Dillon 550C vs. Hornady Lock & Load AP

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by ranger3, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. ranger3

    ranger3 Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    371
    I have a Dillon RL 550B and looking to add another machine. Currently the local dealer has the Hornady Lock & Load AP on sale for $399. It looks stronger than the Dillon. What is everyone's idea as to plus or minus on either machine. I've had some issues with my Dillon 550 on large primers, Dillon has sent me a complete replacement of the primer system which I haven't tried yet. I'm tempted to try the Hornady. A separate issue is my reloading bench will swap one Dillon to another in about 10 minutes, The Hornady will require more work. does the die system for Hornady work well?
     
  2. LitLBoy

    LitLBoy Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Messages:
    465
    You already have the best!
    LitLBoy
     
  3. wholman

    wholman

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2016
    Messages:
    369
    My vote is Dillon.
     
  4. retired

    retired

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2017
    Messages:
    1,176
    a) an ex dillon dealer
    b) 2 550s today, have had 3
    c) dillon

    your parts are inter-changable
    fix the primer feed issue it will work.
    i use one press for small primer and one for large.
    when i shot pistols in competition these presses ran hot and heavy.
     
  5. nakneker

    nakneker Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,509
    I’m interested too in others opinions, I’m getting ready to buy 3-4 presses. I did read on the bulletin the other day a little about these presses, there was a video by 6.5 guys that had the guy from Ultimate Reloader explaining the differences and what he liked or didn’t like about multi stage presses. He talked very favorably about both the Dillion and the Hornady. One thing he brought up I’d the Hornady has room for 5 Dies which allows for a powder checker, he also spoke highly of the powder measure on the Hornady for being accurate and consistent. I’ll post a link to the video. Personally I have some experience on my Fathers Dillion 550 loading 45ACP and like it.

     
  6. V509

    V509

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    112
    I like the ergonomics of the red machine much better you’re right hand stays on the handle, insert a case on the down stroke insert a bullet on the upstroke with left hand. your right hand never leaves the handle. The Dylan does not auto index and that is a feature I really really like on a progressive machine.
    I much prefer the drum style powder measure that Hornady uses but when I owned dillon I threw the blue measure away, and bought an adapter and used a drum powder measure
     
  7. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    11,084
    Go 650 and auto index
     
  8. ridgeway

    ridgeway Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,831
    I got the 550. The Dillon powder measure works ok for pistol powder and still needs tweaked to run smooth. If you plan on running extruded powder for bottle neck cases...get a Hornady case activated linkage/die so you can run a drum powder measure like Hornady or RCBS. Honestly, Dillon should do this from the get go. If I was starting out from scratch, I would go with the Hornady. Really, 99.9% of either one is set up and making it work properly. Being able to see an issue and the ability to fix it...
     
    nakneker and Rsadams like this.
  9. jepp2

    jepp2 Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,274
    Many years ago, I was were you are. Used to using my 550 and wanted to add another press. I wound up adding another 550, mostly for all the reasons listed. I can't say I regret it, but if I would have changed direction it would have been with a 650. And not for the 5'th position. But with how I load, I'm sure the additional 550 was the right choice for me.

    Side note, I load shotshells on a Pacific 366 press. Yeah, I'm that old. And let me tell you, when you have 8 things going on at once, where 3 of them can have issues, that is a lot to keep track of. So I really enjoy the manual simplicity of the 550, versus all the automation of some other presses.
     
  10. riflewoman

    riflewoman Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Messages:
    965
    A better comparison is the 650 vs the LockNLoad. I bought the Hornady. I actually think it’s a better machine. It is above the 550 by quite a bit.
     
  11. jrb572

    jrb572

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    83
    I would never buy the Hornady machine again. I had to send mine back twice to Hornady because it would not index correctly and forget about adding a case feeder to it. It jambs more than it works. I have two Dillon 550s and I really like them. Just bought a 650 with a case feeder hopefully it works better than the Hornady
     
  12. jimbires

    jimbires Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    569
    I have the hornady with the case feeder , it works great . if I was looking for another progressive press , I'd buy it again .
     
