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Old May 10, 2014, 11:07 AM   #1
chipchip
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Join Date: December 21, 2005
Posts: 247
RCBS Summit press

Who has one of these and do you like it. Any problems with them. Thinking of getting one. I like the design of a small foot print.
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Old May 10, 2014, 10:46 PM   #2
GWS
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Join Date: September 8, 2010
Location: New Mexico
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This is going to be a more complicated answer than you expect, but here goes.

First, yes I like it.....a lot. Will it perform better than my old Rock Chucker II?

Yes, about the same, and no.

Yes (or things the R.C. can't do):
Smaller footprint-no lever in front of your bench; I love the highly visible and close-in open face; has optional parts like the short throw handle for seating and depriming in bulk, and the special parts to allow use of a Wilson Arbor Seater; easy to set up on a mobile mount to take with you somewhere ..... range, vacation or where-ever. (see the YouTube Videos on the RCBS Summit Press)

About the Same:
Linkage leverage (qualified...see the second paragraph below); Sizes and seats with miniscule run-out. Oozes quality with a ram movement as smooth as a baby's butt.

No:
It's really hard to beat a good "D" press design for rigidity, there's no parts that work loose. On the Summit I found that both the base bolts (casting to ram) and the two back adjustment bolts work loose and cause flex. Yes I know the adjustment bolts have lock nuts....they still work loose. Can it be rectified? Of course, just use blue Locktite when you tighten things up..........but the Rock Chucker is simpler....nothing to work loose. Such comes with the more complicated design......progressive presses have plenty of parts to work loose, and one wouldn't think of judging them negatively for that. Neither do I worry about it on my Summit....but flex is bad....fix it, buy some blue Locktite.

I also qualified the yes above on linkage leverage. For short people like me, the Rock Chucker is perfect leverage-wise mounted on a 36" high bench. The Summit mounted that high means really hard-to-size brass is even harder because I can't "lean" on the lever like I can on the R.C. .... it's just too high. Other than that it's fine. Sizes once fired Winchester .308 easy enough, once-fired LC 7.62.....not so easy....especially if it's been tumbled wet with stainless steel pin media. If you plan on tackling that use only the best lube....as good as Imperial is it fails in this test. RCBS lube pad and STP worked. Spray lubes and Imperial didn't.....yes it blew my mind....I use a lot of Imperial and lanolin spray lube.

Conclusion:
I won't get rid of my Rock Chucker any time soon......but on the other hand the Summit is sweet for many things......for me.....it's a keeper too! I'm finding that it streamlines and speeds up many of the procedures I do. Such as: It's faster at depriming pistol brass before wet tumbling; Case prep on rifle to be loaded on the progressive. I mounted it where I can sit down and size/deprime on it, bench swage, and use the Trim Mate, all without moving or even turning. I also mounted it at a slight angle so than the lever doesn't come at you while stroking. That happened to make it perfect to use with the Rock Chucker, because now I can operate both the Summit and Rock Chucker at once without moving or even having to swivel on the stool, sorta like having a turret. (waiting for the "just buy a turret" comments) Did I say I love the small footprint and the handy out of the way short seating lever handle? Very versatile press.

I will probably buy a second Summit to mount mobile. I go to the mountains with my family each August for a week....I get bored when the sun goes down....why not reload!?!

Last edited by GWS; May 11, 2014 at 10:49 AM.
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Old May 11, 2014, 11:05 AM   #3
stubbicatt
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Join Date: September 15, 2007
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My experience mirrors that of GWS. I like the Summit, it is smooth and easy to use. Mine came last summer, and all the fasteners were loose, requiring tightening. I do not understand why it was like that.

My initial testing yielded disappointing results, not due to the press, but due to a faulty shell holder that was not properly machined. Only thing is it took time to figure that out.

I would be content if the Summit were my only press, but I am grateful that I have others for specific purposes.
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Old August 5, 2014, 11:38 AM   #4
Tedbytes
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Join Date: August 5, 2014
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RCBS Summit Press

I have a reloading business these last 40 years and load many calibers and have various pieces of the fine RCBS brand; 200 RCBS dies,four RCBS Green Machine presses,Rock Chuckers and now a new Summit Press purchased from Midway last month,the green colored one not the Red,White,Blue variant.

