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snowman 04-07-2008 11:48 PM

Best Reloading Press Dillon or other?
I am looking for the BEST reloading press made. I have a Dillon 650 and am scared at the primer problem it has and not satisfied with the consistency of the loads it makes. I shoot in the Master/High Master range, so I am going for accuracy, not volume. The Dillon 1050 looks interesting, but I have seen much about Rockchuckers to suspect that they may be a better product. Also the much higher end commercial presses seem to be a possibility as $25k-50k to get the best is not a problem.

Any inputs?

Joeaksa 04-08-2008 01:16 AM

Dillion is simply the best in the market. No other way around it...

Mo_Gearhead 04-08-2008 04:47 AM

QUOTE: "so I am going for accuracy, not volume."

Then why would you NOT be loading/weighing/sorting/sizing each round by hand, in an individual, one stage press?

Dillon equipment is the best I ever used, but I crank out thousands of rounds (for pistol shooting).
Their Warranty = you break it, you return it, they replace it ...FREE!

Know of ANY other manufacturer that backs up their products like that? I don't.

id10t 04-08-2008 05:49 AM

Taking what Mo said and expanding...

Why not get 3 or 4 good single stage presses, and set one die up on each. That way, you can step thru the whole process and not have to be constantly re-adjusting the dies...

On the same note, I need a starter setup for 38/357 - simple, possibly single stage. Just want cheap(er) plinking ammo, if that is even possible these days with primer/powder/lead costs...

VINMAN 04-08-2008 06:32 AM

More than happy with my old Rockcrusher. Simplicity at its best.

legion 04-08-2008 06:59 AM

I use a Lee press.

I use a powder measure to get a base charge and slowly trickle more onto my scale to get the exact charge.

Drdogface 04-08-2008 07:09 AM

The Dillon 1050 is a commercial press and not covered by the warranty that the other ones are. Also it is made, I think, for volume and not consistency like you want.

I shoot LR Black Powder cartridge and hand load each and every one weighing the powder to the 0.1 grain. For that I use an RCBS Chargemaster powder dispenser. Cut my load time in half. Primers by hand individually. Sinclaire makes the best primer seater. Press is Dillon 550B used for expanding case mouth and powder compression on two separate stations. Bullets are finger seated with no neck tension.

Jeff Higgins 04-08-2008 08:09 AM

You didn't specify whether you are a high master class shooter with the rifle or the handgun. Reloading match winning ammunition may require different equipment, depending upon which of those you shoot.

You need far less ammo to compete in highpower than you do in pistol. It would be best to use a single stage press for the highpower ammo. Any of the good ones will do. I like the ones with a full frame, rather than an open front, for their added rigidity.

For the pistol, the shear volume you shoot may demand a progressive press. Your 650 should be fine. Any problems with consistancy are not attributable to the press; there must be something else going on. Some powders, for example, do not meter consistantly from any measure so charges must be weighed. Some will never produce match winning ammo.

Cases must still be inspected, primer pockets cleaned, and case length monitored when using a progressive. The progressive press discourages these activities, unfortunately, but they remain important. So many folks just take fired cases and feed them through the press, never inspecting them. After awhile, primers won't fully seat because of the carbon accumulated in the primer pockets. Crimps become inconsistant (taper or roll, depending on pistol or revolver) because case lengths begins to vary.

You can make match ammo for the pistol on a progressive; it's just not that much less work than it is on a single stage. The progressive really comes into its own for the plinking, or the "run, tumble, and shoot" crowd - the IPSC or "action" shooters that are only hitting man silhouettes at ten feet. Bullseye demands a great deal more accuracy, and therefore care in the assembly of ammunition. Lots of guys still take the time to use a single stage for their bullseye loads.

JTO 04-08-2008 08:33 AM

You know, I've loaded everything I shoot on a Dillon 550B that I bought in 1990. I have shot high power rifle (.308 in a Nat'l Match Springfield), IPSC, IDPA (currently) and all my hunting ammo. I know for a fact that the 550B is capable of making fine shooting ammunition.

Like Jeff say, you have to properly prep your cases, work the loads up using traditional methods, etc. But once all the load development and prep work is done, the Dillon machine makes a very consistant load.


MT930 04-08-2008 08:53 AM

For a progressive press the Dillon is hard to beat.I still load singles for rifle with old single stage presses got to have the accuracy. RCBS auto power measuring has sped up the process, but still slow, the accuracy is what I'm after. I know a few volume pistol shooters that love their Dillon's. The company services their customers well.

Joeaksa 04-08-2008 09:35 AM


Originally Posted by id10t (Post 3874071)
On the same note, I need a starter setup for 38/357 - simple, possibly single stage. Just want cheap(er) plinking ammo, if that is even possible these days with primer/powder/lead costs...

