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Old December 27, 2011, 08:48 PM   #1
jdillon
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Wornout Rockchucker

Well after 36 years of reliable service think I finally wore out my Rockchucker press. While setting up some body dies the other evening kept getting inconsistent (+- .005) headspace measurements while sizing once fired brass. Checked and rechecked everything then finally decided to check the press. The ram is smooth with no play but the linkage is very sloppy with lots of play. Decided to replace it and ordered a Forster CO-AX.

Has anyone ever heard of RCBS replacing the linkage on a press. Hate to send it to the scrap pile?
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Old December 27, 2011, 08:54 PM   #2
wncchester
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Given that any slack due to wear in the toggle linkages under the stresses of resizing or seating will be sufficent to compress the slack out I can't imagine how it could affect anything in a loaded round at all.

I can say that any variation in 'headspace' of resized cases I've ever encountered was due to differences in hardness/springback of the individual cases.

Last edited by wncchester; December 27, 2011 at 09:00 PM.
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Old December 27, 2011, 09:06 PM   #3
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Call RCBS - they will fix it or replace it - lifetime warranty
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Old December 27, 2011, 10:03 PM   #4
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I'd call them and see if it could be sent back in. I'd let them rebuild it. They might notice something you missed while they have it.
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Old December 27, 2011, 10:14 PM   #5
jdillon
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[Given that any slack due to wear in the toggle linkages under the stresses of resizing or seating will be sufficent to compress the slack out I can't imagine how it could affect anything in a loaded round at all.]

I thought the same but it is possible. I was able to work up to the proper headspace setting with several pieces of brass at the same time. Once the proper headspace setting was achieved with all pieces, resized once fired brass from the same rifle/lot. After the ram was raised to full height a slight click could be heard and hitch felt as it was lowered. This occurred on several pieces and never heard this before. These cases had a headspace in the range of .005 less than the batch used to adjust the die. The die does not contact the shell holder when ram is fully raised. I went through the process a second time with the same results. This is when I decided to check the press.

Needless to say, I have lost confidence in its ability to size cases consistently and don't want to use it. I will check with RCBS to see if it can be repaired.
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Old December 28, 2011, 09:43 AM   #6
243winxb
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Quote:
kept getting inconsistent (+- .005) headspace measurements while sizing once fired brass.
I would not blame this on the press. Brass can get shorter on firing. It may take 3 neck sizings to fully expand the cartridge to the chamber.
Quote:
The die does not contact the shell holder when ram is fully raised.
Then you can not push the shoulder back on a short case, unless the body is a lot fatter than the die. RCBS sent me a new press. The ram would fall forward when seating a bullet. To many pistol rounds went thru that press.

Last edited by 243winxb; December 28, 2011 at 09:55 AM.
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Old December 28, 2011, 12:24 PM   #7
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Call RCBS like other posters recommended or shoot them an email. Their warranty service is lifetime on many items.
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Old December 28, 2011, 12:25 PM   #8
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
RCBS sent me a new press. The ram would fall forward when seating a bullet. To many pistol rounds went thru that press.
You'll have to be a little more clear, with that one.



Quote:
Has anyone ever heard of RCBS replacing the linkage on a press. Hate to send it to the scrap pile?
I'm with everybody else: contact RCBS about it.

If they don't want to fix it, or you don't want to deal with it... I'll make you an offer on the press.

Most new presses have so much slop in their toggle links and ram, it disgusts me. The wear in your press's linkage is probably less than most new presses I've handled (Redding, Hornady, Lyman, and RCBS).

