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I want to start reloading, and i've pretty much narrowed it down to one of these two. I AM open to other comparable suggestions... but let me set the tone here, by giving you a chance to "mold" the best option for me.



*i dont care about the price, as much as i do quality, reliability or ease of use. i dont care that a "Hornady will save me $50 -100 initially". i want the better one, not cheaper.



*I want to reload, so i can spend more time shooting. I want to be able to bust out more ammo for less time.



*i'm half lazy these days. lol. I want set-up and switching calibers to be as easy as possible. i shoot .40 and .45... i see that either machine has a "quick change" kit. is this worth it?



*i dont know what auto or manual indexing is... which one does what, and which is easier to use?







there's the basic idea here, i wont detail 1,000 ideas.... just take it that i'm a total newb to reloading, and i need guidance.



so, as reloaders... which can you sell me on?
 

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Go with the 650. They're an easier caliber change and they run better. I've got a 650 that I've been using to load 9mm, .40, .45 and .223 for about seven years now. Works like a champ. I'm trying to squirrel away the money to buy another one (to dedicate to large primer cartridges).



Joe
 

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IMHO the Square Deal is a bit limited due to its design, I would go with a 550 or 650, the primary difference between the two is the number of stations (dies) you can use, the 650 has space for one more die, such as a powder checker, and the 650 has automatic indexing, where the 550 indexes manually. Automatic indexing means that every time you pull the handle, the case advances one station, the 550 has a little lever which you use to advance to the next station. Like many things, there are advantages and disadvantages to each system, the manual advance is simpler while some think the automatic is safer, and the answer is...some of each, you have to be careful when you are reloading, the main thing to remember is that any break in the cycle, anything that interrupts the normal rhythm, you need to be extremely careful when you restart, stop and think before restarting.



I have the 550 and like it, some like the 650 better, some don't, it's all personal choice.
 

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I have a SDB that I change out between 9mm and 45ACP and it works great. Its a little tight (small/compact) compared to the 660. If you want the EASIEST caliber switch possible and all you plan on loading is pistol caliber buy 2 SDBs and set one up for 40SW and the other for 45ACP. A square deal comes out around $300 dies included setup for 1 caliber. 660 is closer to $500 WITHOUT dies. By the time you add the dies you'll be close to $600.



The quick change kits work well for either setup but going from 40 to 45 means you'll have to change out the toolhead (which will have the dies preset) the shellplate AND the primer system. (If you were changing from 9mm to 40 you could just use the same primers). Also, i would recommend getting another powder dispenser so you don't have to recalibrate the charge every time you swap.



That being said, a 660 can do things that a SDB just can't do, like load for rifle. It is also larger and sturdy, expandable and versatile. You can add case trimmers, case feeders,etc. Kind of overkill if all you are loading is pistol ammo IMHO. I also plan on getting a 660 to load rifle (.308 and .223) but will hang on to the SDB for doing pistol.



More info on choosing the right Dillon here

http://www.brianenos.com/pages/dillon.html#which
 

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I've owned both and while I'd rather lose an arm than reload ever again, between the two there is no comparison. A 650 w/casefeeder will load a greater variety of ammo faster and with less likelihood of error, as well as with much smoother operation.



The only reasons to choose a SDB over the 650 are (1) price and (2) limited workspace. And personally, I'd rather (1) save up and (2) expand my workspace.
 

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Dillon

I use and old 450/500 and a SD. SD in 9mm and I just got dies to convert

to 40. 450/500 is in 40. If you never want to load rifle go with SD, or 2. My

shooting buddy has SD in 9 and 45. Cheaper than 650. They are great.

Remember you have many other items you will need to start reloading, so

buy one in the cal you shoot most and your starter items, then the next

press. Also you will have to change from lg to sm primer everytime with

any single press. Good luck, you might find a used press on this forum.

Dillon has lifetime replacement. Buy a used and if needed send it back to

be fixed. I saw a SD locally for $150 in the spring and was short on money

and passed
 

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How much do you shoot.



I started with say 500 a month, and the SDB was fine. then I started 500 a weekend, and needed the 650.



