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RCBS Summit Press


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I'm about to retire my 33 year old Redding Boss press and replace it with a table top mounted press; the RCBS Summit was one of the two I had lined up for further research however there appear to be rather a lot of bad reviews online about them.                                                                                                                Does anybody on here have experience of them?

My other choice and favourite is the CH4D 444 H Press which appears to be a cottage industry product according to some reloaders in the USA. I bought an earlier version of one of these on Ebay a few years ago but some arse wipe stole it in transit from the US. 

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Why not build a portable base for your press to sit on? Link to the PRB blog has the plans. 

I followed these steps to make my RCBS Rockchucker Supreme press portable.

Its great. I can store the press away when not needed, then pop it on the dining table for reloading.

It’s rock solid and I make very concentric rounds with it. The plans were very easy to follow. I am in no way a DIY person, at all, but found it easy to make and only took an hour or two.

https://precisionrifleblog.com/2012/11/12/portable-reloading-press-plans/

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  • 8 months later...

Update and Analysis:

I've had the Summit for 8 months now and three weeks ago it broke! 

RCBS sell it as, "almost" an arbour press that will full length resize; nothing wrong with that statement if .223 is your preferred calibre but try FL resizing 303 and it does become a bit of a struggle which is how mine broke. 

I still love the press and don't believe there is anything better for seating, de-priming, crimping and FL resizing smaller rifle calibres. However I do believe there are design flaws with the product.

I suspect it ended up on a drawing board as homage to the old Hollywood column presses of my youth in the late 1950's ~ 1960's, to make it different from the Hollywood the die comes down to meet the case, in doing that the arm has to be attached to the top of an already high column making the end user stand to perform the process. 

The problems then kick in with a large scoop being machined out of the toggle, coupled with the lack of a full length pin connecting each side of the lower toggle. Rather surprisingly somebody sells a full length pin on Ebay to right this wrong. 

Why the large scoop and lack of full length pin? Without these the newer large competition seating dies and .50 BMG dies would fowl the toggle hence making the press fit only for smaller dies. Had RCBS designed the Summit the other way round with the case moving upwards then the arm would have been positioned lower and there would not have been cause to weaken the toggle because it would not have restricted the size of the dies. 

RCBS are currently way behind on their normally brilliant after sales service, I guess election events in the US have stalled things. Because of this I have taken delivery today of a Rock Chucker from our dear friend Spud. The rock Chucker lacks that fine quality feel that the Summit has, (or had in my case!) but is the ideal partner for .303 cases and the like. 

Now I'm sorted again my thoughts have turned to Shakespear's Henry V act 2 prologue and the line that says; now thrive the armourers! 

DSC02364.JPG

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That's a pretty poor piece of design on the Summit.  Maybe a steel forging would be ok in that configuration but cast-iron is just no good.  I'm surprised it ever got past product testing.

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I have a COAX and RCBS RC. The COAX is excellent. However I confess to having press envy - if I was buying now I would buy the Turban and have done with it. This may or may not mitigate wanting an arbour press for inline bullet seating.

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56 minutes ago, Popsbengo said:

That's a pretty poor piece of design on the Summit.  Maybe a steel forging would be ok in that configuration but cast-iron is just no good.  I'm surprised it ever got past product testing.

I reckon the "scoop" was an after thought to accommodate the larger headed dies. 

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1 hour ago, Dr. Strangelove said:

Have you contacted RCBS about it, M? They’re pretty good with their repairs/replacements!

Their after sales service is usually beyond reproach although currently they are working limited hours and contacting them has been a nightmare.

I finally made contact via their FB page but things went quiet again hence the purchase of a Rock Chucker from Spud. 

It is what it is; a first world problem. 

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Ah, that’s a pity! If you’ve not already, might be worth an email with a picture of the crack to their customer service team. I contacted them a while back about something, heard nothing then one day found a spare part in the mail! I was very impressed, although I’d pretty much given up hope by that point!

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2 hours ago, Dr. Strangelove said:

Ah, that’s a pity! If you’ve not already, might be worth an email with a picture of the crack to their customer service team. I contacted them a while back about something, heard nothing then one day found a spare part in the mail! I was very impressed, although I’d pretty much given up hope by that point!

I emailed RCBS about sourcing spare springs for my trimpro, never had a reply buy two weeks later a packet turned up in the post from the USA with the bits in, no charges.

Definitely worth emailing...

Alan

 

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4 hours ago, 20series said:

I emailed RCBS about sourcing spare springs for my trimpro, never had a reply buy two weeks later a packet turned up in the post from the USA with the bits in, no charges.

Definitely worth emailing...

Alan

 

That sounds encouraging; I've sent emails with pictures etc so just a case of sitting back and waiting patiently. 

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  • 4 months later...
4 hours ago, saddler said:

I was led to believe, by someone who knows a lot about such things, that RCBS bought the rights to the Wamadet Portapress in order to make the SUMMIT design

I have a few of the Wamadet presses - never broke one yet - I'd be surprised if one could be broken

Ironically I saw a Wamadet press at Bisley in the back of a friends car in early December he was using for load development; which is exactly what some punters now use the Summit for. 

As mentioned above RCBS had changed the specs to make it accept larger dies; how many times during army trials for kit have we seen this behaviour screw up a good piece of kit! 

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I really liked the wammadet a friend lent me for a few years.

I actually turned my RCBS Rockchucker into a wamadet, building a simple MDF base, allowing me to easy transport / store it.

I used these plans and it works a charm. Very solid and I get very little run out:

https://precisionrifleblog.com/2012/11/12/portable-reloading-press-plans/

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