The Co-Ax, however, should be an excellent choice.
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Old December 28, 2011, 12:31 PM   #9
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...The die does not contact the shell holder when ram is fully raised...
Can you not just loosen the sizing die lock-ring and screw it further into the press until the shell holder does touch the die?
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Old December 28, 2011, 05:29 PM   #10
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Don't worry about it, you'll love the coax and won't want to go back. It will feel weird at first because you will be working from a different angle so your muscle memory will be off. My shoulder hurt for a couple of weeks because the muscles being used are a little different. Once you get your new rythem down
you'll be off and running.
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Old December 28, 2011, 07:08 PM   #11
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RCBS will likely fix it or replace it. They have one of the best warranty/service depts. of any company. Lifetime warranty on Rockchucker. I think the electric scales are about the only thing that has a limited warranty.
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Old December 28, 2011, 07:24 PM   #12
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Good excuse to ditch that piece of junk. Get a lee classic turret.
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Old December 28, 2011, 08:03 PM   #13
243winxb
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Quote:
FrankenMauser,You'll have to be a little more clear, with that one.
The frame that the ram sits in, was enlarged from many years of use. When seating bullets in 243, at the top of the stroke, the ram would move forward a small amount. This would have the bullet seating on an angle. FL sizing was not effected.
Quote:
Dahermit, Can you not just loosen the sizing die lock-ring and screw it further into the press until the shell holder does touch the die?
Yes he could, but he is controlling how much he bumps the shoulder back. This is called "partial full length resizing"
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Old December 29, 2011, 12:41 AM   #14
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jdillon, I have presses, lots of presses, most of my presses cam over, my RCBS Rock Chuckers, 11, Specials are not among my presses that cam over, and for that reason I do not treat them like they were cam over presses, because they jam, cram, bind up and over, something like someone said, “I know something about pigeons”, I know something about presses. There is never a reason to delegate a RCBS Rock Chucker press to the metal pile, I have no ideal what or how RCBS deals with worn presses, but, repairing/rebuilding a press would result in improvements. Bit, for me to repair a RCBS press? Too time consuming, not building the press or repairing it, that would be the easy part, the time consuming part would the convincing someone it could be done.

You did not mention the chamber you were reloading for, you did not mention the rifle design.

And RCBS gave someone a press because it did not seat bullets straight and I said the RCBS RC press does not cam over, it jams, binds, lock ups??? but it does not cam over, and I said I do not treat it like it does (cam over).

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Old December 29, 2011, 09:27 AM   #15
jdillon
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F. Guffy

I was in the process of setting up a body die for my No 1V in 220 Swift. All the cases were once fired Remington from the same lot. Headspace of all cases after firing were within .0005 or less. Five cases were used to progressively adjust the die the reduce the headspace by .002 less than fired cases. Reached consistent measurement with all five cases. After this step, I resized several cases and they were measuring .005 less than the fired cases. As I mentioned in my previous post, the die does not contact the shell holder when the ram is fully raised. When the ram is lowered it made a popping sound and it could be felt in the handle.
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Old December 29, 2011, 10:02 AM   #16
jdillon
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BTW forgot to mention this press does cam over
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Old December 29, 2011, 11:23 AM   #17
F. Guffey
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F. Guffy

I was in the process of setting up a body die for my No 1V in 220 Swift. All the cases were once fired Remington from the same lot. Headspace of all cases after firing were within .0005 or less. Five cases were used to progressively adjust the die the reduce the headspace by .002 less than fired cases. Reached consistent measurement with all five cases. After this step, I resized several cases and they were measuring .005 less than the fired cases. As I mentioned in my previous post, the die does not contact the shell holder when the ram is fully raised. When the ram is lowered it made a popping sound and it could be felt in the handle.
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There is a reoccurring question, why won’t the die contact the shell holder, do you have the die adjusted off the shell holder, or, the die will not contact the shell holder when sizing a case even though the die is adjusted to the shell holder before sizing???

You are posting some great numbers like .0005, and using a body die, is that a body die without a shoulder or part of a shoulder or a body die with a bushing that can be raised up or down, or is it a die that can be used when the bushing has been removed, I am not a fan of creating my own problems, I am a fan of transfers and standards, and verifying, yes, I am the fan of verifying. You used 5 cases to progressively adjust the die to reduce head space (or reduce the length of the case from the head of the case to the shoulder .002 thousands). and that is great, I use the feeler gage, I adjust the gap between the bottom of the die and top of the shell holder, if I use your method, I would would still use the feeler gage to ‘VERIFY’, If after making the adjustments and I found the length of the case from the head of the case to the shoulder was -.005 and not -.002, I would use the feeler gage to adjust (reduce) the gap between the die and press .003 thousands.

Popping sound?, there are pin/wire gages and there are dial indicators, to determine the amount of ware/slack use two dial indicators to determine the amount of travel in change of directions.

