RCBS Brass Boss
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- Last updated: 23/12/2019
When it comes to case-care tools RCBS certainly produce a large range of quality products and the latest addition, the Brass Boss, is another great piece of kit. In simple terms this is an electrically powered unit that drives six rotating tools which carry out several of the case preparation processes that would otherwise be done by hand.
On the top of the unit there are six rotating stations, threaded to take the tools provided. The speed is variable, controlled by the dial on the side of the main body of the Brass Boss, with four stations spinning up to 350rpm and the other two at up to 550rpm. In practice all of the tools seemed to perform best with the unit set at maximum rpm. There are also two static threaded stations, a tray for spare tools, and a recess to hold the dry case lube provided. The base unit is well made and substantial.
The Brass boss comes with a full set of tools to carry out the following tasks: case mouth deburring/chamfering (separate tools for each task) and, in both large and small sizes, primer pocket cleaning, military crimp removal and primer pocket uniforming. Case neck brushes and dry case neck lube are also included.
The deburring/chamfering tools are located on the two higher speed stations and the other tools sit on any of the slower ones, so you can set them up in whichever of those positions works best for you.
With the tools inserted into the preferred locations you can quickly work your way through a pile of cases by taking each one through all of the stages in a sequence, this proved much more efficient than deburring them all, then cleaning all of the primer pockets etc.
Both the deburring and the chamfering stages are very much reliant on you getting a feel for how much pressure to apply to the case, there is nothing to limit how much metal you remove with either and you can easily eat through too much brass. You also need to keep the cases vertical to get an even contact with the cutting surface. With a little bit of practise you can quickly learn just how much pressure to apply and to keep it constant from case to case. The primer pocket cleaners and uniformers require very little pressure and they are very effective.
With all six heads spinning at once, and with some of them being taller than others, you do have to take care not to catch your fingers on one of the tools while preparing a case on another. Both the deburring and the chamfering tools look like they could bite!
With the dry case mouth lube and case neck brushes set up on the top of the Brass Boss you can very quickly get through a big batch of cases and have them ready for reloading.
There are a couple of other tasks required as a part of case preparation and RCBS have those covered as well.
With new cases there can often be burrs left on the inside of the flash hole during manufacture and they can cause erratic ignition. The RCBS Flash Hole Deburring Tool is available with a calibre-specific and self-centering pilot collar which ensures perfect alignment with the flash hole. Inserted through the case mouth this tool will remove any burrs without removing too much brass and ensure that all the flash holes are regularised. Although this tool comes complete with a high-quality handle RCBS have very cleverly made the handle detachable. This allows you to unscrew the tool from the handle and screw it on the Brass boss, so the flash-hole deburring process can also be carried out quicker and easier, very clever!
Checking case length is a critical part of reloading and a good quality caliper is a musthave piece of kit. The RCBS Digitial calliper is a great tool, with a very large display screen and all of the controls on one easy to use panel. turning on and off, switching between metric or imperial and re-zeroing can all be done without having to change your hand position or putting the tool down. The caliper also has a low battery indicator and comes in a fitted case. In use the calliper could not be easier to use and operation is very smooth. The build quality is very good and accuracy, at +/- 0.001-inches, is more than good enough for reloading purposes.
RCBS are known for quality, albeit it with the associated high price tag for their products, and it is very much a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. Case preparation can be a laborious process and the Brass Boss certainly speeds it up and makes it easier on your fingers. Anyone who has processed a large quantity of cases using small hand-held tools will know how quickly your fingers start to ache. The Brass boss is a very well thought out device and if you use a lot of cases it is well worth investing in. The flash hole deburring tool is also a great tool and whether you use it by hand, on smaller quantities of cases, or attach it to the Brass Boss to get through a larger quantity more efficiently, it is well worth investing in. The digital calliper is very easy to use and again great quality. Overall these are three great products from RCBS and an asset to the reloading bench.