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Author Topic: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B  (Read 4826 times)

FMJ

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I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
« on: July 13, 2013, 01:33:42 am »
BNIB for $400.  I'm going back and forth on PMs on whether he ships or I just drive out to get it. Seller says it includes a .223 die (which I need anyway).  I'll be needing 30/06, .303 and 8x57.  I'm not too worried about pistol calibers or 7.62x54R or 7.5 Swiss just yet.

What else do I need to buy for this bad boy?

(In the mean while, I am going to start dumpster diving at work for suitable furniture since we throw a lot of it away after our office moves.)  Yes, I'm buying a press willy nilly and I don't even have a bench for it.

I know I need calipers, a balance for powder,....and what else?
CaliforniaThere are many like it, but this one is mine.

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    cpaspr

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #1 on: July 13, 2013, 02:01:43 am »
    Not avoiding the question, but start here with the "what do I need question": https://wethearmed.com/reloading-and-handloading/handloading-what-equipment-do-i-need/.  Then, start reading through the older posts.
    Oregon

    FMJ

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #2 on: July 13, 2013, 02:21:20 am »
    I saw that.  I know the big ticket items I need like a bench, scale, calipers, tumblr.

    But what about all the little odd bits and ends like a swager or deburring tool or stuff like that?
    CaliforniaThere are many like it, but this one is mine.

    cpaspr

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #3 on: July 13, 2013, 02:58:31 am »
    I have some different equipment for the single stage presses, and some I use for both single and progressive.  Yes, if you are trimming you should be deburring as well.  The priming setup on my 550 isn't all there (I bought it used), so I run shells through once with only the size/deprime die to deprime and size, then prime by hand, then run back through without the size/deprime die in hole one.  Still much faster than on the single stage.

    Rifle shells you will still need to lube, so those will probably be a lube, size/deprime the first time through, then clean them off and run back through to load.

    I load .223 and .30 carbine on my 550, but .308 and .30-06 on the single stage presses.  If you're going for maximum accuracy, you'll probably want to be weighing each powder charge while you work on load development, and then once you have your load as well.  It can be done on a progressive by pulling the shell after the powder charge, weighing it, adjusting it, then putting it back in the cycle and finishing the process.  Kinda defeats the speed aspect of the progressive, but if it's the only press you have it can still be done. 
    Oregon

    ksuguy

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #4 on: July 13, 2013, 09:15:38 am »
    Easiest thing to do is go here http://www.brianenos.com/store/dillon.html


    Brian Enos sells everything in packages, so you can get all your stuff in one stop.  That's what I did when I got my 550. 
    Kansas

    FMJ

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #5 on: July 13, 2013, 09:26:38 pm »
    That's great and all, but I just saw that it says he's got no DP products in stock since last month.

    I didn't realize that Dillon was that big of a deal.

    Cpaspr,
    How come you won't do 308 or 30/06 on the 550?  30/06 and 8x57 are two calibers I specifically want to handload for...(And .223 of course).

    BTW, where do I find decent bullets either 55 or 62+ for general rifle shooting?  In other words, where is the place to get loading consumable supplies?   I have a pretty standard rifle, so it's not like I need to waste my time loading 77 SMKs that are Mk 262 wannabes.  I doubt I'll even see the marginal benefit of those in my standard carbine.
    CaliforniaThere are many like it, but this one is mine.

    StevenTing

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #6 on: July 13, 2013, 10:40:58 pm »
    I've been buying bullets from xtremebullets.com. Last week they had some .223 but it looks like they are currently out. Another place is berrysmfg.com but I think they are currently out as well. 


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    cpaspr

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #7 on: July 14, 2013, 12:36:30 am »
    Cpaspr,
    How come you won't do 308 or 30/06 on the 550?  30/06 and 8x57 are two calibers I specifically want to handload for...(And .223 of course).

    My .308 is nothing special, but for the .30-06 (with the Norseman's help) I worked up a load that will shoot groups at a hundred yards I can cover with a nickel, if I can do my part.  But that takes precise loading, every empty cartridge as near to identical as possible, and every powder charge weighed out precisely.  Progressive presses excel at quantity, and close enough on the powder charges.  I have less than a hundred rounds loaded for both rifles, and the reality is that unless I work over the .308 to smooth out the trigger and then really try to find it's preferred load, I have enough loaded hunting ammo to probably last the rest of my life.
    « Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 01:29:42 am by cpaspr »
    Oregon

    FMJ

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #8 on: July 14, 2013, 02:53:47 am »


    It's home.
    CaliforniaThere are many like it, but this one is mine.

    coelacanth

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #9 on: July 14, 2013, 03:50:42 am »
    Kinda' gives you a warm feeling, doesn't it?  :cool
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    FMJ

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #10 on: July 14, 2013, 10:55:44 am »
    I'm actually scared and nervous and I don't know what's going on.

    Yesterday I went to a Bass Pro for the first time and I picked up a handloading manual from Hornady.

