RCBS Pro 2000 guys, need some help, round 2 - long


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DaveInFloweryBranchGA
February 8, 2012, 02:42 PM
Note: This thread is about an RCBS Pro 2000 with Auto Advance that never had manual advance. I'm looking for help from anyone who's had the auto advance and has had a problem with the primer punch rod being bent and has resolved it. I have seen mention of the occasional primer feed problems from other owners, but can't find a resolution thread. I like several things about this press and would prefer to resolve it myself rather than ship it back to RCBS.

Warning: This is a long post.

Before I start, let me say to anyone reading this thread I feel my press is not the norm, it is the "2% manufacturing defects" exception. My press was an older press from a batch that had the hole for the primer punch drilled in an incorrect location on the "subplate" (my name for the Auto Index Shell Plate Holder), just slightly off, causing timing issues.

I ordered my press through a buddy's gun shop and he ordered it from Jerry's Sports Center, a large whole sale dealer in PA and evidently they still had a least one of the old, defective batch and I got "lucky."

That said, here's what's been going on since:

I worked with RCBS, who was and has been willing to send me lots of parts via USPS. It was frustrating because of how slow it was being mailed out of California, but they did finally send a replacement subplate assembly and this appeared to resolve the problem. In addition, they sent additional spare primer punches and a replacement detent ball spring to slow the rotation of the shell plate to the proper rate.

This newer spring is a slightly weaker spring with less coils. I currently have this weaker spring installed on the press. The subplate assembly they sent was complete with everything installed (see the diagram on page 15 of the manual for reference), including the small primer punch. I installed this new subplate assembly complete on the press.

They also sent the steel gauges to check the adjustment of the index and return cams. I checked the cam adjustment using the gauges. The cams appear to be adjusted properly to work with the new subplate.

I had planned on running .45 ACP, but realized I had a couple thousand and my .223 plinker supply was about dried up. So I setup to process .223 rifle brass. RCBS lube/depriming die in station 1, Dillon 1200 trimmer in station 3 and Dillon .223 carbide sizing die in station 5. Processed four of those plastic shoe boxes from Big Lots full of Lake City surplus brass (about 4000 cases) off and on when I had time from work (winter is my busy season at the hospital). All went well without incident. Swaged the brass on a Dillon 600 swager and cleaned it using citric acid (Lemi Shine crystals mixed with water), then tumbled it in 50/50 ground corn cob/walnut shell and a cup of Nu Finish car polish for 45 minutes. Brass came out looking like new. I was now ready to reload it.

Here's the plinker load: 25 grains WC 846 surplus powder, 55 grain surplus pulled FMJ's from Jeff Bartlett (The ones with collet marks.), LC brass and Wolf magnum small rifle primers (The ones with the tougher ignition for free floating firing pins, not the competition ones.)

Here's the setup: Dillon powder measure in station 2, Redding competition seating die in station 4 and Lee Factory Crimp die in station 5.

I used the small primer strips out of the bag of colored strips that came with the press to load the primers. Took me a bit to get the hang of it, but I soon was quickly and easily able to load the primer strips. Pre-packaged would be more convenient, but I have about 50K of primers to get rid of before I can do so.

I initially had problems with the strips, but did some googling and found postings by GWStarr and others who used a baker's rolling pin to level out the primers, this helped a great deal. I was able to load some strips without incident, but most seemed okay.

Here's the problem I'm having: Way too often, I'm getting primers flipped upside down or sideways during the reloading process. I know about the importance of rhythm and consistency in the progressive reloading process and I'm being very careful to do the same thing every time. I know I'm consistent, because I can run off maybe 50 or so cartridges before I get a flipped or sideways primer. But when I do, the press seems to hang up and usually causes me to have to break it down and reassemble to get things back to normal.

I called RCBS, who blamed the situation on a bent primer seater assembly and mailed me a replacement. I got off the phone, went through my spares and found I had a spare small primer punch assembly, so I replaced the one I had, which was bent. (The rod of the primer seater was bent.)

Before replacing the primer punch assembly, I took the shell plate off, removed the primer assembly cover and cleaned the subplate and primer assembly areas thoroughly. I then installed the primer seater assembly and began making cartridges again.

This time, I was extra careful during the seating process to make sure I didn't "force" any primers, thereby bending the rod again. In spite of this, the press hung up somehow and the rod bent. As near as I can tell, the rod may have been bent when the shell plate over rotated again slightly (again) while the primer punch was in the "up" position and caught the side of the primer punch, thereby bending it. At least that's my current theory.

So right now, I'm looking for someone who's had a similar problem with their primer punch assembly on their auto advance Pro 2000 and has resolved it for suggestions on what it might be.

