Setup and die adjustment on the RCBS Pro 2000 question


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DaveInFloweryBranchGA
November 18, 2011, 11:59 PM
I'm in the process of mounting and setting up my RCBS Pro 2000 auto advance for reloading.

The shell plate advance cam adjustment is slightly out (appears to advance the shell plate just a bit too much, leaving the primer seater slightly off center), so I'm waiting for the Gage pin set to come in from RCBS along with the "welcome to RCBS" spares kit the Customer Service guy offered to send me. Can't say enough good things about their warranty service. I've used Dillons recently as well and gotta say, RCBS beats them out.

So while I wait for the gage pin set to come in, I'm setting up my die plates with dies. In the process, I adjusted the tightness of the shell plate retaining nut just tight enough to allow the plate to rotate and to keep from backing out. The first questions is how tight do you folks normally keep the retaining bolt and do you ever shim it or polish it for smoother operation? I'm debating smoothing it up just a bit.

Second question is about the dies. The ball and spring on this progressive pushes the shell plate up fairly high when it "feel" like the shell plate retaining bolt is tight enough. I'm wondering if I should adjust the die to press the shell plate ball spring down or adjust the dies from the highest point the shell plate sits at. I'm suspecting operation would be better for brass forming operations when the shell plate is fully compressed, without over compression.

What do the RCBS 2000 experts say?

Thank you for your help,

Dave

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GW Staar
November 19, 2011, 01:24 AM
I'm in the process of mounting and setting up my RCBS Pro 2000 auto advance for reloading.

The shell plate advance cam adjustment is slightly out (appears to advance the shell plate just a bit too much, leaving the primer seater slightly off center), so I'm waiting for the Gage pin set to come in from RCBS along with the "welcome to RCBS" spares kit the Customer Service guy offered to send me. Can't say enough good things about their warranty service. I've used Dillons recently as well and gotta say, RCBS beats them out.

Maybe Peter Eick will jump in himself, but I don't think there is an mis-adjustment that leaves the primer rod off center. The only other experience I've ever heard of with this situation was Peter's own experience. The fix was that RCBS sent him a new lower assembly.(free of course) In Peter's words,
So I call up my friendly RCBS tech support and ask how to calibrate the primer punch to the baseplate. You can’t. They just send you a new massive plate to replace the whole lower assembly of the press.

So either your tech rep is not understanding you right or you're describing a different problem than Peter had. Hoping the latter.;)

I had the experience myself of using the "Gage Pin Set" only because I originally ordered the Pro 2000 in manual-advance, plus the Auto-index Upgrade Kit. (that was during the post Obama November melt down, and that was the only way I could own an auto-advance during the stampede.) Anyway, the Upgrade kit comes with the Gage Pin Set, and you use it to set up the new Auto-advance lower assembly...hmmm...maybe they are sending you one, like they did Peter.


So while I wait for the gage pin set to come in, I'm setting up my die plates with dies. In the process, I adjusted the tightness of the shell plate retaining nut just tight enough to allow the plate to rotate and to keep from backing out. The first questions is how tight do you folks normally keep the retaining bolt and do you ever shim it or polish it for smoother operation? I'm debating smoothing it up just a bit.

I keep it more than finger tight, but not much more. I tried a shim, and even a roller bearing like some 650 owners do, but it only made things worse. I asked RCBS about the jerk at the end of the rotation, that spills powder is short cases like 9mm and .45acp. They immediately sent me a lighter spring for under the detent ball. That flat out ended the problem....smoothed it out pretty good. While I waited for the new spring I found a lighter spring that worked in my spare springs parts drawer (yup I really have one) and it also worked. Used it successfully until the other came. That's the one plus of a Hornady. It rotates half way on the up and half way on the down stroke...smoother to be sure. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a perfect progressive.:)

Second question is about the dies. The ball and spring on this progressive pushes the shell plate up fairly high when it "feel" like the shell plate retaining bolt is tight enough. I'm wondering if I should adjust the die to press the shell plate ball spring down or adjust the dies from the highest point the shell plate sits at. I'm suspecting operation would be better for brass forming operations when the shell plate is fully compressed, without over compression. I agree. I adjust all dies on the plate to fully compressed.

What do the RCBS 2000 experts say?

Thank you for your help,

Dave

When you have the new toy in your hands it's hard to patiently wait for them to take care of a screw up. No company is 100% in the quality control dept., but RCBS does as well as any, and better than most. Good luck with getting to know your Pro 2000. If you're patient enough to learn the APS primer system, you will love it......you do have to get used to adding a strip every 25 strokes.

I was demonstrating my brand new toy to a Dillon 650-using friend. I was real impressive for the first 25 strokes....less impressive when the next 25 had no primers!!:) It was pay backs. He demonstrated his brand new Dillon a few months earlier, and we were picking up a 100 primers off the cement floor....then a few minutes later we had to take it all apart to clean the spilled powder out of the press. Dumb and Dumber. :D Since I'm Dumber I created the primer counter shown in my AR15.com thread. Until I finished that project, I only dumped 25 bullets in the tray at a time.....no more bullets meant dump another 25, and add a strip....you smarter people shouldn't have to do that.

