Anybody have the RCBS Pro 200 Auto advance?


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DaveInFloweryBranchGA
October 5, 2011, 09:35 AM
If you have the RCBS Pro 200 Auto advance or have set it up and used it, I'd love to hear your comments on how you liked it.

Things I'm especially interested in:

1. If you have a bullet feeder, do you have the Hornady or RCBS version and how do you like the one you have. Do you wish you had bought the other brand?

2. Are there any advantages to the RCBS case activated powder drop vs. the Hornady case activated powder drop?

3. Your thoughts on having bullet feeder option vs. having case feeder option.

4. Any upgrades/modifications you have made.

5. Quirks of the machine you have overcome.

6. Finally, has anybody thought of or looked at drilling and tapping the die holes to accept a Hornady LnL bushing conversion kit? I'm thinking of doing this with the powder position, in order to allow quick easy changes of the powder measure die.
BTW, I've owned a Dillon 550 and a Hornady LnL AP (a pre-7000 serial number) upgraded to EzJect with a casefeeder, so I'm experienced with progressive presses and know they have a learning curve.

Also, I'm a "mix and matcher" to get the best results. I don't care about blue/red/green arguments. Please don't bother posting comments about "buy blue" or "buy red." Right now, I am interested in the RCBS progressive and how it may be enhanced.

Thank you for your positive comments and information.

Best Regards,

Dave

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Tom488
October 5, 2011, 09:13 PM
I bought my Pro2000 as an auto-index. I can't imagine using it in manual-index mode (well, I can imagine it - but I sure wouldn't want to do it that way). As to your specific questions:

1. I have the RCBS bullet feeder, and us it for .45, .40, and 9mm. It takes a little bit of tweaking to initially set it up (mainly adjusting the height so the spring tube angles correctly, and doesn't cause the bullets to hang up), but once set up, it's virtually flawless. Only once in a great while does it not feed a bullet. For that, I keep a small inventory of bullets in the bullet tray to feed manually.

2. The biggest advantage is that my press came with the Uniflow and case-activated linkage, so all I have to do is drop in the appropriate caliber-specific expander, and set the depth of the Uniflow in station #2 to apply the proper amount of flare to the case mouth.

3. A case feeder would be nice, I think moreso for processing rifle brass rather than reloading. I don't see how a casefeeder would speed up the loading process significantly... I get in to a rhythm where my right hand (operating the press handle) barely pauses while I feed a case with my left.

4. I made a modification to the brackets that operate the auto-index, making them taller and lessening the angle, to make the indexing operation slower and smoother. However, this only works for .45, .40, and 9mm cases (ie. short cases). I have to switch back to the stock brackets for taller pistol cases (.38/.357), or any rifle cases. However, for the short pistol cases, it completely eliminates the problem of powder sloshing out of the case.

5. When I prep brass, I remove the primer plug, and put a self-adhesive label over the priming mechanism (underneath the shell plate). This keeps any primers from falling to the bottom of the machine and jamming up the APS priming system.

6. No, because you still have to adjust the height of the powder measure for each type of case, so it wouldn't really save you that much time. A wiser investment would be to purchase multiple linkage kits, to get the bottom portion that actually threads into the die plate... have one on each die plate, properly adjusted, so you just have to move the measure from die plate to die plate.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
October 6, 2011, 12:16 AM
Tom,

More questions for you and some comments:

On answer 1: Do you load with lead bullets or cast your own?

On answer 2: Do you think the PTX might work in the RCBS case activated powder drop? That would make it universal.

On answer 3: I used a case feeder on my Hornady and to me, cases are just as easy to hand feed as they were to use a feeder. And I found hand feeding to take a lot less time setting up for. The Hornady feeder needs to be fine tuned and takes a lot of time to switch calibers on to me. I'm not sure I want another one. Your thoughts?

On answer 4: I'd love to get pictures/dimensions of the modifications you make. I'm a big one for not reinventing the wheel if another fella has a good idea and has implemented it.

On answer 5: I'm not sure what you are meaning by prepping brass. Can you elaborate a bit? I'm not sure why you're doing those things to the press.

On answer 6: I was thinking more along the lines of eliminating buying expensive die plates by replacing them with Hornady LnL bushings. This allows me to swap one die and have a neck sizer instead of a full length sizer, while keeping the rest of the setup.

Thank you for the answers, gives me some food for thought.

codefour
October 6, 2011, 12:23 AM
I also bought a Pro 2000 with auto-indexing. GET the auto-index to start, you will not regret it. To be honest, so many reloaders have drank the blue kool-aid but are really missing out on a great press in the Pro 2000. I did not like the Hornady priming problems so I stayed away from it (Pro 2000 users do not report priming problems that I have heard). I never used a LNL AP though.