I wanted yet another press that I could mount on one of my portable roll cabinet desk top work areas along with some Star and Saeco sizer lubricators for convenience as the RCBS Summit showed promise and the ram would not interfere with the pull out drawers of the roll chest mounting. The Summit does indeed have a small footprint and mounts well with two 3/8" bolts. I modified the supplied primer catch tray with a plastic snap lid ammo box of larger size using the supplied tiny plastic catch tray,no issue as I have used the press for over 5000 rounds now without one primer hitting the floor,nice job from RCBS on their concept. Now for my discomfort:
This press with its linkage and mechanical advantage requires more effort,even on a lowly .380 auto case than my other presses to include my Bonanza COAX.
All the linkages are sloppy and the massive ram actually itself quite solid,uses mounted castings with very oversized bore holes for the hardened link pins and cross bolts. This contributes to the die on its movable stage to wobble as the handle is lowered until the die enters the case. The aforementioned cross bolts are utilizing wave washers to help keep some of the wobble to a minimum. I have added 3/8" bore brass shim washers to take up some of the end play as I do not want to risk cracking the cast link ears as warned in the manual. The bored hole for the link pin is oversize and measures .389", 0r .014" oversize contributing to this sloppiness. This sloppiness once the die centers itself onto the case may assist proper centering during the sizing and expanding and seating process,but offers no help when the stage wiggles and actually misses the case mouth and deforms a case. The Summit press will handle large Magnum rounds,but with quite a lot of effort and there is no real mechanical advantage for the sizing stage of reloading. Knowing these limits I will continue to use this press as a secondary backup piece of equipment to my Hornady and Dillon machines for small orders. Ted
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Old August 5, 2014, 07:06 PM   #5
GWS
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Join Date: September 8, 2010
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As I posted above part of the leverage disadvantage is the mounting height of the press. (36" bench in my case) That coupled with my short frame, and the high above bench lever fulcrum, means that I can't lean on the lever with anything like I can putting my weight down on the Rockchucker handle.

The press works well once you get the looseness figured out: the bolts holding the ram to the upper and lower castings work loose and really effect leverage. Stabilize them and the two guide bolts/nuts that run in the back groove of the ram with blue loctite.

The press has its niches, but I don't think it is sizing Weatherby Magnums. I wouldn't use it as an only press unless I only loaded small cases. Again, it doesn't replace a good heavy duty "D" press, but it compliments one quite well.
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Old August 9, 2014, 04:32 PM   #6
Tedbytes
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Join Date: August 5, 2014
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RCBS Summit Press revisited

I made a cursory review of the newly introduced RCBS Summit Press earlier this month and have a short update. My call to ATK-Huntington-Speer-RCBS et al did not go un-rewarded. Currently as I speak, I am awaiting modified parts that should rectify my previously commented "sloppiness" regarding the die stage and linkages. The main issue as I have determined are the two 3/8-24 threaded and tapered set screws with lock nuts attached to the back of the massive Summit Ram. My new press was received with these two set screws barely in the .313" machined key way slot. The concept being that the ends of the mentioned set screw being machined and turned down in diameter at the end facing this key way slot,ride the key way slot for guidance. The concept is good only if the tolerances are followed. I received an exact .313" slot,top to bottom on my new press originally. The whole issue is that the turned down end that rides the slot is .307" allowing .006 difference when magnified at the die platform , induces much wobble or sloppiness as first described. If my new parts,the set screws, are a standard .307", I can always turn a grade eight 1" long setscrew down to .3125" or so. I hesitated bottoming the original undersized supplied screw against the bottom of the key slot as this wear over time will present other issues. It is far easier to replace screws than to re-mill the key way slot. Remember to keep all moving parts well lubed. So far I have over 11,000 decapped and sized 380,9mm and 30 Luger brass loaded these last three weeks and no wobble as I have made my own guide screws,and all dies hit the case mouth straight on with no dings. Ted Bates
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Old August 9, 2014, 11:23 PM   #7
chipchip
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Join Date: December 21, 2005
Posts: 247
I bought the Summit press 2 months ago. Everything on it was tight and solid and have had no problems with it. It is a very solid press as far as I'm concerned. Very happy with mine.
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