Reader Joseph Fox writes:
Reloading bullets and cartridges has never been particularly easy, but lots of shooters find the process fun and rewarding. Whether it was fifty years ago with classic weapons or today with the most advanced guns, it’s all about having the right press or reloading machine.
The RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme is precisely that; a (nearly) perfect reloading press that will not only work fast and easy, but will also provide long-lasting and reliable performance.
It may not be the most innovative or the most complete press out there, but it’s undoubtedly one of the easiest to use with its simple design and a great way for the new reloader to start. The Rock Chucker Supreme will let you reload hundreds of bullets per hour, and that’s something you don’t get with many presses out there.
The Rock Chucker is a long press that helps to promote an easy and fast cartridge reloading process. It supports many different types of bullets, while also enjoying a highly versatile and reliable design. It’s one of the strongest presses on the market and works well for either professionals or beginners to reloading.
One of the best features of the RCBS Rock Chucker is its ability to add a variety of accessories, including a base plate so you can use it more comfortably and effectively. Apart from that, the product is known for its outstanding durability, which is something you won’t get with many other presses out there.
If you want a reloading press that works well and never lets you down, the Rock Chucker Supreme from RCBS is a great choice. However, despite looking simple and offering a very straightforward process, there’s a lot about this press you don’t know.
It is always important to know the products you are going to buy in their entirety. The Rock Chucker Supreme is one of the few that offers much more than it seems.
Here’s what you should know:
Featuring a solid steel handle, a sturdy cast iron frame, and outstanding compound leverage system – this single stage reloading press is simply unbeatable. Its build promotes a fast and reliable experience overall.
Simple and Effective Design
The primer arm and the mechanical compound leverage system make it easy to reload cartridges without issues. You just place the arm at the right length, and the place the primer on the base and that’s it. Then just bring the arm down, so the leverage system does it work, and you’ll have a well-made cartridge ready for use.
Versatile & Convenient
The versatility of the single stage Rock Chucker with an ambidextrous handle plus a convenient lengthened design helps users to use the product more easily. There won’t be anyone, whether a beginner or a professional, having a hard time with this press. It makes it easy and fast to reload long and short cartridges, which is just fantastic.
Boasting a four-inch ram-bearing surface, this press supports a one-inch diameter ram without issues. You get not only a straightforward design with its compound leverage system, but also one of the most versatile. Reloading any type of ammo, pistol or rifle, with this product is very easy. You can even use it as a progressive loader if you add a Piggyback upgrade.
- Fast and easy reloading process
- Works with all kinds of ammo (especially long cartridges)
- Ambidextrous handle with lengthened design makes it more versatile
- Strong, reliable, and entirely durable build & design
- Accessories and extra parts are sold separately (though kits are available)
- Does not come with dies
- Can be a little troublesome for the smallest primers
Specifications: RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Press
Product Dimensions: 20x15x10 inches
Weight: 19.8 pounds
Lengthened to handle longer cartridges
MSRP: $214.45 (about $175 retail)
Rating (out of five stars):
Overall: * * * * *
You won’t find a press as easy to use or as reliable. The Rock Chucker Supreme offers one of the simplest and most long-lasting designs on the market. Whether you are a professional or a beginner, you will find the Rock Chucker a piece of cake to use. It’s a great first buy for new loaders as you can add several accessories to use the product as a progressive loader or any other similar product. So it is not only versatile but one of the most convenient out there.
I have the Rock Chucker and the CoAx on the same table. Really like them both but if I could only have one it would be the CoAx because of the die switching feature, which is way ahead of the RC even with Hornady Lock n Load added. Contrary to popular belief, the CoAx does not produce better ammo than the RC, as measured by consistency of sizing or seating, or by runout.
I just looked up the Forster press, but unfortunately no one has one in stock including Forster. Must be a nice press. Almost double the price of other single stage presses. I guess I’ll just keep using my Lee turret press for now.
