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Dillon or Ponsness?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by ebc, Aug 31, 2012.

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  1. ebc

    ebc TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    13
    greetings,
    I am considering a new loader once I sell the MEC hydraulic.Please give feedback regarding the SL900 vs a Patriot or 800 Plus.
    thanks,
    bc
     
  2. Rich219

    Rich219 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,125
    Ponsness all the way. I had the Dillon for about a week and sent it back because I couldn't get it to work properly.
     
  3. Didreckson

    Didreckson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    886
    Location:
    Central California
    With all due respect to the two units you mentioned, jktphd has it right. Buy the Spolar...it is the loader to go with. It is a tad more expensive, but you will not regret the decision...but will always wonder "what if" otherwise.
     
  4. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    6,487
    I've only owned the Dillon (after a series of MECs) and have to say that there have been hundreds of times when the 900's operation has been nothing short of remarkable. The hull feeder is the key to it's productivity and keeping the supplies loaded on it is a challenge because it's so fast. 25 rounds in 1'38" without even hustling. I cranked out 4500 rounds in just a few afternoons last week.

    You say you are giving up your MEC hydraulic, are you ready to go back to manually cranking your loader? With the Dillon, it has so much compound leverage, that it requires very little effort to cycle the handle. Once you get it cranking, your left hand feeds wads and your right hand essentially never leaves the handle.

    If you are buying directly from Dillon, I would recommend ordering it with:

    A 20 gauge shot drop tube in place of the 12 gauge tube that usually comes with it. This will result in fewer snags of the wad petals on the downstroke. It does not affect the shot drop.

    Is the Dillon flawless in operation? Of course not. Will it become the only loader you'll ever need? There's a good possibility. If you are fortunate enough to have a Dillon owner help you get started, you'll never look back. Good luck.

    Bob Falfa
     
  5. paul7177

    paul7177 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Messages:
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    The primer feed on the P/W is just plain awful!
     
  6. paul7177

    paul7177 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Messages:
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    Gary: I should have said the primer tray! The primers continually jam up before they get into the track. I have added a vibrator to help the situation. The tray inserts could use a redesign.
     
  7. JerryP

    JerryP Active Member

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    paul7177 , you need this. I also have a vibrator underneath the tray.
     
  8. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,784
    I have both the Dillon and the PW800+ with electric drive. The Dillon is much faster and very easy to the change powder and shot weights. but, runs out of components fast. The PW will hold much more components than the Dillon and I don't have to pull the handle. The PW is much more finicky concerning maintenance and adjustments, but you'll need some mechanical skills with either machine. If I was going to load one shell and recipe all the time I'd use the PW. For doing different shells and loads I'd use the Dillon, just easer to adjust with no bushings. If anyone ever makes a electric drive for the Dillon, the PW will be gone.

    Spolar: Although a good reloader, it has some 30+ year old design issues that need to be up dated. For the price you would think you would get the latest technology.
     
  9. paul7177

    paul7177 Member

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    JerryP: That looks like a great solution, why can't P/W do something like that.
    Do you have a drawing or dimensions of your creation?
     
  10. JerryP

    JerryP Active Member

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    Paul, don't know why PW does not fix the primer system. Here is a pic of my vibrator underneath. There is a 3v unbalanced motor inside. Mine works pretty well. It is connected to a switch at the bottom of the press that only operates when I push the handle back to seat a primer. The switch is spring loaded and stops buzzing if I let go of the handle. Primers don't hang up except occasionally at the top of the rail. that is a real finicky spot. Thought I had that stopped til I switched to NS primers. The very small differences in primers cause problems. PW seems very reluctant to add a vibrator. Spolar added one for a very good reason. It is the inherent nature of primers to jam up and form an arch in the primer tray. The primers above the arch are stuck. The vibrator eliminates the arch from forming.

    Don't have any dimensions to give for the tray baffle. You should be able to make one from looking at mine. Bevel the bottom edge to allow clearance for the primer flange so the primer body can ride along the edge of the baffle. Shape it so the primers go into a row of two then to single file into the rail. Like herding cattle down a chute. It takes a vibrator to make it work well though.
     
  11. Reinz

    Reinz Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    Messages:
    126
    I currently use a Spolar in 12Ga for my competition rounds and will not make any adjustments or converstions to it. I uses an old Hollywood for another load. And a PW for Field loads. All 12 ga.

    My next loader will be 28 Ga. I am considering a Dillon. Anyone with 28Ga experience on a Dillon?

