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RCBS Kits, Help deciding please

This is a discussion on RCBS Kits, Help deciding please within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Cabela's has 3 kits that appear to be what I may want... RCBS® Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit RCBS® Rock Chucker Supreme Select Reloading ...


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Old June 28th, 2013, 08:51 AM   #1
 
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RCBS Kits, Help deciding please

Cabela's has 3 kits that appear to be what I may want...

RCBS® Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit
RCBS® Rock Chucker Supreme Select Reloading Kit
RCBS® Rock Chucker Supreme Deluxe Reloading Kit

They run $350, $615, and $850 receptively. The thing I can't seem to master here is what is what. Which one would be best to start with. I made a chart showing the pieces that Cabela's says is in each (see link below).

I highlighted the few things that are common across all the kits.

Can someone help me make sense of this please?

1. Whats the difference between the "Hand-Priming Tool" and the "Universal Hand Priming Tool". The photos appear like its a different tool but how is it better/worse?

2. Is the "Trim Mate Case Prep Center" worth it?

3. Is the 1500 better than the 750? And as it comes with an automatic powder dispenser, is it worth having the combo?

4. Are the DVDs different or simply called different? Are they worth watching?

Here is my xref chart:
RCBS Kits

So is the Supreme Deluxe worth it? If not why?

If there is something you would add to the Supreme Select kit, what would it be?



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Old June 28th, 2013, 09:22 AM   #2
 
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Well, you are going to get a lot of comments on this but here is my .02 cents worth and what I did.
I bought the least expensive Rock Chucker Supreme kit - they are $320 now at Midway.
The powder measure and scales that came with it are fine and work well. I do not know the difference in the hand primers, but the one in the lower priced kit works well for me.

I then added the other accessories as I felt I needed them and found that the RCBS versions were not always the best rated.

I bought a Lyman Universal Case Trimmer and am very pleased with it.

Many times when you buy a "kit" - especially a larger kit, you end up getting things that you don't need, don't work well in your application, or aren't the best buy for the money.

Go with the starter outfit and then add what you want/need as you go.
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Old June 28th, 2013, 09:40 AM   #3
 
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I personally bought the Master kit and was very happy, and ready to load with the addition of a pair of calibers was all (and dies of course). Over the last few years, I have added more things to fill needs as they came up, but the Master kit has everything to get started. I use the Lee system to trim cases, not as fast but it was much cheaper to get started with when I began loading rifle, and still works to this day. Were I loading much more rifle than I am today, I would go with a bench mounted unit and pony up the extra dough. The scale, powder measure and priming tool that came with the kit all work well and I have seen no need to replace any of them, they all work fine.
The Master kit is a good value for what you get, and if I was starting to reload right now with the knowledge I have gained since starting, I think I still would go with the Master kit.
Good luck to you!
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Old June 28th, 2013, 09:53 AM   #4
 
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Very good advice and one I would usually go with.

But, I know I am going to be loading multiple calibers and will be be recycling military brass. I know I have about 400rds of 30-06 military and about 200rds at least of military 223. I will also be scavaging range brass as well. Its for these reasons I was considering the Trim Mate Case Prep Center. The videos of it seemed like it was a good unit. It alone is $120 by itself at Midway.

I want a good scale and powder dispenser. Initially I expect to be loading just plinker rounds. Stuff that goes bang. As I improve I will be finetuning my loads for my specific rifles. I want a good reloading system to do that and I wasn't really liking the idea of having to re-purchase something because I had grabbed the cheapest starter kit.

I am leaning toward getting good solid equipment at first, even though I don't have the experience to use it at first rather than buying cheap stuff and then buy quality later after I find out I bought crap at first.

I am doing a lot of reading reviews. Watching videos. And asking questions. I haven't ordered anything yet. Nor will I until I get a solid grip on what it is I want and need and I would like to arrive at the end in a fairly economical way. I am willing to spend the money on good equipment.

