RCBS Turns 75 Years Young
Russ Chastain 06.29.18
RCBS is one of those companies which just about any American reloader recognizes and appreciates, but most of us don’t know much about its roots. And since the company is now three-quarters of a century old, it seems like a good time to look back. When you see green reloading equipment, it’s usually made by RCBS or Redding.
According to their “About us” page, RCBS stands for “Rock Chuck Bullet Swage.”QUOTE
RCBS was founded in 1943 by Fred T. Huntington… [who] found it difficult to obtain quality varmint bullets… [and] began to craft his own dies… Because the resulting bullets were used to shoot rock chucks -– a varmint of Western North America -– he named them Rock Chuck Bullet Swage dies, later shortened to RCBS.
Here’s some more historic info from a recent press release:
June 28, 2018 – RCBS, the leading manufacturer of ammunition reloading equipment for rifles and pistols, is celebrating 75 years in business this month.
RCBS was born in a small 12 by 6 foot room in the back of a laundromat in Oroville, California in the year 1943. In the early days following the attack on Pearl Harbor, there was a tremendous shortage of bullet-making equipment. RCBS founder Fred T. Huntington had been shooting and hunting all of his life and wanted to make sure he would be able to continue pursuing his passion, even with limited products in his reach.
The first dies were named Rock Chuck Bullet Swage as they were specifically designed for making jacketed bullets to shoot the Rock Chucks in the Western United States, providing the acronym RCBS that the company would become known by in later years.
By 1950, RCBS reloading equipment was in full production, and the company successfully launched the now famous A-2 Press — a vast improvement over reloading equipment of the time. By 1958, the RCBS Junior Press and Reloader Special were introduced to customers. These products showcased the secret of RCBS ‘Precisioneered’ quality and the company’s ability to combine the old with the new to bring customers the finest, most efficient, precision-engineered reloading tools available.
In 2015, RCBS became part of the Vista Outdoor portfolio. Continuing the tradition of releasing high quality products, shortly after this, RCBS released popular items to the market such as the Brass Boss, Vibratory Case Polisher, and the ChargeMaster Lite to customers.
‘At RCBS, we continue to work hard to bring exciting products to our consumers,’ said Global Product Director, Jason Slinkard. ‘Seventy-five years in business is a spectacular accomplishment. It’s an honor to work with a legacy brand known for dedication to innovation, accuracy and quality.’
With [more than] 150 employees and 75 years of product design and customer service, RCBS still stands proudly in Oroville, California today. Consistently releasing new and innovative products, RCBS has the precision engineering to stake the claim of a true original. With outstanding craftsmanship and an uncompromising dedication to service, RCBS stands alone as the brand of choice for reloaders and shooters everywhere.
Although no longer family-owned, the company continues to enjoy a good reputation for quality on most products. Their warranty has been downgraded in recent years, though, by specifying that their “Lifetime Warranty” only covers reloading presses, dies, manual case trimmers, or bullet molds and is only good for the person who originally purchased the product, which is not how they used to operate. Ah well.
Happy anniversary, RCBS.