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Old March 11, 2008, 12:12 PM   #1
snakyjake
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RCBS Pro 2000 Auto Indexing Thoughts?

Has anyone checked into the updated RCBS Pro 2000?

It seems to have the combined features of the Hornady LNL and Dillon 650, plus a few new features I haven't seen on another press:
5 stations
Removable die plate
Auto indexing
Micrometer adjustments
APS primer strips
Cast iron

Price is really high $690 retail ($520 online).
I also didn't see a case feeder addon (maybe in the future?).

Right now I have a few concerns. I watched a video on the Dillon press and notice the removable die plate has some give and slight movement to it when seating. I personally like tight tolerance like that of the Hornady LNL, but not sure about the RCBS removable die plate. I also hope the cast iron has some sort of lasting protection so it won't rust.

Any other thoughts?

Jake
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Old March 11, 2008, 01:42 PM   #2
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I have heard a lot of good things about that press but have never used one. I was looking on Graf's and they have the master kit for $678 but you can buy just the press for $377. It is the non auto indexing but you can buy the auto index kit for $50 at Midway.
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Old March 11, 2008, 02:27 PM   #3
snakyjake
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Just saw this guy's photos of the Pro 2000 (without the auto indexing): http://picasaweb.google.com/spencerh...25719440255058

Not sure how the dies or the adjustments compare to Hornady's LNL. Not sure if I like the wire/spring, perhaps not a big deal. And not sure how the powder measure compares to Hornady's LNL, looks identical to me.

Jake
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Old March 11, 2008, 05:10 PM   #4
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As I have an RCBS Pro 2000, I would be happy to help answer some of these questions.

Quote:
It seems to have the combined features of the Hornady LNL and Dillon 650, plus a few new features I haven't seen on another press:
5 stations
Removable die plate
Auto indexing
Micrometer adjustments
APS primer strips
Cast iron
5 stations, but the Pro 2000 does not bell the case mouth and drop the powder in one step. One of the 5 stations is dedicated to the powder measure. In fact, the measure isn't fixed to the die plate, but stays on the machine all the time. I personally like that--you don't have to move the powder measure to change calibers, and changing the powder charge is quick because of the micrometer.

Auto-indexing is a new feature. I saw it in action at the SHOT show and it looks very solid. It's a bit more than $50 to upgrade a non-autoindexing press. MidwayUSA has it listed for $72.99, not in stock yet as of this posting. Count on $80 to $85, after shipping is added, to upgrade one. By the way, it's not a trivial upgrade. The entire lower portion of the shell plate rotational assembly gets replaced. I say this because I don't think they are gouging us on the upgrade cost, but I don't know how complex or difficult the procedure will be.

You highlighted three of my favorite features: micrometer adjustments, aps primer strips, and cast iron. The press is just very solid and a joy to use. The powder measure is spot on every time. I keep a record of my settings and can return to them any time I want. Being just a bit anal retentive , I also graph the settings that I use and can predict within +/- five on the micrometer of where a new powder load needs to be set. APS priming is, in my opinion, safer and faster than using primer tubes. It's easy to see when you are out, and the Pro2000 comes with the strip loader. I bought 3000 primers already on strips and now I have enough large primer strips to last a lifetime.

Quote:
Price is really high $690 retail ($520 online).
I also didn't see a case feeder addon (maybe in the future?).
I agree, the Pro 2000 does carry a premium pricetag, as do many RCBS products these days. I bought mine 2 years ago for $400 shipped from Grafs. I made the decision after problems with a Lee Loadmaster, and after a careful comparison with the Dillon 550B. The 650 was, at that time, a whole other level of expense higher. Haven't really done the math lately. If I had known more about the Hornady Lock-N-Load at the time, I would have seriously considered it. I'm sure that the free bullet deal is pushing many folks that way--it's just a hard deal to pass up.

There is NO case feeder addon, and as far as I know, none planned. I spoke with Allan Jernigan at the SHOT show. He feels that the placment of the initial case on the shell plate would put a case feeder right in the users face. Instead, he said that they are pursuing a possible bullet feeder. I guess that the idea is that if you are reducing the number of items fed by one, it doesn't really matter which item you feed manually, case or bullet.

Quote:
Right now I have a few concerns. I watched a video on the Dillon press and notice the removable die plate has some give and slight movement to it when seating. I personally like tight tolerance like that of the Hornady LNL, but not sure about the RCBS removable die plate. I also hope the cast iron has some sort of lasting protection so it won't rust.
The RCBS removable die plate also has some play. It certainly is not a surgical fit, but I haven't considered the play objectionable. I haven't had any problem at all with rust. The machine is well coated with the standard RCBS powder coat finish.