I have used both a Dillon 550B and an XL650 before I bought the RCBS. My friend is a die-hard Dillon lover but I went a different route. Here is why I bought the Pro 2000 over a Dillon:

1: Pro is made of an enormous amount of iron. It weighs around fifty pound with out any accessories. Dillon is aluminum and I have heard of aluminum Dillons breaking at the linkages.

2: The APS strips are so easy to use. I hated pecking at tubes. Loading the strips is easier and faster than pecking tubes. You can see when you need to add a strip. I buy CCI primers preloaded in strips from Powder Valley Inc. They only cost one dollar more per thousand and no primer loading at all.

3: Caliber conversions on a Pro 2000 are the easiest and quickest over both the Hornady and Dillons. Changing primer size on a Dillon is a pain and too long. The ideal Dillon caliber conversion setup is a tool head, caliber conversion kit, extra powder measure and dies which costs 250-300 dollars depending on whether it is a 550B or 650. RCBS is just a shell plate, dies and tool head.

4: The Dillon uses brass buttons to retain cases in the shell plate. It is a pain to remove a case from the shell plate. You have to lift the brass buttons out to remove a case and you will lose a few brass buttons in the process putting you out of comission. The RCBS is a spring mounted retainer that stays put and not caliber specific.

5: The Uniflow is a much better powder measure than a slide bar style on Dillon. The Dillon is activated by a rod that runs on a plastic wheel. The plastic wheels wear out once again dead-lining the Dillon (I have seen it happen).

I do not use the bullet feeder. I figured I could buy more guns with the money for the bullet feeder. I load methodically on my Pro 2000. I take my time but I have had no squibs or kabooms from it either. Only squibs I ever loaded were on friend's said Dillons.

I do like Dillon dies for the only reason you can clean them and not lose your settings. RCBS dies you do have to remove the seater plug and belling plugs then reset them.

The only problem I have found is the APS strips will sometimes fail to connect after you put a new one on. Or the new one manages to get disconnected from the used one. It is probably my error but it happens once in a long while. The auto index is also fast but is only a problem when you are loading short pistol rounds like 9mm, .40 and .45. I just put the bullet on the charged case before it completely indexes (you will learn the rythem).

I also use it to size rifle brass. I used to always size my rifle brass on a single stage but not now. I put a RCBS lube die in station one and the sizer die in station number two. You can really size rifle case fast. You just place an unsized case in station one and pull the handle.

I hope this helps. Yes, RCBS's marketing really sucks but it is a great press. Sorry for the long reply.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
October 6, 2011, 12:28 AM
codefour,

Don't apologize, that's the kind of information I'm looking for. Something that helps me to separate "buy color x" from useful facts about a particular product.

Thank you,

Dave

Tom488
October 6, 2011, 11:35 AM
Dave,

I only use jacketed bullets in the bullet feeder - never tried lead.

I've heard of people using Hornady PTX with the Uniflow... don't know enough about it, and never had the desire to try. The RCBS expanders are cheap enough...

I posted a thread here a couple of months back on the indexing modification I did... you can see it here: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=586752


As for the brass prep thing... I mean when I'm depriming, resizing, and trimming rifle cases. I've had issues with the spent primers sometimes not being fully ejected down into the spent primer tube, but instead getting swept by the shellplate over towards the priming station, then fall through the holes and gum up the APS feed mechanism. By sealing this off, I prevent any errant primers from doing any harm.


Codefour - with the APS strips, I don't so much "click" them together... I take the new strip, hold it at about a 45 degree angle, and get the "hooks" of the new strip underneath the round part of the existing strip, then lever the new strip down so the hooks engage the existing strip. I do this when 2 primers are still visible. Never had a problem with a strip not engaging this way, or becoming disconnected.


I hear you on the ease of caliber conversions... I really do laugh a little bit when I read of people with other presses: "I bought a whole other press, so I keep one for small primers and one for large". Geez... it takes us all of 5 seconds to go from large to small primers.

GW Staar
October 6, 2011, 03:57 PM
If you have the RCBS Pro 200 Auto advance or have set it up and used it, I'd love to hear your comments on how you liked it.

Things I'm especially interested in:

1. If you have a bullet feeder, do you have the Hornady or RCBS version and how do you like the one you have. Do you wish you had bought the other brand?
Yes, Hornady. Reviews below. No.
Hornady Bullet Feeder Part 1 (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=559933&highlight=Hornady+Bullet+Feeder)
Hornady Bullet Feeder Part 2 (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=562452&highlight=Hornady+Bullet+Feeder)
Hornady Bullet Feeder Part 3 (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=575513&highlight=Hornady+Bullet+Feeder)

2. Are there any advantages to the RCBS case activated powder drop vs. the Hornady case activated powder drop?

No, they are very similar. In fact, Hornady licensed the Uniflow P.M. and invented the case-activated powder drop. Then RCBS licensed the powder drop....Hornaday then offered the PTX powder-thru expander, and RCBS finally copied that. I have 2 Uniflows. One has Hornady's case-activated linkage, powder drop, and PTX attached, the other P.M. that came with the Pro 2000 has the RCBS linkage/powder drop and their new PTX-like powder-thru expander. Both work fine...I like the RCBS expander design better...and I like Hornady's stop link that takes the pressure of the P.M. while expanding. BTW, no parts interchange on the case-activated linkage and powder dies including the expanders.

