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Discussion Starter #1
So I have been thinking about buying a reloading setup for a while and wanted to ask you all since I have lurked here for a while.

I have about 750$ to spend (maybe more if it makes a huge difference)

I want to reload 308 for my dpms 308 (will have to crimp since semi) and then 9mm/40/.45 for my handguns.

I have a few AR-15 if I wanted to reload down the road I might also.

I am looking at a progressive one because of the quantity of ammo I want to load.

With 5 kids under 9, while I have a wooden bench and area all setup and ready in my garage, leaving unfinished ammo isn't a safe option. I prefer having an hour or two at night once they are all in bed to load what I want for that night.

So my question is what kit or non kit should I look at. I will need a tumbler also as having the ability to turn it on and walk away while doing daddy stuff is needed to help take lube off the brass.

Right now I think I'll pass on a RCBS Charge Master for my 308 loading but down the road I may pick one up.

Any recommendations on which kit to get or not to get as well as necessary tools (primer cleaners/etc). I have no preference to blue or red systems :) just looking for a good investment that will last for many years as my boys continue shooting with me.

I have some experience from my uncle and his 3 single stage lee presses. He is meticulous in his loading (books/notebooks/measurements/etc). Has loaded amazing 243 for me that has killed many deer with ease.

While I don't mind a single stage, I don't have the space to layout everything in stages or the time to sacrifice.

If you have any other questions ask away and I'll answer if I can :) will be starting from scratch.
 

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You do not have to crimp with a semi--what you have to do is to obtain significant neck tension (like 0.003" of radial expansion) and the bullet will be held well.

As far as progressives go--one word:: Dillon.
However, I can reload 100 match grade 308W rounds in 2 hours on a single stage press.
 

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550 dillon is great for what you need. Quick change kits for each caliber are very handy, but can get pricey. You will want to read up on Brian enos site. Just google his name and you will find it. If you have a C&R ffl then grafs is the cheapest to order from if you set up a dealer account.
 

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The Dillon 550b is expensive but it's built like a tank and has an iron-clad life time warranty. It's a manual index but auto-index is a feature I learned to hate on other progressives.

My next choice after that would be the RCBS (manual index) and then the Hornady.
 

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The Dillon 550b is expensive but it's built like a tank and has an iron-clad life time warranty. It's a manual index but auto-index is a feature I learned to hate on other progressives.

My next choice after that would be the RCBS (manual index) and then the Hornady.

The Dillon 550b is NOT EXPENSIVE. You only have to buy it once. Way too many people thought that they were too expensive and then bought other progressive presses only to eventually dump them in favor of a Dillon 550b or even an XL650. The only reason I went with a 650 instead of he 550 is the auto advance is invaluable when loading .223 "AR Food" or pistol rounds for semi-auto's. For .308 only, the 550 is a better fit.

A Dillon 550 will fit within the OP's budget and he won't be sorry.


The Hornady LnL progressive has been a big disappointment for many and several I know, who bought them because they were cheaper than Dillons, have since sold them and purchased Dillon's.

As for the RCBS "progressives"? Not even on my list. RCBS builds great single stage presses. They haven't even risen above the horizon as far as their progressives go.
 

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Then let me modify that to say that the Dillon 500b seems expensive in comparison but it is a better value in the long run.

If you want a good place to shop for a Dillon, let me suggest Dillon Precision Reloading on BrianEnos.com A really good comparison of features and suggestions on how best to equip them. Plus it's run by a pro who knows his stuff.
 

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I definitely recommend Brian Enos. Peruse his website first than call Brian to place the order. He'll talk a beginner through the process and do everything in his power to help them get exactly what they need ------the first time. A great guy to talk to.
 

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I got my 550b with 2 full station for 500$ Watch your local gun auctions. We have 2 to 3 large auctions in WI every year and there is always one or two Dillons.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys. I have been looking at Brian's site and will call him next week when I'm back from Disneyland with the kids.

I looked at the L&L and did not feel "it".

I think Brian will do me right. I may move up to the 650 for down the road if I would get just as good as 308 ammo out of it as the 550
 

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Same here. All my plinking ammo is done on the 550b, but all my precision loads are done a single stage(Lyman Tmag)
 

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I think Brian will do me right. I may move up to the 650 for down the road if I would get just as good as 308 ammo out of it as the 550
The 650 isn't as easy to use "weighed charges" for loading as the 550 is. That said, if you do all your case prep in advance, including priming, then remove the primer magazine from the 650 and replace the powder dispenser with a funnel and adapter from a 550. The only advantage though will be the auto advance.

I'd just stick with the 550 if all you're loading is .308. The 650's really sing when loading .223 or high volume pistol ammo. If you're satisfied with more of a "factory load" then again the 650 is OK.
 

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As far as I am concerned, until you get into really high volume, there's no advantage to a 650. I find that with my 550b, I can load ammo as fast as practical. If I try and go too fast then it's not possible to pay attention to everything, and I can tell you from experience that if your attention wanders then that's when you miss something and you end up with a bad round or three.
 

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I also struggled with the decision between 550 and 650. I do believe you must also take into consideration how long it takes to change calibers. I usually only load 300-500 before switching, so I want changeovers to be as easy as possible. From my research, the 550 will change calibers quicker Than the 650.
 

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I also struggled with the decision between 550 and 650. I do believe you must also take into consideration how long it takes to change calibers. I usually only load 300-500 before switching, so I want changeovers to be as easy as possible. From my research, the 550 will change calibers quicker Than the 650.
After the first change or two you'd be amazed at how quick one can make the switch.

Want to speed the process, get an extra powder bar or two. Once they're set for your load then swap bars rather than trying to redial-in a new one on the same bar. Just buy extra powder dies (they sell them in 3-packs for a discount) and then move the powder measure from tool-head to tool-head. Save some bucks and it only takes "two screws and a powder bar swap).

Brian Enos is more than happy to share this with his customers while Dillon wants to sell "the full meal deal".
 

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I have decided to get the full quick change kit for mine. I have four and will buy another four over the next few months. A quick change kit is $103.

A tool head is $23
A powder bar is $16
A powder die is $13
So at $52 you are only out another $50 for a powder measure and toolhead stand.
 

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I have decided to get the full quick change kit for mine. I have four and will buy another four over the next few months. A quick change kit is $103.

A tool head is $23
A powder bar is $16
A powder die is $13
So at $52 you are only out another $50 for a powder measure and toolhead stand.

I don't disagree and have 4 complete QC units for my 650. I just thought I'd toss it out there. In the shooting world there are a lot out there that are looking for ways to save a few bucks. They'll spend thousands on an AR-15 but cringe at the idea of a Dillon Super Swage. To save bucks they'll use everything from a drill bit to a countersink to "ream" the crimps out of military brass.

While you, I, and a lot more will use the same logic that you're almost there, why not do it right, others view it like a 10' high wall and will seek a cheap way around. :confused::confused:
 
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