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June 4th, 2013

RCBS Hand Priming Tool with Universal Shell Holder

RCBS Universal priming toolMany careful reloaders prefer to use a hand-tool for seating primers. The majority of short-range benchrest shooters seat one primer at a time, using finely-machined hand tools, such as the Sinclair priming tool Such tools offer unrivaled “feel” during the seating process, but they are slow to use and require that you handle primers with your fingers. If you’re a fumble-fingers type like this Editor, you’ll drop a primer now and then. That’s why I prefer a hand tool that keeps the primers in a strip or a tray.

We think one of the best affordable priming tools on the market is the latest RCBS hand tool. RCBS’s Universal Hand Priming Tool boasts some many nice features. The tool now shares the Universal shell-holder we liked so much in the RCBS APS (strip-priming) hand tool. An opposed set of spring-loaded jaws allows you to prime nearly all sizes of cases, without the need for conventional shell-holders. This makes the tool faster and more convenient if you load a variety of calibers. And you’re never “out-of-luck” if you can’t find the right shell-holder. However, you do have to change the “pusher” shaft when you switch from small primers to large primers or vice versa.

The universal shell-holder has another important benefit. With opposing jaws holding the casehead, this allows the case to “float” and align itself as the primer is seated. This may help primers seat more consistently every time. With most other hand-priming tools, the case is held by a conventional shell-holder. This leaves about 40% of the rim unsupported on one side. If you actually look closely at cases as you seat primers with conventional tools, you’ll see the case tilt in the shellholder as the primer is inserted. In the RCBS, by contrast, the case stays straight as the primer goes in. The new unit also shares its ergonomic grip (with plenty of leverage) with the APS model. A redesigned primer tray accommodates all brands of primer packages–you can easily load 100 primers at a time without worrying about spills. A unique Primer Safety Gate shields the primer being inserted from the remaining primers in the tray. That’s an important safety feature. The RCBS Universal Priming Tool retails for under $60.00 at major vendors such as, product #RCBS90201.

RCBS Universal Hand Priming Tool Instructions (PDF File).

RCBS is currently offering a $10 Mail-in Rebate good with the purchase of at least $50.00 in RCBS products. Purchase must be made between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2013 and coupon must be received by Jan. 31, 2014. If you prefer, you can choose 100 Speer bullets rather than $10 cash back. CLICK HERE for RCBS $10 Mail-in Rebate Form.

Here are MidwayUSA user reviews for this tool:

“I have been reloading for 34 years and I don’t know why I didn’t buy one of these tools years ago. Everything about it is great. Changing from large primer to small primer was very easy. Ergonomic fit in the hand is good. Loading primers into the tray is no problem. The universal shell holder is a plus. I rate this product a 10″. — Keith McC., NH

“Primers flip as they should, and they are seated to a uniform depth. The universal shell holder is great! I reload .223 up to the Sharps 45-120 with no problem. Also as a few have said buy two and make each a seperate large and small primer unit. I happen to like it very much as it makes priming easy and portable.” — Tom H., NY

“This is a very well-made tool. I do not like the changing from small to large primers as it is a little bit of a time waster and a awkward. I think it is just a matter of time before one of the parts gets lost. If the price was a little lower I would just buy two. Much more substantial than the Lee which I have been using. I rate it 4 stars, deducting for price and the way you have to change between large and small. Works great however.” — Fred, FL

Permalink Gear Review 3 Comments »
May 8th, 2013

Universal Scope Head from Competition Machine (Gary Eliseo)

Gary Eliseo of Competition Machine is now (again) manufacturing adjustable heads for spotting scopes. These work great for High Power, Three Position, Across-the-Course, Prone, and F-Class shooting. The head fits on a scope stand, so it can adjust to any height you need. This is a super-high quality unit according to our buddy Dennis Santiago: “They’re back — the best scope head on the planet is back in production. Direct from Gary Eliseo this time. Uses any 3/4″- or 1″-diameter shaft stand.”

Gary Eliseo Competition Machine Universal Scope Head

Gary tells us: “I had so many people ask me to bring my scope head back into production I thought I’d try a trial run to see how they were received. Well, the first run nearly sold out just by word of mouth! I do have some still available from the first run, and we’ll do another run. Price is $185.00 plus shipping. You can choose from 12 Cerakote colors.”