  13. Pablo

    Pablo Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Messages:
    122
    How many 550 B's have you used?
     
  14. ranger3

    ranger3 Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    371
    Well I didn't suspect it would be that close. My observations are the Hornady is more efficiency friendly and stronger shell plates. I have had some issues where that was a factor. I also think the Hornady is a better value but the customer service from Dillon is hard to beat although my first call to Dillon wasn't that friendly. I have had no issues with Dillon's powder measure using ball powders but would concur that the drum measures work better on Extruded powders. I have even used the Lee auto disk on the Dillon. I think auto indexing will be nice, the 650 is almost $200 more and then nothing fits either. I did have a learning curve with the 550 and suspect that whether it's the Hornady or another progressive I'll have another learning curve. My concern a little is the die setup with Hornady. Is it consistent and does it have a lot of play. Seating depth consistency isn't that great with the 550 but then I'm comparing it to my Rock Chucker and Forster Coax.
     
    V509 likes this.
  15. Zero333

    Zero333 Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    Messages:
    1,886
    xl 650

    Love mine. Wouldn't trade it for 10 Hornady's. (Guess I would but I'd sell them for $200 each and buy me 3 xl 650's)
     
  16. Papa Charlie

    Papa Charlie Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    Messages:
    922
    I have the Hornady Lock N Load press. Purchased originally for loading 45 ACP which when I do, I will load 500-2000 rounds at a time. You cannot beat this press to perform. I have mine set up with a bullet feeder tube, not the sorter. I am able to load pretty fast and efficiently from decap/resize, prime, powder, bullet drop, seat and out.
    I also use it for precision loading of my .308's for F-Class. I use it more as a single stage and place the dies as close to the posts as possible add security against any possible flex. The exception is that I place the FL Resizing die in position 2 and the Neck Sizing die in Position 4 so that I can do them in one step. Using Redding Competition dies, I get <0.001 runout on concentricty for the case neck and the seated bullet.
     
    V509 and Michael White like this.
  17. DeadWoodDan

    DeadWoodDan

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    60
    Doesn't matter what press, you have to learn how each one operates and and make adjustments to meet your needs. Both have primer feed issues, but once you understand how they work and know what too look for when they don't they're very efficient. As others have stated can't compare L-n-L to the 550, when looking at price. I have used both 550 and L-n-L, never a 650. I prefer the L-n-L.! Better powder drop, for right handers better ( brother is a south paw and he struggles, but doesn't put enough time in to get better IMO). I would buy another based on price, free bullets and accessories. I learned on the L-n-L and put their Customer Service to the test, they do what they say they'll do. I just had them send me the white plastic tip off the primer load tube. All replacement parts have been free to the door.

    I really don't think you can compare as mechanically they operate differently. Both offer the same Customer service and both do what their intended for. I've never seen a comparison on if one produces better ammo than the other. I believe this is left up to the dies. Guess it depends on how deep your pockets are and if you prefer blue or red.
    DWD
     
    Zero333, ridgeway and V509 like this.
  18. jimbires

    jimbires Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    569

    none .a 550 would be a step backwards compared to the hornady . my buddy used my hornady while his 650 was having problems . he said he wished he had a hornady , after using mine .
     
    V509 likes this.
  19. riflewoman

    riflewoman Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Messages:
    965
    3. And I’d buy another Hornady.

    And I’ve used a couple of 1050s too.
     
    V509 and Michael White like this.
  20. Michael White

    Michael White

    Joined:
    May 22, 2017
    Messages:
    67
    I have both, Dillon 550 and a new HORNDAY LNL AP. I have the case feeder too. But I'm still setting it up. The Dillon will go soon.
     

Share This Page