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Flipz
08-25-2010, 14:06
Ive been wanting to get into reloading for awhile. At first I was looking at the Dillon 550B. What a beast. But the cost of the press and all the accessories was a little to much. And for me, I think it would have been a little overkill since I only plan to reload 9mm since that is the only centerfire caliber I have.

So, I started looking at alternatives. Hence, the SDB. Since Im only looking to reload 9mm it looks like a good choice. But before I put down a chunk of change I wanna know what you guys think.

So whats your opinions, the good, the bad, the ugly. Tell me what you think of the SDB. Is it a good choice for someone new to reloading that will only be reloading 9mm?

Thanks!

BlayGlock
08-25-2010, 14:11
I have a SDB set up for 9mm. Ive reloaded several thousand rounds on it in the 6 months or so that Ive had it. It is a great choice for a progressive press newbie since it comes set up with minimal tweaking involved.

Its also compact for a progressive press which I like.

XDRoX
08-25-2010, 14:15
I think it's a pretty cool press if you'll only be loading 9mm. The fact that it only takes its own dies instead of the standard ones that all the other machines take is a turn off. I have also heard that it's a little cramped for space so someone with large hands may have a more difficult time fiddling with it.

But besides that, I think it's a pretty nice machine. But what is the cost difference between it and a 550b? Like $50???

For me, I'd just spend the extra $50 and get one of the best reloading machines available.

But lots of folks around here own SDB's and like them a lot.

Flipz
08-25-2010, 14:17
Do the dies, powder measure, etc... hold the dialed in adjustment? Or do you have to tweak them every now and then?

I know the Powder Measure is something to keep your eye on and double check with a scale every now and then. So Im more curious about the dies holding their adjustment.

Have you had any problems with them?

Colorado4Wheel
08-25-2010, 14:24
$365 for the SDB
$419 + 35 for some Lee dies for the 550.
Difference of $89

$89 is not nothing but it's also not a huge amount. I don't know if you have looked at the SDB vs the 550. SDB is much smaller (not in a good way in my opinion). It is more expensve for every future caliber conversion. I would just keep in mind that it does limit you in the future a little. Eventually someone is going to say the 550 doesn't have auto index and that makes the SDB a better choice. Lack of auto index is no reason to avoid the 550. If you ever want a Roller Handle (heaven in my book) your going to wish you had the 550. If you truely never think that you will ever load anything but 9mm the SDB is a good choice. I would just think the 550 doesn't box you in in the future.
Good luck with your choice

D. Manley
08-25-2010, 14:29
Do the dies, powder measure, etc... hold the dialed in adjustment? Or do you have to tweak them every now and then?

I know the Powder Measure is something to keep your eye on and double check with a scale every now and then. So Im more curious about the dies holding their adjustment.

Have you had any problems with them?

Terrific press for pistol rounds...simple, quick learning curve, easy to "fine-tune" and very safe due to the auto-indexing feature. The powder system functions essentially the same as other Dillon machines. The die setup on a SDB is the utmost in simplicity and holding their settings is a non-issue. As for checking your powder throws, this should be done periodically with ANY press. In my own loading practices, I double-check the powder charge weighing 10 throws before a session and on the SDB, I check the throw in the last round when changing a primer magazine.

kckndrgn
08-25-2010, 14:32
I have the SDB, got it for $100 from a guy trying to sell a bunch of reloading equipment. The press is great, Dillons service is awesome!

If you don't plan on doing any rifle calibers, the SDB will be prefect.

BlayGlock
08-25-2010, 14:32
My powder measure holds its charge very well with most modern powders. It had trouble being consistant with Unique.

Brucev
08-25-2010, 14:37
Ive been wanting to get into reloading for awhile. At first I was looking at the Dillon 550B. What a beast. But the cost of the press and all the accessories was a little to much. And for me, I think it would have been a little overkill since I only plan to reload 9mm since that is the only centerfire caliber I have.

So, I started looking at alternatives. Hence, the SDB. Since Im only looking to reload 9mm it looks like a good choice. But before I put down a chunk of change I wanna know what you guys think.

So whats your opinions, the good, the bad, the ugly. Tell me what you think of the SDB. Is it a good choice for someone new to reloading that will only be reloading 9mm?

Thanks!

Bought and used a SDB in .45ACP with extreme success and complete satisfaction. I had no trouble setting it up. It ran like a clock. When my wife would help me with the brass it was amazing the amount of ammo that could be produced in an hour. Using ball powder the who process of loading was extremely easy. I was very pleased that rounds loaded on the SDB were in every way fully as accurate as those loaded on a standard single-stage press. I never had any problems with feeding, firing or ejection in my rattle trap Argentine 1911 or my COLT Ser. 80 Gold Cup. When I go out of .45's, I sold the press. Now that I again am shooting .45ACP I will be buying another SDB.

Boxerglocker
08-25-2010, 14:40
If your requirement is to load 9mm only, and maybe a additional straight walled pistol caliber or two later down the line. The SDB is a great press. I run 2 one for 9mm the other in .45ACP.
The SDB produces as good quality ammo as it's bigger brothers in the Dillon line and I know being a auto progressive it can do it faster that a 550XL in 9mm. I do 300 an hour without breaking a sweat and have done 500 inside an hour.
My only advice is to not buy new... with the Dillon warranty and others upgrading there really is no need if your patient and look for a good deal. I calculate I have paid on average $230 for each of mine and that includes additional dies and tool heads to load 10mm/.40 - .38/.357 - .380 ACP.

Flipz
08-25-2010, 14:40
Well, I know for now I'd only be reloading 9mm. But in the furture maybe 45ACP. Maybe the 550 is the way to go. Im so confused, lol.

I dont plan on ever reloading rifle calibers. I just dont have any use for rifles where I live. There are no outdoor ranges for atleast 50 miles.

So say I plan on one day also loading 45ACP on top of 9mm, would the 550 be a better choice? If when it comes down to it the 550 is the better choice then I dont mind spending the extra $100.

