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  #1  
Old 02-21-2020, 09:30 PM
joe 45 joe 45 is offline
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Seeking Progressive Press Thoughts

This is not a Hornady vs Dillon survey. That war has been fought. Dillon won. This is about my little place in the world. I am 72 and for many years my wife and I shot sporting clays. At one time I owned and used 5 Mec 9000G shotshell reloaders. I understand how a progressive works. I reload all of our rifle cartridges on a Rock Crusher. I destroyed my right shoulder and quit shooting shotguns 12 years ago. My shoulder is now made of titanium. I want to reload 45 acp. Nothing else.
A friend of mine who happens to work in a LGS shoots everything and knows most shooters in Oklahoma. He told me; Joe, I have known a lot of people who sold their reloaders to buy a Dillon but I never heard of anyone selling a Dillon to buy another brand of reloader.

A Dillon Square Deal B seems to be the first best option, except I have hands like a gorilla. I wear a size 13 ½ wedding ring and wear size 2x leather farm gloves when I can find them. A Dillon SQB has a very small workspace. If anyone has hands this big and they are comfortable with a SDB I would like to know. Since I will not recoup my outlay no matter what I buy, a powder check die is a dealbreaker if I can’t use a SDB.

That leaves the 10 station, $3000.00 Mark 7 manual (for loading 45s it is like buying a dump truck to haul a loaf of bread.) The Dillon 750, the 1100, the Super 1050, and the Hornady lock and load ap. Since at present I forecast loading 1000 – 2000 rounds a month I don’t see a case feeder as a neccessity.

If a Dillon 750 could be used without a case feeder the question would already be answered. But, I have seen 750 packages listed for almost $1800.00.

A Super 1050 or 1100 is ready to use at $2000.00. If I were 62 I would go with either of these in a heartbeat.

If I thought a Hornady would do the job if I left it set up for 45s I would consider buying one.

I just want a trouble free reloader for 45s. I want to buy once and cry once. Money is not a huge consideration. I don’t think I need a case feeder, but as the Man famously asked, “What does need have to do with anything?”
Your thoughts are welcome. Thank You, Joe
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2020, 03:48 AM
VF-1 VF-1 is offline
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Totally understand. I currently have three Dillion presses for various hand gun calibers. Although my mits aren’t quite in your caliber, I have SDB set up for 9mm. I love it, and think it would solve your problems (especially if you only plan to reload 45 ACP). I say that, because the SDB dies are unique to the SDB only. Regardless, a very reliable press that you will pass on to your grand kids.
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2020, 04:15 AM
Totally Tactical Totally Tactical is offline
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I have had a Square Deal for many years.
It payed for it's self long ago.
No complaints, the couple of small breakages I had over the years, were quickly fixed from the bag of small extra parts that Dillion supplied with the press.

As for your large hands. I keep a large pair of tweezers next to mine.
They help with pulling out and reinstalling the brass Station location pins when I need to.

You might want to give Dillion a call. They are very helpful and might have a better press to fit you.

As I am getting older, I'm trying to get away from reloading and buy factory ammo by the case.

Here are two companies I deal with as this is also a option for you.

https://www.luckygunner.com/

https://www.ammunitiondepot.com/
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  #4  
Old 02-22-2020, 07:48 AM
flechero flechero is online now
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I'm not sure I follow all you points but I will say this- at your volume (or even 3X that) a Dillon 550 will be plenty... consider this- when you index the plate with your left hand you are grabbing the indexer at station 2 right after powder has thrown. You are looking into the freshly charged case seeing the powder.

Then you look away to insert the brass into station one and then grab a bullet to set on top of that freshly charged case (that is almost right under your eye) and you look into the case again as you set the bullet.

So with no extra effort or time wasted, the design of the machine causes you to look into the case two separate times to see the powder. Add a $20 skylight and you have an LED spotlight shining straight into that case... Ray Charles could verify the powder. I wouldn't buy a different press based on a check die station alone.

