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Improving RCBS's APS Strip Loader--Video Demo at the End

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by GW Staar, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. GW Staar

    GW Staar Well-Known Member

    Yeah finally saw it! I did go to your link...and looked for "sold" everywhere... except for on the picture of the strips! Thanks for the reply. I'll keep watching him. I need yellow not red tho.:) His Lego Darth Vader caught my eye...$25?? Who would've thought.

    I like Peter's prices better though. BTW, Peter, I have some yellow Easter egg dye left, maybe that'd work on the white ones I now have lots of!:D I got those at a good price, but not free....wouldn't feel right about free.
  2. GW Staar

    GW Staar Well-Known Member

    Yeah finally saw it! I did go to your link...and looked for "sold" everywhere... except for on the picture of the strips! Thanks for the reply. I'll keep watching him. I need yellow not red tho.:) His Lego Darth Vader caught my eye...$25?? Who would've thought.

    I like Peter's prices better though. BTW, Peter, I have some yellow Easter egg dye left, maybe that'd work on the white ones I now have lots of!:D I got those at a good price, but not free....wouldn't feel right about free.

    Might work....the "removable trait" of the blue is supposed to be good for 2 weeks and it lasts longer than that if kept out of the sun....the green is good for twice that. However the adhesive on CCI/RCBS strips is supposed to last indefinitely...on the other hand one wouldn't expect to store them in the sun.
  3. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Well-Known Member

    Next time I come through New Mexico on my way to ride the train in Durango, I promise to bring you a 5 gallon pail of strips. Sorry they will be mostly white, but at least there will be a lot of them.

    Also i will save the boxes they come in. I am just about finished with another box this week and I am sure I will go through 2 or 3 more by next week.
  4. GW Staar

    GW Staar Well-Known Member

    That's interesting Pete! Just how often do you ride that train? I rode it once when I was 12 with my folks and brother. My little brother was 6. He had screaming nightmares for a month after. My Dad had to stick his head under the water faucet to wake him up and stop the screaming. He could never remember anything. I think he was falling from the giant trestle in the dream!:D

    If you and your wife like baseball, you might time it one August. I'd give you good tickets to the Connie Mack World Series, that's here every year...2nd week in August. That's 18 year-olds (best in the country from California to Puerto Rico to New York to Canada). I have watched many majors play here before they became stars.
  5. deepskyridge

    deepskyridge Active Member

    Strip Loader

    Thanks for posting this, I am going to make the mods to my strip loader. I have found also some of the strips come out of the package with some problems. I manually run the priming pin through each hole to make sure they will work OK.

    Thanks Again
  6. GW Staar

    GW Staar Well-Known Member

    You're welcome. I haven't come across any bad strips that are new...must be luckier.:) Be aware that sometimes used strips, not stored flat, can have a bow in them and that can make them stand to high in the slot and not allow primers to slide in and fill all the holes in the strip filler. That can be caused by the black steel hold-down plate not having been pushed all the way down during assembly. Mine wasn't.

    THE BLACK STEEL HOLD-DOWN PLATE: From the pictures above, one can surmise that the green plastic part that pushes in primers, simply pulls off to disassemble. Well, the black steel plate under it comes off the same way. It is friction-fit over the three green cylindrical buttons. You just need to be careful using a small screwdriver to pry it up one side at a time....you don't want to make it permanently loose.

    The object is to make sure there is nothing under it to hold it up higher than it should be....higher means the strips on one end can ride up a little and prevent primers from sliding in and over the top of each hole.

    So then, making sure things are flat underneath (no foreign things or plastic seams around the buttons) just press the plate down over the buttons and with a small socket wrench socket over each button, use a small hammer to pound it down tight everywhere so there is NO open crack between metal and plastic under the plate.

    I made a mental note to myself that if it ever gets loose and won't stay down, I may have to drill a hole on each side and screw it down tight. So far, that's not necessary.

    This last subject ought to have been added to the picture post, but THR, in their infinite wisdom, makes editing go away after a few days. So later readers may miss this unless they read every post.????? My opinion is that that policy is too restrictive and is a major flaw in THR.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  7. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Well-Known Member


    I try to hit the train about every other year. Last time I was up I did the cab ride (truly impressive) and the scooter ride one day, then 1st class another day and coach the third. This way I get to see it all and chase the train another day or two. It allows me as a model RR fan to study different aspects for my model train and understand how they work.

    I plan on hitting it again this fall. Probably late September or early November. I have to burn up my vacation sometime.

    Now back to APS strips. So if you don't store them flat they bow? Hmm. I had not thought of that. I rarely use them twice so I probably would not have noticed.
  8. GW Staar

    GW Staar Well-Known Member

    The way you stuff them tightly into a 5 gallon can, I doubt there is much of a problem. Until it's full though, you might lay them in a box. What I bought from you was fine....a few were bowed a little, but minor, and once I reseated the black bar in the loader, it wasn't an inconvenience at all. I wouldn't be the least bit concerned, buying more like that. I really am going to test Easter egg dye!:D

    I don't have any experience at it, but if I had some strips that were bad, I'd try laying them in a cookie sheet in a 150 degree oven until they flattened....bet they'd cool off and remain straight......don't have any bad enough to try.