IndyGunFreak
08-25-2010, 14:44
$365 for the SDB
$419 + 35 for some Lee dies for the 550.
Difference of $89

$89 is not nothing but it's also not a huge amount. I don't know if you have looked at the SDB vs the 550. SDB is much smaller (not in a good way in my opinion). It is more expensve for every future caliber conversion. I would just keep in mind that it does limit you in the future a little. Eventually someone is going to say the 550 doesn't have auto index and that makes the SDB a better choice. Lack of auto index is no reason to avoid the 550. If you ever want a Roller Handle (heaven in my book) your going to wish you had the 550. If you truely never think that you will ever load anything but 9mm the SDB is a good choice. I would just think the 550 doesn't box you in in the future.
Good luck with your choice

Of course the other option, is to get a Hornady LNL for 369 from Manventure Outpost... add on a $25 for a #8 shell plate, and $35 for some Lee dies...

It's a 5 station press, auto indexing(if that's a hangup), and it can grow with you.

IGF

Boxerglocker
08-25-2010, 14:52
Well, I know for now I'd only be reloading 9mm. But in the furture maybe 45ACP. Maybe the 550 is the way to go. Im so confused, lol.

I dont plan on ever reloading rifle calibers. I just dont have any use for rifles where I live. There are no outdoor ranges for atleast 50 miles.

So say I plan on one day also loading 45ACP on top of 9mm, would the 550 be a better choice? If when it comes down to it the 550 is the better choice then I dont mind spending the extra $100.

I honestly don't think there is a better choice for one or two pistol calibers unless your requirements are 1500-1800 rounds and above a month... then I would jump to a 650XL.
It's your money spend it as you will... personally knowing what I know now it's really a matter how much you need to load a month. I load about 1200 rounds total, that's 3-4 sessions a month. Plus I play around with some odds and ends barin bullets and powders I find to develop plinking loads.

Once again look for a SDB used, there is a good one for sale right now in the classified here in .45 ACP and a set of dies for 9mm on BE for $60 both shipped. That's $360 total un-negotiated price... to get you loading 2 calibers and you get the no BS Dillon warranty along with it.

Colorado4Wheel
08-25-2010, 15:04
Of course the other option, is to get a Hornady LNL for 369 from Manventure Outpost... add on a $25 for a #8 shell plate, and $35 for some Lee dies...

It's a 5 station press, auto indexing(if that's a hangup), and it can grow with you.

IGF

Thats $429. Add another $30 for the Low Primer alarm to make it the same as the SDB/550 in that regard. Add $30 for shipping as well. Thats $489 for the LnL with shipping and primer alarm or $459 with out the primer alarm. I can't imagine not having a primer alarm. To make it actually work like a normal 5 station press you have to add a PTX setup of some sort. Otherwise it needs 5 stations to do what the 550 does in 4 stations. It's only a $10 part from Hornady (which people generally don't like) or another $30 from the guy who actually makes one that works. With out the PTX the LnL's 5'th station is not even available to you for anything as you have to use it to flare the case. Dillon Flares and drops powder at the same time. You do get 500 free bullets. Thats something.

Brian Enos will ship the 550 for free. Just need to spend over $400 for free shipping with a Dillon..

GioaJack
08-25-2010, 15:10
Of course the other option, is to get a Hornady LNL for 369 from Manventure Outpost... add on a $25 for a #8 shell plate, and $35 for some Lee dies...

It's a 5 station press, auto indexing(if that's a hangup), and it can grow with you.

IGF


So as not to appear overly biased I had to wait until Indy gave me an obvious opening. Being the highly competent straight man that he is I knew he would not miss his cue.

The SDB is a very, very good machine in its roll for which it was designed. The ability to load most pistol calibers, (with a few notable exceptions) wrapped up in a small footprint and alleviating the user of having to choose what brand of dies or hybrid accessories to use.

These qualities can also be shortcomings to a percentage of loaders. It would be a rare situation indeed for a loader to stay with one caliber, or even two or three, his entire loading career. Conversion costs for the SDB are relatively high and negate the possibility of ever using the dies on another press.

The small footprint becomes a problem if you have, or at a future date develop arthritis in your hands. I didn't think it would ever be a problem... turns out it is a problem, a very big and painful problem. I make notice of these points after 18 or so years of experience owning and using a SDB. All in all, however, it is a very fine press.

Present day pricing gives you gives you options that maintains quality, rate of production, customer service, resale value while providing much more versatility.

Although you may ultimately decide that the SDB meets all of your needs better than any other machine you will probably be doing yourself a disservice if you don't investigate and consider the benefits of either a Hornady LNL or Dillon 550B. For very little more monetary outlay you will find yourself operating in a world of options rather than within a narrow niche. Good luck.


Jack

IndyGunFreak
08-25-2010, 15:15
Just don't ask Jack for Dillon's phone number.

IGF

Flipz
08-25-2010, 15:20
Jack,

Thanks for being straight forward and to the point.

And youre right, right now the SDB might be the best choice. But having a press that can grow with me as my collection expands is more important. That, and also having larger hands makes me think that the SDB, although a great press, might not be right for me in the long run.

Im gonna look further into things and see if an LnL or the 550B might be a better choice. I appreciate all of your opinions and will continue to bring my questions to you as I try to decide which press to purchase.

Thanks!

GioaJack
08-25-2010, 15:28
Thats $429. Add another $30 for the Low Primer alarm to make it the same as the SDB/550 in that regard. Add $30 for shipping as well. Thats $489 for the LnL with shipping and primer alarm or $459 with out the primer alarm. I can't imagine not having a primer alarm. To make it actually work like a normal 5 station press you have to add a PTX setup of some sort. Otherwise it needs 5 stations to do what the 550 does in 4 stations. It's only a $10 part from Hornady (which people generally don't like) or another $30 from the guy who actually makes one that works. With out the PTX the LnL's 5'th station is not even available to you for anything as you have to use it to flare the case. Dillon Flares and drops powder at the same time. You do get 500 free bullets. Thats something.

Brian Enos will ship the 550 for free. Just need to spend over $400 for free shipping with a Dillon..


Those who have experience with the Hornady PTX and say that it doesn't work are the same people who need help opening a flip top beer can or have no idea how to adjust a sizing die. There's nothing wrong with their PTX and it works fine, you simply adjust it to produce the amount of flare you want.

