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Old May 3, 2013, 05:23 PM   #1
Peter M. Eick
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Saw an RCBS Summit Press today

It was nice. I can see the logic and it seems to be a nicely made unit at the NRA show today in Houston. It was interesting to handle and see all of the RCBS gear at once. The press is big, has a solid footprint, is tight and does not hang down below the bench.

BUT

I also walked by the Redding booth. When I compared the quality I got with a Redding T7 Turret press or the Redding 700 Ultramag press, I am sorry, the Summit press is not going to make it for me in the short term.

Since I have a conventional bench layout, the real advantage of the Summit being a surface mount concept is somewhat lost for me. Given my situation, the T7 will be the most likely next press unless I get an Ultramag to replace the Rockchucker.
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Old May 3, 2013, 10:26 PM   #2
918v
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What, specifically, offended you?
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Old May 4, 2013, 10:16 AM   #3
Peter M. Eick
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That is a good question since the bulk of my tools are RCBS. It is not a brand bias in this case.

Thinking about it, I did not like the roughness of the casting or how it was mounted on the frame. When I operated it, the unit tended to twist on the table which I took to be the small footprint of the base. It was definitely rough to to operate, which even for a new tool I was surprised at. One thing I did note is the looseness (for lack of a better word) of the press when halfway up. It was not a lot but noticeable. I have that same looseness in my Pro2000 (after 300,000 rnds) and my rockchucker. I am not referring to the ram being loose, just the linkages. If I were RCBS I would have at least lightly greased the unit after setup.

I was interested in buying another press "just because" so the Summit seemed like a fun new toy to play with. After I toyed with it a while, talked to the tech about my Pro2000 and looked around, I went over to Hornady and then Redding. At Redding I handled a T7 and given the same price (roughly) the T7 was nicer operating, nicer fitted, easier to manipulate, better paint job, smoother machined and felt very solid. If I was willing to spend a bit more money, the Ultramag was a better single stage press for brute force than the Summit for only about $100 more if I remember right.

So it all came down to the bench. If you need a surface mount the Summit is good, if you can live with a conventional hang below the bench design, the T7 or Ultramag looked like you got more "bang for the buck" in my opinion.
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Old May 4, 2013, 11:49 AM   #4
918v
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From looking at the pictures, I was also concerned about the small footprint and the attachment of the ram. I think the Ultramag is a better alternative.
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Old May 4, 2013, 12:27 PM   #5
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I have had an RCBS press in one form or another since 1989 and the last two I have purchased were both Redding T-7s. IMO/IME they are the best turret press on the market today. Sinclair International states in their catalog that it is the only turret press they recommend for precision accuracy. I bought my first one after reading 38 five star reviews on MidwayUSA.

I had high hopes for the Summit, but right now Redding is flat out making a better product for roughly the same amount of money, both single stage and turret.

Just my .02,
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Old May 4, 2013, 01:03 PM   #6
GW Staar
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Better alternative is relative. They are such different animals. I'm thinking it just depends what you are looking for. There's room in the hobby for different designs, just like there's room for different people and methods.

I don't know if I'll like it anymore than Peter, but my bench with its Pro 2000, Automated Forster Trimmer, and Rock Chucker, has no need for a Turret......and the Ultramag is just bigger than I need (I'll never load anything bigger than 7mm Mag).

From a distance I like the open face of the summit, the stationary shell holder, and the possibilities.

Possibilities? Well, maybe straight line seating approaching a arbor....maybe. Or just a handier sizer for loading rifle on the progressive. It even accepts Hornady bushings if one desires. All without taking up much room on the bench.

As for the twisting Peter mentioned....that would concern me. But is it due to a less than sturdy bench at the show?

BTW, pricing at Midway for the T-7 is $283 plus $69 for each extra turret.
The Ultra Mag is $307. The Summit is only $210 plus $16 for the short handle if you want it. Appears to me that to go Redding (either press) is another $100 bucks....at least....and forget a small footprint.

Last edited by GW Staar; May 4, 2013 at 01:16 PM.
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Old May 4, 2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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A press needs to have a large footprint to be stable, else you will destroy your bench top when sizing cases. Maybe one way to address this is to use RCBS's aluminum mounting block. The ram could be JB Welded to the base The linkage nuts could be tightened more and the linkage lapped in with JB Bore Paste.
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Old May 4, 2013, 03:46 PM   #8
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I have enjoyed using my T7. I put the case activated RCBS powder measure/expander die on mine with separate seating and crimp dies. For various reasons explained in another post, I left the progressive presses and stepped "back" to the T7 turret and, after 1200 rounds, have not regretted it.
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Old May 5, 2013, 01:00 PM   #9
Peter M. Eick
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The press was mounted on an RCBS 2nd generation plate. I have one just like it and recognized it immediately.

