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Thread: Dillon reloading equipment are they really that good

  1. #1
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    Dillon reloading equipment are they really that good

    hello all

    i have been reloading for years and have had different reloading equipment through out the years and have seen the dillon stuff around and was wanting to know if it is all that.

    please give honest opinions about your hands on experiences

    I want to hear the good and bad about them

  2. #2
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    Any company will have detractors, but I have been loading on Dillon Equipment since the early mid 80's so roughly 24 yrs. I had a 450 which with frame upgrades and other upgrades is a 550B now. I have some issues with the priming system, but each time a call had new parts on the way. I would say that I have loaded convservatively 20K of center fire ammo a year on it, some years more and some less but in the neighborhood of 500K. I average 500rds an hour with 9mm and 45. Well, actually in less then an hour but I use the time line to reflect time spent loading primer tubes, verifying charge wts etc and other minor chores. It is the most versatile of the Dillon Machines. and, if you do some work you do not need to buy every conversion kit as say buying a 9mm kit to load 40SW you just need different indicator pins and expander. So, it can be cost effective to plan ahead. Dillon CS is second to none, and that can not be said for some other reloading vendors.

  3. #3
    I have 2 mounted on the bench.A 550b,and a Square Deal b
    I've had my 550b for 12 years,and like it a lot.I can'g get 500 rph..well,maybe on a really good day,but I"m not in a hurry,so 200 is fine for me. A finished round every 7 seconds is faster than my old body can move these days. lol
    I like it better than the SDB because of much more hand room ,and it takes std. dies ,whereas the SDB does not.
    bottom line,if I had it to do over,I'd buy 2 500's and skip the sdb,but other than small size and odd sized dies,the SDB car really put out some ammo,but pistol only,not rifle.
    I have not owned or operated any other progressives so my opinion is a bit skewed by that,but there ya go.
    If I was starting over,I"d look at Hornady because of their freee bullet offer they've been running for a while.

  4. #4
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    I've been reloading on a 650 for a couple years now. It works great. I did have a part break, but Dillon sent me out a new part right away. I was having problems with an occasional high primer and Dillon sent me a new improved part. I had a primer get stuck in a primer tube and Dillon sent me a new tube. I am glad I bought the Dillon and will stick with them. They are expensive, but their customer service is worth it.

    Prior to my 650 I reloaded on Lee presses. I had a shell plate carrier crack on one of them and Lee made me buy a replacement. I sold all my Lee presses (I had 5 Pro 1000's) and bought the Dillon along with conversion kits for 4 other calibers. I will not buy Lee again.
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  5. #5
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    I've used their presses and own some of their dies and case trimmer, along with a powder measure, but prefer other brands in a lot of cases.

    The dies, particularly the sizing dies, have a large amount of flare at the mouth of the die, and don't size down far enough on the case. At least with pistol cases, since I don't have any of their rifle dies. I prefer dies that size as far down the case wall as possible. The pistol dies also use a powder through expander, which I don't particularly like, preferring to expand a case with a regular expander instead.

    The Dillon presses I've used required the use of both hands to load the press. With my Hornady Pro-Jector, and now the new LNL, I never take my right hand off the press handle. Everything is done with the left hand to load the cases and bullets during the loading process, which I find much handier.

    I do like the Dillon powder measure, but not as well as the new Hornady LNL measure, which is more precise, in my opinion. I do use them both, though, depending on what I'm loading.

    I really like the Dillon Case Trimmer for trimming large volumes of rifle cases, since I prefer to do that process in batches of 1,000. It makes light work of trimming that number, since it's basically the same as just sizing them, which also takes place during the trimming, if the die is set up properly.

    Dillon backs most of their products for life, but not all. Any electrical tool, such as tumblers and scales, has a limited warranty.

    I've talked to them in person at the SHOT Show on several occasions and they have a certain attitude in their booth that turns people off. It's kind of like if you own any other brands at all, then they don't want to talk to you, but since I own equipment from every U.S. manufacturer of reloading tools, and use them together, I wasn't a loyal customer, so they didn't have the time of day for me or the people with me. We all left the booth shaking our heads on each occasion.

    The people at RCBS, Lyman, Hornady and Redding were as nice and helpful as can be at the SHOT Shows I've attended, and the Dillon people could take some lessons from them.

    I own Dillon Carbide die sets in .38 Super, 357 Sig and 9x25 Dillon, and to tell you the truth, they aren't worth the extra money, which is considerable for the two latter sets. Die sets from any of the other manufacturers will do just as well, if not better, except for the 9x25 Dillon caliber, since no one makes dies for that caliber except them. The .38 Super carbide die is oversize and won't do as good a job as a much cheaper Lee carbide sizing die.

    This is all based on actual experience with the products and face to face conversations. Some won't agree, but that is my opinion.

