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Have you actually worn out a Rockchucker or similar press

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by R.W.Dale, Oct 6, 2009.

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  1. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    The lube thread got me to thinking about just how overbuilt the average heavy grade single stage press is. I wonder if anyone has actually worn one out or even just used one or mistreated one enough to cause any major play in the mechanism?

    If so please post about it. Appx round count, years owned, improper or mistreatment or anything that might shed light on how long these things might last.

    Myself I suspect one would last my, my children and grandchildren's lifetime
     
  2. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    I had one that I had for about 20 some odd years, and the main swivel rod froze inside the housing. I tried to fix it myself, but couldn't get enough tension on it to free it up. I called RCBS and explained the problem. They said to send it to them, and within a week I had a brand new Rockchucker, which is still going strong.

    I'm assuming I didn't get enough oil into the pivot point, and it rusted solid.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  3. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Intresting? What kind of environment was this press used or kept in. Climate controlled or ambient outdoor
     
  4. PA Freedom

    PA Freedom Member

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    I think most (if not all) single stage presses are extremely overbuilt, and it would be almost impossible to wear one out in several lifetimes. Just make sure the ram dosent rust and the pivot points are lubed and you should be good to go for at least 100 years! I know of several ancient Lyman & Pacific's that work like new. FWIW, Lee has admitted in their advertising that this is why they use aluminum and plastic for many of their presses and other products, so their prices stay low and the customer dosen't have to pay more for durability thats not actually needed.
     
  5. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    krochus,

    I had used this press for years in Central California, and when I moved to the Oregon Coast, I brought it with me. After about 4 years here, it froze up. It was in my garage, which has a heater vent from the forced air unit open all the time, but we only use our heater during the winter months. During most of the year, the humidity here is between 60% and 70%, since we've been known to get a little precipitation on occasion........ The garage is drywalled and insulated, and rarely gets below about 62 degrees inside during the winter. It also rarely gets above 70 degrees inside in the summer, and we don't have air-conditioning.

    I obviously didn't get enough oil on the pivot points, which was my fault.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  6. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

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    Wore out a few women. Never a reloading press.
     
  7. VINTAGE-SLOTCARS

    VINTAGE-SLOTCARS Member

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    Have you actually worn out a "Rockchucker"

    No. I've ued mine since 1973 and have never had a problem with it. Oh wait,, i did screw up the threads a little when i used it as an anvel. Oil it once a year and it will last a lifetime.
     
  8. Afy

    Afy Member

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    I have stripped the threads from a Rockchucker...
     
  9. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    OH come on! you know good and well that we would want details
     
  10. Jubjub

    Jubjub Member

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    I still use a Lyman Spartan press that was a gift from an uncle 25 years ago. It loads most of my pistol ammo, so several thousand rounds a year. Before that, my uncle used it as his only press for 20 years or more, and he shoots a lot more than I do. I don't see any evidence of wear.
     
  11. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    I can't even imagine wearing out most any of the presses. Especially the older ones. For a long time the manufacturers had a competition going in their advertising as to who had the strongest press. It got so ridiculous that they ended up with presses that would have survived an atomic blast. I have a Herter that I bought used in 1965, and when the archeologists dig it up 10,000 years from now, I suspect it'll still work. :D
     
  12. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    In use from 1977 to 1998

    RCBS Rock Chucker got slop in the ram from loading pistol. When i would seat a bullet in 243win, the ram would flop forward at the top of its travel. My thought were that the bullet was no longer being seated straight. Primer dirt mixed with oil had made the cast iron frame larger in diameter or linkage wear??. RCBS sent me a new press, free. When the Dillon RL450 progressive was available i bought one for pistol & 223 rem. I started loading with Lee Hammer Loaders, then a RCBS JR press. Then a New Rock Chucker from 1977 to 1998. Note: Clean press to remove dirt before lubing. From RCBS>
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  13. Historian

    Historian Member

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    When I first started loading on mine, I foolishly let the handle get loose in the block. Completely stripped the threads both on the handle and in the block. I called RCBS and they sent me both parts no questions asked. Now I check the handle nut before every loading session and tighten it with a very long wrench if it's loose. I haven't had to do that in quite a while.

    Historian
     
  14. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Been using mine for 38 years. Still no slop, yet the ram is as smooth as a babies.... The pivots are still fine too, no slop. My reloading room is in the house. Humidity in NM is from evap. coolers in the summer. Dry as hell rest of the year. Use spray lithium in the pivots, then graphite in a grease base is wiped on the ram with handle up, handle is pushed down, then it's wiped on again. Then I wipe it clean, working the ram up and down, rewiping until I have a light graphite film and not enough grease to attract anything. The product is "Gun Slick" in a small tube. It must work.
     
  15. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    The Rockchucker was my first press. I bought it in 1988, and it is now used by a buddy of mine as his first press. No issues what so ever.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  16. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    Both of my presses, a Dillon 450 and an RS2, were bought used from a guy who had been running them reguarly since the early 80s. They're still running strong. :)
     
  17. Afy

    Afy Member

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    Krochus: Pretty much what happened to historian. Unfortunately no RCBS support in France, so I now load left handed. :)
     
  18. Otto

    Otto Member

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    A Rockchucker may indeed last a lifetime but my kids scoff at the notion of spending a hour or more to load a 100 rounds on a RC. Once they got up to speed on a progressive there was no turning back.
    As a consequence, I have 2 Rockchuckers and 1 RCBS Jr. collecting dust...
     
  19. Rugg_Ed

    Rugg_Ed Member

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    50 + yrs use of a old ECHO still in use, its buddy the R C 30 + yrs still in use, a Lyman turret bought used 12 yrs ago still fine, just hope the blue ones last, there going on 14 yrs. I think they will probably get sold at a yard sale when I am gone.
     
  20. THe Dove

    THe Dove BOOMER SOONER!!!

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    I gotta RCII from 1992 and it's still crankin out great rounds. Just a minute bit of slack when the ram is all the way up. But thousands of rounds have been cycled thru. No complaints here.

    The Dove
     
  21. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    In my opinion with a progressive you're simply "making ammo"

    to produce top notch "handloads" a single stage is required

    you don't see many LR or BR matches won with ammo produced on a progressive
     
  22. oldreloader

    oldreloader Member

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    krochus, I do believe you have a good defintion there!! There is a difference between making ammo and handloading..Nothing wrong with either, but IMO there is a difference.
     
  23. Maj Dad

    Maj Dad Member

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    qwjaq, I have the twin to your Herter's. Mine has lived through the swamps of south LA (St Bernard Parish), St Simons Island, GA, and from AL, TX to New Mexico to the low country of SC, and it's still bullet proof. What a hunk...
     
  24. ADKWOODSMAN

    ADKWOODSMAN Member

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    RCBS Jr. from 1968 still perfect.

    Used for Bullseye (.45), IPSC and SASS loads.
     
  25. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    not my chucker, 20 yrs and no perceptible play in it. from '06, X39, 45-70, 30-30, .300 W. Mag and assorted pistol rounds.
     
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