If you have been collecting brass casings and want to arrange custom powder loads, then you would probably want to consider getting a reloading press. Why? Because reloading presses can adapt to any bullet type making them highly cost-effective. And because of that very reason, reloading press would be an excellent choice for those that love creating custom ammunition.
Furthermore, if you have any old guns lying around that require ammunition that’s no longer produced, a reloader would be a perfect solution! Using it, you get complete control over the amount of powder that goes into the cartridge, as well as the shape of the cartridge itself.
There are many models on market, but one of the most trustworthy and popular is Dillon progressive reloading press. But what’s so special about it? That is what we’ve decided to find out!
Today, we’ll take a closer look at the Dillon 550B to see if this progressive reloading press is as good as many claims, and whether it will be a good match for your needs.
Dillon Precision Brand Overview
Mike Dillon founded Dillon Precision Brand after he inherited a Thompson submachine gun and ran into issues with his Star loading tool. Out of necessity, he invented the device that he later dubbed the Superstar Conversion.
Focusing on direct marketing, the company grew rapidly, and it only took a few years for them to sell over 5,000 progressive loaders in a month. The rest is history, and they are now serving customers worldwide with firearms, reloading equipment, powder scales, clothing, ammo storage, and, of course, the Dillon 550B reloader.
Dillon 550B In-Depth
The Dillon precision 550B reloading machine can accommodate both rifle and pistol cartridges while using the standard ⅞ by 14 threads for its dies. You must index the shell plates manually, as well as the feeding of cases and bullets. Other than that, Dillon 550b can load anywhere between 400 to 600 rounds hourly, and it comes with an impressive lifetime warranty.
However, while creating our Dillon 550b review, we’ve also discovered that it does not come with any dies, and they need to be purchased separately.
What’s included in the Package?
- The caliber conversion machine consisting of a shell plate, the locator buttons, and the powder funnel.
- Dillon 550b comes equipped with a small powder bar, capable of throwing between 2,1 to 15 grains of powder.
- The package also includes a larger bar, that can throw up to 60 grains of powder. So you can swap the large and big bar if needed.
- The Dillon 550 toolhead
- Two pick up tubes for small or large cartridges
- A system that alerts you when the priming is too low
- A convenient bin that can collect the loaded cartridges
- The instruction manual plus a set of Allen wrenches
Progressive 4 Station Reloader
The Dillon progressive reloading press will take the brass casing through four stages to reach the end product. During the first stage, the case will be resized, removed from the previous primer, and placed onto the new primer. Now the brass is prepared for the next step, where the machine will automatically dispatch the desired amount of gun powder.
You’ll need to complete the third stage manually as soon as you load the shell plate with the four brasses. Next, you will have to press a lever that will seat the bullets.
The last step takes the bullets through the crimping station, and if they are installed correctly, they’ll be released in the bin.
Navigating through primers isn’t the easiest of tasks, but with the Dillon RL550B reloading press, you won’t have to worry about that. You will receive the Dillon Primer flip tray, two primer pickup tubes, and two primer magazine tubes. You will notice that they each come in a different color, and that is intended because they are color-coded as follows:
- Blue for the small magazine orifice and red for the larger
- Yellow for the small pick-up tube and green for the larger
The pick-up tubes are excellent tools to ensure that the primers will be facing correctly before placing them into the magazine.
The Dillon 550B press requires manual input when it comes to brass loading, adding the bullet, and shell plate index. At first glance, this might sound tedious, but it manages to combine the unparalleled control that you experience with the single-stage press with the speed from the progressive press. This way, you can guarantee that the correct amount of powder has been dispatches while ensuring consistent seating and crimping.
On reloading presses with auto-indexing, if something goes wrong, removing the round is quite complicated. However, when you turn the shell plate manually, the control will be greatly improved. And if you need a different shell plate, you can perform the whole task in under one minute because you just have to unbolt the current one and replace it with the one you need.
Removable Tool Head
In the list of Dillon 550B improvements, we must mention the removable tool head. It comes in handy for those looking to reload various calibers using the same equipment. On models from the competition, you would need to install new dies onto the holder. However, for the Dillon 550B, you attach the dies directly onto the tool head, and removing the tool head is a simple operation.
But if you’re working with high volumes, then the better strategy would be to get an additional Dillon 550 toolhead as well as installing several various dies.
What to Consider Before Buying a Reloading Press?
Gathering as much information regarding the product should be your first priority. We suggest reading more Dillon 550B reviews from users, to get a better idea, especially if this will be your first progressive reloading press. The Dillon 550B works on more than 100 calibers, but you should still make sure the ones you plan on working with are compatible with it.
Budgeting should also be one of your top priorities, as you probably noticed that the progressive reloading press tends to come with a hefty price tag. Keep in mind that you need to have a separate budget dedicated to all the various dies you might need. It’s also essential to make sure that there’s enough room in your workshop to accommodate the tool because it can take up quite some space.
If you are on the market for a progressive reloading tool that will work fast without skimping on quality, then Dillon 550B would be an excellent option. It can boast a great manual index, primer magazine with pick-up tubes, and the removable tool head – all of which can be really hard-pressed to find on other reloading tools.
In addition, the Dillon precision 550b reloading machine allows you to customize the load in bullets and even change calibers makes it a top choice.
Also, if you have any questions regarding the Dillon 550B reviews do not hesitate to contact us. And for those of you that already own a Dillon 550B, we would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Do you think it’s a good reloading press?