PROGRESSIVE HANDLOADING

A Dillon has a tool head with stationary dies to…

A Dillon has a tool head with stationary dies to perform each operation on four cartridge cases at once. Indexing the shell plate moves the brass under each station.

About a year ago I got a Dillon 550B progressive reloading press. That piece of gear changed my life. And by that I mean I went from being a guy with a lot of disposable income to a guy who spends every dime he makes on new Dillon accessories.
I’ve got to say that, if I ran Dillon, I’d give presses away for free. Because once you have a progressive press, Dillon won’t have to make you spend your money—you’ll do it because you want to. Once you get a progressive press, you’ll become addicted to the speed and convenience… that’s Dillon’s secret.

Progressive Press
With a Dillon 550B, when you change calibers you need dies and you’ll need a caliber conversion kit. Essentially this kit is the progressive press version of a shell holder and of the specific case mouth expander plug for that cartridge. So theoretically, if you already own a die set you just need to buy a cartridge conversion kit and you’re in business loading your new caliber. But, unless you only load one caliber you won’t stop there.

dillon-reloading-b
Progressive presses, like this Dillon 550B, can turn out a lot of ammo much more quickly than a single stage press. If you shoot a lot, progressive presses are definitely the way to go.

On Dillon 550B presses the tool head is the component that holds the die set. Most people will set up a new tool head, with the appropriate dies, for each caliber they reload in any significant volume. This is almost like buying a complete single-stage press for every individual die you use, which would clearly be insane. But it is an insanity that makes sense on progressives. As I said, progressives are all about speed and convenience.

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