BTW, do yourself a favor and buy a hex wrench socket that fits the hex head screw that loosens the shell plate. Since that's a most common operation you'll do when you change calibers, having a dedicated socket wrench with the hex head socket always there and handy is so convenient! If the socket wrench has a push button release on back, the you can loosen it with the wrench, release the socket while inserted into the bolt, and twist the bolt out quickly using the socket to spin it faster.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
November 19, 2011, 07:11 AM
GW Staar,

Cut and pasted a couple things. My responses in red below:

"So either your tech rep is not understanding you right or you're describing a different problem than Peter had. Hoping the latter."

I did discuss this with the tech. rep, but he felt the press was too new to have the issue. That said, I pulled the shell plate off and looked down at the primer pin hole from above with a strong light. The primer pin appears to be centered within the hole of the base plate. Unless this hole was machined in the wrong location, the base assembly is okay.

What appears to be happening is when I operate the press, the shell plate timing is off a little bit and the shell plate advances slightly past where it is supposed to, leaving the shell plate off-centered over the primer seater.

"maybe they are sending you one, like they did Peter"

The tech appeared to be reasonably sure the base plate assembly wasn't the problem, but it was on his mind as we got off the phone. If a base plate assembly shows up, I won't be surprised. If it doesn't, I won't be surprised either.

"I keep it more than finger tight, but not much more. I tried a shim, and even a roller bearing like some 650 owners do, but it only made things worse. I asked RCBS about the jerk at the end of the rotation, that spills powder is short cases like 9mm and .45acp. They immediately sent me a lighter spring for under the detente ball. That flat out ended the problem....smoothed it out pretty good."

Just past finger tight is about where I ended up with this one. I wish they would make the "shaft" area of this bolt a bit longer so it could be tightened down without binding the shell plate. Would make adjustment a lot easier.

I suspected the new spring would end more than one problem. I think the excessive strength causes the shell plate to bind slightly when the mechanism attempts to rotate.

I'm guessing this is worse when the shell plates and press are new and the new parts have sharper edges and haven't worn in against each other. It's giving me the urge to polish up all working parts, making them as smooth as possible.

I "fine tuned" a Lee Classic Turret I owned, smoothing out all the rough or sharp edges and meticulously adjusting all mechanical adjustments to improve operation. Tuning really gave the Lee glassy smooth operation, much nicer than straight from the box. I'm beginning to suspect the Pro 2000 can benefit from some fine tuning as well, though it isn't as rough as the Lee was, I do feel some sharp edges around. Cut my finger on the sharp edges inside where the die plates go.

The Hornady half step per up/down stroke is good, but has a bad side too. It can advance when you don't want it to if you forget and move the operating handle. The feed pawls can be confusing to adjust if it's been a while since you've operated the press and they come slightly out of adjustment due to wear or from moving the press.

"I adjust all dies on the plate to fully compressed."

I think what I'm going to do is tighten the shell plate retaining bolt down until the shell plate is compressed, but not overly so, adjust my dies, then loosen the shell plate retaining bolt until the shell plate advances as smoothly as possible without the bolt loosening. This may be the simplest way to set up a die plate with dies.

"When you have the new toy in your hands it's hard to patiently wait for them to take care of a screw up."

Yes, it is. I'm helping that situation by cleaning up my die sets and installing them in die plates.

" No company is 100% in the quality control dept."

No, they're not. I've seen defective parts come out of Dillon, Hornady, RCBS, Lyman, Redding and Lee. If you totally quit using a manufacturer because of a QC issue, you're limiting yourself significantly on the great products that manufacturer offers.

"Good luck with getting to know your Pro 2000. If you're patient enough to learn the APS primer system, you will love it......you do have to get used to adding a strip every 25 strokes."

Thank you. I believe I can be very patient. I'm definitely going to be adding the primer shut off modification and other improvements. Adding a strip every 25 primers is going to be much more fun than pecking up a tube of primers. I had one of the short lived Frankford Arsenal primer loaders I'd tuned up and had working perfectly, but a grand child used it as a hammer on a concrete floor and that was the end of that. I couldn't see buying the Dillon primer loader.

"Until I finished that project, I only dumped 25 bullets in the tray at a time.....no more bullets meant dump another 25, and add a strip....you smarter people shouldn't have to do that."

Hah, you just provided me with the method I'm going to use to prevent my running out of primers.:)

"do yourself a favor and buy a hex wrench socket that fits the hex head screw that loosens the shell plate"

I just went down, bought a brand X set of Bondhus hex wrenches to dedicate to the press and tossed the hex set that came with the press. I'll go out in the garage and get a rebuilt Sears ratchet I seldom use out there, add a hex socket I seldom use as well and dedicate the tool for shell plate changes.

Thank you for your help.

higgite
November 19, 2011, 09:42 AM
I'm a fairly new owner of a Pro 2000, too. If you can line up the shellplate and the primer rod by hand, and they stay in place, it could be that your detent ball isn't doing it's job. Just a possibility. You might also check to be sure that the ejector wire isn't binding the shell plate, not allowing it to have the freedom to center itself.