I verify powder 2x on every round I load, gauge each loaded round before loading into a mtm box... and without breaking a sweat, I still load over 300/hr.

I have read on the web of people adding different powder check options to 550's... If you are dead set on a check die, you can, with a little modification and compromise, use one on your 550.
http://www.uniquetek.com/store/69629...550B_Press.pdf
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2020, 08:03 AM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is offline
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^^^^ What he said! There’s a tad more room with the 550.
Also, you will certainly recoup your $$ if you compare it to cases of store bought stuff. The argument of “no ya wont, because you’ll shoot more” doesn’t hold water. That monetary pain is self inflicted....
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2020, 08:32 AM
jjfitch jjfitch is online now
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I understand your plight.

I have two SDB's dedicated to 9mm and 38 Spl. I have two 550's set up for 45 and 38 Super.

I also have two Hornady's and older AP and the newer LNL for rifle 30-06 and .223!

I'm 73 and started reloading in 1964 and have shoulder issues as well but "regular" hands!

Although the 550's are really good I prefer the Hornady LNL for two reasons. The 550 have issues in the primer mechanism and powder metering. Not serious but annoying.
Google: "Dillon 550 Priming issues" and Dillon 550 powder metering issues"

For my purposes I prefer the Hornady LNL progressive and auto indexing. I have never had powder drop issues or problems with primers flipping! The shell plate is also a little larger for easier access.

Case feeder and bullet feeder can be added as well.

Check out the sale at Midsouth Shooter's Supply, $394! Comes with a coupon for 500 bullets too!

If you're in western WA stop by and sit down in front of a 550 and a LNL and try out both!

Smiles,
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Last edited by jjfitch; 02-22-2020 at 08:38 AM.
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2020, 08:42 AM
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Tom Freeman Tom Freeman is offline
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2,000 rounds a month makes me want to lean towards a 1050 or 1100. And there is some 45 ACP brass with crimped primers that makes a 1050/1100 worth it.

The huge negative with 45 ACP now days is the fact there is both small primer and large primer brass. Be sure you know what you are buying if you buy once fired brass. If you have a piece of small primer brass get mixed in, a 550 will be really easy to get it out of the mix.
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2020, 03:38 PM
GT40DOC GT40DOC is offline
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To me, shooting 2K rounds/month suggests a Dillon 650/750. You do not have to purchase the casefeeder......but will shortly after using it without. It has a place for a powder check die, and is a full progressive press(auto indexing). As you say, "buy once--cry once", and never look back. I still have a SS press, and my old Lyman turret press, and they still get used from time to time, but the majority of my loading in on my 650 with a casefeeder.
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  #9  
Old 02-23-2020, 08:06 AM
No Expert No Expert is offline
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At 2k per month I'd want a case feeder for sure.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:54 AM
yeti yeti is offline
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2k a month habit? NOS 650 or a 750 and I think you need to seriously reconsider the case feeder. Fast, less fiddly and easy to keep up with demand if you get busy.
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  #11  
Old 02-23-2020, 03:41 PM
DubfromGa DubfromGa is offline
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Sorry about the shoulder, Joe.

I believe I'll soon be joining the titanium shoulder club, too.......having to decide if I wanna do knees first, lol.


You post is encouraging in that I'm enthused to see a trick shoulder guy still in the game....rolling out his handloads and shooting .45's and rifles.

Much respect to you, sir.

JJfitch makes a compelling argument about the 550C.....but then again the roominess, case feeder and your desired powder check capability make the argument for the 750 & 1100. A Mr. Bulletfeeder would be pretty sweet, too.


