Reloading Necessities

In addition to the components included in the Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit, you'll need the following reloading necessities:

Reloading Dies
These are the most important link in the reloading process. You'll need a set of dies for each caliber you plan to reload. There are three dies in sets used for loading straight-wall type cases and two dies in sets used for loading bottleneck type cases. The third die in a 3-die set is used to expand the mouth of straight-wall cases. In a 2-die set, expanding is done in the sizer die.

Shell Holder
You'll need shell holders to match your dies for the calibers you'll be reloading. They provide a firm grip on the case to insure trouble-free reloading.

We recommend CCI and Federal. These are the "spark plugs" that initiate the entire ballistic chain reaction with the squeeze of a trigger. Every CCI and Federal primer provides consistent, reliable performance. Available to fit pistol or rifle calibers.

Count on Speer to provide the best bullet for the job. From their super-premium Grand Slam big-game bullet to their technologically advanced TMJ Totally Metal Jacketed handgun bullet and everything in between. Speer delivers exactly what you need. Take a look at our latest catalog for a complete line-up of Speer bullets.

You'll have a choice of several different powders. Choose the one that performs best for your particular cartridge. Consult the Speer Reloading Manual for more information.

Reloader's Language

Expand the Case Mouth

Reloading has its own "language". Here are some words to familiarize yourself with. See the Speer Reloading Manual for more reloading information.

BELL: To flare a case mouth to receive a bullet easily.

BULLET: A piece of metal formed into a projectile. Available in a variety of shapes and weights.

BULLET SWAGING: The forming of a bullet using pressure in a die instead of casting molten lead in a mould.

CALIBER: The approximate diameter of a bullet or gun bore.

CARTRIDGE: A completely loaded, ready-to-fire round of ammunition.

CASE: A metal cylindrical container which holds the primer, powder and bullet. Also called brass.

CASE FORMING: To form cases of one caliber into a different caliber.

CHAMFER: To bevel the inside of a case mouth. The bevel allows bullets to start into the case mouth without crushing the case.

CHRONOGRAPH: An instrument used to measure the velocity of a bullet.

COMPONENTS: The parts that make up a cartridge. The case, primer, powder and bullet.

CRIMP: To bend inward the mouth of a case to grip the bullet. Used only with bullets having a cannelure or crimping groove.

DEBURR: To remove the small metal burrs from inside and outside of a case mouth.

DECAPPING: Removal of the spent primer from a fired case.

DECAPPING PIN: The slim needle-like rod in the sizer die which pushes out the spent primer.

EXPANDER: The part of a die that expands the case mouth to receive the bullet.

FLASH HOLE: The hole through which the primer ignites the powder charge in a case.

HANDLOADING: Another term for reloading.

HANGFIRE: Slang term for any detectable delay in cartridge ignition.

IGNITION: The action of setting a powder charge on fire.

JACKET: The cover or "skin" of a bullet.

MISFIRE: The failure of a cartridge to fire after the firing pin strikes the primer.

NECK: That portion of a case which grips the bullet. In a bottlenecked case, that portion of the case in front of the shoulder.

NECK SIZER DIE: A die used to resize only the neck portion of the fired case back to approximately its original dimensions.

POWDER: The substance that ignites in the cartridge and propels the bullet.

POWDER CHARGE: The amount of powder loaded into a case.

PRIMER: The small cap containing a detonating mixture used to ignite the powder charge in the case.

PRIMER POCKET: The cavity in the bottom of a case into which the primer is seated.

PRIMER POCKET SWAGING: The "smoothing out" of the crimped primer pocket found in military cases.

PRIMING: Installing a new primer into a case.

RAM: The steel rod running through the center of the press that holds the shell holder and drives the case into the die.

RELOADING PRESS: The tool which performs the major tasks of reloading.

RESIZE: To restore a fired case to approximately its original size.

ROUND: A military term for one complete cartridge.

SEATER DIE: The die that seats the bullet into the mouth of the powder charged and primed case.