Am I stuck on RCBS? No. But its where I am leaning based on what I have read and seen. I can't afford much of the Dillon stuff. Yet. The hobby may yet take me there though. Who knows Harbor Freight, Lee and Lyman may well factor into things too. I see no need to stick to a single brand.
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Old June 28th, 2013, 10:14 AM   #5
 
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So, some basic math here on the items I see as important from the kit...
The Basics...
Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press $154
Charge Master 1500 Powder Dispenser Digital Scale Combo $335
Universal Hand Priming Tool $56
Quick Change Powder Funnel Kit $12
Trim Pro Case Trimmer $115

Total... $672

Nice to haves...
Trim Mate Case Prep Center $120
Speer "Reloading Manual #14" $30
4-oz. Case Slick Spray Lube $9

And we have a total of $831

So the larger kit is looking like its a player here while the mid range kit has the lower end scale and manual powder measure. And best I can tell, there is no trickler on the lower end measure. So that would be an additional cost over the kit.

Or am I looking at this wrong? If I am, do say so please.
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Old June 28th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #6
 
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I know for a fact that if I begin processing a bunch of military brass, I will be in the market for the case prep center, or even just for loading my high volume varmint loads for prairie dogs it would be worth it, as would a power case trimmer for large lots of brass.

I certainly would not say the equipment in the Master kit is "crap" since the press is the same for all three, and in many cases mechanical scales are more accurate and reliable than electronic scales, the things in the other two kits really are just nice to have things that will make loading more convenient. A trickler and a good micrometer are all a person really needs to add to the Master kit to be loading high quality ammo. I load all of our MOA ammo for shooting and hunting at long range off of my Master setup with the addition of a trickler.
The quick change funnel kit isn't really needed, the universal funnel works just fine. The basic hand primer works with your shellholders so anything you have dies for will work with the primer as well, but I prefer to prime my rifle brass on the press, not with a hand primer.
So the way I look at it, you could also look at just buying the Master kit and adding the trimmer or case prep center. If you are loading handgun rounds you are going to want a manual powder measure for throwing charges into a loading block full of cases, not waiting for the Charge Master to weigh every single pistol charge.
I also see the manual as being the MOST important thing there, not just a nice to have thing. Internet data is sketchy and doesn't help you with the process of setting up dies, proper overall length or any of the troubleshooting help a manual will give you. A manual is first and foremost always.
Hope this helps some more!

Last edited by 429421Cowboy; June 28th, 2013 at 11:07 AM.
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Old June 28th, 2013, 11:34 AM   #7
 
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I didn't mean to say ANY of the RCBS stuff is crap. I was refering and thinking of cheap chineese cast knockoff crap, which I failed to mention. What I meant was I am willing to pay a reasonable price for quality equipment and not try to find ebay low bidder junk.

As far as the manual goes, I haven't looked into them yet. I know there are quite a few out there and that was actually going to develop into another thread specifically about manuals. Clearly RCBS thinks highly of the Speer manual enough to include it in their kits. But is it the best manual for what I am loading? I don't know. I have yet to begin digging for that answer.

From the videos on the hand primer loaders, I am not sure I will like it either. But for small batches it might be nice to do. But, when loading shotshells, we used the presses to prime the shells and I think I would like it as well.

Last edited by Wolfie; June 28th, 2013 at 11:41 AM.
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Old June 28th, 2013, 12:36 PM   #8
 
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I can't comment on the new RCBS products and what reloading kits they have put together. RCBS is all I use accept for a few odd pieces picked up over the years. Do some researching you can get allot better price then buying from Cabela's. Check some of the major shooters suppliers.
For an example Midsouth and Natchez had and probably still has the RCBS Charge Master 1500 Powder Dispenser Digital Scale Combo for about 289.00. I know you can beat Cabela's prices if you do any comparing prices. I have heard the new RCBS products are Made in China. I hope that's not true. All mine is Made in the USA and well over 30 years old. Being Made in China would have me looking for an American source instead.
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Old June 28th, 2013, 02:41 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post
So, some basic math here on the items I see as important from the kit...
The Basics...
Rock Chucker Supreme Single Stage Press $154
Charge Master 1500 Powder Dispenser Digital Scale Combo $335
Universal Hand Priming Tool $56
Quick Change Powder Funnel Kit $12
Trim Pro Case Trimmer $115

Total... $672

Nice to haves...
Trim Mate Case Prep Center $120
Speer "Reloading Manual #14" $30
4-oz. Case Slick Spray Lube $9

And we have a total of $831

So the larger kit is looking like its a player here while the mid range kit has the lower end scale and manual powder measure. And best I can tell, there is no trickler on the lower end measure. So that would be an additional cost over the kit.

Or am I looking at this wrong? If I am, do say so please.
First, let me point out that I don't reload, although like you am looking hard at starting (it's more of when, not if)....

