Dillon Square Deal B: Overview and Loading 45 ACP

Dillon’s Square Deal B is all about simple and reliable loading for pistol ammunition. Available in 16 calibers, this affordable quality press is the subject of this story!


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About the Square Deal B (SDB)

From the Dillon Precision Product Page:

Stock Number: Dillon SDB
The Square Deal B is our most compact machine, it loads common straight walled handgun and carbine cartridges from 32 S&W Long through 45 Colt. Featuring an automatically indexed shellplate, it is intended to produce moderate quantities of match-quality handgun ammunition for the user who does not have a need to load bottle-necked cartridges. Dies are included and are factory adjusted to reduce your set up time.

The Square Deal B comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects and normal wear and tear.

The Square Deal B comes in the following calibers:

  1. 32 H&R Mag
  2. 380 ACP
  3. 38 Special
  4. 357 Magnum
  5. 38 Super
  6. 38 Super Comp
  7. 9mm Parabellum
  8. 40 S&W
  9. 10mm Auto
  10. 41 Magnum
  11. 44 Special
  12. 44 Magnum
  13. 44-40 Winchester
  14. 45 ACP
  15. 45 Colt
  16. 45 GAP
  17. 45 S&W Schofield

What’s In the Box

The Basic machine includes the following: (as pictured above)

  • 1 Square Deal B reloading machine
  • 1 powder measure with large and small powder bars (small installed). The small bar throws from 2.1 to 15 grains of powder. The large bar throws from 15 to 60 grains of powder
  • 1 priming system with large and small priming parts
  • 1 early warning buzzer and rod for primer system
  • 1 packet of primer tubes containing: 1 large primer pickup tube, 1 small primer pickup tube, and 1 magazine tube
  • 1 primer slide assembly
  • 1 powder measure failsafe rod assembly with bracket (13355)
  • 3 locator buttons
  • 1 toolhead
  • 1 powder die
  • 1 caliber conversion kit
  • 1 set of carbide dies (except for 44/40, which uses steel dies)
  • 1 spent primer cup with bracket and screws.
  • 1 loaded cartridge chute with screws and a plastic bin
  • 1 written instruction manual (black and white) + 1 quick start guide (color)

Mounting the Square Deal B

There are a few good options for mounting your Square Deal B:

  1. Bolt it directly to your bench (the cheapest option)
  2. Use Dillon’s Strong Mount for the Square Deal B
  3. Use an Inline Fabrication Ultramount (I use this system in the shop, as pictured above- note there are many add-ons and options)

Setting Up the Square Deal B for Use

The Dillon Square Deal B is setup pretty much ready to roll from the factory (dies are adjusted), but there are a few assembly steps which should take about 15 minutes total *if* you can find all of your tools (sometimes that takes me the longer than doing the task at hand).

Here’s the assembly steps:

  1. Attach the completed cartridge “chute”
  2. Drop in completed cartridge bin
  3. Attach the bracket on the bottom of the press (holds spent primer cup and failsafe rod for powder measure)
  4. Install cartridge retention “buttons”
  5. Install powder measure fail-safe rod
  6. Install spent primer cup
  7. Drop low primer alarm housing onto priming column, install included battery

Loading up Components

Now it’s time to load components, and to stock the loading area. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Fill the powder measure
  2. Load 100 primers using the pickup tube, drop into primer drop tube, place weighted rod in primer drop tube
  3. Prepare cases to load, including optionally lubing them
  4. Get out bullets
  5. Prepare and validate load data

45 ACP Load for This Session

For this session, I used the following 45 ACP Load as pictured above:

Use load data at your own risk. Ultimate Reloader is not responsible for errors in load data on this website. Always cross-reference load data with manufacturer’s published data.

Loading 45 ACP on the Dillon Square Deal B

The Dillon Square Deal B uses the following die stations:

These stations are used as follows:

  1. Sizing and de-priming
  2. Powder charge (top of stroke), Priming (bottom of stroke)
  3. Bullet Seating
  4. Bullet Crimping

The process of loading ammunition is the following for each stroke of the lever:

  1. Place a case in station #1
  2. Perform a visual powder check (level) at station #3
  3. Place a bullet in station #3
  4. Pull the lever down to the bottom if it’s stroke
  5. Pull the lever up, and push forward towards the press to seat a primer
  6. Repeat

Every 100 rounds of loading you’ll need to stop to load primers. You’ll also need to fill the powder hopper before its level gets down towards the bottom. I would suggest lubing the cases for easier press action, but it’s not totally necessary.

The press ran good for me once I got everything tuned up and got used to the rhythm!

Pros and Cons

Like every product, the Square Deal B has its pros and cons! Here’s my analysis:

Square Deal B Pros

  • Affordability (the most affordable Dillon press)
  • Quality and Guarantee
  • Quick progressive operation (good efficiency)
  • Pre-configured dies
  • Mechanical efficiency (short stroke)
  • Comes with small and large priming components, small and large powder bars

Square Deal B Cons

  • Limited to pistol calibers
  • Proprietary dies (does not use standard 7/8″ 14 reloading dies)
  • No case feeder

At the end of the day, the Square Deal B is a solid value for the pistol-oriented reloader that doesn’t need all of the bells and whistles. Dillon offers other presses for people that want those things (the Rl-550C, the XL750, and the RL 1100).

Get the Gear

You can get the Dillon Square Deal B directly from the Dillon Precision website:

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