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So, why not RCBS Pro 2000?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by T_from_Fla, Jun 7, 2012.


  1. T_from_Fla

    T_from_Fla
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    I have been trying to avoid starting this thread. My resistance has failed. I would loved to have made this decision without resorting to starting a thread over it but since I have gathered that you fellas love writing about the subject (and I enjoy reading what you have to write), I figured you wouldn't mind indulging me just this once.

    I am having a very hard time walking away from the RCBS Pro 2000 press (in manual index) and going ahead with ordering a Dillon 550B. I’ve decided that these are the reasons why I am considering the Pro 2000 (I may be thinking too much).

    1) I can't get away from the idea of the 5th station on the P2K. This would permit you to be able to seat and crimp in different stations, something I am thinking is a very good thing, especially with plated bullets.

    2) I am coming from a single stage and going to the progressive and being able to have a powder checker die also seems to be very important to me. I know I wouldn’t be able to seat & crimp separately and still have the powder checker.


    3) I have always had very good consistency with the RCBS powder measure. I heard that they are more accurate than the slide type that Dillon uses…I don’t know.

    4) I know that the powder measure is in a fixed station and would remain in place when the toolhead is removed but it looks like it could be removed easily enough should I choose to have different PMs for different calibers. No linkage to disconnect and reconnect seems like a plus. I am thinking, however, that if RCBS made it that way and includes the micrometer adjustment, it must be easy enough to go from one caliber adjustment and back again.

    5) It looks like from watching videos that being able to get a visual on your powder charge before placing a bullet on the case is somewhat better.

    6) It looks like it can be upgraded to auto-indexing for a little over a hundred bucks (should I choose to do that in the future).

    Keep in mind; these are 6 reasons why I am considering the RCBS Pro 2000. I am not implying that it is better than the RL 550B. Yes, I know Dillon has a no BS warranty. RCBS will do the same thing, I am not sure if they will rush out parts as quickly as Dillon...never broke anything with RCBS where I had to use it. It's hard to break anything on a Rock Chucker. I have read where people praise them for replacing anything that breaks.

    That’s all I got. I am not knocking Dillon, I know it is a fine machine and I am sure I would be very happy with it but this 5th station on the RCBS is very enticing, however, I don’t want to buy it for that reason and regret not getting a Dillon.
    Do any of you have the Pro 2000? Can you advise me of any shortcomings with it? From what I’ve read, some people are not fans of the strip loader priming system but I don’t know if these people have actually used it or not.
     

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    #1 T_from_Fla, Jun 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  2. SARDG

    SARDG
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    A Dillon 650 has 5 stations :) - but I need 6 to keep my powder-check and separate seat and crimp AND still add the RCBS bullet feeder that just came in yesterday. With only 5 stations I now have to consider whether I should remove the powder check OR get a combined seat/crimp die.
     

  3. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel
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    RCBS has a fixed powder station. So the powder die is less convenient to swap calibers on. Besides that it's a manually indexing 650. I would get a 650. Powder check dies are overrated. Dillon is finicky. It is a real alarm but its a little bit of a PITA. Hornady is just a visual pointer. It want warn you if you have a lapse in attention. RCBS is also very finicky. Take a second to look in the case. Even with the alarm you should anyway.
     
    #3 Colorado4Wheel, Jun 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  4. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan
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    You are coming from a single stage press where a separate die is used to bell the case.

    For the Dillon 550 (and others), the belling is done at the powder measure. There is a caliber specific powder funnel inside the powder measure die.

    Station 1 - decap and resize
    Station 2 - bell and drop powder
    Station 3 - seat bullet
    Station 4 - taper crimp.

    For the 650, with 5 stations, we can add a powder alarm at station 3 right after the powder measure at station 2.

    Richard
     
  5. T_from_Fla

    T_from_Fla
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    I haven't even considered the 650 because I have read that it is finicky and caliber change-overs are more time consuming. Also, Brian Enos says "Don’t even think of buying a 650 without the casefeeder." That's another $180.00.

    The choice for me is going to be either the RCBS P2k or the Dillon 550. Unless others disagree and think it is not that bad to manually feed cases on the 650. I'm not going to pay an extra 180 for that (at least not initially).
     
  6. T_from_Fla

    T_from_Fla
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    I could live with this. Is it comfortable getting a visual on the powder charge on the 550? With the RCBS, it is away from you (towards the back/left of the press), with the 550B it is up front/left. It seems like you would have to break your neck looking around to see the powder up front.

    EDIT: Richard, you must feel it is okay to manual case-feed. Since you mentioned adding the powder alarm. That would be the 5th station. Correct?
     
    #6 T_from_Fla, Jun 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  7. T_from_Fla

    T_from_Fla
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    So what press do you have, SARDG? 650?
     
  8. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan
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    It's pretty easy to see the powder when you rotate the shellplate and begin to seat the bullet. HOWEVER, that is NOT true for some rifle cartridges like the .223.

    I LIKE the powder check alarm. It won't tell you that you have exactly the right charge but it will tell you whether there is no charge or a double charge.

    The 550 is really the only Dillon press (that I know of) where you can do a double charge. All you have to do is forget to rotate the shell plate. This isn't all that uncommon when something goes wrong at station 1.

    The 650 and 1050 autoindex and this moves the shellplate, no matter what.