Side note: if you get a Hornady Bullet feeder, with each feed die you get a PTX (expander) included in the package....which is why I converted one of my Uniflows to the Hornady linkage. When RCBS started marketing their expander, I bought one along with one of their bullet feed dies. Using my bullet feeder mods, the Hornady feed dies are easier to work with but more expensive, since each bullet diameter has its own die, where as the RCBS bullet feed die has plasitic innards for most calibers.

3. Your thoughts on having bullet feeder option vs. having case feeder option.

The bullet feeder I have is extremely reliable & simple....and super quick to change calibers on. Hornady's case feeder can be problematic for some calibers. It's a slow down for caliber change.

The advantage to case feeding is both rifle and pistol is addressed...Hornady has promised a rifle bullet feeder kit.....soon....???? You know how that is.

4. Any upgrades/modifications you have made.
Yes, to simplify and idiot proof the aps system. They are permanently posted on AR15.com in their sticky thread "A Gateway to Interesting and Useful Threads in the Reloading Forum" 8 posts from the bottom of page one. "RCBS STUFF"

5. Quirks of the machine you have overcome.
See "RCBS STUFF" above.:)
6. Finally, has anybody thought of or looked at drilling and tapping the die holes to accept a Hornady LnL bushing conversion kit? I'm thinking of doing this with the powder position, in order to allow quick easy changes of the powder measure die.
BTW, I've owned a Dillon 550 and a Hornady LnL AP (a pre-7000 serial number) upgraded to EzJect with a casefeeder, so I'm experienced with progressive presses and know they have a learning curve.

No, I don't think there is enough clearance between stations for that big of a hole. The point of a removeable tool head is not to need LnL. You buy a tool head for every combination, set it up once and never change it. On the stationary station, when loading rifle, I don't unscrew the P.M. except for minor height adjustments for different calibers. I only disconnect the spring and lift the upper unit off to empty or change powders. For pistol, I bought extra powder dies (bottom assembly of the case-activated powder drop) to screw it in to each tool head where I use station 2 for a powder thru expander. Again all you have to do to change the P.M. to another tool head is to disconnect the spring and lift the P.M. off.

Also, I'm a "mix and matcher" to get the best results. I don't care about blue/red/green arguments. Please don't bother posting comments about "buy blue" or "buy red." Right now, I am interested in the RCBS progressive and how it may be enhanced.

Thank you for your positive comments and information.

Best Regards,

Dave

If you have other questions...you can always P.M. me. It's a great press. I load 6 calibers...and counting. Fast caliber changes and the super fast APS primer system using CCI preloaded primers is the reason I chose it over Dillon's sweet 650.....and because its cast iron, the foot print is smaller, too.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
October 6, 2011, 09:17 PM
Tom,

Answers/questions in red.

I only use jacketed bullets in the bullet feeder - never tried lead.For me, I cast my own and lead is my main flavor when I'm rolling my own cartridges these days. So I'd love to hear from anybody about their using or modifying their bullet feeder to handle lead bullets.

I posted a thread here a couple of months back on the indexing modification I did... you can see it here: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=586752

Thank you for the link. In all likelihood, if I buy the press, I'll copy that modification to the letter.

As for the brass prep thing... I mean when I'm depriming, resizing, and trimming rifle cases. I've had issues with the spent primers sometimes not being fully ejected down into the spent primer tube, but instead getting swept by the shellplate over towards the priming station, then fall through the holes and gum up the APS feed mechanism. By sealing this off, I prevent any errant primers from doing any harm.Ah, okay, this brings another question. Does the press have a primer disposal tube like the Lee Classic Turret or the Hornady LnL? How does it clear the old primers out of the system?

Peter M. Eick
October 6, 2011, 09:23 PM
1. If you have a bullet feeder, do you have the Hornady or RCBS version and how do you like the one you have. Do you wish you had bought the other brand?
No experience with this.

2. Are there any advantages to the RCBS case activated powder drop vs. the Hornady case activated powder drop?
I have both. I spliced the hornady feeder into my pro2000. The hornady works better for most bigger calibers. I drop back to the rcbs for 380 auto. I put them both in station 2 so I can have a powder check in station 3.