I paid less than $300 for mine. Full MSRP it would be overpriced. I think I got it at Brownells. I think the MEC marksman is better than the RC too for a similar price.
“popular belief”? 99.9% of the readers here have never heard of CoAx, including me. Lee, Hornady, Lyman, RCBS yes.
The Forster Co-Ax press is an interesting departure from other single-stage presses. You don’t need to buy a pile of shell holders for it if you’re reloading a lot of different cartridges (then again, most people don’t have more than a half-dozen shell holders on RCBS presses…). It is quick and repeatable to be able to change out dies. It’s build like a tank, and ferociously strong.
All of that leads to a very tidy price – like 2X that of a Rock Chucker, which is why it stays something of a niche product in reloading.
Sorry, but no single stage press is capable of loading 100s of rounds an hour. Unless your cases are prepped and primed, it just isn’t gonna happen. I however do like single stage presses for loading small batches of either self defense type ammo or meticulously loaded rifle loads. If you are into high volume shooting like practical pistol or 3 gun, a dedicated progressive press is the only way to go.
That is the way I loaded everything prior to my square deal.
1. deprime all cases.
2. tumble all cases.
3. flare all cases.
This is where I would tend to just set on the prepped cases and then drop powder and seat the bullets whenever I had extra time, or needed ammo for a match or whatever.
Hard to tell what my total time per round was using this assembly line procedure, but I could do over 600 rounds/hour on the pre-prepped brass. That included final inspection, which I do one at a time as they come out of the seating die. This doesn’t include a separate crimping stage, which I seldom do in a single stage press.
I’ve also hardly ever used loading trays, even though I’ve got a dozen of ’em. I’ve never understood the advantage behind standing up 50(or whatever #) cases to run them through the measure. I’ve already got the charged case in my hand, and the press with the seating die right next to my hand. Why wouldn’t I just seat the bullet at the same time? It’s a twofer. Also this way there is no possibility of ever double charging a case, no matter how distracted I might get. It’s simply not possible to double charge doing it this way.
What’s the use of a loading tray?
I perform the whole stage on a batch of cases at a time, and I move the case into the next row so I can see which cases have performed that stage. And it also prevents the mess of charged cases tipping over.
I kind of use the tray. Run a handful of cases through the powder thrower, check weights on 3 or 4 picked out thru that spread, stuff a bullet on and repeat. That way if my cheap thrower does go sideways on me I’m catching it and able to test the charges in that handful without having to pull seated bullets.The tray just helps with spills from cases domino-ing in that step between charging and capping. Sometimes I swear I’m making it more labor intensive than need be, the most I’ve ever seen my lee thrower vary is like .3 grains which is only an issue in the hottest of the 10mm I load.
I’d guess that part of my disdain for trays comes because my batches of cases have traditionally been in the hundreds instead of dozens. And since I never set the charged cases down, I have never had a spilled case but once, when I fell off my stool with the charged case in my hand.
I’ve never seen the need to worry about the cases being upright for decapping, flaring, priming, sizing, etc. It simply doesn’t matter until the case is charged, and then I seat the bullet right away and the charged case only leaves my hand to go into the press and up into the seating die. That is why I almost never spill a case or have ever worried about a double charge. Doing it this way negates the possibility.
The SDB is a 4 stage progressive, not a single stage like the RC.
JD, seldom do I sit down at my bench and convert spent case to ammo.
Spent brass is gathered as it’s shot and put in a case polisher.
I shoot .308, 6.8mm Rem SPC and .223, all from AR’s.
When the polisher gets “full”, it’s turned on and left for 24 to 36 hours.
The next day will be spent sorting, inspecting, resizing and depriming, inspecting, repriming, inspecting and storing. (note: each piece of brass is individually inspected at least 4 times)
As ammo is needed, the desired primed case, bullet and powder are brought together.
Okay, I won’t say I can load “hundreds” of rounds an hour, but if all is set and running smoothly, a couple hundred in an hour isn’t unheard of. Especially if they’re straight wall pistol cartridges.
