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  #26  
Old 06-21-2019, 11:33 PM
OZ 1911 OZ 1911 is offline
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Good choice - go forth and multiply (ammo that is). Just did a detailed strip and clean of my 550B after 20 odd years.

My visit to the reloading room in the MTU Georgia many years ago was blinding with
'Blue presses' - which was good as it was just after I'd bought my Dillon 550B.

Grant
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  #27  
Old 06-22-2019, 07:49 AM
lightman lightman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorym View Post
I have no questions or problems. This is more like a range review for my new Dillon XL650. Call it a garage review

Honestly, if you are mechanically inclined, detail oriented, do your research first and Read-The-Fine-Manual it's a fairly painless process.
I usually recommend that new reloaders start with a single stage press because many people do not have the qualities that you mention. It ain't rocket science but it really helps if you are at least a little mechanically inclined.

Welcome to the Hobby of Reloading and Congratulations on buying a fine press.
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  #28  
Old 06-22-2019, 08:06 AM
WalterGC WalterGC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikld View Post
When beginning to reload, if one uses a press that does one operation at a time, they are learning what every step does and why. When operating a progressive press, one pulls a handle and a few things/steps happen simultaneously, and a loaded cartridge drops out in a tray. Personally I don't care what kind of press one uses, but it is a disservice to new reloaders to be told learning on a progressive is just fine. If a newer reloader has a high mechanical ability, there maybe few problems. But how does a new reloader, using/learning on a progressive learn to troubleshoot defective ammo?

Just my experience teaching mechanical and electrical stuff for 15+ years...
As long as one's IQ is higher than that of an unborn rhinoceros, learning on a progressive is just fine. For you Gumps, start with a single-stage!
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  #29  
Old 06-22-2019, 08:27 AM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikld View Post
When beginning to reload, if one uses a press that does one operation at a time, they are learning what every step does and why. When operating a progressive press, one pulls a handle and a few things/steps happen simultaneously, and a loaded cartridge drops out in a tray. Personally I don't care what kind of press one uses, but it is a disservice to new reloaders to be told learning on a progressive is just fine. If a newer reloader has a high mechanical ability, there maybe few problems. But how does a new reloader, using/learning on a progressive learn to troubleshoot defective ammo?

Just my experience teaching mechanical and electrical stuff for 15+ years...
Gotta side with Fletcheroís comments. The 550 lacks an auto advance. You can move a single cartridge back and forth. Yes, you can continue to dump powder in the same case multiple times if you arenít watching. Theoretically, you could do that with a SS as well. You could even try to resize with powder and primer in place. At that point, you clearly should not even own a weapon in the first place.
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  #30  
Old 06-22-2019, 08:47 AM
jmorris jmorris is offline
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Honestly, if you are mechanically inclined, detail oriented, do your research first and Read-The-Fine-Manual it's a fairly painless process.
Lots of stuff is that way. The only thing better than a happy ending is a happy start.
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  #31  
Old 06-22-2019, 12:00 PM
mikld mikld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flechero View Post
mikld- Your disservice comment would be more accurate if the press arrived with dies installed and perfectly adjusted... if one reads loading manuals and press/die set up instructions and tests each station as they go, taking measurements as you would in either scenario, the act of pulling the handle 3 extra times per round teaches them little.

And in the case of a 550 (which is what I'm familiar with) you can absolutely run 1 at a time or run each station individually as you would load on a SS. You can weigh each charge and not disrupt the loading sequence if you choose.

Your SS preference is clear, but if we are talking about common pistol calibers, there are plenty of people that have started with progressive and had no more problems than those on a SS. Plenty of guys here have posted about crimp, seat or consistency issues on a SS press, just as they have with other types.


