Dillon or Hornady


uber Member
Forum Supporter
OK, for those out there that reload which one is the best? I use a single stage press to do all of my reloading. Have owned it since the early 70's when my dad started me on the reloading habit. Started with 222 then 30-30. Now have 38/357, 223, 9MM, 30-06.
I still reload all the above but will only use the multi unit for 9MM as there is a lot more I do for rifle cases. I deprime all of my brass with a universal decapping die and then it goes into the tumbler. The straight wall cases can be sized after coming out of the tumbler using carbide dies.

The rifle cases require a little more work, so I do those in stages. Full length size, then trim, de-chamfer inside and out, and then maybe back into the tumbler for a final clean. Then put in primers using a hand primer and then bag them in lots of 100 for final loading. Then after loading they go thru the press for a final crimp (.223 only). Lots of work but have never had a single round not go bang.

Just looking for the next step in reloading so it will go a little faster for at least 9MM. Not worried about the cost, but looking for the one that is the easiest to set up and not need tinkering with before every loading session.


Obsessed Member
Forum Supporter
Either one is pretty squared away at this point. I have a hornady L&L as well as a Dillon 550. I’m happy to load on either one at this point.


LEGEN...wait for it... DARY!
Commercial Sponsor
Forum Supporter
I've heard limited reports about the Hornady but they've been mostly positive. Most of the guys I know are already well established in the game, so we are already all in on Dillon. I'm up to three XL650's and a Square Deal now, just so I don't have to spend much down time on changeovers and I've been teaching a lot of people how to use them. Which means they then buy Dillons... My buddy from WA has been here for a few days learning. I now have a pile of five parts he broke before he started doing what I tell him. I make a phone call tomorrow and those parts will all be in the mail for free. But I also have the spare parts kits, so there is no downtime while waiting.

Don't forget to take into account what your friends are using. Your fastest response when you have questions will be to ask them.

I hate Hornady seating dies. The collar that keeps the bullet lined up is such a tight tolerance that I get hangups. Happens with lots of different calibers, too.

Dillon pistol dies don't have expanders (because it's done in the powder die) so they can't pull double duty on a single stage for small batches unless you get a separate expander die from someone else.

These days, I get LEE dies for most things. Good value and no real problems. Better crimping than a Dillon die, too. My case gauge rejection rate dropped significantly just swapping my Dillon pistol crimping dies to LEE factory crimp dies.

I've never cleaned the primer pocket on a pistol case in my entire life. Once carbide sizing dies became available, and I started using progressive presses, the fired (sometimes cleaned) brass goes in the feeder and loaded rounds come out. The only thing I touch in between is to manually add the bullet.

I've walked away from a press in the middle of a session (I leave it handle down and cases in the dies) and left it that way for months. Then come back and just start cranking the handle.


Breathng Free, at last
Forum Supporter
Dillon or Hornady, you can't go wrong with either one. I started with a RCBS Rock Chucker, in the '70s, and still find use for it. I do all my pistol loading now, on a Hornady LnL progressive, and am quite pleased with it. I don't have a case feeder, but my wife will generally (not always) volunteer to feed empty cases into the the press, and I've got the poor man's bullet feeders to place the bullets.

Red or Blue, Ford or Chevy, They both have stellar customer service. There are probably more Dillons in use, becuse they were among the first to make a reliable consumer grade progressive press, but at this point several companys make great progressive presses, take your pick!


Worktruck Driver
I don't have any experience with the red press but have been loading on a 550B for about 5 years. Dillon customer service is first rate. When I was getting creases on my 75gr 223 bullets from their die, they had me send them a couple of samples and made me a custom seating stem. At some point I will probably get a 650 for a little more automation.


Well-known member
Forum Supporter
A Hornady LNL AP has been on my bench for 7 years, It's been flawless and I'm still excited to use it. The powder measure for me has been surprisingly awesome throwing extruded powders. "Tinkering" has been almost non existent, but that could be contributed to a frequent, perhaps a bit anal, cleaning and lubricating schedule. I think any multi stage press is going to have a learning curve and thats where most of the brand bickering is founded. One significant thing I considered when buying is the Hornady product availability on the shelves locally at Sportsmans, Bass Pro etc.