While it's true I took the low primer alarm off my SDB and adapted it to one of my LNL's I did it out of curiosity and boredom, certainly not out of necessity or ease of use.

The follower rod supplied with the LNL locks the primer shuttle to the rear when primers run out, a very distinctive action that can only be missed if you're not paying attention... watching a flat panel, for example.

The follower rod is also in your direct line of sight so you see it lower into the primer tube with each pull of the handle. When the tip of it is about two inches above the top of the tube you have a couple of primers left... stop and fill the tube, the same as you'd do if a SDB alarm went off. (I you have the sound system on the flat panel turned up you can't hear the alarm anyway.)

If the shuttle locking back or the obvious dropping tube isn't enough of a clue that you need to refill the primer tube then put a red line around follower tube with a magic marker or stick a piece of red tape where ever you want on the follower to tell you how many primers are left.

If none of those systems, or any combination thereof are not enough of a warning and safety feature you probably shouldn't be loading ammunition to begin with. :whistling:


Jack

Colorado4Wheel
08-25-2010, 15:48
I didn't realize the follower rod locked the action back. Why in the world did it take someone that long to say anything? I still like the buzzer but that a servicable option. I like how the Dillon warns you when you have 5 primers left. No interuption of the workflow. But at least the LnL is not running you till you feel the "crunch" from a missing primer.

You might be OK with the Hornady PTX setup. Most people say it sucks. Hornady recently came out with a new "lead friendly" PTX to resolve some of that issue I think.

Colorado4Wheel
08-25-2010, 15:51
Jack,

Thanks for being straight forward and to the point.

And youre right, right now the SDB might be the best choice. But having a press that can grow with me as my collection expands is more important. That, and also having larger hands makes me think that the SDB, although a great press, might not be right for me in the long run.

Im gonna look further into things and see if an LnL or the 550B might be a better choice. I appreciate all of your opinions and will continue to bring my questions to you as I try to decide which press to purchase.

Thanks!

Yeah, I said the same thing several post back. :whistling:

GioaJack
08-25-2010, 15:59
Yeah, I said the same thing several post back. :whistling:


HA!!! Flipz like me better than he likes you... that's 'cause you're a slug. :whistling:

Now tell him how your 550 fell off your bench and killed your cat.


Jack

Colorado4Wheel
08-25-2010, 16:09
HA!!! Flipz like me better than he likes you... that's 'cause you're a slug. :whistling:

Jack

Nothing I didn't already know.

Colorado4Wheel
08-25-2010, 16:15
But before I put down a chunk of change I wanna know what you guys think.



Not sure how old you are but even if you just load for 5 years the press cost is insignificant in the overall picture. No reason to be wastefull, but don't let a small amount of money keep you from buying the best press you can afford. You will spend way more on other things in this hobby. Just look at some of the "bench pictures" posted and start adding up all that cost. Adding $80 to buy a LnL/550/650 is really not a lot. I wish I had taken that advice.

unclebob
08-25-2010, 16:25
One of the very important questions that no one has asked is how much do you shoot? How much time do you have too spend on reload?

philipk
08-25-2010, 16:31
$365 for the SDB
$419 + 35 for some Lee dies for the 550.
Difference of $89


I prefer to use the Dillion pistol dies for $62 so the price difference is $116 for one caliber.

I went with this system for three pistol calibers.

1 550B for $419
2 Caliber conversion kits for $43 each.
2 Quick Change Setups for $97 each.
3 Dillion Carbide Pistol Dies for $62 each.

Grand total, $885 plus changing large and small primers and other hassles. Done right each caliber change is $202.

My brother has a SDB that I have used and I like it.

I have plenty of room in my basement and wish that I had gone with three SDB for $1095. Yes it is more money but no more changing anything.

Again using my methods for two calibers would be $683 for the 550B set-up or $730 for two SDB's.

For just two calibers, two SDB's is the smarter way to go.

My two cents.

fredj338
08-25-2010, 16:52
As noted, the SDB will do what you want, but one thing I have learned voer the years, you never know where your shooting/reloading hobby will take you. The SDB will not load rifle roudns ro the oddball 357sig, 44-40, 32-40, etc. The 550B can tale any 7/8" die so you have no such restrictions. You can also buy cheaper dies for the 550B. Nto abig deal now, but if yo uget to 11 calibers, like I do, then it could be quite a cost savings.
As UB notes, it always comes down to how much you shoot. If yo uare only shooting 200rds a month, that can easily be done on a single stage press.

Flipz
08-25-2010, 17:44
I go shooting atleast 4 times a month, around 800-1000 9mm rounds in total. I pick up all the free brass I want at the indoor range. I have around 1200 once fired 9mm cases just sitting here waiting to be tumbled and reloaded. I also have a local shop close by that has decent prices on primers and powder. All I would have to order is bullets, 124gr or 147gr.

Colorado4Wheel
08-25-2010, 17:54
Keep in mind that once you start reloading you will probably also start shooting more. I doubled my shooting easily.

GlockRik
08-25-2010, 18:33
When I got my first SDB, I was only shooting 9mm. I have loaded thousands of rounds and think it is a very good choice. I bought another when I started shooting 45.

The only issue I have had is because I am a brass hog and some of the brass I would pick up after matches had been loaded major and the SDB sizing die was not sizing all the way down. This caused some occasional feed and extraction problems in my KKM barrel.

I had no other options as far as dies go and eventually ended up with a 1050 and lee dies. No more issues.

While I think the SDB is a good choice for pistol, I would recommend the 550 or LNL simply because you have more choices when it comes to dies. I can tell you from experience, you can't buy too much press and you will never regret spending an extra $75 - $100 for more options.

JMO,
Rik

BillR
08-25-2010, 20:01
After looking at the SDB, I just bought a 550B from BE a week ago. This thing is a sweet press, and it'll reload anything I need to. I used the Lee dies from my LCT and they work perfectly including the FCD.:cool:
(Wow, that was alot of abbreviations...:supergrin:)

Flipz
08-26-2010, 09:42
After doing even more reading it looks like the 550B is the right choice for me. The SDB not having the ability to use aftermarket dies is really what made the decision a little easier for me. Even though by all accounts the SDB's are great presses, I just want something that can grow with me over the years. Also, I dont have a lot of room for multiple presses, so one press that can do everything is ideal.

