In my last RCBS Grand post I performed an unboxing of the RCBS Grand shotshell reloading press. In this post I’ll give an overview of the RCBS grand press. I’ll also talk a bit about the bench system at Ultimate Reloader, and how I mounted the RCBS Grand on a compatible sub-plate. This system has been invaluable and gives me the ability to quickly store a press, mount it to the bench, and move it around all just by tightening/loosening 2-4 knobs (depending on the press or accessory) and sliding the mounting bolts in or out of the t-tracks.
Mounting the RCBS Grand was for the most part like mounting any other press. One notable exception is the provisions one must think about for the rear discharge chute. The completed shells are kicked out of the back of the press, and you either need to provide a hole in your bench to drop them through, or raise up the press so that you can put a bin behind the press. I opted for the latter approach and ended up using a 1.5″ riser box made of aluminum in order to provide enough clearance for the bin under the chute.
The sub-plate for the press was constructed of two 3/4″ pices of hardwood plywood glued and screwed together. In combination with the RCBS mounting plate and aluminum stand-off, this setup seems plenty rigid for this press, but I won’t know fore sure until I actually start loading shells with it since the force is much greater when sizing cases and operating all of the stations together. Let’s take a quick look at the stations on the RCBS Grand:
Here’s the station-by-station breakdown:
- Sizing and de-priming
- Wad insertion
- Shot drop
- Crimp start
- Final crimp
Yes, there’s a lot to keep track of, but we’ll take the loading process step by step in future posts. One of the other notable features on this press is the shot and powder measure assembly that you see in the image below.
This system uses a shared charge bar (the black bar) that is cycled back and forth by a linkage system when the press is cycled. These measures can also be drained quickly and easily by attaching a hose to the drain port next to each measure and then rotating the measure on it’s pivot bolt. When the measure is done draining you just rotate it back into “loading” position and optionally drain the other measure. I’m looking forward to trying out that feature!
In the above picture you can see the spring-loaded clips that hold shells in each of the stations. An intricate assembly that makes working with shells at each station much easier (I’ll find out just how much when I start loading!). The primer tray also has a linkage system that helps primers make their way into the drop tube. Lots of nice touches like this on this high-quality piece of gear.
Another part of the assembly that caught my attention is the swing-out wad guide. With the wad guide facing you it’s easy to drop in a wad. When the ram goes up, the wad guide pivots into position over station #4 just in time for the wad ram to push the wad down into the shell. All this happening very smoothly…
So that pretty much wraps up the press prep/mounting and press overview part of this project. I’m going to have to load up this press and get it working in order to show more of its functionality – and I’m looking forward very much to these next steps! I also put together a video to give you an in-person walk-through of the press, and some details about the mounting system:
Stay tuned for more RCBS Grand Shotshell loading action coming soon!