Get a Dillon 550b and it will do just about anything you ever want to shoot with it. Its a progressive yet not too complicated and built like a truck. Any issues with it, send it back to Dillon and they will fix/repair/replace FOR FREE forever.

Hard to beat a warranty like that...

Rick Lee 04-08-2008 09:38 AM

How much does getting into a Dillon with all the accessories run? I have an individual primer tool, powder measure and dies. Do I just need the press or a bunch of other stuff? I slung a lot of lead at Ben Avery on Sunday and think it's time to get back into reloading.

JTO 04-08-2008 09:48 AM

The basic 550B comes set up with one caliber, ready to go. What are they now, $400? Heck, you can drop by the show room. I thinks its in Scottsdale.

VincentVega 04-08-2008 09:59 AM

This site has a getting started package

NR - Basic $815.85, including the tumbler, calipers.... You can surely do it for less, but you will be googling for hours to save a few shekels.

Drdogface 04-08-2008 10:43 AM

If you are hand loading rifle ammo and use a single stage press, look into a Lyman T Mag which is a heavy duty turret press....saves time on changing dies but has the accuracy of a single stage.

tabs 04-08-2008 10:55 AM

The only reloading I do is to fill the gun up when it runs outa ammo.

snowman 04-08-2008 11:06 PM

Several comments- I shoot high power rifle. Good commercial equipment, the stuff that costs over $25K to get started, checks everything, the case, condition, weight, length and more, the load, double checked to within 0.1 grain (which is overkill for accuracy). Bullet seating is done far more accurate than any Dillon press, not to mention bullet weights are checked as well as diameter. Good commercial stuff (and the 1050 isn't in that class) checks everything, and can be much more consistent than a hand loader (you make mistakes after loading a couple hundred ).

For any serious shooting you are talking 1,000s of rounds, not hundreds. Its the practice, practice, practice that burns up ammo, and no you cannot use surplus junk as you don't know how good you are shooting if you do.

I do not have the patience to reload 1,000s of rounds, one at a time, I enjoy shooting, not reloading, consequently I am looking for whatever equipment will do the job, without excessive overkill. Yes I can just buy the same stuff (actually have it made) that Remington or Hornady uses, just a few hundred k per caliber and extreme overkill on volume. So I guess money is an object, but if you get down to the price of a Honda, I might go for it, IF it works better than say a 1050. Only problem with a 1050 is that you still must decap, clean, and trim cases as a separate step, or just buy and use only new Nossler cases. I do not know if the 1050 has the primer problems that the 550 and 650 have. The primer problem, in my opinion, is very dangerous, its only a matter of time until your hurt by it. I have had 3 events so far (full primer stack detonations and holes in the ceiling) with my 650 and many more near misses with crunched primers. In my opinion Dillon needs to redesign their primer system before someone gets seriously injured by it. I have decided to unload my 650 because of this and go to something safer.

Again I ask, does anyone know what the BEST equipment is? What equipment do the military sniper teams use? What about or similar equipment?

Mo_Gearhead 04-09-2008 05:57 AM

Snowman, I guess I'm confused?

You say you shoot high power rifle. Is what you are looking for, for precision Benchrest shooting? Or for hunting? Or just burning up .223 in magazine bursts? What application???

Years ago, I used to get 'Precision Shooting Magazine'. All about serious Benchrest applications. That has been awhile and I did not participate, I only read it for the in-depth ballistic articles.

ALL of those type (bench) shooters use single stage (multiple press) setups
with VERY precise tolerances. You could do that for much less than the $25K figure you are tossing about. But it DOES involve YOU to do the grunt work (ie: weighing bullets/charges, resizing/cleaning cases, etc.)

There is a trade-off (time/money) for really precise accuracy and repeatable results.

Joeaksa 04-09-2008 06:35 AM


Sounds like you need to get a Dillon 1050 and pay some wetbacks to do the work for you. You want it done but do not want to do it yourself, or just push a button to have it done for you, and that is not going to happen in the reloading world that I know of.

The military teams do not sit down and reload the ammo themselves. Believe that it comes from us, the tax payers...

snowman 04-09-2008 09:16 PM

Your right, I am lazy and want 1000's of rounds of good ammo, thats 0.308 ammo, and some 6.5x284. Bench rest people are nuts. I am an engineer and I have calculated the difference that a tenth of a grain makes (zero, none, nada for a 0.308) and many of the other factors considered for accurate shooting. National match need not be anywhere as accurate as bench rest, besides you have to be able to pick up the gun without a crane. Concentricity is probably far more important.

I can't find a reliable wet back for the single stage press or a commercial supplier as good as my worst loads with the 650, although Federal comes close, but for big bucks. I found some ammo from an internet source that is amazing, true single hole at 200 yard stuff, no sweat. But can I trust him ? Where and how do I get the equipment to produce what he sells? I know its not Dillon or single stage stuff. Part of his secret is a custom bullet that is not available to me. Thats part of another thread, the best bullet.

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