    If you guys are all familiar with what a Catholic confirmation is, I feel as if buying a handloading press is the final confirmation into our way of life.
    CaliforniaThere are many like it, but this one is mine.

    mattitude

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #11 on: July 14, 2013, 11:06:34 am »
    I bought my 550 used for 125.00 back in 2002, you will find it's an excellent press.  If you don't already, you will need a case trimmer, deburring tools, balance beam powder scale & a good set of calipers.  A separate hand priming tool is also a nice thing to have (I love my RCBS APS priming tool).  For case lubing, I prefer Hornady One Shot in the 32oz bulk bottle and a cheap spray bottle from the dollar store.  I'm also a believer in the Lee Factory Crimp Die.  If you PM me I have a digital caliper that I can just give you along with a set of 7.62x54R dies that I don't need along with brass & whatnot that you may need that I might have & not need anymore.
    North CarolinaMedically retired Air Force (17 years, 7 months & 25 days)

    Outbreak

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #12 on: July 16, 2013, 12:01:34 am »
    Congrats! Welcome to the Dillon Club! No cookies, but we sure have a lot of ammo!

    I'm actually scared and nervous and I don't know what's going on.

    Yesterday I went to a Bass Pro for the first time and I picked up a handloading manual from Hornady.

    If you guys are all familiar with what a Catholic confirmation is, I feel as if buying a handloading press is the final confirmation into our way of life.

    Go get (or order) The ABC's of Reloading.

    Then read the manual that came with the press when you set it up. Don't "be a man" and chuck the directions. You just jumped into the deep end. BE VERY CAREFUL!
    TexasOutbreak

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    Mississippi556

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #13 on: July 16, 2013, 12:38:51 pm »
    The Dillon 550B is an outstanding product with a superb reputation.  However, as a beginner, start out in single stage mode and learn to make safe, uniform, quality ammo, before trying to make large runs.   You have to gradually work up the best loads for your guns, anyway.

    Besides dies for your guns and all the little pieces mentioned above or in the link,  consider these two additions:

    1.   A simple chronograph, like Shooting Chrony or equivalent.  This is almost a "must have" in my opinion.

    2.   A digital powder measurer/scale.  I have a Lyman Digital Powder System and absolutely love the push button .1 grain accuracy.  I don't recall the Lyman model number, but think it is a 1200 DPS.  There are a number of similar products out there from Hornady, RCBS, etc.   This is not a "must" but has sure made things a lot easier.

    Disclaimer:  I still reload exclusively with a single stage turret top press.   I don't shoot a high enough volume of ammo to justify in my mind the expense of a progressive press, and am still hooked on reloading for maximum accuracy rather than volume.  My advice should be considered in that context.
    Mississippi"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe"  Words of Jesus, Luke 11:21 (ESV).

    FMJ

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #14 on: July 17, 2013, 12:07:06 am »
    Thanks Mississippi.  I'm wondering it is maybe a good idea to order a cheap single stage to bolt next to my Dillon (once I get my bench built and set up).  I see that one can get a basic Lee single stage for only $30 +/-.



    I've heard of people using a single stage to prep brass before running it through the 550.  But I thought this press could do it all?


    My goal isn't precision to the nth degree.  I just wanted to throw that out there.  I mean, I want to make good ammo, but I'd like to be able to shoot more so I can practice all of the fundamentals.
    CaliforniaThere are many like it, but this one is mine.

    Outbreak

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #15 on: July 17, 2013, 02:19:04 am »
    I will agree with Mississippi on [at least] one thing. I do load development on a Lee Classic Turret press in single-stage configuration, then move the proven load to my Dillon for mass production.

    For handgun loading, you can choose loads straight from the book and be fine. For rifle loads, a Lee C-press is a good investment for $30-40 to do load development.
    TexasOutbreak

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    I absolutely despise Glocks. That's why I only own two.

    I'm glad that your chains rest lightly upon you. --JesseL

    FMJ

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #16 on: July 17, 2013, 02:54:23 am »
    Here is the table top of what's going to be my work bench.  I don't think that using the counter on the back will be a good idea due to my specific circumstances.



    I looks like getting an inexpensive or used or whatever single stage press is now going to become a reality.  I guess it makes sense.
    CaliforniaThere are many like it, but this one is mine.

    FMJ

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #17 on: August 13, 2013, 02:00:34 am »
    I decided I wasn't going to waste time building a bench when I can bolt on the Dillon Strong mount to the counter.  That just sounds so much easier, I don't know why it didn't occur to me earlier.

    On Saturday, I bought a really no frills Lee single stage.  I think it's aluminum but its former owner used it to load match 7.62 since he used to shoot hi power. I probably have nothing to worry about.  $20 cash and it was mine.  I couldn't say no.

    Now I can load small batches for my C&R stuff and do my brass processing for all the junk that has a military crimp.
    CaliforniaThere are many like it, but this one is mine.

    zayerpaul

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #18 on: August 13, 2013, 09:08:05 am »
    Let us know how you like the Dillon once you get cranking. I will most likely be getting a 550 in another year or so as I reload more and more. I am interested in how easy it is to get one up and running.

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    FMJ

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    Re: I am about to buy a Dillion 550B
    « Reply #19 on: August 14, 2013, 01:10:26 am »
    No problem.
    CaliforniaThere are many like it, but this one is mine.

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