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  #1  
Old 04-22-2017, 08:12 AM
njsportsman njsportsman is offline
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Single to progressive

Hello I've reloading for about a year now and I am now thinking about upgrading to a progressive press. The only 2 that seem to be neck and neck are the Dillon and Hornaday LNL. Now there is no rush as i am gathering the funds to support this effort. I have a RCBS Rockchucker single stage press I am using now. I have watched reviews and have seen some knocks on the LNL as I have the Dillon. Now these videos are 3-5 years old so, maybe they have been fixed. The LNL has had some powder measure problems as primer seating problems to name a couple. The Dillon had some primer issues as well so, is that operator error or are they real issues? Now since I am in no rush and basically kicking the tires right now and researching the two I would love to hear all the issues, problems and opinions. I currently reload 45acp, 9mm and .357mag rounds. I eventually want to reload .556 and .308 rounds. Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2017, 08:26 AM
Cappi Cappi is offline
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Originally Posted by njsportsman View Post
is that operator error or are they real issues?

I've determined the level of the loader's mechanical aptitude has much to do with progressive machinery frustrations

a simple analogy of mechanical aptitude;

Most can figure out how to change light bulb by themselves
Some could figure out how to hang the light fixture by themselves
Some could design and build their own fixture

Another analogy...
those that intuitively understand why braking hard over railroad tracks isn't good for your frontend, will have less frustrations with progressive then those that don't

..L.T.A.
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Last edited by Cappi; 04-22-2017 at 08:46 AM.
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2017, 08:49 AM
f1racefan f1racefan is offline
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I've loaded with a Lee Pro1000 for about the past 7 years. I've loaded only pistol rounds on it. In most cases of issues with the press, it had a lot to do with me. Getting a .380 case mixed into my 9mm cases, or vice versa, caused problems. Running the primer tray too low caused problems. Running out of powder caused problems. Most things were avoidable if I'd been paying better attention.

Most of the important functions (primer seating, bullet press, etc.) happen at the top or bottom of the stroke. I've learned over time to go easy at the top or bottom of the stroke to "feel" if there's a problem. As the previous poster has mentioned, a lot of problem can be overcome by paying attention and learning your press. If a press truly has a problem built in to the press, if there's not a fix available, you might steer clear of it.
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2017, 09:12 AM
frogfurr frogfurr is online now
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After reloading on single stage and turrets for over 50 years I went to a Dillon 550 about 6 months ago. Like you I had reservations about the powder powder measure and priming mechanism. The measure on my Dillon is regularly checked and it is very reliable and accurate. The priming mechanism has had 6 or less problems in approximately 7K rounds. Most in the beginning when I was learning.

When dry tumbling media falls out of the case during depriming and mixes with the oil off the ram and this can gum up the priming mechanism. I disassemble the priming mechanism about every 1K and clean it. Takes about 10 minutes.

All in all the transition from a single stage/turret to a progressive (or semi-progressive) is a very pleasant one and well worth the investment.
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  #5  
Old 04-22-2017, 09:13 AM
liggett liggett is offline
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I'm a newbie too. Been reloading for about 5 years. The wife and I both play action pistol games so the math was easy to figure out, not to mention being able to 1. tailor the loads to the firearm and the game, and 2. always have ammo when the store shelves are dry.
I started with a L&L AP. I am very glad I did that and eschewed all the advice to start on a single stage. Granted, I am a gearhead of sorts so with the help of the internet, I made mistakes but figured it out. (although I still have questions from time to time)
I have no desire to change colors now or in the future. Just last night when I had a few min spare time, I ran off another 200 9mm practice rounds. While doing so I was thinking about how happy I have been with the press and Hornady's service/support. In the beginning, I watched 76 Highboy's u-tube videos on the setup and use which were extremely helpful.(Hornady should pay him royalties) I have had zero issues with the powder measure, and just a few minor ones with the priming system, which I attribute to the "learning curve". I load 9, 45 and .38. Haven't tried rifle yet because I don't shoot much rifle, but I do have all I need to try .223/5.56 some day.
I paid about $400 delivered to my door for the L&L and I don't think you would find them much different than that today. It also came with a rebate for 500 free XTP's from Hornady so you could subtract another $50 or so. You will of course, need accessories over the basic press, whichever you choose. Dies and shellplates which will run you about $70 per caliber. I assume you already have the rest of the stuff like calipers, scales, tumbler etc.
When you compare the Hornady L&L against a Dillon, make sure you are comparing against the Dillon 650 which is where you need to be if you want auto-indexing and ability to load rifle. For me, the $$ difference was clear, so your fund gathering will come to pass earlier.
My 2 cents, Nomex suit is on.
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  #6  
Old 04-22-2017, 09:43 AM
Cappi Cappi is offline
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Originally Posted by liggett View Post
Nomex suit is on.
I ain't skeert ...