3. Your thoughts on having bullet feeder option vs. having case feeder option.
Neither is really interesting to me. I can crank rounds fast enough for my comfort factor. I like reloading. It is not a chore to rush through.
4. Any upgrades/modifications you have made.
too many to list. I have a primer cut off, better primer disposal, hornady powder drop, different expanders etc. etc. etc.
5. Quirks of the machine you have overcome.
None that were really interesting. Every machine has its quirks, and after a whle you just work through them. I have done about 300,000 rounds in mine and just don't even think about it any more.

Love the APS primer though!

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
October 6, 2011, 09:31 PM
GW Staar,

Answers/questions in red below.

Yes, Hornady. Reviews below. No.
Hornady Bullet Feeder Part 1
Hornady Bullet Feeder Part 2
Hornady Bullet Feeder Part 3
Thanks for the links, I'll definately read them.

RCBS case activated powder drop vs. the Hornady case activated powder drop?

No, they are very similar. In fact, Hornady licensed the Uniflow P.M. and invented the case-activated powder drop. Then RCBS licensed the powder drop....Hornaday then offered the PTX powder-thru expander, and RCBS finally copied that. I have 2 Uniflows. One has Hornady's case-activated linkage, powder drop, and PTX attached, the other P.M. that came with the Pro 2000 has the RCBS linkage/powder drop and their new PTX-like powder-thru expander. Both work fine...I like the RCBS expander design better...and I like Hornady's stop link that takes the pressure of the P.M. while expanding. BTW, no parts interchange on the case-activated linkage and powder dies including the expanders.
So you're telling me I can add a Hornady LnL CAPD with the aftermarket universal PTX and save some money.

Side note: if you get a Hornady Bullet feeder, with each feed die you get a PTX (expander) included in the package....which is why I converted one of my Uniflows to the Hornady linkage.
Good information to have. Thank you.

When RCBS started marketing their expander, I bought one along with one of their bullet feed dies. Using my bullet feeder mods, the Hornady feed dies are easier to work with but more expensive, since each bullet diameter has its own die, where as the RCBS bullet feed die has plasitic innards for most calibers.So you're saying get the Hornady feeder, but the RCBS feed dies end up being cheaper.

3. Your thoughts on having bullet feeder option vs. having case feeder option.

The bullet feeder I have is extremely reliable & simple....and super quick to change calibers on. Hornady's case feeder can be problematic for some calibers. It's a slow down for caliber change.
Which is why I no longer own a Hornady case feeder.

The advantage to case feeding is both rifle and pistol is addressed...Hornady has promised a rifle bullet feeder kit.....soon....???? You know how that is.
I think I saw that for sale on midwayusa, but I'm not positive.

4. Any upgrades/modifications you have made.
Yes, to simplify and idiot proof the aps system. They are permanently posted on AR15.com in their sticky thread "A Gateway to Interesting and Useful Threads in the Reloading Forum" 8 posts from the bottom of page one. "RCBS STUFF"
Can a fella get a link? I'm shameless, I'll want to copy that mod.

5. Quirks of the machine you have overcome.
See "RCBS STUFF" above.
6. Finally, has anybody thought of or looked at drilling and tapping the die holes to accept a Hornady LnL bushing conversion kit? I'm thinking of doing this with the powder position, in order to allow quick easy changes of the powder measure die.
BTW, I've owned a Dillon 550 and a Hornady LnL AP (a pre-7000 serial number) upgraded to EzJect with a casefeeder, so I'm experienced with progressive presses and know they have a learning curve.

No, I don't think there is enough clearance between stations for that big of a hole. The point of a removeable tool head is not to need LnL. You buy a tool head for every combination, set it up once and never change it. On the stationary station, when loading rifle, I don't unscrew the P.M. except for minor height adjustments for different calibers. I only disconnect the spring and lift the upper unit off to empty or change powders. For pistol, I bought extra powder dies (bottom assembly of the case-activated powder drop) to screw it in to each tool head where I use station 2 for a powder thru expander. Again all you have to do to change the P.M. to another tool head is to disconnect the spring and lift the P.M. off.Bummer, I wanted the capability to change a single die to go from neck sizing to FL sizing. The LnL bushing allow this.

Also, I'm a "mix and matcher" to get the best results. I don't care about blue/red/green arguments. Please don't bother posting comments about "buy blue" or "buy red." Right now, I am interested in the RCBS progressive and how it may be enhanced.

Thank you for your positive comments and information.

If you have other questions...you can always P.M. me. It's a great press. I load 6 calibers...and counting. Fast caliber changes and the super fast APS primer system using CCI preloaded primers is the reason I chose it over Dillon's sweet 650.....and because its cast iron, the foot print is smaller, too.Thank you, I'll be sure and do that if I run into questions.