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DaveInFloweryBranchGA
February 8, 2012, 04:55 PM
As a side note, I called RCBS again today. The gal I got on the line's recommendation was to repeat the Auto Index Adjustment check with the gauge pins.

I had originally checked these when I got the gauge pins (RCBS had sent me some new cams as well.) and the cams gauged correctly, but showed some peening over on the edge of the index cam, but gauged "ok," so I made a decision not to replace the cams.

Today, the cams again gauged "ok," but I noticed the peening was a bit worse and made a decision to replace the cams. When I did that, I worked to adjust them very carefully.

I made sure the adjustment on the index cam caused the shell plate to rotate around regardless of speed to a point it was setting directly over the detent ball. Before doing this, I had noticed every fifth or so indexing, the shell plate would "go by" the desired locking point just slightly, then fell back into locking position. I'm not positive, but I'm guessing this intermittent overshoot may have caused the bent primer seater pin. Not sure yet.

Once I got the shell plate indexing/rotation to lock consistently (every single time, regardless of the speed the press was operated at), I rotated the shell plate slowly and fast, stopping to raise the primer seater (by pressing the operating arm forward as if I were seating a primer) up so I could see how the primer seater was centered in the shell plate hole.

Since my small primer seater was bent, I used the large primer seater with my .223 shell plate for this. The larger primer seater with the smaller shell plate hole allowed me to see any minor difference from side to side, of the primer seating punch tip with the shell plate hole.

Once I got the detent ball locking consistently and where I felt it should be, the primer seater punch rose up pretty close to center position. But, it was slightly off, less than a millimeter to one side, but enough I could see it.

At this point, to fix that, I would have to have another subplate assembly that was drilled better than this one. I'm not sure it's off enough to be worth it.

I'm going to wait till I get the new small primer punch assembly and try it, see how things go. If I get another bent primer punch shaft, I'm sending the press to RCBS.

Note: While I was on the phone with RCBS, I asked the lady technician about the index pawl and what it's correctly installed position was. Her response was, after going back and checking to make sure, was the long end of the index pawl went to the spring and the short end towards the shell plate with the short end at a 12 o'clock position.

According to her response, the index pawl on my press is correct.

If anyone can think of anything else, please let me know. I'm all ears at this point.

higgite
February 8, 2012, 11:53 PM
I haven't had your problem with my Pro 2000, but I'm going to throw out a couple of SWAGs. You mentioned a problem with every 5th case. There are 5 indexing holes on the under side of the shellplate, as I'm sure you know by now. Do all of the holes look to be identical? None wallowed out, chipped, etc, that might let the shellplate over rotate? Have you checked the hole in the subplate that the indexing spring sits in for burrs or dirt that the spring might be catching on?

Hope you find the culprit.

GW Staar
February 9, 2012, 01:09 AM
Dave,

Peter Eick is the only one I know of who had the problem you speak of. RCBS replaced the shell plate base and he never looked back. His story was published on Handloader.com (including his experience with the primer glitch.) RCBS Pro 2000 @ 150,000 Rounds (http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=26)

He has a new thread going here on THR called "Filled another bucket of APS strips (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=641585)", where he's about to appoach 300,000 rounds reloaded on this same Pro 2000. Suggest you could email or im him. Don't know anybody with more experience on this press.

Sideways and upsidedown primers???? That blows me away, Dave. I've never had a primer go in wrong.....even once. I've experienced some crappy pockets where the swager didn't reliably swage the pocket crimp enough, and made for hard or impossible to seat primer ops, but I fixed that with a reamer. It was my fault not the press's.

IMO, you really ought send them back the press and get a real one. You'd save yourself a lot of headache.

BTW, mine was originally a manual, so I got to "calibrate" using the gauge pins. I found that pretty straight forward and simple, and a 5 minute process that only had to be done once.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
February 9, 2012, 02:16 AM
GWStarr,

"RCBS replaced the shell plate base and he never looked back."

I've already had to do this on mine. Unfortunately, I find myself stuck on the same section of run, unable to move forward and again waiting on parts to be mailed from the West to the East coast.
"Sideways and upsidedown primers????"

Yep, ruined about 25 primers or better messing around with it. I'm pretty sure it's the press and I hope I've gotten it corrected. If not, back to RCBS it goes.


"IMO, you really ought send them back the press and get a real one. You'd save yourself a lot of headache."

I've about reached that point. I've adjusted this one about as perfect as I can get it and it's still not where I think it ought to be. I'm going to give it a chance and wait for a new primer punch. If that doesn't fix it, back to RCBS it goes, with a letter stating I want a new one that works, that I'm tired of dealing with this one. When you say "real," do you mean a replacement press or another brand? My general thought is to stay with the RCBS until they beat it in my head they can't fix the problem.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
February 9, 2012, 07:37 AM
Higgite,

Thanks for the suggestions, they are some I didn't think to check. Unfortunately, the problem wasn't found in those areas:

"Do all of the holes look to be identical? None wallowed out, chipped, etc, that might let the shellplate over rotate?"