If you are talking about rifle, then I would agree a SS makes more sense up front.
I can only relate my experience with teaching mechanical/electrical technologies. Yes, some can jump right in with an automatic everything press and get decent ammo, but more often than not, they miss the "theory and practicality" of reloading. More like learning to drive in a Toyota Corolla with auto trans vs. a Cab over Peterbilt with a 10 speed + split rear end. It is certainly possible but hardly recommended. I only was concerned with teaching a new comer in a practical manner with methods that will last their entire career. Same with reloading; learning, step by step, what reloading is about along with the "how and why" establishes a base, a learning experience that will last the reloader the rest of his reloading "career" rather than teaching him how to load hoppers and pull a handle. Of course I cannot argue/convince a progressive fan/user, which I don't even try, but a newer reloader should know the difference between being a handloader, a reloader and an ammo machine operator...
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  #32  
Old 06-22-2019, 12:23 PM
blindshooter blindshooter is offline
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There are people that have no mechanical ability at all. I believe that to be a fact written in stone. I just now finished helping my father in law with a tiller one of his friends gifted to him. That friend and the father in law share the same disability, zero mechanical skill, and maybe also some reading/comprehension problems as well. Neither of these people should have a sharp knives much less ever attempt to load ammunition of any sort. I guess what I'm trying to say is not everyone has skills/aptitude to make safe ammunition even on the most basic press. Everyone is different.
Sounds like the OP is not like my father in law. Thank God.
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  #33  
Old 06-22-2019, 12:58 PM
flechero flechero is online now
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Talking pistol ammo....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikld View Post
I can only relate my experience with teaching mechanical/electrical technologies. Yes, some can jump right in with an automatic everything press and get decent ammo, but more often than not, they miss the "theory and practicality" of reloading. More like learning to drive in a Toyota Corolla with auto trans vs. a Cab over Peterbilt with a 10 speed + split rear end. It is certainly possible but hardly recommended. I only was concerned with teaching a new comer in a practical manner with methods that will last their entire career. Same with reloading; learning, step by step, what reloading is about along with the "how and why" establishes a base, a learning experience that will last the reloader the rest of his reloading "career" rather than teaching him how to load hoppers and pull a handle. Of course I cannot argue/convince a progressive fan/user, which I don't even try, but a newer reloader should know the difference between being a handloader, a reloader and an ammo machine operator...
I suspect that whatever you are teaching is more complicated than loading pistol ammo. I often agree with the "walk before you run" mentality but operating a 550 isn't running. We aren't talking about forming brass for a new caliber and we're not wildcatting pistol ammo.

Whether SS or progressive, you still have to set up the dies/stations, still have to weigh or throw powder, still seat and crimp. And afterwards, we still drop the finished rounds into a gauge to ensure it's in spec. Single stage loading isn't superior, although it may be the right choice for many people. It really isn't rocket science, but it does take attention to detail.

So other than 300 more pulls of a handle and changing out dies every 100 pulls, what have you actually done differently? You've saved money, and I've saved time... both have value and if you can't measure a difference in the finished ammo, how can you say one is better?

Loading a single box of ammo every hour doesn't make one a handloader. And you'd be way over your paygrade to call some of the progressive loaders here, just machine operators.

I don't expect to change your mind, either... but wanted to see if you would explain how one misses the "how and why" with a progressive. I load on both types of loaders these days and don't see what I missed by starting on the 550.