I want to thank everyone for their valued opinions, and in guiding me to the right decision for me.

It may be another month or two before I purchase my press but Im sure when the time comes I'll be on here asking you guys more questions. So thanks ahead of time.

XDRoX
08-26-2010, 09:54
After doing even more reading it looks like the 550B is the right choice for me. The SDB not having the ability to use aftermarket dies is really what made the decision a little easier for me. Even though by all accounts the SDB's are great presses, I just want something that can grow with me over the years. Also, I dont have a lot of room for multiple presses, so one press that can do everything is ideal.

I want to thank everyone for their valued opinions, and in guiding me to the right decision for me.

It may be another month or two before I purchase my press but Im sure when the time comes I'll be on here asking you guys more questions. So thanks ahead of time.

You hear that Jack, one more for our team:tongueout:

Good choice Flipz.

AZBru88
08-26-2010, 10:25
After doing even more reading it looks like the 550B is the right choice for me. The SDB not having the ability to use aftermarket dies is really what made the decision a little easier for me. Even though by all accounts the SDB's are great presses, I just want something that can grow with me over the years. Also, I dont have a lot of room for multiple presses, so one press that can do everything is ideal.

I want to thank everyone for their valued opinions, and in guiding me to the right decision for me.

It may be another month or two before I purchase my press but Im sure when the time comes I'll be on here asking you guys more questions. So thanks ahead of time.

Congrats, money well spent!

dla
08-26-2010, 10:34
After doing even more reading it looks like the 550B is the right choice for me. The SDB not having the ability to use aftermarket dies is really what made the decision a little easier for me. Even though by all accounts the SDB's are great presses, I just want something that can grow with me over the years. Also, I dont have a lot of room for multiple presses, so one press that can do everything is ideal.

I want to thank everyone for their valued opinions, and in guiding me to the right decision for me.

It may be another month or two before I purchase my press but Im sure when the time comes I'll be on here asking you guys more questions. So thanks ahead of time.

Hey good choice. Enjoy your double-charges and squibs :supergrin:

AZBru88
08-26-2010, 10:40
Hey good choice. Enjoy your double-charges and squibs :supergrin:

:rofl::rofl:That would be the reloader, not the machine!:rofl::rofl:

unclebob
08-26-2010, 10:54
Hey good choice. Enjoy your double-charges and squibs :supergrin:

If you look inside each and every case before placing a bullet on it. How are you going too get a double charge or a squib?

Flipz
08-26-2010, 11:03
If you look inside each and every case before placing a bullet on it. How are you going too get a double charge or a squib?

True.

And since I will be taking my time learning the 550B once I get it I will be using it as a single stage press until I get use to it. Once Im familiar and confident with the 550B I will then take advantage of the progressive feature.

unclebob
08-26-2010, 11:15
True.

And since I will be taking my time learning the 550B once I get it I will be using it as a single stage press until I get use to it. Once Im familiar and confident with the 550B I will then take advantage of the progressive feature.

Smart move.:thumbsup::thumbsup:

glockaviator
08-26-2010, 11:22
Why buy a press that can only do pistol rounds when for about the same money you can buy a press that does rifle and pistol AND uses other mfgs dies etc. Not to say the Dillon Square Deal is a bad press. But most people end up shooting rifle too. Rifle is a blast.

cole
08-26-2010, 12:31
Why buy a press that can only do pistol rounds when for about the same money you can buy a press that does rifle and pistol AND uses other mfgs dies etc. Not to say the Dillon Square Deal is a bad press. But most people end up shooting rifle too. Rifle is a blast.

OP made a good choice (550B) that meets HIS needs. My SDBs were $175 LN and $200 LNIB respectively. That's not nearly "about the same money" to me. I likewise disagree that "most people" end up RELOADING rifle in progressive press volumes. It's all about individual application. My pair of SDB presses are perfect for my needs (400-800rds montly) and have been for years. I have no need to bother with "other mfgs dies" when my SDBs crank out perfect reloads. The SDB has a smaller footprint, I prefer the priming system, it auto-indexes, I can crank out 300-400rds an hour easily, it's very simple. Others' mileage will vary, but that's "why" for me.

dla
08-26-2010, 12:45
If you look inside each and every case before placing a bullet on it. How are you going too get a double charge or a squib?

Just the facts ma'am. Most doubles and squibs come from manually indexed presses like the 550, where an interruption/brain fluff, etc. causes the operator to forget where they are. Loading blocks are the other big source.

Obviously a visual inspection helps, but we still see postings with pictures of blown firearms - so it still happens. And we all know that some powder/cartridge combinations are hard to visually inspect (Titegroup/45acp).

An auto-indexed press, (the SDB or the LnL), is much harder to have a brain fluff with. Powder measures don't screw up enough but people do.

Colorado4Wheel
08-26-2010, 12:53
I know more people with auto indexing presses that made squibs. I never had a single issue with my 550. Most squibs and double charges happen when the press screws up in some fashion and the opperator puts things back wrong after fixing it. You can argue that the simpliear 550 is as safe if not safer then an auto indexing press. Especially if the other press is even the slightest bit more tempermental. Both are prefectly safe. A auto indexing press does not make you a safer loader.

BillR
08-26-2010, 13:17
Both are prefectly safe. A auto indexing press does not make you a safer loader.
Agreed!

dla
08-26-2010, 14:20
Agreed!

Name two.

Or even one. And tell us how they did it.

Very, very hard to make a squib with an auto-indexing press. Other than running out of powder without a low-powder alarm, I don't know how you can do it.

BillR
08-26-2010, 14:29
Name two.

Or even one. And tell us how they did it.

Very, very hard to make a squib with an auto-indexing press. Other than running out of powder without a low-powder alarm, I don't know how you can do it.
It's hard to make a squib if you're checking every case before putting a bullet on top also. Auto-indexing has little to do with being safe and careful.

Colorado4Wheel
08-26-2010, 14:36
Name two.

Or even one. And tell us how they did it.

Very, very hard to make a squib with an auto-indexing press. Other than running out of powder without a low-powder alarm, I don't know how you can do it.