Tom488
October 6, 2011, 11:52 PM
Ah, okay, this brings another question. Does the press have a primer disposal tube like the Lee Classic Turret or the Hornady LnL? How does it clear the old primers out of the system?
Yes, it has a disposal tube. I think my problems were the result of the primer not getting pushed all the way out of the case. Then, upon indexing, the half-stuck-out primer would shear off, and wind up inside the press mechanism.

I solved that problem (always seemed to be with small primers) on the pistol side by getting RCBS's Pow'r decapper, which has a spring-loaded decapping pin - that has the little extra <oomph> to make sure the primer is removed from the case. I may try modifying a .223 decapper to use a spring, as well. You can't use the Pow'r decapper in .223 - it's too big.

GW Staar
October 7, 2011, 02:33 AM
GW Staar,

Hornady Bullet Feeder Part 1
Hornady Bullet Feeder Part 2
Hornady Bullet Feeder Part 3

So you're telling me I can add a Hornady LnL CAPD with the aftermarket universal PTX and save some money?

Hmmm, I didn't think I mentioned the Aftermarket expander.... it will work because the
Hornady CAPD fits the Uniflow just fine...it just requires careful adjustment. You can buy extra powder dies, and you have the choice between Hornady's PTX or the aftermarket one.

Using only Hornady parts to convert the Uniflow you need the following: Expander Linkage
(http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=959962), Hornady CAPD (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=231522), and PTX's (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=591544) (or the aftermarket version.),
and if you wish extra....Quick Change Powder dies (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=231522).

But the above isn't cheaper than just buying RCBS's new Powder thru Expander (http://www.midwayusa.com/Find?userSearchQuery=RCBS+powder+through+expander) for each pistol caliber you load. With RCBS, since they don't market "quick change Powder dies" like Hornady does...yet, you will have to order those parts directly from RCBS. They are available, though. Peter Eick's comments about the new RCBS expander vs. the Hornady one, probably means he has more experience with them than me. Maybe Pete could elaborate??? I've never tried the "universal."


Using my bullet feeder mods, the Hornady feed dies are easier to work with but more expensive, since each bullet diameter has its own die, where as the RCBS bullet feed die has plasitic innards for most calibers.So you're saying get the Hornady feeder, but the RCBS feed dies end up being cheaper. Yes, but not as easy to mod....and I'm not convinced that it is convenient to have to change the innards to change calibers....I'd rather have a die for each caliber adjusted once on a tool head....so I prefer the Hornady feeder dies. By modding I mean fitting clear tubing to the Hornadys is way easier than with the RCBS dies. My one RCBS feeder die will be used for one caliber, same as the Hornadys.;)

The advantage to case feeding is both rifle and pistol is addressed...Hornady has promised a rifle bullet feeder kit.....soon....???? You know how that is.
I think I saw that for sale on midwayusa, but I'm not positive. I've seen nothing from Hornady or Midway yet.

4. Any upgrades/modifications you have made.
Yes, to simplify and idiot proof the aps system. They are permanently posted on AR15.com in their sticky thread "A Gateway to Interesting and Useful Threads in the Reloading Forum" 8 posts from the bottom of page one. "RCBS STUFF"
Can a fella get a link? I'm shameless, I'll want to copy that mod. Three mods actually....okay here's the direct links: APS Mods 1 & 2 (http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/322049_.html&page=1). Electronic Primer counter
(http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/324316_.html)

Bummer, I wanted the capability to change a single die to go from neck sizing to FL sizing. The LnL bushing allow this.

If that was important to me using the Pro 2000, I would buy an extra tool head, and populate the thing with your neck sizer.

When I load rifle, I size my cases on my single station Rock Chucker anyway. Then I prep the cases....trim, chamfer, deburr on my Forster...and then take care of the primer pockets: clean, decrimp (if military), uniform, and deburr flash holes. Only then do I run them through the progressive.

You can always add a Hornady LnL bushing to the Rock Chucker, or most other quality single station presses :)



Peter Eick is the most experienced Pro 2000 user I know of. Read his article in Handloads.com (http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=26) for a really good review of the press.

His remark above in your thread about not having a need or care for bullet feeders or case feeders demonstrates his love for reloading and doing it slow enough to savor it....Ha....reminds me of how I eat. :)

My reason for adding a bullet feeder is simple. I'm obviously more forgetful than him. After a few months of Having to remember to hand feed TWO things, plus watch powder levels, and keep primers loaded sometimes overloaded my brain. I do better remembering one thing to feed. :rolleyes: That it turns out to be faster....is gravy.

Peter M. Eick
October 7, 2011, 10:07 AM
First let me address the comments about the expander. I have the hornady expanders for the caliber and they are now in the "surplus" pile of parts I don't use anymore. Same place all of my lyman "M" dies ended up but that is another story. I have not switched to the new RCBS expanders for the caliber yet. I am quite successful with the PTX expander and the hornady setup I spliced my uniflow into. The advantage is the PTX expander stops slightly deeper in the hornady then the rcbs so it is more universal. I found it works for everything but the 380 auto so far so when i go to 380, I do it with my fully rcbs setup.

