Modding RCBS swager for Lee Classic Turret press


December 29, 2011, 12:28 PM

The case stripper doesn't fit. If I take the black plastic auto-index collar off the ram, the case stripper sits too low and doesn't get pushed up far enough to push the shell off the swager head. Left in place, the swager head can't pass through.

Either I need to:

(1) Grind down the bottom of the case stripper so it can sit on top of the black plastic index clamp and let the swager head pass through.

(2) Add a spacer or build up the bottom of the case stripper so it can sit on the press base with the auto index clamp removed.

I don't know which method would be better/easier. I'm thinking making it longer/adding a spacer and removing the auto index clamp would be better. That way it isn't putting force on the black plastic clamp. Although it isn't a ton of pressure to remove the case, that clamp doesn't look like it was made to withstand a lot and I might tear it up that way. It would be a lot quicker/simpler to just grind the case stripper down to fit though.

Should have bought the Dillon Super Swage, but thought I'd save some $. Nothing against this tool - I'm using it on the wrong kind of press so it's not the tool's fault. It does seem to do a good job - I'd just like to adapt it to work for me.

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December 29, 2011, 12:33 PM
I'd opt to remove the plastic index clamp. The shell holder is engineered to take some stress and steel trumps plastic for your application.

Is this what you want to do?

December 29, 2011, 12:37 PM
I suggest you get steel on steel contact, whatever that takes.

And a spritz of case lube in the primer pockets makes both swaging and getting the case back off the punch does wonders.


December 29, 2011, 03:29 PM
Instead of modifying the tool, I suggest you do one of two other, better options:

1. Buy yourself a Lee Classic cast single stage and use the tool with that. A good single stage is always a handy tool and as time passes, you'll find uses for it.

2. Go ahead and get the Dillon Super Swager 600 and use the RCBS tips as a gauge to make sure you've set the Super Swager up correctly. This is what I chose to do.

Thing about modifying a tool is, when you're done with it, you can't sell it. You're stuck with it. Keep it original and take care of it and when you're done with it, you can sell it to another fella who needs one.

Best Regards,


December 29, 2011, 04:33 PM
Won't work with the Classic Cast Single. Ram is too fat. Why not fashion a different stripper from something else that goes over the ram and plastic.

December 30, 2011, 01:19 AM
RandyP - yes that video is what I want to do. That guy is quick!

I'm open to suggestions as to what would work for this application. I really like the idea of just getting a single press to dedicate to that and maybe some other batch operations, but right now I'm kinda limited to what I have on hand.

I spent a lot more than I initially planned to get everything up & running so I'm out of fun money. If the $25 Lee Reloader single stage press would work, that's an option. If I had to spend $60 for the Challenger or even more for something else, then I'd have $80 in it total & may as well return it & wait to buy the Dillon swager.

I just looked at it again to maybe get some inspiration & realized that neither a spacer nor trimming down the stripper would do anything. The step at the top of the ram is going to prevent anything from pushing the case stripper up. Anything I put in there as a spacer would hit the ram since the stripper and the main part of the ram are the same diameter. I'd need the ram to be able to move down about 1/2" below it's bottom. Anything the fat part of the ram could pass through, the stripper would pass through also.

All I can think of after looking at it some more is a washer that the top part of the ram with the smaller diameter would pass through but the fatter part & the stripper could not. Then I'd need to attach "feet" to the bottom of the washer at the edges that would hit the base. But then I'd have that whole contraption riding the ram up & down of every stroke and probably getting hung up often.

I do appreciate the input & ideas!

December 30, 2011, 05:02 AM
I read you don't want to spend any $ but would a shell holder extention make the unit work on your press ?

December 30, 2011, 08:13 AM
Over 40 years ago I bought the RCBS PPS. As soon as I tried it on my C-H CHampion press I saw that it wouldn't work because of the larger ram. (Actually, the larger ram hole.)
My late FIL fixed it for me after I rummaged around the hardware store and found the proper washer. Not too great photos, but maybe you can see.
Still using it.

December 30, 2011, 09:19 AM
Your best solution is to pick up a single stage press with a conventional size ram. You will always find a use for a single stage and have added flexibility on your bench.

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