Posts Tagged ‘Reloading Blog’

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

Thanks,
Gavin

Happy Father’s Day 2015 from Ultimate Reloader

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

Today is Father’s Day, and I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge all of the dads out there, and to wish you all the best today. I started today with my wife and girls, and felt extremely fortunate to have them to share life with. I am hoping that you all can be with your Dads and kids today, even if it’s just remembering your dad (for those of you that have outlived you father).

Fathers-day-letter-1200

Wondering what to do on Father’s Day? Here are some ideas for you:

  1. Have a BBQ with your kids and/or Dad
  2. Go shooting
  3. Reload some ammo (what else would I say? :))
  4. Go hiking
  5. Go camping
  6. Go boating
  7. Ride motorcycles (road, dirt, dualsport, trials, …)
  8. Ride bicycles
  9. Go hunting
  10. Go fishing
  11. Build something (wood, metal, …)
  12. Float down the river

Here’s a great example of what a good Father’s day looks like, that’s my friend Josh with his boys, with me driving the backhoe:

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It doesn’t get much better than that! Are you having a great Father’s day? Please leave a comment and let us know what you all are up to!

Thanks,
Gavin

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.

Thanks,
Gavin

RCBS Pro Chucker Presses Have Arrived

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

The day has finally come! It’s not too often that new progressive reloading “systems” are introduced, and this year RCBS is doing that with the all new “Pro Chucker” presses – available in 5-station and 7-station variants (and you can even convert them back and forth without buying a new press). After working with RCBS to get ahold of some of the first units for a while now, I’m really excited to announce that the equipment has arrived, and I’ll be producing an extensive series of blog posts and videos covering these exciting new products.

RCBS Pro-Chucker 5 and Pro-Chucker 7 presses and gear

RCBS Pro-Chucker 5 and Pro-Chucker 7 presses and gear

Here’s some of what I’m planning:

  • Unboxing posts/videos
  • Press setup and overview posts/videos
  • Pistol reloading posts/videos
  • Rifle reloading posts/videos
  • Caliber changeovers and other highlights
  • Comparison to RCBS Pro-2000

If you have anything else you’d like to see, please leave a comment on this post. This is going to be a lot of fun, so please subscribe if you haven’t already done so!

Thanks,
Gavin

DIY 40 S&W / 10mm Quick Changeover Setup

Friday, May 1st, 2015

My metal lathes are tools that I just can’t do without. I am frequently amazed at how often a metal lathe will come in handy around the house and shop, especially for gunsmithing and reloading accessories/tools. I’ve written several times about how I’ve machined shims for various reloading fixtures. Examples include calibrating my Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic single stage with my Hornady Lock-N-Load AP press, and powder measure shims for fast caliber/cartridge changeovers.

Like 44 Magnum and 357 Magnum, 10mm Auto is a longer version of a less powerful cartridge (40 S&W). Because all other external dimensions are the same, you can use the same dies for both 40 S&W and 10mm. When changing from 40 S&W to 10mm Auto, all dies must be “raised” by the difference in brass length *except* the sizing/depriming die which remains down in contact with the shellplate. This sounds like a great time to machine some shims on the metal lathe!

10mm cartridge next to shimmed 40/10mm dies - Image copyright Ultimate Reloader

10mm cartridge next to shimmed 40/10mm dies – Image copyright Ultimate Reloader

The first step in this project was to calculate the required thickness for the shims. This is a simple matter of taking the 10mm brass length and subtracting the 40 S&W brass length from it:

0.992″ – 0.850″ = 0.142″

I took some measurements for the brass that I would be using (new Starline 10mm Auto, range pickup 40 S&W) and adjusted the shim thickness to 0.148″ based on my calculations. +/ .005-.010″ will be close enough to get most die settings within spec. You can then fine-tune bullet seating depth as needed. Next, I took some aluminum tubing (with ID of 7/8″, the same as the OD of reloading dies) and parted off some shims.

Parting off shims on my Logan 11"x36" metal lathe - Image copyright Ultimate Reloader

Parting off shims on my Logan 11″x36″ metal lathe – Image copyright Ultimate Reloader

For a 5-station reloading press a total of four shims are needed if you plan on using all 5 stations (recall we don’t raise the sizing/depriming die). I was able to keep all of the shims I cut within about .002″ of each other, plenty consistent! After a bit of de-burring, I was ready to try them out.

Completed Shims - Image copyright Ultimate Reloader

Completed Shims – Image copyright Ultimate Reloader

The setup process is roughly as follows:

  1. Setup dies for loading 40 S&W – load some ammo and get everything “tuned” the way you want it.
  2. Ensure all lockrings are “locked down” – the Hornady die lockrings make this process easy and consistent- just tighten the allen screw. I’ve found they tighten better if you loosen the die very slightly first (otherwise it’s clamped down against the die bushing and the lockring can’t move as well).
  3. Slightly loosen each die from bushing while in press
  4. Remove dies from press (except sizing die)
  5. Spin dies out of bushings
  6. Insert spacer shims
  7. Spin bushings back onto dies
  8. Insert dies back into press
  9. Tighten dies (don’t have to be super tight)

If everything goes right, you’ll only have to make minor tweaks, and with any luck no adjustments are necessary. I’ll cover more details and show this setup in an upcoming video, so stay tuned.

Thanks,
Gavin