The Best RCBS Summit Press Review of 2024

Thinking of a portable Press that you can take on the range and reload on the spot? Well, wait no more because here I have the Best RCBS Summit Press review to help you decide if this is the best option available on the market for a portable press.

This press has the same Blood and muscles as that of the Legendary Rock Chucker Supreme reloading press & the new Rebel Press. You can read their detailed review by clicking on the respective names. And if you are looking for a comparison on the single-stage reloading press then read this instead.

Without further delay let us dive into the innovative design of RCBS Summit Single Stage Press.

RCBS Summit Press Review

The Summit press is quite unique and has features that no other single-stage reloading press has. Right off the bat, you will notice that the shell holder in this press remains stationary, and with the pull of the handle, the die holder reaches down and operates on the case. This reduces the usual vibration caused by movement on a ram, resulting in better concentricity, straighter ammo & precision shooting.

The second unusual but unique design is the spent primer catcher. It has a mounting option right below the shell holder and is 100% efficient in catching all the spent primers. And on top of that, the primer catcher can be mounted in two different ways.

  • First – If the press is on the edge of the table, you can hang down the spent primer catcher as shown on the top picture.
  • & if the press is not at the edge of the table, the spent primer catcher can be inserted as shown in the bottom picture.
Summit spent primer catcher system

The Design Features of Summit Press

Here I will list features the RCBS Summit Press has and how they affect reloading.

  • The Cast Iron Frame is held in place with a massive Stainless Steel Ram of 2 inches in diameter. Ensuring the durability & stability of the press. This thick ram also reduces the flux resulting in precision rounds. One may think that the press is heavy considering the think ram & iron frame, but the RCBS Summit weighs just around 21 pounds making it easily portable.
  • The press handle is of ambidextrous design, keeping the left-handed reloaders in mind. It comes with a long handle which provides plenty of leverage. But to make things easier for pistol reloaders (who do not need much leverage) RCBS also makes a shorter handle and the quality of the handles, as well as the ball, are top-notch.
  • The transfer of energy from the handle to the ram is provided by the dual all-steel linkage. The dual transfer system also helps reduce flex and wobble. The summit also features compound leverage for great leverage at arm’s length.
  • The die-holder bushing is of standard size but does not include any quick die-changing system. But it can be changed with the Hornady Lock-N-Load or Lee Breech Lock quick die change technology. 
  • The RCBS summit has a massive 4.5″ operable window that can accommodate any shell up to the .338 Lapua Magnum. And together with the full-frontal access design case operation has a large viewing angle and ample hand movement space. 
  • To keep all these moving parts operational without much friction RCBS installed the zerk fitting for lubrication on the right side of the moving die to easily lubricate using a grease gun.
  • The spent primer channeling system is simple (a narrow channel pointing towards the spent primer catcher) and works excellently, and for every 100 cases, you can expect about 2 to 4 spent primers to fall outside the catcher tray.
  • The RCBS summit does not have an on-press priming system but most people nowadays sit primer on a primer seating tool.
  • Another con is that the press can’t accommodate powder dispensers for powder charges.

All these features make the RCBS Summit press work great for reloading accurate ammo for precision shooting whether for sports or hunting. And like all RCBS press, the RCBS Summit comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

best RCBS Summit Press review

Setting up the single-stage reloading press.

Setting up the RCBS Summit is simple, whether you set it up on a tabletop base or a mobile base. To set up the press you can follow the instructions provided or read the instructions below. All you need to perform just 4 tasks.

  1. Take the Summit Press, Handle & Spent Primer Catcher out of the box.
  2. Screw in the Handle to hand tight tension (check the ball as well).

Now with a visual inspection, you will realize that you need to mount the press on the edge of the table or use Inline Fabrication’s Ultra mount for the handle to reach full pull action. But you can avoid that by using a short handle (Needs to be bought separately) and mounting it anywhere on the table.

  1. Next, You will need a pair of Bolts, washers & Nuts  (bought separately) to mount the press in position.
  2. And lastly, screw in the bolts to hold the spent primer catcher. Carefully adjust the screws, so that it is not too tight to remove the spent primer catcher when full or after the reloading session.
Summit mounting bolts

And with that you are set for reloading, all you need to do now is screw in the dies and start reloading. 

To Summarize the Article

The RCBS Summit press has an innovative design and consists of some features that make it amazing for precision reloading equipment and a good edition besides the veteran reloader’s progressive press. It is a great mobile reloading press due to its compact design with easy-to-carry weight. In summary:-

Huge 4 ½-inch operating window
Has ambidextrous handle operation
Massive 2-inch diameter ram
Compound linkage for great leverage
Zerk fitting for lubrication
Effective Spent primer catcher
Ample hand space to seat bullets.
Can be used for precision rounds.
Can not use powder dispensers
No on-press priming system
Short handles need to be bought separately
Short handle need to be bought separately

With the summary table listing all the pros and cons in one place, it can be easier for reloaders to determine if this is the press right for their specific need. Whether that need is a portable one or one that is mounted on a desk.

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