Calling all RCBS Pro-2000 users!

Recently, I gathered feedback from Lee Loadmaster owners. Today it’s time to call out to all you RCBS Pro-2000 owners! You APS-loving cast iron frame equipped people know who you are. 🙂

RCBS Pro-2000 setup to load .223 Remington - Image copyright 2011 Ultimate Reloader

So what was it about the RCBS Pro-2000 that made you decide to buy into that system? What do you like about it now that you have it? What don’t you like? What do you load with it? Do you buy APS strips pre-loaded, or do you “roll your own”?

Here’s some things I like about this press:

  • APS priming system works well – especially when you use pre-loaded strips
  • Cast iron construction is super-beefy
  • Flex-free handle
  • Convenient bin hangers and side tray

Here’s a video showing the Pro-2000 loading 308 Winchester:

This is a great press for loading rifle ammo. The Pro-2000 does not have a case feeder, but for many progressive reloading scenarios you don’t need a case feeder. The press I have (shown here) is of the auto-indexing variety. You can also get a manually indexing version (works kind of like the Dillon RL-550b – you turn a star wheel to index manually).

Anyone use the tube priming system? I haven’t tried it.

OK guys, get your “Green-On” and tell us about your Pro-2000!


20 thoughts on “Calling all RCBS Pro-2000 users!”

  1. The Pro 2000 (manual index) is my very first press and I put a lot of work into researching it before I purchased. I decided on the manual index as it would slow me down and force me to focus more on the process. I’m a high volume shooter and needed (wanted?) a press that could keep up and that I wouldn’t need to spend a ton of time on per session. Some other reasons I decided on it are:

    1. Upgradeable to auto index and a bullet feeder. The machine can grow as my skill does making my investment more worth while over the long term.
    2. 5 stations allow more flexibility as compared to the 550 which I was also considering
    3. The die head allows me to change calibers without moving the powder measure. The time it takes to switch from 223 to 9mm is minimal.
    4. APS system – I was sold on the added safety of the APS strips and didn’t want to load pick up tubes. In hindsight, the APS primer loader probably isn’t much faster and pick up tubes are probably easier (the primers don’t always slip into the slot because the press bar is too low on mine). Buying preloaded strips solves that problem however.
    5. The quality and service are on par with any other manufacturer
    6. It was “different”. I know that sounds cliche’ but Dillon has been around so long in the progressive world that there are a lot of users therein creating a louder voice. The features of the Pro 2000 appeared well thought out and logical. I was willing to take a chance on the underdog and wasn’t disappointed.

    I took my time setting it up and dialing it in before loading any ammunition. Doing that gave me a good understanding of the machine which helped me trouble shoot it and run it smoothly. So far I love it and am a very satisfied Pro 2000 user and first time reloader.

  2. I have had the Pro 2000 for almost two years now. It is a great press. It is ultra reliable and very sturdy. I have no real complaints. I have ordered the RCBS Tube Pistol Bullet Feeder in 45 ACP. I am hoping this works well. They need to make one in 223.

    1. John- if you are referring to the motorized bullet feeder that RCBS makes, it’s available in 3 different forms:
      1. Pistol bullet feeder kit (works with multiple calibers)
      2. .22 caliber rifle bullet feeder (works with .223 and other 22 cal cartridges like 22-250)
      3. .30 caliber rifle bullet feeder (works with .308, 30-06, etc)

      1. Gavin – I was referring to the new tube only pistol bullet feeder where you manually stack the pistol bullets in the tube. I would like to see the same idea in 223. It would be a lot cheaper than the motorized version.

    1. Here I was using the Redding seating die because of the micrometer depth adjustment (RCBS does make a die like that) and the “sliding collar” alignment system. Lots of options for die configurations! 🙂

  3. I only load .45 acp and used a piggyback for several years but was never comfortable with the safety of the unshielded primer tube on that press. I upgraded about a year ago to the pro 2000 with the auto index and couldn’t be happier. I like the aps priming system, the heavy cast frame, and the way the auto index is designed. Up until last week, I have always seated and crimped in separate dies, but I just added the RCBS lock out die and think it is a great addition. And as a previous poster noted, “everyone” uses Dillon, so I would agree that there is some pleasure in being different.

    I don’t make it there often, but I really like your website and studied your press comparisons before I purchased the pro 2000.

  4. I viewed all of your videos before deciding to purchase the Pro 2000 one year ago. After using it for a year now to load 9mm 45ACP and 38 Spl I am convinced that I made the right choice. It has never given me any problems. I can load 300 rounds in an evening without a single problem cropping up. I have never had to adjust or tweak anything, and caliber changes are easy and quick.

