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RCBS Pro 2000

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by General Tso, Dec 20, 2010.

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  1. General Tso

    General Tso member

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    Why no love for the RCBS progressive? I'm getting ready to take the progressive plunge and I have been researching different models. It always seems like people are either Dillon or Hornady. I really like the idea of the primer strips with RCBS. What's wrong with RCBS? I can't find much info on it.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
     
  2. griz

    griz Member

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    I like mine. I got one about 7 or 8 years ago and also like the primer strips better than the idea of stacking the caps in a tube. If I understand correctly, they now have auto indexing.
     
  3. altitude_19

    altitude_19 Member

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    Yes they do, but be wary....the indexing is SHARP. Stumpier cases, like 45 ACP have a little powder jump out during auto indexing. Not such a big deal with taller cases. I actually went back to manual indexing, but still love the press, ESPECIALLY because of the APS system.
     
  4. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    First commenting on your first two replies. With this press you have a choice. Autoindexing or manual indexing. If you have a manual indexing Pro 2000 and you'd like to upgrade...its easy and fairly painless. Go to Midway or Grafs and order RCBS's Autoindexing Conversion Kit. For a little over 100 dollars. Then you have the same press as a brand new auto-progressive.

    As for "sharp" indexing, so is the Dillon 650. But there is a fix for both presses. I called RCBS about spilling powder during indexing, when I first got mine, and they sent me a spring that was way lighter and worked much better. I haven't spilled any powder using .45's, .40's, or 9mm's since. I'm betting RCBS has the new spring in the product nowadays...if not, rattle their cage and have the part in 4 days, free.

    BTW the Hornady Bullet Feeder on the RCBS Pro 2000 Review Part 2 will be out in a few days. I'm more impressed with it than ever...for the price....and the simplicity...and the easily upgradable design.

    As for the APS primer system we Pro 2000 owners (excepting the small segment who have no patience to learn a new, better way of doing things) love the primer strip system. Once you learn it....faster, safer, more convenient.

    Why no love for the Pro 2000? It's not blue and doesn't say "Dillon" is the main thing. It's not as cheap as Hornady is the other thing. They don't use a case feeder is the last thing. RCBS, though they have the best customer relations in the business, they suck at marketing. It's as if the RCBS name ought to be enough...Dillon style. Dillon started the progressive market for amateur reloaders, and their entrenchment is old and deep. The RCBS name isn't enough...especially since RCBS's first attempts at Progressives sucked. The current product is excellent! It's every bit as good as the competition, with the one supposed deficiency, lack of a case feeder. For many that's the kicker. For me it was a plus.

    You see, I change and load a lot of calibers way more often than a person who owns a Dillon 650 would want to go through their "change calibers" routine. Hornady's a little faster but they still have the complicated case feeders and tube-loaded primer systems. Caliber change speed is the real plus for the RCBS Pro 2000, that and the simplicity...never does anything "get out of sync" on a Pro 2000. Fewer parts...fewer things can go wrong.

    HOWEVER the Pro 2000 can use a bullet feeder....and Hornady just released their new bullet feeder in the same spirit I like...simple and few parts. I bought one. I'm currently reviewing its use on my Pro 2000. Using it, believe it or not, will not measurably increase the already fastest caliber changeovers in the market...and if one uses CCI primers already loaded in strips...its even faster.

    Dillon 650's are really hard to beat if you load one or two pistol calibers and want to load 5000 round batches very fast...their primer system is their only weakness doing that, but most get by fine if they're careful. They are slow for caliber change unless you buy a powder measure for every caliber you load...and even then they are slow changers compared to a case feeder-less RCBS Pro 2000. You don't want to use a Dillon 650 without a case feeder...ugh. You won't even find a picture of one without its very much needed case feeder.

    Though Dillon folks are the loudest, biggest group, and some have been using them for many years before Dillon even had any competition, they aren't the perfect products hyped...no more perfect than Hornday's or RCBS's. All three brands are equal, quality products, just different designs that fit different folks with different needs. Research well for your own needs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  5. shooter_from_show-me

    shooter_from_show-me Member

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    I too have a "Big Green" machine also and really enjoy it. The only hiccup I've had with mine for over a year now was a bent small primer plug assembly on the APS system. And I still don't know how it was bent, unless my 3 yr old boy did it when I was not around. But just a call to their customer service line and 4 days later was back in business, no questions asked.

    Have a auto-indexing conversion kit as a Christmas present waiting for me Saturday. Now i'm looking for a bullet feeder to add to it. Speed wise I can load up around 300/hr in 9mm manual indexing and manual bullet feeding by hand. But I don't need a press that will pump out 1000/hr too. Like GW said about feeding it cases by hand is no big deal to me either. I've shot about 2500 rounds through my XD9 this year and maybe 2000-2500 of 38/357 and 44 mag total of 5000 in center fire pistol. So no need for a blue 650 or 1050 for me.

