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Dillon 650

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I'm finally going to get a press in February.  How functional is a base Dillon 650?  I'd like to get the base unit up and running, then start adding parts later.

Can you begin reloading without all the frills?  

Is it a decent pace without the extra equipment?

I'll be a total noob at reloading, but I do tend to engross myself in something when I start it.

I'll probably buy it from Reloaders Bench in Mt. Juliet.  

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I'm finally going to get a press in February.  How functional is a base Dillon 650?  I'd like to get the base unit up and running, then start adding parts later.
Can you begin reloading without all the frills?  
Is it a decent pace without the extra equipment?
I'll be a total noob at reloading, but I do tend to engross myself in something when I start it.
I'll probably buy it from Reloaders Bench in Mt. Juliet.  


I have a 650 that all I have added is a case feeder. Since you are new to reloading I would suggest getting something less complicated. What calibers are you planning to load for?

I would highly suggest that you take a look at the Lee classic cast. They aren't incredibly expensive and are inexpensive to get setup on different calibers.


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I'll be doing 9MM to start, but will move into .45 and .223 soon.

I'd really hate to buy something I'm just going to end up replacing down the road.  I've been shooting IDPA and I do shoot a lot of ammo.  I'd rather not invest in a press that is not very productive.  

I'll enjoy reloading, I just won't have a ton of time to do it so I'm looking for a long term do it all solution.

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I'll be doing 9MM to start, but will move into .45 and .223 soon.
I'd really hate to buy something I'm just going to end up replacing down the road.  I've been shooting IDPA and I do shoot a lot of ammo.  I'd rather not invest in a press that is not very productive.  
I'll enjoy reloading, I just won't have a ton of time to do it so I'm looking for a long term do it all solution.


Most people don't replace their single stage, they just supplement it. When you load bottleneck rounds you will have to size/trim before you can load the cases. With the pistol rounds I just clean mine and run them through the press.

Since your shooting IDPA then yea go for the 650. I would suggest a case feeder in additional base kit. I chose not to buy the powder checks as I do visual while I'm running the press. Make sure you go slow while you're learning.


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I've got some friends who are going to teach me the tricks when I start out.  

I've been saving up brass for some time and finally figured out that I could save money on ammo to blow on more guns!  Get the press first!  It's just economics!:devil:

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I've got some friends who are going to teach me the tricks when I start out.  
I've been saving up brass for some time and finally figured out that I could save money on ammo to blow on more guns!  Get the press first!  It's just economics!default_devil.gif


Yea reloading doesn't really save money. Just allows more practice [emoji6]

I actually enjoy reloading almost as much as I do shooting the ammo.


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3 hours ago, dallasb said:

Yea reloading doesn't really save money. Just allows more practice emoji6.png

That's what I hear.  I'm just convincing myself now!  I'm mostly doing it for consistent, lower recoil ammo.

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I wrestled with the idea of reloading for over 20+ years, trying to justify cost vs. what I can buy new ammo for.  The only way I could justify the cost was to look at the variable cost only (powder, bullets, primers) vs. new ammo cost.  I even lumped my brass into my fixed cost (press, dies, cleaning), this would finally yield a positive return (very minimal), then Sandy Hook happened in late 2012.  All of the factory ammo dried up, and it changed my reload model from a cost savings model to a necessity model.  Then I made all of my investments to reload every center fire ammo I shoot approx. 8 calibers.  Having done heavy research at the time, it seemed that most reloaders always had a single stage press in their shop, either as a carry over from their first press, or something to handle one off calibers or simply to push out spent primers.  So I read and listened, and purchased the Lee Breech Lock Classic Cast Press.  Its large, and can handle up to 50 caliber reloading (I don't have a 50, but may have a 338 Lapua on the distant horizon). 

So why share my story?  Looking back after reloading 5000+ (total) in varying calibers using my single press, I have no regrets, I have learned so much, very easy to setup, easy to change calibers, but yet I still do not feel I can justify a Dillon yet.   Besides, I very much like my little setup.  I like working in my shop,  painstaking going through each step.  It feels more like careful craftsmanship, vs. a mass production line in my own weird way.   However, if I shot just one caliber exclusively, and shot in the 1000s per year, a Dillon would make sense to me. 

BTW, make sure you get a good reloading book, read, read, and read some more.  Its good that you have buddies that can help you.  I am self taught by reading and Youtube is my friend! 

For what it is worth, my 2 cents!

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650 with case feed, I'm close and will be glad to help you set it up. You are welcome to take a spin on mine if you want before buying. 550 with a case feed is also a very good choice. One of our guys has that setup and likes it. Either way a case feeder is a necessity If you ask us.