I agree with JD. My progressive press (Dillon 550) will make 300-500 pistol rounds an hour depending on my mood and all I do for case prep is tumble them and lube them. He must be just counting the final step of seating the bullets.
Don’t get me wrong, single stage have their uses but you have to be honest on how quickly they can actually make bullets. Single stage also has all the issues of dealing with trays of ammo partially built. A lot to keep track of.
To each their own but I prefer my progressive.
No doubt, reloaders are an OCD affected lot! LOL!
I found the opposite to be true. My Co-Ax press max runout is .002″ while the RCBS was about .015″ using the same dies. I do believe the floating die combined with the spring loaded shell holder is superior. As to catching spent primers, the Co-Ax is a much superior design. Press priming if you choose to do so is also better thought out on the Co-Ax. I never thought much of a single ram setup which dumps burned powder into the ram area while the Co-Ax using two rams for guidance and are away from the fouling the RCBS puts its single ram right in the middle of. The possible advantage I might see in the Rock Chucker would be for heavy operations such as case forming, but I don’t do such things.
I’ve had my Rocker Chucker since 1975. It’s still as good as new. These days I have a Square deal and an RL650 too, but I still use the RC. It has such a potent leverage system that it’s great for the big heavy cases, case forming operations, and so forth. Whenever you really need to put some force on.
And no, I’ve never worked for RCBS, nor have I any other relationship to them. I’ve just had, and heavily used, one of their presses for a great many years and always found it perfectly satisfactory. It’s always done anything I asked of it. And I’ve used it hard enough to destroy a few dies in it over the decades.
Your (old) Rock Chucker was made in the USA. The current ones are made in China. If you buy one, get a NOS (new old stock) one from Ebay.
The Rock Chucker is (still) made in the USA, as far as I can tell.
He still has a good point. USA made or not, it’s likely still not what it once was. Nothing else is, so why would this be any different? I didn’t think of that.
I like the priming with my Lee press better. Has a nice primer feeder with it. Just a quick press at the top of the stroke and the primer is ready to seat. Seems like it would save a lot of time in the long run over the RCBS.
If you really want to save time prime your cases using a hand held priming tool (I prefer the old model of the Hornady tool).
Mine is a second vote for the hand-held priming tool.
When you have a hand-held tool, you can “feel” whether the primer is seated, or high, much better than you can with a single-stage press (and never mind the progressive presses…)
High primers are an invitation to interesting malfunctions…
Hand priming is the way to go.
I do it in my easy chair, in front of the TV.
I third the hand priming tool. I’ve never liked any of the press priming systems I’ve ever tried. Progressives excepted, OFC.
I’ve never had any problems with the standard Rock Chucker priming tool accessory and could always “feel” if something wasn’t working right. Ditto the 550 systems, although one does need to take them apart and clean then regularly. I think the biggest issue is a bit of spilling/filtering ball powder getting into the slide portion over time.
My latest reloading “threat” is that Federal, in all their wisdom, chose to
1. Crimp in primers on their “match” .45 ACPs for a while, then
2. went to a .45 ACP using small pistol primers. Zero problem “feeling” those primer issues… I’ve just been tossing them as I have some 5 gal buckets of brass on hand.
Got to sort all that free stuff I pick up at the ranges now. CRIPES!
I like em, but for barely any more you can get a Dillon 550/650 and do so much more.
Except that you can’t. Nice try; no cigar.
Mmm…. not really. Once you get a progressive press, then you need to start buying the accessories and doo-dads that you hang off the press to increase your throughput.
When it’s all said and done, you can be well on your way to a $800+ loading setup.
Got my RC in 1979 as the result of a divorce (not mine! LOL!) for $50.
It’s been reliably making ammo for 30 years.
Why change now? LOL!
I’d love to have a Dillon progressive but I don’t shoot enough to justify the initial cost.
