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DILLON SL900??

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Big Dave, Jan 21, 2009.

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  1. Big Dave

    Big Dave Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    990
    I have been looking at the SL900, I had a PW 800 that I retired and am now loading on a couple of MEC 9000's hydraulic and manual. I have no problems with the MEC's but as is my nature I want something new. I like the Dillon's case feeder and no bushings setup. Can anyone who has a SL900 comment on their experiences.

    Thanks

    Big Dave Borecki
     
  2. Big Dave

    Big Dave Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    990
    I have been looking at the SL900, I had a PW 800 that I retired and am now loading on a couple of MEC 9000's hydraulic and manual. I have no problems with the MEC's but as is my nature I want something new. I like the Dillon's case feeder and no bushings setup. Can anyone who has a SL900 comment on their experiences.

    Thanks

    Big Dave Borecki
     
  3. Pocatello

    Pocatello Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,547
    Be prepared for lots of comments.

    The only two loaders I've used much are the MEC 600 JR and the Dillon. I think the JR is a great loader to learn on, but not suitable for loading in any quantity. My recollection is that it would take me at least an hour to load 100 shells.

    I bought the Dillon used from another poster on this site, and soon had my first experience with Dillon service. The seller had disposed of his boxes for the press, so called Dillon, and they sent him a set so he could ship it to me, no charge to either of us. After I set up the press and loaded some shells on it, I broke a part trying to force something when I shouldn't have. I called Dillon's 800 number and explained what I had done. I told them I was not the original owner, and that the breakage was my fault. Their response was it didn't matter, it was a Dillon, and they stand behind it. They took my contact information to register me as the owner, and sent me the replacement part and a spare at no charge, not even for shipping. Whenever I've called the help line I've received knowledgeable information, and any parts I've needed are sent promptly, no questions, and no charge. Last year I had some issues I could not fix, including the motor on the shell feeder that would run very slowly until it warmed up. I called Dillon, got a return authorization number from them, and sent it in for an overhaul. The press was returned to me fairly promptly with all the issues fixed, and all I paid for was the shipping to them. No charge for the service, return shipping at their expense. Understand that they do not make the motor, and the manufacturer does not guarantee it for anywhere near as long as my press is old. Dillon replaced the motor at their expense. Nobody has a better guarantee or service than Dillon! Nobody!

    As to the specifics of the press, it is as fast as anything I've seen. It can easily load two flats or more per hour without rushing. Two items that are absolute essentials are the shell feeder and low-powder sensor. With the shell feeder, my right hand stays on the handle, and the left loads the wad into the wad arm. Both the powder drop and shot drop stations are case actuated. If there is no case in the station, no powder or shot is dropped. I can usually tell by feel whether a primer has dropped and been seated in the case. Almost all the time it happens, but if it has not and the case has been advanced anyway, there is a mess to clean up when the case is advanced to the next station and the powder spills through the empty flashhole. If I start a stroke and something hangs up (like a wad on a bad case mouth), I must either complete the stroke or stop and unload the stations. The reason is that once a stroke has been started, reversing the arm advances the platen and dumps the final shell which has not received a final crimp, which spills its shot. Completing the stroke usually crushes the offending shell and makes a mess too. However removing a shell from any station is easy, so the solution is just to stop the stroke, remove the non-affected shells, reverse the stroke and remove the affected shell, reinsert the other shells into their proper stations, and move on.

    Unlike most other presses the Dillon does not use bushings. Both shot and powder settings are completely adjustable. If I want to load one ounce of shot and 16.5 grains of Clays, I get out my electronic scale and set the press to deliver that. Once it is set, the amounts dispensed are very consistent.

    If you buy one I suspect your biggest problem will be the same as mine - I'm always running out of something. Right now I'm down to one bag of shot, no primers, half a bag of wads, almost out of an 8-lb jug of International Clays, and a few hundred empty hulls. On the other hand I've loaded over a thousand shells in a couple hours over the last two weeks.

    If you want a great press with customer support second to none, get a Dillon.
     
