RCBS equipment questions...anyone?

This is a discussion on RCBS equipment questions...anyone? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Ok, so since Im young, self employed and have a wife and son Im on a tight budget. I accept this. And I also want ...

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Thread: RCBS equipment questions...anyone?

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    Member Array alexcantslee's Avatar
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    RCBS equipment questions...anyone?

    Ok, so since Im young, self employed and have a wife and son Im on a tight budget. I accept this. And I also want to shoot more so reloading has been at the for front of my mind for the last while. I was having a conversation with my Scoutmaster today about casting my own bullets (He used to cast gold jewelry and has some unused equipment) and made mention of needing to buy a reloading press and he asked, and I quote "Whats wrong with the one in the tool room"

    I told him I had no idea what he was talking about so he took me in there and showed me a box with a logo. The logo says....

    RCBS Rock Chucker

    Who knew, had one ten feet from me all the time. It has some die sets but not for .45 acp.

    So, those in the know, can I order a set of .45 dies for this model? Anything in particular I need to know about RCBS in particular?
    Do does from other companies interchange?
    If I order a bullet mold from Lee (they have one that casts 6 at once) will the bullet seater for RCBS work with bullet designs for molds they dont sell?



    I really just want to reload plinking, target ammo. Nothing for competition or hunting and certainly not for carry. I just dont want to break the bank everytime I shoot. This is all still very new for me.

    Thanks in advance!

    Alex!
    My other Kahr is a Kimber.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Yes you can order dies,I have a dillon,but ordered some RCBS small base 223 dies for it the Lee dies I was using for 223 sometimes didn't chamber very well in AR15's the small base dies work great,the Rockchucker is a great single stage press,Look at Midway USA for RCBS dies
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    -Any of the standard dies should interchange with it just fine.

    -RCBS is a good company and the RockChucker is a very popular base model loader.

    -I don't cast my own bullets, so I can't speak to the bullet mold questions, sorry.
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    You can make any seater plug fit any bullet design pretty easily. All you need to do is mix up a dab of JB weld, grease up the bullet and push it into the seater with the JB weld and let dry. Pop the bullet out and tim it up and your good to go. If you need to change it then just scape or grind out the JB weld and re-do it for the new bullet. I've been using plugs set up like this for years and they have worked fine.
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    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
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    RCBS is one of the best, if not the best maker of presses, especially single-stage and the RockChucker is the top of the line. It's virtually impossible to wear one out.

    As for dies, RCBS make some of the best, as does Redding and others. I have several sets of both, but now I pretty much use Lee dies. They are cheaper, are well made, and will do just fine.
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    RCBS uses the "standard" threads (7/8 x 14?) which are intercahngable on most presses. Make sure you get "carbide" dies so you don't have to lube the cases ( a pain).

    The seating die will come with two bullet seating stems, one for flat nose/swc styles and one for round nose. That should take care of most bullets.

    The six bullet die is excellent for pumping out a lot of bullets, just make sure you preheat it well or you'll get 2-3 batches of bad bullets until it heats up. For .45 make sure the casting die is for .452 bullets.

    And you'll need a bullet sizer and luber. the equipment will cost a few bucks initially but will quickly pay for itself if you shoot much.

    You didn't say what type bullet you intend to cast. Round nose is the easiest as far as feeding problems go. SWCs make a nice clean hole in paper.
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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    Don't forget to order 45 ACP shell holder.
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    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevew View Post
    Don't forget to order 45 ACP shell holder.
    Every set of dies I have ever bought included the shell holder. It's not necessary to order a separate one.
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    Awesome!

    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    RCBS uses the "standard" threads (7/8 x 14?) which are intercahngable on most presses. Make sure you get "carbide" dies so you don't have to lube the cases ( a pain).

    The seating die will come with two bullet seating stems, one for flat nose/swc styles and one for round nose. That should take care of most bullets.

    The six bullet die is excellent for pumping out a lot of bullets, just make sure you preheat it well or you'll get 2-3 batches of bad bullets until it heats up. For .45 make sure the casting die is for .452 bullets.

    And you'll need a bullet sizer and luber. the equipment will cost a few bucks initially but will quickly pay for itself if you shoot much.

    You didn't say what type bullet you intend to cast. Round nose is the easiest as far as feeding problems go. SWCs make a nice clean hole in paper.
    I think Im going to cast round nose bullets. I figured they would probably feed better than SWC as a general rule. Especially not knowing what other guns I may have in the future.

    Any tips on preheating the mold, is that something I need to do with a torch and get really hot or would just a couple hundred degrees prevent the lead from cooling too quick and making pockets.

    What about the casting itself? Lead is a poison of course but would doing it outdoors in a well ventilated area with gloves, goggles and a respirator be suitable? Ive heard that getting lead really hot, like over 1200 degree will cause it to be more toxic and that under 750 or so is pretty "safe" (relatively). Thats part of the reason for the 6 bullet mold, so I can gear up and do lots of casting all at once.

    Bullet sizer and luber? Does that chuck up in the press like the other dies?

    What about case trimming? IS that something to be concerned with with straight wall pistol casing? Ive heard thats its not needed or only needed ever few times the cases get reloaded and Ive also heard that it needs to be done every time. Seems like the handheld tool is pretty cheap and would cheap insurance but is it like checking matress tags?

    Sorry if these are very basic questions :)

    I appreciate all the input!