I have dies for 40 44 mag and 45acp. Its ok for those, but now I reload 308 and I could use the 650



Save your money and do it once.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i usually shoot 2 or 3 nights a week... minimum of 500 rounds, and up to 650. (per week, not session)



i can afford the ammo, but logically thinking... i could be spending less by reloading, or spending the same but shooting more.



this is a winning idea for me... so it's starting to look like a 650 judging by the feedback. (the two SDB idea is great... but i think space wise, i'd be better off with one 650 than two SDB's)



i understand that I'll have more to switch over because of smaller and larger calibers... but i was thinking that i'll just load of of one, then switch to the other on another day. primarily, i use my .40 as my range gun, so the bulk will be .40 once i load up all of the necesary .40, then i'll switch it over for .45 (which i like better gun-wise... but shoot less frequently)



why do i shoot my favorite gun less? because... i can get 3000 .40 for the same price as 2000 .45 through the company i'll be dealing with. 3000 rounds is better than 2000... even if it is only my second favorite. :idea:
 

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650 is great and fast but about 20 minutes to change from large to small primers.



Make sure you get the casefeeder



Did you consider the 550? not auto indexing, but a great press.
 

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I have a 550 and a 650. The 550 I use for rifle and the 650 I use for pistol. Both are great . I use the 650 because I tend to do a lot of reloading in the winter. ( outdoor ranges in the winter suck somrtimes) You really can't go wrong with either. My suggestion is to get the 550 with a case feeder. Spen the extra cash on reload suppies and have fun. If you want load info for a 9mm let me know. I will pass on what I use.
 

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I went the inexpensive route and got a Lee Load Master for the 9mm for a bit over $200. It comes with auto case feed, an easy to use auto primer feed plus has auto indexing. With it, I've loaded up over 2000 rds. and ordered up the items necessary to convert it to the .45 ACP. The manual is pretty useless for helping "tune" the press but there are many good videos on YouTube that are good and thorough.
 

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I used to use the 550 religiously. Then I got into LE, and, now I'm like Todd - I'll shoot free or cheap 9mm ammunition all day rather than reload...



Having said that, I think the 650 is going to be the one you want, if you're shooting/loading 500+ rounds per week. I'd advise to say to heck with the cost, and get one with every enhancement Dillon makes - case feed, roller handle, strong mount, powder check die, etc. For every caliber you want to load, you need to get a spare toolhead, so once your die adjustments are set, you don't have to mess with them again.



Keep in mind, there's a LOT of thought and concentration required when reloading. You need to set your machine up in an area where you can work COMPLETELY UNINTERRUPTED. You do NOT want to have phones ringing, kids playing, wife chatting, etc. in your reloading room. Even with an automatic indexing machine with a powder check, you simply do not want to risk rolling a bad round.



There's also a lot of prep work involved in reloading. Prepare yourself to increase your non-shooting time ON the range by at least 50% as you learn the joys of finding your fired brass to reload. Then get ready to spend joyful hours tumbling/polishing brass, visually inspecting cases to make sure they're serviceable (especially important with high pressure rounds like the .40), then cartridge guaging the finished product at the other end. That's not to mention the seemingly endless (and frequently frustrating) process of load development - be ready to spend LOTS of time tinkering with tenths of a grain of powder, and hundred's of inches of seating depth, to get the best accuracy out of your pistol.



Please don't misunderstand, I'm definitely NOT trying to talk you out of reloading, but you need to have realistic expectations of what you're getting into up front. I had a co-worker who to took up reloading after watching me toss out a couple hundred .45s one day - he didn't see the prep and research part discussed above. He also didn't set up a dedicated reloading area. Net result - in his first 500 rounds loaded, he threw a double powder charge into a .45 ACP case and destroyed a VERY nice .45... Luckily, there were no injuries.



Best of luck to you, and BE SAFE!



Regards,



Kevin
 

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Dillon 650 with the case feeder, hands down. Smooth and fast.



All you do is put a prodjy on and pull the handle. I think you might be able to get a bullet setter as well? May be worth looking into.



You will need another case feed plate

Shell plate conversion

Die head and dies set for caliber

And definitely another powder thrower...

Wouldn't worry about the powder check

Would get the low powder indicator

Make sure you set up on a strong non moving bench

Depending on the hight of your bench depends whether you need the strong mounts or not?

If you want the bullets to fall into a bucket, set the press on the end of the bench or make a "slide" for the bullets to run to the bucket...

Don't use a swivel chair or one on wheels.

I may have missed one or two things...



I only load for 9mm on my 650 and use the Lyman for rifle... No caliber changes.









Hope this helps.

8)
 

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Check out a Hornady LNL AP. Its very similar to a 650 but there are some major improvements.



-The powder measure is standalone and can meter any type of powder well

-You can either get micorometer adjustable powder inserts or standard. The Standard are set and forget and run about $7.





The Hornady is about $375 and there is a rebate for 1000 bullets free (Worth about $100). You'll then need dies and a shellplate.



Here's a good Dillon, Lee, Hornady comparison



http://www.comrace.ca/cmfiles/dillonLeeHornadyComparison.pdf





http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/...&t=11082005
 
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