Mike Dillon began his business through the inheritance of a Thompson submachine gun; however, it didn’t happen the way he would have imagined. After a friend tragically died in a plane accident involving Dillon’s aircraft, Dillon and his friends spent a few months closing up his friend’s machine shop business for his widow. Despite her insistence that she owed Dillon a new place, he had his eyes set on his friend’s Tommy gun and Star loading tool.
[Editor’s note: Sadly, Mike Dillon passed away in November 2016.]
With the new addition to his collection, Dillon became a progressive reloader but ran into trouble when the Star loading tools wouldn’t work for all his loads. He eventually took the loading tool to be fixed by a machinist, and at the same time created his own kit so friends could convert their machines as well. It was soon suggested that Dillon market his invention, which he did, even using his friends’ sarcastic suggestion of calling it the Superstar Conversion. In the beginning Dillon sold almost 100 kits, but people soon started asking for more conversions for different loads. To satisfy the requests, Dillon produced his own reloader, the RL-1000, which became the first true Dillon product. He began building them out of his garage, eventually moving his business into a small shop.
His first hobby-level progressive loader, the RL-300, taught Dillon a lot about business. He built around 1,000 of these, but lost nearly $100 on each machine. Since he was a quick study he soon began to produce a machine that was less expensive, the RL-450.
When business started to pick up, Dillon decided he was going to tackle it his own way. Instead of going up against the big guys in the industry, he went into direct marketing. Dillon knew this was a go-for-broke venture. He spent every dollar he could raise on advertising. They had to sell 500 machines that month to pay for all the advertising that was purchased—they sold 5,000.
Dillon knew there were several components to his company’s success. The first was his philosophy: treat other people the way you want to be treated. Staying true to this, Dillon Precision offers a lifetime warranty on all hobby-level reloading machines. There are no warranty cards, registration or serial numbers necessary; if something breaks, is damaged or worn out, the company will replace or repair the product to its normal operating condition—no questions asked.
Another reason why Dillon Precision stands out is because of its close relationship with its customers. The company is always in contact with its buyers and receives constant feedback from them; some have even proposed ideas for new products or product enhancements that have made a difference. Thanks to the customer feedback received, Dillon Precision is continuously working on design changes and improvements.
The rapid growth in action pistol is another reason Dillon believed his company thrived. Due to the quantities of ammunition action pistol shooters use, many turn to Dillon Precision because of its affordability. The company also sponsors shooting events and gives money to match winners who used their ammunition.
Dillon Precision and its employees are all shooters and reloaders with varying degrees of experience. They understand the sport of shooting and are always willing to help customers or answer questions that may arise. For information visit www.dillonprecision.com.