In the last two years I have talked to two people who load on a 650 one squib, one Double Charge. One with a Powder Check Die and one with out. THe one with the powder check die said

"I don't know how it happened, I have a Powder check die!"

This makes me think he trust his machine just a little too much and not his eyeball enough.

The other guy is also named Steve. He is part of my morning setup crew. He got distracted by his wife (not in a good way) and he pulled the handle twice on the same round. Thats was his claim. I honestly don't think thats what happened because basically thats impossible to do. BUT he did have a double charge on his 650 which brings me back to the opperator putting things back in the wrong spot. I know I have done that with my Load Master (when I had one) and then did not account for the machine indexing when I moved the handle again.

To think a auto indexing press is going to save you from Squibs or Double charge is a dangerous thing.

rsm688
08-26-2010, 14:37
square deal b= money well spent

I love mine and I can churn out ammo lighting quick with it, very easy to use too

IndyGunFreak
08-26-2010, 15:01
OP made a good choice (550B) that meets HIS needs. My SDBs were $175 LN and $200 LNIB respectively. That's not nearly "about the same money" to me. I likewise disagree that "most people" end up RELOADING rifle in progressive press volumes. It's all about individual application. My pair of SDB presses are perfect for my needs (400-800rds montly) and have been for years. I have no need to bother with "other mfgs dies" when my SDBs crank out perfect reloads. The SDB has a smaller footprint, I prefer the priming system, it auto-indexes, I can crank out 300-400rds an hour easily, it's very simple. Others' mileage will vary, but that's "why" for me.

Well, the fact you got yours uses makes the part of the post you quoted irrelevant. Of course it's cheaper when they are used.. but that didn't sound like it was an option for the OP..

In truth, you're going to get about the same output with an SDB, as you will a 550(or even an LNL w/o a case feeder)... so speed in this situation, is a wash.

IGF

D. Manley
08-26-2010, 15:38
Everybody has their "druthers" about cars, guns, reloading presses and everything else...if the OP is happy with his decision, end of story as far as I go. I will say this though about the relative safety of a manually indexed press vs. an auto-index. While everyone (correctly) points out there is no substitute for good reloading practices (read, "visual detection technique"), in my mind, there's no dispute that a double-charge or no-charge is vastly more likely on a manually indexed press. Why?....all it takes is a mental lapse and an extra pull of the handle. Should a reloader catch it? Absolutely. That said, humans are as humans do & lapses occur from distractions, being a little too tired, and a thousand other reasons. My shooting buddy has been reloading for years, is both highly competent and extremely knowledgeable in all things reloading and shooting. He touched off a full house, double-charged, load of BE in a Ruger Blackhawk loaded on his 550. To this day and although he knows he doubled it, he can't reconcile how it could possibly have happened to him.

Conversely, the ONLY way to miss a charge or over-charge a case on an auto-index press is, as C4W points out, have a stoppage, remove the shellplate caliber buttons, remove the case or cases and ultimately replace the cases in the wrong sequence. Can it happen? Sure. Is it likely? I don't believe so but certainly, it's not as easy to do is just forgetting to turn the shellplate and pulling the handle again. Truth is, if you do a little homework you will find the 550B users tend to have more double-charges than any of the auto-indexing presses regardless of brand.

Now, I'm not bashing the 550B. It is a fantastic machine as evidenced by the sheer numbers of users not to mention, their enthusiastic support for it. From a viewpoint of pure safety with no other considerations involved I'd have to say that the manual index feature that so many people like for versatility also makes it more prone to human error and as such, I would'nt consider it "as safe" as the auto-indexers. That said, if someone is comfortable with the function of the machine I say, it's your money...get what you want.

AZBru88
08-26-2010, 15:38
Just the facts ma'am. Most doubles and squibs come from manually indexed presses like the 550, where an interruption/brain fluff, etc. causes the operator to forget where they are. Loading blocks are the other big source.

Obviously a visual inspection helps, but we still see postings with pictures of blown firearms - so it still happens. And we all know that some powder/cartridge combinations are hard to visually inspect (Titegroup/45acp).

An auto-indexed press, (the SDB or the LnL), is much harder to have a brain fluff with. Powder measures don't screw up enough but people do.
You really should restate your conclusion. Most squibs and double charges are made by reloaders not watching and paying attention to what the heck they are doing! Its not a machines fault if the person using the machine isn't concentrating on what he's trying to do! :rofl:If your heads not in the game...get out of the game! Why get hurt or hurt some one else from your own stupidity?

GioaJack
08-26-2010, 16:14
You hear that Jack, one more for our team:tongueout:

Good choice Flipz.


Rumor has it you play for both teams... just reporting what I heard. :whistling:


(Never play the dozens with someone who's too old to care.)


Jack

Jerry11826
08-26-2010, 16:23
The SDB is great! I only reload pistol ammo. I used an SDB for about 20 years. It is about as good as it gets from Dillon. Slick machine! Works well! Not as fast as a Loadmaster, which I switched to, but great. Get the RF100 primer filler if you can afford. If the SDB had a case feeder I would still be using it.

Jerry

BillR
08-26-2010, 16:28
Most squibs and double charges are made by reloaders not watching and paying attention to what the heck they are doing! Its not a machines fault if the person using the machine isn't concentrating on what he's trying to do! :rofl:If your heads not in the game...get out of the game! Why get hurt or hurt some one else from your own stupidity?
:agree:

unclebob
08-26-2010, 16:32
Yes it is possible too get a squib load with a 650 press and with a powder check die installed and working. All it takes is being distracted put a bullet on the case and pull the handle. I know I have done it. And yes it is possible two get a double charge with the old style powder measure that uses the springs. Distraction is your biggest enemy when reloading for making mistakes. Mine when I found a case with no bullet and a round that was not crimped I new in that batch of about 500 rds and one of them was a squib load. Those rounds were put aside for practice and I new that one of them was a squib and I was prepared for it.
I personally believe that an auto indexing press is safer, as long as you pay attention too what you are doing and by looking inside each and every case for powder if possible, even if you use the powder check die.
Also like what Steve said something happens and you take the cases out and put them back in the wrong place. Me I pull the cases and dump the powder and start all over with those cases at the end of my reloading session.
I also believe that loading standing you have a better control and can see better of what is going on, than by loading seated.

