Rock chucker primer catcher improvements?


January 7, 2008, 01:02 AM
Anyone devise a system that allows these nasty spent primers to collect in a small jar through a drop tube instead of the poor plastic catch trays they currently offer?

I was thinking of fabbing something up to make them drop into a catch, through a tube, and into a small pill bottle or the like to keep that nasty lead and mercury crud from polluting my press. Like what most progressives have under the decapping station. I know it won't operate exactly the same, but I gotta come up with something. I'm tired of this operation being so messy considering this is probably where you encounter the most toxic substance in the reloading process. And the rockchucker is pretty messy for this step.

Pictures please.

I was thinking I might graft some PVC tubes and make a bracket to hold it on the press, but if you guys already have something, I'd be happy to plagiarize and save myself the R&D interations.


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January 7, 2008, 01:43 AM
I modified my primer catcher on the Rockchucker by filling the gaps between the catcher and press with Weld-Bond epoxy. I waxed the press where I didn't want the epoxy to stick, and then formed it to the edges of the primer catcher. That eliminated most of the primer spillage from the tray.

There is lead styphnate in the priming compound, but no mercury. Mercury was eliminated many, many years ago.

Hope this helps.


January 7, 2008, 08:50 AM
Tagging this one because if you invent it I want a copy! :)

I sent an email awhile back to RCBS asking if the primer catcher system on the RC Supreme could be adapted to the RC . . .never got a reply . .which surprised me as I thought they'd have at least told me it wasn't possible.

January 7, 2008, 05:55 PM
Funny, but I never thought it was that big of a deal. I've had primers flying all over the place since I was a little kid and just never worried about it. What's a reloading bench without a few spent primers littering the floor?

I'm far more concerned about the live ones . . .;)

January 7, 2008, 06:15 PM
I started in to make an aluminum deflector to stop them from shooting out over the front of the tray when they come flying out of the ram.

Got as far as cutting out a cardboard pattern, and it worked so good I never made the aluminum one!
I have been using this one for some time now with pretty good results.
I dropped two on the floor out of 200+ 9mm today.
That's 99%+ success!

Just pull it off out of the way when I get done de-priming.

Mal H
January 7, 2008, 07:36 PM
I have something almost exactly the same as rcmodel, though not quite as high-tech. :) I still use it to this day.

I attached a picture of it in an old thread on a related topic:

Since then, someone else came up with the simple yet ingenious idea to add a soda straw to the ram. Find one of the large diameter straws and cut it to a little less than the length of the groove in the ram. Slip it in place so that the end is flush with the shell holder assembly. It might need to be trimmed so that none of it extends outside of the groove. The straw works perfectly as a guide for the primers into the bottom of the cup. I still have the cardboard catcher for the rare bouncer.

January 7, 2008, 07:36 PM
I just pull a tall kitchen type trash can up under the front of the press. Most of them go in.

Ol` Joe
January 7, 2008, 10:36 PM
I just pull a tall kitchen type trash can up under the front of the press. Most of them go in.


January 15, 2008, 12:32 AM
When I first got my RCBS RC, the spent primers not always going in drove me crazy. For those of us who reload in a spare room in the house, with carpet on the floor and kids/pets/ect.. in the house, well being somewhat clean can be more of a safety issue than anything else. Finally, at the local gunshop, I met a old timer who patiently listened to my RC complaints. He then proceeded to show me a trick that has been working great ever since. When you go to run a case up to size/deprime, run the case into the die like normal. But, once it gets to the point where it's about to engage the deprimer (roughly the case being 1/2 way into the die ) move your left hand up and somewhat shield or cup the ram/case. Now this may sound like a pain in the ass, but it actually works and you can develop a rythm to this procedure. Before doing this, I'd say at least 20% of my deprimed primers hit the floor. Using this method, I've never had a primer miss and end up on the floor. It's so easy to do and it doesn't require attaching something to your press that inhibits vision. Also, it's safe because it's impossible to pinch your hand/fingers if done once the case is halfway in the die. I would post pics, but my wife is out of town tonight and I need someone to take pics. Maybe later. Experiment with this...hope it helps!:)

January 15, 2008, 10:37 PM
Lee, Forster and Redding all make presses that will solve the problem, at a variety of price points below and above the RC. It amazes me that RCBS has not followed suit.