Good luck with your decision and keep on having fun. You've inspired me already !!!!
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Old 02-23-2020, 04:35 PM
joe 45 joe 45 is offline
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DubfromGa, I'm rehabbing my second knee now. I had my first knee replacement a year ago and my shoulder 2 years ag next April. he surgeon refused to replace my knees before my shoulder because he felt that my shoulder would give out right after knee surgery while I was using a walker or crutches and I would damage my knee.

flechero, the reason I am looking for help is because the descriptions I wrote for each press is my take on their uses. I have never used any of them. It's like walking thru a car lot , looking at all the models and having never driven any of them. I'm learning a lot.
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Old 02-23-2020, 04:52 PM
DubfromGa DubfromGa is offline
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Originally Posted by joe 45 View Post
DubfromGa, I'm rehabbing my second knee now. I had my first knee replacement a year ago and my shoulder 2 years ag next April. he surgeon refused to replace my knees before my shoulder because he felt that my shoulder would give out right after knee surgery while I was using a walker or crutches and I would damage my knee.

flechero, the reason I am looking for help is because the descriptions I wrote for each press is my take on their uses. I have never used any of them. It's like walking thru a car lot , looking at all the models and having never driven any of them. I'm learning a lot.

Understood. Our warranties expire and stuff needs to be repaired and replaced....like knees and shoulders.


At least we are able to choose presses that have forever warranties.
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:09 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is online now
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I do not have large hands and access to a SDB is not a problem.
What IS a problem is low leverage at the top of the stroke; 9mm loaded OK, .45 was rife with high primers.

I went from small primer and large primer SDB to small primer 550 and .45 Super 1050... about age 62, hmm, but that was 13 years ago and I was shooting mostly IDPA CDP (.45 only.)

I am now shooting a lot more 9mm than .45 (and am supplying a student to whom $50 a thou matters) and have been considering flipping the calibers or just buying another 1050 before they can get over to the 1100 and raise the price again.

I have no experience with a 650, but a 750 might be a possibility.
As said, if you have an auto index machine like a 750 or 1050, the power case feed makes a lot of sense. I do not feel the need for a bullet feeder.

I have been reading on Benos about the Mk 7 machines and I figure if you want a close relationship with your service rep, that would be the way to go. Dillons are not perfect - tuning the primer feed on my S1050 was a chore - but Mk 7 is a real crapshoot.

A friend has the Hornady progressive. He is entirely satisfied now, but has every factory upgrade and several third party improvements.

Last edited by Jim Watson; 02-23-2020 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 02-23-2020, 07:40 PM
joe 45 joe 45 is offline
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Jim Watson: I read your post and went to Brian Enos forum and read some reviews on the Mark 7. I am glad I am to old to justify one because I would lose it if someone told me it would be a month because I did not have Premium Service. talk about ruining a sale before it happened. enough people have responded that I should consider a case feeder that I am having my wife drive me to Oklahoma City tomorrow (240 mile round trip, and my new knee won't drive that far). A gun range there has some Dillon machines set up. I intend to use the knowledge I've gleaned from this forum to pose some informed questions. Thank You
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Old 02-23-2020, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by joe 45 View Post
Jim Watson: I read your post and went to Brian Enos forum and read some reviews on the Mark 7. I am glad I am to old to justify one because I would lose it if someone told me it would be a month because I did not have Premium Service. talk about ruining a sale before it happened. enough people have responded that I should consider a case feeder that I am having my wife drive me to Oklahoma City tomorrow (240 mile round trip, and my new knee won't drive that far). A gun range there has some Dillon machines set up. I intend to use the knowledge I've gleaned from this forum to pose some informed questions. Thank You

Keep in mind that the 1050 comes set up and ready to go. No need to buy dies, conversions, casefeeders, ect.

Lots of people like to say how much cheaper the 650/750 is compared to the 1050. When you make an apples to apples comparison, it isnt as much.
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Old 02-24-2020, 06:39 AM
glider glider is offline
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It seems like most people that have the SDB keep them set up for one caliber and never change them. It looks like a conversion kit for the SDB is about the same money as for a 550. If that's the case then the SDB looks pretty good if all I load is handgun. I've used a rock chuker for years and I enjoy the process but there are times that it would be nice to load 300 rounds in an hour.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:57 AM
eby1911 eby1911 is offline
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Originally Posted by joe 45 View Post
I don’t think I need a case feeder, but as the Man famously asked, “What does need have to do with anything?”
You need the case feeder. Your shoulder, will thank you for it. I bought my first reloading press, a Dillon 650 about ten years. Didn't buy the case feeder. But within two weeks I ordered one. Having the case feeder installed really helps increase the speed plus makes it easier to focus your attention on the shell plate where the action is instead of constantly feeding brass. And feeding the brass was killing my shoulder. So I'd say 750 or maybe even a 1050.