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Knowing what I know now, I think starting on a 650 is doable. When I started, I started on a turret press instead and it was every bit as complicated, so I regretted not starting on a progressive.

As for cost savings, buying components in bulk (1K pc or more at a time) has my cost for 50 rounds of 9mm down to around $6.50 not counting brass and my time.

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The 650 base unit is only $100 more vs the 550. It just seems smart to dump an extra $100 for the faster press unless I'm missing something.


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The 650 base unit is only $100 more vs the 550. It just seems smart to dump an extra $100 for the faster press unless I'm missing something.


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The 650 is a lot more press than the 550. I have both. If your going to do a case feeder the 650 is the right one to use as it was designed from the ground up to use a case feeder. The 550 is more of an afterthought. The best part about the 550 is everything is cheaper to purchase and it's easier to change over. If your doing 500pc runs I would suggest the 550, 2k runs for the 650.

Here is some information you may find useful. http://brianenos.com/pages/dillon


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Whoa that helps. I see. It's the cost of building it out. I don't see me shooting more than 3,000 rounds a month in the near future. Looks like the 550 is the best fit for the budget. I'll probably only load 9 and 45 for awhile. Am I correct that rifle rounds are easier to do for a newb on a single stage? I could just pick up on of those later.


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Whoa that helps. I see. It's the cost of building it out. I don't see me shooting more than 3,000 rounds a month in the near future. Looks like the 550 is the best fit for the budget. I'll probably only load 9 and 45 for awhile. Am I correct that rifle rounds are easier to do for a newb on a single stage? I could just pick up on of those later.


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I wouldn't say a single stage is easier than a 550. I use my 550 on everything but 45. Then I have a single stage for depriming and sizing since a progressive really doesn't speed thing up when doing those tasks.


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I have a Dillon 550 and have had that sucker since '89-'90 or so. It's currently set up for 9mm and I handload between 10-15 k of 9 each year.

I still use my Lee, which I've had since the mid-1980's for 5.56 and .38 spl. I learned the basics on the Lee and neither press is worn out yet...believe me, I've tried LOL.

As has been mentioned, Dillon customer service is second to none. They rebuilt my 550 for a nominal fee a few years ago...so I reckon it'll outlast me.

Please excuse the mess, but I love being able to crank out a few rounds of whatever I need when I have the time or inclination.

I am so habituated to hand feeding the brass I'm not sure that feature is something I need. Hand feeding the brass allows a last minute inspection and I still easily manage 300-400 rounds an hour.

We (as a group) cast and powdercoat our 9mm rounds, purchase our components in bulk, so we have an affordable source of accurate and functional handgun rounds.

Over the past several years, with the component shortage we had, we developed several powder use options and a chronograph proved invaluable in that endeavor. 

Welcome to a great and fruitful learning experience. :hat:

 

 

Handloading%20Bench%20Jan%202015%20001_z
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attempting to upload a photo...
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I got started a month ago for under $150.00 Got a lee  Challenger press kit. And a set of 2 to 3 dies, 1 pound of powder and primers with 500 once fired  brass 223  mixed hit Stamps.   Got everything except powder, primers and brass at Academy. I purchased the brass from ESTY for $12.00. Powder and primers  were bought locally... 

so to answer your question yes you can get started fairly cheap. My Pressis a single  stage press so going is slow but I find it very relaxing. I hope this helps some. But be warned reloading gets in your blood  and can be quite addictive.

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Definitely the 650 vs. the 550.  The question is whether to go 650 vs. Hornady LNL.  Both are progressive, both have idiosyncrasies.  The LNL is cheaper.  IMO no need for a case feeder, with the 650 getting the nod there should you choose that route.  Neither is going to be an out of the box I'm reloading proposition.  There will be a learning curve.  The key is study up, go slow, ask questions here because most of us learned the hard way.  IMO a progressive press is safer because of the auto-index.  If you go single stage you will go progressive eventually, so save your money and start that way unless you see yourself using the SS for some definite work in the future.

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The 650 base unit is only $100 more vs the 550. It just seems smart to dump an extra $100 for the faster press unless I'm missing something.


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The caliber conversions do cost more for the 650 than the 550 ($88 vs $47)

If you load lots of calibers that extra cost can add up fast

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Buying a full progressive press without a case feeder is like buying a Ferrari with a 50mph governor...

Loading 45 I would have to stop every 20 rounds to load more into the hopper. Now I just dump ~300 and check it each time I load more primers.


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