I mount all of my presses on these:

http://www.patmarlins.com/Rockdock%AA%20Prices.html

They were great and are very easy to slide in an out. No need to keep all of the other presses setup and running. I just slide them out and sit them out of the way. For this reason the Summit surface mount does not help me much.

The prices were about the same for suggested retail. Obviously the prices are different from Midway or Sinclair. so you pay a premium for Redding over RCBS. I don't need a T7 or Ultramag. They would just be fun to use and play with. Since I would not change the turret, the price differential is only 70 bucks and if you get the short handle (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!) it is now down to say $55 which I would just accept and move on.

The Ultramag would be just for the fun of it when I load rifle rounds. I make no bones that I don't need it and it would be just for fun. When I get all of my pistol rounds loaded, i will probably treat myself to a T7 or Ultramag for Rifles. By that time the crush of activity will be over.
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Old May 5, 2013, 01:46 PM   #10
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Have you thought about the Big Boss II? The thing is a beast and like all other Redding products top quality. Great fit and finish and no sloppy linkage and ram...Eric
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Old May 5, 2013, 01:50 PM   #11
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+1

Big Boss is awesome. It's the Sig P210 of single-stage presses (please excuse my psychological manipulation )
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Old May 5, 2013, 04:42 PM   #12
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A Dillon Strong Mount will surface mount almost any press.

Using a Forster Co-Ax, I like the handle pivot at the top. I usually "choke up" on the handle to reduce the range of motion of my arm, and their's still plenty of leverage for all but the most stubborn brass. I'm betting the Summit could be used the same way.

The CoAx's only weakness is seating bullets in longer than standard rifle length cartridges. Unless the extra capacity is needed, the Co-Ax is peerless among single stage presses.

Andy
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Old May 5, 2013, 08:17 PM   #13
Peter M. Eick
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I have not looked at the big boss. The ultramag looks nice enough though. I will look it over before I order though.

Thanks for the tip.
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Old June 10, 2013, 08:25 PM   #14
GW Staar
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I love new toys. Well, I came home with a Summit today....they had them at Sportsman's Warehouse. I will do a proper review (will take some time of course), but out of the box and sitting (not anchored) on the bench I had a few revelations....some I was warned about by Pete in the quote below, but none that concern me much yet. This is one different design. First read Pete's take on the press at the show in Texas where he saw one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter M. Eick View Post
Thinking about it, I did not like the roughness of the casting or how it was mounted on the frame. When I operated it, the unit tended to twist on the table which I took to be the small footprint of the base. It was definitely rough to to operate, which even for a new tool I was surprised at. One thing I did note is the looseness (for lack of a better word) of the press when halfway up. It was not a lot but noticeable. I have that same looseness in my Pro2000 (after 300,000 rnds) and my rockchucker. I am not referring to the ram being loose, just the linkages. If I were RCBS I would have at least lightly greased the unit after setup.
First thing, that amazes me is RCBS is still inept at shows and promotion. You'd think they would take a little time and set up the press properly. They did the same thing with the bench swager last year.

Now Pete's concern about the rough casting is a surprise. I didn't see anything I'm concerned about on mine excepting the question whether the linkage is big enough. Time will tell.

The want-to-twist he mentioned is inherent in such a design, for which they have a big 1/4" deep and wide groove down the back of the ram and two bolts in the back of the casting that go into the groove to prevent twisting. I haven't noticed much play there yet, but I haven't given it a workout with a large rifle case either. Don't know whether the adjustment at the show was right or even tight....we will see. The bolts through the base will need to be sized maximum for the holes and tight. The holes in the RCBS plate may not be big enough....sleeves needed in that case. I don't use the plate, but I might for this press, just to be able to take it down and take it to the range........well I might....

The looseness he experienced? Mine isn't....at all. In fact all the linkage is adjustable for that. Which brings up the biggest surprise for me.

Rough to Operate: If you are expecting a greased pig sort of feeling (like a Rockchucker) when the ram is raised and lowered...well get over it....ain't going to happen...not a part of this new design. You have a die mounted to the ram that moves up and down over the case. Obviously, if the ram is frictionless, the ram will just fall on the case from above. That doesn't happen....in fact when adjusted right it stays where ever you put it in it's stroke. That will take some getting use to...in fact, you hear this gnarly machine chatter as it strokes. I think that's why there is a grease fitting on the casting....needs it for this design to work. Mind you, it's not hard to operate....it just sounds like it is.

