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Thread: Are RCBS, Lee,Lyman & Hornady Shell all Interchangable?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy terryt's Avatar
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    Are RCBS, Lee,Lyman & Hornady Shell all Interchangable?


    Are RCBS, Lee, Lyman & Hornady Shell all Interchangeable?

    I have Pacific O-Frame press and was wondering if areshell holders will fit in it?

    If not is there a universal Ram/Shell holder that will work?

    Thanks,

    Terryt


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  3. #3
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    they are.
    occasionally you'll find one that just don't wanna go.
    you might have to do a little grinding in that case.

    now you might find some shell-holders don't work with some cases, and some won't let the primer seating tool through the hole in the center.

  4. #4
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    Hornady she'll holders have a larger center hole. To use the hornady priming tool you need hornady she'll holders
    Also different mfg will use different # for fit
    Ie: hornady #2 and RCBS #2 will fit different cartridges
    Lyman shell holders (at least some of the ones I have run into) tend to be thicker and harder to fit into most modern rams
    Last edited by Smoke4320; 06-28-2015 at 07:12 AM.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master zuke's Avatar
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    Yep, if you get the LEE red box full of shell holder's you'll most likely wont have to ever buy another

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I have an RCBS press and mostly use RCBS shellholders. I have a few others, but the RCBS ones fit better and I like just using the one number system. Lee, Lyman and Redding will fit it.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master Artful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zuke View Post
    Yep, if you get the LEE red box full of shell holder's you'll most likely wont have to ever buy another
    Ah, my red box is for the primer tool - does not contain universal shell holders
    My Green box has the universal shell holders.
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  8. #8
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    I really hope they are! I have Lee, Lyman, RCBS, and I'm sure a few more manufacturers of shell holders and since they don't have trade names on them, I have no idea what's what. I have been using my variety, interchangeably, for mebbe 20 years...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zuke View Post
    Yep, if you get the LEE red box full of shell holder's you'll most likely wont have to ever buy another
    until they break then you will get RCBS cause they are more sizes than other, so they are a better fit, and they wont break

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy Litl Red 3991's Avatar
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    Are they the same size? Not the pairs that I've gotten over time.

    I just went down in the shop and measured one pair that was near to hand.

    Brand1 = .246" / .121"
    Brand2 = .251" / .125"

    That first number is the height of the part the mouth of your sizing die gets stopped by.
    The second number is how far the base of your case is held up into that first part.

    Two different brands, two differences where it might matter. OK, so what actually "matters"? If you've set your die lock rings for your press, you set them relative to the first number, the thickness of the holder. And with that pair I show, the sizing die for example will move .005" more or less depending which is in your press. I noticed one night that a sizing die that was supposed to cause the press lever to go over center wasn't going over center. How was that possible? Different brand of shell holder was used to set the lock rings of the dies. Different brand of shell holder was being used later to reload and the lock ring settings were .005" off.

    However, did that screw up the reload shoulders? Not as much as you'd guess. Subtract the 2nd number from the 1st for those two shell holders above and you'll see why.

    I really want to set my dies and forget them. Having a dedicated shell holder in the box with 'em is worth it to me.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master zuke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ascast View Post
    until they break then you will get RCBS cause they are more sizes than other, so they are a better fit, and they wont break
    I wouldn't know. I bought both the red and green box's when I was 18 and have used them ever since. I just turned 49

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy

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    Sometimes one brand of shellholder can be wider than the ram of another brand's press. For example my RCBS 348 Win and 45/70 shellholders are wider than my Lyman Spartan's ram. They touch the press before being fully seated in the ram.

  13. #13
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    Its a bit surprising that they did go with a universal design with shell holders.

    I have not found any difference in fit between the RCBS and Lee I have. Only difference seems to be that RCBS costs 2x. And that you have to buy a shell holder with RCBS dies and Lee gives you one. Some RCBS may fit some cases better than LEE as there are more RCBS holders than Lee, but have not found any to be an issue.

  14. #14
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    Anyone making autoprime shellholders besides Lee? Not happy with #5 for the 475 Linebaugh. It either works or doesn't. I use a K&M priming tool.

    take care

    r1kk1

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy yman's Avatar
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    I have a pacific O press, I have used rcbs, lee and lyman shell holders and they all fit. I have not used the the press mounted primer with the lee or lyman but have used it with the rcbs and it worked fine. I bought an rcbs hand primer and I use it for almost all my priming now. I like the old pacific for rifle cases because it is sturdy and true. I have a lyman turret press I use for pistol rounds.

  16. #16
    Yodogsandman, thanks for the link. I hadn't seen that one before.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    There are a few shellholders that are not quite the same between the brands.

    For 43 Spanish, .348 and .45-70 RCBS made one inch diameter shell holders. The .43 Spanish shell holder is much tougher than the Lee.

    Hornady makes a Carcano shell holder that is a much better fit than the other brands. This is important because the Carcano rim is thin and needs all the help it can get.
    EDG

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smoke4320 View Post
    Hornady she'll holders have a larger center hole. To use the hornady priming tool you need hornady she'll holders
    Also different mfg will use different # for fit
    Ie: hornady #2 and RCBS #2 will fit different cartridges
    Lyman shell holders (at least some of the ones I have run into) tend to be thicker and harder to fit into most modern rams
    Public Service Announcement:
    Hornady Shell Holder Center Holes Are Bigger. They will not correctly align the priming arm on the Lee Classic Cast Press.

    My reloading for today is shut down. Going to get a new shell holder ordered.

    Side Note: RCBS shell holders have worked just fine for priming on this press, in other calibers. RCBS I.D. Is .265” . Hornady I.D. is .299”.

    JM

    P.s Yes, I know this thread is from 2015.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ascast View Post
    until they break then you will get RCBS cause they are more sizes than other, so they are a better fit, and they wont break
    I have never broken a shell holder in 45 years . What were you doing ?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tackleberry41 View Post
    Its a bit surprising that they did go with a universal design with shell holders.

    I have not found any difference in fit between the RCBS and Lee I have. Only difference seems to be that RCBS costs 2x. And that you have to buy a shell holder with RCBS dies and Lee gives you one. Some RCBS may fit some cases better than LEE as there are more RCBS holders than Lee, but have not found any to be an issue.
    RCBS came out with the shellholder as we know it in 1955 along with the Model A and Model B press and the Uniflow powder measure. Their thinking was the shellholder was no big deal, after all it was just a scaled down version of the Lachmiller & Herter's shellholder. So, they never filed for a patent application on the shellholder.
    As that turned out it was a wise move as everyone picked up the design and it quickly became the standard of the industry. As late as the mid 1960's there were still gun writers who referred to it as the RCBS type shellholder.

    And the rest is history.
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check