Check Engine Light For Your Press?

No we aren’t adding a check engine light to our presses but, just like your car, they do need regular maintenance to keep everything running at peak performance. Some of our users are pretty fastidious about things (you’ve seen them, they post pictures of their spotless reloading benches on the internet to make the rest of us look and feel bad) and they keep the press well lubed and clean. Then there are other users that come to us, or post to online forums, that they are having problems and they need help. Just like when you contact tech support for your computer and they tell you to reboot we are going to ask you some questions and one of those just might be “have you cleaned the press?” Quite frequently the response is “no, not really… when should I do that?” Well that’s where things can get complicated. The answer is “when it needs it” and that is because this can vary.

The environment the machine is in will make a big difference. A machine stored in a garage or shed will very likely need maintenance more often than one stored inside a climate controlled environment. You can tell a lot by look and feel. Dillon Precision reloaders require a certain amount of oil and grease to operate smoothly. If you check the appropriate area and there is no oil or grease, or very little, it is probably a good idea to freshen it up with a bit more lubricant.

The same holds true of debris on the press. If you can see a good amount of spilled powder, or bits of tumbling media that adhered to the lubed cases, then you should consider getting out the canned air, vacuum, or dust rags as appropriate and remove the fouling.

If a part on one of our consumer grade machines breaks we’ll take care of it but it never hurts to have spares on hand. That way you can replace the part immediately, call us for replacement, and then replenish your spare parts kit with the part we send. You can find spare parts and maintenance kits here:…

We also have knowledge base articles covering cleaning and maintenance for each machine. Just follow the links below to find the article for your machine:

Square Deal B:…/square-deal-b-lubrication…

RL 550 Series:…/rl550b-cleaning-and-lubri…

XL 650:…/xl650-lubrication-and-mai…

As always tech support is FREE so give us a call if you need help. Our number is 800-223-4570. If you are outside the US or just prefer to write you can reach us at

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Making the Right Choices

There is nothing worse than ordering a new item only to find out that you didn’t get everything you need when it gets there.  Reloading machines are definitely in the category of products that need supporting products to be useful.  Did you get all the caliber conversions you need?  What about a scale?  Dial calipers?  Even if you already have a lot of the tools you need it’s still a good idea to make sure you didn’t forget that one gadget that you just have to have to make it all work.

If you’re thinking about getting a reloading machine and need a little guidance as to what to get with the machine (it’s all about accessorizing, right?) we have interactive guides to help you make the right choices. Of course you can always call to talk to one of our helpful representatives at 800-223-4570 but if you would rather work through the process online before making your decision we have these interactive guides to help you.


Square Deal B Interactive Guide
RL 550C Interactive Guide
XL 650
XL 650 Interactive Guide
Super 1050
Super 1050 Interactive Guide
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Remembering Mike Dillon – His Lasting Influence

November 7th, 2017 marks one year since Mike Dillon passed.  In that time the company that he built has continued to strive towards the goals and standards that Mike established.  We frequently ask ourselves “What did Mike say about this?” or “How would Mike have handled that?” and those conversations have helped to guide and inform us as we move forward.    We have also heard, and appreciated, the many condolences and tributes that fans of Mike’s work have communicated to us and we are thankful for your continued support.

In the November edition of The Blue Press, on page 5, there is a touching tribute to Mike Dillon written by his family.  It is well worth reading as it reminds us all of Mike’s many achievements in life, his dedication to his family, and his lasting impact on several industries.

It seems trite to say that someone “touched so many lives”, because we’ve all heard it said so many times, but Mike truly did have an influence on the direction of an industry that has helped to make metallic cartridge reloading more accessible and more practical for a multitude of shooters.  Mike liked to shoot and he wanted to find a way to do so without breaking the bank.  I think we can all relate to that and we can all be glad that he had the drive and ingenuity to create something that we, as shooters, can all benefit from.

To find out more about Mike Dillon’s life and his many achievements just browse through the “Remembering Mike Dillon” section of this site.

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Sight Correction Calculator

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Reloading Costs

The calculator is setup to work with the number of components you bought at a given price. We have found that dividing your brass cost by the number of times you plan to reload it helps give a more accurate representation of your reloading costs. Many of our competition shooters use a formula of dividing by 10 but you may feel free to use whatever factor you feel is most appropriate for the type of shooting that you do.  If you get your brass or any other component for “free” just put in .01 for the cost.

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Power Factor Calculator

If you don’t know your velocity or bullet weight don’t just go by what the book says it should be or what’s printed on the box.  Use a quality chronograph to measure velocity and reliable digital scales to check your bullet weight.  Don’t get caught short at the match chrono station just because you took somebody else’s word for it.

Power Factors required by major shooting organizations



Major – 165

Minor 125


Major – 320

Minor – 150


Minimum of 120 in all divisions.


BUG (Backup Gun)95

Stock Revolver – 105

Enhanced revolver – 155

Compact Carry Pistol – 125

Stock Service Pistol- 125

Enhanced Service Pistol – 125

Customer Defensive Pistol – 165


All divisions minor – 125

Major by Division

Open – 160

Standard – 170

Classic – 170

Revolver – 170

Production – 125 Minimum (No Major)


All Divisions minor – 60

No velocities below 400 fps allowed.

Maximum velocity for revolvers – 1000 fps

Maximum velocity for rifles – 1400 fps

Pocket pistols, derringers, and long range rifles are exempt from the power factor and velocity requirements.

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Hoarding Calculator

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Crimp Calculator

You will need quality digital or dial calipers to use the calculator.

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Break Even Calculator

This calculator will help you determine just how long it will take for you to “break even” on the cost of your reloading equipment. You can use our Reloading Costs Calculator to figure out your cost per round if you don’t already know that figure.  If you don’t already reload and don’t want to hunt all over the web for some of this data there are estimates below the calculator.  Do not input $$$ into the calculator or you will get zero results.

You can find the cost of our Dillon Precision Reloading Machines here.  If you click on a press there is a buying guide that will help you add on any accessories that you may need.

At the time this was updated, October 11th, 2017, the cost of bulk pack ammo purchased from an online retailer* was as follows:

Retail Ammo Prices

  • 9mm  – $159.80 for 1000 rounds.
  • 40 S&W – $263.49 for 1000 rounds.
  • 45 ACP – $299.99 for 1000 rounds.
  • 223 REM – $299.99 for 1000 rounds
  • 308 WIN – $699.50 for 1000 rounds

For those who don’t currently reload we ran our reloading cost calculator for you using current prices for components.

The following prices are based upon using components sourced from a popular manufacturer.

Cost to Reload Coated lead bullets**

  • Average cost to reload coated lead 9mm – 10.68 cents per round.
  • Average cost to reload coated lead 40 S&W – 12.71 cents per round.
  • Average cost to reload coated lead 45 ACP – 13.69 cents per round.

Cost to Reload jacketed bullets**

  • Average cost to reload jacketed 9mm – 13.03 cents per round.
  • Average cost to reload jacketed 40 S&W – 16.80 cents per round.
  • Average cost to reload jacketed 45 ACP – 20.20 cents per round.

Cost to Reload Rifle Ammunition**

  • Average cost to reload 223 with 55gr FMJ’s – 19.05 cents per round
  • Average cost to reload 308 Win with 150gr FMJ’s – 35.39 cents per round


*Prices from several online retailers were compared with the lowest price being chosen for our comparison.

**Reloaded ammunition cost was calculated by using our Reloading Cost Calculator and the price for once fired brass was divided by 10 to account for reuse of the cases and for loss of some cases while shooting.

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