    I have three die plates set up for my three calibers. Each has a Lee sizer, RCBS expander, , RCBS lockout die, and a Lee bullet seat/crimp die. This setup works reliably and well.

    My primary reasons for buying the Pro 2000 were the safety of the primer system (I live in a condo building) and the quick caliber change over. Since then, I’ve found that the powder measure is incredibly accurate and easy to adjust. I’ve very happy with my press, and I credit Ultimate Reloader with giving me the knowledge of how each press worked which enabled me to choose this one.

  5. Well I am the senior of most RCBS Pro 2000 owners
    Meaning I bought one of the first to be sold.
    I bought my Pro 2000 before they hit the retailers I ordered it.
    That was after I seen an ad in Hand Loader Magazine in January 2000 I think
    After seeing the ad I tried to find out some info about the Pro 2000 from Midway and other suppliers.
    They all told me the same thing they are waiting on them. So I called RCBS tech department.
    The RCBS tech guy told me they are waiting on parts to start assembling them for shipping.
    The next thing stuck me by surprise the tech guy asked me to hold on, a few seconds later
    Someone else answered the phone it was the president of RCBS,
    he asked me so you are interested in the Pro 2000, my reply was yes sir,
    He told me that over the years he had reloaded with just about every press made
    and that when you compare the Pro 2000 to any of them it is the easiest to use period.
    He also went on to say if I buy it save all the original boxes and packing along with the receipt.
    If I did not like it a month, 3 months, 6 months or a year after box it up and ship it back.
    They would refund me my money. The Pro 2000 is the first thing I ever bought sight unseen.
    Well I still have the press and it hasn’t had a single part brake on it after maybe 100,000 rounds.
    I have loaded with a lot of different press including
    Lee, Hornady, Dillon, Star, Texan and other RCBS presses
    They all work if you know what you’re doing
    What separates the presses is first ease of use and dependability
    Second is service from the company. RCBS and Dillon are second to none.
    Third is the cost of the press and how much does it cost for each caliper setup.
    Remember sometimes you get what you pay for; if you pay a little more you get a lot more.
    In my opinion dollar for dollar the RCBS Pro 2000 is the Best of the Best

  6. Everyone, I have been going round and round with Red, Blue or Green. I have decided Green. I have used RCBS in single stage, and own a lot of there dies. Anything I have called about to RCBS has been answered and handled without fail.
    Being in the stages, no pun intended, of comparing the three major brands of auto indexing progressive presses. I feel that this seems to be the easiest to understand, setup, and cheapest on caliber changes.
    The only worry I have is that I use mostly extruded powders, i.e H4895, N-120, IMR 4227, IMR 4350 and 2400. I am hoping that the powder dispenser will handle these powders accurately. Calibers I will be loading mostly are .223, .44 Magnum, .44 Special, 30-30, .25-06, and .303 British. I know this is a let’s hear from current owners, but could someone please relate to the accuracy of this powder dispenser with the mentioned powders?
    I guess if all else fails, I will be looking for new loads using ball powders. I am not looking forward to starting over years of load data because the hopper will not dispense accurately.
    Please forgive the long post. I feel this would be a place to get a very honest answer as your videos are very informative, in HD, and are superbly edited with just enough information to keep interest as well as hitting on the points that need to be hit upon to make a decision.

    Thank you.

  7. I’m not a current user of this 2000 pro loader, but have been looking at the blue RL550B. You have helped me to stick with “green”. I also want to thank you for your kindness and respect for others, and for the simple fact that you didn’t have foul language in your video.

    Thank you,

  8. Gavin: Thank you for a great video, and report. This and the response from other users is great. I am a NEW reloader. I chose the RCBS Pro2000 w/auto indexing. I too researched to death. It was really between Dillon and RCBS. I have to say I’m an underdog supporter! And I didn’t want to pay for “the name” when there are other brands out there that put out the same quality and have excellent customer support which RCBS does. Since I’m a newbie, I’m not proficient enough YET to load 5.56 Nato and hopefully soon 5.7×28. I’ll use a RCBS single press for 5.7×28. I love precision tools and I also happen to sell precision products. But I made a great choice and after you get over the initial set up cost, you can make better ammo than you can buy at Cabelas at much cheaper prices. So I’ll continue my studies and become the most proficient ammo maker I can and enjoy the processes, challenges etc that produce excellent ammo with a smile on my face

  9. Hey,

    I have to ask… I notice that in the last shot and sometimes in others I could see the reloader move. That is, as the arm was being worked, the whole press jumps and pitches a few mm.