    Get one that has the feature's you're looking for and leave it at that. But I don't think you'll be disappointed with "green" either.


    Bill
     
  6. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    I think the reason there is no love is because most of us that bought the pro2000's have given up trying to convert the masses. It is hard to champion the underdog.

    I have loaded over a quarter million rounds on mine and still like it. It has its quirks but I have figured out how to use it and run it well. I would replace it with another if I had to.
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    If RCBS would do a little advertising, or at least put some decent pics of it on their website, they would sell more.
     
  8. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Seems I'm one of the few who still make green noise. :) You're right though...I also am getting tired, trying to reason above the louder blue/red noise. And Walkalong is right, as I also mentioned above, RCBS's most serious flaw is product marketing. The O.P. couldn't do better than reading the famous to me, Peter M. Eick review of the Pro 2000! That article was the stimulus I needed, to look beyond the Dillon 650 with its "features" I didn't want to settle for. Thanks for that Peter! As for addressing the few Pro 2000 flaws, being the so very simple machine it is, they are quite simply, easy to fix, and I'm always willing to share the how-to with anybody.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  9. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    After researching RCBS, Hornady and Dillon progressive presses I chose the RCBS Pro-2000 and have been using it for about 10 years with zero issues.

    I've used it to load .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .223, and 6.8 - all with very good results.

    When I load rifle brass I usually size/decap on my (much) older RCBS Reloader Special II single-stage press - then trim case length (and swage the primer pocket on military brass with a Dillon Super Swage 900). After that I use the Pro-2000 to prime, charge, powder check and seat/crimp.

    Sometimes when I prime military brass I encounter a problem with a primer snagging on a primer pocket burr (I feel increased resistance during the priming stroke). I'll stop, turn the case in the shell plate and try again. Many times that helps, sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't I remove the problem case and use a deburring tool to remove the burr and put the case back into the shell plate. The deburring tool almost always solves the problem allowing me to simply use a priming stroke to prime the case and drive on.

    I like the manual index feature for situations like that. I feel more in control when I'm recovering from an "out of sequence" problem (like forgetting to place a bullet in the case mouth, forgetting to put a fresh case in the shell plate, and priming issues).

    I highly recommend the RCBS Pro-2000!
     
  10. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    Shawn,

    You bring a good point that I never talk about nor does GW Staar (who in my opinion is the industry expert on the Pro2000 now). We never talk about pro2000 procedures.

    One thing I do when I screw up, like get out of sequence, is I clear the plate. I fix the error I have made and then cycle the press till I have all rounds in progress cleaned off then I start again. I find that once you break the rhythm of progress that other mistakes are made. My common one is poorly placing the bullet since I am trying to minimize the belling.

    Another procedure I use is to clean the plate with a puff of air down a straw after every 1000 rounds or so. This seems to help a bunch keeping the crud off the press.

    Another procedure I do is to try and cycle the press the same way every time. This sounds obvious but if you work at it, your consistency improves on the powder drop.

    Another procedure I use is to always scan my primers for anvils and primer charges. I have not found an error yet, but I do it every time.

    I went to the progressive option and found that once you get it set up and worn in it works well. This also helps in my process of making ammo.
     
  11. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Everything Peter says is important to take down, except that I'm any expert of anything....well ok ,I do pretty good at designing/building buildings. As for Pro 2000 expertise...not a chance. The word expert denotes experience...I bought my Pro 2000 exactly 2 years and 1 month ago. Peter and Shawn have been reloading on a Pro 2000 for 10 years....who's the experts? Now though I don't have any proof of expertise on Shawn, for Peter I do. See the picture below:

    [​IMG]

    That was the third such bucket of APS strips he has collected and only at the 150,000 round mark....he's over 250,000 rounds of experience now. I'm a part-timer compared to these boys. I've done a few minor mods to make the Pro 2000 sing sweeter and faster, that's all.
    Expert? No. Trying to make it a more fun press? Guilty.

    So you can keep all those emails going to the real experts.;-)

    On procedure, the mods I made, make some procedures a little easier. For example, say as the result a previous misstep, you end up with two sized and primed brass and a whole bunch of regular un-sized brass waiting to reload. I can push a knob in (stops primer advancement), and swing the shell plate stop in place (prevents the ram from pushing on a primer) and place one of the two primed bullets under powder measure, and stroke the press (no primer advance, no primer raising enough to jam). With the ram down again, place the second primed case under the powder measure, plus a regular case in station 1, and stroke the press. Now pull knob out and swing the stop back, push the press handle forward inserting a primer in the regular case, and insert a new case in #1. Now you're back in production.

