Thursday, October 30, 2014

My First Press

When I was first learning to reload, I bought an RCBS RockChucker kit. I still use it for all my single stage reloading. I expect that I could pass it on and generations to follow could use it. It's well built, simple, there's nothing in the press to go wrong. I have loaded thousands of rounds on this press. Everything from 9mm to 8mm Mauser. It's not fast, it's reliable, easy to adjust, and once set up, every case comes out the same.

NotClauswitz left a comment on my Lee 1000 post mentioning an add-on for the RockChucker called a Piggyback II conversion kit. I had never heard of this, but it's an assembly that sisters onto a RockChucker to make it a progressive press. 

Here's the set-up instructions in PDF. Here's what it looks like sitting on the press.

I don't know how easy this would be to set up and use. But NotClauswitz is offering to give me the one he has, so that might be a clue. RCBS has stopped making them, that might be another. 

Anyone else using one of these? Is it trouble or a great way to make ammo?


Dave H said...

I don't think I've ever seen a loading press discussed online that didn't have people claiming it was either the best or the worst one they've ever used. A lot of things factor into those claims, things like the mechanical skill of the user and the fact that nobody wants to admit they spent money on junk.

Since the cost of trying it is pretty low, just a few hours of your time, I'd say it might be worth trying. Or it might just be trying.

Robert Fowler said...

I use my RC for rifle calipers. I use my Pro1000 for pistol and a couple of small rifle caliber a. I got my stat with a original Lee Loader and a rubber mallet.

I have a 06 ammo license and found that the 1000 has been trouble free. I did some tinkering when I first got it and now it runs like a champ. I have run as much as 5000 rds in a week.

NotClauswitz said...

I believe it could be appreciated purely from the Rube Goldberg aspect, but it kinda pegged my frustration meter because I tried to make ALL aspects function to spec. :-)
Also it was a *gift* from a gun-club buddy who when I asked, said he had a Dillon. Mine lacks the correct "cam-wire" (and the replacement one RCBS sent me was dead-straight, without the correct bend/bend location) for the priming system - but you already work around that so... maybe the limit on case-length is more of a factor (p. 25 of the PDF), for rifles it's about .223 max. But mainly it was not smooth, despite a new bushing. Lotsa shell-plates, and the improved powder-drop actuation!

I had felt a need for increased output and less brass-handling - two slightly contradictory or at least tangential needs, but my fingers have developed a kind of impact contact dermatitis from over-work, and were splitting open at the ends in deep fissures. Band-aids in bulk help.

Goober said...

I've used a rock chuckar for years. Not the conversion kit, but just the simple press.

I have two of them, to make a sort of redneck progressive setup. One is the resizing and decapping press, the other is the seating press.

I use a hornady automatic scale, and an RCBS hand primer, so the progressive units never really excited me much.

Seemed like too fast of a process. Too many checks that I do are not really do-able when you progressive reload.

Like shining a flashlight down all 100 necks to make sure there's a powder charge in there, for instance...

Besides, if you tumble and polish your brass, the progressive systems aren't really all that useful, since you have to stop halfway through your process to polish brass, then start it back up again.

With two rock-chucker presses, i get the exact same utility, for a quarter the price.

And it's comfortable for me...

Sport Pilot said...

Mine's a first model PB that I got in pieces in trade for a Lee Challenger press. RCBS rebuilt it to PB2 spec's and it works but like the LP2K needs tweaking.

Red Thomas said...

I have a Piggy Back II. It does what it's advertised to do. Changing calibers is time consuming, but since this is a hobby and not a piece work job, "So what?" My only complaint would be that one shouldn't use Lee dies with it for powder dispensing unless you've got the whole thing mounted as solidly as the Eiffel Tower.

NotClauswitz said...

The Piggyback II kit doesn't come with a powder dispenser since they assume you already have one, nor the linkage-kit - so I had to get one myself (my main dispenser is digital), and I'll toss-in the linkage-kit with the different rifle-pistol bushings etc. because it only makes sense. You could have some fun tinkering, or get fed-up and pass it on to someone else if you want! :-)