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$10 rockchucker primer catch mod

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Like many others, I've been annoyed by the rock chucker's inability to catch all spent primers, leaving a bunch in my lap, on the floor, etc. While the black plastic catcher that comes with the press does a so-so job of catching them, it fills up quickly and is a PITA to remove with a bunch of spent primers. In preparation for acquiring a Dillon 550, I decided to turn my rockchucker into a dedicated decapping press to keep the Dillon clean of all the nasty primer residue.

I saw how some people had used vynil tubing to catch primers off of their dillons and other presses where the primers drop through the ram and figured a quick trip to Home Depot would produce something usable.

My solution to this:


After looking around on the plumbing aisle for a bit, here's what I came up with: a PVC 3/4" 45 degree elbow fitting, a PVC 1/2" plug (this is the kind that slides inside the elbow fitting with a flat base - not a cap), and a Watts 1/2" x 3/8" Plastic Slip x MPT Connector. I used a dremel tool to bevel the portion of the plug that goes inside the elbow to prevent any primers from getting hung up on the ledge. I then cut a rough hole in the plug wide enough to fit the 1/2" to 3/8" fitting in. I then trimmed the smooth side of the fitting down to 1/8" inch or so with a cut-off wheel so it was just long enough to fit the same depth of the hole and be glued in place. I beveled this piece as well to prevent any primers from getting hung up. I then glued the 1/2" to 3/8" fitting into the plug, and glued the plug into the elbow. For the primer slot from the ram to the unit, I took the dremel tool and cut a groove down the side of the elbow that faces you when you use the press to catch the primers. I eyeballed the section of the ram that is cut out and cut the PVC portion just a hair wider and deeper to ensure the primers would fall into it and then finished it off with some light sanding. Because the outer diameter of the 3/4" PVC is just a hair too thick to mount between the ram and the back of the press without rubbing, I took some sandpaper to the assembled unit and sanded off about an 1/8" or so to allow the ram to move up and down without brushing the PVC. You can opt to use a smaller PVC elbow size, however this works perfectly from what I've seen because there's not enough room for the primer to go anywhere other than the hole. Finally I then threaded the vynil tubing onto the 1/2" to 3/8" fitting and drilled some holes on the backside toward the top so I could use some zipties to mount it around my press. ALL primers now fall down into the tube to whatever receptacle works for you. Unlike the old catcher's Sex Panther success rate (60% of the time, every time) this one actually works 100% of the time.

Links to parts - again, double check for fit of each item in store as I don't remember 100% the exact sizes I bought:





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  • 1 month later...

That is cool! It reminds me of the days when I worked "Equipment Support" at a computer manufacturing plant. We had no budget, so we fabricated almost everything. It's good to see good ole American ingenuity! :cheers:

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After close to thirty days of using it, I haven't quite perfected it when I decap 9mm. It works almost flawlessly for rifle rounds: crimped 5.56 will on occasion "pop" out and the extra force will cause them to bump out of the front side of the ram, but .308 is still 100%. I cannot figure out what the deal is for 9mm, but I seem to only have a 70% success rate. I need to figure out a way to plug the front slot on the ram that doesn't interfere with the stroke and is easily removable. Either way, I'm still only picking up a handful of primers after a session versus the usual 50% of what I've decapped, not to mention the fact that I've decapped hundreds of rounds so far this way and have yet had to empty the junk plastic water bottle I'm using to catch everything. It's also helped keep the Dillon 550 a ton cleaner since it's never dealing with primer residue or carbon flaking buildup.

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Kevin: I thought about that but I can never find any around here - still need to check Toys R Us I guess. I may also try a scrap piece of that high-density foam I trimmed out of my pelican case as well.

Avezorak: I saw that Scharch offers about $2 or so per pound of brass - they said 1000 .223 casings is worth about $32 bucks. I really need to start saving my junk cases rather than throwing them out when primer pockets are too loose, etc. I shoul check the local rates here as it's just another way to feed the habit.

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Hey, I had to sign up. I had GOOGLED "White Lube" and the link to the forum popped up. Nice find.

I don't have a RCBS press but I have made a few inventions for the odd antique collection I have. (Herter's, Pacific, Lyman45)


I need to figure out a way to plug the front slot on the ram that doesn't interfere with the stroke and is easily removable.

Why do you need to remove a cover on the front slot??? (I can't try this out)

I understand the slot is there to allow passage of the ram. The Pipe size is to catch the primers. The flattened side could be make just a little deeper and a couple of things be attached. I believe the liquid soap bottles are PVC. You can use the PVC cleaner and glue you have to make a thin cover. If thin PVC can't be found, it can be made by splitting a piece of thin wall PVC and heating it in an oven until it's soft (WEAR GLOVES)Spread the plastic out flat and place a weight on it until it cools. Works great with the Sched 40 thick wall stuff. The regular glue will now work. A little filing, grinding, sanding will make a nice wall/plug. The thin wall pipe comes in 10' sections so if you don't have a scrap....use the liquid detergent bottle... you can even get colorful and the next best thing to DUCK tape... SHOE GOO. If you haven't used it for home repairs and inventing you are really missing something. There is a learning curve to getting the right amount in the right place. You can move it around for a minute or two with a wet finger. It drys slowly and will ooze to level so try to get the item in a position your glue won't migrate to somewhere you don't want or need it. It gets really tough in 24 hours. I just glued the mounting hinge on the deflector off my mower deck. One end was ripped off. I also reinforced the other end. It is now stronger then it was new.

Hope I'm not butting in. From the 3 titles I've explored it sounds like a nice forum follow.

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  • 2 years later...

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