cause I'm not married to any color press

If one feels more comfortable manual indexing and has no need for a 5th station, rock-on with a 550.

the LnL is a better value though IMO.
It allows for production enhancements like case and bullet feed later on.
Much less expensive for quick caliber change overs too

it's not til one goes 650 class that you'll get a better progressive press.
But that comes at a price that may or not fit one's budget

..L.T.A.
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  #7  
Old 04-22-2017, 10:00 AM
thomas15 thomas15 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liggett View Post

.......
When you compare the Hornady L&L against a Dillon, make sure you are comparing against the Dillon 650 which is where you need to be if you want auto-indexing and ability to load rifle. For me, the $$ difference was clear, so your fund gathering will come to pass earlier.
My 2 cents, Nomex suit is on.
My story is almost exactly the same as liggett's. You can almost put two LNL's on your bench for the price of a 650. The only question is are the LNL's hard to get working and are the 650's fantastic out of the box and stay that way? Some would have us believe that the purchaser of the LNL is a glutton for punishment and lacking in enlightenment. In my opinion some play a mental game one way or the other.

In a progressive press there are many things happening all at once and so the margin for error is somewhat slim.

I'm not going to make a case for one or the other. We live with the decisions we make, good and bad. I will say that if you go with the LNL chances are you will have to become at least a little bit familiar with how it works. As I get more experienced as a handloader I also have become more aware of what I'm doing. In other words, I pay better attention to the final product and I'm working on producing better quality ammo. All this to say that there is a solution to any problem that might arise with a LNL, it's just that it might take a little bit of tinkering to figure out the solution. Having said this my LNL runs like a clock and is a joy to use.

Good luck and best wishes in making your decision.

ON EDIT: I haven't said this on the forum in quite some time but in the last 5 years I have spent a considerable amount to money on firearms in general. Not to brag but I could put any press I want on my bench as I have the income. However, I feel the need too draw some limits on this hobby, I refer to the combined cost of firearms, accessories, handloading tools and components and the cost of entering competitions. For example, one (I have several) of my competition belts has a value of just shy of the cost of a 650.

I put off handloading for many years due to the cost factor but I also put off putting myself in a position where I have the gear to shoot reasonably well and often.
Let me say in summery is I have managed to supply myself with ample ammo to shoot about 6000-8000 rounds per year on my LNL. It has done what I've expected of it but I have had two minor issues that I had to work through over the last two+ years. I have about 20,000 rounds though my press. Compared to some here I'm still a piker but this is just my perspective on the matter.
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Last edited by thomas15; 04-22-2017 at 10:21 AM.
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  #8  
Old 04-22-2017, 10:37 AM
thomas15 thomas15 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njsportsman View Post
.......

I eventually want to reload .556 and .308 rounds. Thanks in advance
Unless you are handloading a ton of 5.56 and 308 you might consider keeping your rockchucker for those applications. There are differences of opinion here on this topic but I have tried both ways and cannot see any advantage to using a progressive for bottle neck rifle in the small amount I use. Also, I have an RCBS Charge master combo because I personally don't care for using an on-press powder measure for rifle. You may feel differently of course so there you might find a progressive to be of better use in this application. Handgun is another story however.
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  #9  
Old 04-22-2017, 10:56 AM
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RetiredRod RetiredRod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liggett View Post
When you compare the Hornady L&L against a Dillon, make sure you are comparing against the Dillon 650 which is where you need to be if you want auto-indexing and ability to load rifle.
Not taking any "color" side, just want to point out that one can load rifles calibers on a 550B.
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  #10  
Old 04-22-2017, 11:30 AM
Cappi Cappi is offline
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Originally Posted by thomas15 View Post
I could put any press I want on my bench as I have the income..
If I could say that (and I can't) I'd have a 1050 on my bench..
and maybe even an electric organ grinder monkey to rotate the merry-go-round

