Author Topic: RCBS Green Machine for the 44-40?  (Read 4201 times)

Offline Bryan Austin

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 850
RCBS Green Machine for the 44-40?
« on: July 22, 2019, 10:18:46 pm »
...and 44 Magnum and 45 Colt!!!

So far this is what I have while waiting on a primer tube and my bullet seating guide

https://youtu.be/RItQliwJ5vc


Offline DeaconKC

  • Retired Predator Hunter
  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 554
Re: RCBS Green Machine for the 44-40?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2019, 10:59:31 am »
I saw the title and thought "Yeah, a Green Machine will do just about anything!"

And this from a Dillon 550 owner! ;D
Yup, I'm that DeaconKC from Surplus Rifle
The Deacon AZSA
BOLD 1088

Offline Bryan Austin

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 850
Re: RCBS Green Machine for the 44-40?
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2019, 12:15:46 pm »
I saw the title and thought "Yeah, a Green Machine will do just about anything!"

And this from a Dillon 550 owner! ;D

 ;D

Offline Abilene

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 2873
    • Abilene's CAS Pages
  • SASS #: 27489
Re: RCBS Green Machine for the 44-40?
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2019, 01:09:16 pm »
I've heard of those but never knew how they worked.  Looks pretty cool.

Offline Bryan Austin

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 850
Re: RCBS Green Machine for the 44-40?
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2019, 01:18:06 pm »
Here is my youtube play list where I tried to show what I was doing. 8 videos.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5bplooWWnaRaRXBja-37lz3Xt149HoeB

Offline Black River Smith

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 892
Re: RCBS Green Machine for the 44-40?
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2019, 08:32:10 pm »
I got lost in the sequence of steps.  You are correct an auto-primer feed and bullet feeder would be more convenient.

I like the machine and the concept but are those reloading dies special or specific to that model press?

Nice condition machine also, I thought those were older or obsolete production machines??  Just checked RCBS website and it is not listed.  So how did you get it running.
Black River Smith

Offline Bryan Austin

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 850
Re: RCBS Green Machine for the 44-40?
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2019, 08:55:13 pm »
I got lost in the sequence of steps.  You are correct an auto-primer feed and bullet feeder would be more convenient.[?quote]
It has an auto primer feed but that was the main complaint years ago when it came out. Hard to explain how it worked. The plan is to insert a primer tube into the primer feed (slot/block). In some of the videos I have the block installed and some I have it removed. The block has set screw that will hold the primer tube in place. There are videos where guys have done this as a permanent primer feed replacement.

Quote
I like the machine and the concept but are those reloading dies special or specific to that model press?
There are four dies of which only two are specifically for this press...the primer funnel tube die and the bullet seater guide die. All dies specific are 38/357 magnum...HOWEVER the powder feed can be replaced, as I have done, with the Lee auto disk, (makes powder charge adjustments faster) with Lee powder thru dies. The bullet seater die has an insert that guides the bullet. That insert is for the .357 bullet BUT has been machined out to fit a .427 bullet (explanation simplified). So...the die will continue to be used but with a larger bullet.

Quote
Nice condition machine also, I thought those were older or obsolete production machines??  Just checked RCBS website and it is not listed.  So how did you get it running.

They were manufactured between about 1982 and 1986. They phased out because they demanded too much "maintenance" that I guess 70% of handloaders were not capable of performing or wanted a "silver spoon". I doubt those same handloaders can change a flat tire either!! They were basically caliber specific...38/357. A lot of money for basically only one caliber. Word was that RCBS was going to manufacture conversion cal kits but apparently dropped the product altogether. In all fairness the turret press was less money and could use other caliber dies.

I purchased this to use for my 44-40s BUT I may convert other said parts to load 45 Colt as well. Since the bullet I will be using will be the same for the 44-40, I will be able to load 44 Magnums by simply swapping and or adjusting two dies.  Technically one can reload 44-40s with a cut down 44 mag resize die (I have one) but that is another story. This is all mainly my opinion but.......

When I get it all running like I want it, I plan on making a full video explaining what I did to get it they way I wanted. The 8 videos thus far are basically me learning and somewhat documenting as I go...but not in detail. I think there are enough folks interested to keep them informed of my progress.
Thanks for the interest!!

Offline Bryan Austin

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 850
Re: RCBS Green Machine for the 44-40?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2019, 10:25:01 am »
So how did you get it running.

Basically I re-assembled what was taken apart. I set it up with the factory parts, i.e. 38/357 dies. I made a few adjustments, nothing secret, and it fed the 38 cases just fine but not perfect. I then tried a 44-40 case and as soon as I hit a snag, I investigated and made simple adjustments...Video 1. Video 2 shows where I had to adjust and modify the rails but not in detail. The previous owner/s had them on wrong. I could tell they had already made modifications and butchered a few things. I printed out a manual and begain to trace the steps. I discovered the correct placement of the rails and reinstalled them...video 3. Video 4 shows case feeder block that was butchered but it still works. Shows my spring and rail detailed adjustments and correct feeding action. Video 5 and 5a shows the case feeder modification to be able to use the larger rim cases. Videos 6, 7 and 8 are also titled now and show continued progress all the way to a slow test run.

I want folks to think it took a genius to modify and get running but it was actually very straight forward, tedious but fairly simple.....even a caveman should be able to do it!!!

NOW for the dies.....

Making sure the rails are adjusted to where the case feeds down the center of the case transfer bar in order to be inserted into the dies and receive a primer.

