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· *** ColtForum MVP ***
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I'll second the Dillon reloader.
In all probability you'd be best with the 550B.
If at a later date you want to, you can upgrade it to an even more progressive unit.

The Dillon will load anything from .25 auto to the 458 Weatherby Magnum.

I highly recommend Dillon pistol dies.
Although the Dillon will work with any dies, the Dillon have some real advantages.

As in many pieces of equipment, one brand stands out above all others, and in reloading that's Dillon.

Dillon will send you a free "Blue Press" catalog.

For components, where you buy depends on whether you have an FFL, or a buddy who does and will order for you.
The cheapest prices are from the large distributors, but many sell only to Dealers.

I'd recommend buying a copy of The Shotgun News and looking at the distributor ads for those who sell non-firearms to the public.

Among those who sell reloading supplies are:
J&G Sales.
Graf & Sons.
Midway USA.
Widener's Inc.

Among these, Graf & Sons and Widener's probably offer the best prices, with Midway having a very wide selection of harder to find items.

If you intend to shoot cast lead bullets, I recommend looking in The Shotgun News under reloading and finding the bet buy from the index of sellers.

I always balanced the price versus the lowest shipping charges to get the best all-around deals.

On powder, I'm no longer up on the latest new powders, but I also tried to keep the number of different powders to a minimum.

In my case, for revolvers I used Unique.
For autos I used Bullseye.
I used these because these powders have been around for about 100 years, and there's more loading data and experience available than any others.

I's possible that these days there's a powder that will do a good job of loading both revolver and auto cartridges.

[This message has been edited by dfariswheel (edited 06-28-2005).]

· *** ColtForum MVP ***
17,115 Posts
I never used a chronograph, as I didn't see a need for safely loaded shooting ammo.

My intent was to be able to shoot expensive guns, so most of my reloads were standard (non blow-down-the-barn-door) loads.

Standard loads are usually more accurate, cause less wear to the gun, are more pleasant to shoot, and are less risky than max loads.

With that in mind, I never saw much value in a chronograph.

One thing I WOULD highly recommend, is an electronic powder measure.

These are much easier to set up and faster to use than the old balance beam scales.

Last, if you intend shooting about 500 rounds a month, I'm not sure the 650 is the best buy for you.

With a Dillon 550, 500 rounds is about 1 1/2 hours of loading.
Dillon's are FAST.
And unlike other loaders, Dillon's are also SAFE, and highly accurate.

The 650 will cost significantly more, and takes longer to convert over to other calibers.
A 550 can be converted very fast if you buy extra tool heads and powder measures.

If you've never had experience with a Dillon, you won't realize just what an advance it was in the loading hobby.
With the old Rockchucker type loader, you could have safe, accurate, high-quality loads, or you could have fast loads.

With the Dillon you have it all.
The Dillon is extremely safe.
When the handle is pumped, if there is powder in the measure, it WILL be dropped, and it WILL be an extremely accurate charge.

The Dillon loads VERY accurate ammo.
My buddy is a National Match shooter, and he loads even his 600 yard ammo on his 550.

The Dillon is FAST.
Once you get the rhythm down, it's a matter of:
Put a case in station #1.
Put a bullet in station #3.
Pump the handle.

Every time the handle is pumped, a high-quality loaded round is ejected.

I have one of the very first Dillon's ever made....a 350. Serial number 1980.
That's the 1980th press Dillon ever made.

It's been upgraded as much as possible but it's still slow and crude compared to the 550.

Even so, taking my time, I can load at least 200 rounds an hour with NO problem.
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