Now to address the comments about loading. It seems like some folks view reloading as a game and hobby like I do and others want production and speed. Most of the time, I look at my reloading as relaxation time. It is fun, slow and methodical. It is a big change from the high stress work I do. When day in and day out you are responsible for an operation that costs $1 to $4 per second (yes, per second!) you have to be constantly jumping, planning and reacting quickly. I see over and over that money and accuracy are wasted by going quickly. Thus my hobby is about precision and enjoyment not production and piles of ammo.

I will say that as of today I have loaded 269,560 rounds on my Pro2000 (yes I track every round) and it has worked just fine. That averages about 20,000 rounds a year and I work a lot of the year internationally so I can't use the press as often as I would like. I find that when i am loafing along, checking every piece of brass, gauging the occasional product and weighting occasional charges that I run right around 400 rounds per hour. Not as fast as some, not as slow as others. I can say that to the best of my memory I have never had a squib and I am sure I have never KB-ed a gun.

So quarter million rounds down, and I have enough brass and primers to easily make 300,000 rounds once I get done making shot gun shells. Right now I am cranking 12 gauge 2 3/4" rounds for sporting clays so the Pro2000 is off the bench. Soon I will be back at it as I have made 54 boxes of 12 so far and I have about another 30 boxes of 12 to go.


And finally, GW Staar sells himself very short. He is the one for mods to his press and really testing what it can do. I have several of his mods on my press and am awed at his insight and abilities. Whenever he posts, I read his comments in detail. He is the real expert at the Pro2000. Someday we will meet up and have to share a beer and talk face to face.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
October 7, 2011, 10:16 AM
First let me address the comments about the expander. I have the hornady expanders for the caliber and they are now in the "surplus" pile of parts I don't use anymore. Same place all of my lyman "M" dies ended up but that is another story. I have not switched to the new RCBS expanders for the caliber yet. I am quite successful with the PTX expander and the hornady setup I spliced my uniflow into. The advantage is the PTX expander stops slightly deeper in the hornady then the rcbs so it is more universal. I found it works for everything but the 380 auto so far so when i go to 380, I do it with my fully rcbs setup.You just confirmed what I suspected. I can save money buying the Hornady w/the PTX expander. Since I reload .380, I can pick up an RCBS expander for that caliber and use the RCBS CAPD that comes with the press. Will the PTX expander not work in the RCBS CAPD? Would save me buying the Hornady CAPD as well.

Now to address the comments about loading. It seems like some folks view reloading as a game and hobby like I do and others want production and speed. Most of the time, I look at my reloading as relaxation time. It is fun, slow and methodical. It is a big change from the high stress work I do. When day in and day out you are responsible for an operation that costs $1 to $4 per second (yes, per second!) you have to be constantly jumping, planning and reacting quickly. I see over and over that money and accuracy are wasted by going quickly. Thus my hobby is about precision and enjoyment not production and piles of ammo.My approach is very similar. I'm interested in the bullet feeder not for the speed as much as it'll eliminate my fumbling fingers trying to put bullets on the cases. So more an increase in precision/simplicity for me than a desire for more speed. 400 rounds an hour is about what I got with the Hornady LnL reloading 30.06 before I got a case feeder. Plenty fast enough for my reloading/time saving demands now. I am getting another progressive reloader not for tons of speed, but to reduce the total amount of time I'm reloading certain calibers tend to get used up faster, like .45acp and .223.

GW Staar
October 7, 2011, 08:23 PM
I also bought a Pro 2000 with auto-indexing. GET the auto-index to start, you will not regret it. To be honest, so many reloaders have drank the blue kool-aid but are really missing out on a great press in the Pro 2000. I did not like the Hornady priming problems so I stayed away from it (Pro 2000 users do not report priming problems that I have heard). I never used a LNL AP though.

I will have to say there ARE a few primer problems reported...just not as often. They come in the following flavors:

1. Impatient types who don't do well with learning something entirely foreign to pecking tubes. Some have tried to pull an APS strip backwards during a jam caused by flavor #2. (Instructions come with the press in 1/2" high letters warning not to do that) APS doesn't break....unless you do that.;)

2. Lowering the ram even a smidgen into the primer seating stroke pushes a primer slightly into the shell plate, stopping the strip from feeding. So don't, unless you plan on inserting a primer into a case. The fix is easy if you do, just push the primer back down, with a dowel, a 223 bullet, a hex wrench, or the flat end of a nail. The second of my mods stop the most common cause of this, going into the primer stroke when you don't mean to.

