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Thread: Progressive press upgrade

  1. #1
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    Progressive press upgrade

    Looking at adding a progressive press to my reloading toolkit. I have a Frankford arsenal m press but wanting to load more rounds faster. Trying to decide on options but considering a Dillon 550c or similar. How do progressives go with sizing brass and needing lube? Wanting to load for my 223, 6mm creed in bulk and want reasonable accuracy from it.

    What do I need to look for? Loading around 3,000 223 per year and probably half that in 6mm cm.

    Like the idea of self feeding (proj and cases)

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Member mikee's Avatar
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    If its not BLUE its poo!!
    550 will do all that and Dillon Dies are great and carbide ones better still
    Having said all that Pistol calibres are faster to load on progressive.

  3. #3
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    You can pretty much do whatever you want on dillons by adding and removing bits to what you want to do. I have mainly loaded all my pistol stuff on a 650 with case feeder and rifle stuff on 550.

    I did get all the bits to load out 7.62 & 5.56 in the good old days on the 650 but after the ban still have stockpiles of ammo.

    I just use the 550 as a normal press as can easily just change out all your heads left setup. Normally throw the powder with RCBS auto thrower as you would with a single stage but at some time might start whacking out 303 using dillon powder thrower as they are reasonably accurate.

    Many anks in PRS load on 550's with various setups to speed things up but still load fantastic ammo. You won't regret buying a dillon.
    mikee and Beaker like this.

  4. #4
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    Ok. How do you get on with case lube for the sizing? Can you full length size with a small shoulder bump? How reliable are the powder throwers or better to just drop in powder from electronic dispenser?

  5. #5
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    Case lubing I just spray cases with either Dillon or Hornady case lube and give a shake around in container. Some calibres if you have trouble can give each a more specific spray around shoulder but rarely need to.

    Fast to deprime as you just feed in one side and keep advancing and they pop out into your blue tray. I've been hand priming with RCBS but going to set 550 up shortly to do again.

    I have just been dropping powder with RCBS auto dispenser and loading from tray with projectiles like a single stage.

    Have multiple calibres set up on different tool heads so just grab the one I need and away you go. She'll plate for 308, 6.5, 22.250, 270 is always same so you don't need to change that unless doing say 223, or magnum the other way.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigelp View Post
    Ok. How do you get on with case lube for the sizing? Can you full length size with a small shoulder bump? How reliable are the powder throwers or better to just drop in powder from electronic dispenser?
    I've had a 550B since 05 and a second 550C for a couple of years. I load the usual Pistol calibres with them, one setup for small and one for large primers, because I could. I could also live with swapping primer assemblies although a lot of folk don't like to. It only takes a few minutes but you do have to take the trouble to understand how they work and how to set them. Plenty of folk find that an issue although its hard to get why. Two setups is a nice convenience.

    I use Dillon powder measures on mine. I also figured out how to fit Lee disc style measures. I use Lee Perfect, Lee perfect Deluxe, and RCBS powder measures on the bench. I've had two Lyman 550s and an older Hornady Pacific. For consistent accurate throws none of them are better than .02gns in my experience. Bear in mind that most $100 electronic scales have the same margin of error - why I use a balance beam for setting press mounted measures and rifle loads.

    In terms of most consistent accuracy for non- stick or rod powders I rate them in the following order for Press mounted - Lee disc measures, Dillon, Lee Perfect

    For stick/rod powders none are consistent enough for me not to trickle up rifle loads by hand where cknsistent accuracy is really important.

    Lee disc measures will leak a little on fine ball powders like WC296. I replace the wiper inserts on older ones which helps.

    Pistol loading is sufficiently accurate at .02gn variance. Up to you if that matters for rifle

    The measures I liked least were the Lyman. They have brass drums and the cutting edge dings and wears with rod/stick powders. The Hornady I just was not keen on, an older one I never got going properly. The RCBS I like and can be very consistent but evey now and then throws a low measure. May be user related of course.

    The plastic Lee Powder Perfect for 60 some $ has to be the industry's best kept secret. And you can press mount it.

    If I was volume loading say 223 I would chose a powder that measures well and be happy with the Dillon. But for hunting or competition I'd be trickling up.

    Other's mileage will certainly differ

    I load all my rifle in batch mode on Lee single stage, RCBS Summit or Lee Turret presses. An old Lee 3 hole turret i find very useful for rifle up to 30 cal. You are loading one round at a time but it is considerably faster than single stage. I also have a 4 hole with auto indexing that is faster than manual on the old 3 holes which auto indexing never worked properly on. You can press mount case activated Lee powder measures easily and have each calibre on its own turret at reasonable cost. I would go this way for rifle before I'd go Dillon. If buying new I'd get the Lee Classic Cast 4 hole turret press.

    All rifle cases need lubing no matter the press or dies. Otherwise you will become the world's most experienced stuck case remover. Case lubing for rifle calibres has nothing do with which press you use or which dies.
    Last edited by Jhon; 10-06-2022 at 10:30 AM.
    T.FOYE likes this.
    I know a lot but it seems less every day...

  7. #7
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    *shell plate

  8. #8
    Member Rock river arms hunter's Avatar
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    I run a 550B.

    Have loaded 40 S&W on it but have moved to 9mm so am loading 9 now.

    One of the great things with a 550 is you can run it like a single stage until you get it all worked out etc and then run it like a semi progressive.

    I just run the carbide dies and it goes super well.

    As said above.

    If it's not blue it's poo.

  9. #9
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    Name:  20220610_115713.jpg
Views: 86
Size:  2.19 MB

    This is a 5 shot group of my 22 Creedmore hunting rifle loaded on a dillon 550, Hornady dies, powder thrown with RCBS chargemaster lite. They are a very versatile system.

  10. #10
    Member Tommy's Avatar
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    The US Army marksmanship unit use Dillon 550s
    Identify your target beyond all doubt

  11. #11
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    The Dillon 550 is the best of both worlds.
    It can be used as a progressive, partial progressive or a single stage press.

    Mine is 23 years old and probably has 160k plus round through it.
    I use it for precision stuff now, leaving the high volume rounds to a Dillon 650 and an even older Dillon rl1050 which has been making ammo since the mid 1980s.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

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