Glock Pro Forums banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,884 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Yesterday my new Dillon XL650 arrived, and at the end of the day I was able to produce about 100 rounds of what looks like perfect .45ACP ammunition. Here's a brief summary.

My reloading background goes back about fifteen years, all of which until now had been using a single-stage RCBS press. My goal was perfection and safety, thinking that I had to choose between those and speed.

As it turns out, I may have been wrong.


I have done a lot of rifle reloading and a little for pistol, but when I got a 1911 and began to shoot in USPSA Single Stack division, it became clear that the ammo cost was going to be a problem if I intended to continue. With that in mind, I shopped around for a couple of months and finally bought a Dillon XL650. My primary reason for choosing the XL650 over the 550 was the powder check system, which introduces an automatic safeguard to prevent over-filled or empty cases. I saved up my allowance and bought the all-singing, all-dancing package, with every option including the case feeder, tools, DVD, just about everything. The tab was a little over $1,200 delivered....Gulp.

The boxes arrived yesterday at 2PM by FedEx. I got to work immediately, and by 5PM the press was entirely set up and ready for powder measure adjustment. Rather than write a(nother) booklet on reloading, here is a list of comments on the process.

. The shipment was perfect: everything I ordered was there, well packed and labeled.

. There were zero significant quality problems with the equipment. I had to deburr a couple of holes in the casting (with a screwdriver), other than that it was perfect.

. The instructions are correct, I would only have changed the order of some steps to avoid re-work to install an accessory.

. You really DO need to read the instructions beforehand. I copied them off the web from the Dillon site and went through them a couple of days ago, so I had a good idea of the process when the shipment arrived.

. The design and execution of the XL650 is a thing of beauty. As an amateur hack "engineer", I will just leave it at that. The look of good casting, machining, and welding makes me smile.

. Although I left the powder measure adjustment until after dinner, it turned out to be quite easy to do. I got it dialed in for 5.5 grains of Winchester 231 in about ten minutes.

. Operating the press requires a certain rhythm. If you don't establish it, you will fail to seat primers completely and will probably have problems with cases hitting the resizing die at the rim. Once you are pulling and pushing the arm deliberately through the full down and up strokes, things begin to work very smoothly. I had to resist the temptation to go too fast at this early stage.

. After two hours of use (after 3 hours of setup) I produced about 100 rounds of what I think is perfect .45ACP ammunition, all of which look perfect in the Chamber Checker. I rejected or mangled about 20 rounds while I began to learn to operate the press, mostly by failing to seat primers fully. I pulled the bullets, oiled the primers, and discarded those cases. Kept the bullets, though.

. I do not know what my production rate will be, and right now it is not a concern to me. I still marvel that every complete cycle produces a finished round!

Questions? I'm off to a match this morning, but I will look in later on today.


Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,134 Posts
I don't have a Dillon, I went the Hornady route. One thing I've found very helpful is eliminating the primer press station and I've gone back to priming with my RCBS hand tool. I do my case prep, prime all the cases I'm gonna load, remove the de-capping pin and produce away. It wasn't that the primer system didn't work, it was a "rhythm thing", having to add that forward motion felt unnatural for me. Just a thought, but I believe it's worth a try just for feel.

Anyway, congrats on your new press.... It's awesome to spend an hour and see how many rounds can be produced..... But, it's a bit intimidating with so many things happening at once.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
597 Posts
Sounds fantastic, Chris. I'm getting started on mine today. Lot of work for me, or us, to do to get my wife's stuff out of the way to make room for my reloading bench. Whether I'll get my 550 mounted on the bench today is a big maybe. Hope so. I bought the 550 DVD a good while ago and have looked at it probably a dozen times. I thought that was all I needed to do to just get the press set up. Maybe I need to print off what you did from the Dillon site. Great that you were able to produce a 100 rounds that look perfect to you. I hope I can do the same. I had the very same experience as you as far as everything being packaged perfectly and everything being there with the exception of a bullet puller which they back ordered. I was very impressed. I'll keep you informed as to my progress. I thought I'd just play the DVD and go by the instructions to set it up. Hope that is a big help. 5.5gr of 231. I assume with FMJ bullets, hah?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,884 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
.... 5.5gr of 231. I assume with FMJ bullets, hah?
Yes, I use Sierra 230 grain FMJ Tournament Master bullets right now, mainly because I have good experience with Sierra (Sierra Bullets - The Bulletsmiths) .