..L.T.A.
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Old 04-22-2017, 11:33 AM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cappi View Post
I ain't skeert ...

cause I'm not married to any color press

If one feels more comfortable manual indexing and has no need for a 5th station, rock-on with a 550.

the LnL is a better value though IMO.
It allows for production enhancements like case and bullet feed later on.
Much less expensive for quick caliber change overs too

it's not til one goes 650 class that you'll get a better progressive press.
But that comes at a price that may or not fit one's budget

..L.T.A.
Absolute truth. Good post.
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  #12  
Old 04-22-2017, 11:43 AM
Big Pete10 Big Pete10 is offline
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I have no experience with the Hornady but I do like my 550B.
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  #13  
Old 04-22-2017, 12:09 PM
nypd3765 nypd3765 is offline
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When all is said and done, a Dillon XL650 will run you about $1254.55 with all the bells and whistles for one caliber. It is a lot of cash, but you are getting one of the premiere loading systems. I have a few friends with the L-N-L , and they are still trying to get things right after 6 months. My XL650 worked first time out of the box. At this point in time RCBS, Hornady, and Dillon all seem to have great warranties so that's not much of an issue. I guess it come down to how much you want to spend, and how much you want to fiddle with you stuff to make it work.
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  #14  
Old 04-22-2017, 02:00 PM
Cappi Cappi is offline
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Originally Posted by nypd3765 View Post
When all is said and done, a Dillon XL650 will run you about $1254.55 with all the bells and whistles for one caliber..
bullet and case feed too???


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  #15  
Old 04-22-2017, 02:13 PM
scubadad scubadad is offline
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I have been loading on a single stage for years. I do a safety check after every operation. Check that primers are seated properly. Look in every case for a double charge. spot check length .

I would like to step up to a progressive but don't know if I can give up knowing I have checked and rechecked every round. Am I a control freak??
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Old 04-22-2017, 02:44 PM
bcs bcs is offline
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Originally Posted by Cappi View Post
bullet and case feed too???


..L.T.A.
No, just the case feed for that price and worth every penny.

Here is a link to the USPSA equipment survey from 2016 Nationals. Blue is used 10-15x more frequently than Red among high volume shooters. This is not by accident

https://uspsa.org/survey-results.php
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Old 04-22-2017, 03:04 PM
Oldspad Oldspad is offline
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Originally Posted by scubadad View Post
I have been loading on a single stage for years. I do a safety check after every operation. Check that primers are seated properly. Look in every case for a double charge. spot check length .

I would like to step up to a progressive but don't know if I can give up knowing I have checked and rechecked every round. Am I a control freak??
You still have to check each powder drop with any machine, easy to do with proper lighting on my 550B..I check EVERY round, can't afford not to! Most of my experience reloading was with a RockChucker, then with a Lee Classic Turret, finally with the Dillon..Still use all three.
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Old 04-22-2017, 03:28 PM
Sparky! Sparky! is offline
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I can visually see pistol loads to make sure there isn't a double charge. For presses, I went with Dillon and couldn't be happier. I keep the powder check system set when loading pistol ammo just to double check. I can't easily see down in the 223 brass so I count on the powder check system to keep me covered. I still pull one out of every 100 or so and check my powder charge.

I currently load 223, 45 and 9mm. Just bought a press and dies to load 308.

My set up:
Lee single stage press - universal deprime (sitting on a craftsman grinder stand so I can move it in front of a TV)
Dillon 650 set for large primers
Dillon 650 set for small primers
Forster Co-Ax for 308 match ammo

Whatever press you decide on, check out all the Inline Fabrication goodies for it. I've got their double bin trays, sky light, primer loader hanger things, and the wall system with tool head stand mounts. And all my 650s sit on their ultra mounts, Forster mount will be on order soon. Just got that one in the mail.
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Old 04-22-2017, 03:40 PM
thomas15 thomas15 is offline
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Originally Posted by bcs View Post
No, just the case feed for that price and worth every penny.

