RCBS Powder Checker Die

There’s one more powder check system that we’re going to look at on our reloading safety series- the “RCBS Powder Checker Die”. This unit is very simple, easy to setup, and works well. It’s comparable to the “Hornady Powder Cop Die”.

The RCBS Powder Checker Die next to its box - Image Copyright 2010 Ultimate Reloader
The RCBS Powder Checker Die next to its box - Image Copyright 2010 Ultimate Reloader

This system is quite versatile, and intuitive to setup and use. Let’s take a look at the parts that make up the RCBS Powder Checker Die assembly, and then, we’ll look at setup and use.

The RCBS Powder Checker Die Assembly - Image Copyright 2010 Ultimate Reloader
The RCBS Powder Checker Die Assembly - Image Copyright 2010 Ultimate Reloader

OK, now that we know the parts and pieces, let’s talk setup! The good news is, it’s easy.

Setup steps for the RCBS Powder Checker Die:

  1. Install the proper guide rod tip on the powder guide rod (use the largest one that will fit in the case neck you’re loading with some space
  2. Push the guide rod up into the die body past the case guide
  3. Install the guide rod cap on the powder guide rod
  4. Make sure the indicator guide rod and O-Ring are installed
  5. Raise the ram on your reloading press to the top
  6. Screw down the die (exact height not critical, should not contact shellplate)
  7. Charge a case and advance the press to the powder check station, raise the ram to the top of its stroke
  8. Confirm vertical movement of the powder guide rod, adjust the die height if needed
  9. With the ram at the top of its stroke, adjust the height of the O-Ring on the indicating guide rod until it is aligned with the powder guide rod cap
  10. Remove case, recharge, and run through the powder check station again to confirm setting, adjust if needed

That’s it! Sounds like a lot, but in practice, this is probably the fastest powder check system to setup.

Here’s a video showing assembly of the die and setup on the Dillon XL-650 5 station progressive reloading press:

That should tell you most of what you would need to know about this system. I have enjoyed using this product, and appreciate its simple but effective design.

Do you have experiences that you want to share? Please leave your comments here.


4 thoughts on “RCBS Powder Checker Die”

  1. Thank you for your videos! It is sometimes difficult for me to understand English (text) but in the video is to always look great and easy!

  2. Thanx for making a great website with excellant info and tips!!

    Getting back into reloading after a long time away and this site makes it very easy to get back up to speed with the latest tech and the step-by-step instructions are awesome for dusting off the cobwebs in my brain
    amazing how much you forget and how much things have improved

  3. Please note that when the powder measure video is shown, the visual indicator was supposedly set on an empty shell, but when the powder was added and then the powder checker was testing the now powder loaded shell , the indicator moved up no higher than the O-ring set at ” empty shell” level.
    Something wrong with this presentation !!.
    Just keeping it safe!

    1. I believe that bot demonstrations had the correct powder charge because after setting the oring gauge, he said we are going to ‘dump the powder’ and then he put it through the press and pulled the handle twice to get an indication, The first pull was the powder measure station and the second pull was the verification station.

      You are correct though, they certainly should have demonstrated what it looked like if there were a ‘no powder’ cartridge.

      You made me watch the video…

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