Edit: That last paragraph was a bunch of bull. Yup, didn't have a clue what I was talking about. Today I took the press apart, cleaned it up, sanded off a couple of burrs, lubed the ram and linkage with marine white grease, reassembled, tightened the linkage up properly, and.........yes, the RCBS greased and smooth baby's butt is still alive and well. gnarly machine chatter....gone.

The directions say to tighten the linkage a tad until the ram stays put when you let the handle loose, through out the stroke.

Edit: Well, rereading that....I discovered they are referring only to when the press is used with the short handle to seat bullets....as a way to limit unnecessary travel.....turns out that won't work with the long handle....I tightened all I could and it still is too frictionless to stay put.....maybe without the extra weight of the long handle.....but hell I don't care....this feels like a quality Rock Chucker now. Smooth as glass, and the only play is a tiny bit of side-to-side...about right to center a case in the die. Not disappointed yet.....

I'll let y'all know when I wring this out and figure out its niche if there is one. For now, its my new toy. I love new toys to take apart and figure out. I do love the open front and small foot print. Stay tuned.

Last edited by GW Staar; June 11, 2013 at 09:01 PM.
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Old June 11, 2013, 09:00 PM   #15
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Foot inserted firmly in mouth in the last post. Didn't know what I was talking about.....fixes in RED.
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Old June 11, 2013, 09:09 PM   #16
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I researched pretty extensively before buying my first press, Redding T-7 won out. Absolutely love it, but we are still in our honeymoon period!
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Old June 12, 2013, 10:05 AM   #17
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Man. I backordered one of these presses some time ago. Midway says they will receive it today and ship it to me as soon as it arrives.

It seems to have many of the design features of the Co-Ax without the annoying sizing ring method of holding your dies, or not allowing tall Redding seater dies with micrometer tops on them. My experience with the Co-Ax was "good try, now try again"...

So I see the Summit as a second try at a similar concept, and I hope it works well.

Thanks for the posting GWStaar, I can hardly wait to receive it.
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Old June 13, 2013, 02:47 AM   #18
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Peter M Eick wrote:
Quote:
At Redding I handled a T7 and given the same price (roughly) the T7 was nicer operating, nicer fitted, easier to manipulate, better paint job, smoother machined and felt very solid.
Peter, I have both a Big Boss II and T7. I really like them both. They are both built brute strong..! But both the Big Boss II and T7 have a slight problem with the linkage. They seem to have a side to side play in the handle. You can tighten the pinch bolt on the upper linkage but the ram gets too tight and makes it stiff. So be forewarned, there is a some side to side play. But the linkage on the RCBS Rock Chucker has no such play. There is no side to side play on my Pro-2000 either.

If I could have only one press, it would be a T7. The thing is built like a tank. I bought another RCBS case activated linkage for the Uniflow and load semi progressive on it. Especially large magnum revolver rounds that are powder sensitive, i.e. 460 S&W Mag, 454 Casull etc. I did not want to load those high pressure rounds on the Pro-2000.

The T7 and Big Boss II slide style priming system can be finicky though. It takes some adjustment to get it dialed in right..
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Old June 13, 2013, 02:03 PM   #19
Peter M. Eick
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Thanks to GW for updated my review. It sounds like RCBS should have done the same things he did.

Codefour. I have settled on a T7. I have just been so busy that I have not placed the order. I figure I will clean off the Pro2000 reloads and then order it. I just had no idea how many 9mm's I had to reload.
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Old June 13, 2013, 08:39 PM   #20
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At first glance the configuration reminded me of the Hollywood Senior design except the die is stationary on that design with the shell holder moving where as the RCBS Summit is opposite in operation.
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Old June 13, 2013, 09:36 PM   #21
GW Staar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter M. Eick View Post
Thanks to GW for updated my review. It sounds like RCBS should have done the same things he did.

Codefour. I have settled on a T7. I have just been so busy that I have not placed the order. I figure I will clean off the Pro2000 reloads and then order it. I just had no idea how many 9mm's I had to reload.
The T7 is not an option for me, however much I'd love to play with it. It's just too big for what's left of my bench......I need a bigger room.