    Alex!
    My other Kahr is a Kimber.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Majorlk View Post
    Every set of dies I have ever bought included the shell holder. It's not necessary to order a separate one.
    I've never got a shellholder with RCBS.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexcantslee View Post
    Any tips on preheating the mold, is that something I need to do with a torch and get really hot or would just a couple hundred degrees prevent the lead from cooling too quick and making pockets.

    What about the casting itself? Lead is a poison of course but would doing it outdoors in a well ventilated area with gloves, goggles and a respirator be suitable?

    Bullet sizer and luber? Does that chuck up in the press like the other dies?

    What about case trimming? IS that something to be concerned with with straight wall pistol casing? Ive heard thats its not needed or only needed ever few times the cases get reloaded and Ive also heard that it needs to be done every time. Seems like the handheld tool is pretty cheap and would cheap insurance but is it like checking matress tags?

    Alex!
    No, don't use a torch. The die only need to reach the temp of the lead. Otherwise, the molten lead will start to solidify before you fill the cavity. You'll see swirls, etc. in them when the die is too cold. You can dip the die in the molten lead for a moment or just cast two or three loads and expect them to be defective and remelt them.

    Most of my bullet casting has been roundball for muzzle loading. I'm not sure if a sizer/luber will mount up with your press or not. I think it's usually a separate piece of gear, but don't take my word on it. Check online with suppliers to see what's avail.

    Lead is indeed toxic, and the hotter it gets the more fumes it produces, which is the only real hazzard other than burning one's skin. It doesn't get "more toxic." Any well-ventilated area is good, outside is better. A respirator shouldn't be necessary, but go with what you fell safest with. Make sure you wash up afterwards to remove and skin contamination.

    Pistol cases seldom if ever need trimming. A spot check on occasion should suffice with rounds that have been loaded multiple times. Most pistol cases don't reach the pressures and temps that rifle cases do when firing, so the flow of brass forward isn't usually an issue.

    Glad to help out where I can.
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    Member Array snakatack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    I've never got a shellholder with RCBS.
    They are a great company and just down the road from me. I'll bet dollars to donuts if you gave them a call they would mail you one free.

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    So, those in the know, can I order a set of .45 dies for this model? Anything in particular I need to know about RCBS in particular?

    Not really. Its a great press.

    Do does from other companies interchange?

    Dies are standard. Meaning that the dies from any make will fit. The press is threaded for a 7/8-14 thread. Thats a fine thread.

    If I order a bullet mold from Lee (they have one that casts 6 at once) will the bullet seater for RCBS work with bullet designs for molds they dont sell?

    The seaters are interchangable also.

    There is a lot of information on the web about casting, there are several great websites that are devoted to it. One of the best is Cast Boolits - Dedicated To The World Of Cast Bullets!

    It'll tell you everything you need to know about casting, and they have group buys on molds that are both custom bullit designs and standard. They talk of methods of casting, tools used and tricks of the trade. Check it out.
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    Any tips on preheating the mold, is that something I need to do with a torch and get really hot or would just a couple hundred degrees prevent the lead from cooling too quick and making pockets.

    [
    What about the casting itself? Lead is a poison of course but would doing it outdoors in a well ventilated area with gloves, goggles and a respirator be suitable?

    Bullet sizer and luber? Does that chuck up in the press like the other dies?

    What about case trimming? IS that something to be concerned with with straight wall pistol casing? Ive heard thats its not needed or only needed ever few times the cases get reloaded and Ive also heard that it needs to be done every time. Seems like the handheld tool is pretty cheap and would cheap insurance but is it like checking matress tags
    ?

    Lead is only hazzardous if handled improperly like most dangerous things we deal with. Keep it in the 700 to 800 degree range and there will be no concern with the fumes. The fumes don't become a problem till you reach 1000 degrees or hotter. Of course use common sense when handling it. No eating, smoking, etc. Wash your hands after casting and while casting keep them away from your eyes nose and mouth. Beware of water around molten lead. They don't mix.

    As far as pre-heating your mould? I personally just set mine on the edge of my pot while it's heating up. Some guys use electric hot plates and some will set their moulds on the stove top. Once you start casting with it it will heat up just fine. May have to run several casts through till it's up to correct temp.

    A luber sizer is generally a seperate piece of equipment. Lee's screws onto the press (don't much care for theirs though). My favorite is the Saeco.

    There should be no reason to ever trim brass every loading. If it's stretching enough to trim that often you got serious problem going on with that gun or your reloading practices.
    Last edited by Jeff F; January 30th, 2010 at 02:41 PM.
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    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    If I order a bullet mold from Lee (they have one that casts 6 at once) will the bullet seater for RCBS work with bullet designs for molds they dont sell?
    I have been casting my own since 1970, so take my advice for what you paid for it.

    A 6 cavity mold will get heavy in a hurry. Most casters that I know that cast a lot of bullets stick with a 4 or 2 cavity mold. I would check on ebay for a mold of your choice. You might be able to get two- 2 cavity molds for the price of one 4 cavity mold

    Talk to experienced casters in your area.

    Fill one 2 cavity mold. set it aside, fill the other one, set aside, pick up the first one, dump the bullets and refill repeat as ofter as needed.

    This will keep the mold from getting two hot and will allow your sprue to cool giving you a clean/smooth bottom on your cast bullets.

    FWIW I have used the the same RCBS reloading press since 1970 and it is still going strong.

    I have never trimmed any straight walled pistol case. I have trimmer a few bottle neck pistol carteidges IE .357 Sig

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