I’ve only reloaded for 44 with a Lee handi loader, the one use use a hammer. And shotgun shells. My question i,s how important is it to clean your brass, like with a tumbler. I want to get back into reloading but want to do it as cheap and cut corners as I can. I’m in no hurry on getting things done and if a rag would work for brass cleaning I could do that.
There are a lot of differing opinions on this, anywhere from, “I don’t clean them at all” to “everything must always be absolutely shiny.” The point behind of tumbling is cleans the carbon and any dirt/grit off, which prevents all of that gunk from getting into your dies. And, it gets them relatively shiny, which makes them easier to inspect.
Personally, for brass that I’ve fired, picked up, and put back in the box, I run it through one of these:
overnight. The media separator is very nice to have, since it gets all the corn cob or walnut media out of the brass quickly. If the tumbler itself breaks (I’m on my second one) a replacement one is $40.
If I have range pickup brass (very tarnished, muddy, etc.) I give it a bath in boiling water, some Dawn detergent, and powdered citric acid (used for canning) and then either let it air dry, or more recently I started using an old food drier I’d been given, for about two hours. This works better for pistol brass, since rifle brass tends to hold the water inside (like a straw with your finger over it) unless you deprime it first. Then, after it’s dry, I run it through the tumbler as normal. I’ve had some extremely nasty looking brass come out sparkling after using the citric acid treatment. I’ll also do this once in awhile if my brass starts to get tarnished, but that’s just cosmetic.
Some folks swear by the water/stainless steel pin media/tumbler method, and/or the ultrasonic cleaners, but I don’t have any experience with those.
However, one of the best places to spend some money when starting reloading is at least one, and preferably 2-3 manuals. Lyman, Sierra, Hornady, Speer, and Lee are a few I’d recommend. They all have good write-ups on the reloading process, and tested load data from the bullet and/or powder manufacturers. Different manuals will have different data, so it’s nice to have a few to compare.
20 bucks gets you in the ultrasonic game at Harbor freight. Cases come out almost like new and I use it to clean/oil steel stuff as well. I used to use a tumbler and they never looked that great with walnut media. In the end shiny or dull they all still work. I just prefer to look at pretty things.
Thank you both. That’s what I needed to know.
You’re very welcome! And, if you know anyone that reloads, they may be willing to walk you through it, or demo some of their equipment. I have a standing offer for anyone I know that shoots the same calibers I do that they’re always welcome to come over and run some rounds. My dad showed me how to reload for pistol, and my grandfather showed me how to reload for rifle. And, even after reading the manual, it’s reassuring to have someone who’s done it before walking you through it the first time!
If you know anyone in the PNW that wants a tumbler and media/colander/Rubbermaid I have a tumbling cleaning setup that hasn’t been used in close to 3 years up for grabs. Works great, just not as great as ultrasonic.
possum, honestly, an old rag and a can of “Brasso” will clean up brass nicely.
It doesn’t need to be factory fresh, just clean.
Been told Brasso hardens and weakens brass. Anything to that?
That “review” reads like a press release or a marketing sell sheet. #fail as you didn’t provide any insight on how it actually operated for you. Furthermore, you mentioned the cost of accessories without providing any insight as to thier cost or necessity? Are they nice to haves or must haves?
Personally, if I’m intent on buying a single stage press, I’m buying one with a floating shellholder or die like the MEC Marksman or Forster Co-Ax as the bullet seating can be made as concentric as possible with the case. If I’m looking at doing case forming, like .30-06 into 7.5 Jap, I’ll get the Lee Challenger for $65. Yeah, it’s aluminum, but that means it’s light and easy to mount/unmount on my bench.
Or, if I really want a steel model, which I don’t, I’dl buy a used one.
Could that Challenger do .300 Weatherby? The Challenger is more in my price range.
Is runout that big of a deal on such small scales? I get the desire to avoid tolerance stacking but It seems the bullet jump distance to the leade is what has the most notable effects on accuracy outside of the load itself. At least as near as I can reckon with my hillbilly sciencing. Same loads, different COAL, interesting results.