AZBru88
08-26-2010, 17:40
I'm waiting for the new Government edict that to protect us from ourselves we can only have auto indexing presses!:rofl:Doesn't anyone take responsibility for what and how they do things. Don't pay attention making things that go Ka-Boom and ya bad things happen. In over 100+K rounds I've loaded I've had one factory bad primer and 2 up side down primers! I've had more problems with factory ammo then I ever have had with my reloads! Trying to say one machine because of auto indexing is safer then a machine that you index is a joke. Its 100% the guy/girl pulling the handle!

GioaJack
08-26-2010, 17:47
Over the years my butlers have produced a few squib rounds but never a double charge.

All my ex-wives tried their hand at loading and usually presented those loads while whispering sweet nothings in my ear... I gave the rounds to guys I didn't like. :whistling:


Jack

Boxerglocker
08-26-2010, 18:53
In truth, you're going to get about the same output with an SDB, as you will a 550(or even an LNL w/o a case feeder)... so speed in this situation, is a wash.

IGF

I beg to differ... it's a matter of mechanics, one less physical step to take which is to index the shellplate. Going all out in terms of speed with all machines set-up for the most effficient ergonomics the SDB is faster than a 550. It absolutely IMO has to be.
Though I can imagine Dillon wouldn't want to advertise it as such.

Colorado4Wheel
08-26-2010, 18:58
I beg to differ... it's a matter of mechanics, one less physical step to take which is to index the shellplate. Going all out in terms of speed with all machines set-up for the most effficient ergonomics the SDB is faster than a 550. It absolutely IMO has to be.
Though I can imagine Dillon wouldn't want to advertise it as such.

Your missing that the 550 is easier to pull the handle on (especially with the roller), it's also larger and easier to operate as a result. It's not as simple as just the idea that it auto indexes. Nothing wrong with it, just saying it not all about 1 feature.

unclebob
08-26-2010, 20:00
Trying to say one machine because of auto indexing is safer then a machine that you index is a joke. Its 100% the guy/girl pulling the handle!


The point being, if you happen too get distracted which can happen. What press is safer from a double charge if you should happen too not look inside the case too make sure you do not have a double charge. Granted if everyone looked inside the case before they added the bullet there would be a lot less KBs. Yes no one is disagreeing with you that it is up too the person that is pulling the handle.
If everyone paid 100% attention and never got distracted when they drive there would be a lot less car accidents. But unfortunately it does happen.
Donít ever say it cannot happen too me. I thought the same thing and I finally loaded a squib round.

Colorado4Wheel
08-26-2010, 20:13
Theory says that auto indexing is safer. So why did I have some many squibs with my auto indexing press?

GioaJack
08-26-2010, 20:20
Theory says that auto indexing is safer. So why did I have some many squibs with my auto indexing press?


You've said many times in the past that you peek into each and every case with the aid of you supposed handy-dandy light set-up.

In more recent times you have reiterated that you peek into each and every case with the aid of your handy-dandy light set-up.

So, Mr. Little Stevie, I ask you now, in the presence of the jury of your peers... were you being less that truthful then, or are you being less than truthful now?

Your Honor, the prosecution rests.


Jack

unclebob
08-26-2010, 20:26
Theory says that auto indexing is safer. So why did I have some many squibs with my auto indexing press?

Because you are not looking inside the case. The auto indexing is safer from a double charge, than a squib load. Between the two I well take a squib load any day,

Colorado4Wheel
08-26-2010, 20:38
You've said many times in the past that you peek into each and every case with the aid of you supposed handy-dandy light set-up.

In more recent times you have reiterated that you peek into each and every case with the aid of your handy-dandy light set-up.

So, Mr. Little Stevie, I ask you now, in the presence of the jury of your peers... were you being less that truthful then, or are you being less than truthful now?

Your Honor, the prosecution rests.


Jack

Different setup back then Jack.

But the answer (I think) is that the press indexed when I put the case back in the wrong spot.

Had I looked in the case I would have seen the squib. I honestly thought I was looking into the case. I wonder if the powder was bridging or if I truely put the case back in the wrong spot. I will never know for sure to be honest. Clearly I did not look in the case every time. I don't think any of use actually look in the case every time. I know my powder will not bridge in my powder measure and I have such a routine when I load that when I break it I feel it. To me that better then staring at some little rod with a red mark on it (powder cop). I do like the Dillon Buzzer but it seems people who rely on those things seem to get burned. I'll stick with bulky powders that overflow and my routine.

cole
08-26-2010, 20:40
Well, the fact you got yours uses makes the part of the post you quoted irrelevant. Of course it's cheaper when they are used.. but that didn't sound like it was an option for the OP..

In truth, you're going to get about the same output with an SDB, as you will a 550(or even an LNL w/o a case feeder)... so speed in this situation, is a wash.

IGF

Recent used prices for 550s are running $375-$450+ delivered. SDBs are running $200-$275 delivered. That seems pretty relevant. I did get good used deals on mine, but so have others. I got two SDBs for the price of one 550B. That is very relevant.

The post I quoted ("...for about the same money") was saying costs are comparable. They are not considering used prices, not even close. The SDB is FAR cheaper. That's relevant.

New, prices are closer and the 550B is the better value. But, I'd never buy a Dillon press new. However, I have no doubt I'd be happier with a pair of 550Bs, but since I could not get two for $375 delived I went with two SDBs.

Yet again, individual considerations. In this case, a willingness to buy used it seems. And,maybe, an ability to wait and shop for a good used deal.

Colorado4Wheel
08-26-2010, 20:49
SDB's are a bargin on the used market. I see the appeal of them on the used market.

cole
08-26-2010, 21:00
I beg to differ... it's a matter of mechanics, one less physical step to take which is to index the shellplate. Going all out in terms of speed with all machines set-up for the most effficient ergonomics the SDB is faster than a 550. It absolutely IMO has to be. Though I can imagine Dillon wouldn't want to advertise it as such.

Your missing that the 550 is easier to pull the handle on (especially with the roller), it's also larger and easier to operate as a result. It's not as simple as just the idea that it auto indexes. Nothing wrong with it, just saying it not all about 1 feature.