Back to cam over, all of my cam over presses bump, that makes my cam over presses bump presses, all of my cam over bump presses bump twice, once on the way up and again on the way down, and I can measure the amount of bump/cam over. Then there are presses that did not bump/cam over that were modified, they run like they were made of glass, no clunk, jam, bind etc., the ram just runs straight up and straight down(with a bump at the top).

Again, I determine the length of the chamber first, others fire first then try to determine what ever? By knowing the length of the chamber before firing I can off set the length of the chamber with the length of the case, I can adjust the die to control the length of the case when sizing.

And time is a factor.

Clunk when there is a change in directions between the toggle and ram, The holes can be knurled and them reamed if the pin is not worn, if the pin and holes are worn the holes can be reamed to oversized for an oversized pin.

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Old December 29, 2011, 12:03 PM   #18
F. Guffey
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Back to the beginning and cases getting shorter when fired, think about that, time is up. And then there is that part where a case has to be fired 3 times + to be fully grown??

I reserve the luxury of disagreeing, I measure before and after, yes, there are times my cases get shorter ‘BEFORE FIRING’ there are times my cases get shorter during firing, for example, when I form and then fire form 30 Gibbs from 30/06 cases, the case shortens as much as .040 thousands and more often .035 thousands, all of the shortening going on is case length, case length has nothing to to do with forming and fire forming and head space, again, I determine the length of the chamber first then form cases to off set the effect the chamber will have on the case when fired, the only measurement that counts is the one that indicates the length of the chamber from the face of the bolt to the shoulder of the chamber, then there is that little bit of information that is always omitted, ‘RECEIVER’ What receiver, which design? What Chamber?

It is like looking at hot horse shoes when they are hot, it does not take me long to look at them. I do not have to fire a case 3 times to determine the length of the chamber and I can measure the length of a case and learn nothing, I know the results before I fire. And Hatcher fired cases in a chamber that was longer from the bolt face to the shoulder of the chamber than the case was when measured from the head of the case to it’s shoulder by .080 thousands than the case he chambered.

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Old December 29, 2011, 04:22 PM   #19
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I'm confused. With a moniker like "jdillon" why would you buy a Forster press? Seems like blaspheme to me to go red and not blue.

Congratulations none the less.
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Old December 29, 2011, 06:14 PM   #20
dahermit
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The frame that the ram sits in, was enlarged from many years of use.
AND the lack of lubrication?
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Old December 29, 2011, 06:29 PM   #21
jdillon
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F Guffy:

Always enjoy reading your posts and glean information from each one. To answer your question;

The base of the die does not contact the shell holder since it will oversize the brass beyond what I am trying to accomplish. Trying to set back the shoulder .002 more than the fire formed case.

Thr body die is a Redding die with a fixed shoulder. To confirm, the .0005 tolerance mentioned in my previous post is shoulder height measured from the fire formed cases with a starrett dial indicator installed on an Innovative Technologies stand. This measurement was consistent on all fire formed cases.

I have read in your previous posts that you measure headspace off the chamber. Curious to know how you do this?

I believe the pin through the ram connecting the linkage is worm or the hole in the linkage which the pin goes through is worn. what is your take on it? Reaming the hole in the linkage to fit a new pin may correct the problem.

In my younger days, I worked in a shop fabricating direct drive two stage gas compressors in the oil field. If we didn't get the tolerances right the shims connecting the engine to the compressor would fail sometimes in spectacular fashion. That experience taught me a lot about proper setup and stickler for precision as well as using good measuring and setup tools (had a big felt lined toolbox filled with Starrett tools)
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Old December 29, 2011, 06:33 PM   #22
jdillon
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Flash hole:

Don't fret since I have several pieces of blue reloading equipment in my shop.
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Old December 29, 2011, 07:39 PM   #23
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AND the lack of lubrication?
Always lubed, oil or Break Free CLP when it became availible.
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Old December 29, 2011, 07:45 PM   #24
markdoddridge
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Id definatley keep it, you say youve had it for 30+ years? its not even broken in yet. guaranteed if you call RCBS they fix it, i dont see how the linkage is that big of a deal anyway, i had a lee turret press i got used with really wobbly linkage and i didnt notice any headspace issues
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Old December 29, 2011, 08:48 PM   #25
jdillon
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Setting up the new Forster press and taking a bit of getting used to but like it. Only downside is that I have to set up all my dies again but probably not a bad thing to do.
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