee Turret. If you spend a higher dollar amount on the press and accessories it will take you longer to offset the investment and to actually start realizing the cost savings benefits of reloading. That is not to say that there are not other benefits to reloading aside from cost savings on ammo.

Personally for a first press I would highly consider a Lee Turret. After you have gotten your feet wet and have at least a few thousand rounds under your belt you may (or may not) want something faster. If, at some point in the future so decide that you want something faster you can always buy a faster press and use the Turret for a caliber that you don't load too often.
Thanks for your inputs.
 

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Ordered my Dillon 650 today
 
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