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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I got things going today with my new 550B and after a bit of stumbling I got 200 357 mag. rounds loaded up. Next up is the 45 Colt and then a few trips to the range. I think the capacity of this thing is going to outstrip my shooting time by a considerable margin. However, I'll definitely be doing more shooting because of it, that single stage press makes good ammo but the time investment was just too much.
 

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Dusty,

I find that my 550 doesn't outstrip my shooting time, but it outstrips my shooting budget!!!!!! :)

ra
 

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Dusty:

My routine is to make up a batch of 500 at one sitting, then make some more after I've shot them all. Before the 550 I used to handload every week. Now it's a lot less often than that.
 

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Dusty,
Now that you`ve found the 550 you`ll probibly give up your wife befor you`ll give it up. 14,000 is about the mosy I`ve ever loaded on mine in a year, and even at that I didn`t spend all my sprair time reloading. The biggest problem is that not you`ll be looking for something to load.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Before I got this press I was reluctant to even THINK about buying another caliber gun but now I might just go hog wild buying guns! BTW I got the Lee crimp dies and they seem to be working fine (so far). I also ordered those stands for the tool head and other parts so they won't be left just laying on a shelf where I can pull one of my infamous Captain Spasmo routines and knock one off onto the floor! Now, if the Calif. state legislature does not pull the rug out from under me and make it all but impossible to buy ammo and reloading supplies.............stay tuned for this one.
 

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Dusty Miller, I have been reloading for 25 years now, I have thought about a 550 here lately. I have either used single stage presses or turret presses. Currently I have a RCBS and a lyman turret press. Do you really think it is worth going to the 550? :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Its just a matter of how much shooting you do. This press will put out 500 rounds/hour if you're fast enough. Even at half that it'll outstrip most of my current shooting needs. Like I said before, I'm sure I'll be doing more shooting now and spending a LOT less time at the reloading bench. In a year I'll have a much better idea of just how its all going to work out. It just may turn out that I've overspent and in fact have a lot more press than I need. Time will tell.
 

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Redhawk,
As Dusty said you can pump out alot of ammo with the 550 but alot of ammo don`t mean much if it`s not good ammo, and the 550 turns out match grade ammo. The over whelming majority of competive shooter load on Dillon. If you load with ball powders you will never find a powder drop .05 gns. from where you set it, next week or next year as long as your loading from the same lot of powder. Over the years I`ve been blessed with several rifles that would shoot sub 1/2 moa consistantly and they all did it with ammo loaded on the 550. They can get expencive though, I have well over $100 invested in mine, but then I`ve lost count of the numbers of different round I load, I have 3 powder measures, apx. 10 cratridge conversion kits, a pile of primer pick-up tubes, extra powder funnels ect. One way to save alittle mone though is to buy powder funnel when possile instead of conversion kits. Conversion kits are abt $39 now and you can get a powder funnel for abt $10. If you buy a conversion kit for .30-06 you will need only buy a powder funnel for any other round that has a .473 or .472 shell head. ie. .22-250, 308, .270, .35 Whlen ect.
I`ve been loading on a 550 for for 25 years or alittle better, and see no need for something faster, and no reason to use anything slower. On the few occations that I broke something on the press one phone call to Dillon and the part was in the mail, AT NO CHARGE TO ME!!!!
 

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I may have to get me one. I shoot a lot and I always have brass laying around that needs loading.

Thanks for the replys. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
GEEZE Catfish, you've only got $100 invested in your's? I GOT ROOKED! :-D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, I just had a disconcerting experience with my 550B. I loaded up 1 dozen rounds for my pig hunt this weekend (I sure HOPE it don't take me 12 shots to put'm down and keep'm down!!) and weighed each powder charge to make sure they were all dead on and UH OH! The charges varied from -.10 gr. to + .50 gr. I'm think'n maybe its just my inexperience with the press or the way I set it up, hope so. :shock:
 

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DustyMiller:

What is the load? I get practically zero variation in my light 45ACP target loads with any powder.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Uh, golly, gee there Questor, I'd have to go ALL THE WAY out to the garage to get that info and I just ate!! :grin:
 

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My reason for asking is that if this is a 70 grain load of stick powder, the .5 grain won't matter. If it's a 2.5 grain load of 25ACP it probably will. I get .1 grain variation +/- in 4 grain loads of Bullseye or Win 231 or Hodgdon Clays powders. It seems like many people prefer ball powders for ease of metering. Call tech support and fiind out if there's a different powder measuring bar for the type of loads you're developing. RCBS, for example, has one for handgun and small rifle loads, and one for big rifle loads.
 

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i had this problem too. when you are operating the press to set up the charge, ensure you push the handle forward as if seating a primer; even though you are not. then weigh your charge, make the adjustment. run the case up to be charged with powder, then when you bring it down, push it forward like you are seating a primer. weigh your charge, make adjustment if needed. repeat until charge comes out at desired weight.

it about drove me nuts until i figured it out. remember this- dillon machines are about perfect. if there is a problem, you can about bet the farm you are at fault and not the equipement. the key is finding out what exactly you are doing wrong.

check that and get back to us and let us know.
 

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Ahhh myronman, you are breenging back zee faint memoreez of zee mishap once had by yours truly. The vertical rod that actuates the powder measure needs to be as close to vertical as you can estimate. No need to break out the old plumb bob, but just a careful eyeballing and adjustment is good enough.
 

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yep, and one should be sure they have that rod on the right way also, as that can cause problems.

also ensure the handle has the full range of motion it is designed for. in other words, make sure it isnt mounted too close to the bench, if so the handle might be stopped by the bench before the handle has been cycled the whole way.
 

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This press will put out 500 rounds/hour if you're fast enough
:twisted: Gotta watch that speed. In reality, I can only do about 200-250 per hour safely, without doing something stupid.

:cry: Once, while in a hurry (and trying to see how fast I could go), cranked out about 500 rounds in just over 1 hour, but I ended up "short stroking" the handle most of the time. What I ended up with was 500 loaded round, not fully sized, and would not fit into my .45LC. That turned out to be a serious pain. I won't get into how I fixed that problem.
 

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Dusty,
Make sure that the slide bar on the powder measure is going all the way back to the stop. I have got closed the that much variation with large rifle cases and stick powders, but if you have your powder measure set correctly and load ball powders you`ll never find a drop charge .05 gn. variation, our at least I never have.
I once loaded 800 rds. of .44 mag. ammo in 58 min. and all were match grade. I should say that I had primer tubes filled ahead, did not have to get out bullets or refill powder measure and did use beveled based bullets. But, that is 58 min. of consistant cranking from someone that had loaded several 1,000`s of round on a 550.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hey guys, thanks for the input. Things are working much better now. If I remember to cinch that rod down good'n tight then the powder slide comes all the way home and by golly I do get more consistent results. :) If yer just dye'n to see me at my work bench to to www.picturetrail.com and put walter-strong in the user name box.
 
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