In looking over your Xref chart it appears that only the largest/most $$ kit has the “Charge Master 1500 Powder Dispenser Digital Scale Combo” and the “Trim Pro Case Trimmer” which are both pieces that you’ve decided you want...
With that in mind, it looks to me like the two viable options are to
  1. buy the Master kit and add those two components, knowing you can probably sell the 5-0-5 Powder scale and Uniflow Powder Measure on here on Ebay and reduce that total a bit, or
  2. just go for the Deluxe for about $50 more upfront and get the “Case Prep Center” along with it!
PS – Nice touch on the Xref chart… If you don’t mind I’m going to borrow it as the starting point for my research into a starting set for myself!
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Old June 28th, 2013, 02:44 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthSideScubaSteve View Post
PS – Nice touch on the Xref chart… If you don’t mind I’m going to borrow it as the starting point for my research into a starting set for myself!
Knock yourself out We are all sharing here. All I did was just look at the components listed in each kit and try to match them up line by line. Something Cabela's should have done as well as RCBS.
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Old June 28th, 2013, 02:52 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfie View Post
Knock yourself out We are all sharing here. All I did was just look at the components listed in each kit and try to match them up line by line. Something Cabela's should have done as well as RCBS.
Thanks, I didn't figure you'd mind, but wnated to give you credit for the work!! It really gave me a laugh when I clicked on the link because it is exactly the kind of thing I would have done right after a trip to Bass Pro & my two favorite LGS' to see what's out there...

As fate would have it, such a trip is on my To Do list for my 9 day STAY-CATION that offically starts in 8 minutes!
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Old June 28th, 2013, 03:09 PM   #12
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I like the midrange set - particularly if you are loading rifle ammo. The Trim mate is a tool I use a lot, but I load a lot of rifle ammo. I dislike the higher end digital power measure since it REALLY slows the process down. You will want a uniflow in my opinion, so the mid level kit does everything.

If you are only loading pistol ammo, you don't need the trimmate, so the lower level set has all you need.
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Old June 28th, 2013, 07:06 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stargeezer View Post
I like the midrange set - particularly if you are loading rifle ammo. The Trim mate is a tool I use a lot, but I load a lot of rifle ammo. I dislike the higher end digital power measure since it REALLY slows the process down. You will want a uniflow in my opinion, so the mid level kit does everything.

If you are only loading pistol ammo, you don't need the trimmate, so the lower level set has all you need.
Thank you for your feedback. I will be loading, initially primarily 223 and 30-06. But I have a S&W 15-3 38 special that I will likely be loading for as well. And I just took delivery on my Sig P226 so that adds 9mm to the mix. I favor rifle shooting. The hand guns are for HD/SD not sport/competition but I must shoot them to be proficient with them. They are not going to be safe queens.

So because of those factors, I feel I will be focusing mainly on rifle and mainly on those two calibers with 9mm and 38 coming into the mix.

That said, I was having a talk to a family member and he shoots IDPA so he goes through a lot of 9mm. He also shoots 308. And we were discussing maybe me doing some loading for him. No since in both of us buying equipment when all I would need is dies for 308 as I would already have the 9mm for my own use.

Almost forgot to ask, have a link to the uniflow you speak of?
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Old June 28th, 2013, 08:49 PM   #14
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The Uniflow is the powder dump tool that is a part of the mid level kit - here's a link - [URL="http://www.midwayusa.com/product/752260/rcbs-uniflow-powder-measure-with-standard-cylinder"]

Shooting 30-06, you will need to trim the cases about every third or forth reloading, depending on how "hot" your loads are. With shooting the bottle necked cases, the brass stretches with each firing. Until the case gets long enough that it won't headspace properly. This is corrected by trimming the brass to the specified length. This is where the trimmate earns it's keep.

With that offered, I certainly think the midrange kit would offer you the best all around value.

One more thing I'll just toss out to help muddy your water , a lot of us find that the Turret Press is a big time saver, without the learning curve or mechanical hurtles of a progressive press. I wish RCBS would offer it in a kit, but they don't, as far as I know.

Even if you decide to get a turret press later, don't worry that you'll be losing your investment in a Rock Chucker. Lots of us keep them and dedicate them to some specific task. In my case, I have one setup with a universal de-primeing die in it. Every time I go shooting, I take all my brass and deprime it and run it through a cleaning process before reloading it.
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Old July 1st, 2013, 11:47 AM   #15
 
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So here is my starting shopping list. I am re-thinking the kits.

