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.
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.
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.
A Dillon has a tool head with stationary dies to perform each operation on four…
by Andre M. Dall'au / Sep 1, 2011