RCBS Celebrates 80 Years of Precision Reloading

What began in the backroom of a dry cleaners is now one of the biggest names in handloading ammunition.

posted on October 3, 2023
80 years of RCBS

RCBS, a leading manufacturer of ammunition reloading equipment for rifles and pistols, is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year—eight decades of equipping handloaders with trusted, American-made reloading gear. “After 80 years of operation, RCBS is still delivering top-quality reloading products backed by world-class customer service,” said Justin Smith, product line manager for RCBS. “The brand has never lost the essence that Fred championed back in 1943 and the men and women in Oroville today truly do bleed green. You’ll be hard pressed to find another group who cares more about the quality of products they produce and the consumers who depend on them.”

The RCBS story began in 1943 in the backroom of Fred T. Huntington’s father’s laundry and dry-cleaning business in Oroville, CA. A dedicated shooter, Huntington sought to make his own high-quality .22-caliber bullets for shooting local varmints known as rock chucks. He designed and crafted his own “Rock Chuck Bullet Swage” dies, a name later shortened to RCBS.

In the decades following becoming a business, RCBS rapidly grew from a small shop into the nation’s leading maker of reloading equipment. Now using state-of-the-art equipment in large manufacturing facilities, RCBS has stayed near its roots in Oroville.

“Wow, 80 years, a lot has changed. I’m very proud to say that I’ve spent 45 years at this great establishment,” said Steve Koch, product manager and research and design engineer. “Everyone is extremely proud of what we have here in Oroville. The pride and dedication of the people that produce, assemble and package the finest reloading equipment in the world is the key to our success. Quality is the RCBS motto, and we will continue to ensure we provide our customers with the finest reloading equipment possible.”

In honor of the brand’s 80th anniversary, RCBS will soon be introducing a limited-edition Summit single-stage reloading press. The American-made press will feature a special red, white and blue design, and will be limited to only 1,000 pieces.


Sheriff Jim Wilson
Sheriff Jim Wilson

The Holster Evolution

Being quick on the draw is a relative thing. 

First Look: Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P9 Metal M2.0 Pistol

The new Spec Series kit also includes a custom blade, optics mounting plates and a challenge coin.

First Look: True Knives DAV Gift Set

A portion of the proceeds will go to Disabled American Veterans.

Review: Sightmark Wraith Mini Thermal Optic

Thermal imaging is much more affordable with Sightmark’s new Wraith Mini.

Browning Hi Power Custom Build Part 3

Time to go under the hood.

I Carry: Colt Competition 1911 Pistol in an ANR Design Holster

In this week's episode of "I Carry," we have a Colt Competition 1911 in 9 mm carried in an ANR Design Non-Lightbearing IWB holster and a Buck Decatur pocketknife.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.