As for the center bolt shaft length, something doesn't sound right or I'm misunderstanding you. The center bolt on mine is too long to bind the shellplate, and I crank it down pretty hard. It bottoms out, but still leaves the shellplate with room to wiggle against the detent spring. Good luck with it. I'm confident that RCBS will take care of you.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
November 19, 2011, 10:46 AM
higgite,

I cut and pasted your comments and answered in red below:

"If you can line up the shellplate and the primer rod by hand, and they stay in place, it could be that your detent ball isn't doing it's job. Just a possibility."

This could be true, as the tech did feel and is sending me a new spring for the detente ball.

"You might also check to be sure that the ejector wire isn't binding the shell plate, not allowing it to have the freedom to center itself."

The problem was occurring before I set up the ejector wire, so in this case, the ejector wire wasn't in the picture. I'm experienced with both Dillon progressives and the older and newer versions of the Hornady progressives as well, so when approaching a new press, I tend to take very slow steps so I don't miss anything.

"As for the center bolt shaft length, something doesn't sound right or I'm misunderstanding you. The center bolt on mine is too long to bind the shellplate, and I crank it down pretty hard. It bottoms out, but still leaves the shellplate with room to wiggle against the detent spring."

Thank you for this piece of information. I'm going to have to check this out closer and see if mine totally bottoms out or is long enough to let the shell plate wiggle against the detente spring. If it bottoms out, it indicates I may have a short center bolt or an older press with a too small center bolt. Manufacturers tend to fix the small things like this over time and don't tend to mention it in their advertising.

GW Staar
November 19, 2011, 06:47 PM
higgite,

I cut and pasted your comments and answered in red below:

"If you can line up the shellplate and the primer rod by hand, and they stay in place, it could be that your detent ball isn't doing it's job. Just a possibility."

This could be true, as the tech did feel and is sending me a new spring for the detente ball.

"You might also check to be sure that the ejector wire isn't binding the shell plate, not allowing it to have the freedom to center itself."

The problem was occurring before I set up the ejector wire, so in this case, the ejector wire wasn't in the picture. I'm experienced with both Dillon progressives and the older and newer versions of the Hornady progressives as well, so when approaching a new press, I tend to take very slow steps so I don't miss anything.

"As for the center bolt shaft length, something doesn't sound right or I'm misunderstanding you. The center bolt on mine is too long to bind the shellplate, and I crank it down pretty hard. It bottoms out, but still leaves the shellplate with room to wiggle against the detent spring."

Thank you for this piece of information. I'm going to have to check this out closer and see if mine totally bottoms out or is long enough to let the shell plate wiggle against the detente spring. If it bottoms out, it indicates I may have a short center bolt or an older press with a too small center bolt. Manufacturers tend to fix the small things like this over time and don't tend to mention it in their advertising.

Higgite answered your post before I saw it. His observations seem right on to me. The detent ball, "popped" into place at the center of the detents under the shell case (by the spring tension) IS the adjustment between sub plate and shellplate. It's not adjustable at all...the shell plate pops into place based on the ball centering in the detent. The only two ways you could not have alignment is 1. the subplate was not machined to spec (Peter's problem that was replaced) or 2. the spring is not tall enough to push and lock the detent ball into place.

I agree with Higgite....somethings wrong.....and I think I know what it is.;)

Wait....I'm helping a manual advance guy in another forum and I just realized you have the autoadvance.....so all that is mute. Your probem could be that but for you it's most likely the pawl under the shell plate. If the pawl is not in the right place (in one of the recesses) it will make your shell plate tighten down....AND put it out of alignment. Reread the instruction on putting on a shell plate. Let me know it that fixes it.

That's why you can tighten the shell plate bolt too much.:banghead:

GW Staar
November 19, 2011, 07:05 PM
Dave, if you already read my post before I erased the stuff that would apply to a manual advance machine, read it again! Sorry for the mixup.

Tom488
November 19, 2011, 07:16 PM
I'm a bit late to the party here, but...

"As for the center bolt shaft length, something doesn't sound right or I'm misunderstanding you. The center bolt on mine is too long to bind the shellplate, and I crank it down pretty hard. It bottoms out, but still leaves the shellplate with room to wiggle against the detent spring."
That's correct... the center bolt has enough of a shoulder to allow the shellplate to rotate without binding, no matter how tightly (well, within reason) the bolt is tightened down.

On mine, when installing a new shell plate, I angle it in underneath the ejector wire, careful to capture the detent ball underneath it... place it into position, making sure I'm not pinching any of the case retainer springs. Start the bolt, and as you're tightening it, cycle the ram so that the shellplate auto-indexes. It IS possible to get the plate mis-aligned, whereby you can crank down on the bolt and prevent the shellplate from turning. That's why I auto-advance it while tightening - it helps to center it.

Again, when done correctly, you should be able to tighten the center bolt fully (15-20ft.lbs., according to my ANSI-calibrated elbow), and not have any binding on the shellplate itself.

