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RCBS Grand

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by canyonman, Apr 14, 2009.

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  1. canyonman

    canyonman Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    38
    I've been loading with a RCBS Grand for about six weeks now and I'm very impressed with many of it's features. It makes a beautiful shell when using Remington hulls but I just can't seem to do as well with Winchester hulls.

    Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

    Bill
     
  2. canyonman

    canyonman Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    38
    Thanks Fred,

    I have the longer shot tube and it makes all the difference when seating the wad and preventing the inevitable buckling. The person I bought the Grand from did not have it and that might have been why he got rid of it.

    Where I find my current problem lies is that the winchester hulls don't allow me to start crimp, crimp, and finish crimp as well as the remington hulls.

    If I go too far on any of these stations the hull will buckle. Presently I am loading my handicap shells with the Grand but am restricting it to only remington hulls.

    Unfortunately, I'm running out of remington hulls and have several thousand of the winchester ones left.

    Bill
     
  3. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,463
    Location:
    SE PA
    Bill, unlike Fred, I am not willing to make minor adjustments for different hulls. I arrived at settings that give me perfectly formed shells using STS, Gun Club and Gold Medal hulls. I don't have to adjust anything except powder and shot bushings to load everything from 24g bunker loads to 1 1/8oz handicap loads.

    My recommendation is to ditch your AA hulls and get some more Remington. You can buy all the STS hulls you want for $.03 each, and pick up Gun Clubs for free at any shoot. No matter how well you adjust your press for AAs, every now and then a wad won't seat properly and you'll crush a shell in the crimper. I was not willing to put up with the hassle of using the new AA hulls, so I tossed them.
     
  4. howie

    howie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    47
    ZZT is right on. I NEVER could get the results with my Grand using Winchester hulls that I could with Remington or Federal hulls. I could reload 50 - 60 Winchester hulls in a row with no problem and them squash two or three just like that. I gave away my Winchester hulls, set the machine once and have not touched it now for over three years since then. I get great looking Remington and Federal reloads and keep my stock of hulls full by picking up Gun Clubs and Top Guns that people shoot and discard.
     
  5. Jim Porter

    Jim Porter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    1,316
    I don't know exactly what to tell you to adjust ( I have adjusted everything opn mine) but I have loaded about 50,000 hulls of all types on a Grand and AA's new and old do just fine. I have even had fellow shooters say that they wish they could get their Mec's to make a crimp like I get. I also have two PW's so I'm not married to the Grand.
    I do know this, if you will call them and get the fellow who comes to the Grand American and the SHOT Show on the phone, he will tell you what to do or he will offer to have it sent to him and it WILL work after that!
    SATISFIED CUSTOMER!!!
     
  6. ffwildcat

    ffwildcat TS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    845
    That would be Kent Sakamoto of RCBS. Kent is super, very knowledgeable and a fun guy. He'll get you squared away.
     
  7. late bloomer

    late bloomer TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    94
    Follow the instructions above. If you are careful in your adjustments you should have great shells. I lood mostly STS but in the beginning I loaded AA's without problems once I had properly set-up the machine. The Grand is rather precise unforgiving as compared to my Mec. It is a great machine.
     
  8. canyonman

    canyonman Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    38
    I appreciate all the info from everyone. It's great to have this kind of resource to address problems we all share to some degree.

    One more problem I've just started having and I don't think there's much can be done about it. When I started using winchester primers instead of remington primers in my remington hulls there began to be heard a loud spring-like metallic pop at station two when I seated the primer.

    Never encountered this before on any of my Mec reloaders and it looks like the winchester primers are just a bit taller than the remington primers. Upon a little investigation I can see that the reprime post sits a little proud, ie shallow, compared to the Mec.

    This causes the transfer arm to rub the top of the primer when pulled out to check for primer drop, which is occasionally needed on any reloader. Is it possible the taller primer somehow cants or doesn't sit flat when the reprime operation is performed? Some primers seat just fine but many make a loud noise as though they are being forced into the primer pocket.

    Also, it will do this with either remington or winchester hulls, but only on my RCBS Grand. Any thoughts or solutions. I spoke with a nice lady named Alice today from RCBS and she wasn't able to come up with anything except stop using them.

    Bill
     
  9. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,482
    Location:
    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    The trick to getting a Grand to load a perfect shell with any brand of hull is in the length of the lower shot drop tube. You want the tube to be whatever length it has to be so that the shot gate reaches the fullest extend of its backward travel j-u-s-t before the operating handle bottoms out. I had three lower tubes, one cut to the exact length for each of the three recipes I load. You can use up to three of the knurled threaded brass washers to fine-tune that length. I had each tube marked for the load it was for and how many washers to use with it.