One hole has a minor chip on it's edge. It isn't big enough to cause the problem and it's on an edge of the hole towards the outer circumference of the shell plate and not in the line of rotation. I placed the ball into the hole, pinned it down with a finger and wiggled it, then did the same in the other four holes. All four shell plate holes had the same small amount of wiggle. I don't think the shell plate is the cause.

The number five is a "relative estimation" of mine based on perceived frequency, not a set in stone number, I wish it was set in stone, then there's a good possibility it was the shell plate and not the press. Just to be sure, I'm going to put another shell plate on the press and check it's rotation to eliminate the shell plate entirely.

"Have you checked the hole in the subplate that the indexing spring sits in for burrs or dirt that the spring might be catching on?"

I did, it looks correctly made, no burrs and not dirty.

GW Staar
February 9, 2012, 10:24 AM
GWStarr,

"IMO, you really ought send them back the press and get a real one. You'd save yourself a lot of headache."

When you say "real," do you mean a replacement press or another brand? My general thought is to stay with the RCBS until they beat it in my head they can't fix the problem.[/COLOR]

I mean nobody else has this recurring problem....so you must not have a real Pro 2000.:D Sorry I sounded like a blue koolaid groupie...I like Dillons just fine, but there's more moving parts to go wrong on one of those than the Pro 2000. Simplicity is its forte. Lightning is more likely to strike in the 650 camp...that just goes with the moving parts count.

Both companies stand behind them 100% and a problem shouldn't last this long. I would've replaced the press with a new Pro 2000 after replacing the sub plate didn't help. You're more patient than I am.

Also I never heard of a bent primer rod either. Look at the picture in Eick's 150,000 story....you can see his primer rod doesn't center in the hole. That was the defective subplate. Once that was fixed....well....300,000 rounds says something.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
February 9, 2012, 01:23 PM
GW Starr,

"I would've replaced the press with a new Pro 2000 after replacing the sub plate didn't help. You're more patient than I am."

Part of my patience is the cost of shipping this heavy cast iron beast from the East coast to the West Coast. It's big, it's box is bulky and it's going to cost a bunch to ship it.

"Also I never heard of a bent primer rod either. Look at the picture in Eick's 150,000 story....you can see his primer rod doesn't center in the hole. That was the defective subplate."

Near as I can tell, the bent primer rod was either caused the first time by me thinking it was a tough to seat swaged brass or mistiming causing misalignment causing the tip of the primer rod to hit the side of the shell plate enough to bend it.

The second time, since I was being extremely careful not to do any forcing whatsoever, the only possible cause was mistiming/misalignment. Even after adjustment, I'm not satisfied this subplate I've gotten as a replacement is "right" either, but I'm holding out on judgement until I can get another primer seater. I'm debating switching over to .45ACP, but I don't think I have any cast boolits lubed and ready to load.

Peter M. Eick
February 10, 2012, 09:12 PM
Sorry to be late to the party.

I had a problem with bent primer punches that was fixed when RCBS sent me the complete upper assembly that fit on top of the center ram.

Lets address your problem more practically.

Take your bent primer punch out and just straighten it. A few taps of a hammer will get it straight and then reinstall it. Now, sitting on the side of the press, run some ammo through it really slowly and watch the priming action. If your press was like mine, the primer punch would hit bottom at the bottom the stroke and then the whole base plate assembly would start to rotate counter clockwise as the primer was seated. This will bend the primer seater. Mine rotates about 3 degrees during seating and it really irritates me but does not seem to matter.

We need to sort out why exactly the prmier punch is bending. The only way is if the whole plate is twisting.

Regarding the flipped primers, that is cause by bounce. You are bouncing the baseplate down while you are turning the plate. This will flip the primers up out of the aps strip and then as you rotate the die plate it flips them. The solution is to take the right hand off the lever and use it to turn the die plate while the left hand puts the brass into the die and seats the bullet. The key is to get your hand off the lever at the point you load the brass in unless you hold the press at lock point where you seat the primer. This is what I do, I put the brass in at the bottom of the stroke while I am seating a primer so I can just seat the bullet on the upstroke.

Remember be smooth and just watch things. Haveing now loaded nearly 300,000 rounds in mine, it is pretty simple system and if they have sent you a replacement die head, I don't see how it could be very much out of alignment.

Can you send pictures of video of you running the press?