Other items of note: Caliber changes are fairly cheap, and very quick. If your dies are already adjusted, changing die plates takes about 5 seconds. Changing from large to small primers or vice versa is a 1 minute change. Shell plate takes about 2 minutes to change. Powder dispenser may need a turn or two up or down, and you may need to change powder funnels if moving from rifle to pistol. Not all changes are required every time. I can go from 45ACP to 30-06 or 308 without a shellplate or primer change. Just change the die plate, adjust the powder measure, and you're good to go. I forgot to add, it's very easy to empty the powder measure. It removes with a single thumbscrew--you don't need to dismount the measure base from the press or disturb any settings.

Overall, it's a solid machine that has several improvements over the older Dillon design, especially in the area of priming. The lack of a case feeder is now its achilles heel, as that will limit the maximum speed that the Pro 2000 can attain. It certainly loads quickly enough for me as it is now, though.

Hope this helps. I would be glad to answer any additional questions that you might have. I don't have any connection to RCBS, but I really like this press and don't feel that its features are widely enough known.

Cheers,

BuffDriver

Last edited by buffdriver; March 11, 2008 at 06:16 PM.
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Old March 11, 2008, 06:14 PM   #5
snakyjake
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Here's some more followup questions (I'm interest in pistol reloading):

1. What makes the APS primer system safer than using primer tubes?

2. When it comes to die setup, I'm still a bit confused on all the different types of configurations on a 5 die setup. I've read that some presses can expand and drop power in a single station. I've read that some like to crimp and crimp in different stations, and some in a single station. One feature I really wanted to do is the RCBS lockout die for safety, but not sure of the advantages of separate die stations for seat and crimp. "Pro 2000 does not bell the case mouth and drop the powder in one step," sounds like I can't use a powder check die?

3. I believe the Hornady LNL also has the same powder system and micrometer adjustments (not 100% sure).

4. How do the dies compare to Hornady? The Hornady has the titanium nitride so the case lube isn't necessary.

So it looks like the differences between the RCBS and Hornady are:
Hornady: Case feeder option (no big deal to me right now).
RCBS: Cast iron (probably not important, but I do like the feel of a well made system.)
RCBS: APS primer system

Right now they are both a tie, and I'm looking for the tie breaker (besides the price)

If anyone knows of a store(s) that carry these in Western Washington, please me know.

BuffDriver, thanks for the great explanations.

Jake
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Old March 12, 2008, 04:44 PM   #6
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Thanks Buff, good write-up. I was wondering how you like the primer strips. Have you had any problems with them and how easy are they to fill.
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Old March 12, 2008, 04:47 PM   #7
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I've used the APS priming system and hate it. I'll take Dillon's tubes, any day.
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Old March 12, 2008, 04:55 PM   #8
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Alleykat, Why did you hate the APS system? From my Internet readings, the APS sounds like an improvement over the tube system. I've heard claims that the APS system is safer, and have heard that it is simpler to indicate when you're low our out of primers.

CrustyFN, it should be easy to load the strips with RCBS's Primer Strip Loader. You can also buy the strips pre-loaded.

Jake
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Old March 12, 2008, 05:58 PM   #9
buffdriver
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Quote:
1. What makes the APS primer system safer than using primer tubes?
Safer is just my opinion, and a claim that RCBS makes (RCBS actually sells a primer tube conversion system for the Pro2000). However, the popular theory is that if a primer in a tube explodes, all the others will be set off as well. I don't know how often that happens with tube systems, but it is something to consider. My main preference for the APS system is how easy they are to load compared with punching the primers one-at-a-time using pickup tubes. Some folks do have a thingy called vibra-prime that makes loading primer tubes easier. I also noticed that Dillon now has an automatic primer filler that eliminates the need for pickup tubes--only costs $275! With APS, I like that I can see and notice very easily when it's time to add another strip.

Quote:
2. When it comes to die setup, I'm still a bit confused on all the different types of configurations on a 5 die setup. I've read that some presses can expand and drop power in a single station. I've read that some like to crimp and crimp in different stations, and some in a single station. One feature I really wanted to do is the RCBS lockout die for safety, but not sure of the advantages of separate die stations for seat and crimp. "Pro 2000 does not bell the case mouth and drop the powder in one step," sounds like I can't use a powder check die?
Depends on how you want to set up the machine. Here's my setup:

1. Deprime & Resize
2. Expand Case Mouth & Prime
3. Powder Charge
4. Seat Bullet
5. Lee Factory Crimp

Note that station 3 is part of the press, not part of the die plate. Alternatives would be to use a lockout die for station 4 while seating/crimping using one die in station 5.

