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Author Topic: Dillon 550 vs. 650  (Read 9507 times)

StevenTing

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Dillon 550 vs. 650
« on: December 25, 2008, 08:53:14 pm »
I had a Dillon Square Deal B but am wanting to get a new press.  I like Dillon and can't decide between the 550 and the 650.  The SDB had an auto index and I liked that feature.  I believe the 550 is a manual index but the 650 is an auto index.

Anyone else have one of these?  Would you recommend one over the other?  I like the progressives and I think the main calibers I would load would be 45ACP and .308.  I might also reload 9mm.
Utah

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    jimspur

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    Re: Dillon 550 vs. 650
    « Reply #1 on: December 25, 2008, 09:07:26 pm »
      Never done anything with the 550 but I have no complaints about my 650.
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    cpaspr

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    Re: Dillon 550 vs. 650
    « Reply #2 on: December 25, 2008, 10:02:51 pm »
    I've used both.  A little. 

    If you get enough bells and whistles, the 650 will do everything but load them in your mags and shoot them for you.  The 650 has (I think) 5 stations, maybe 6.  The 550 only has 4.

    The 550, with the right accessories, will now case feed, but you still have to manually set the bullet on the belled case, and of course you have to manually index.  Without the case feeder, you have to load in the new case as you rotate the turret, then set the next bullet on #3, then pull the handle.  Repeat. 

    So for the 550, there are 3 manual steps for each round; for the 650, it's all automatic, provided you keep all the hoppers full.

    If funds weren't an issue, I'd get the 650 with case feed, bullet feed and powder (over and under) alarm.
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    StevenTing

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    Re: Dillon 550 vs. 650
    « Reply #3 on: December 25, 2008, 10:51:32 pm »
    I've used both.  A little. 

    If you get enough bells and whistles, the 650 will do everything but load them in your mags and shoot them for you.  The 650 has (I think) 5 stations, maybe 6.  The 550 only has 4.

    The 550, with the right accessories, will now case feed, but you still have to manually set the bullet on the belled case, and of course you have to manually index.  Without the case feeder, you have to load in the new case as you rotate the turret, then set the next bullet on #3, then pull the handle.  Repeat. 

    So for the 550, there are 3 manual steps for each round; for the 650, it's all automatic, provided you keep all the hoppers full.

    If funds weren't an issue, I'd get the 650 with case feed, bullet feed and powder (over and under) alarm.

    Wait... the 650 will even place the bullet for you?  That's awesome.  Any good places to buy one from?  I know bluepress.com has the retail price listed.  I'd love to buy one for less, or even used.
    Utah

    Dirk Pitt

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    Re: Dillon 550 vs. 650
    « Reply #4 on: December 25, 2008, 11:49:42 pm »
    I'd go used man.  A buddy of mine picked up a Dillon 550 used that was in need of some TLC, sent it back to Dillon and they fixed it up like brand new no cost.  Gotta love their life time warranty.
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    MarshallDodge

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    Re: Dillon 550 vs. 650
    « Reply #5 on: December 26, 2008, 12:59:00 am »
    The SDB is much less of a press than the 550 or 650.

    The 550 is a four station press but remember that Dillon combines a few steps in some of the stations.
    Station 1: Size, Deprime, and Prime
    Station 2: Expand and Powder
    Station 3: Seat
    Station 4: Crimp

    Pros for the 550:
    Lower up front cost
    The caliber conversions for the 550 are less expensive than the 650.

    Pros for the 650:
    More throughput with casefeeder and autoindexing.
    Extra station...could be used for powder checker, etc.

    I have owned a 550 for over 10 years and it's been a great piece of equipment.  I load 9mm, 38 sp, 357 mag, 40, 44 mag, 45 ACP, 45 LC, 223, and soon I will be loading 308 on it.  Typically I load 500 rounds at a sitting running about 300 per hour so it does the job for me.  You can run the 550 faster but I don't have the need and like to take the time to make quality ammo.

    If you plan on cranking out a lot of ammo, bordering on commercial reloading, then I would go with the 650.  The speed of the 550 is just fine for the hobbyist reloader in my opinion.
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    Re: Dillon 550 vs. 650
    « Reply #6 on: December 26, 2008, 09:18:33 am »
    I run a 650 with the auto case feeder.  Even with half a dozen primer tubes, it will run fast enough that I have to stop and fill the tubes or powder measure quite often.

    Real world production?  With the 650 and the case feeder, if you're set up and ready to go, between 700 and 800 per hour.  Limiting factors are powder and primer fill rates.

    If you only want to load a couple calibers, I'd go with the 550.  Less money, and 400-500 rounds per hour easily. 

    « Last Edit: December 28, 2008, 10:21:23 am by THE NORSEMAN »
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    StevenTing

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    Re: Dillon 550 vs. 650
    « Reply #7 on: December 26, 2008, 11:16:39 am »
    I run a 650 with the auto case feeder.  Even with half a dozen primer tubes, it will run fast enough that I have to stop and fill the tubes or powder measure quite often.

    Real world production?  With the 650 and the case feeded, if you're set up and ready to go, between 700 and 800 per hour.

    If you only want to load a couple calibers, I'd go with the 550.  Less money, and 400-500 rounds per hour easily.



    I should just buy a conversion kit for the .45acp and rent "press" time from you.  Then I wouldn't have to worry about setting it somewhere, cause I have no space for it really.   ;D
    Utah

    Powderman

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    Re: Dillon 550 vs. 650
    « Reply #8 on: January 22, 2009, 05:34:20 am »
    The 650 works well for me.  I load a lot of handgun calibers, but mostly .45 ACP.  I also find that it helps me to process cases for .223, .308 and .30-06 quite quickly--although I have to deprime and size first, re-clean cases and trim, then go through the other steps.

    Someone does make an automatic bullet feeder for the 650 now, but it is quite expensive.  For ease of use, versatility and speed, though, it's the 650 for the win!
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