I have to agree with that one. I believe chamber, leade and crown, as well as a good trigger and consistent shooting technique are far more important to overall accuracy, for even above-average shooters. When we’re down to runout measurement we’re talking perhaps an extra X or two.
I have a couple 550’s on my benches (got tired or changing the primer mechanisms) but I use my old Rock Chucker for a lot of the larger rifle stuff I load- 45-70, .375 H&H and the like. Even weigh each toss for those. I believe it’s good to stay in touch with what one is actually doing during the loading process. Worse-cse scenario with the 550s, as well as the Hornady 366s I use for skeet loadings is to not keep track of the powder in the hopper. 🙁
And if the edit button (!!!) would return, I’d have added “consistently thrown powder measurements” to the accuracy mixes, although at rifle distances of 150 yards or less, probably the least of them.
Runout is not a big deal because your seating die will center up the case before the bullet gets seated anyway, no matter how much play the shellholder has in it. The runout in the seating die is the import spec in that area. But I believe the seating depth to be more important than that to accuracy. I still load all the big magnums(.300s and up) on my RC, and weigh each charge. But then, I don’t shoot .375 H&H in a whole lot of quantity!
While I also have a Lee multi-stage I do 99% of my rifle and over 50% of my pistol on my RCBS Rockchucker. It’s at least 40 years old (I bought it used for about $40 back then) and has given me no trouble at all. Damn fine press.
Over 10k rounds on my little lee single stage. There’s a catharsis to repetitive production. I find I also kind of stage things as they go. Deprime/clean on day then size and inspect. Prime on a hand primer then charge and assemble. Maybe can do 100 in an hour for just the last 2 steps. No rush, and it’s an excuse to get alone time in the garage.
Nothing against Rock Chucker, but I went straight to a progressive press and never looked back. I use a Lee Loadmaster. It’s cheap, it works, and it’s fast. I currently load 5.56, .308, and .40S&W. I can assemble about 500/hr with prepped brass (formed and cleaned), but reloading really isn’t about speed.
After ruining a 5.56 die on range grit, I use a Harbor Freight Wet Tumbler on all of my brass. Tried ultrasonic, but it didn’t work as well. For die lube, I use 80W gear oil, cut 1:10 with Iso-Heet – it’s the cheapest thing I’ve found that works on Lake City 5.56 A squirt of laundry detergent in the tumbler helps remove grit and die lube, as well as give your ammo that fresh, clean, spring-time scent – very important at the range. Steel pins can help, but they get stuck inside rifle brass, especially the smaller stuff like 5.56.
Fugggittttabout 80 weight gear oil for case lube. WAY too messy and also difficult to remove. Try some Lee case lube diluted in water and sprayed onto cases.
That is genius! I been rolling them around and wiping with my fingers. Light spray would be so much faster, nothing like discovering how difficult I make my life by discounting critical thought.
Dillon spray case lube (in a non-global warming pump spray bottle you can reuse, no less) is also a good choice. I think it’s diluted with rubbing alcohol and “goes away” very easily in a tumbler or Harbor Freight sonic cleaner. That HF cleaner and the original Hornady one that cost twice as much had to be made in the same mold by the same Chinese factory workers…
My problem is I didn’t look past the tube that came with the Lee package. So I didn’t really look at all.
Where a press like the Rock Chucker comes into its own is when you’re doing full-length resizing, or forming cases for wildcats from parent brass.
That said, you can do a lot of reloading with a single stage press. I know older shooters who loaded all the ammo they needed for DCM matches with a Lyman 310 tool and appropriate dies/dippers.
“Where a press like the Rock Chucker comes into its own is when you’re doing full-length resizing, or forming cases for wildcats from parent brass.”
YES! Been rolling a lot of .300 BLK from LC 5.56. Solid.
Speaking of reforming, anyone come up with a smart, simple way to reman 6.5 Rem Mag brass? Way too short to use the normal belted cases, tried some .350 Rem Mag brass but they’re almost as rare.