I agree with both arguements. I think the SDB and 550 are comparable speed presses with the proficient user.

As for safety, botton-line is that manual indexing is one more step to remember or forget. That intriduces an element of human error not present with auto-indexing. Period.

However, consistent with comments here, I visually check each case as I set the bullet. It's easy and quick to do. I trust the SDB, but I do not trust the SDB absolutely. Poor habit in not visually checking cases is poor reloading technique, not something that makes manual indexing safer regardless of anectodal debate.

The roller handle is easier to pull. That's a sweet deal there. I had that on my 650xl. Of course it's another $40 so it should be.

The 550B is the "better" press IF you need what it offers OR want to pay for it. But, if you don't need what the 550B offers, what you pay (to get what you don't need) is money poorly spent IMO, especially if you buy used. That's the opinion SDB proponents (like myself) make.

dla
08-26-2010, 21:34
I know how to cause a double-charge with my SDB and it is darned hard to do. Can't do it because of a brain fluff. Can't do it because of an interruption. You have to half-stroke the handle to actuate the powder dispenser without indexing the shell plate. And if you work at it you can half-stroke the handle to create a squib. But I don't think many people screw up the handle movement.

The common way to create a squib on an SDB is to jam a primer, (hard cup primers will sometimes catch an edge an go in sideways), pull the pins to clear the problem, and then try to place all the casings back on the shell plate to resume.

Easier to cause a Double on a 550.

I think everyone should try to cause a problem so that they understand how it happens with their press.

I personally won't use powders like Titegroup and I don't like making poofter loads in general.

I totally agree that you should be above the press either standing or sitting. And have lots of light where you need it so you can spot a problem.

The 550 is a fine press. The SDB just happens to be safer (and faster).

unclebob
08-27-2010, 07:34
I know how to cause a double-charge with my SDB and it is darned hard to do. Can't do it because of a brain fluff. Can't do it because of an interruption. You have to half-stroke the handle to actuate the powder dispenser without indexing the shell plate. And if you work at it you can half-stroke the handle to create a squib. But I don't think many people screw up the handle movement.

The common way to create a squib on an SDB is to jam a primer, (hard cup primers will sometimes catch an edge an go in sideways), pull the pins to clear the problem, and then try to place all the casings back on the shell plate to resume.

Easier to cause a Double on a 550.

I think everyone should try to cause a problem so that they understand how it happens with their press.

I personally won't use powders like Titegroup and I don't like making poofter loads in general.

I totally agree that you should be above the press either standing or sitting. And have lots of light where you need it so you can spot a problem.

The 550 is a fine press. The SDB just happens to be safer (and faster).

Do you have the new Fail-Safe powder measure? Or do you have the old style powder measure?

kckndrgn
08-27-2010, 07:53
Question, why does the 550 NOT have indexing? Seems to me that the lowest end unit has indexing, mid range does not, upper and higher does. Can't quite figure that one out.

unclebob
08-27-2010, 08:14
Question, why does the 550 NOT have indexing? Seems to me that the lowest end unit has indexing, mid range does not, upper and higher does. Can't quite figure that one out.

Look at the evolution of the Dillon Pressís. Plus not everyone wants auto-indexing. If you want a 550 with auto indexing get the 650.

Boxerglocker
08-27-2010, 08:15
Your missing that the 550 is easier to pull the handle on (especially with the roller), it's also larger and easier to operate as a result. It's not as simple as just the idea that it auto indexes. Nothing wrong with it, just saying it not all about 1 feature.

I can appreciate the handle of the 550 being a little easier to pull because of the extra leverage (roller handle is an extra expense that shouldn't be factored into the comparison). Though with my SDB using 9mm cases lightly lubed with HOS and ensuring the press is maintained and greased as should be. I can't feel the any appreciable difference in effort required to pull or push the handle.
The whole larger is better and easier argument makes no sense to me in the comparison of these though. I'm not a little guy either have large hands though me dexterity is very good for me it's economy of motion that brings the speed. As I shift my head from one side to the other to look at the 3rd station (lit with a LED snake light) to check the charge. My hands don't move more than 8 inches when placing a case or bullet.

Flipz
08-27-2010, 09:36
When did this thread become a debate over which press is safer?

XDRoX
08-27-2010, 09:41
When did this thread become a debate over which press is safer?

Oh this sort of thing happens all the time around here.:supergrin:

GioaJack
08-27-2010, 09:59
Flipz, what happens when you give a 'thread' a little tug... the whole thing unravels. We're just following the natural order of the universe.

Most often the 'off topic' rants can be blamed on Little Stevie and unclebob, they have no lives outside of the forum. We all feel sorry for them. :crying:


Jack

Flipz
08-27-2010, 10:09
I guess its all in good fun.

truckmsl
08-27-2010, 10:11
The square deal is a great little press for pistol rounds and I used one for many years and loved it. They are not the best, in my opinion, for cast bullets due to the limitation of the proprietay dies, especially if you are casting oversize bullets to fit particular guns. If all I was loading was jacketed pistol rounds I would absolutely go with the Square Deal again.

AZBru88
08-27-2010, 10:39
The point being, if you happen too get distracted which can happen. What press is safer from a double charge if you should happen too not look inside the case too make sure you do not have a double charge. Granted if everyone looked inside the case before they added the bullet there would be a lot less KBs. Yes no one is disagreeing with you that it is up too the person that is pulling the handle.
If everyone paid 100% attention and never got distracted when they drive there would be a lot less car accidents. But unfortunately it does happen.
Donít ever say it cannot happen too me. I thought the same thing and I finally loaded a squib round.

Unclebob I understand what your trying to say. If planes are safer then cars, everyone should fly! Oh not a pilot....not very safe. Its a machine unless it breaks it doesn't make the mistake we do! If it does break we should notice something is off!
Can it happen to me of course, do I take the steps (by checking the powder charge, and running my made ammo through a gauge) so it doesn't happen. Ya I do. Common sense and safe practices go a long way when working with things that can hurt you. I've been using table saws, bandsaws, lathes, other huge dangerous power tools all my life...still have all my fingers. Always use safe handling procedures. Can I lose a finger tomorrow by making a mistake....yep. Again not the machines fault unless it breaks and injures me.
I've never understood why people try and place blame where they are responsible.

dla
08-27-2010, 11:01
Do you have the new Fail-Safe powder measure? Or do you have the old style powder measure?