    Smythe

  6. #6
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    If you ask that question to a Dillon owner he will say yes. If you ask that Question to someone who owns anther brand they will say no. I own a Dillon press so I say it's well worth the money.

  7. #7
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    Dillon is no different than any other brand: their stuff is good if you like the features they offer and are ready to cope with the inevitable fiddle work required to keep any such system of complex machinery in proper tune.

    Their stuff is of overall high and consistent quality from what I've seen over the years, and their customer service seems quite good. Design of the equipment seems to strike a decent medium between function and "cover your legal butt" necessity.

    In the end it's mostly a question of what floats your boat. (imo)



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  8. #8
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    I love my 650 and with all the replacement parts Ive nickle and dimed for my loadmaster I wish Id of spent the dough a long time ago. The downside I see however is the caliber changes suck. The first time it took me 45 min to switch from .45 to .223 (everything had to changed) but I will get beter in time and Ive loaded 4500 round in three sesions (all 1-1.5hours) since I put it on the bench so its litterally paid for itself already...I will say that they have you by the balls @Dillon I.E. with the 650 its not worth buying unless you buy the casefeeder$$$$$$$$$$ but in the end it is great equipment but as stated above the best press for you is what floats your boat...

  9. #9
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    Great customer service - probably none better. But the Hornady Lock-N-Load produces as good ammo, is quicker to change over for another cartridge is is a good deal less expensive than the Dillon 650. Hornady's customer service is good, too.

    My attitude is that there is no status in paying too much. Therefore, I do not think the Dillon 650 is the best price performer. Nor the 550, since it is priced as high as a Lock-N-Load and the Lock-N-Load directly competes with the 650.

    Still, if customer service is your thing, Dillon is marginally better.

  10. #10
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    Dillon CS is much better then Hornady any day of the week and twice on Sunday!

  11. #11
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    well i think i got a fair deal on a Dillon square deal press
    i got it for $245 dollars and it has the 9mm dies and is ready to start loading, it comes with a few extras as well

    the press is like new with very very little usage so i figure i saved right at 130 dollars plus shipping

    and as for rifle i will still load them in a single stage press
    because i shoot bolt action rifles and there is not alot of need for mass production of those

  12. #12
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    Nitforfun;

    I've had a Dillon RL550B for a good number of years now. Not sure how long, but certainly into decades now.

    Changing primer sizes is a PIA. Once you get used to changing calibers, it's really no hassle. If you have to change the shell holder it's a bit more trouble, but not much at all. The thing is reliable and accurate.

    I'm a long-term satisfied customer.

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  13. #13
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    I think you've gotten fair answers here. I've owned Dillon equipment (and RCBS and a few others) and I'd say that all of them have pretty decent customer service but Dillons is incredible. All progressive reloaders have quirks and when I wanted to upgrade from my 550 to a 650 I looked long and hard at the Hornady LNL. In the end the problems I was reading about here wrt to belling of the case mouth with the powder through expanders was enough to sway me to Dillon. (I believe Hornady has finally worked that out) I don't think you'd go wrong with a Hornady or Dillon progressive.

    One other minor thing I've seen with Dillon presses is that the resale value appears to be higher . . .I think in most cases I've sold my "used" Dillon presses for more than I paid for them. (shopped carefully and long on Ebay, etc.)

    Good Luck!

    Have a good one,
    Dave

  14. #14
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    Dillon makes excellent products, no doubt. IMO, the thing that sets Dillon apart from other manufacturers (whose products may be equally good) is the customer care that follows the sale. Not only does Dillon actually fulfill their "no B.S. warranty" pledge, they do it happily & voluntarily with no argument, no quibbling and going beyond what's actually required or expected. I've found calling Dillon is more akin to calling up an old friend and I don't remember a single time I called with a question, a problem or needed a replacement part when I wasn't asked, "is there anything else I can do for you today". The difference in their service may be difficult for those who have'nt experienced it to really grasp and honestly, it's hard to try to define in the written word. Suffice to day, Dillon got my business by a stroke of luck but they've since earned my loyalty...

  15. #15
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    Yes, Dillon is all that.

    It's a high quality machine. Is it a C & H? Can't say, but it doesn't cost that much either.

    Warranty and support is superior and that alone is worth the price of admission.

    Mine is a first edition 550B from the mid 80's. I bought it new and it's still cranking out pistol and rifle.

    FWIW, I started with tong tools, then RCBS, Hornaday and Lee. Dillon smokes them.

  16. #16
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    Dillon products are outstanding!
    Dillon customer service is outstanding!
    Any other questions?

    I load on a Hornady LNL and it's an outstanding product!
    Hornady customer service is also outstanding!

    So what do you do? Look at both and see what is best for you!