Hornady and Dillon both use a powder through expander system to combine steps 2 & 3 above. You can do the same with the Pro2000 if you want, but it would require purchasing a powder-through-die setup from Hornady. I've heard some complaints from LNL users here regarding the difficulty of setting up this system. I haven't used it myself. Realize also that if you go that route with the Pro2000, the powder system is now part of the die plate and will have to be transferred to another die plate when changing calibers. Too much trouble for me. I do wish that the Pro2000 had another die position.

Quote:
3. I believe the Hornady LNL also has the same powder system and micrometer adjustments (not 100% sure).
The powder measures are similar. The Pro2000 comes standard with the micrometer, while it's an added cost for the LNL. The LNL uses powder measure inserts, each of which holds a specific setting, so you would need one insert for each caliber or load to avoid a trial-and-error change each time.

Quote:
4. How do the dies compare to Hornady? The Hornady has the titanium nitride so the case lube isn't necessary.
All die manufacturer make carbide dies in pistol calibers, which do make case lube unnecessary. Any standard dies may be used in either the Pro2000 or the LNL, although I understand that it's best to use a Hornady crimp die in station 5 of the LNL due to problems with other manufacturers' dies clearing the case eject wire.

I want to add that I am not trying to knock any product out there. I've only used the RCBS Pro2000 and the Lee Loadmaster. Any information above about Dillon or Hornady products is what I've learned from reading about the products, inspecting them at the SHOT show, and listening to online comments from other users. If I'm mistaken on any point, I'm sure that someone will correct me.

Cheers,

BuffDriver
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Old March 12, 2008, 06:59 PM   #10
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I own the Dillon 550 and have loaded 5 different calibers in excess of 90,000 rounds on it over the last 10 years. Last year I added a Hornady LNL and currently I am using the Dillon for small primer loads, and the Hornady for .45 acp, and .44 mag. In the last year I loaded 7,000 rounds+ on the LNL.

Both presses have their quirks, and I am not thinking of selling either I like haveing two different calibers set up at the same time. The auto index is not at fast as you would think I can actually load a good bit faster on the Dillon 550 than I can on the Hornady LNL. This is partly practice but the 550 is just more ergonomic, and compact. With the Hornady I have to reach around the press if I use two hands to place the case and bullet.

On the Dillon left hand rotates the shellplate and places the bullet, and the right hand pulls the handle, and places the empty case in station 1.

On the Hornady right hand pulls the lever and places the bullet(reaching around the press support) left hand places the case in station one. Or I use the left hand to place the bullet and the case.

The case feeder probably improves the speed of either press but I dont have one for either.

The slop you refer to in the Dillon shell plates is no problem, when you set the die lock rings you put a case in very station and run the ram up. That references/ indexes the adjustments. There is no movement when the shells are in the dies. Dillons dies are made for progressive reloading, and changing the tool head is quick and easy, and no you dont need more than one powder measure, its easier to change the measure over on the 550 than on the LNL, if you go from a tall case to a short one, like .45 acp to .44 mag on the Hornady LNL, you have to take the measure off and completely readjust it on the through powder die.

The Dillon does in 4 stations what the hornady needs 5 for. I have found the through powder expander on the Hornady doesnt bell the cases enough for lead bullets, its marginal for jacketed, at least in .45 acp. That means a seperate belling die for proper belling on hardcast lead on the LNL.

The dillon powder measure is better for pistol powders and is not sensitive to large flake powder like, unique and trailboss. The Dillon through powder belling funnels are easy to adjust, and do a great job, heck you can make a spitoon if you want. The Dillon powder die is set once and stays on the tool head with the caliber you are loading. The Hornady measure may be good for rifle but its not so good for pistol size charges, and the pistol insert suffers bridging with large flake powders I like to use, the rifle insert works ok though provided you use a baffle which Hornady doesnt make!!

Overall the Hornady is a bigger heavier more solid press, but the Dillon 550 is no slouch in that department either.
Both are excellent presses, and you cant go wrong either way. The 650 is a whole nother level of expense and complexity, so you cant really compare it to the LNL as some try to do.

I have never used the pro 2000, but the APS would not be my choice, its additional expense and hassle, not everyone carries them loaded, and loading them is an extra step. I have never had any problem with the primer tubes, nor have I had a primer detonate. The dillon does have a very heavy primer magazine tube and the primer on both presses is seated well away from the magazine.