I will check back in the morning.

codefour
February 11, 2012, 11:11 AM
I am not an expert like GW Staar or Peter M Eick, but I thought I would chime in.

On the opposite side of the shell plate, there is a bolt that screws into the bottom of the shell plate assembly. It has a lock nut on it as well. This bolt head rests against the bottom frame plate when puo press the handle forward to prime. The bolt adjusts how far down your ram and primer seating rod goes into the shell plate and case. It is the stop for the priming stroke. If the adjustable bolt is screwed too far into the lower shell plate assembly, you will be forcing the primers in too deep and causing the primers to seat too deeply. I believe this can also bend the primer seating punch. If it is not adjusted properly, the primers will bounce as they are pushed through the APS strip up into the case.

You may want to check to see if the bolt is out of adjustment?

altitude_19
February 11, 2012, 04:26 PM
Another possibility. I noticed the bearing on the auto-indexing arm was still turning even after the plate had indexed on the downstroke. It was still "pushing" the shell plate a little past it's indexed position. I adjusted the angle iron a little to the left so the bearing wasn't turning and noticed my punch lined up better through the shell plate. Let me know if this doesn't make sense.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
February 13, 2012, 01:57 PM
Hi Peter,

I've taken your post and given answers in red. I've been working the night shift at the hospital this weekend, so haven't been around to respond.

"I had a problem with bent primer punches that was fixed when RCBS sent me the complete upper assembly that fit on top of the center ram."

Peter, this comment makes me feel you did not read my original post or you skimmed over it. Please go back and re-read. I've already received and installed a new upper assembly.

"Take your bent primer punch out and just straighten it. A few taps of a hammer will get it straight and then reinstall it."

Did this too. Twice. The second time, the punch rod/shaft broke in half. The broken area looked grainy, so I took a closer look. Turns out it was a MIM part and hence why it couldn't stand being bent and straightened twice. I've gotten a new punch from RCBS and I won't be using it until I get the alignment issues resolved.

"Now, sitting on the side of the press, run some ammo through it really slowly and watch the priming action. If your press was like mine, the primer punch would hit bottom at the bottom the stroke and then the whole base plate assembly would start to rotate counter clockwise as the primer was seated. This will bend the primer seater. Mine rotates about 3 degrees during seating and it really irritates me but does not seem to matter."

Already done this during experimentation. My sub plate assembly isn't doing this.

"We need to sort out why exactly the prmier punch is bending. The only way is if the whole plate is twisting."

No, there can be other ways. If the shell plate is not positioned correctly after rotation so the shell case hole is located and centered around the primer punch, the punch can strike the shell plate coming up on one side of the other and this will result in a bent primer punch. A mis-drilled primer punch hole could cause this or a shell plate indexing cam out of adjustment could cause this as well.

"Regarding the flipped primers, that is cause by bounce. You are bouncing the baseplate down while you are turning the plate. This will flip the primers up out of the aps strip and then as you rotate the die plate it flips them. The solution is to take the right hand off the lever and use it to turn the die plate while the left hand puts the brass into the die and seats the bullet. The key is to get your hand off the lever at the point you load the brass in unless you hold the press at lock point where you seat the primer. This is what I do, I put the brass in at the bottom of the stroke while I am seating a primer so I can just seat the bullet on the upstroke."

Is your press still setup as a manual rotation press? Your description doesn't fit the operation of my press, which is an auto advance.


"Remember be smooth and just watch things. Haveing now loaded nearly 300,000 rounds in mine, it is pretty simple system and if they have sent you a replacement die head, I don't see how it could be very much out of alignment."

Just got in a new primer punch over the weekend and installed it this morning. I'm tired right now, so I'm not going to take measurements, but it looks like the replacement sub plate may be the culprit. After proper adjustment of the cams, the shell plate is locking up in the detent consistently and the punch is not perfectly in line with the hole. I'm going to measure it later after I've slept to see by how much it is out of line.

"Can you send pictures of video of you running the press?"

Unfortunately, I cannot. I do well to get photographs online. Video type stuff just isn't my forte.

That said, this isn't my first rodeo operating a progress press. I've got over a decade of experience running Dillon 650's and Hornady LnL progressives without issue, not to mention all the years I worked in manufacturing. I'm reasonably sure I'm operating the press smoothly and am not doing ANY of the things you've described.

