.45 ACP Loading Session on Dillon XL-750 (New User) – Ultimate Reloader


While Kyle Shields has spent lots of time with single-stage presses, it was time to get him up to speed on progressives. I tasked him with loading .45 ACP on the Dillon XL-750


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Starting Out 

Kyle is part of the Ultimate Reloader camera crew and also has his own channel, DIY reloading. He’s primarily loaded rifle ammunition on a single-stage, but is very technologically inclined so I wanted to broaden his horizons. My first Dillon press was a 650, which has a different priming system than the XL-750.

The 750 addresses my greatest qualm with the 650 — slow caliber changeovers. I had the machine fundamentally set up for .45 ACP, then let Kyle figure it out. 

He first added the DAA low powder sensor and click adjustable powder knob. He then verified the set-up and checked overall length. I had left some primers in the tube, so Kyle just needed to add powder and adjust the charge. 

The biggest piece of set-up Kyle did was using Inline Fabrication’s Ultramount which is a quick process. 

The Load 

Kyle used 5.9 grains of CFE Pistol with a Berry’s 185 grain Hollow Base Round Nose plated bullet. 

Especially critical with .45 ACP is cartridge overall length. Bullet seating depth greatly affects cartridge capacity which affects the pressure.

Be sure to source load data from reliable sources and consider the age/materials of your firearm. 


Though simple, Kyle said loading for pistol felt very alien to him. He started by loading prepped cases into the case feeder and ensuring it worked as intended.

Fabricated Case Feed Shutoff Wire

I like to fab a case feed shutoff from a piece of coat hanger. This piece prevents the rotating piece from swinging out and grabbing another case. 

I had him load just a few rounds to start. With a progressive, moving the handle all the way up and all the way down is key. Eventually you develop a rhythm. There is a lot to keep track of on a progressive at once and accidentally seating a bullet on an empty case is not hard to do. The DAA low powder sensor helps minimize this possibility by giving audible alerts when the powder reaches the level you set. 

Infra-Red Sensor Alarm Triggered from Low Powder in Hornady Powder Measure

Kyle had to add some more lube to the cases, but the machine operated smoothly after this fix though he self admittedly works much slower than the machine is capable of. It’s important, especially with new equipment, to go at a speed you are comfortable with and double check everything. 

Next, I took my turn. The first thing I realized is a lower Inline Fabrication Ultramount would have been better. I also like to put my left  hand against the back of the press while operating it with my right. 

It wasn’t long before we needed to refill the primers. We used the Double Alpha Academy PrimaFill system to fill the tube  and took the opportunity to remove all the cases and apply Hornady One Shot case lube. We also added some imperial sizing wax to the expander. The press ran much smoother after this. Case lube isn’t necessary when using pistol carbide dies, but with something dry like One Shot, I don’t see a downside. We loaded a few hundred rounds with no issues. 


I brought out my GLOCK 21 and 1911 for this exercise.

GLOCK 21 and Taurus PT 1911

100% of the ammunition functioned flawlessly in both guns. We could not say the same of our shooting performance. Kyle much preferred the 1911 to the GLOCK. 


All ammunition functioned and we had no issues with the XL-750. Adding Hornady One Shot really made the process smoother, something I’m going to make sure I always use, even with carbide dies.  

Kyle had previously done some loading on the Dillon 550 in preparation for the Rock Chuck Olympics. Before coming to Ultimate Reloader, he said the 550 was his favorite press he’d never used. After spending some time on the XL-750, it’s given the 550 a run for this high honor. He found both presses very intuitive and easy to operate. If you’re considering a progressive press, be sure to check out our Progressive Press Shootout. This mega feature highlights a number of presses from across manufacturers to help you decide the best press for you. We also have a separate story comparing Dillon presses

Get the Gear

Dillon XL-750

DAA Low Powder Sensor 

DAA Click Adjustable Powder Knob 

Inline Fabrication Ultramount – at InlineFabrication.com or Midsouth Shooters Supply

Hornady One Shot Case Lube 

PrimaFill from Double Alpha Academy

Hodgdon CFE Pistol from Midsouth Shooters Supply

Berry’s .45 ACP 185 grain Hollow Base Round Nose Bullets from Midsouth Shooters Supply

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