I dont use a lock out die, I eye every round before I put the bullet on, good lighting and case filling powders prevent double charges for me.

Decapping and resizing are much cleaner on the Hornady LNL, it keeps the primer seating seperate and clean as well. The Dillon is very dirty in its depriming operation and all of the residue falls into the primer seating station, this means you have to clean it avery 200 rounds or so or the crud causes problems.

JMHO YMMV
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Old March 13, 2008, 01:13 AM   #11
snakyjake
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"Master Blaster", awesome comments!

I'm not sure what you meant about the ergonomics and how you had to reach around the press to place a case and bullet. I was watching this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiITwOLVp0s and didn't notice him reaching around the press. Or maybe that's because he was placing a bullet in the middle of a rotation. It does seem kinda funky, but this guys seems to have made it work quite well for himself with his rhythm.

I haven't seen the primer work, but it seems odd that anything could cause detonation in the tube (which some people have said has happened to other people. Which may have happened do to negligence). I'm guessing that a primer comes out of the tube and into the shell plate. This would then isolate the primer seating from the rest of the primers in the tube.

Jake
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Old March 13, 2008, 06:19 AM   #12
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BTW based upon cost and features I would advise somone debating these two presses that the Hornady is the better deal, the free bullets make it a much better deal, in fact its darn near free. I would also advise them to get Hornady dies, and a hornady crimping die, and not mess with any other maker's dies, you get free bullets with those also, so its like getting them at half price or better.

I would also recommend that they buy it from Graffs, good service and their shipping is $4.95, not $50 like from some other sellers.

Note my comments are related to loading pistol rounds. I do all of my rifle reloading on a Super rock chucker single stage. For rifle if you want a progressive then the Hornady is going to be a better press by far than the 550.
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Old March 13, 2008, 01:40 PM   #13
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I've patiently waiting for the auto index upgrade to become available. Everytime I check it seems to be delayed another week.
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Old March 13, 2008, 01:57 PM   #14
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I loaded on a friend's RCBS 2000 press, which utilized the APS. I just hated it...having to connect the plastic strips..LOADING THE STRIPS with the plastic strip-loader was a pain. If I owned the RCBS press, I'd buy the optional tube system. When a primer gets pinched or jammed, dealing with the strips was also a pain in the butt.

I probably wouldn't like the tube system so much if I used a flip tray and pecked primers to fill the tubes. I use the Vibra-Prime, and I can load a tube effortlessly in about 10 seconds.
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Old March 13, 2008, 02:34 PM   #15
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The primer tube detonations I have heard of all occurred on Dillon 650's. The 650 uses a rotating circular plate to feed primers from the bottom of the tube to the priming location, and there are several primers in the plate, in route between the tube and priming location at any one time. The close proximity of these in-transit primers to each other, to the priming location, and to the tube sets up a chain event where one primer goes off while being seated, setting off the ones in the plate, which then set off the tube.

The LNL AP, 550, and the 2000 tube feeder all transfer one primer at a time from the tube to the priming location, some distance away, which helps prevent detonations propagating to the tube.

Andy
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Old March 14, 2008, 05:46 AM   #16
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Hornady Progressive

I bought a Hornady Pro-Jector 5 station progressive press for $169 when Jumbo sports was going out of business. It has worked flawlessly since and still looks brand new. I only use Lee Deluxe pistol and rifle die sets in mine. Unlike the LNL, the Pro-Jector is much more lenient for different dies selections and settings. I reload for 32 different calibers and have yet to encounter a problem with either rifle or pistol. Why Hornady quit making this product I'll never know.

It takes about 15 minutes to get a new shell plate and shell kicker lever adjusted just right and about another 20 minutes to get the pwoder dispenser adjusted to within a 10th of a grain (so I'm cautious and take my time). I don't use the primer feed system much since it is a pain to go from large to small primers. The only time I use the whole system is when I'm loading new factory brass. I might look at ordering a separtae primer seat assembly if Hornady still carries the parts. That way I can have a separate seat assembly for each size. The thought just occurred to me.

For depriming, I use a Lee hand loader with universal depriming die. That way I can deprime, inspect, and measure each case prior to the tumblers. Then for priming, I use the RCBS hand primers (I keep one set for small and another set for large) and they are great for perfect primer seating depth. That way I can do a final inspection of the cases prior to priming. Can't be too careful. I can usually do 800-1,000 cases in under 3 hours while watching TV.