Best,
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  #34  
Old 06-22-2019, 01:42 PM
markm markm is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorym View Post
Honestly, if you are mechanically inclined, detail oriented, do your research first and Read-The-Fine-Manual it's a fairly painless process.
Oh, so that's what RTFM means, I've had a different interpretation for years. And I've always thought that manuals were just for packing material, besides if you can't figure it out it was obviously done wrong and you should set out to fix it.
But I will agree that abilities vary wildly, I have PhD's working for me that can't figure out a crescent wrench.
On the other hand I started out with a single stage press so I can't really comment on transitioning to my 650, it just worked well from day one. But my brother used a 550 for years and just got a 650 and it took him a long time to get it working right, who knows.
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  #35  
Old 06-23-2019, 09:41 AM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is offline
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Originally Posted by blindshooter View Post
There are people that have no mechanical ability at all. I believe that to be a fact written in stone. I just now finished helping my father in law with a tiller one of his friends gifted to him. That friend and the father in law share the same disability, zero mechanical skill, and maybe also some reading/comprehension problems as well. Neither of these people should have a sharp knives much less ever attempt to load ammunition of any sort. I guess what I'm trying to say is not everyone has skills/aptitude to make safe ammunition even on the most basic press. Everyone is different.
Sounds like the OP is not like my father in law. Thank God.
The sad thing is that the percentage of those folks is rising. No one takes the time to teach these kids squat to even find out if they are a guber or not. In your scenario, those two have no business with a firearm, let alone loading ammo. Iím surprised they have all of their limbs if they actually operated a tiller. Maybe it was still brand new and they couldnít figure out where the gas went!
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  #36  
Old 06-23-2019, 12:10 PM
mikld mikld is offline
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I won't try and convince any reloader of any press preference, especially on a "1911 forum" (1911 + typically lots of shooting + need for lots of ammo = progressive press). All my post are talking about teaching reloading vs. teaching machine operation. I have taught a few men some fairly complex technologies and found K.I.S.S. approach is much, much better. I'm not concerned with how many rounds per minute someone wants to produce, I'm talking about learning to reload, which seems to be totally misunderstood. If a person doesn't know basic 12 volt auto technology, they certainly won't grasp and computer control theory. (My last auto I worked on, A Lincoln owned by an exec with the City of LA, had 14 "computers" on board). If a person doesn't have the grasp of basic reloading, learning, if possible, on a progressive press will be either a hit and miss proposition are an excessively lengthy process.

I'm done. Justifying my position any further isn't necessary...
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  #37  
Old 06-23-2019, 02:17 PM
flechero flechero is online now
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mikld- I wasn't trying to push you. I was honestly looking to understand/hear what concept or methodology you though was missed or not learned on a progressive? I did not have a mentor when I began so it's completely possible that I am weak in an area and don't even realize it.
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  #38  
Old 06-23-2019, 02:42 PM
markm markm is online now
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Originally Posted by Nitro.45 View Post
The sad thing is that the percentage of those folks is rising.
Yes, sad, but very true. I often wonder why, does society place too many safeguards that it defeats natural selection or is the the throw away world we live in where you don't fix things, just buy cheap and toss it. Or can you even teach common sense.
My most overused question when working with kids these days is "and just what did you think would happen when you did x?"
But my favorite which maybe splains a lot, when my kid got his first car one day I got a call, can you come get me, well I drove to the back road where he said he was, didn't see him. He calls again and says down here. He had driven off the road, down a bank, hit a tree and ended up in a creek. When I asked how he managed that his answer was "I don't know, I was just driving along sipping on my latte and boom".
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  #39  
Old 06-23-2019, 02:48 PM
Oldfut808 Oldfut808 is offline
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I hope this won't turn into a LEE FCD topic
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  #40  
Old 06-23-2019, 04:59 PM
gregorym gregorym is offline
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I shot and IDPA match with the new loads yesterday. I brought some UMC and a spare gun in case my loads didn't run well or tied up the gun, but I had no problems whatsoever.
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  #41  
Old 06-23-2019, 07:03 PM
DubfromGa DubfromGa is offline
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Originally Posted by gregorym View Post
I shot and IDPA match with the new loads yesterday. I brought some UMC and a spare gun in case my loads didn't run well or tied up the gun, but I had no problems whatsoever.
Sounds great
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  #42  
Old 06-24-2019, 05:53 AM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is offline
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Originally Posted by gregorym View Post
I shot and IDPA match with the new loads yesterday. I brought some UMC and a spare gun in case my loads didn't run well or tied up the gun, but I had no problems whatsoever.
Iím not sure I follow that logic at all.....
In the event that you had minor issues with your loads, I doubt that UMC would do any better! Maybe if you run them through the FCD die they would be better.
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  #43  
Old 06-24-2019, 07:49 AM
mr.paul mr.paul is offline
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Congrats on going Blue! I too jumped into reloading with a 550. I used a bunch of research and heavily relied on a well respected store owner and followed some common sense. I'm not after maximum production levels, and never load to the maximum speed. But I do strive for consistency and have added a lot of light to see into every case at the powder station. It is nice to be able to knock out a few boxes of ammo in a reasonable time.