Incidentally, every once in a while I give the shoulder of the center bolt a light coat of white lithium grease.

As for the pawl over-advancing the shellplate, stick a case in the shellplate (the longer the case, the better). Auto-advance the press, then raise it up half-way. Manually reset the auto-advance pawl, then wiggle the case back and forth. If the shellplate then "pops" back in to the detent when you wiggle the case, then yes, your auto-advance is moving the shellplate too far.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
November 19, 2011, 08:59 PM
Tom488,

I think you have the right of it. I cut and pasted your answer and my responses in red below:

"the center bolt has enough of a shoulder to allow the shellplate to rotate without binding, no matter how tightly (well, within reason) the bolt is tightened down.

It IS possible to get the plate mis-aligned, whereby you can crank down on the bolt and prevent the shellplate from turning. That's why I auto-advance it while tightening - it helps to center it."

I think because I'm new and the parts were new with no wearing in, I didn't quite get the shell plate installed correctly. Subsequently, when I tightened the shell plate down the first time, I got slipping and failure to advance. This made me think the retaining bolt had to be slightly loose, the way it is on the Hornady LnL. I stopped working with tightening it at that point, where I should have kept trying.

"On mine, when installing a new shell plate, I angle it in underneath the ejector wire, careful to capture the detent ball underneath it... place it into position, making sure I'm not pinching any of the case retainer springs. Start the bolt, and as you're tightening it, cycle the ram so that the shellplate auto-indexes."

Since my last post, I decided to start installing dies and getting dies/etc. at least close to ready to reload. In the process and after reading Higgite's post, I reset the shell plate a couple times and tightened the retaining bolt firmly down, in about the torque range you mentioned, using my calibrated elbow and fingers for a gut n tacht german torque. This time, the retaining bolt was snug enough not to back out, the shell plate had a little play and the auto index began to be consistent.

"when done correctly, you should be able to tighten the center bolt fully (15-20ft.lbs., according to my ANSI-calibrated elbow), and not have any binding on the shell plate itself."

I think this statement can't be said enough, especially for new Pro 2000 users like myself. Once I got the shell plate installed right and torqued down properly, things started settling in.

"Incidentally, every once in a while I give the shoulder of the center bolt a light coat of white lithium grease."

I think this is a great idea. For setup, I was using some milsurp Break Free with lots of teflon in it to make it slick during break in. I was going to ask what other folks were using for long term use.

"As for the pawl over-advancing the shellplate, stick a case in the shellplate (the longer the case, the better). Auto-advance the press, then raise it up half-way. Manually reset the auto-advance pawl, then wiggle the case back and forth. If the shellplate then "pops" back in to the detent when you wiggle the case, then yes, your auto-advance is moving the shellplate too far. "

While I'm not 100% sure of how to manually reset the auto advance pawl, I tried this. When I wiggle the shell, the shell plate seems to want to slip off the detente and go to the next or previous station, as if the plate weren't centered entirely on and locked up with the detente. It's not consistent in running over or past the detente and appears very close to being in correct alignment. It's like someone adjusted it, got it "close enough for government work," then stopped adjusting it.

Right now, I'm leaning towards having the wrong spring for the detente and needing a better adjustment done with the auto-advance calibration. Getting the adjustment posts next week should resolve the issue between defective base assembly and auto advance calibration.

GW Staar
November 19, 2011, 10:57 PM
It appears you are on the right track now! Good! Your shell plate has 5 detents under it. Remember that both the detent ball and the pawl have to go in one of them. This picture shows the direction I'm looking when I set a shell plate. The pawl is that little nib sticking up left of the detent ball & spring. The pawl is the thing that made your shellplate tighten up when you had it out of the detent (and out of alignment). I start the shellplate setting procedure by pushing the press handle all the way forward (as if I am priming) then just let the handle go. In that position the cam cylinder and pawl is in the right position. Notice that the shell ejection wire is first loosened (hex bolt in the hole below it) and pivoted out of the way when the previous shellholder was removed.
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad195/gstrad/IMG_1051.jpg

First, I just insert the shellholder bolt all the way into the shellholder (I have a hex socket installed in it). Then I lower the shellplate and bolt into the subplate making certain the detent ball is in line with one of the 5 bumps on the shellholder. Of course the bumps are above each detent. Then I just press it down with two fingers until it's tight against the subplate. You can tell by feel as it settles in. Then screw it in finger tight. Simple!

The video below demonstrates the process to that point. Following that you mount the wrench to the socket and tighten it to your liking. Click the picture below, to watch the video.

http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad195/gstrad/th_MVI_1052.jpg (http://s935.photobucket.com/albums/ad195/gstrad/?action=view&current=MVI_1052.mp4)

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
November 20, 2011, 05:55 AM
GW Starr,

I cut and pasted parts of your comments and responded below in red:

"The pawl is that little nib sticking up left of the detent ball & spring. The pawl is the thing that made your shellplate tighten up when you had it out of the detent (and out of alignment)."