Eliseo Universal Scope Head Features

  • Scope Head can be mounted above or below scope body.
  • Scope Head works for both right-handed and left-handed shooters. 6.25″ Offset.
  • Scope Head works with 3/4″-diameter and 1″-diameter uprights.
  • Integral dovetail mount (saves wear and tear on spotting scope base threads).
  • Coarse and fine elevation settings require no tools to adjust.
  • Adjustable windage disc brake friction.

The Competition Machine Universal Scope Head is available right now — a few units are left from the first production run. To order, call 714-630-5734. To see other Competition Machine products, including tube gun chassis kits, visit

Gary Eliseo Competition Machine Universal Scope Head

Gary Eliseo Competition Machine Universal Scope Head

Permalink New Product, Optics 1 Comment »
January 30th, 2012

SHOT Show: New RCBS Reloading Products for 2012

RCBS rolled out some handy new products at SHOT Show 2012. The first item will be welcomed by AR and Service Rifle shooters who reload inexpensive military .223 Rem (5.56×45) and .308 Win (7.62×51) brass. RCBS now has a Primer Pocket Swager Bench Tool that removes military primer pocket crimps quickly and easily. Watch the video and you can see how effortlessly it does the job in just seconds. A hardened steel rod supports the case from the inside allowing the case to float for perfect alignment with the swager head. The RCBS Swager comes complete wtih hardened steel small and large swaging heads and rods to accommodate cases 22-caliber and larger.

We think the RCBS Swager certainly rivals Dillon’s Super Swage 600 which performs the same task. The Dillon employs a vertical (up/down) lever, while the new RCBS Swager uses a horizontal lever arm, with a nice cushioned handle. MSRP on the RCBS Swager is $106.00 compared to $100.95 for the Dillon Super Swage. Either tool will pay for itself by allowing you to reload inexpensive milsurp brass.

RCBS Primer Pocket Swager Bench Tool

RCBS Adds Universal Shell-Holder to Trim Pro
RCBS has also updated its popular Trim Pro┬« case trimmer with the addition of a spring-loaded universal shell holder. This has spring-loaded jaws that can hold anything from a 17 Fireball case up to the large magnums. No more fiddling around with cartridge-specific shell-holders — you just snap your cases (of any size) in and out of the spring-loaded jaws. The system works well and the jaws hold cases securely during the trimming process. Again, watch the video to see the system in action.

Pistol Bullet-Feeder Kit
Last but not least, RCBS has released an inexpensive, gravity-fed bullet feeding system. Much cheaper and simpler than a motor-driven feeder, this system, which combines a tube with a special die, reliably drops pistol bullets, one by one, as you operate your progressive press. Importantly, this manual bullet-feeder works with jacketed, plated, cast or swaged lead bullets. (Some other bullet feeders cannot handle lead bullets). This device should be a major time-saver for those who load a lot of pistol rounds.

This Editor was sufficiently impressed with the gravity-fed bullet feeder that I ordered one for my own RCBS Pro 2000 Progressive. Note, however, the RCBS feeders work on Dillon and Hornady presses also — these Bullet Feeder Kits are designed to be used with ANY 7/8″-14 threaded progressive press. Each clear tube holds 20-25 bullets depending on weight and profile. Two bullet tubes are included with each unit. Extra bullet tubes sold separately. MSRP is just $36.00.

RCBS 2012 Rebate — $10 Off $50.00 Order
RCBS has a “Get Green” Rebate Offer that runs through December 31, 2012. When you purchase $50.00 of any RCBS product, you qualify for a $10.00 mail-in rebate. Then, earn a bonus $5.00 mail-in rebate when you purchase one of the following: 5 sleeves of Federal Premium or CCI primers, 1 pound of Alliant Powder, 1 box of Speer Bullets, 1 bag of Federal Premium brass. There is also a $50.00 Rebate on a purchase of $300.00 worth of RCBS Products.

CLICK HERE for RCBS 2012 Rebate Form

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Reloading 2 Comments »