I find a 550 can be as "single stage" as you want it to be. Thank goodness, as there are some stick powders that I load in some rifle that flows terribly in my press, so I load each case short charged at the powder stage, pull it out and use a scale and a trickler to complete them before replacing back in the press.

So many people reflexively gave out the "start with a single stage" advice. I think it is well meant, but as a universal bit of advice, sometimes needless. I am mechanically inclined and for 25 years have worked in a manufacturing environment running multimillion dollar machines doing more complex operations. So I certainly didn't feel fool hardy jumping to a progressive first. Frankly, it is pretty basic. I do know people however that shouldn't be trusted with anything mechanical and they shouldn't be anywhere near firearms or ammunition, or cheese graters for that matter. Go forth and be confident, but humble enough to respect the process.
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  #44  
Old 06-24-2019, 07:50 AM
DubfromGa DubfromGa is offline
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Originally Posted by Nitro.45 View Post
Gotta side with Fletcheroís comments. The 550 lacks an auto advance. You can move a single cartridge back and forth. Yes, you can continue to dump powder in the same case multiple times if you arenít watching. Theoretically, you could do that with a SS as well. You could even try to resize with powder and primer in place. At that point, you clearly should not even own a weapon in the first place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
Lots of stuff is that way. The only thing better than a happy ending is a happy start.


I'm printing both these quotes out and hanging them up somewhere. Funny stuff....and true !!!!
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  #45  
Old 06-24-2019, 02:32 PM
gregorym gregorym is offline
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Originally Posted by Nitro.45 View Post
Iím not sure I follow that logic at all.....
In the event that you had minor issues with your loads, I doubt that UMC would do any better! Maybe if you run them through the FCD die they would be better.
Nitro 45, I shot a match with that UMC ammo last month, so I knew it ran reasonably well in my pistol. I was mostly concerned about feed issues or a stuck case.
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  #46  
Old 06-24-2019, 03:49 PM
GT40DOC GT40DOC is offline
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Sounds to me like you and "old blue" are going to have a very nice, and productive relationship.
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  #47  
Old 06-25-2019, 06:22 AM
Nitro.45 Nitro.45 is offline
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Originally Posted by gregorym View Post
Nitro 45, I shot a match with that UMC ammo last month, so I knew it ran reasonably well in my pistol. I was mostly concerned about feed issues or a stuck case.
ďReasonablyĒ leaves a bit of interpretation hanging out there. As of the last decade or so, Remington has fallen to the bottom of the bucket as far as ammo production goes. That is where the original comment came from. UMC has a tendency to be the most inconsistent and irregular stuff produced. Most of the time it goes bang, sometimes not, but the proof is on paper. Horrible compared to other bargain basement stuff. The price point for the Mega Pack is just fine for Bubba and his friends that want to blast away at paint cans from 20 feet. Thatís what itís for. Iím glad you made it through your match OK. Try some PMC, PPU, AmEagle etc.......Not as good as a nice reload, but far better than Universal Mound of Crap!
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  #48  
Old 06-25-2019, 08:09 AM
gregorym gregorym is offline
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Nitro.45, that explains why it was so cheap :-)
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  #49  
Old 06-25-2019, 10:39 AM
liggett liggett is offline
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I know I'm a minority, but I'm very happy with my L&L AP.

Don't waste your $$ on the mini Mr. Bullet feeder. I have one, and it's not that it doesn't work, it does. The problem is that unless you have multiple "magazines" (and someone to load them) you will spend all the time you "saved" just loading the magazine on the mini.

Since you sprung for the 650, just get a regular 650 bullet feeder when you're ready. (but I'd get a case feeder first).
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  #50  
Old 06-25-2019, 12:23 PM
flechero flechero is online now
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I think most that have the LnL are happy with it... but what most said here is if you CAN start with a 650 or 550 you would be well off. (not that the LnL isn't good, but that if the Dillion was an option, it is a great choice.)
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