    Let's discuss 9mm and the 550: There are crimped 9mm cases around. They will decap just fine but there is almost no chance of seating a new primer. When you try, the primer can get jammed in the bottom of the case and you can't extract the shell from the shellplate. You also can not rotate the shellplate. The only thing you can do is repeat the decap to knock out the dangling primer and replace the shell. Unfortunately, you just double charged at station 2 - unless you pulled that case out of the shellplate. Now you need a plan to recover: replace the charged case at station 2, insert a previously primed spare case at station 1 (or leave that slot open) and ROTATE THE SHELL PLATE!

    Now, this is not all gloom and doom! But on the 550 you have to THINK! And you have to look! Some will recommend powders that more completely fill the case just to facilitate seeing a double charge. Like Unique...

    The 650 shell plate is different and the case can be easily removed complete with the hanging primer. Just scrap it and continue with an empty space in the shell plate.

    I used to - I have two 550s, one for small primer and one for large primer. I have loaded a lot of .45 ACP and .38 HBWC on those two presses. I bought them back in the mid '80s and they have been spectacular. However...

    Now that I have 4 people eating out of my ammo can, I decided that only a 1050 was adequate. Yes, my ego got the better of me! So, .45 ACP was solved. A 650 would have been adequate but I had delusions... The 1050 is a great press!

    Then I decided that I really like the powder check alarm in the 5th station (actually, station 3) and I bought a 650 for everything else. At the moment it is set up for 9mm. I will add .223 and .308 conversion kits in the near future. Since I will be changing primer size, I will buy a second complete primer mechanism to speed up the changeover.

    Richard
     
    #8 F106 Fan, Jun 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  9. RustyFN

    RustyFN
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    Yes it's very easy to see the charge in the case on a 550.
     
  10. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan
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    Although I am no longer using my 550s (see above), the possibility that I might make a mistake and cause a double charge has been nagging at me. I'm getting old, I have always had the attention span of a gnat and reloading large quantities is truly mind numbing.

    I also considered the fact that my grandson is helping with the reloading.

    More for the first reason than the second, I decided to install Press Monitors on the 650 and 1050. If I resurrect the 550s, I will probably do something there as well.

    Now, I know I can move the monitor from machine to machine but I just didn't want to do that. So, I bought two of them. Great accessory!

    http://www.pressmonitordevice.com/

    It would be particularly helpful for the 550 since it not only monitors complete handle strokes for all presses but it also monitors indexing of the shellplate for the 550.

    If any sequence is improper, the monitor sounds an alarm. Perfect for old people with a short attention span.

    Richard
     
  11. SARDG

    SARDG
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    Yes, the 650. And already one station short from where I'd like to be.

    I bought it used with the case feeder and am always looking for MORE automation, so ordered the RCBS bullet feeder. It's widely used on the 550 and 650.
     
  12. SBray

    SBray
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    Richard,

    When you get a press monitor, you can be assured, you have all the bells and whistles!
     
  13. ron59

    ron59
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    I think a powder checker is overrated. Just eyeball the case.

    With my Dillon presses... I don't even bother to check *every* case anymore. I've found my powder measure to be consistent, it's not necessary (this is simply my opinion). I do check occasionally (like maybe every 50 rounds or so).

    Realize... I only came to this position after eyeballing each/every case for a LONG time. But I've now loaded an easy 50,000 rounds and never the first screwup. I empty my loaded-ammo-bin every 100 rounds (when I insert new primers), so if I were to find a problem I'd only have to pull a subset. But I totally trust that powder drop, so only check it occasionally. I wouldn't advise this for a new loader, especially with new equipment that might hiccup.
     
  14. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan
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    .223?

    Richard
     
  15. T_from_Fla

    T_from_Fla
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    Thanks for all the help, fellas! I am taking it all in. I am probably kidding myself if I'm thinking I would end up buying the RCBS Pro 2000. I don't think it would happen. If for no other reason, the lack of support I would get. As far as Dillon, there are a lot more videos and people available to come to, should I run into issues...not that I'm scared, I ain't, I am very mechanically inclined and can't wait to get my hands on a progressive press. I would like to try the P2K, though.
     
  16. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan
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    It looks to me like the Pro 2000 is more expensive than the Dillon 550 or at least very comparable.

    Those strip primers may not be available in large quantities at discounted prices. I would want to convert to the tube primer mechanism even though it adds a little to the cost.

    So, I looked for the instructions for the conversion and this is the manual:
    http://www.rcbs.com/downloads/instructions/Pro_2000_Tube_Priming_Conversion_Kit_Instructions.pdf

    The artwork is crap! You're instructed to look at the photos to complete various steps and the photos show nothing. The manual looks like a 5th generation copy.

    At first I was curious, now I'm convinced that I prefer the 550.

    Richard
     
  17. SARDG

    SARDG
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    My RCBS Chargemaster manual says to refer to the photos - but they are just little dark thumbnails compared to Dillon manuals, and I can't see a thing. Not that important with a scale setup, but come on... they should do better.
     
  18. ron59

    ron59
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    Shame on me. My world revolves around 9mm and .45ACP and therefore thinking everybody elses did too.

    Yeah... I imagine it's tough to see inside a .223 case. But If I had a .223 toolhead... there's no crimping station, right, just seating? So maybe I'd do it on there.

    Or... to be honest.... like I said in that post you quoted... once I setup the powder drop, I'd just trust it like I do now.
     
  19. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel
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    Your not making a wise choice avoiding the 650. It's not finicky at all. Less finicky then a 550. Get the 650 and don't look back.
     
  20. SARDG

    SARDG
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    As a new reloader I bought the 650, set it up by the manual, and began reloading progressively immediately. No problems.

    Caliber change took me a long time the first time I did it - but I don't care!