RCBS Rockchucker vs Special5 press

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by dbach, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. dbach

    dbach Member

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    FYI,

    Ok I.m a RCBS fan. Most of the equipment is RCBS, all in fact except for a Lee Factory Crimp Die. When I started reloading, just a few months ago, I bought a RCBS Special 5 reloading kit. I was able to learn a lot of what I needed to know using this press. I'm guessing I cranked out about 500 or so rounds in 38, 357 and S&W 40. The S&W 40 is where the issue started. I own a Glock 23, .40 S&W. My intent was to reload my .40's. I had no trouble with the 38's or the 357's. Only the 40. I was pleased as punch with my setup until the 40's became a problem. The 40's had what is called Glock Bulge. I'm sure most of you know what that is. This is why I bought the Lee factory crimp die. Pushing the well lubricated bulged shells through the Lee die was difficult. Very difficult. Sometimes I'd have to stand up to force the press handle down. This became a PITA, quickly. After a lot or research I found out that the Special 5 Press had a .75" ram and the Rockchucker had a 1" ram (these measurements are estimates only( the pont being that the Rockchucker seemed to be a little more stout. I set out to buy a Rockchucker press and sell the Special 5.

    The difference between the two presses is huge. The Rockchucker is a lot stronger and is able to push the 40's through the resizer with a lot less effort. While the Special 5 was a good press, it just wasn't the best choice for me.

    Side note:
    I bought the used Rockchucker from a member here on the forum. He gave me a great deal on what looks like a new press. I'm pleased as punch.
  2. Brisk44

    Brisk44 New Member

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    I'm glad things worked out for you and that you have equipment that makes reloading fun now.
  3. 243winxb

    243winxb New Member

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    Sounds more like a reduced loading would fix the problem. Could you be loading to HOT? Your working with a high pressure rounds that can do a lot of dammage with a case head ruputure. [​IMG]
  4. dbach

    dbach Member

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    Not too hot I don't believe. I'm loading according to my books. I'm using a mid range reload.

    180 gr flat nose (Berry), 5.4 grains Universal, CCI or Winchester small pistol primer, getting about 975fps.

    The fired casings all look good, no signs of pressure damage. The Glock Bulge has been the only hurdle I read that Glock 40's are famous for it.
  5. warhorse1

    warhorse1 Member

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    dbach,
    Curious as to what Gen Glock you're shooting, and aftermarket or factory barrel? My .40 Glocks do not bulge the brass with major PF loads with either factory or the Lone Wolf barrels. The load you're shooting is making a 175 power factor. That's about 10 points over major. That's not exactly a mid range load. Be careful!
    wh1
  6. 243winxb

    243winxb New Member

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    Different Components = Different pressure.

    From Hodgdon http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp
    The 165 GR. SIE JHP is listed at a maximum of 5.6gr. The 180 GR. HDY XTP is 5.8gr. Different components = different pressures. Take note that the 15gr lighter bullet uses less powder at maximum. Be careful. :)
  7. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    And from the Hornady manual...

    MAX loads:
    5.4gr of Universal for a 180gr lead SWC
    5.2gr of Universal for their 180gr XTP/HP (jacketed).

    You're right on the top end of the load range, so I'd recommend double-checking the load again too. It's always a good idea to cross-reference between several data sources.


    Otherwise, yes, I do agree with ya that the Rock Chucker has more leverage than the RS. I do full-length rifle case sizing with my RS with no problems but it does get pretty tough to form brass with it.

    I've never used one of the pistol FC dies for the .40 but I wouldn't think that it would be harder to cycle than a full-length resize on a large rifle cartridge.
    Note from the Lee instruction sheet...more than likely a standard disclaimer but...
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  8. dbach

    dbach Member

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    That is the same source I used for my reload. It says to use somewhere between 5 and 5.8 grains of Universal, I chose 5.4 and called it a mid power load.

    I have never seen the statement about unsupported chambers. Thanks for pointing that out. Is there a data center for pistols with unsupported chambers? If there is I have not seen it.

    The bulge I see is common on my reloads and factory ammo. It doesn't matter. The eject in the exact same condition, bulged just above the head of the cartridge. The bulge is slight but enough to keep the cartridge from seating properly and must be removed. Since I'd rather not become a statistic, would reducing the powder weight somewhat increase safety? I have fired factory ammo side by side with my reloads and can't feel any noticable difference. The recoil is about the same. As a matter of fact the Factory ammo clocks a bit faster.

    My Glock 23 is about thirteen years old serial # DBS388US. I have no idea what generation it is. Do a Google Search for Glock Bulge. The condition is common, very common.
  9. Clipper

    Clipper Active Member

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    My Lyman Pistol and Revolver handbook calls for a starting charge of 4.8 gr of Universal, max of 5.5, I certainly think you could back off a tad more and maybe eliminate the "glock bulge" completely.

    I load 40s with 4.9 gr Bullseye, sometimes with Unique, but nothing over 4.9 gr with a 180 gr bullet. I don't ever have a Glock bulge in my .45's, mainly because I only own 1911's.
  10. Brisk44

    Brisk44 New Member

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    Is the 40 bulge anything like middle age spread? If so I've had my fill and don't want nothin to do with it! :D
  11. Clipper

    Clipper Active Member

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    If your 40 bulge is a concern to you, just wait for the 70's! Your fat cells have all their cousins and other relatives over for parties.
  12. dbach

    dbach Member

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    Hodgdon says use between 5.2 and 5.8,Universal and 180 grain XTP. I'm using a Berry 180 grain flat nose and 5.4 grains Universal.

    I'll back off a bit and see what happens.
  13. smlranger

    smlranger New Member

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    I had a similar problem with my Ruger SR40. I did not really notice a bulge but many of the cases developed a definite ridged area just above the case head when I ran them thru the decapping/resizing die. I also was not loading hot, using mid range loads. I got a Redding resizing die and I push all the cases thru that. I use a Rockchucker supreme and it takes some effort to push some of the cases thru the Redding die.
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