In the future I will look at other 230 grain alternatives if I can reduce the cost a bit.

Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
597 Posts
Well, I got a lot accomplished today. Not finished with the setup but there was a lot of prep work to even get started. The bench I got got from Home Depot is a dream for only $70 (pictures to follow). We had tons of work to do to give me 6' worth of space. I know it's hard to understand but my darling wife operated her yarn business out of this building for about 15 or so years. I'll post pictures of everything once it's finished. Anyway, got the 550 mounted and partially setup. The video than Dillon made is what I'm using and also reading the written instructions. More work on it tomorrow. It really is an ingenious little machine. Further progress reports to follow. I can't wait to produce my first round on this baby.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
Chris, I agree with you 1000% on the Dillon. While I don't own the fancy XL650; my Square Deal "B" has done right by me for years now. Yes it is truly a thing of beauty to have every push and pull of the handle to produce a "perfect" round. Call me a creature of habit, or a doubting Thomas but I still pull shells at random after the powder charge to weigh them but it's always the same within 0.01 grains of what is set. Who can argue with that type of consistancy. I am happy for you and before you know it you will be putting out over 400 rounds an hour and never break a sweat.

Now if I could just find a way to construct a nerf backstop so I could reload the bullets a few extra times like I can the brass and I will be a real happy camper. The proof is in the "puddin" and your going to love shooting those .45's. Enjoy :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,339 Posts
I bought my 650 end of March and have a round count well over 5000. All have functioned flawless in my HK's and Glocks. You are right on the rhythm of the machine. Once you get muscle memory you will be amazed how many rounds you can do feeling "relaxed"!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
I bought my 650 end of March and have a round count well over 5000. All have functioned flawless in my HK's and Glocks. You are right on the rhythm of the machine. Once you get muscle memory you will be amazed how many rounds you can do feeling "relaxed"!

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
How are you liking that XL650?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,038 Posts
You have that right! I truly enjoy the 650, I trust my machine and I am very proud of the ammo I make!! Good luck!

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
It is very satisfying to shoot ammunition that you loaded yourself... I have several guns that have never shot store-bought ammunition...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
I have shot store bought ammo and have had problems so manufactures can make mistakes

I have always wanted to start reloading so now is a good a time as any :). This way I do not have to wait in lines at wally world (Walmart).

It is very satisfying to shoot ammunition that you loaded yourself... I have several guns that have never shot store-bought ammunition...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
My cousin and I went in partners on one, and set it up in his garage. I had always used a Lyman turret press. In my early days, all of the 5.56 I desired to shoot was property of the U.S. government, and I was more into rifles and most of my reloading was actually for hunting rifles and hunting hand guns, where loading 50 - 100 rounds was the norm. I lovingly massaged each case, even chamfering the inside of the primer hole.

Over the years, my shooting evolved more into tactical/SD weapons, and shooting lots and lots of 9mm, .45ACP and 5.56 made the Dillon a must.

My only problems with it, was (at least ours) required a lot of attention and readjusting. And the thought of a press that you're encouraged to buy a spare parts kit, kind of bugged me a little too. However, none was ever needed.

To wrap this up, my Cousin got a plant manager job, (he's a Mechanical Engineer) that he couldn't pass up. We split the gear, and I let him take the 650, which I was kind of "neutral" about how I felt about it, except for the fact that I could load a lot of ammo in short order. I've since acquired new electronic scales, and some other 5.56 "centric" items, and gone back to the Lyman.

Since then, I've considered buying another, but am currently in the market for a new Condo, so I'm going to wait.

Glad to hear everything worked out for you, and went pretty smoothly. I'm still mulling one over.

Good review, as always, Chris.

FT:cool:

Edit: Didn't realize this post was over a year and a half old. I suppose you know your press very intimately by now. How about a follow-up, Chris? Thanks.

FT
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
7,038 Posts
I have always wanted to start reloading so now is a good a time as any :). This way I do not have to wait in lines at wally world (Walmart).
Now is a good time to start... Presses and components are much more available now than they were a year ago... Not plentiful yet, but most things are available if you look for them...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
I have searched reloading information high and low on the internet to include YouTube. I will be making a decision soon on my reloading press and my choices are down to two. The Dillon XL650 and the Hornady LNL AP, both have a lot of Pros. I can work with the cons of either press. I will decide in the up coming days and decide on which press what works for me and my reloading needs. I am excited about reloading NO more calling or standing in line at Walmart for ammunition for Calibers I will be able to reload.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top