January 15, 2008, 10:45 PM
Cardoard deflector/catcher--2 cent fix!

January 15, 2008, 11:04 PM
I have a Redding Big Boss II and the primer drop out th bottom. something to think about are the rams the same size on the RC as it is on the BBII. If so they make an upgrade kit to change the big boss into the II just by swapping out the Ram. Maybe this would work on the RC as well.

January 16, 2008, 08:11 AM
I put the straw trick into the "clever little things" sticky on post #186. I know I didn't invent though.

My primer catch is different than the cup style so many of you have shared. Mine has a small slit that is the size of the slot in teh back of the press that has two catches on either side of the press and this just slips onto the press. If you don't take it off carefully.....52 primer pick up. I took a couple pieces of 1/8" foam tape and fixed it to the back of of primer chute between it and the press so it would press up against the ram slot better. It's a touch to big, but the foam keeps the mouth up against the ram real well. I think this is what Fred accomplished with he epoxy fix.

Here is an image of the primer catch my RC came with.

I haven't used it just yet, but I'm sure it will help as it keeps the primer catcher tight against the ram. If they fall out now, they'll be bouncing out of the bottom catches that rest on either side of the press.

I've considered hacking up my primer catch to fit the tube into a pill bottle like some progressives, but I need to find a donor model first just in case I have that dreaded dremel slip and botch it or something. I'll have to buy another one to experiment with soon. I have a small parts order building, best put that on the list.
I would plug one side of the catch and then tap into the open chute and fashion a the tube and pill bottle to it. Probably onto the right side of the press for me since I'm right handed.

Thanks for the input fellas, hope this thread helps out. I don't mind the mess so much, but pulling the lid off a pill bottle and not touching any of that nasty lead laced stuff just seems like a good idea. I guess I'm just trying to be cleaner and squeeze all I can out of this stuff. I like to tinker and I think this one is a worthy thing to tinker on.

If I come up with something grand and easy, I'll share.

Also, thanks for clarification Fred on the lack of mercury in modern primers.

January 16, 2008, 10:07 AM
"Best" solution to catching caps with an RCBS press is to forget it. Get a little Lee "Reloader" press, about $20, and a dedicated decap die instead. The spent primers collect in a cavity in the bottom of the press, few spill.

I modified my set-up by boring a 3/4" hole through the bench directly under the cavity and attaching a pill bottle below it. That way I don't have to dismount the press to empty the cavity, it never gets full!

January 16, 2008, 10:18 AM
I tape a small piece of thin cardboard to the press in front of the slot in the ram to stop the travel of the primers when they bounce out of the slot. Its not bigger than the first two knuckles of your little finger. Works great for me.

January 16, 2008, 03:20 PM
I modified my set-up by boring a 3/4" hole through the bench directly under the cavity and attaching a pill bottle below it.
I made a wood base with an aluminum pull-out tray for mine.
I just clamp it to a bench with a wood clamp when I want to de-prime a batch of cases.

January 16, 2008, 07:56 PM
Anyone devise a system that allows these nasty spent primers to collect in a small jar

Honestly... I gave away my RCBS and bought a Lee Classic. Reason #1 was the RCBS spent primer issue. Life's too short to mess with poor design.


January 16, 2008, 09:39 PM
I did the same thing Joe did. Replace my Rock Chucker with a Lee Classic Cast Single stage. It has a hollow ram and the primers drop down the ram, then go through a plastic tube to a coffee can. No dirt in the press.



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