RCBS SUMMIT PRESS

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by M-61, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. M-61

    M-61 "Quis Separabit" Site $$ Contributor

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    Anyone have one and how do you like it? I've read the reviews but would like some one on the sites opinion. Constantly on back order from Midway.
     
  2. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Site $$ Contributor

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    I have one. I like it OK. I haven't conducted any particular tests. I believe that it flexes quite a bit, and it is heavy.

    The one I received none of the screws/bolts were tightened. The ram flexed visibly, so I went over it and tightened all of the bolts. I believe it still flexes too much. My evidence of this is that I have to thread in a Lee FL sizing die 1 1/4 turns to get the shoulder setback where it needs to be. It may also be that I just need to tighten the bolts on the linkage further, I don't know.

    The amount of force required to size 308's is quite a bit more than I would have thought would be necessary.

    It seems to me it should just work, out of the box, rather than have to be tinkered with. I haven't given up on it yet, but in truth, I am disappointed. In its favor, it doesn't hang over the edge of the table.

    Editor Notes:
    Stubbicatt has revised his comments and posted the following later in the thread;

     
  3. M-61

    M-61 "Quis Separabit" Site $$ Contributor

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    Thanks for the input. I was under the impression the ram was 2"in diameter so I am surprised at the flex you describe.
    I agree it should be correct out of the box. Have you called RCBS? I have 2nd thoughts about this press now.
    Again thanks.
     
  4. BoydAllen

    BoydAllen Site $$ Contributor

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    I doubt that the column itself is flexing, more likely it is the castings that it are attached to at both ends., but in the end it doesn't matter which it is. It seems that we have come full circle. From open frame to O to open, and back to O. They all work, they just have individual characteristics that will determine which you choose. I have a turret press that I like for some applications, but it flexes more than an O press when FL sizing. I compensate by the die adjustment. Big deal...
     
  5. milo-2

    milo-2 Site $$ Contributor

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    M-61
    A friend bought one, after we cleaned the grease off the thing, and played with it, got dies set etc. I was impressed, it acted as though things would self center, on the order of the co-ax press. Talked to the guy days later, he informed me while sizing about 500 pieces of brass, all the set screws came loose, the ram was loose, and other key parts. I had to see this, after inspection, there's set screws in places one can't imagine!!

    He retightened stuff, I asked if he centered stuff with a die and a case installed, he said no, I don't know how you could realign things without some support?????

    I'm going out on a limb here, but for something that seemed to have a ton of promise, I would look for something better.
     
  6. Steve Blair

    Steve Blair Site $$ Contributor

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    A Co-Ax isn't inexpensive and needs some fiddling, too. I have one and like it a lot. It is not good in all applications. I have Warner Tool sizing dies that require a 1 1/4 - 12 thread which will not work in the Co-Ax. So, I had to buy a big O-frame.
     
  7. ReedG

    ReedG Site $$ Contributor

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    I rate the design of the Summit press an idea that came and went in the '60s. With all the quality stuff RCBS makes, I'm puzzled by what prompted them to design and market it.
     
  8. gotcha

    gotcha

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    Ditto!
     
  9. FroggyOne2

    FroggyOne2

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    A 22 year old neighbor of mine mentioned something in a conversation yesterday, that there is trend in "going retro", possibly this is the reason that they came out with this press.
     
  10. CatShooter

    CatShooter

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    The Summit takes RCBS one giant leap...

    ... backwards!!

    Mechanically, it is a copy of the first Hollywood press of the late 1940s (which failed, even then).

    When I first saw the Summit, I was astounded that RCBS would go backward like that.

    It is a single "Knee" leverage system, with less than 1/4 the power of the swinging compound lever system of the RockChucker (and a whole lot cheaper to make), and it has more spring and flex than a "C" press...

    ... and unlike the old C presses and the original Hollywood of the past, there is no way to brace the front of the press to give it rigidity for tough chores.

    It looks kewl, but mechanically, it is a big step backwards.
     
  11. M-61

    M-61 "Quis Separabit" Site $$ Contributor

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    Thanks for the input. NOTHING positive at all. The RETRO comment may be valid in my case. Too many years ago I had a Hollywood Senior.(not a turret). Sold it for a RCBS A-4 in the early 80's.(still use it). I may have been attracted to the Summit through nostalgia.....anyway I think I'll pass now on it. Funny, comments were made regarding need of more force than one would think, and yet RCBS sells an OPTIONAL SHORTER arm.
     
  12. Forum Boss

    Forum Boss Administrator

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    The critics should actually use one.

    We have been using one for a month and encountered zero problems

    -- Plenty of power to size cases. Plenty.

    -- "it has more spring and flex than a 'C' press" -- I have no idea why this is suggested. The press we have is plenty rigid. We are holding tolerances as well as an "O" press, including base to ogive and concentricity measured on the bullet. The die-holder head moves straight down. Makes straight, repeatable ammo. We have not encountered a flex problem. See for yourself in the video we put up.

    -- "It is [too] heavy" -- Compared to what? It is lighter and smaller than a rockchucker and is much more portable.

    -- "Mechanically, it is a copy of the first Hollywood press of the late 1940s... unlike the old C presses and the original Hollywood of the past, there is no way to brace the front of the press to give it rigidity for tough chores" -- This press is NOT a clone of the Hollywood. The Summit moves the die down to the cartridge, not vice versa. The two mounting bolts for the press are in the FRONT. The press is very stable.

    In this instance I suggest that individuals who have not touched the press, installed it on a bench, or loaded a single round on it reserve their UNINFORMED negative comments until they have first-hand experience actually making ammo with the Summit.