Books:
Hornady "Handbook of Cartridge Reloading: 9th Edition" Reloading Manual $26.99
Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading: 9th Edition Reloading Manual

The ABCs of Reloading
$16.64
The ABCs of Reloading: The Definitive Guide for Novice to Expert, James, Rodney: Sports & Recreation : Walmart.com

Lyman "Reloading Handbook: 49th Edition"
$22.99
Lyman Reloading Handbook: 49th Edition Reloading Manual Softcover


Equipment:
RCBS Turret Press
$212.99
RCBS Turret Press

RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 Powder Scale and Dispenser (Not totally committed to this combo yet)
$334.99
RCBS ChargeMaster 1500 Powder Scale Dispenser Combo 110 Volt

RCBS Trim Mate Case Prep Center
$119.99
RCBS Trim Mate Case Prep Center 110 Volt



Accessories:
Frankford Arsenal Powder Funnel with 16 Nozzles and 4" Drop Tube
$19.99
Frankford Arsenal Powder Funnel 16 Nozzles 4 Drop Tube

MTM Universal Reloading Tray Compact 50-Round Plastic Gray
$5.99
MTM Universal Reloading Tray Compact 50-Round Plastic Gray

RCBS Trim Mate Case Prep Center Straight Cone Military Crimp Remover Small
$19.49
RCBS Trim Mate Case Prep Center Straight Cone Military Crimp Remover

RCBS Trim Mate Case Prep Center Military Crimp Remover Large
$19.49
RCBS Trim Mate Case Prep Center Military Crimp Remover Large

RCBS Trim Mate Case Prep Center Carbide Chamfer Tool
$37.49
RCBS Trim Mate Case Prep Center Carbide Chamfer Tool

Lyman Case Length Headspace Gage 223 Remington
$19.99
Lyman Case Length Headspace Gage 223 Remington

Lyman Case Length Headspace Gage 30-06 Springfield
$19.99
Lyman Case Length Headspace Gage 30-06 Springfield

Lyman Max Cartridge Gage 9mm Luger
$15.49
Lyman Max Cartridge Gage 9mm Luger



Dies:
30-06 Die...not sure which?
30-06 Springfield | Rifle Reloading Dies | Dies - Reloading

RCBS Carbide 3-Die Set with Taper Crimp 9mm Luger
$49.99
RCBS Carbide 3-Die Set Taper Crimp 9mm Luger

RCBS Carbide 3-Die Set with Taper Crimp 38 Special, 357 Magnum
$49.99
RCBS Carbide 3-Die Set Taper Crimp 38 Special 357 Mag

RCBS AR Series Small Base 2-Die Set with Taper Crimp 223 Remington (Dont know if this is the right one for bolt action 223)
$39.99
RCBS AR Series Small Base 2-Die Set Taper Crimp 223 Remington

RCBS Shellholder #3 (308 Winchester, 30-06 Springfield, 45 ACP)
$7.99
RCBS Shellholder #3 (308 Winchester 30-06 Springfield 45 ACP)

RCBS Shellholder #10 (17 Remington, 204 Ruger, 223 Remington)
$7.99
RCBS Shellholder #10 (17 Remington 204 Ruger 223 Remington)

RCBS Shellholder #6 (38 S&W, 38 Long Colt, 357 Magnum)
$7.99
RCBS Shellholder #6 (38 S&W 38 Long Colt 357 Mag)

RCBS Shellholder #16 (30 Luger, 9mm Luger, 9mm Makarov)
$7.99
RCBS Shellholder #16 (30 Luger 9mm Luger 9mm Makarov)


Yet to be decided....
Primer pocket swager (RCBS vs Dillon)

Case trimmers
L.E. Wilson Micrometer Case Trimmer Stainless Steel Case Trimming Kit
L.E. Wilson Micrometer Case Trimmer SS Case Trimming Kit
Lyman Universal Carbide Case Trimmer Kit with 9 Pilots
Lyman Universal Carbide Case Trimmer Kit 9 Pilots
RCBS Trim Pro-2 Manual Case Trimmer Kit
RCBS Trim Pro-2 Manual Case Trimmer Kit

De-Priming?
Still don't know on this one yet.



So, anyone have thoughts on this equipment list?
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