I have the fail safe.

unclebob
08-27-2010, 12:28
When did this thread become a debate over which press is safer?

I think you well find that most of the time the answer too the OP question is answered in the first 10 posts or less. After that it could go anywhere. With this post the question is about the 550 and Square deal press. So a throw off from that question that was brought up. What press is safer?

unclebob
08-27-2010, 12:50
I have the fail safe.

I know very little about the Square Deal press. But if it has the same set up with the Fail Safe system. As the 550 and 650 powder measure. So the question I have is if you went all the way up and dropped the powder in the case and you go down half way then go back up with the ram. The shell plate has not moved to the next station. The powder measure is still in the dump powder position. So how is going too dump powder again when you go back up with the ram? If you had the old system with the springs. Yes you well dump powder. But with the new fail safe system the powder bar does not move until the ram is almost all the way down, and by then the shell plate has already moved too the next station.
Steve has said that people have told him that they have double feed a case on a 650 press. Squib load yes that I can see that happening, because I have done it once. But I was hoping that maybe you could explain how this can happen in getting a double charge. I for one have never been able too figure that one out.
Hope you are not taking this question in any other way than what is being asked.

D. Manley
08-27-2010, 12:55
When did this thread become a debate over which press is safer?

:supergrin:

Now, if the SDB would only run with a Lee Factory Crimp Die we'd really have a free-for-all in the making.

GioaJack
08-27-2010, 13:00
:supergrin:

Now, if the SDB would only run with a Lee Factory Crimp Die we'd really have a free-for-all in the making.


Don't start trouble Manley... the week is almost over.


Jack

unclebob
08-27-2010, 13:16
Don't start trouble Manley... the week is almost over.


Jack

Whatís the matter jack you pop your blowup doll?:tongueout:

GioaJack
08-27-2010, 13:40
Whatís the matter jack you pop your blowup doll?:tongueout:


Manley is one of the last voices of reason around here... we can't encourage him to wallow in the primitive simplicity of us lurking barbarians. :supergrin:


Jack

dla
08-27-2010, 14:25
I know very little about the Square Deal press. But if it has the same set up with the Fail Safe system. As the 550 and 650 powder measure. So the question I have is if you went all the way up and dropped the powder in the case and you go down half way then go back up with the ram. The shell plate has not moved to the next station. The powder measure is still in the dump powder position. So how is going too dump powder again when you go back up with the ram? If you had the old system with the springs. Yes you well dump powder. But with the new fail safe system the powder bar does not move until the ram is almost all the way down, and by then the shell plate has already moved too the next station.
Steve has said that people have told him that they have double feed a case on a 650 press. Squib load yes that I can see that happening, because I have done it once. But I was hoping that maybe you could explain how this can happen in getting a double charge. I for one have never been able too figure that one out.
Hope you are not taking this question in any other way than what is being asked.

Well I feel a little embarrassed :embarassed:

I just noticed that I was using springs in addition to the Failsafe. I was doing it that way because the springs are smoother - no clunking as with the Failsafe alone.

And you are correct - with the failsafe as it is intended to be used, it is impossible to double-charge by short-stroking the handle.

Well this thread was helpful - forced me to look at how I'm using the SDB. I've done over 20K 45acp, (stopped counting at 20K), and never had a double or a squib, but I've been short-changing the safety feature because of a little clunking.

unclebob
08-27-2010, 15:24
When did this thread become a debate over which press is safer?

Well I feel a little embarrassed :embarassed:

I just noticed that I was using springs in addition to the Failsafe. I was doing it that way because the springs are smoother - no clunking as with the Failsafe alone.

And you are correct - with the failsafe as it is intended to be used, it is impossible to double-charge by short-stroking the handle.

Well this thread was helpful - forced me to look at how I'm using the SDB. I've done over 20K 45acp, (stopped counting at 20K), and never had a double or a squib, but I've been short-changing the safety feature because of a little clunking.

And this is why sometimes we go in all different direction. A question might bring up another question and that brings up another question.
Thanks Dla you just might have saved someone elseís bacon. Who might be doing the same thing that you were doing?

dudel
08-27-2010, 15:34
I beg to differ... it's a matter of mechanics, one less physical step to take which is to index the shellplate. Going all out in terms of speed with all machines set-up for the most effficient ergonomics the SDB is faster than a 550. It absolutely IMO has to be.
Though I can imagine Dillon wouldn't want to advertise it as such.

I certainly think the mechanics have something to do with it. However the SDB has a much smaller shellplate area. Things being closer and tighter slow me down compared to working in areas that have more clearance and space.

For example, working with itty bitty rounds (.25 ACP for example) slows me down compared to 45 ACP.

PCJim
08-27-2010, 15:59
Original Post
..... At first I was looking at the Dillon 550B. ....So, I started looking at alternatives. Hence, the SDB...... But before I put down a chunk of change I wanna know what you guys think.... So whats your opinions......

When did this thread become a debate over which press is safer?

Whether a particular press is safer than another is a revelant opinion, as has been very well expressed by the above posters. I haven't had any experience with a SDB, so I haven't commented until now.

Rico567
08-27-2010, 18:45
Any press I've ever seen is as safe as the user makes it.

{Note: None of the following is written with the intention of casting any aspersions on the SDB, I have a friend who uses one, and he's very happy with it.}

As for me, I've never used an SDB either. Back in the day, when a less expensive press was needed, and I still wanted to go progressive, I loaded all my pistol calibers for 20 years with two Lee Pro1000s.....which, complete with dies, powder measure & all, still comes in at less than half the price of an SDB.

I'm not interested in hearing all the reasons why a Lee Pro1000 won't work. I loaded many thousands of perfectly good reloads on those presses, and finally sold them both online for most of what I paid. I load all the pistols and .223 on a Dillon 650 now, because arthritis (as mentioned in another post) finally caught up with me. The action of the 650 and the roller handle are by themselves worth what I paid.....so cost is pretty relative.