    This makes two of the minor but aggravating weaknesses go away...that is, if a primer strip is in place, the press will raise a primer every time (case or no case) and advance the strip every time...ready or not.;-)

    Try fixing any of the Dillon 650's "features" with such simple trivial little mods. That's why simple is good...easy to fit it to you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  12. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

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    Does the Pro-2000 PM linkage allow expansion and powder drop in one station?

    Andy
     
  13. 54lariat

    54lariat Member

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    I love my Pro2k I have the auto indexing feature. I press out about 500 rds/hr not even trying to, I check rounds and inspect one after every APS strip cycles. I love it


    Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk
     
  14. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Yes, but its undocumented by RCBS. That's what the cone shape on the bottom of the pistol drop tube is for. It's not that efficient, predictable, or as effective as hornady's, so RCBS just chose to ignore the feature. Besides, if you use it you have to move the Uniflow to the tool head station #2, which somewhat negates the stationary powder measure station advantage (at least on pistol).

    I say somewhat, because you still don't have to buy a Uniflow or Hornady P.M for each caliber (Dillon 650 style) for quickest caliber change speed...you can just buy a powder die/lower clamp set for each pistol caliber, and merely lift the Uniflow or Hornady P.M out of one, drop it into another, and reset the mic!:cool: (I do use two uniflows with mics though...1 with the Large Drum, the other with the Small one...well, I had them...one came with my Rock Chucker 40 years ago, and the other came with my Pro 2000!)

    Peter Eick pioneered the notion of using the PTX expander, powder die, and linkage from Hornady, to convert the RCBS Uniflow. It works like it was made for it. Hornady's PTX system works better because of the expanders that expand and bell rather than bell only like the RCBS one does. If you do a Google search, on Peter Eick and Uniflow you will find the article. I copied him...it works.

    If you have and can use a metal lathe and can copy the shape of the Hornady PTX expander to a drop tube that fits the RCBS Uniflow, then the RCBS linkage would also work.

    Hornady recently improved the PTX system with a clamp that is adjustable and prevents pressure on the P.M. using the PTX expanders. That and a slightly redesigned expander really made it work well.

    A heads up...Hornady's new Bullet Feeder dies now include a PTX expander with the die!:)

    I have my tool heads stored in clear plastic boxes from Walmart. Now, if I use the PTX system on my Uniflow, with separate lowers mounted on each pistol caliber tool head...and....now that I use the Hornady Pistol Bullet Feeder with its quick change feature, and can mount a bullet feeder die on each tool head, then I need to find a slightly bigger clear plastic box. Then my boxes will have my pistol tool heads and bullet feeder spring tubes/funnels! Get the picture? :cool: :D Pull a box off the shelf...change calibers in a flash...the Pro 2000 way!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  15. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Its all about the primer system

    Its safe, easy to use and reliable.
    Of course the change over is easy. Checking rounds while in the press is easy and the Uniflow powder measure is dead nuts accurate.
    RCBS is great at getting problems solved and broken parts sent out for free.
    They just lack the pretty girls advertising.
    That for the rest of the Internet.
     
  16. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Member

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    Does the pro 2k have an iron frame?
     
  17. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    Peter:

    Speaking of procedures, I put together a caliber change procedure some time ago because there are times when I haven't operated my press for awhile. I use it so I don't have to rely on my memory to perform all the needed steps, to perform the steps in an efficient sequence, to have my "standard" load data conveniently available, and to have a consistent process for changing calibers. While it's tailored specifically for my purposes I modified it to post online to make it available to anyone who wants to use it as a guide for developing his/her own procedure. It's in Word 97 format and can be easily edited. See - http://www.firearmstactical.com/documents/rcbs_pro_2000.doc

    I like your idea of clearing the shell plate completely when an out-of-sequence problem is encountered. You're right - breaking the rhythm does, many times, lead to other mistakes. I do have a handful of "recovery steps" I use but I haven't documented them. I'm getting ready to head out the shooting range right now, but I'll write them down and post them here in the next couple of days.

    It appears to me that GW Starr is the expert of experts when it comes to operating the RCBS Pro-2000. That collection of primer strips is quite impressive!!!

    Cheers!
     
  18. joed

    joed Member

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    Back when I started looking at progressive presses I asked lots of questions to owners of the various presses. I figured the more info I had the better my decision would be.

    The Lee owners were split. They either hated the press or loved it. From all the answers I got the things that stood out were the press needed a lot of tweeking and the primer system wasn't the greatest.

    Dillon owners seemed very satisfied for the most part. I only heard one complaint and it was from someone that was switching to a Hornady LnL.