3. Every progressive ought to be designed so that the primer feed can be bypassed! This was an RCBS oversight. In other words there are times when you want to stroke a fully loaded press and NOT cycle another primer. Sure you can just remove the strip, but half-used strips are hard to place back in the next primer position. Wouldn't it be simple to just take it off line? My first Mod makes that possible.

The only problem I have found is the APS strips will sometimes fail to connect after you put a new one on. Or the new one manages to get disconnected from the used one. It is probably my error but it happens once in a long while. I haven't experienced that one????

The auto index is also fast but is only a problem when you are loading short pistol rounds like 9mm, .40 and .45. I just put the bullet on the charged case before it completely indexes (you will learn the rhythm). He means jerky...so that powder flies out in shallow cases. RCBS sent me a softer spring...that cured it for me. Tom 488 modded his another way. Dillon 650's come that way too...and require work-arounds.

I also use it to size rifle brass. I used to always size my rifle brass on a single stage but not now. I put a RCBS lube die in station one and the sizer die in station number two. You can really size rifle case fast. You just place an unsized case in station one and pull the handle.

This is an really interesting option I haven't tried yet....great idea! I would want to buy an extra tool head for the sizer and lube die, for each rifle cal. I load, eventually! Hmmm???.....then what would I use my 40 year-old Rock Chucker for?:uhoh: Kidding!:D



I hope this helps. Yes, RCBS's marketing really sucks but it is a great press. Sorry for the long reply.

Agree...RCBS's only big weakness is marketing...the Pro 2000 seems to be a best kept secret. Too bad....people don't know what they're missing. If you want to have a good laugh, check out RCBS's new "forum"....where a thread on what progressives to buy is about Dillons!!:rolleyes: No company moderators to even ask questions of. Sheesh.

Tom488
October 8, 2011, 03:12 PM
I also use it to size rifle brass. I used to always size my rifle brass on a single stage but not now. I put a RCBS lube die in station one and the sizer die in station number two.

This is an really interesting option I haven't tried yet....great idea! I would want to buy an extra tool head for the sizer and lube die, for each rifle cal. I load, eventually!

I go one step further... dedicated die plates for .223, .308, and .30-06. Station 1 is a lube die with a decapping step. Station 2 is a FL sizer. Station 4 is a Dillon 1200 trimmer, set to trim only, and not size. Insert a clean fired case, and out spits a fully prepped case, ready for reloading. This is where I wish I had a case feeder. I'll most likely get a Dillon 650 to do case prep - but I'll always use my Pro2000 to load on

Peter M. Eick
October 9, 2011, 10:02 AM
I have to admit that one passed me by too. I do my rilfe in a rock chucker but I can see doing it in the pro2000 now also.

Tip of the hat to Tom for that idea.

I have to rethink when I trim my brass though. I normally trim after I resize evertime when I prime the brass.

HMMMMmmmmmm...........

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
October 9, 2011, 10:56 AM
Those are great ideas and really innovative. Makes me think how one deals with once fired milsurp brass to get it ready to reload. I've seen elsewhere where someone adapted a Dillon 1200 trimmer die to a DC motor with an interrupt switch in order to reduce the noise. Apparently the volume of brass trimmings wasn't that much over 800 brass and it was apparent he was able to clean that up easily with a shop vacuum. Here's the link to the mod the guy did:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=286026&highlight=progressive+rifle+load+single+pass

With that modified trimmer set up and another setup for an X-die, large volume trimming effort would be greatly minimized.

codefour
October 10, 2011, 04:15 AM
The great Peter M. Eick stated:

"Now to address the comments about loading. It seems like some folks view reloading as a game and hobby like I do and others want production and speed. Most of the time, I look at my reloading as relaxation time. It is fun, slow and methodical. It is a big change from the high stress work I do. When day in and day out you are responsible for an operation that costs $1 to $4 per second (yes, per second!) you have to be constantly jumping, planning and reacting quickly. I see over and over that money and accuracy are wasted by going quickly. Thus my hobby is about precision and enjoyment not production and piles of ammo.

I will say that as of today I have loaded 269,560 rounds on my Pro2000 (yes I track every round) and it has worked just fine. That averages about 20,000 rounds a year and I work a lot of the year internationally so I can't use the press as often as I would like. I find that when i am loafing along, checking every piece of brass, gauging the occasional product and weighting occasional charges that I run right around 400 rounds per hour. Not as fast as some, not as slow as others. I can say that to the best of my memory I have never had a squib and I am sure I have never KB-ed a gun."

Peter, I could not agree more. I too take my time. I have learned a good rythem. After all five stations are full, I grab a case and a bullet. As the press auto indexes, I check the powder level, place bullet before completion of the index, and then push the handle forward to prime. While the handle is still all the way forward (completed primeing stroke and the shell plate lowered) I place the next case in station number one and start over. I can really crank out the rounds and I check every stage.