Please go back and re-read my original posts a bit more closely. I do get the feeling you probably have a manual advance press or think I have one from your response. A lot of what you've said just doesn't make sense in relationship to the press I have.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
February 13, 2012, 02:03 PM
"On the opposite side of the shell plate, there is a bolt that screws into the bottom of the shell plate assembly. It has a lock nut on it as well. This bolt head rests against the bottom frame plate when puo press the handle forward to prime. The bolt adjusts how far down your ram and primer seating rod goes into the shell plate and case. It is the stop for the priming stroke. If the adjustable bolt is screwed too far into the lower shell plate assembly, you will be forcing the primers in too deep and causing the primers to seat too deeply. I believe this can also bend the primer seating punch. If it is not adjusted properly, the primers will bounce as they are pushed through the APS strip up into the case.

You may want to check to see if the bolt is out of adjustment?"

This could definitely be a possibility, as I've not adjusted it. The replacement bolt came pre-set from the factory on the subplate and the primer punch appears to be coming up the right amount. But it could be it's too high "just enough" I can't see it, but this caused the bent rod and the bent rod caused the rest of it. I'll check the manual for an adjustment procedure or call RCBS the next day I've rested and RCBS tech support is open.

earplug
February 13, 2012, 02:07 PM
Check the tension on the leaf spring that's supposed to contact the empty case. If its not pushing the case fully into the shell holder the primers and the primer seating pin will not line up with the empty primer hole. I had this problem and its easy to overlook.
This miss match will also mess up the primer strips. I mark mine with a felt tip if I get a primer seating issue with that strip. Two marks and I toss it.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
February 13, 2012, 02:12 PM
altitude 19,

"Another possibility. I noticed the bearing on the auto-indexing arm was still turning even after the plate had indexed on the downstroke. It was still "pushing" the shell plate a little past it's indexed position. I adjusted the angle iron a little to the left so the bearing wasn't turning and noticed my punch lined up better through the shell plate. Let me know if this doesn't make sense."

Makes perfect sense. The angled iron you're talking about are parts 17 and 18 on page 13 of the manual. The one mounted to the press frame is the index cam. I've adjusted these so I get rotation to the point the shell plate locks up with the detent ball and absolutely does not rotate past the the lockup.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
February 13, 2012, 02:15 PM
After everything above, I'm beginning to suspect the replacement sub plate assembly I received has the same problem as the original and I just did not notice it, since I simply replaced it and didn't use the primer system nor double checked. I'm going to double check after I've slept and use calipers, take measurements, that sort of thing.

If it is the replacement sub plate, off to RCBS it goes for a replacement. It's time to make this their problem, I have better things to do with my time and I do own a Lee Classic Cast single stage I can do some stuff with.

Peter M. Eick
February 13, 2012, 09:46 PM
Ok, I reread the post. Thanks for pointing it it.

Mine is a conversion to auto-rotating so I have experience with both manual and auto-rotating. I have been using mine for 12 years now so I know I do things without really thinking about them.

I suggest we focus on the flipped primers. Have you tried load one, skip one, load one to see if the primer is being flipped on the upstroke, downstroke or during rotation?

On my press if I let the press go low or push the operating handle too far, the primer gets pushed up out of the strip and is just laying on the primer punch. I could see how it could be flipped but it has never happened to me before.

Regarding the bent primer punch, have you looked at the press on from the side to see how it is getting bent while in operation?

My press has always had a slight rotation right at the end so the primer hits bottom starts to seat into the case and the whole head of die block rotates slightly counter clockwise.

The only time my press ever ties up is when a primer does not completely come off at station one and loops round and then gets reseated by the primer press and live primer at station 2. Occasionally I will stop it part way though and realize I have two primers. That can tie the machine up but this is only a once every couple of years problems.

So. I suggest we focus on how the primers are getting flipped. Is it happening upstroke or downstroke or when?

Sorry for any confusion.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
February 14, 2012, 04:59 AM
Hi Peter,

Answers in red in the quote of your post below.

"Mine is a conversion to auto-rotating so I have experience with both manual and auto-rotating. I have been using mine for 12 years now so I know I do things without really thinking about them.

Ah, okay, I think I have around the same number of cases loaded as you since the year 2000, but most of mine were on a LnL, with fun side trips on a buddy's 650 many times and a more fun with a Lee Classic Turret. All positive experiences.

When I initially got the Pro 200 and was setting it up before I realized it had the early production sub plate (shell plate holder) with the "primer seater hole drill" problem, I was careful, because after learning the LnL and the Dillons, I knew you could get into trouble on a progressive if it wasn't operated smoothly, so I was cautious with the Pro 2000 being new to me.

I suggest we focus on the flipped primers. Have you tried load one, skip one, load one to see if the primer is being flipped on the upstroke, downstroke or during rotation?

Good idea and no, I haven't. I'll try this now the indexing cam has been adjusted to positively index and cause the shell plate to lock into the detent ball. Thank you.

