Looking at a progressive press - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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Default Looking at a progressive press

I have recently moved and am starting to shoot pistol with much more frequency. Previously I was able to keep supplied using a single stage press. The volume Iím looking at shooting now is a good bit higher and a single stage is too labor intensive. Iím reloading 9mm and have calculated cost for components minus brass at +/- 0.11$ per round. The cheapest pre manufactured plinking ammo that I can find is 0.20$ per round.

As Iíve researched progressives Iím leaning toward the Lee Pro 1000. The Dillon Square Deal B is tempting. I understand that all progressives require a bit of tinkering for efficient operation. Lee produces seem to require more but I hear good reports from those who have figured out the pro 1000 quirks.

If you have experience with these presses please give me the low down on what you know about them. Thanks.

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 12:28 PM
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Square Deal user here. Got mine used and it had been sitting a while, dusty and the oil on it was gummy. After some disassembly, cleaning and lubrication it's running fine. If you are only loading large quantities for one caliber it will work fine.

If you think you will be loading another caliber, especially if the primer size changes, then consider a Dillon 550. I've both, no complaints.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 12:34 PM
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I have yet to wear out the Dillon 550

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Are yíall finding that Dillon presses are set and forget?

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 12:46 PM
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I've not run the 550 in a while, hadn't been shooting. The SD is set for 38's and I ran a bunch off of those lately..

There was a small problem with the primer feed, a little collar at the bottom of the feed tube had broke, the small piece lodged in there. Took it apart, removed the pieces and installed a new collar and it's been running fine since. Prolly 700 rounds.

Powder charge doesn't change ( 3.5 grs Bullseye), nor the seating depth. Been using commercial 158 BBSWC's with a somewhat soft lube. Will look at the seating plug for a build up before the next loading session.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 03:33 PM
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If you own an RCBS Rock Chucker, look into the Piggyback II (no longer made and not commonly on the market). It is an add-on Progressive to the RC. I reload all of my pistol and revolver ammo on the PBII. I forego the temperamental auto primer on the PBII and instead use the Universal Primer on the side in bulk case priming sessions. I added a powder indicator die and also crimp cases at the same time as loading the bullet on the PBII. Here is a 2002 testimonial:





another in 2006:





and a final in 2013:


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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 09:50 PM
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I have a pro 1000 (actually two) and reload several different calibers with it. It really isn't hard to set up and tweak and once you do it will crank out ammo nearly as fast as a much more expensive press. Caliber change kits are much less expensive than the other guys too, and easier/quicker to switch out. Biggest issue with them in my opinion is that they are only 3 station presses, so no way to seat & crimp in separate operations, or install a powder check station, etc. I've not had a problem with seating and crimping on a single step, but I know folks that would not use a pro 1000 for that reason. For powder checking, I position a bright light to shine into the cases as they move into the bullet placement / seating stage and visually verify the powder is at the correct level.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 10:32 PM
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I owned and used a pro 1000 for two years. My recommendation is that you spend the money for the dillon.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 12:29 AM
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I use the Dillon presses. I also have the 550 and the Square Deal. If your only going to be loading for pistol, I would recommend the Square Deal. Keep in mind that the SD uses proprietary type dies. They work great, Dillon also has what is probably one of the best warranty. This is not meant as a knock on other companies warranties. Dillon presses are set and forget, once adjusted they just keep cranking out ammo, as quickly as you can pull the lever.


If you plan on loading rifle, or plan on changing primer sizes often, as 30calflash said get the 550 (uses standard dies). While I have the capability to load rifle calibers on the 550, I prefer to load rifle using my single stage RCBS (Rockchucker & Partner) presses. The only rifle caliber I use the 550 for is 223Rem/5.56.


I have heard good things about the Hornady LNL Progressive press. Here are a couple of articles comparing the progressive presses. Best of luck.


https://thesurvivallife.com/best-pro...ing-press.html


https://www.soutdoors.com/best-progr...loading-press/

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 06:25 AM
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The 550 Dillion is what I use and dealer support is outstanding 25-30 yrs ago ,starting with a 450B and adding the 550 15+yrs ago? Ed
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