S&w 500/ rock chucker primer issue


December 5, 2013, 09:39 PM
Ok so I'm new to loading for this caliber and I'm loading it single stage for now, using a rock chucker.
The first batch I primed the cases with a lee hand prime, but after a bit my thumb got tired so I tried using the stock prime arm on the rock chucker and
The primers aren't going in as far as with the lee hand prime.
The rock chucker is priming pretty much flush with the case, the lee hand prime
Is putting them below the case maybe 1/64"
I've taken the press apart and inspected, can't see any problem.
Anyone else run into this? What do you think about flush primers when they
Can go in further? What do you think about primers that go in further than flush?

Brass is brand new hornady, primers are Remington large rifle.

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December 6, 2013, 12:26 AM
I have never loaded for 500 S&W, but if the primers are not full seated you can get miss fires. When you drop the hammer on a primer not fully seated the primer can seat, and not ignite. I usually find primers .004"+ below flush when seated fully.

December 6, 2013, 06:39 AM
I had similar problems using the Rock Chucker to seat primers. I could never get them deep enough. Unfortunately i had a few squib load because of it. Try using the hand primer that came with the Rock Chucker. Once you get the feel for it, it will seat deeper and goes fast. Good luck. What powder are you using for the 500 Mag? I reload the 500 as well. Its a monster, but fun.

December 6, 2013, 07:22 AM
Ive tried lil gun unique and 296 Winchester.
So far really like win 296. Want to
Try imr 4227 and 2400.

December 6, 2013, 12:22 PM
Is this a newer Rockchucker? I think even RCBS advices against the use of the primer arm on it's newer Rockchuckers. The RCBS hand primer works very well for me and I prefer it over SS press priming. Setting primers just below flush tends to preload the anvil and make them fire better for me. If you are reloading for a revolver in .500 mag and using Lil' Gun powder, I suggest you research the use of it in revolvers a tad more before you invest in more of it. If you are loading for a long piped .500, you will like IMR4227.

December 6, 2013, 02:51 PM
it is a brand new rock chucker. I did a lot of research on lil gun and other powders, lil gun seems to be the most popular and most data available, but I read its harsh on guns, flame cutting. im loading for an 8.5" .500.
so far happiest with 296 and ranier 335g plated loads, although a bit worried that the bullets will creep with no cannelures.

December 6, 2013, 05:54 PM
CHECK YOUR BRASS! Some of the 500 S&W brass set up for use with large PISTOL primers, the more mordern have a "R" stamped on the head for use with large rifle primers. Make sure this is not the problem as the two types of primers are a different height. Rifle primers in pistol type brass will stand proud and not seat deep enough. I use the Lee hand primer now. When I first started on the 500 the Ram Prime was the only option I could use (no primer arm on my RCBS RC press) and it worked well also. I can see how using the primer arm might not provide a lot of leverage for seating a primer and others have noted this problem with other caliber rifle primers in the past. I am using 2400 and Lil Gun with 550 GC bullets in a H&R single shot rifle with good results.

December 6, 2013, 06:17 PM
Provided you are using the correct primer, with the correct brass to be used with such, seating depth should be no less than .004" below the case head, or until you can feel the distinct feeling that it is home. This could be .004" to as much as .008".

Shallow primers will produce mis-fires, so just make sure they are completely seated. What happens is the firing pin will drive the primers deeper, thus absorbing some of the impact needed to fracture the compound.


December 6, 2013, 06:31 PM
The brass is brand new hornady stamped LR on the rim. I'm using LR primers.

December 6, 2013, 08:31 PM
The powders you listed are great. I have used them all with the 500 Mag. You might want to be careful using 296 with plated bullets. Not sure how fast you can run those. I use X-treme bullets which is a copper plated bullets when I want a mild load under 1500fps. With the X-treme bullet I will use unique or some other midrange powder. The slower powders like 296, 2400 and 4227 I like to use a Hornady XTP or Sierra Sport bullet.

December 7, 2013, 04:43 PM
One of my loading manuals ( the only one that specifically used ranier 335g bullets) gave a load of 32-37g 296. I used 36g and out of all the loads I tested this was very accurate and still felt like a full house load. The manual gave a speed of 1600 which sounds fast but I really liked this load.

Steve C
December 8, 2013, 05:08 AM
With any priming method you should feel the primer bottom out in the pocket. How far below flush they are will depend upon the depth of the pocket. If they don't bottom out you haven't seated them properly. Primers need to be seated flush or a bit deeper than the cartridge base. There's no actual depth measurement that tells you your primer is correctly seated unless you have very uniform brass and then it would be only for the particular set of components you are using.

If you lower the ram that has the shell holder installed on the priming stem with out a case it should extend well beyond the base of the shell holder thus making sure the primer can be seated at or below flush as illustrated in the picture below.


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