Another thought, you could buy a 550 and use it to reload both rifle and .45 ACP. I load all of my precision cartridges on a 550 with floating Wheeler tool heads and funnel for a manual powder drop. I use a A&D scale with Auto Throw and Trickler to drop the powder. Accuracy is unchanged from the single stages presses to the 550. I've sold all of my single presses. It's also much faster than reloading on a single stage. So my 650 is used for .223/5.56, 45 ACP, and .40. The 550 is used for 6.5 CM, 6.8 SPC, .308 and .30.06. rifle loads.

Last edited by eby1911; 02-24-2020 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:53 AM
flechero flechero is online now
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Originally Posted by joe 45 View Post
flechero, the reason I am looking for help is because the descriptions I wrote for each press is my take on their uses. I have never used any of them. It's like walking thru a car lot , looking at all the models and having never driven any of them. I'm learning a lot.
Hi Joe,

I understand and hope my post didn't come off as demeaning in any way- I can get long winded so add bold to emphasize things here and there.

I wanted to be sure you understood that you can "get by" without the extra station. I enjoy loading so the case/bullet feeders aren't something that interest me (yet). Plus every now and then I find a bad case or bullet by hand placing them.

The beauty of the modern equipment is that you can do as much as you want and automate the rest! (assuming you can afford to!)
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Old 02-24-2020, 09:19 AM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is online now
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Back of the envelope calculation, you can reload for about $100 a thousand LESS than the cheapest brass cased .45 ACP at Target Sports.
That means that you would be saving $100 - $200 a month at your projected rate and amortize a 1050 in a year or year and a half.
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Old 02-24-2020, 09:44 AM
techiede44 techiede44 is offline
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I'm a fan of the Hornady (almost 10 years now reloading 9, 38, 357, 44, 45, 45 Colt, 30.06 & 308). But for a single caliber only would go with the 750. By the time you're done - again 1 caliber only - it'll probably net cost about the same with case feeder.

I think the 750 primer improvements are worth it over the 650.

Enjoy!
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  #22  
Old 02-24-2020, 05:12 PM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is offline
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Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
Back of the envelope calculation, you can reload for about $100 a thousand LESS than the cheapest brass cased .45 ACP at Target Sports.
That means that you would be saving $100 - $200 a month at your projected rate and amortize a 1050 in a year or year and a half.
Now that's the way to explain it!!!
Be prepared for someone to say you wont save a thing and the press wont pay for itself because you shoot more!!
That guy is currently hitting the "Checkout" button at SG Ammo for his third case in as many months. Who's kiddin' who???
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Old 02-24-2020, 06:04 PM
flechero flechero is online now
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Originally Posted by Nitro.45 View Post
Now that's the way to explain it!!!
Be prepared for someone to say you wont save a thing and the press wont pay for itself because you shoot more!!
Let em, that just pays it off sooner!
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  #24  
Old 02-24-2020, 08:06 PM
No Expert No Expert is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom Freeman View Post
Lots of people like to say how much cheaper the 650/750 is compared to the 1050. When you make an apples to apples comparison, it isnt as much.
By the time you do a case feeder and another upgrade or two you may as well get the 1050.

I was looking at a case feeder and other upgrades to my Hornady progressive. I think it would actually be cheaper to buy a new press that comes with the upgrades and sell the old one then buy the upgrades.
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  #25  
Old 02-24-2020, 10:03 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is online now
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A pimped out 750 is less than $1400, an 1100 is $2000.
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