Hope it helps.
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Old June 15, 2008, 07:41 AM   #17
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Pro 2000

It is easy to modify the Uniflow on the Pro 2000 to expand the case and drop the powder on the same station. However, you have to have a lathe or buy the Hornady powder measure. The drop tube on the Uniflow just requires that the tube that activates the auto powder dispense incorporate the expander. Don't know why RCBS hasn't alredy done this. I asked RCBS in early 2003 about this and told them I had already dont the modification, but they haven't chossen to release the changed drop tube. Hornady has since done it and Dillon and Lee both have this capability.

Maybe if enought Pro 2000 users ask RCBS for this modification, they will release it.
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Old June 15, 2008, 04:08 PM   #18
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Lyman makes a powder die that works with the Uniflo, and the Lyman die does expand, similar to the way the Dillon system works.
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Old June 15, 2008, 05:08 PM   #19
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Snakyjake,

I've used a 2000 (non AI) for about four years now and I love the press. No issues whatsoever. I load for nine cartridges and the conversion time is much faster than with the 650 and 1050 which I cranked on for seven or eight years...hated changeovers.

I like ruggedness and simplicity. The 2000 is pretty much the standard-bearer in those categories.

I purchased the optional tube system but have not used it. The strip system works very well and is fast.

With regard to the comment on die plate wobble. Slight movement is engineered in...permits the case to index the center of each die and the powder drop tube, respectively. Tis a good thing.

There's a reason why the 2000 was selected for use by both the NRA technical staff and the USMC Pistol Team. It's a good press/system.
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Old June 16, 2008, 09:16 AM   #20
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I just loaded 400 rounds of 9mm with my RCBS Pro 2000 and then switched to 357 Sig. I plan to load 1K of them today because I'm getting ready to go to LFI.
I have the old one and don't really want to improve it. I have it's quirks down and want to just sit and reload.

I'm a nut for safety so I hooked on a clamp on high intensity light so I can see into each case mouth after the powder drop. This is easy and gives me much peace of mind. I load up 15 primer strips before I start and I try to do 100 rounds at a time, take a coffee break, and start again.

My 9mm station has an RCBS Sizer, an RCBS to bell the case and seat the primer at the same stroke, powder measure, then I have a Lee seater, and a Redding taper crimp. I'm a cheap bastage so I use stuff I've purchased used.
My bullets work really well so I'm very happy.

I load 9mm, 357 Sig, 40, and 45 ACP, and have case heads for each. and I can load each in one day.
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Old June 16, 2008, 06:14 PM   #21
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Pro 2000 works

I've been using a pro 200 for two years now. Solid yes, customer assistance second to none. the APS feature is the worst.
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Old June 16, 2008, 07:49 PM   #22
Peter M. Eick
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As a pro2000 user, I can only add that the APS system is the main reason I bought it. No way I was going to risk primer detonations like a tube system.



This is just one of several buckets I have of aps strips that I have accumulated. I buy all of my primers preloaded so I use one and add to the pile. I have started to sort them more carefully as time goes on. They take up a lot of space if you just toss them in the pile.

According to my records I have now loaded 199,515 rounds out of my pro2000. The auto-index upgrade will be added to my next midway order.
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Old December 27, 2008, 07:05 PM   #23
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I just applied the auto index upgrade to my Pro 2000 and removed the tube primer I had previously added. A couple of years ago I did not care for the idea of the APS but now it is appealing, and works great. The auto index is worth it , I loaded about 80 rounds of 32-20 in about 20 minutes, my first try and absolutly no mishaps. Much better than the manual indexing. I am using a powder level indicater die and like it also, can look at die and tell if powder charge is proper.

I think the upgrade is worth the price, about $82 delivered from Midway.
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Old December 28, 2008, 12:27 PM   #24
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The only thing I don't like about the pro 2000 is the APS. But from the sounds of it a tube prime systems wouldn't be much better.
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Old January 31, 2009, 10:21 PM   #25
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Quote:
It is easy to modify the Uniflow on the Pro 2000 to expand the case and drop the powder on the same station. However, you have to have a lathe or buy the Hornady powder measure.
Actually, there is a very inexpensive way to do this. Buy the Lee powder through the belling die, and stick a Lee Auto Disc Pro on top. You now have the equivalent of a 6 station press for all of $35 for the Lee additions.

Add me to the list of satisfied APS users. Very reliable and easy to use. No additional expense as someone suggested. The loader and strips come with the press. Any primers can be loaded into the strips.
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