This I knew, as it's a similar, but not identical, operation to the Hornady. One thing I'm noticing is in your picture, the tip of your index pawl is not vertical (12 o'clock position). Instead, it's angled at about the 1 or 2 o'clock position, hard to tell for sure from the photo's angle. The index pawl on my press is at the 12 o'clock position. I'm wondering now which is correct. Additionally, the spring on my press appears to be slightly thicker and has more coils sticking out above the sub plate.

"Notice that the shell ejection wire is first loosened (hex bolt in the hole below it) and pivoted out of the way when the previous shellholder was removed."

Yes, I suspect if one neglected to remove it, one could get it mangled quite easily. I do like the design much better than either of Hornady's two designs - the wire or the "EzJect." It's simple to adjust (just loosen the set screw and turn it where you want), easy to replace and in an emergency, you could probably use a paper clip as an substitute until you could get another eject wire.

higgite
November 20, 2011, 10:23 AM
FWIW, the indexing pawl on my press is also at the 12 o'clock position and it works fine.

Re the detent spring, I got a softer one from RCBS and changed out the original. It made absolutely no change in the indexing alignment but it did "soften" the shock of the shellplate's last little jump into detent position, so as to not spill powder out of a 9mm case like it did originally.

GW Staar
November 20, 2011, 11:44 AM
Angle of the Pawl is not that critical as long as is goes in the hole and does not slip out.....it's the ball centered in a hole that aligns the shellplate. I will check the angle to see if it slipped or is slightly loose....it would certainly become critical if it falls over at an angle that no longer catches the edge of the hole, or stops the detent short of detent ball center. The only function of the pawl is to grab the shellplate and rotate the next detent toward the detent ball until the ball and spring grabs it and snaps it in place.

When I first got my press, I too tried to tighten the shellplate down in the wrong place. Maybe the pawl was just loose enough to change the angle slightly and did.....or maybe the picture is an optical illusion. I'll be checking on that.:)

As for the spring, Higgite did what I did, and asked for the lighter spring. Yes it does have lighter gauge coils....and maybe a tad shorter. As I mentioned before I had used a lighter spring I had on hand, and was using that when RCBS's light spring was ordered. I played with the length too. A lot of Dillon 650 owners cut their springs down to smooth it out. But you've got to be careful, cut too much and it wont pop to center and stay in the center too well. There has to be a definite catch.

The beauty of this design is its simplicity. Once set it won't go out of alignment ever. You don't have to keep fiddling with alignment.

GW Staar
November 20, 2011, 11:51 AM
Looking at the picture again, I notice that the design has the pawl up against the wall offset of the pivot. It can't rotate further than that. I think it's an optical illusion.

I will say that if a person tightens the shellplate down too many times with the pawl not in the detent, and forces it to rotate anyway, scraping and scraping the pawl, the pawl will wear down. On another forum a gentleman did just that and the press quite indexing. The fix was terrible. The pawl had to be unscrewed and replaced.....but RCBS came through and sent the 25 cent part free. (and 3 more spares) (where's the tongue-in-cheek Icon)

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
November 20, 2011, 01:20 PM
Good to know the pawl is in the right place. I like simplicity of this design. Having a press you set and forget is a good thing.

I'm pretty far along having the press setup for .45ACP. I am cleaning/polishing the interior of my Lee pistol dies, removing them from LnL bushings they were in and installing them in die plates along with adding a powder measure (No, not because I need to, but because I want to.) as part of each pistol die plate setup. Will likely do the same with rifle. One Uniflow for each major rifle caliber - .308, 30-06 and .223/5.56. The rest of the rifle cartridges will be loaded single stage on a Lee Classic Cast press fitted with LnL bushing adapter.

I'm adding a powder measure per die plate and I'm doing this because I can and want to, not because I have to. I know the Uniflow measure will do anything I want, but I want the lazy convenience of a powder measure pre-set for each die plate setup. I owned a Uniflow and 4 Lee Pro Auto Disks (got these while trying out a Lee Classic Turret before a buddy talked me into selling it) before I bought the Pro 2000. Just before I bought the Pro 2000, I picked up two brand new, but 10 year old Dillon powder measures when I bought a buddy's never used Dillon 550 setup he was liquidating for cash. Sold off the 550, conversion kits and anything I didn't want. Kept the .223 carbide die set, two powder measures, powder dies and picked up powder funnels for the higher volume pistol rounds I shoot.

The plan is to tune all the powder measures for peak performance, use the Dillons for my high volume pistol cartridges (.45ACP, .38sp/.357) use the Lees for low my low volume pistol cartridges (.380ACP, 9MM and 9X18MAK) and use the Uniflows for rifle cartridges. I've ordered high capacity powder reservoirs for the Uniflows and will see how that works. Am also installing powder baffles in the Uniflows.

I am also considering tuning up the die plates and adding that die plate enhancement that allows locking down the die plates to minimize run out in the rifle cartridge die plates. I like bulk ammo, but the more accurate, the better.