Peter, your detailed 150,000 round report is what convinced me to get a Pro 2000. Thank you for that awesome write up..!!

For some reason, once in a long while, I will insert a new APS strip onto the old one but it will seperate. I do insert them at a 45 degree angle sliding them onto the old strip and not clicking it in. Then again, I probably need to take the APS apart and inspect it. I have not done it in a while cuzz I got lazy. It may have a hunk of crud causing the problem. Note to self, completely clean and inspect Pro 2000 tomorrow! It has been quite a few thousand rounds, probably closer to 10,000, since I really took it apart.

And my final thought before my insomnia ends: I thought that sizing rifle cases on the Pro would be problematic. I thought the slight wobble in the shell plate would cause problems when camming over. So I called RCBS. The RCBS tech told me it was designed to cam over on rifle brass and it would not damage the shell plate or bolt. Now, I size all my rifle brass on my Pro and it really stream lines the process.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
October 11, 2011, 06:21 AM
Another question for you fellas. I have a bunch of primers at this time, none of them on strips. Where would I get a bunch of extra strips so I can load these on strips for the Pro 2000?

altitude_19
October 11, 2011, 06:48 AM
Ebay. Heck, you can round up a (small) return on your primers by reselling the strips if you buy them pre-loaded. Mr. Eick's accumulated empty strips could probably fund my shooting for the year.

GW Staar
October 12, 2011, 12:06 AM
Midway USA, Graf & Sons both sells packages of empty strips, complete with the stick-on mounting labels. I emailed RCBS when I had a supply of my own empties and asked to buy just the labels. They sent me some free. I'm wondering if you could just find large labels from like Office Max...but I haven't needed to try that yet. IMO you need backing labels to keep the primers clean and uncontaminated once you strip them. Normally you mount 100/label (4 strips)

I still load some less frequently shot calibers on my Rock Chucker. Since I buy mostly stripped CCI's now, buying a RCBS hand primer APS version was a no brainer. What an awesome tool. Even if I didn't have my progressive I'd want one of those.:)....another best kept secret from RCBS.

codefour
October 12, 2011, 10:46 PM
I was in the same boat as you when I first got my Pro 2000. Now I have a 3 gallon bucket full of empty strips. Just order some CCI primers preloaded into the APS strips. Then you can reload the strips with the unstripped primers down the road.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
November 6, 2011, 10:05 AM
Placed my order for my RCBS Pro 2000. Ordered enough shell plates and die plates to reload most all the calibers I reload larger quantities of ammo for. Also ordered three of the pistol caliber Hornady bullet feeder dies. Only thing I'm not sure of now is if I bought enough die plates to satisfy the various configurations I'll be using. Probably not, I may go back and order a couple extras, as I'm sure I'll come up with a way to use them for specialty applications such as resizing/trimming rifle brass. I've also picked up a used Dillon trimmer with a .223 die. Should work out nicely I'm thinking.

Dave

Peter M. Eick
November 6, 2011, 05:24 PM
Congrads. I know it is not as popular as some of the blue models, but I find it to be a great press and it works well.

Now you need a bucket to start storing all of those empty aps strips!

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
November 6, 2011, 06:57 PM
"Congrads. I know it is not as popular as some of the blue models, but I find it to be a great press and it works well.

Now you need a bucket to start storing all of those empty aps strips!"

Thanks Peter,

Right now I wish I had a bucket of those strips. I have tens of thousands of primers I am going to need primer strips for. I wish I could find someone who sells a mixed bag of all sizes of those things. Everyone seems to sell just one size/color in a package.

Dave

RustyFN
November 6, 2011, 08:16 PM
Congrats Dave. I can't wait to read your review on the press after you get it tuned up and get a few rounds through it.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
November 6, 2011, 08:53 PM
Thanks Rusty, after years of owning a LnL, it'll be fun starting on a new progressive. I am hoping to do some things quite a bit different than I used to. Going a bit more "high brow" and all that.:rolleyes:

StaTiK
November 6, 2011, 10:13 PM
Dave,

Does this mean that we can expect a review before the holidays? I'm on the fence between a Pro 2000 and another brand (omitted to prevent an argument), so I'd love to hear another objective review from someone who has actually used multiple brands.

-StaTiK-

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
November 6, 2011, 10:30 PM
StaTik,

I couldn't say, as I also have a boat restoration project going on and I'm trying to finish the trailer before it gets too cold here in Georgia.

Peter M. Eick
November 7, 2011, 08:41 PM
Dave if you are still looking for primer strips in December email me and i will send you a random box full. I have buckets of them! I delay till december due to work commitments in the mean time.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
November 7, 2011, 08:57 PM
Peter,

Thank you for the offer, it will help me greatly. I'll keep you in mind. Based on where I'm at with my boat, it'll be December before I really do anything with the press anyhow.

Best Regards,

Dave

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