RCBS Pro 2000 Progressive Loader

RCBS Pro 2000 Progressive Loader

Charles E. Petty

Two things have conspired to keep handloading alive and well in the face of huge competition from ammo makers. One, a great variety of components have come on the market within the last quarter century that allow the handloader to mix and match to find a load that’s just right for any given gun or application.

The other is the availability of modest to moderately priced progressive loaders. The ability to turn out hundreds of rounds of ammo in an hour had a remarkable effect: people shot more. The high-volume sports like IPSC, IDPA and the hugely popular cowboy action shooting have thrived because it doesn’t take too long to load enough ammo to go out for a good practice session or shoot a match.

Generic and imported ammo have put a lot of pressure on reloading because some sell for prices that – if you value your time at all – make reloading a less-than-economically attractive prospect. But most reloaders don’t figure it that way. Once you have the brass you can still save at least 50 percent off the cheapest ammo, and if you’re looking at any kind of premium or match load, the savings can be even bigger.

Progressive tools aren’t for everyone. I have long maintained that everyone should master the basic reloading principles on a single-stage press before moving up to a progressive.

So, if you’re thinking about owning one, what does the newest RCBS progressive press have to offer? The Pro 2000 is an evolutionary product that corrects some of the problems experienced with the AmmoMaster and Piggyback. It also brings their Advanced Priming System (APS) to a place where it can really shine: a progressive tool.

If putting in new primers can be a problem, catching the dead ones can be a real paint. The Pro 2000 uses a system that is just about as foolproof as it can be. A 14″ aluminum tube runs from under station #1 down to a small plastic jar. In essence it’s a closed system for spent primers; they can’t go anywhere but into the jar.

The only sour note is that the jar will only hold about 500 dead primers. It doesn’t take long to fill it up. Hopefully, when these presses are available in the marketplace, they will include a larger jar. For now, listen to the distinctive sound made by the primer falling through the tube and if that changes it may indicate that primers are backing up into the tube and it’s time to empty the jar.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Publishers’ Development Corporation

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group