Re: Dillon Press
Over twenty years ago I built some furniture for my brother-in-law in exchange for a pair of Dillon 550 and Square Deal presses. These were heavily used by him before the exchange, and I've since loaded 10's of thousands of rounds on each. I contacted Dillon when I first received the presses and upgraded and replaced several parts...all for free even though I was NOT the original owner. Then again this Spring I replaced a couple of worn parts on the Square Deal. Again all free...I wasn't even charged for shipping. If I could have only one press it would be the 550 (now 550B) The auto indexing is a nice feature when loading up several hundred pistol rounds on the Square Deal, but frankly, on the rare occasion when I've messed up loading a round (like setting the bullet on the case REALLY crooked) the time to backup the auto indexed cases and re-do everything is more trouble than the auto-indexing saves. I also use the 550 to load my 1000 yard benchrest ammo. It does a fine job of that if you take a couple extra steps.
1) I only work with one station at a time
2) I resize and decap the primer, then remove and manually clean the flash hole.
3) The prepped case is re-inserted into station 1 and the new primer is pushed in. Because of the lever-arm created by the rotating baseplate, I rotate the case and reseat the primer several times to insure that it is truly flat in the flash hole.
3) I dump a load of powder from station 2 into a dummy case and trickle the charge to the desired amount on a digital scale. When correct, it is dumped into the competition case.
NOTE: The Dillon powder funnel does a great job with all powders. With flake or ball I've never had a problem and it ALWAYS dumps within +/- 0.1 grains. With my 1000 benchrest gun dumping RL22 or H1000, it typically is within +/- 0.4 grains. I'm many times faster using this method than my friends using the automated Hornady powder tricklers.