    NOTE: I am NOT referring to those who have actually tested the press and found it not to their liking -- their comments are welcome. Although based on the unit we have used, I am somewhat puzzled at some of these comments as well.

    The bottom line here is that the guy who did our review likes the Summit so much that he plans to use it alongside his RCBS Rockchucker IV. If Mark didn't really like the Summit press it would be back in a box on my doorstep. He is keeping it and using it to load match ammo.

    Summit Press (Die moves down, links not hinged in middle)
    [​IMG]


    Hollywood Press (Cartridge/case moves up, completely different kind of linkage)
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Laurie

    Laurie Site $$ Contributor

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    Ha, happy to see someone support the press - I was beginning to wonder! :) :eek:

    We've yet to get a single example in the UK, but I've a promise of a loan of one from GMK, our RCBS / CCI etc importer for review for British handloaders, as soon as a shipment is received.

    I found it really difficult to believe that RCBS could have got such a major introduction wrong, and now look forward to trying one myself.
     
  14. Forum Boss

    Forum Boss Administrator

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    Laurie,
    There certainly can be variances in production line tolerances and assembly quality that might appear in some units. Maybe we got a "better than average" Summit. But I also wonder whether some of the "early adopters" who aren't happy have installed and lubricated the press properly. All I can say is that we loaded ammo with the exact same dies (and components) on both a Rockchucker and a Summit and we were very pleased with the results from the Summit. As with any new product, we were skeptical. But the press actually exceeded our expectations. Comparing Rockchucker vs. Summit:

    Control over headspace (shoulder bump) -- no discernable difference -- both excellent

    Uniformity of cartridge base to ogive -- no discernable difference -- both excellent

    Concentricity of loaded rounds (measured on both necks and bullet ogive) -- no discernable difference (.002 average on bullet with both presses)

    Ease of Use -- edge to the Summit because of open front, compact footprint and simpler, more reliable spent primer capture system.

    Results on target -- In F-Class matches, higher score was shot with Summit loaded ammo (but of course there are many other variables at play.) We certainly saw no evidence that any ammo accuracy was sacrificed with the Summit.

    I should add that we were loading for the .284 Winchester with dies that provided a very good match to the chamber and rounds did not have to be aggressively FL-sized. Perhaps if someone is trying to resize blownout brass from a SAAMI chamber a press with more leverage might seem better. But as far as we were concerned, there was no need for more leverage whatsoever.
     
  15. ridgeway

    ridgeway Site $$ Contributor

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    Is this press manufactured in the US?
     
  16. Forum Boss

    Forum Boss Administrator

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    Another thing I should add. The downward movement of the die-holding head has a maximum (when the links are fully extended). We found that, at full extension, the position of a full-length die is different relative to the shell-holder (compared to a rockchucker at full arm travel). This required loosening the locking ring and screwing the die down about .0085. Then everything was "same-same" compared to a rockchucker.

    To avoid lock-ring adjustments (when moving dies from one press to another), our tester fabricated a new, custom shell-holder base mount that is 0.085" taller than the factory shell-holder base. With this taller base in place, he could switch dies from Rockchucker to Summit with no more than .001" or so variance in base to ogive of loaded rounds (with pre-sorted bullets). We did, in fact, pull dies right out of the rockchucker and screw them into the Summit (as modified), and shoulder bump (headspace) was the same on sized cases.

    This makes me wonder about reports of excessive flex. Perhaps in other Summit units (not our test unit) the transverse holes in the castings which hold the linkages were over-size or otherwise not to spec. Or perhaps there is some other assembly issue I don't understand.
     
  17. TrxR

    TrxR

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    Boss: I seen the video he did. Very well done and it looked like a nice press. I am a little curious on his reasoning for running the expander through the brass after sizing it though.


    Thanks
     
  18. Forum Boss

    Forum Boss Administrator

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    Mark feels he gets a little better control over neck tension by using the expander after a bushing. Some people also feel that this moves neck-wall variances to the OUTSIDE, making the inside perfectly round, which helps seat bullets more smoothly and consistently. Some people do this, some people don't.
     
  19. M-61

    M-61 "Quis Separabit" Site $$ Contributor

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    Can't beat this site for a wealth of info. I was surprised by the comments on the negative side because I have been a die-hard (no pun) RCBS buyer since the early 60's, and have never had a problem.(and their customer service can not be beaten).
    Thanks again for the extensive answers....and to the FORUM BOSS....your phrase "same-same" took me back to a different time and place, momentarily.
    More importantly, all the info is much appreciated.
     
  20. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Site $$ Contributor

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    Man. Boss, I'm glad yours works well. Frankly I'm disappointed in mine. In your posting you suggested that resizing brass from a SAAMI chamber may over extend the design. But I was sizing Lapua brass fired in a CZ rifle which has no shoulder growth upon firing, as compared to new, unfired, Lapua brass. It took 1 and 1/4 turns in of a Lee FL sizing die to get the shoulders set back to where they needed to be, -.002. And this I did by sneaking up on it, I mean I threaded in the die the +1/4 turn, and it did nothing. I turned it in a wee bit at a time until I obtained the shoulder setback I sought, and set the lock ring, and sized my brass. Upon withdrawing the die from the die plate, and turning it in again I learned it was ~ 1 and 1/4 full turns in after firm contact with the shell holder. :(

    The cam-over force in my example is alarming.

    I emailed RCBS, and they are sending a shipping label so that I may return it to the factory for them to figure it out. In their email the tech said that he thinks that something is wrong with my press, and he wants to see if he can fix it. I have never, ever, faulted RCBS customer service which is top notch, and it may well be that I have a defective example, and that they may be able to fix it. I surely do hope so because I really like the design, and want to be able to enjoy the press. :)
     

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