Here is a link to the USPSA equipment survey from 2016 Nationals. Blue is used 10-15x more frequently than Red among high volume shooters. This is not by accident

https://uspsa.org/survey-results.php
I'm not disputing the findings of the survey and I'm not defending any individuals choice of tooling.

However, unless you live within a day's drive of the Nationals, the cost of that 1 single match and associated planning is comparable to the cost of a progressive press.

To put it in plain English, those who have the funding to attend that match have the funding and the willingness to spend big on every aspect of this hobby. Do a survey of local USPSA matches and the results, while still favorable to Big Blue, will be kinder to Big Red. I know around here when at matches and the topic of what press I own comes up I don't feel so much like a lone wolf.
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:01 PM
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RetiredRod RetiredRod is offline
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Originally Posted by nypd3765 View Post
When all is said and done, a Dillon XL650 will run you about $1254.55 with all the bells and whistles for one caliber.
Certainly not disputing that cost figure. It just tickled me for someone to use the adjective "about" and then make such an exact estimate of cost.
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:19 PM
bcs bcs is offline
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Originally Posted by thomas15 View Post
I'm not disputing the findings of the survey and I'm not defending any individuals choice of tooling.

However, unless you live within a day's drive of the Nationals, the cost of that 1 single match and associated planning is comparable to the cost of a progressive press.

To put it in plain English, those who have the funding to attend that match have the funding and the willingness to spend big on every aspect of this hobby. Do a survey of local USPSA matches and the results, while still favorable to Big Blue, will be kinder to Big Red. I know around here when at matches and the topic of what press I own comes up I don't feel so much like a lone wolf.
Next time you shoot Area 8 (If you live in area 8 it is driveable), do an informal survey if not published. I would be shocked if >15% use Red.

Disclaimer: I have 2 Blue and 1 Red
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Old 04-22-2017, 06:31 PM
nypd3765 nypd3765 is offline
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RetiredRod, I have two XL650, I bought one a few years back the second one I traded into. I just went to Dillon in Phoenix the other day and they had the same one I have set up with the case feeder, bullet tray, strong mount, and the roller handle. Price was $1254.55. It doesn't come with the bullet feeder, thats another $469-$499 depending on caliber, and there are always other bells and whistles that you can add on.
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Old 04-22-2017, 06:36 PM
DRAINSMITH DRAINSMITH is offline
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Originally Posted by nypd3765 View Post
When all is said and done, a Dillon XL650 will run you about $1254.55 with all the bells and whistles for one caliber. It is a lot of cash, but you are getting one of the premiere loading systems. I have a few friends with the L-N-L , and they are still trying to get things right after 6 months. My XL650 worked first time out of the box. At this point in time RCBS, Hornady, and Dillon all seem to have great warranties so that's not much of an issue. I guess it come down to how much you want to spend, and how much you want to fiddle with you stuff to make it work.
Now this press has all the bells and whistles.

Now as far as cost for .45 (one Caliber) Threw Midway
press $409.99
case feeder $309.99
bullet feeder $249.99
deluxe control panel $181.99
case feed plate large pistol $27.99
shell plate $33.99
.45 dies $32.99
bullet feeder die $24.49
TOTAL $1,271.42
Yours -$1,254.55
So you too could have all the bells and a whistle for an extra $16.87
Now scubadad, and oldspad The deluxe control panel will
1 count your rounds.
2 let you know if you missed a primer.
3 let you know when your primers are low.
4 let you know when your powder hopper is low.
5 It has a powder lock out die that will lock the press if you have low or high powder charge.
Now sparky this is my set up. I call them the sisters.

+ a single stage.
I have small primer rifle, large primer rifle, a small primer pistol, and a large primer pistol.
The only thing I don't have is the ability to say "Buy once and cry once" . But then again, I don't want to.
But the one thing I can say. "It's 100 % Hornady.

Last edited by DRAINSMITH; 04-23-2017 at 01:13 AM.
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  #24  
Old 04-22-2017, 06:44 PM
Sparky! Sparky! is offline
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Very nice! Now I don't feel so bad about looking into a 1050 to dedicate to 9mm loading. I just don't like changing calibers on my presses...lol My wife thinks I'm nuts..
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Old 04-22-2017, 06:47 PM
Sparky! Sparky! is offline
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Here's mine minus the new Forster Co-Ax:



And my deprime & swage station:

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