I started reloading some years ago with a rock chucker kit, and glad I did. Great press, built to last a life time. Once I got the hang of things I learned new ways to speed up out put, hornady lock n load conversion helps alot. Could easily keep up with our ammo consumption then, I’ve since upgraded to a turret because more people started shooting with us and our calibers expanded. Because of the quality I went with rcbs again, and have no regrets. I still do all case prep with the chucker, loading with the turret. I’ve learned presses have quirks, for the chucker it’s the primer catch tray. Aftermarket tube catch fixed that, $30 I think. For the turret it’s the ram clip spring, simple. Hold it in its slot with the back of a knife or flat head screwdriver when putting in your shell holder, it’ll stay put eventually. If not they’ll send you new springs for free, sent me a pack of 5. I’ve used 1 and it hasn’t budged, great customer service. I know I sound like I work for them or affiliated, I don’t and I’m not. Just glad to give input on tools I’ve been using for a while. So if a rep from RCBS ever reads this “SEND ME FREE STUFF!!”
I’ve got my grandpa’s Rock Chucker. Loaded thousands of rounds on it, before I got a progressive. I still use it for working up new loads, and loading small batches of hunting loads. Hopefully one of my grandsons, or granddaughter, will get the bug and I can pass it on. I’m sure it’s got at least another hundred years of use.
Nice ad, but doesn’t differentiate it from others in same format.
I think if there’s enough space, it’s better to have multiple presses. Cheap C-frame from Lee around $35 to do de-capping of the primer (then go clean the brass), resize the brass using O-frame like this one, trim the brass using dedicated machine, put the brass on a flat mounted primer press from Lee or some other brands, measure and fill powder, then back to the O-frame to seat bullet.
I just read this press in made in China. I don’t do guns not ‘Made In The USA’ and the same for my reloading setups. My 40 year old RC and 30 year old Dillon XL650 are still cranking out the rounds with zero issues. No thanks RCBS.
The Rock Chucker is made in the USA, as far as I can tell.
The RC to me is the standard that all the other’s are measured against. You can even use the Lee dies or at least their lock nuts with the o-rings on any 7/8″ threaded die to do that “wiggly” reloading thing that is in vogue now. For me the jury is still out on that one. Have a good friend who is in the industry that has a Forster CoAx press and it just gathers dust. He swears by in line dies and a K&M arbor press for bench rest loads. I haven’t drunk that koolaide yet but I’m sure I will eventually. I still think the RC will be easier for full size resizing and decapping only. I really like the leverage it provides. I got my RC a few years ago from Bullets/Grizzly for like $139. For what it is that is still probably over priced but it just works. My advice. Throw away the priming parts and get two RCBS universal lemon squeezer priming tools.
The first 2 words demonstrate the sub-par IQ of the author.
“Reloading bullets” is an impossibility.
I’ve seen a couple that I could. But I wouldn’t. But I could’ve.
RCBS presses including the Rock Chucker are made in the USA. So keep using Wolf primers and PPU brass and Vithovori powders and keep telling yourselves you are patriotic.
The Piggyback Update link says that it has been discontinued. Don’t you guys really check your links well before you put them in your story?
With that said, I would definitely like to get one of these. I has a simple RCBS press, but the movers apparently gave it to someone else or kept it themselves.
We are still using the RCBS JR-2 reloader “kit” my dad bought back in 1966, the same year my older brother was born. Other than replacing the hinge block and the handle, thus making it a JR-2 back in the early 70s (when a certain younger son decided to swing on the handle and broke the shank) it has performed exactly as expected and RCBS dies and parts still work on it. And it is cast iron, unlike the RS-5 which is the current iteration of the design.
I started out around 1975 with the Jr press but moved on when I started loading 30-06. Too much effort to resize normal length cases for me. It was great for 38/357, 44 mag and 30-30 but tough on the longer cases. And yes, it was well-made and durable.