I did notice as the problem started there were occasions were the shell plate traveled a bit past the proper alignment, then fell back and locked into the proper position. I initially suspected this was the cause of the problem - shell plate overtravel, causing the primer seating punch to strike the size of the shell plate hole, thereby bending the punch. I suspect this may turn out to be the case.

Unfortunately, with the shell plate now locking consistently, I am seeing the primer punch coming up off-center like I saw with the original (defective) sub plate assembly.

On my press if I let the press go low or push the operating handle too far, the primer gets pushed up out of the strip and is just laying on the primer punch. I could see how it could be flipped but it has never happened to me before.

I have done this and seen this happen. When I called RCBS about the issue, the customer service/technician stated the flipping and sideways primer was caused by the primer punch coming up slightly offer from the center of the shell plate hole - either by the subplate being improperly drilled or the primer punch being bent. In my case, I think this is causing a chicken or the egg troubleshooting scenario.

Regarding the bent primer punch, have you looked at the press on from the side to see how it is getting bent while in operation?

I haven't been able to positively identify the cause, But based on the marking on the shell plate holes, I'm suspecting either another defective sub plate assembly or an issue with the shell plate indexing.

I went through the indexing cam adjustment carefully and thoroughly and with the shell plate locking into the detent ball and no longer showing the "twitchiness" of over travel and falling back into detent ball lock, I believe I have any indexing issue resolved. I have to go back and check now.

My press has always had a slight rotation right at the end so the primer hits bottom starts to seat into the case and the whole head of die block rotates slightly counter clockwise.

Oh, it was the die block and not the sub plate that was rotating slightly. Mine may do that, but I hadn't noticed. In my research of the press, I found a company that makes die blocks one can lock into place to prevent rotation or buy kits to modify one's die blocks by drilling tapping, then inserting a locking bolt where the current securing pins are. Something to consider.

The only time my press ever ties up is when a primer does not completely come off at station one and loops round and then gets reseated by the primer press and live primer at station 2. Occasionally I will stop it part way though and realize I have two primers. That can tie the machine up but this is only a once every couple of years problems.

I've seen this happen with this press when I didn't have the primer punch on the RCBS lube die adjusted down far enough when I was processing my 4000 .223 milsurp brass. I've also seen it catch and not go down the primer disposal hole, then get rotated as you've described. I wasn't doing any primer seating, so I didn't experience reseating.

The two things I did to eliminate this was to adjust the primer punch down, then pull the primer system apart. With it apart, I beveled and polished both the subplate, the primer plate (part 1 page 13 of the instruction manual) and the mouth of the primer disposal tube to try and minimize and tendency of primers to hang up in that location. I did this based on commentary from earlier posts of more experienced Pro 2000 users that this was a problem area with the narrow primer disposal tube. I did a similar tuning step with my Hornady LnL when it was new.

Worked well, though that press doesn't have a priming plate with associated edge alignment issues where the primer disposal tube is located. I consider that a small design flaw in the Pro 2000, aka one of it's quirks.

So. I suggest we focus on how the primers are getting flipped. Is it happening upstroke or downstroke or when?

I believe it's happening on the upstroke and after reading the postings, may be related to either 1. sub plate drill issues (again with the new subplate), 2. shell plate indexing/rotation issues or a 3. bent primer punch. Since issue one and two can cause issue 3, issue 3 and the flipped/sideways primers may be a symptom of issues 1 or 2.

Sorry for any confusion."

Sorry for being a grumpy old fart. When I answered your post, I'd just come off of a three 12-hour day rotation at the hospital and hadn't slept yet. It's the busy season for the hospital and all three days I stayed on my feet and ate supper while doing charting/paperwork because there was no other time. The rest of the time was spent on my feet grinding. I'm a Respiratory Therapist and unlike Nurses, we don't stay in one area to work, but roam the hospital and go any where a patient needs respiratory care. Keeps you walking.

When it's busy, the number of crazies , "incidents" or "stuff happens" and the number of code blues increase to keep one out on the floor during rounds and minimize down/rest time. I was at the ground down to hamburger stage when I responded to your initial post in this thread.

Peter M. Eick
February 14, 2012, 09:34 PM
Thanks for the advice on the primer pullback. I thought it was probably the primer punch out pin was catching the primers and drawing them back up into the case. I normally try and polish the ends of these occasionally to stop the drawback problem. Interesting that it only happens with Winchester nickeled brass though.

I understand about long days and frustration. I have them myself on the job so I can relate.

It sounds like maybe you have a track on the problem. The sub plate may be slightly out of alignment to the die plate. My first manual plate had this problem but it was not a big deal. The primer punch just pushed up on the side and not the center of the primer. RCBS sent me a new one and that problem went away. The conversion to auto feed also eliminated this problem or at least reduced it.