  4. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,760
    Great reloader. I have two. One for singles, one for handicap. There is a learning curve. Everything is adjustable. ERGO: you can end up with perfect shells regardless of the componets used, with a little tweeking if a problem crops up. I have at least 50,000 shells through my machines, maybe a lot more, I don't keep track. Very few problems, and most of those were my fault. One I bought when they first came out, the other I bought used. I wouldn't have any other loader, and I had a number of other brands before the Dillon.
     
  5. dws

    dws TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    260
    I've owned MEC, PW and Dillon. MY personal preference is the Dillon.. as others have stated once set up you will really crank out the shells.

    Moreover, Dillon's customer service is Top Shelf.

    If I can find a good price on another SL 900 I'll follow Shot410ga's lead and have two on my bench.


    Dennis
     
  6. docl

    docl TS Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    31
    I agree with everyone's statements about the SL900. My Dillon will infrequently drop a primer outside the primer arm ;however, I will notice this when I don't feel the primer seat,I then manually place it in the primer arm seat it and continue without dropping powder and without affecting any of the other operational stages. I have also a couple of times had a hull fall out of the case feeder bin and into the shot bin and occlude the shot outlet opening and of course make a few shells incompletely filled with shot. Ok, I may have overfilled the hull bin. I had problems with the plastic bushing on the powder rod which fell out of its holder. I placed a small tie wrap to anchor it and that problem was eliminated. I received 2 plastic bushings from Dillon at no cost or hassle. The person helping me at Dillon recommended the tie wrap as well. I have an occasional crimp that is imperfect. I had one major 911 problem. I was loading one day and began noting shot falling onto the bench and in the loader. I watched the shot drop mechanism and shot tube but could not explain where the shot was coming from. I looked at the shot bin, I then found the plastic shot emptying valve had shot underneath it and was about to completely separate from the metal housing. Well, I tried to push it back into position but instead more shot entered and it separated further, "Oh No" I said as I began spilling more shot. So there I was one hand covering the shot valve with a bin almost full of #8 Lawrence Magnum shot. I was trying to reach anything that would contain approx. 25lbs of shot. I was the only one home at the time and couln't reach anything to hold all of that shot which was beginning to fall at an ever increasing rate. I had an empty shot bag available but I couldn't reach it with foot, hand, or anything available to me on the bench. The proverbial Dutch boy with fingers in the dike. I lost some shot grabbed the bag and emptied the shot bin A MESS! Once you have shot between the plastic valve and metal housing: Game Over. The plastic shot emptying valve slides open/closed with a small coiled spring holding it against the metal opening from the back, it can be pulled away from the housing opening quite easily. To avoid this problem again, I drilled the superior/upper 2 sides of the mouth of the platic valve and yes placed a tie wrap through the drilled holes around the plastic valve and around the metal housing. The valve still opens and closes properly and can't slip out and away from its metal housing. I have bonded with my Dillon SL-900 and will continue loading with it and hopefully will have no more 911 stories to share.
     
  7. OldPshtr

    OldPshtr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    447
    Used PW800 for years. Bought a SL900 at Grand about 10 years. Ago
    PW sat idle for years. Attempted to use it and gave up. Dillon is
    a great machine. Get a 20 ga powder tube and it will help with the
    deformed wads. ONly thing equal to the loader is Dillon service. U
    won't be sorry if buy Dillon.

    Doyal Duncan
     
  8. OldPshtr

    OldPshtr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    447
    YukonJack U interested in a GOOD 800.

    Doyal
     
  9. razor

    razor TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    219
    i had a 366 hornady and loaded 150k thru it. like you i wanted something different or faster i was thinking a mec or the rcbs grand and then talked to two people that had dillons and i bought a dillon two weeks ago and i am a happyman, end of story smoke'em all razor
     
  10. dws

    dws TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    260
    Hi YukonJack222

    If your interested in selling your SL 900 add me to your list of those that are interested.

    Thanks,

    Dennis
     
  11. Big Dave

    Big Dave Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    990
    Thanks guys, I just ordered one.
     
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