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Dillon Precision as of Late

Timber Wolf

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Pretty happy with my old Dillon 550b bought many, many years ago. Have run thousands upon thousands of rounds through it. Traded into a SDB set up for 9mm from a friend and it has been very handy having a progressive set up just for 9mm. Got tired of seeing a SDB with several conversion sets (9mm, .45 ACP, and .44 Mag) sit on a local for sale board and made an offer which was accepted. I have not set it up yet but at current prices for things in general and Dillon equipment in particular I am glad I have what I have. I don’t hand-load a lot lately and probably won’t be buying many components at current prices, but I will try my best to use up what I have laid in before I pass on.
 

meltblown

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Powder bar arrived last weekend. Trying to get ready for the cold snap around here. Replaced the battery in the truck and the tractor and need to find a heater to keep the old woman's potted plants alive outside. Next weekend will give it a go on building 1K of 9mm.
 

bubbagump

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They're not sure either!
I would not argue that. Dillon has long been the 'place to go' for upscale reloading tools particularly where volume and consistency have been the thing. Those who have ever owned one can tell you about the old 650s, easily 1000 pistol rounds per hour and up to 2000 when you have a team working the machine, filling primer tubes, keeping hoppers topped off and emptying bullet bins. And there are many, myself included that will pay quite a bit extra and look the other way to get something made out of milled steel rather than castings and plastic. But their stuff of late is just nuts and beyond the pale. It'd be one thing if they were the only alternative to Lee but they aren't. Hornady makes a fine series of progressive presses, so do many other vendors and while I avoid almost everything that says 'Lee' on it myself there's always RCBS, the 'back to basics' guys.

SDB machines were an awesome $200 value back in the day, today not so much. And I'm not sure who really needs to assemble .308 ammo at a rate of 1000 rounds per hr but I am here to tell you someone can make a shit-ton of mistakes in an hour like that. If it comes to that I will likely not be using my handloads, and I probably won't need more than a couple of magazines, and if I do I can resupply off the ground.

I really hate to see this happen, all I can say is their support remains top shelf and I'm laying in most parts I think I'll ever need from 'em right now.
 

lew

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It'd be one thing if they were the only alternative to Lee but they aren't.
Management thinks they're still the only real option in town. Lee, RCBS, Hornady, et al... have stepped up their game over the last couple decades and that supremacy is but a fiction now. Add in the price hikes and general hardships in reloading today, and the company has their work cut out for them.
 

bubbagump

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Yes, that's the Square Deal. It's not a particularly durable machine, so I wouldn't recommend it over the 550.
I've never owned one but I have used several and know many who have. I won't argue the durability comment, no experience there myself other than to say again that Dillon has never failed to send an apology along with a new free part for anything I have colored blue that broke. And that happens very rarely.

What folks do need to know about the SDB is that its a one trick pony. It uses nonstandard dies and does not lend itself to caliber conversion. There is no casefeeder for the thing, it just is what it is. If you need to load both 9mm and 45ACP you will want two machines, and I have friends that did just that back in the day.

As I said, at $200 they were the shit. $600 and up there are too many better options unless you are real sure it's just one cartridge you're gonna load for. And it does not do rifle cartridges either.
 

DJ

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I bought my Square Deal when they first came out. I think it was a little under 200 bucks back then. I've loaded thousands of rounds on it. .45, 9mm. 38/357, 44 magnum, 45 Colt. I've gotten pretty good at converting from one caliber to another. Dillon's no BS warranty is a good one. I had something jam up one time, and like a dummy I forced the handle. I had busted parts dribbling out of the bottom of the thing. I called Dillon, they said box it up and send it in. I said I broke it being dumb. He said it doesn't matter. You broke it we'll fix it. I sent it to them and less than a month later I had it back. No charge. I've never had a problem getting spare parts of either on my Dillons. I have a 550B, too.
I will say that sometimes, especially when you're setting up, that auto index can be a pain in the a$$. It's a good little machine, but I'm not paying what they want for a new one.
 
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