Since you suspect that is the problem but now you have fixed it with the change of detent spring and ball, have you tried to over clock the die plate and see if you can catch the primer punch this way? I am betting you can, but it may take some work.

Also, have you looked at the setup for the primer actuating arm. That is the aluminum bar that sits vertical on the right hand side of the press with a chamfer at the top. is the black slider bar that rubs on this aluminum bar causing the sub assembly to rotate in some way? It has adjustments on it so you can change its position if needed? I had to adjust this once to control the rotation on seating.

Let me know what you think. I will check back tomorrow.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
February 14, 2012, 11:59 PM
Peter,

My stuff in red.

Thanks for the advice on the primer pullback. I thought it was probably the primer punch out pin was catching the primers and drawing them back up into the case. I normally try and polish the ends of these occasionally to stop the drawback problem. Interesting that it only happens with Winchester nickeled brass though.

Sounds to me like the Winchester nickeled brass might be a bit "tougher" and tries to "hang on" to the primers harder. And this might cause the primer to have a tendency to come off the primer punch at odd angles, thereby landing in the primer disposal tube in an odd location. This in turn might be enough to cause the spent primer to hang or even bounce out of the primer disposal area. Pure speculation and theory on my part though. Proof would be chamfering and polishing the primer disposal areas I mentioned in my previous post, adjusting the primer pin punch, then seeing if it clears the problem.


It sounds like maybe you have a track on the problem. The sub plate may be slightly out of alignment to the die plate. My first manual plate had this problem but it was not a big deal. The primer punch just pushed up on the side and not the center of the primer. RCBS sent me a new one and that problem went away. The conversion to auto feed also eliminated this problem or at least reduced it.

I'm almost sure this is STILL the problem. I think the second sub plate they sent me may be defective like the first. Tough to fix an issue with new bad parts. But easy enough for a defective part with a small machining flaw like this to get mixed in with the good ones.

Since you suspect that is the problem but now you have fixed it with the change of detent spring and ball, have you tried to over clock the die plate and see if you can catch the primer punch this way? I am betting you can, but it may take some work.

I've definitely fixed the over rotation of the shell plate due to index cam timing issues, but now I'm clearly seeing the primer punch is NOT centered in the middle of the shell plate hole when it comes up. It's STILL off set to one side. Tough to recreate a problem of the primer punch dinging with the original problem still existing in a replacement part.

Also, have you looked at the setup for the primer actuating arm. That is the aluminum bar that sits vertical on the right hand side of the press with a chamfer at the top.

I am familiar with this and have readjusted the primer actuating cam/arm since replacement of the sub plate. It's part number 10 on page 15 of the manual I have.

Is the black slider bar that rubs on this aluminum bar causing the sub assembly to rotate in some way?

Not that I can tell.

It has adjustments on it so you can change its position if needed? I had to adjust this once to control the rotation on seating.

Seems to be okay, but I'll check it out. You're talking about part number 6 on page 13 of my manual.

Let me know what you think. I will check back tomorrow.

Right now I'm thinking I may have gotten terribly unlucky and have gotten a second improperly drilled sub plate. RCBS doesn't appear to serialize their Pro 2000 presses, which makes it difficult and impossible to identify when this press was manufactured. Unless I'm missing the serial number. Does the press have one I haven't found? If so, where is it located?

altitude_19
February 15, 2012, 12:07 AM
Yet ANOTHER option: I can't lend the same level as *somebody* here (who happens to have loaded about a billion more rounds on this machine than I have) but I'll still try to pitch in. When you take the punch assembly out, you see how it's actually screwed together? The end that contacts the press frame is threaded with the end that contacts the primer. Are they threaded together tightly? Do you have the same problem with large punches as you do the small punches? Finally, have you tried simply rotating the punch when it's installed? I had a similar problem with the punch centering and managed to get it working right just by rotating it about 90 degrees.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
February 15, 2012, 12:25 AM
altitude 19,

You may have just solved the problem. Answers in red below:

Yet ANOTHER option: I can't lend the same level as *somebody* here (who happens to have loaded about a billion more rounds on this machine than I have) but I'll still try to pitch in.

A man who's had the problem and fixed it after a few rounds loaded knows more about the problem than a man who's loaded 100,000 rounds and never experienced the problem.

When you take the punch assembly out, you see how it's actually screwed together?

Yes, the threaded end of the primer primer punch is inserted through the center of the "mounting" nut from the top side of the mounting nut, then a spring is installed on the primer punch shaft, then a retaining nut/foot is installed to hold the nut on. This retaining nut/foot is what strikes the frame and causes the primer punch to move up and seat the primer

The end that contacts the press frame is threaded with the end that contacts the primer.

Yes, gotcha

Are they threaded together tightly?