SEATING DEPTH: The depth to which a bullet is seated in the case mouth.

SHELL HOLDER: The part that holds the case in proper alignment while the case is being run into the die.

SIZER DIE: A die used to resize a fired case back to approximately its original dimensions.

SPENT PRIMER: A primer that has been fired.

Handloading Basics

Handloading is not only a rewarding and enjoyable hobby, it makes economical sense and allows you to produce the most accurate ammunition.

How safe is handloading?
In a word, very. Because today's smokeless gun powders are a lot different than the old black powders of our ancestors. In fact, modern smokeless powders are classified as propellants, not explosives, meaning when properly used these powders only burn when ignited. So, while common sense and certain precautions should not be ignored, handloading is by no means a high risk hobby. Always remember to wear safety glasses while shooting and handloading.

How good is handloading ammo?
The truth is, carefully handloaded ammunition is usually better than factory loaded, because it can be fine-tuned to fit a specific gun and a certain type of shooting. The result is far greater accuracy.

How complicated is handloading?
It's simple. There are only four components to a rifle or pistol cartridge: the primer, the powder, the bullet and the brass case. When a cartridge is fired, the primer ignites the powder, the powder then propels the bullet out of the barrel. All that's left is the brass case and the spent primer. And this is where the handloading comes in. The brass can be reloaded over and over. All you do is push out the fired primer, resize the brass case, insert a new primer, add the right amount of powder and seat a new bullet on the case. That's handloading in very simplified terms. More details are on the following pages.

How much money does handloading save?
A lot. Take .30-06 factory ammo for instance. At today's prices, they cost about $.90 each. Of that, the primer, powder and bullet account for about $.38. So about $.52 of every factory round is chalked up to the brass case plus the expense of loading it. Since you will be using the case over again, you save nearly 60% over factory ammo or about $10.60 per box of 20! That's why handloaders generally make better shooters, because they can afford to practice more.

How much equipment does it take?
Surprisingly little. Many non-reloaders think it takes several hundred dollars to get into handloading properly, but the truth is you can get all the equipment you need to start out with for less than $300.00. If you do much shooting at all, this amount can be saved in your first year alone.

How many types of cartridges can be handloaded?
Most any and all kinds except rimfire type, like .22's. Most brass cases can be reloaded 5 to 20 times, depending upon the caliber and powder charge. Besides the standard calibers, RCBS has the tooling to make over 3,100 custom calibers of reloading dies. So there's no limit to what can be handloaded.

Now, with those questions and answers behind us, the next step is to get your hands on the right equipment. The RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit has all of the basic tools you'll need to get started, including the Rock Chucker Supreme Press. All you need to provide are the dies, bullets, primers, cases, powder and shell holder. But we'll talk more about the components a little later. Right now, we'll concentrate on the products included in the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading kit.

Reference Tables

Quick Reference Table

IMPORTANT: RCBS Shell Holder numbers do not correspond to those of other manufacturers. When two Shell Holder are listed, the most popular is shown first. It may be necessary to use the alternate, depending on the manufacturer and/or lot of cases being used.

The numerals in ( ) in the table indicate the following: (2) cases are usually Berdan primed. Depriming and priming must be done by hand. If cases were formed from cases having boxer-type primers, use the appropriate Shell Holder for that caliber. (4) not available. (5) Auto 4X4 Shell Plate not available. (6) Auto 4X4 and Five-Station Shell Plates not available.

Ammo Box size code: SR=Small Rifle, MR=Medium Rifle, LR=Large Rifle, MP=Medium Pistol, LP=Large Pistol

Primer Chart
TYPE Small Rifle Small Rifle (Magnum) Small Rifle (Benchrest) Large Rifle Large Rifle (Magnum) Large Rifle (Benchrest) Small Pistol Small Pistol (Magnum) Large Pistol Large pistol (Magnum)
SIZE 400 450 Mag BR4 200 250 Mag BR2 500 550 Mag 300 350 Mag
PART # 0013 0017 0019 0011 0015 0010 0014 0018 0012 0016

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