    Is that a bad thing? I had heard that this can cause variance, usually bad for the consistency of the rounds being reloaded.


  10. I am interested on building a reloading bench like I have seen in you videos. What is the name of the metal rail I see in the video.

  11. I bought my RCBS 2000 in early 2002 for $299 on sale. One of the real selling points, for me, was the APS Priming System that lessened the likelihood that a primer magazine was going to go up(look at the pics of the Dillon 550s at Nosler’s Reloading Lab where they load for daily bullet testing. Large black rings on the ceiling). Dillon has you protected with a magazine tube(from frag), however, I have lost enough hearing loss and tinnitus and the thought of a priming tube going bang was something I wanted to avoid. I wear safety glasses, however, I hate to have to wear ear muffs(electronic or not) as well.

    I will say the press is tremendously impressive for the amount of IRON you got for your reloading dollar. I had recently bought(2002) a good bit of high end Bench Rest Gucci Gear and while it worked well(still does) the 2000 kind of made it pale by comparison on a value basis. In retrospect I really don’t regret any of those purchases, however, some have proven better buys than others. The Pro 2000 was one of my best buys… Along with an old OLD Rock Chucker and RCBS 1010 scale missing quite a few parts. I sent both back to RCBS for a check up and they essentially rebuilt the old Rock Chucker and “lapped the ram to 100% contact”. Granted you can’t lap what is not there to begin with so I suspect it got a NOS ram. They replaced the RCBS Ohaus 1010 with a brand new Made in USA RCBS 1010(No longer made). The Old Rock Chucker(odd light green color) loads ammunition just as concentrically as my Forster Co-Ax. Granted you can’t seat a straight bullet in a crooked case neck. Proper sizing technique is a must.

    The RCBS 2000 reminds me of a HUGE Rock Chucker. Very similar make up… I was VERY interested in the new 7 station RCBS Press until I found out it was an aluminum frame… It may have VERY little to do with the finished product, however, the Pro-2000 screams over built. I am VERY fond of mine…

    There are two things that I think really add to this press. One comes with it and the other you have to buy. The first is the Uni-flow Powder Measure with the Micrometer adjustment. I have found that it is more accurate when actuated through the press assembly than when worked by hand. As a matter of fact it is more accurate on the press than I am with my Harrell’s Scheutzen Pistol Powder Measure is when I throw loads by hand. Granted the Harrell’s unit is as good as it gets and the weak link is obviously me. Still is says something very positive about the old Uni-flow that it is more accurate than a custom measure that with stand costs as much as the entire Pro-2000. Value for dollar rears it’s head. The second MUST HAVE item is one you have covered in detail on your sight and is another feather in RCBS’s Hat. The RCBS Lock Out Die… Once set you can be just a little less OCD about the measure throwing and empty, light, or double charge. I have had it LOCK MY PRESS up several times over the years. Each one of those times I MAY HAVE CAUGHT THE PROBLEM BY EYE and I MAY NOT… In any event it has paid for itself many, many times over in my book…fwiw & imho.

    In short I LOVE this press. I came very close to buying a Dillon 650 a full 8 years before the 2000 and no doubt I would have been just as happy with that press if not more so with the options of bullet AND case feeder. However, I allowed an expert who had never cranked the handle on ANY progressive press talk me out of my Dillon purchase as it was an “amateurs” reloading press. Must make me a professional with the RCBS?…(grin)

    The ONLY press I would trade my PRO 2000 in for would be a Dillon 1050 and that I consider to be HIGH praise for a $299 5 station press to be spoken in the same breath as a $1750 plus 8 station press.

    I have been mildly disappointed in the aftermarket not making anymore performance mods for the Pro-2000s than they have… Not that the press is wanting, however, with this much cast iron and rigidity I would be interested to see what a CNC Die Plate and a few other items could have offered. At the moment it is pistol only. I just don’t shoot anything else enough to make it worthwhile… Precision Rifle is loaded on a Forster Co-Ax, that old RCBS Rock Chucker, and a Hood type BR Press.

    That said even with today’s choices I think it is an excellent product…

    Regards, Matt.

  12. I have just started using the Auto Index 2000 over my two Rock Chucker’s that I have used for years with no problems. I wanted the upgrade to load more rounds in less time. I have had nothing but problems from day one. The auto index is always out of sink and I have to move it by hand,, the primer loader is always jamming and I loose more primers than I install. Do I have a lemon? Is anyone else having these problems? I have watched every video on the press and from what I have seen no one else seems to be having any problems. I hate to think I just invested a lot of money in a boat anchor. I have gone back to the Rock Chucker’s. I have called RCBS and got no help. Anyone have any suggestions?