GW Staar
November 20, 2011, 08:06 PM
Good to know the pawl is in the right place. I like simplicity of this design. Having a press you set and forget is a good thing.

I'm pretty far along having the press setup for .45ACP. I am cleaning/polishing the interior of my Lee pistol dies, removing them from LnL bushings they were in and installing them in die plates along with adding a powder measure (No, not because I need to, but because I want to.) as part of each pistol die plate setup. Will likely do the same with rifle. One Uniflow for each major rifle caliber - .308, 30-06 and .223/5.56. The rest of the rifle cartridges will be loaded single stage on a Lee Classic Cast press fitted with LnL bushing adapter.

I'm adding a powder measure per die plate and I'm doing this because I can and want to, not because I have to. I know the Uniflow measure will do anything I want, but I want the lazy convenience of a powder measure pre-set for each die plate setup. I owned a Uniflow and 4 Lee Pro Auto Disks (got these while trying out a Lee Classic Turret before a buddy talked me into selling it) before I bought the Pro 2000. Just before I bought the Pro 2000, I picked up two brand new, but 10 year old Dillon powder measures when I bought a buddy's never used Dillon 550 setup he was liquidating for cash. Sold off the 550, conversion kits and anything I didn't want. Kept the .223 carbide die set, two powder measures, powder dies and picked up powder funnels for the higher volume pistol rounds I shoot.

The plan is to tune all the powder measures for peak performance, use the Dillons for my high volume pistol cartridges (.45ACP, .38sp/.357) use the Lees for low my low volume pistol cartridges (.380ACP, 9MM and 9X18MAK) and use the Uniflows for rifle cartridges. I've ordered high capacity powder reservoirs for the Uniflows and will see how that works. Am also installing powder baffles in the Uniflows.

I am also considering tuning up the die plates and adding that die plate enhancement that allows locking down the die plates to minimize run out in the rifle cartridge die plates. I like bulk ammo, but the more accurate, the better.

The press's simplicity makes it versatile. Works with anything you got. All power to you on your plans. Let me know down the road how you like the lee measures working that way. They are certainly inexpensive and capable.

Not absolutely sure what enhancement you are using to lock down the die plates?? I'm aware of a company that makes replacement die plates for RCBS and Dillon presses....is that what you're doing? Send us a link.:)

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
November 20, 2011, 09:13 PM
I started using the Lee Pro Auto Disk measures on my Lee Classic turret and found them to be ideal for reloading pistol cartridges, as they give powder through expansion that works well with cast bullets. Their only limitation being total volume the powder reservoir would hold. They tended to leak a tiny bit with some powders, but I've read of some modifications/tuning to address the leaking problem. If anyone has a link, please post. I kept the data from loading with the Lee Classic Turret, so I have the powder measure settings. I think they would be ideal from a storage and "keep their setting" standpoint for a permanent die plate setup.

I will take advantage of the Dillon measures higher volume for bigger (and higher volume) cartridges, but the Lees are ideal for runs of .380 and such where I don't use much powder per cartridge and the total run is smaller. Perhaps even M1 Carbine as well. Have to think on which cartridges each measure has the best application from a volume standpoint.

Here's the company and the modification for the die plates. They list some information on their website with some data. Doubt if it's worth it for pistol, but for long range rifle, it's certainly something to think about.....especially if you're using it in concert with high end seating dies.

http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1230

If anyone has a good snap on lid plastic storage box that will hold a die plate and a powder measure, please let me know where they bought it.

GW Staar
November 21, 2011, 01:36 AM
I started using the Lee Pro Auto Disk measures on my Lee Classic turret and found them to be ideal for reloading pistol cartridges, as they give powder through expansion that works well with cast bullets. Their only limitation being total volume the powder reservoir would hold. They tended to leak a tiny bit with some powders, but I've read of some modifications/tuning to address the leaking problem. If anyone has a link, please post. I kept the data from loading with the Lee Classic Turret, so I have the powder measure settings. I think they would be ideal from a storage and "keep their setting" standpoint for a permanent die plate setup.

I will take advantage of the Dillon measures higher volume for bigger (and higher volume) cartridges, but the Lees are ideal for runs of .380 and such where I don't use much powder per cartridge and the total run is smaller. Perhaps even M1 Carbine as well. Have to think on which cartridges each measure has the best application from a volume standpoint.

Here's the company and the modification for the die plates. They list some information on their website with some data. Doubt if it's worth it for pistol, but for long range rifle, it's certainly something to think about.....especially if you're using it in concert with high end seating dies.

http://www.uniquetek.com/site/696296/product/T1230

If anyone has a good snap on lid plastic storage box that will hold a die plate and a powder measure, please let me know where they bought it.

I understand your reasoning and desire for settings on the permanent side. I have found than even with the Uniflow Mic, settings still change a little. The following things seem to make the "permanent setting" a mythical dream: Air humidity, temperature and barometric pressure; density (helped a little by a baffle); powder batch, powder type. That's why I love a measure with a mic. So simple to change the setting a little....just twist and you can measure and record exactly how much you changed it.