On the newest one I just received, yes. On the original one that broke, no.

Do you have the same problem with large punches as you do the small punches?

Haven't used the large punches yet, so far I'm having the problem only with the small primer punches.

Finally, have you tried simply rotating the punch when it's installed? I had a similar problem with the punch centering and managed to get it working right just by rotating it about 90 degrees.

And with this statement, you may have solved the problem. After reading your post, I went back to the press, rotated the primer punch per your instructions and shazzam, the punch is now centered in the shell plate after rotation. I'm going to have to go through and double check all adjustments before any more operation, but apparently, this is the problem. Apparently the small primer punch assemblies I've received are slightly cock eyed, so how the punch and it's retaining nut are rotated affects how the primer punch is centered. This tells me something in the primer punch assembly isn't manufactured straight.

GW Staar
February 15, 2012, 12:52 AM
Great Dave, I hope that fixes it! If so, it's a heads up to everyone else....to be aware enough to watch out for off-center primer rods. Thanks Altitude 19 for adding your experience to the thread...we all benefit from threads like this.

I was thinking....you know how with reloading dies, that they can easily be tightened off kilter? Maybe this is true for these primer rods as well. At least I will now be watching for it.:)

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
February 15, 2012, 06:19 AM
It was certainly something I didn't expect, because it was basically the same design as the Hornady LnL progressive I had and never had problems with. But the devil can be in the details sometimes.

The Hornady LnL primer punch is very, very similar, but is much shorter and uses a c-clip instead of a machined part to retain the primer punch rod and spring. The primer punch rod has a rounded base, so it, instead of a flat base, strikes up against the frame.

The RCBS primer punch rod is double the length Hornady primer punch rod, so there's more room or "play" for the primer punch rod to get a little bit cock eyed. Also, if the drill hole on the primer rod retainer is off just a little bit, it could easily cause the primer punch rod to be a little cock eyed.

Either of these situations could cause a sideways primer punch rod striking the edge of the shell plate, especially if the machining tolerances stack up to create the situation.

I'll keep an eye on this in the future and I think I'm going to request another small primer punch from RCBS if I hold this one to a straight edge and it's cock eyed.

Peter M. Eick
February 15, 2012, 08:58 PM
If the primer punch is rotated, it will probably rotate again during use. I know that from experience. It may occasionally loosen up also.

http://eickpm.com/picts/offcenter_small_pistol_punch.jpg

Does your punch look like this when you lower the handle?

If so take a picture of it and send it to RCBS. The lower sub-assembly is offcenter and needs to be replaced. My first one had this problem.

earplug
February 16, 2012, 12:48 AM
Don't let all the bent primer seating pins go to waste.
If you break them trying to bend them straight, they can be used as die plate pins.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
February 16, 2012, 10:41 AM
Peter,

Answers in red:

If the primer punch is rotated, it will probably rotate again during use. I know that from experience.

Well, that's discouraging. This is the third primer punch I've had. Sounds like another call to RCBS may be in order when I get off of night shift. I bet I can come up with a way to prevent the rotation IF that is the root cause and not a symptom. Some measurements with a machinist square and such should ID which it is.

It may occasionally loosen up also.

Some blue loctite should fix the loosening up.

Does your punch look like this when you lower the handle?

Not quite that bad, but off set like that before I rotated the punch.

If so take a picture of it and send it to RCBS. The lower sub-assembly is offcenter and needs to be replaced. My first one had this problem.

The lower sub assembly has been replaced once. I'm not sure replacing it again is going to resolve the problem, though it may.

higgite
February 16, 2012, 02:41 PM
I know this is a dumb question, but that hasn't stopped me yet. :) When the shellplate and primer plunger are misaligned, are the dies and the shellplate also misaligned? When you raise the ram and the case(s) enter the die(s), does the shellplate turn slightly?

Another shooting from the hip question... is the press frame finish under the plunger smooth, no bump in the finsh that could kick the plunger sideways?

Striker Fired
February 16, 2012, 04:50 PM
Take a bunch of close up pics of the primer punch area,both with the assembly and without. So we can see all the holes and surfaces involved with the punch and how it is assembled and what indexes or locates it, if possible.

Peter M. Eick
February 16, 2012, 07:45 PM
There is a bit of slop in the two bolts that hold the sub assembly onto the ram. Have you tried twisting the sub assembly on those bolts prior to tightening them up?

I did that (twisted the sub-assembly counter clockwise) prior to tightening the bolt and that kept the primer punch from twisting as much.

One thing I noted was that the primer punch will tend to clock around in its assembly when in the press. How lose is your primer punch in the assembly (primer punch spring and lock nut). Mine is very loose from wear.

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