June 3rd, 2011

New ReloaderHub.com Website from RCBS

RCBS has a launched a new website, www.ReloaderHub.com, an advanced online community dedicated to reloading. The website is designed as a social hub where readers can exchange load data and recipes, engage in forum discussions, and share outdoor- and shooting-related photos and videos. RCBS will also run regular contests and promotions on the site. Currently you can enter to win an RCBS Reloading Starter Kit, valued at $364.95 MSRP. You can use all site features at no charge — ReloaderHub.com site membership is free.

ReloaderHub.com features a handy Reloading Calculator that lets you quickly figure out the cost of your ammo, based on the price of your components and anticipated number of reloads on your brass. You’ll find dedicated photo and video archives, where members can post their own “home movies” and images. To stimulate file uploading and forum participation, the site also features a point system. The more content you upload, the more points you earn towards virtual badges (points have no retail value at this time).

COMMENTARY: Clearly RCBS put considerable time and effort into ReloaderHub.com. Generally speaking, it has a nice look and feel, and the photo archive area is easy to access. However, we think the site could benefit from some design changes.

First the Message Board area doesn’t use standard Forum Formatting. The layout of the primary Message Board topics page is poorly laid out, requiring too much scrolling. Then it gets worse once you get inside a particular Message Board Category, such as “Hunting Report”. There’s too much vertical space between thread titles, and once you manage to drill down to an actual thread, the displayed font is small and somewhat hard to read.

This leads to the site’s second major problem. ReloaderHub.com is supposed to be a place where users share load recipes. This, apparently, is to be done through the Message Board. But we predict people will have trouble placing logically-related topics in the Message Board, so the load recipe postings will soon become a mish-mash. RCBS should have created a dedicated area for load recipes with a clear, consistent formatting for data entry. RCBS could have provided pull-down menus for cartridge type and powder, with supplementary fields for charge weight, primer, OAL etc. That would organize the data logically so that user recipes could become part of a searchable database with consistent entries among all calibers. The way the site’s Message Board is currently organized, we think most visitors will struggle to find and sort through the load data entries.

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