As for storage, my die plates are populated by dies only....including a powder-thru expander die (lower end of a case activated Uniflow or Hornady) and a Hornady Bullet feeder die. I could add a lockout die and still fit in the large clear index card boxes I bought at Walmart. I don't know where to buy clear boxes for that plus a whole powder measure....even a small Lee one....but I'll keep my eyes open.

The powder dies (base) I populate the die heads with, allow a permanent, locked height for the powder measure. You only have to undo the thumb screw, pop the spring off and lift the powder measure off the base....you don't change any settings. Then you can dump the powder, add new powder and change the repeatable mic setting for the next caliber die plate. Then drop the PTX into the powder die on the new plate, drop the powder measure on, slide on the spring, and screw the thumb screw down....Done for the next caliber.

Your way certainly will work fine, but with one powder measure (with small cylinder) and three bases I can reload .45 .40 .357, and 9mm with little caliber change effort...and that includes the super simple quick change Hornady bullet feeder. I use another uniflow with the big cylinder for rifle. Separate bases is the key to speed with that method....Hornady's linkage on the RCBS Uniflow makes it easy, because separate bases are available directly from Midway....unfortunately, RCBS hasn't seen the light yet, and bases from them are begged parts, or $70 linkage kits for each. Ugh. I have a Hornady linkage kit and two RCBS linkage kits, and 2 extra Hornady bases (powder dies)...so far.

Let us know how the die plate anchor kits work.....just a tad skeptical. On a single stage press, runout can be improved by making the shellholders fit loose in the ram (by stretching the keeper spring a little) for the express purpose of allowing the case base to slide enough to align (find center) into the dies and not be forced into the dies less than perfectly aligned.

One of the reasons I like the RCBS and Dillon presses a little better than Hornady's offering was the looseness that allows the same centering action to take place. Seems to me anchoring the head defeats that feature. Will be every interested to see if their product really helps or makes it worse. Staying tuned!:)

codefour
November 21, 2011, 04:37 AM
OK, I am real late on my posting here... I just went out and took my Pro 2000 apart to see what it looked like...

DaveinGA, I think you are having the same problems I had when I got my press.

When I install a new shell plate, I loosen the ejecter wire and slide it away to the nine to six o'clock position. This makes installing the shell plate easier.

When the shell plate is removed, I place the new plate over the lower assembly centering it over the shell-plate retaining bolt-hole (say that fast four times).

Next, I wiggle the shell plate until I feel the ball slide into the indent of the shell plate. I then push the shell plate down compressing the spring and ball into the detent on the bottom of the shell plate. I again slightly wiggle it to make sure the ball is in the detent (you will feel it pop out if it does).

I place the retainer bolt into the center of the shell plate and start it by hand. Next, use ur allen wrench to run the ball down untill U feel the slightest bit of resistance turning the allen bolt. I then run the ram up and down a few times to let the timing settle in. The index ball, shell plate and indexing pawl have to syncronize.

Next, I screw in the retainer bolt further and give it a slight cinch to secure it in place. I again cycle the handle to make sure it is indexing correctly.

The indexing pawl can be problematic but rarely. The index pawl is spring loaded. the spring should press the index pawl to the right in a clock-wise direction. Run your finger over the index pawl and make sure it moves in the counter-clockwise direction but the spring should move it back to the right/clockwise resting position. The pawl should be in teh one o'clock position when it is resting like in GW Staar's photo.

Swapping the shell plates will become like second nature after a few tries.

Another note, did you try and use a different shell plate.? You may have one that was machined slightly off..?

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
November 21, 2011, 09:41 AM
GW,

Same ole drill, answers in red below:

"I understand your reasoning and desire for settings on the permanent side. I have found than even with the Uniflow Mic, settings still change a little. The following things seem to make the "permanent setting" a mythical dream: Air humidity, temperature and barometric pressure; density (helped a little by a baffle); powder batch, powder type. That's why I love a measure with a mic. So simple to change the setting a little....just twist and you can measure and record exactly how much you changed it."

I've been reloading a good number of years, both progressive or single stage, so like most reloaders I've had the pleasure and joy once upon a time of figuring out why my powder measure settings "magically changed over night?":cool:. That's why I wrote pre-set, not permanently setup. Kinda like this press out of the box. Almost ready to go and with a few checks and adjustments, ready to go. I'm lucky this time to simply have the measures on hand to have one for each die plate setup, so I can minimize changeover time.

Anyone who's new to reloading and reading this should be very aware of how much climate related changes affect gunpowder weight to volume. One should always check one's powder measure with a scale and adjust as needed before continuing to reload after changing setups or even stopping overnight.

"As for storage, my die plates are populated by dies only....including a powder-thru expander die (lower end of a case activated Uniflow or Hornady) and a Hornady Bullet feeder die. I could add a lockout die and still fit in the large clear index card boxes I bought at Walmart. I don't know where to buy clear boxes for that plus a whole powder measure....even a small Lee one....but I'll keep my eyes open."