    Don't mention a Mec, been there.
     
  12. blacklab

    blacklab Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    227
    I would also like to mention the customer service and warranty at Dillion are not to be beat. I have had my Dillion for over ten years and have loaded close to 200,000 rounds. In that time I have had to replace many parts and each time Dillion has sent them with no questions and no charge. Nobody, not even Sploar can match that. I like Dixie and Carter, have even shot with them, but I would still buy a Dillion any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
     
  13. warpspeed

    warpspeed Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
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    570
    Location:
    Glendora, CA
    I have both and prefer the Dillon but I'd love to have a Spolar.
     
  14. stingray44130

    stingray44130 Member

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  15. Zuzax

    Zuzax Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Dillon. I have one with the 20ga drop tube and it works great. I have also made the shot hopper taller with an ice cream tub of the same dia., now holds 2 bags of shot. Same with the hull hopper, but I used thin cardboard to extend the height to hold twice as many hulls.

    Cheers,

    George
     
  16. Trapazoid

    Trapazoid TS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
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    56
    Best Advice: Don't sell the MEC hydraulic.
     
  17. Duck

    Duck Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    572
    As kid I loaded on an original Lee Loader. If your not familiar it was a small handheld affair where the various steps were performed one at a time. Looking back it was an amazing simple, effective, but slow and labor intensive.
    Every loader I've had since then has been and improvement!. I've never met a reloader I did'nt like!. :)
     
  18. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,751
    Location:
    Terre Haute Indiana
    Here is my opinion on the P/W primer feed.

    The location is great! It is in front so that you can keep an eye on it. The reason Spolar added a vibrator is because their primer feed is "out of sight, out of mind".

    The only negative on the P/W is the debris created when the spent primer is removed at the primer insertion station. I have made it my practice to deprime my hulls before I load them on my 800 Plus. I started this practice when I was loading on a Hornady 366. The depriming station on the 366 is a separate station all by itself which is not on the rotating platform. I just found it easier to deprime my hulls on a MEC Sizemaster. Eliminating the debris from the spent primers and the occasional errant spent primer makes the P/W primer feed system very reliable.

    I can honestly say that once you have the P/W primer feed adjusted correctly you can just forget it. Just make sure the track is always around half full. Personally I do not mind tapping the track occasionally to bring primers down. If you adjust the plastic guides in the tray correctly you will not have any hold ups there.

    P/W put the primer feed system in the front for a reason. You need to keep an eye on it just like you keep an eye out for folded wad petals.

    Jim Skeel<BR>P/W Dealer/Distributor
     
  19. paul7177

    paul7177 Member

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    Jim, Please explain what you mean when you say "adjust the plastic guides"? There is no adjustment on them, do you mean modify?
     
  20. markostrunk

    markostrunk Member

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    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    74
    I've owned ALL the Mecs, a Pacific (now Hornaday) 366, one of the first Dillons, an RCBS Grand and some PW800s and a 375. I even had a Lyman hand loading tool once.

    The PW 375 was marvelous, though slow as it is a single stage. But it was a perfect machine. The PW 800s were like the little girl with the little curl. They were very good until they were very bad. They were also less convenient to work sitting down, the way I like to reload.

    The Pacific 366 was quite nice, but it wore out and did require an extra step to resize hulls.

    The Dillon was a nightmare. Maybe it was because it was an early one, but mine was simply awful. It was poorly thought out and poorly assembled. Nice service though, but I was glad to see the back of it. I didn't get the hull feeder, but the way that the machine messed up without it, I don't think that the addition would have worked. Dillon is a good company (I had some of their metallic reloaders), so I'm sure that they have worked on getting the machine up and running. But the one that I had sure didn't work properly. Others with newer machines have reported better luck.

    The RCBS Grand worked well and made a decent shell. No complaints. Great company to do business with too. All the parts are free and no hassle. But they don't offer four gauges.

    The MEC 9000s and Grabbers have remained my main machines. They aren't perfect, but they are easy to keep running. I've tried both the hydraulic and the electric AutoMate systems on 9000s, but went back to manual machines out of preference. The auto stuff works OK when working on 12, 20 and 28, but it's nice to be able to go slower on the downstroke with 410s.

    I've never had a Spolar, but I have friends who do and they think highly of them. I'm just more comfortable with running 4 MECS than with changing the tool heads on a Spolar. Yes, I know it's supposed to be easy, but nothing is easier than just using another machine which is already set up to go.
     
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