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Thread: RCBS Universal Priming tool

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    RCBS Universal Priming tool

    Bought a RCBS universal priming tool part no 90201 and have to say I was sorely disappointed with it. First thing I decided to change from large primer to small,there's a plate that has to be removed to change ram size. Under that plate there is a spring that holds the universal jaws for holding cases. When I took the plate off the assembly that holds the spring and jaws in place said spring and jaws went flying,fortunately I found the spring and jaws. Trying to put those parts back together took me over an hour. The plate that holds the spring and jaws is very difficult to hold and the very strong spring and jaws just didn't want to stay put no matter how I tried or did. I boxed everything back up and returned it. Hopefully anyone who has one of these priming tools has had better luck than I did.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    You really should try the RCBS automatic bench primer. The rod full of primers flopping about is distracting, but the thing just works! Much better to put in the right shell holder than to futz with the universal jaws IMHO.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Ordered the standard hand priming tool as I have shell holders for my single stage press that will work with the tool. No more room on my bench for a bench mounted priming tool.

  4. #4
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    Pressman's Avatar
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    What Jim B said x 2. It just works really well
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  5. #5
    DOR RED BEAR's Avatar
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    I have always preferred the old lee auto prime but they are getting harder to find on ebay. Still have a couple so they should go a while longer.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Yes, the RCBS Bench Priming tool is the way to go.

  7. #7
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    Another +1 for the RCBS automatic bench primer. I tried the Universal one too, and ended up taking it back and getting the bench mounted tool. It's solid and functions perfectly. I have one of the old Lee auto-prime too, but it's on it's very last legs. Hence the reason for looking for another priming tool...

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Yup bench primer for me mine , is 20 or 30 years old never have had any reason to try any other kind. Have mine screwed to a block of wood either put it in a vice to use or clamp it to the bench.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Doc...see PatMarlin dot com for their RockDock mounting system, which will allow you to change machines on your bench in an instant. I too have limited space and more machines than fit the bench. Some machines lie on the floor until needed. Others reside on the side of the bench in their ShelfDock. When needed, I take one off the bench and install the other in less than 30 seconds. No more worrying about not enough machines.

    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    You donít remove the plate to change out the primer ram. Itís in the instructions. The tool is fine.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimB.. View Post
    You really should try the RCBS automatic bench primer. The rod full of primers flopping about is distracting, but the thing just works! Much better to put in the right shell holder than to futz with the universal jaws IMHO.
    Had both the Lee and the RCBS hand primer, other people own them now. I really like my RCBS bench primer.

    Now you need to add a primer follower for extra flop!

    I use one from my Dillon makes the last couple of primers feed much more positively.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15meter View Post
    Had both the Lee and the RCBS hand primer, other people own them now. I really like my RCBS bench primer.

    Now you need to add a primer follower for extra flop!

    I use one from my Dillon makes the last couple of primers feed much more positively.
    Mine feeds fine all the way to the bottom, and I’d be afraid of the follower smacking me between the eyes when the tube is near full.

    I’ve had the thing screwed to the bench and screwed to a block of wood held in a bench vise, but now it’s mounted on an inline fabrication quick change plate.

    BTW, I like it so much that I have a spare. They’ve been making it forever, but I’m afraid they’ll discontinue it as as soon as I break it.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy Tmaloy's Avatar
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    I have the universal and have had little problems with it. There should be a little tool that you place down in to the ram and unscrew and change for the other ram.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocSavage View Post
    Ordered the standard hand priming tool as I have shell holders for my single stage press that will work with the tool. No more room on my bench for a bench mounted priming tool.
    Mine is mounted on a scrap piece of 2 x 6 and C-clamped to the bench, when in use.

    I also have both the RCBS Universal and their Standard hand primer. PITA, to change over from small to large with either one. I leave the Universal set for large primers and the Standard set for small. These hand held ones are only use for priming small batches of brass.

    Winelover

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I've been running my RCBS Universal primer for over 5 years now.

    You do NOT need to take that plate off. I've never taken mine off.

    Pull the screw that connects the flat strip to the handle, pull it out. remove the plastic insert.
    Insert the tool to swap rams, unscrew old ram, insert new size in tool. screw it in, insert correct size plastic, reconnect the arm.

    Takes less than 2 minutes and is pain free.

    Or do like I did and find a second unit. Now one is large primers only, one is small primers only. No swapping parts.

    Spare parts are all in a ziplock bag and labeled. Plus I have 2 primer trays and covers.

    Following directions does help.

    If you don't want yours I'll take it off your hands for 20$ if all parts are included.

    To me this is one of the best thought out, designed priming tools EVER.
    But you do have to pay attention to detail. And on small rifle primers you will have one flip now and then and get delivered upside down. Easy fix IF your watching for it.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Standard hand primer (uses the RCBS shell holders) and the original bench primer that RCBS copied from Lachmiller after they bought out that company.

    Three44s
    Quit fretting about climate change. Itís how much stronger gravity is getting every day that is bothering me!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I bought two RCBS Universal hand priming tools a couple of years ago and returned them. Neither would fully seat primers 100% of the time. The regular RCBS hand priming tool I had years ago worked much better. A 21st Century hand priming tool replaced the Universals.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    Oddly enough I have the RocDock base but it's attached to a Dillon strong mount due to the fact that my reloading bench is on the low side. The hand primer will be used for small batches of ammo. For me that 25 rds or less and those are done on a single stage press,can't see going thru the process setting up my 650 for such a small run.

  19. #19
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    David2011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocSavage View Post
    Ordered the standard hand priming tool as I have shell holders for my single stage press that will work with the tool. No more room on my bench for a bench mounted priming tool.
    Have you considered using interchangeable mounting plates? My powder measures and bench priming tool are mounted on 1/2" aircraft ply which is available at craft stores and hobby shops. They all have the same mounting hole pattern and the bench top has brass threaded inserts in it to accept the mounting screws. To 1/4" socket head capscrews is all it takes to hold any of them in place so changing is very fast and easy.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  20. #20
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    Kevin Rohrer's Avatar
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    I bought one of the new RCBS units and think it's a ***. The unit has too many small parts that go flying to wherever when trying to change it. RCBS should be ashamed of selling the thing. I called them to order the missing part, and was told that this was a common problem. Sad.

    I have an older Lee and it works just fine, but does not have a shell holder for 50-70, so I tried the RCBS. After it fell apart, I got the Lyman unit, which works well, but is not perfect, either.
    Member: Orange Gunsite Family, NRA-Life, Varmint Hunter's Assn, ARTCA, American Legion, & the West Branch Gun Club.

    Caveat Emptor: Do not trust Cavery Grips/American Gripz from Clayton, NC. He will rip you off.

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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