Looking back I probably would be just as satisfied with a Dillon 650, but I'm certain the startup cost with Hornady is lower, and since everything can be acquired at local stores it makes for a convenient buy.
Last edited:


"Ho'old on there"
Staff member
I use a single Dillon XL650 to load 9mm, 45ACP and .223. I have everything mounted on individual heads, dies and powder measures, so I can swap out between calibers fairly quickly. When I load I'll load between 500 to 1,000+ rounds at a time so I don't need to make changes that often. Taking my time and using a case feeder I load around 300 to 400 per hour.

The past few years I haven't shot much pistol or .223. I use my RCBS Rock Chucker for precision rifle rounds as well as depriming and other small things. The XL650 is a great machine for cranking out volumes of quality ammo.
At the end of the day, Dillon and, Hornady do reloading - well - you can't go wrong with either. the question is loaded. which does your budget fit best? between the two there isn't a "better" pick one and, work with it. there both fine.


Obsessed Member
Forum Supporter
the OP asked which is the best...dillon is the best hands down....if you do a little research youll find hornady does indeed have a few issues...they are small but still issues...i would not be afraid to buy either one but you asked about the best.


CPAs do it by the numbers
Staff member
Forum Supporter
I drink the blue Kool-Aid with a 550B and it has served me well for about 10 years. Their customer service is amazing and when I am in Scottsdale I stop in the store and the guys are always helpful. Blue > Red in my book.


not so noob
Forum Supporter
The old Blue vs. Red question, eh? You must be the guy who brings up religion and politics around the Thanksgiving dinner table:)
Dillon 650 with case feeder for me with multiple loaded toolheads & powder dispensers for .357 Mag, 9mm, .45ACP, .223, .300BLK, 30-06. I have an auto bullet feeder for 9mm & need to get one for .45ACP. I have to exchange dies for 400 CorBon, 270, 25-06 & other oddballs.

Changeover time between calibers is not bad unless it requires a change from large to small primer or vice-versa. In that case it can take 30 minutes or so if you already have your toolhead loaded with dies & powder dispenser that are already set up. Not enough to get me to buy a second press yet unless a screaming hot deal falls into my lap.

I don't keep an accurate count, but it has certainly surpassed a few ten thousand rounds by now with only a couple of parts breakages. Dillon lived up to their reputation each time I contacted them for support. I'm sure Hornady would as well.

For me, I moved from single station press to progressive at a good time in my life & career when money was not tight like it had been for most of my life up to then. So I logically made the decision that since the Dillon cost a little more, it must be better........right?

If you go Blue I am here for you if you need any pointers. You know where I live.


Well-known member
Forum Supporter
the OP asked which is the best...dillon is the best hands down....if you do a little research youll find hornady does indeed have a few issues...they are small but still issues...i would not be afraid to buy either one but you asked about the best.
Pretty subjective really, anyone can Google "Dillon Issues" and find the same results!
Pretty subjective really, anyone can Google "Dillon Issues" and find the same results!
Absolutely. I love my 550B!! I've literally loaded thousands of rounds through it but, the aluminum attachment from the primer tube to the frame is a problem. you have to be very careful when tightening it down. you will buldge the metal and, cause primer feeding issues just by overtightening it even slightly. In the big picture its the only major problem I've had. After discovering the issue I had to file the buldge down (ever so carefully) and, I purchased this aftermarket part to help the primer slide operate better (https://www.amazon.com/JW-Systems-Dillon-Primer-Bearing/dp/B01L9Q2TX4) it works very nicely. I've had a few other minor ones easily solved. the primer catch hinge for example.


Domestic Terrorist aka pa
Forum Supporter
Both if you break a part call and the parts in the mail.

I have a LNL and just ordered a case feeder and a Mr bulletfeeder to automate a bit more.


Obsessed Member
Staff member
I will +1 what mac said about the lee dies. Mine have offered the least trouble out of all the dies I have.
I prefer the Lee dies for several reasons, not the least of which is it is nigh on to impossible to break the decapping pin because it is captured in a collet.
Hit a hard primer or try to deprime a Berdan , no problem, the decapping pin just pushes up through the collets grasp, but it doesnt break.