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Author Topic: Help with Progressive press decision  (Read 3181 times)

Plebian

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Help with Progressive press decision
« on: September 04, 2010, 01:36:13 pm »
   I have a nice single stage press. Which was actually the setup Norseman recommended, the RCBS Rockchucker single stage press. I have loaded for about 10 years on it. I load 357mag, 38 special, 25-06 and 260 Remington on the single stage. I tried loading some bulk practice ammo for 9mm and 223. I simply bought bulk ammo before in these calibers instead of reloading them. The single stage did just fine loading them, BUT it take awhile to load even one range session worth of 9mm/223 for the wife and myself. The cost of bulk ammo has gone up quite a bit, and I can see where the money saved could pay for a good progressive.

   So that is leading me to look at progressive presses. The Dillon line up looks really nice, and from what I read they garner high opinions. I can afford to throw about 2-3 grand at the reloading setup since it will pay for itself pretty quickly in ammo savings. I would like to load 223 and 9mm with the progressive, and I will continue to load my low volume/varmint/precision stuff on the single stage press. Since I am loading 223/9mm for my father(thanks to Madogre for the very nice Mini 14 for him), brother, wife and myself. It would be nice to be able to load at least 1k at a session. I would be tickled if I could do 2k or so in 2-3 hours. 

1. I know the higher end Dillon stuff has quick change setups to switch calibers quickly. Is getting this quick change setup worth it? (if I am only going with 3 calibers on the progressive 9mm, 223 and 40S&W.)

2. Am I going to need any particular equipment for setting up a progressive press? I already have a nice setup for my varmint calibers.(Trimmer, scale, tumbler, few sets of calipers etc etc)

3. Should I go with Dillon, or is there a better company for progressives out there?

4. If I go with Dillon should I go for the smaller 550, or is it worth the money to go with the bigger 1050?

5. Do the carbide dies really work for the 223 cartridge? I have only ever worked bottlenecked cartridges with case lube. 
Oklahoma"If all our problems are solved, we'll find new ones to replace them. If we can't find new ones, we'll make new ones."

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    ksuguy

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    Re: Help with Progressive press decision
    « Reply #1 on: September 04, 2010, 01:53:11 pm »
    I have a 550.   I went with it because it was a little cheaper than the 650 and 1050,  and it is also a bit easier to change calibers.

    The 650 and 1050 can produce more rounds per hour,  but they are harder to set up and switch out calibers.  So if you want massive volumes of just one caliber, the bigger machines might be the way to go.  However, if you want something a little simpler and more flexible, the 550 is probably a better choice.

    Even with the 550, you can load a few hundred rounds per hour.  That's enough to meet the demands of most people.
    Kansas

    JackCrow

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    Re: Help with Progressive press decision
    « Reply #2 on: September 04, 2010, 10:25:59 pm »
    I have a Dillon 550 and it is a fine press. The 650 has an extra station and will accept a auto casefeeder that will handle rifle cases (the 550 casefeeder only feeds handgun cases). The 1050 really is more of a "production" level machine so unless you need to reload buckets full of ammo per session, you probably won't get much more utility from it that you will the 650.
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    Plebian

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    Re: Help with Progressive press decision
    « Reply #3 on: September 04, 2010, 10:51:24 pm »
    Thanks for the answers. The 650 is looking about right. Hopefully someone will chime in that has one to give an impression on it.  :shrug
    Oklahoma"If all our problems are solved, we'll find new ones to replace them. If we can't find new ones, we'll make new ones."

    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: Help with Progressive press decision
    « Reply #4 on: September 05, 2010, 12:26:34 am »
    With the budget you say you have, I'd go with a 650, auto casefeeder, three toolheads, three powder measures, the three caliber conversions, and a dozen or so spare primer tubes.  Spring for the strong mount kit, the low powder and the low primer alarms as well.  Set up one toolhead for each caliber.  DONE.  Around $17-1800.00 I think.

    If your happy with 25-06 on the single stage, you only need the small primer set up for the 650.  With three dedicated toolheads, caliber changes are under 5 minutes and you're back to producing ammo.  Figure 700 rounds an hour if your primer tubes are all full, and all your components are laid out and ready.

    This is assuming you have a single load that you have for all plinking ammo needs per caliber.

    The 1050's only worth it if you load A LOT of 223 IMHO.

    One last thought:  Comfort.

    Go for the roller handle over just the ball, your hand will thank you.  Also, make sure you set the press up at a comfortable height, an inch or 2 the wrong way makes a big difference over the course of a 3-4 hour loading session.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    Plebian

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    Re: Help with Progressive press decision
    « Reply #5 on: September 05, 2010, 11:56:46 am »
    With the budget you say you have, I'd go with a 650, auto casefeeder, three toolheads, three powder measures, the three caliber conversions, and a dozen or so spare primer tubes.  Spring for the strong mount kit, the low powder and the low primer alarms as well.  Set up one toolhead for each caliber.  DONE.  Around $17-1800.00 I think.

    If your happy with 25-06 on the single stage, you only need the small primer set up for the 650.  With three dedicated toolheads, caliber changes are under 5 minutes and you're back to producing ammo.  Figure 700 rounds an hour if your primer tubes are all full, and all your components are laid out and ready.

    This is assuming you have a single load that you have for all plinking ammo needs per caliber.

    The 1050's only worth it if you load A LOT of 223 IMHO.

    One last thought:  Comfort.

    Go for the roller handle over just the ball, your hand will thank you.  Also, make sure you set the press up at a comfortable height, an inch or 2 the wrong way makes a big difference over the course of a 3-4 hour loading session.

    Thanks. Yeah, I am setting up one plinking/practice load for my volume loading.

    Thanks a million Norseman.
    Oklahoma"If all our problems are solved, we'll find new ones to replace them. If we can't find new ones, we'll make new ones."

    jimspur

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    Re: Help with Progressive press decision
    « Reply #6 on: September 05, 2010, 02:37:34 pm »
    Thanks for the answers. The 650 is looking about right. Hopefully someone will chime in that has one to give an impression on it.  :shrug
    I've had mine (650) for a little over 15 years, great product.  Customer service when I've needed more components was excellent.
    Good night Chesty, wherever you are!

    THE NORSEMAN

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    Re: Help with Progressive press decision
    « Reply #7 on: September 06, 2010, 08:05:48 am »
    Bottle neck calibers require one of 2 things:

    Either a double run through on the 650(one to size, second one to load), or dillon makes a size and trim die that uses your shop vacuum to suck off the trimmings.  I prefer the former method.  One, it's cheaper, and two, I prefer deburring case mouths by hand while looking for split necks.

    With bottleneck calibers, the carbide dies make it easier, but do not eliminate the need for case lube.  Imperial sizing die wax works well, and is the least messy method, IME.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    Scimitar

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    Re: Help with Progressive press decision
    « Reply #8 on: October 31, 2010, 03:19:08 pm »
    I have two Dillon square deals, one is 45 the other is 9mm. Got one 550 with 308, 223, and 7.62x39 conversion. Gonna updrade it with a needle bearing set from uniquetek. It is called a turbo bearing

    http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1281

    and put in the new toolheads. I size and then trim all of my rifle brass on a Giraud trim tool. It ain't cheap, but after buying one and using it, I don't know why I did not sooner. I then polish brass and then put it back through the Dillon unless I'm loading for a 1000 yd match or ASC and I do the powder drops on a RCBS chargemaster and sat the bullet on a C&H Research H Press.

    One of my friends bought a Hornady Lock and Load progressive and I have been impressed. When you think of the bullets that you get with it, the cost of the press comes down considerably.
    David

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