Gun Digest

Getting the Lead Out with RCBS’s New Progressive Presses

Don’t let the Pro Chucker 7 fool you, it isn’t going to save you money, because you’ll only shoot more.
Don’t let the Pro Chucker 7 fool you, it isn’t going to save you money, because you’ll only shoot more.

There is a simple equation between shooting and reloading — the more you do of one the more you do of the other.

There is typically only one barrier when it comes to slinging more lead at the reloading bench to slinging more at the range — the press. While single-stage models are the bread and butter of building a precision round, when it comes to high-volume reloading a progressive press is a must.

And this year, RCBS is really shooting to help those who chew through ammo get the lead out. The subsidiary of Minnesota-based Vista Outdoor is releasing two new progressive presses it touts as being able to churn out 600 or more rounds per hour.

The Pro Chucker 5 and Pro Chucker 7 appear to have all the bells and whistles to make them dandy ammunition factories. The latter especially has the potential to get ammo hounds’ tongues hanging.

With seven stages, the Pro Chucker 7 looks to do everything except polish the finished cartridge. The press has stations for sizing/de-priming, expansion, powder charging, powder checking, bullet feed, seating and crimping.

The Pro Chucker 5 appears to offer plenty, as well. The only stations missing on the abbreviated version are for bullet feed and crimping.

The Pro Chucker 5 is nearly identical to its bigger brother, except it is missing bullet feed and crimping stations.

One of the handier aspects of both presses, one RCBS plays up in its catalog, is their hardy automatically indexing system. The heart of this operation is a robust stud attached to the base of the press that forces the shellplate into the proper position, even it there is fouling present.

RCBS has an automatic bullet feeding system available for the new Pro Chucker 7, which should help reloaders pick up the pace. They will, however, have to manually feed the brass for the time being.

It’s reported the company has an automated brass feeding system for both models in the works, complete with electric hopper. Though it has not released when the addition will be available. But, the rear frame — of both presses — is already tapped to accept the upgrade.

Both the Pro Chucker 5 and 7 are designed for fast turnover in switching between cartridges. This is facilitated by RCBS’s Quick Change die plate and powder metering systems.

The die plate allows the integral components to be pre-adjusted and swapped out on the fly. Then the metering system can be drained of powder without having to remove the hopper from the press.

RCBS is not giving the Pro Chucker 5 and 7 away, but the systems are competitively priced compared to other progressive presses on the market. The five-station press has an MSRP of $778.95, while the seven-stage model is priced $1,098.95.

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