  13. The RCBS Pro 2000 is an awesome press.

    I bought one recently Part Number 88875 which is the manual indexing shell plate version.

    Yes recently, April 2018, and had it shipped to Australia.

    It is worth every penny as I have previously owned a Dillon 550 and a Hornady LNL AP, and I can tell you those presses present many issues in comparison to the RCBS Pro 2000.

    It is a pity that RCBS don’t still produce this press, and I sent RCBS an email telling them so.

    I then went and bought the Auto Indexing Upgrade Kit, Part Number R88883, It was very simple to install.

    The press set up is quite easy as long as you take the time to read the instructions and follow them. Also Ultimate Reloader have an excellent series of videos on setting up the RCBS Pro 2000 and due to the excellent video series I also bought the RCBS Bullet Feeder Kit.

    I have no issues with the APS Priming System, it beats the hell out of a primer tube system. Just read the instructions or watch the video on Ultimate Reloader!

    The changing of the shell plate for different calibers is simple. Read the instructions or watch the video on RCBS Website or go to Ultimate Reloader!

    I only had one minor issue and that was with the RCBS Powder Expander Die for 9mm. It couldn’t flare the case mouth sufficiently, and the die was touching the shell plate. The easiest fix was to purchase a Hornady Case Activated Powder Drop Linkage Mechanism Part Number 050073 and a Hornady PTX Powder Through Expander (.355) Part Number 290030.

    The drop tube fits the RCBS Uniflow Powder Measure and PTX Expander Die works perfectly with the Hornady PTX Powder Measure Stop Part Number 290049 which comes with the Powder Drop Linkage Mechanism kit.

    A bit of a “Frankenloder” option I guess for the RCBS Pro 2000, but it works perfectly.

    My research and decision to purchase this press was due to Gavin’s videos on Ultimate Reloader and the excellent information and instructions he provides.

    I, like many others worldwide, hope to see Gavin back being able to post videos which helps to enhance our knowledge and sport.

  14. I bought my Pro 2000 a few years ago. I’ve had an RCBS Big Max forever (30 years), and love it. I wanted a progressive press (at least I thought I did) but wanted the RCBS quality.

    I looked over Dillon – I prefer having the 5 stations on the Pro 2000, I greatly prefer the primer system, without what looks to me like a “pipe bomb”, and cast iron beats aluminum for me every time. Having had such a wonderful experience with the Big Max, I hoped for the same thing with the Pro 2000.

    Not knowing enough about progressive presses, I had lots of issues, but most were caused by me. I didn’t have the press mounted perfectly level, and fixing that helped. RCBS replaced a few more parts, and I had it working mostly OK, most of the time, but every so often primers got where they shouldn’t be, and everything got hung up. Larry (wonderful expert!!!) at RCBS tech support got involved. We tried several things, which helped, but didn’t cure it. From what I could see, looking down at the primer station, things didn’t look perfectly aligned, and my photos seemed to back that up. Larry sent me the “base” for the die plates, and I sent him back the old one. Problem solved, completely. Now it’s dead reliable, as good as what I see in the videos.

    I struggled with the primer loader device, as nothing seemed to want to work properly. Turns out the problem was me. When I didn’t try to be careful, and just used it as I see in the videos, it worked 99% perfectly, and if one “hole” didn’t get a primer, I could push one in manually with no effort.

    The manual explains how important it is to use the sticky paper strips the filled primer strips are supposed to be put on before use. Larry sent me a few more, and now I use them religiously.

    I have since set up a Dillon 550 for a relative. I am so, so, so glad I got the Pro 2000. For me, the Dillon was a pain, I was always scared about the primers, which seemed to fall out from somewhere, somehow. We gave up on it, and I got him a hand primer. I’m sad for him, as he really needs the Lock-Out Die (in my opinion) and there’s no extra station for it.

    I watched almost every video on Ultimate Reloader, especially the ones on the Pro 2000, but also the others. Nothing I saw made me sorry for my choice, and the new RCBS progressives now have the same primer tube I refuse to use. I live in a small condo, and if that ever went off, they would force me to stop reloading altogether, or to move. I couldn’t blame them.

    I have a manual Pro 2000. I am ordering the auto index kit, to add to it. I’m not looking for more speed or anything like that, but some experienced reloads convinced me that auto-index is the best way they know of to prevent double charges.

    More later – I’m running out of time, and probably space…?

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