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Old August 25, 2012, 06:40 PM   #7
FrankenMauser
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Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 6,381
Quote:
Yes. Shell holders are made to a common standard, same as dies. All are brands are interchangeable.
Although that's theoretically true, it doesn't hold up when you examine different brands closely.
They're all designed to fit the same nominal dimensions of the 'modern' slotted press ram. But, that's about where the interchangeability and dimensional similarity stops.

Each company uses different bore sizes through the shell holder (for priming/depriming). Each company uses different chamfers on different parts of the shell holder. And, each company has their own idea of what the tolerances should be.

Hornady, for example uses a larger bore hole through the shell holders (for priming/depriming), due to certain dimensions on their case trimmer. No other brands will reliably fit that trimmer without modification.

As far as RCBS priming tools go:
Most Lee shell holders will NOT fit, without modifying parts of the tool(s). Even then, it's a tight fit.
Most Redding shell holders will fit, but may range from tight to a sloppy fit (depends on age).
Most Hornady shell holders will fit, but will be a little sloppy.
Newer RCBS shell holders fit without issues. But, older shell holders may be a tight fit, or require slight modifications to some parts of the tool(s).
I can't remember what I determined for Lyman shell holders in the RCBS priming tools.


Shell holders are "universal" in the idea that they fit all reloading presses with slotted rams. Outside of that... the dimensions are quite variable and their usefullness in certain tools ranges from questionable to "not even close".
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