Posts Tagged ‘Progressive Reloading Press’

RCBS Pro Chucker 5: Loading 40 S&W

Sunday, September 27th, 2015


It’s hard not to appreciate the 40 S&W cartridge. It’s compact, it’s powerful, and it’s very versatile at the range or for personal defense. Heck, if you reload your own ammo, you can practice with premium hollowpoints for near the same price as your “economy” reloads. Whether or not you carry your own reloaded ammo is a topic I won’t get into here (queue up the lawyers :) ).

Since getting my Glock 20, I’ve been eager to reload 40 S&W as it’s been a frequent go-to cartridge for me at the range. Since I’m working on the RCBS Pro Chucker 5/7 series, I thought this would be a great opportunity to pull out the RCBS pistol bullet feeder and show you this bullet feeder working together with the RCBS Pro Chucker 5!


As noted in the video below, I did encounter a bit of a surprise when mounting the bullet feeder, but the solution was quite simple and straightforward. In the RCBS Pro Chucker 5 loading 45 ACP post, I go over the basics of setting up dies in the “conventional/default” manner. Here, I’m using a variation of that setup, this time using the RCBS Bullet Feeder die in station 4, and a seating/crimping die setup in station 5:


Here’s what I’ve got going on here for die station utilization:

  1. Size/de-prime
  2. Expander
  3. Powder charge
  4. Bullet feeder
  5. Seat/crimp

This is just one of many different possibilities for die station utilization when using the RCBS bullet feeder on this press. With no dedicated powder check station, one MUST be committed to performing a visual powder level check for EVERY cartridge that goes through the press. Without this diligence, one is more vulnerable to squib loads (no charge) or double charges.

Here’s a video showing this setup in action, and using a case gage and barrel to check the cartridge dimensions:

I really like the combination of the basic press plus bullet feeder. It’s really nice to be able to keep one hand on the lever, and the other hand manipulating brass. The biggest win is to automate at least one of (bullet feed or case feed). Automating both is even better for throughput, but it comes at the cost of complexity and expense. Each reloader has to decide what’s best for them, and what they’ll get good “return on investment” for.

Stay tuned- more Pro Chucker content coming soon!


RCBS Pro Chucker 5: Press Assembly Part I

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Now that we’ve unboxed and mounted the RCBS Pro Chucker 5, it’s time to finish assembling the press so that we can start reloading some ammo! In this post (and video, see below) I’ll cover the first steps involved in assembling the RCBS Pro Chucker 5. In my next post, I’ll finish press assembly. The RCBS Pro Chucker 5 comes “mostly assembled”, there’s just a few things that are left to the purchaser of the press to do, including:

  1. Installing priming system parts and components
  2. Installing the shellplate and related parts
  3. Installing the spent primer drop tube
  4. Installing the toolhead
  5. Assembling and installing the powder measure (will be covered in the next post)

Here’s what the press will look like when the steps covered in this post are completed:

RCBS Pro Chucker 5 side 550

These assembly procedures are simple and straightforward as you can see in this video:

I’ll admit, at this point I’m starting to feel anxious to start loading with the Pro Chucker 5. But patience pays, and I want to make sure that I’m taking my time so that I can document the process, record my thoughts, etc. We’ll get to loading here soon!

Here’s a view of the top of the press frame, showing the all-new toolhead design that’s implemented on the Pro Chucker 5 (and 7, in a very similar form).

RCBS Pro Chucker 5 with toolhead 600

Next up, we’ll put together the updated-and-improved RCBS Uniflow powder measure. There’s some cool new features that I’m sure you all will find interesting- so stick around!


RCBS Pro Chucker 5: Integration with Ultimate Reloader Bench System

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Following-up on my unboxing video for the RCBS Pro Chucker 5, it’s now time for the important task of mounting this new press to the reloading bench. Since many of you have asked about my “Ultimate Reloader Reloading Bench System” I thought I would provide more details and information about how this system works in this article.

RCBS Pro Chucker 5 integrated with the Ultimate Reloader Bench System

RCBS Pro Chucker 5 integrated with the Ultimate Reloader Bench System

When I put together this bench system, there were some important design requirements:

  • The ability to position any press or piece of equipment (including trimmers, vices, etc) at any location along the length of the bench
  • Extremely solid support for the press under hard use (think: using a small base sizer on military 308 brass, or sizing 50 BMG cases)
  • ~60 second press lockdown or removal time
  • Affordability: for the bench itself and for the required parts/materials for each press or piece of equipment that works with the bench system

The design I arrived at included T-Tracks embedded in the bench (based on 3/8″ hex bolts), baseplates made out of wood, aluminum plate, or [future] steel plate. I ordered a bunch of 3/8″ bolts, washers, and “speed knobs”, and have been very pleased with the resultant system. I’ll elaborate more on this system in future posts and videos.

