I decided to post this to help out those few of you that recently added an old 450 JR to your reloading gear. When I got my 450 JR I could find almost no information about this press. The 450 JR series was built in the early 1980’s so this design is now 30 years old. Dillon has very few parts left to support the press so be careful that the press is complete before you buy one.
The 450 JR was the forerunner of the SDB press. It uses the same shell plates and dies. There were three different models made; the models A, B and C. Models A and B have a standard 7/8 die station in position one and can be used to load rifle ammo. The model C uses only the SDB dies in station one and can only load pistol ammo. Just to help confuse things, there was also the “B” option. This was the Dillon powder measure installed in station two.
Dillon has no frame castings left, so if you break the frame, the press is dead. However, this is a very robust press and if it is not abused, the frame should last a lifetime. The design is very simple and only has about 80 parts. Dillon has reported that a very few customers have worn the press out. Keep the press clean and oiled. Don’t force things or try to load ammo not recommended by Dillon and you should be fine.
The good points of the 450 JR:
Simple, easy to care for and easy to see all of the working parts as the press operates.
Strong, for pistol ammo, this press is way over built.
Precise, all the ammo I have loaded with this press is right in spec.
SDB shell plates and dies fit this press and are available.
The bad points of the 450 JR:
Slow to operate, everything is done manually.
Few spare parts available.
Would I recommend this press? Yes
I’ve used several presses over the years and loaded thousands of rounds of ammo. There are always little failures when loading ammo. (cases get torn, primes fail to seat, powder charge get missed or doubled) The simpler the press is, the easer it is to recover from a failure. Single stage presses are the best for control.
The more automated a press is, the faster you can make ammo. The problem is recovering from a failure. Remove the bad shell and you can upset the reloading process. I find the 450 JR is one of the best presses you can use if you want to get maximum control over the process in a progressive press. If you want maximum speed; get a SDB.