    In other words, changing lower shot drop tubes does the same thing as adjusting a MEC's shot drop tube.

    Watch the shot drop gate move and if it doesn't go all the way back into the charge bar housing, the lower shot drop tube isn't long enough, which leaves the wad column too high. If the crimp die has to push the wad column downward too much, the hull becomes pinched between the shot and the die and has to move downward with the wad column. When the sides of the hull are pushed downward, they buckle.

    In my limited experience with AA hulls, they have a slightly higher basewad than Remington hulls. That's why your AAs buckle and your STSs don't - the AA wad column is a little too high.

    I bought one of the first Grands and became a pen-pal of Kent Sakamoto's. Kent sent me parts they redesigned to test for them and two other loaders over the years I had my Grand. When he and I were done, I had a superb loader. Unfortunately, the arthritis in my shoulder worsened and I could not tolerate the rotational movement of even the Grand's buttery-smooth operating handle. I'm not a fan of hydraulic systems, so when the Auto-Mate came out, I sold my Grand and went back to a 9000GN.

    The secret to loving your Grand is to take the time to learn how it works. Then it becomes simple to adjust and enjoyable to use.

    Ed
     
  10. BRGII

    BRGII TS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Messages:
    740
    I load the new style AA all the time on my Grand and have no problem at all. I use RIO, F616, W209, STS, and F209A interchangeable with no problem. I have found that I get the best results with AA using the original Windjammer 11 wad (yellow) with everything from 7/8 oz to 1 1/8 oz. A great loader and great wads. BRGII
     
  11. esoxhunter

    esoxhunter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Messages:
    2,064
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Bill: As mentioned by several shooters, I would try and reload Remington or Federal hulls. I too had "buckled hulls" when trying to reload the AA. When I switched over to Remington or Federal; problem was solved. Do what you want but I would leave the AA hulls in the trash barrel. Life is too short to be frustrated due to the brand of hulls being loaded. Ed
     
  12. canyonman

    canyonman Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    38
    Sorry I didn't respond sooner to the above posts but I've been shooting and also just got my new primer transfer arm from RCBS today.

    It has solved my primer problem completely and allowed me to figure out what caused it in the first place. The previous owner of this machine had several old and broken transfer arms which I had been getting by with until recently.

    As it turns out, the reprime tube itself was just a little low and kept making contact with the "loop" part of the transfer arm which weakened and eventually broke them.

    Before breaking, however, that part which actually carried the primer would start to get pushed down and make contact with the primer as it withdrew itself on the downstroke which I believe caused the primer to cant as the new shell descended thus causing the loud pop when repriming took place.

    Additionally, the new transfer arm I received has better clearance than the old one had and looks like a design improvement.

    Lastly, just as an FYI, when I pulled the shell plate off to replace a broken clip, I decided to put some STOS on the underside between the shellplate and the main base perimeter. For the first time I can say that it yielded that buttery-smooth feel referred to above.

    Thanks again to everyone for your input and help. The manual is good but it certainly doesn't have all the needed secrets yet.

    Bill
     
  13. canyonman

    canyonman Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    38
    Fred, sorry I am not picture qualified at this time but I'll try and describe the difference again.

    The replacement arm is identical to the old one except for the underside of the front which carries, or rather slides, the primer along. From a side view, this arm is "cut out" more than the previous arm. I'd estimate that 60 percent of the material is removed from the bottom.

    In other words, the "ring" part is thinner, but the length and shape is the same in all other respects. Hope this helps.

    Bill
     
  14. kong

    kong TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    17
    I got my "Grand" reloader at the same time as Average Ed did. After minor adjustments, I have loaded many thousands of old style AA without any problems. I decided to switch to 1 oz. loads finally, but couldn't find the longer shot tube anywhere. The 2 1/4" tube is too short to do this with the old style hulls. I called RCBS, and after about a 45 minute wait, talked to a very nice lady. With the Obama scare, they are very, very busy and it's hard to get through at this time. She is sending me a new 2 1/2" shot tube (at no charge) and after chatting with her, she realized that my press still had all the original parts, even the original wad guide fingers. She couldn't believe that and insisted on sending me all the upgraded parts that they have come up with since I purchased this press. The only bad thing is that they are waiting on manufacture of one of these new parts, and I have waited a little over a month and still haven't received the new parts. As I said, they are very busy. Oh yea, and since I talked to her, I broke the original wad guide fingers and am at a stand still with my reloading till the new wad guide and guide fingers show up. So if you need spare parts you will have to exercise patience till they work through this Obama nation.... Brian
     
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