For the Pro Chucker 5, I decided to use a 1.5″ thick (double 3/4″ hardwood plywood) baseplate that I had on hand, and the RCBS Accessory Base Plate #3 for this press.

The RCBS Accessory Baseplate 3 makes mounting the Pro Chucker 5 or Pro Chucker 7 easy

The RCBS Accessory Baseplate 3 makes mounting the Pro Chucker 5 or Pro Chucker 7 easy

This baseplate provides tapped mounting holes for a variety of RCBS equipment including: RCBS Pro Chucker 5, Pro Chucker 7, the Grand shotshell, Rock Chucker Supreme, Summit, Trim Pro-2 Case Trimmers, Trim Pro, Powder Measure Stand, Lube-A-Matic-2, Reloader Special, Rock Chucker, Pro 2000, Turret Press, AmmoMaster, Partner Press and the APS Bench Mounted, Automatic and Priming Tools. You can read more about this baseplate on the RCBS website.

Here’s a video showing the entire process of mounting the RCBS Pro Chucker 5:

As you can see in the video, this press is mounted VERY solid on the bench, just the way I like it. It’s great to “feel” exactly what’s going on with each stroke of the press. A solid press support will also help your press run more reliably as things wont wobble and shake while loading.

Here’s an up close view of the RCBS Pro Chucker press frame – in the Pro Chucker 5 portion of this series we’ll continue with press assembly, so stay tuned!

RCBS Pro Chucker logo closeup 600


RCBS Pro Chucker 5: Unboxing

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

They day has come: in this post you’ll get a look at the new RCBS Pro Chucker 5 reloading press. This post is the first hands-on post in what will be an extensive series on the new RCBS progressive reloading press platform (shared by the RCBS Pro Chucker 5 and Pro Chucker 7).

The subject of this post: what's in this box? Read/Watch to find out!

The subject of this post: what’s in this box? Read/Watch to find out!

I won’t make you wait to find out, check out the video here where open the RCBS Pro Chucker 5 box for the first time and show you what’s inside:

That was fun: I’ll admit that I get a rush out of unpacking a new machine, and this press looks really great! I can’t wait to get it all setup (with the Ultimate Reloader bench system of course) and fill you all in on the details. Here’s the contents of the box after I organized the parts into groups:

RCBS Pro Chucker 5 box contents

RCBS Pro Chucker 5 box contents

Here’s what’s in the box:

  • Press body (including sub-plate, the base for the shellplate)
  • Owner’s manual
  • Powder measure (very similar to Pro-2000) and powder measure parts
  • Press handle
  • Primer tubes and pickup tubes
  • Spent primer drop tube
  • Completed cartridge bin and drop chute
  • 5-station toolhead
  • Priming system parts
  • Indexing parts (spring and ball bearing)
  • Screws and small hardware parts

And here’s a closeup of the small parts:

RCBS Pro Chucker 5 small parts

RCBS Pro Chucker 5 small parts

One of the surprises I got when examining the parts is that RCBS has upgraded the Uniflow powder measure with a quick change metering insert system! This is awesome as it makes changing metering inserts easy. What’s more: the large and small metering inserts use the *same* drum: so you don’t have to tear down the powder measure to switch from pistol to rifle. This means you really only need one powder measure.

We’re just getting started here, make sure you have subscribed to the blog to follow along with the action. Looking forward to all of your comments and input as well.


It’s Official, RCBS Pro Chucker 5 and 7 Content Coming!

Sunday, March 29th, 2015


I wanted to give everyone a quick update on the new progressive reloading presses from RCBS. I have been working with RCBS on planning a series of content that will highlight the new “RCBS Pro Chucker 5” and the “RCBS Pro Chucker 7” progressive reloading presses. I am happy to announce that Ultimate Reloader will be getting these presses in when they are available. I’m planning extensive blog/video coverage, and hope to give everyone all of the info they may need about these new presses.

RCBS Pro-Chucker 5 5-station auto-inexing progressive reloading press

RCBS Pro-Chucker 5 5-station auto-inexing progressive reloading press

RCBS Pro-Chucker 7 7-station auto-inexing progressive reloading pres

RCBS Pro-Chucker 7 7-station auto-inexing progressive reloading press

If you have specific ideas for content, please leave a comment here! I’ll share more information when available. Thanks everyone!