The Summit: After my last gushy post, I actually mounted a Lee decapper to check how precise the alignment is between case holder and die. Couldn't hit the hole. Nuts! Misaligned casting? Well the casting isn't perfect....that's what machining does, but close examination revealed a single bow washer at the top pivot was mounted on the wrong side...reversed it and the friction and noise came back, but now the decapper hit the flash holes perfectly. So then I loosened up the nuts a little to uniform the gaps and the push against the bow washers, and it smoothed up nicely again.

It would appear that this press needs an insert sheet with the instruction booklet to teach a minor alignment lesson. I used my calipers to measure the space between the pivot arms top and bottom, and tightened/loosened bolts to get them parallel. Not hard to do that, but out of the box they weren't parallel. This is a one time adjustment until you want to take it apart for cleaning....don't see that it'd be necessary for a few years of use.

A interesting observation: The exploded parts picture in the instruction pamplet show only two bow washers, one at the top of each link arm connection. My press came with 5 bow washers. One at each connection of the link arms...plus the one at the top pivot?? not two. Not sure why they only show 2...not sure why just one is needed at the top. I think I'll buy another to put on the other side and see what it does. May affect alignment again, or not.

My biggest problem is deciding where I want to mount the press. I'm not leaning towards an RCBS assessory plate, and I don't want to drill holes in my bench until I'm sure where I'm going to like it.

BTW....press stroke with this press is miniscule compared to a Rock Chucker style press. Only 60 vs. 130 degrees...45 degrees for pistol. I was pleasantly surprised by that. 90% of the time you don't have to raise the handle past your shoulder even for 30-06. The full up position is just for changing dies or to stow the handle out of the way when you're not using the press.
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Old June 14, 2013, 07:59 AM   #22
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Wow GW Staar. Thanks again. I'm not sure what a bow washer is, but now I will keep my eyes peeled for it.

I was on backorder with Midway for a very long time. I guess they had dedicated my press to a different customer, as they did not ship it to me when they said they would. So I ended up buying it from Natchez, for quite a price premium. I hope it will be worth it.
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Old June 14, 2013, 08:51 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GW Staar View Post
The Summit: .................
BTW....press stroke with this press is miniscule compared to a Rock Chucker style press. Only 60 vs. 130 degrees...45 degrees for pistol. I was pleasantly surprised by that. 90% of the time you don't have to raise the handle past your shoulder even for 30-06. The full up position is just for changing dies or to stow the handle out of the way when you're not using the press.
GWS,
Does using the shorter stroke lessen the mechanical advantage of the Summit so you would notice compared to, say, the Rock Chucker or a T-7? I played around with my T-7 a little bit last night and the least arc I can see giving enough clearance to comfortably set a bullet on top of a .308 case is about 100 degrees (just a SWAG). But, leverage-wise, I think the thing would resize a ball bearing. Thanks for the reviews, btw.
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Old June 14, 2013, 10:37 AM   #24
GW Staar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stubbicatt View Post
Wow GW Staar. Thanks again. I'm not sure what a bow washer is, but now I will keep my eyes peeled for it.
A bow washer is simply a thin washer made of spring steel that is "bowed" so that it can act as a spring to keep the linkage tight, but allow it to pivot without undue friction. The Rock Chucker II (I have) has one on each side of the linkage between the cast parts....the base and the pivot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by higgite View Post
GWS,
Does using the shorter stroke lessen the mechanical advantage of the Summit so you would notice compared to, say, the Rock Chucker or a T-7? I played around with my T-7 a little bit last night and the least arc I can see giving enough clearance to comfortably set a bullet on top of a .308 case is about 100 degrees (just a SWAG). But, leverage-wise, I think the thing would resize a ball bearing. Thanks for the reviews, btw.
Yes, RCBS provides it for to do easy work like seating bullets and depriming with a universal deprimer. With the long handle it is supposed to have similar m. advantage to the Rock Chucker.....when I get it mounted we will see...as I have a Rock Chucker next to it.

One thing I didn't think about before I bought this press. The lock ring setting on my dies will NOT be the same as for the Rockchucker. That will probably be a pain in the ass if you plan to use both as I was. Buy another die set for each caliber? Or set it up for one or the other. That's the choices. (or you can size on one, seat on the other....duh)
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Old June 14, 2013, 06:16 PM   #25
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Mine should be here on Tuesday. I think I'll buy one of those Lee reloading stands for it. As I understand it, it will require a significantly strong steel base for mounting? Does the press handle have to clear the front of the loading bench? What size bolts/nuts does it require to mount up?

Thanks.
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