I'm thinking the plastic shoe boxes carried by Big Lots might fill the bill for the Lees. Perhaps they carry a slightly bigger box that'll fit the larger powder measures. I could build a wooden rack, but would prefer something that could be stored easily in a roll away cabinet if I need my reloading room for a guest bedroom.

"The powder dies (base) I populate the die heads with, allow a permanent, locked height for the powder measure. You only have to undo the thumb screw, pop the spring off and lift the powder measure off the base....you don't change any settings. Then you can dump the powder, add new powder and change the repeatable mic setting for the next caliber die plate. Then drop the PTX into the powder die on the new plate, drop the powder measure on, slide on the spring, and screw the thumb screw down....Done for the next caliber."

I owned a Hornady LnL for over a decade before I purchased the Pro 2000. I ran both a Hornady and a Uniflow on top of the Hornady CAPD, a virtually identical setup to the RCBS CAPM, but you know that, you have both.

First about 7 years, I never even added a powder die/base to the measure. After that, I broke down and bought 3 of the bases, but also tried a couple Lee Pro Auto Disks because I had them from owning a Lee Classic Turret and was used to using them with Lee die sets. Before long, I found myself using the Lees for pistol powders and my older Hornady LnL powder measure setup for rifle. I could have upgraded/added the latest version of the CAPD, but the Lee's were inexpensive, worked well and allowed me to minimize adjustment in a caliber change.

I picked up these Dillon powder measures helping out a friend and a nice side benefit will be their larger volume over the Lees for large quantities of say, .45ACP. I'm not saying what you're doing (which is what I used to do) isn't reasonably quick, it is, but having a measure with each die plate is the ultimate convenience and ultimately, speed. If you don't have much time for reloading, this can be important and since different companies measures offer certain benefits over another's for specific applications and I have three brands on hand, I feel optimization of application is in order. Never mind the fact I'm totally spoiling myself.:evil:

"Your way certainly will work fine, but with one powder measure (with small cylinder) and three bases I can reload .45 .40 .357, and 9mm with little caliber change effort...and that includes the super simple quick change Hornady bullet feeder. I use another uniflow with the big cylinder for rifle. Separate bases is the key to speed with that method....Hornady's linkage on the RCBS Uniflow makes it easy, because separate bases are available directly from Midway....unfortunately, RCBS hasn't seen the light yet, and bases from them are begged parts, or $70 linkage kits for each. Ugh. I have a Hornady linkage kit and two RCBS linkage kits, and 2 extra Hornady bases (powder dies)...so far."

Yes, I've already experienced my method working very well on my LnL applications. Because I've traded/purchased used for most of it, I have very little cash invested in my extra measures. The two Dillon measures were basically free, except for the powder funnels, which I picked up used for a lot less cash.:)

If my guess is correct, I'll be using one of my Uniflows with the big cylinder and will be adding a large capacity reservoir to it as well. I'm debating if I want to try and pick up an older Hornady CAPD (pre-ptx) and powder measure to round out my big three (30-06, .308 and .223). I'm using surplus ball powder for the .223 right now, so I could use a Dillon measure as well. Yes, I am totally spoiling myself this time around.

"Let us know how the die plate anchor kits work.....just a tad skeptical. On a single stage press, runout can be improved by making the shellholders fit loose in the ram (by stretching the keeper spring a little) for the express purpose of allowing the case base to slide enough to align (find center) into the dies and not be forced into the dies less than perfectly aligned."

They may very well be an solution looking for a problem. The data they post on the write ups indicates other wise, but I don't know. I may try one or I may not. Before I do, I'll be checking run-out using standard die plates and doing some shooting. Lots of other things to spend one's money on in reloading, like powder, primers and bullets.

"One of the reasons I like the RCBS and Dillon presses a little better than Hornady's offering was the looseness that allows the same centering action to take place. Seems to me anchoring the head defeats that feature. Will be every interested to see if their product really helps or makes it worse. Staying tuned!"

Actually, the LnL bushings O-ring allows each individual bushing to have "give" to it and allows it to adjust to the brass and helps alignment. Separating the dies allows each one to act totally independent of the others vs. their being tied together on a die plate. To date, most tests run on run-out comparisons between the presses indicate the LnL bushings to be superior to the die plate/tool head in the run out department. If I didn't have a single stage press (with LnL bushings conversion installed) and I wasn't tired of my Hornady LnL, another one would have been preferable from an absolute convenience, cost and run out standpoint. My preference was for a new toy. This may cost me in die plates and assorted extra stuff as time goes on.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
November 21, 2011, 10:08 AM
code four,

"Another note, did you try and use a different shell plate.? You may have one that was machined slightly off..?"

Tried all of them, all had the same issue over slight over advancement. I did find one that the bolt hole in the center was machined too small. sigh. Gonna have to call RCBS again today about the shell plate. Seems like they'd do a little better on these things as much as this press costs.

Peter M. Eick
December 2, 2011, 12:14 PM
Sorry for being late to the punch but I had to take a few weeks and help the folks get setup for winter.

You have gotten to where I would have suggested. Call RCBS and talk it through with them. Please let us know how it works out so we all can learn.

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