    If you need any other info on the LNL, PM me and I'll answer any questions. I've loaded on BOTH.
    Last edited by Waldog; December 22nd, 2008 at 02:26 AM.
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  17. #17
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    I with Waldog... Dillon makes excellent equipment, and supports it well... but I load on a Hornady LnL... great equipment, good support, costs less and is a bit less complicated mechanically (when compared to the 650xl)... but either will serve you very well. I recommend you look closely at both, and if you can find someone with each press, try them... I have shown a few people my setup (even had them load ammo on it after I set it up, to show 'em how it works)... If you lived near me you'd be welcome to try mine. YOu can't go wrong, really, with any of the "big 3"... Dillon, Hornady, or RCBS (never used the RCBS, but I have heard it's an excellent press too).

  18. #18
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    I didn't get a reloading press for speed. I got it for making good, custom ammo.

    I got rid of the LoadMaster and got the Dillon 550B. Hornady didn't have their LockN'load out then.

  19. #19
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    I started with Dillon when I was shooting PPC and bought a 450. Set it up to load 38 Special and it is still churning them out 26 years later. I have replaced the dies once and the powder measure is from a different company (Lee). I also have a couple of others for loading 45 Colt, 45 ACP, 44 Colt and 32 WCF.

    Yeah, I like them for churning out ammo. For rifle stuff, I either use a Lyman 310 or an O frame.

  20. #20
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    I own an old RCBS rockchucker.

    Two Lee presses, one a three hole the other four hole.

    I also own a Dillon 550B with all the upgrades.

    Is one any better than another? I use them all for what I want to accomplish. I use the rockchucker to resize large caliber rifle brass, the two Lee presses to do loading for tall straight wall pistol, and for rifle. The Dillon is for when I want to crank out a bunch of pistol for just plain fun shooting.

    They all have a place in my needs. It all depends on what you want to accomplish. They each do their job well. The only problem I have had is trying to use Lee Precision's website. IMO is sucks.
    When I was younger I thought I'd go out and get them, now I just wait on the porch for them to come to me.

  21. #21
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    I to own all the above and thay do a good job. But when it comes to a progresive press DONE are better than a Dillion. For small runs any press will work but if your into shooting as I am a Dillion is the way to go. It's no problem to load 9mm, 38, 357 etc 500 an hour. I've had other progressive presses but none were as good or reliable as my Dillons. And Dillons customer service is GREAT to......

    I really like my RCBS rock chucker for small runs or loading my match ammo for my rifles. Dillon for all other reloading.

  22. #22
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    2 Square Deals and just got a 550B...can't really fault the blue coolaid. It gets the job done. If you could only have one press by anyone the 550B is the one to beat for overall versatility.

    I've talked to them at the NRA shows and they were very good to talk to. Service is awesome.

    I've loaded since the 70's, mostly on a RCBS rock chucker. You really can't got too wrong with any of them. Most of my friends moved to Dillons so that made it easier as I had experience before buying. Same with shotshell loading. My dad had a bunch of MEC stuff so when I went progressive that's what I did. If I could do over on that I'd go with the RCBS Grand.

  23. #23
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    Put me down as a Dillon suporter. I bought a 450 back in the eighties and have loaded at least 200,000 rounds of pistol and rifle on it with no signs of wear.

    When I moved , the box with the large primer stuff disapeared. Called Dillon and requested they price me every thing for the change. Three days later I got a new setup complete with extra primer fill tubes at no charge ! Made me a customer for life.
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  24. #24
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    Another satisfied Dillon user.

    This is really amusing. I could almost cut-and-paste, word for word, the entry by Throckmorton, in post #3 above. I have 2 mounted on the bench. A 550b,and a Square Deal b.

    Ive had my 550B for around 18 years and have loaded WELL over 100,000 rounds on it. Elder Son and I each own several pistols in various calibers and we both keep em fed with the that press. Most of our rifle ammo is loaded on an old RCBS single-stage.

    Much more recently, I acquired a second-hand SDB, which is dedicated to .38SPL and .357. I personally do NOT particularly like the automatic advance because it makes it difficult to check powder drops. I only load a few thousand rounds per year on it.

    Agreed as to TWO 550Bs - - I intend to get another and leave one each set up for large and small primers.

    Ive never used another brand of progressive, either. Im entirely satisfied with my Dillons. Two friends whose judgment I highly respect use Hornady machines, though. To each his own.

    I load a LOT of cast bullets for .45 ACPs, and really like the Dillon dies - - Theyre very easy to clean without needing to readjust afterwards. Different users will hold different opinions, and I understand that.

    I think Dillon customer service is outstanding. Ive called them several times, both for parts replacement and to place orders. The person on the phone was cheerful, helpful, and entirely professional. When needing to replace broken or lost parts, I stressed that it was my own fault, but they never charged me. Service was quite prompt, once within 48 hours.

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  25. #25
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    Know it's been said, but customer service is the best.

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