    Didn't know you were a model railroader! Have you ever been on the Chama Nm to Osier Co. narrow gauge train? The mountains that one goes through is different....maybe more beautiful....least it was before the bark beetle destroyed all the fir trees. That model railroad hobby takes more time than reloading!
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  9. deepskyridge

    deepskyridge Active Member

    Strip Loader

    I bought a bag of clear marbles at WalMart. I have lots, anyone wants a couple, send me SASE and I will send you a couple. PM me for my address.

  10. Rule3

    Rule3 Well-Known Member

    Nice Mod, thanks for your help and providing this link. I think I will actually try to load some ammo on the New press before engaging in any Mods. I am confused enough!:D
  11. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Well-Known Member

    GWStar, I've said it before, and I'll say it again: You must have a 50 pound brain.
  12. GW Staar

    GW Staar Well-Known Member

    No, actually my head is smaller than most. Here's a family picture.....I'm the guy on the right with the rifle. Love the gun hobby! Cousin Mbuga (a master practical joker), and Uncle BJ are posing with me. Yeah we're a little strange.

    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  13. gibekim

    gibekim Active Member

    Nice work, very professional. However I would be concerned that by filing off the projections from the top pressure bar you are creating more vertical room for a primer to flip. I have had a lot of WSP's flip on me while loading strips. Not so much of a problem with CCI's. There are three round indentations about 1/2" in diameter in the undeside of the clear plastic cover near the area where the loose primers slide onto the strip. It seems that when a WSP gets under one of these while shaking the primers into place, some have a tendency to flip. There may be a slight size difference between WSP and CC I primers that allows this to occur. My solution to prevent this is to place the clear cover with the logo side down. While I still get an occasional WSP flipping, the percentage is very small.
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  14. GW Staar

    GW Staar Well-Known Member

    If every strip you push in is new and perfectly straight you don't need to file off the bar. Trouble is the used ones that gain a little "character" and prevent primers from sliding in where the strips don't lay perfectly flat.

    I've load a lot of Winchester and I have never seen a tendency for them to flip, so I can't relate to what you are saying personally.....maybe all lids aren't created equal, or maybe the nibs under the bar are catching edges and flipping them. Filing the nibs smooth might actually prevent the problem you are having. No edges to catch edges. BTW ... you are shaking side to side only, right?

    Smoothing the edges in the lid indentations you suspect may help too. I'd Fill them in with clear gap filling super glue .... just be sure to sand the glue just after it sets up before it gets harder than the plastic lid (you have an hour from setup to too hard). I use those 4 grit finger nail sandpaper stick to work with super glue with styrene plastic. Start with the course and end with the fine. Then polish with Dillion brass polish or something similar. Result will be difficult to see where you filled.

    Thanks for the heads up. Some may run into that.
  15. Conservidave

    Conservidave Well-Known Member

    Awesome job GW, Proud to be a fellow New Mexican.
  16. buckbrush

    buckbrush Well-Known Member

    after reading this I went and loaded 120 primer strips(3000 primers). As long as I press down hard and hold the handle down for a count of 5, the primers are slightly recessed. If I just press down the handle and then release it, the primers are proud of the plastic. This is with S&B small pistol primers.

    I find small pistol and rifle primers more tricky to load strips with than the large rifle and pistol one are. I cannot find pre loaded strips in Kanada.
  17. GW Staar

    GW Staar Well-Known Member

    Since I built the mods into mine I haven't even had to check for "proud" edges. That alone is worth it to me. I lost one weekend figuring it out, building it, and testing it. Most people who have built their own do it in an evening, and most think its worth it. But if you don't that's OK too.

    In these weird times of handloading scarcity, all of us have trouble finding what we want. I use the following two sources for my preloaded APS. I don't order one 1000 count box.....the haz mat is too expensive. But if I order 2 or 3 boxes of 5000 count boxes the haz mat is inconsequential. Yes that's an expensive order.....on the other hand you have primers in stock for a long time. Most of us less wealthy types have to plan ahead for it to be sure. Of course I don't know if Canada sales of primers from these sources are done? Yes? No?

    http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/search/keywords/APS there is small rifle & small pistol in stock there.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/find?userSearchQuery=APS Midway has several types in stock.....I like their notification feature where they email you went what you are waiting for comes in......but you have to be fast.

    Conservadave!: Thanks for the compliment! I'm a NW New Mexican.....big state, few people, lots of game and endless places to shoot. Dang near perfect, except this year the d...mn..d wind won't go away!:)
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  18. buckbrush

    buckbrush Well-Known Member

    importing primers, powder and ammunition from the U.S to Canada is legal by Canadian law, but not by U.S. law without an Export cert.
  19. GW Staar

    GW Staar Well-Known Member

    You may have been deterred by the "Sorry." notice that Photobucket displayed where my video was in my first post. Well I don't know what's up with PhotoBucket, but click the the "Sorry" message thing anyway! The video comes up just fine in the first post or clicking the picture here. Go figure, I never deleted or moved anything!


    APS rocks! I'm super glad I don't have to worry about primer tube kabooms. Another 650 owner, posting in AR15.com, this week blew up 85 primers at once.

    Remember this picture? Thanks to picking up a 550 primer tube.

    The update is a little better on page 9 of the original thread.


    Be careful! If you do load primers in tubes, wear safety glasses, ear protection, and keep the tubes swabbed clean, or Murphy will get you too.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015

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