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Thread: Dillon 550 vs Dillon XL650

  1. #1
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    Dillon 550 vs Dillon XL650

    Iím about to get a progressive press and Iím torn between 2 presses. Any input will be helpful.

    550C Pros
    Caliber change kits are 1/2 the price of the 650
    Changing calibers is faster than the 650
    500 rounds an hour is plenty of ammo for me

    Cons
    Doesnít auto index
    Case feeder can be finicky

    XL650 pros
    Up to 800 rounds an hour
    Auto indexes
    Case and bullet feeder work like a charm

    Cons
    Caliber change kits are pricey
    Caliber changes take longer

    If the 550 auto indexed it would be a no brainer because it would fulfill my reloading needs. What Iím really getting at here is am I going to get tired of turning the shell plate by hand ?
    Will I regret not spending the extra money and time on the 650?

  2. #2
    Graduate JMW4570's Avatar
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    Got both. The 650 is a great high volume press if you are going to just chunk out ammo. You loading pistol or rifle?
    Weapon of Choice: Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator bolted to a crappy old T53 stock

  3. #3
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    Go big early. I've never regretted it or heard myself say "I really didn't need this big fancy thing." Also, hearing someone say "caliber changes take longer" is like hearing someone say "the microwave isn't heating my food fast enough." At this point, it can't get much faster! Caliber changes for me take about 5 minutes on my 650 if I don't have to swap out the primer system, and maybe 10 if I do. Now, I've invested in the spare toolheads so I'm not having to re-set each die, but that would be an issue in either system.

    Go 650 first, and then get a 550 to play with if you still think you need one.

  4. #4
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    I really don’t see how you could go wrong with either one. I have a 650 and 2 550s , I tend to use the 650 for 45acp and 38 special and most often use the 550s for rifle calibers. I have multiple tool heads and have 1 550 set up for small primers and the other set up for large primers . It takes less time to change calibers on the 550s , but the 650 loads faster. My real world load rate is about 300 to 350 rounds on the 550s and somewhere in the 5 to 6 hundred round per hour on the 650. I don’t find that manually rotating the tool head is a problem on the 550s and prefer it for rifle calibers. DHS on centerville road has in the past held classes in their loading room on Dillion equipment you might contact them to see if they still offer these classes. I can’t think of a better less expensive way to find out which loader you’d like the best. As I said at the start of this post I don’t think you can go wrong with either Dillon that you pick.
    Luck is the phenomena created when Preparation meets Opportunity .
    The only reason to disarm a man, is to force him to do something you couldn't force him to do if he was armed.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMW4570 View Post
    Got both. The 650 is a great high volume press if you are going to just chunk out ammo. You loading pistol or rifle?
    I plan on loading .223, 6.8SPC, 9mm, .45 auto, .38 special, and .44 special

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLT View Post
    I really don’t see how you could go wrong with either one. I have a 650 and 2 550s , I tend to use the 650 for 45acp and 38 special and most often use the 550s for rifle calibers. I have multiple tool heads and have 1 550 set up for small primers and the other set up for large primers . It takes less time to change calibers on the 550s , but the 650 loads faster. My real world load rate is about 300 to 350 rounds on the 550s and somewhere in the 5 to 6 hundred round per hour on the 650. I don’t find that manually rotating the tool head is a problem on the 550s and prefer it for rifle calibers. DHS on centerville road has in the past held classes in their loading room on Dillion equipment you might contact them to see if they still offer these classes. I can’t think of a better less expensive way to find out which loader you’d like the best. As I said at the start of this post I don’t think you can go wrong with either Dillon that you pick.
    I will check with DHS that may be the best way to go. If I can test drive both before buying that would be great. I will say .223 is my primary reason for wanting a progressive press with 9mm close behind.

  7. #7
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    Thanks to all for the info!

  8. #8
    I'm on the fence about selling my XL650...

    I would just buy another one later. Or maybe the 1050

  9. #9
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    The 1050 is considered a commercial loader and only has a one year warranty. The 650 and 550 have a life time warranty.
    Luck is the phenomena created when Preparation meets Opportunity .
    The only reason to disarm a man, is to force him to do something you couldn't force him to do if he was armed.

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