The Decapping/Resizing die is whatever caliber you desire after the modification/adjustment, 44-40 in my application.
The Powder Expander Drop Tube will not work, it is for 38/357 cal only. Might work for similar calibers. I elected, for now, to use a Lee Auto Disk and Lee 44-40 powder trough die, IT WORKED!
The Bullet Seating Die is also different. The "housing" die is the same for everything BUT the insert (Bullet Seating Guide) is caliber specific. There is only one that I know of and that is 38/357!
NOW, one can take the 38/357 insert and machine it out to whatever cal they want and still use the retaining clip that keeps the bullet from falling through. This allows the loader to use this die OR the loader can use a normal bullet seating die. If using a normal seating die, it is a pain to insert the bullet as can be seen in the videos. If using the seater/roll crimp...a fourth die is not needed. If using the GM (Green Machine) die, a crimp die is needed. I elected to use the seater die as a seater and added a crimp die. Once I get my insert machined out, I will revert back to the original design.

I plan on getting both expander plugs machined to be able to use both powder measures.....but this is just what I needed to "get it running".

Now the primer function is toast, always was so I won't even try to explain. I might mess with it later as a hobby more so than now. I plan on using a Dillon primer drop tube just like a turret type press, problem solved.

Thanks for the questions, it helps me get to know the machine better and better explain myself......I think!!!
« Last Edit: July 24, 2019, 10:28:25 am by Bryan Austin »

Offline Bryan Austin

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 850
Re: RCBS Green Machine for the 44-40?
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2019, 02:35:48 pm »
I got lost in the sequence of steps.  You are correct an auto-primer feed and bullet feeder would be more convenient.

I like the machine and the concept but are those reloading dies special or specific to that model press?

Nice condition machine also, I thought those were older or obsolete production machines??  Just checked RCBS website and it is not listed.  So how did you get it running.

I fabricated a test tube for the primer auto feed...take a look!
https://youtu.be/CU6rdQIGNkE

Offline Black River Smith

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 892
Re: RCBS Green Machine for the 44-40?
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2019, 08:19:31 pm »
Watched all your videos.  You have done a great job modifying the machine to handle the case you reload.  Nice videos, also.

One question for you, though.  Is the primer seat rod still a small primer diameter or have (can) you modified it to a larger diameter (as all hand primer tools utilize/supply)?  Or does it appear not to matter on this machine?

Another question, since your hole is now larger have you tried 44Spc or 44Mag or 45Colt or 38/40 cases to see if they also feed reliably?  Nice expansion of the machines capabilities, if they do.
Black River Smith

Offline Bryan Austin

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 850
Re: RCBS Green Machine for the 44-40?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2019, 06:44:15 am »
One question for you, though.  Is the primer seat rod still a small primer diameter or have (can) you modified it to a larger diameter (as all hand primer tools utilize/supply)?  Or does it appear not to matter on this machine?
So far I am still using the small rod. I do not think they made a large rod. However, I did drill out the primer feeding rail.

Quote
Another question, since your hole is now larger have you tried 44Spc or 44Mag or 45Colt or 38/40 cases to see if they also feed reliably?  Nice expansion of the machines capabilities, if they do.

I have feed a few 45 Colt and 44 magnum so far with no problems. I only have 1 38-40 case but since it is the same rim as the 44-40, I don't think it should be a problem.

I love this machine but I do warn ya, it is a MUST and demands much maintenance attention like a helicopter.

Offline Black River Smith

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 892
Re: RCBS Green Machine for the 44-40?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2019, 03:33:31 pm »
I don't think I will go hunting for one as an improvement over my 2nd model A2 RCBS Rock Chucker single stage press.  I don't really like progressives because of the lack of QC checking and I don't reload a lot of ammo.  But I do like seeing obsolete machines like this brought back to life.  I applaud your effort and work.

I did look into a RCBS &/or Dillion progressive or RCBS &/or Lyman turrets, for just time saving convenience but not worth the extra monies.

I have started to investigate the co-axial press for leverage issues.

Thanks for responding and answer my questions.
Black River Smith

Offline Bryan Austin

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 850
Re: RCBS Green Machine for the 44-40?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2019, 05:31:27 pm »
I don't think I will go hunting for one as an improvement over my 2nd model A2 RCBS Rock Chucker single stage press.  I don't really like progressives because of the lack of QC checking and I don't reload a lot of ammo.  But I do like seeing obsolete machines like this brought back to life.  I applaud your effort and work.

I did look into a RCBS &/or Dillion progressive or RCBS &/or Lyman turrets, for just time saving convenience but not worth the extra monies.

I have started to investigate the co-axial press for leverage issues.

Thanks for responding and answer my questions.

No problem, I do understand....I load slow myself. I have no intentions on trying to load fast, just less pulls of the handle for a cartridge, I would not have got this except for what I paid for it....$125 shipped. So for me, it's the cheapest progressive press I will ever see!!!

Offline Black River Smith

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 892
Re: RCBS Green Machine for the 44-40?
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2019, 06:39:24 pm »
You got a good deal I have seen them go for nearly $500.  Nice!!  I agree with you with that type of price.  It makes the work worth it.
Black River Smith

Offline Bryan Austin

  • Top Active Citizen
  • *
  • Posts: 850
Re: RCBS Green Machine for the 44-40?
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2019, 08:25:12 pm »
You got a good deal I have seen them go for nearly $500.  Nice!!  I agree with you with that type of price.  It makes the work worth it.

Yes, ebay has them now, recently sold, between $100 - $700 pending condition. Mine was partially disassembled, rod hard and put up wet.....almost not worth the $125 if I had not been wanting one for a very long time.

I have had a few guys message me about buying their press but I won't pay what they are worth because I don't need them. Always need parts though.