    Hornady owners loved their presses. There were things that bothered me in their answers though. When I asked most how many rounds an hour they produced no one gave me an answer. I got answers of "I don't hurry" or "I like to take my time". Reading between the lines I reasoned that they were spending time adjusting things or having problems. At the time I looked at the LnL the steps of expanding the case mouth and pouring powder took 2 steps on the LnL, these were combined on the Dillon.

    RCBS. My first press was an RCBS Rock Chucker. It has been flawless for 30+ years so I thought this was what I wanted. Figured it would be reliable. I couldn't find any owners with opinions on RCBS progressives. I keep in touch with an old ARMY buddy that lives on the West Coast and mentioned this to him. To my surprise he told me that he had owned an RCBS progressive since they came out. His opinion was to buy a Dillon. Couldn't believe I could only find one person that owned an RCBS progressive, so passed on it.

    After hearing from all the progessive owners I eventually made the Dillon decision. I've now owned Dillons for 10 years and no complaints.

    Don't know why you don't find owners of RCBS progressives, I've found their equipment to be among the best produced.

    I'd really like to hear from RCBS progressive owners and what they think of their presses.
     
  19. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    RCBS had some pretty clunky progressives years ago. Could be wrong, but I'm betting he never used a Pro 2000. Most Pro 2000 users seem to be quiet types. The press is so simple and trouble free to use once learned, that there's not that much to say, unless they tinker like me.:eek:

    I almost bought a Dillon 650. I spent two loading sessions with it. It depends on what you load. Diversity is expensive...or slow with a Dillon 650 and a case feeder is mandatory to enjoy the press, since you load cases and bullets on the opposite side. I load a lot of different calibers. With a 650 I would want to buy a conversion kit with powder measure for each caliber. Otherwise I'd hate changing them. Plus I wasn't really enamored with the primer system. Great press...just didn't fit me and my budget.

    RCBS's strengths are fastest caliber changes, simple (fewest moving parts to keep synced), and their super APS primer system. Safest for sure...and fastest if you spend an extra buck per 1000 and buy preloaded strips of CCI primers. Other brands of primers can be loaded in strips just as fast as pecking a tube full on a tube-fed. I loaded tubes for 40 years. Much prefer loading strips. I do like the Pro 2000...but, it ain't perfect, no press is, but I like how simple it is to improve on.

    Up to now...if I was into national pistol competitions, I'd use a case fed Dillon 650...set up for one caliber. That's its forte...nothing faster...just watch out for occasional turned or upside-down primers. But now, with my new Hornady Bullet Feeder attached, the RCBS will probably give it a run for the money. Most of my reloading doesn't require that speed...especially rifle.
     
  20. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Okay you guys cut it out!! Read my post again...the picture and description of it was Peter's not mine! He's the expert of experts...I'm a 2-year amateur!!.

    Yes...the only progressive that is. That's why its also the smallest one...aluminum presses have to be big to hold up.
     
  21. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    Yes the frame is cast iron. I have not weighed it but I would guess it is north of 30 lbs when you pick it up. It weighs a ton and is exceptionally stable and solid.

    I have given away about one bucket full of primer strips over the year and now have 3 buckets full in the garage.

    I buy my strips preloaded since I use CCI's and it works well. I have not had a problem with the APS strips. I think they are the best.


    One question. Has anyone ever heard of a pro2000 user blowing a primer? Obviously you can't really blow more then one, but I don't see how you could even do one.

    By the way, it occurs to me that my Pro2000 is 10 years old next month. I bought it in 2001 in January as I remember it. I need to pull the receipt and check that out.
     
  22. J2FLAN

    J2FLAN Member

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    PRO 2000 --almost perfect, after 140,000 rounds and only 9 years of use a spring broke, I let RCBS know about that :D Great CS, sent the spring right out. This is one heavy-duty easy to use progressive, best powder measure and priming system out there. You don`t have to buy a spare parts kit for it, If you did break something they just send it to you right now, no charge.
     
  23. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Member

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    I thought i had read this somewhere. I use the LM and have very few problems with it, but if i were to upgrade i would want an iron framed progressive...or it really wouldn't feel like an upgrade.
     
  24. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    If you want solid iron, then I believe the pro2000 is the only progressive press that is a full cast iron (actually steel) press. If I am wrong someone will point it out quickly though.

    It is solid. Two hands to move it and make sure you watch the ram when lifting it around. If you change the balance point it will move on you.
     
  25. joed

    joed Member

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    The Dillon 1050 is cast iron too which is one of the reasons I like it. Don't know why but I prefer the feel of a cast iron press.

    Out of curiousity, how many rounds an hour is the Pro 2000 capable of?
     
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