New to reloading.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:11 AM   #1
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Default New to reloading.

I just recieved a 40 year old RCBS press as a gift, and now I need to get some dies. I have learned some of the basics of reloading, but I have a few questions about the equipment.

1. Will dies from other companies (like Lee) work in this press?

2. Will new RCBS dies work in this older press?

3. What is the difference between 2 die, and 3 dies sets for rifles? (I mainly want to reload 30-06)

4. Where is the best place to buy the dies, and other things I need for this press?

5. Is there anything else I need to know?

I am excited about getting into reloading. I have done it once, and loved it.

Oh, and one last question. I plan on getting an SKS within the next month, and was wondering if it reloading 7.62x39mm would make it cheaper? Is it even worth the time and money to get the dies since it is already so cheap? (I plan on using the super cheap stuff anyways, this was just a question I had.)

Thanks

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Old 01-18-2012, 01:18 AM   #2
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1) Yes, Lee dies will fit

2) Yes, most dies are the same thread until you get into the large calibers like the 50BMG.

3) Check with Lee, their site will give you the information on the dies and die sets. Lee Precision: Rifle Reloading Dies Overview

4) Midway USA, Cabela's, Brownells, Cheaper Than Dirt and a number of others I can't think of at the moment.

5) You'll need to know a lot, my first three manuals covered everything. Lee 2nd Edition, Hornady 7th and Speer #13 are the three manuals I started with. There was plenty of information in them to keep me from loosing any body parts when I started. A lot of people swear by the ABC'c of Reloading, but I was a little disappointed in the Lyman 49th that was hyped so I doubt I'll buy the ABC's. It will probably just rehash what I've read in all the other manuals. What ever manual(s) you decide to buy, the most important thing is to read them before you start.

6) No clue on the 7.62x39, never bothered to load or buy for that cartridge.

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Old 01-18-2012, 01:18 AM   #3
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Aaron,As long as the threads are 7/8x14 any brand of dies made today will work.
I mainly use Lee dies for my reloading,they are well made and simple to set up and use.But,I also use RCBS,and Redding dies.They all perform well.
If you buy Lee's,get the Deluxe rifle die set.It will come with a Full length sizing die,Neck sizing die,and the Bullet seating die,as well as a shell holder.
Cabelas sells them for $33,you can probably find them cheaper if you look.

You will also need a good beam scale,Ebay is a good place to pick up a used one.I have bought several off there for friends for under $50.

You also need to get a few reloading manuals,I like to have reloading data from both the Bullet and Powder mfg's,and seeing that you are new to this,The ABC's of reloading is also a great book for learning the do's & do not's.

A nice digital/dial caliper is also a must to have.They don't have to be the high $$$ ones,but a good caliper will run $30-50

Primers & Powder are best if bought local.If not you will have to pay a Haz-Mat fee along with shipping.I mainly use Winchester or CCI primers,and two mainstay 30/06 powders are Hogdon H4350 & H4831.There are many other powders that will work,but these have been used for many,many years with the 30/06.

There are a lot of other little things that will make reloading easier,but you don't need them right from the start-Primer Pocket cleaning tool,Case chamfer tool,Case trimming tool,etc.

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Old 01-18-2012, 02:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightExpress View Post
1) Yes, Lee dies will fit

2) Yes, most dies are the same thread until you get into the large calibers like the 50BMG.

3) Check with Lee, their site will give you the information on the dies and die sets. Lee Precision: Rifle Reloading Dies Overview

4) Midway USA, Cabela's, Brownells, Cheaper Than Dirt and a number of others I can't think of at the moment.

5) You'll need to know a lot, my first three manuals covered everything. Lee 2nd Edition, Hornady 7th and Speer #13 are the three manuals I started with. There was plenty of information in them to keep me from loosing any body parts when I started. A lot of people swear by the ABC'c of Reloading, but I was a little disappointed in the Lyman 49th that was hyped so I doubt I'll buy the ABC's. It will probably just rehash what I've read in all the other manuals. What ever manual(s) you decide to buy, the most important thing is to read them before you start.

6) No clue on the 7.62x39, never bothered to load or buy for that cartridge.
Sweet, thanks for the info. The manual was another thing I was needing.

Yeah, I didn't think that many people would reload something that cheap. I was just curious about it. I will probably still keep the spent brass though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Txhillbilly View Post
Aaron,As long as the threads are 7/8x14 any brand of dies made today will work.
I mainly use Lee dies for my reloading,they are well made and simple to set up and use.But,I also use RCBS,and Redding dies.They all perform well.
If you buy Lee's,get the Deluxe rifle die set.It will come with a Full length sizing die,Neck sizing die,and the Bullet seating die,as well as a shell holder.
Cabelas sells them for $33,you can probably find them cheaper if you look.

You will also need a good beam scale,Ebay is a good place to pick up a used one.I have bought several off there for friends for under $50.

You also need to get a few reloading manuals,I like to have reloading data from both the Bullet and Powder mfg's,and seeing that you are new to this,The ABC's of reloading is also a great book for learning the do's & do not's.

A nice digital/dial caliper is also a must to have.They don't have to be the high $$$ ones,but a good caliper will run $30-50

Primers & Powder are best if bought local.If not you will have to pay a Haz-Mat fee along with shipping.I mainly use Winchester or CCI primers,and two mainstay 30/06 powders are Hogdon H4350 & H4831.There are many other powders that will work,but these have been used for many,many years with the 30/06.

There are a lot of other little things that will make reloading easier,but you don't need them right from the start-Primer Pocket cleaning tool,Case chamfer tool,Case trimming tool,etc.
Looks like I'm getting a lee set then. I already have the beam scale, so I guess I need the caliper next.
I don't know if I can get the powder and primers local. I'll have to look around. The local gun shop/pawn shop may have some hopefully.
Thanks for the info on the other tools too. I'll be sure to get them later (or sooner depending on the price.)
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:05 AM   #5
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Hey Texas Woodworker,

I hope I am NOT to late, because I think you have a major problem!! You say this RCBS Press is 40 years old so that means it is either the "Original" RockChucker (ie RS) or the RCBS RockChucker II (ie RS II on the press opening). IF either is the case, your press does NOT have a long enough stroke to handle ANY rifle cartridges bigger than the .223/5.56mm round. I have had my RCBS RockChucker II Press for the past 25-30 years.

Before you order ANY dies, I would suggest you verify exactly what model press you have by calling RCBS or e-mailing them. Let us know how things turn out. The press can always be used for specialty uses in the future, and buy a new press to meet your needs for both rifle and pistol shooting.


RCBS Operations
605 Oro Dam Blvd
Oroville, CA 95965
1-800-533-5000
email us at rcbs.tech[at]atk.com


Sincerely,

Doug

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Old 01-19-2012, 01:19 AM   #6
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Well, 40 years was the estimate I was told. I'll post a pic later. I think it is big enough for large rifle rounds.

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Old 01-19-2012, 01:37 AM   #7
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Here's the pics. (Sorry abou the crappy pics. I don't know why they came out so bad.)

Quick question. Are new presses made of heavy cast iron too? (I like cast iron )

100_1856.jpg   100_1857.jpg   100_1858.jpg   100_1859.jpg  
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:30 AM   #8
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it looks like my uncles press older press. and ive reloaded .308 and 30/06. my uncle has reloaded 7mm mag with no problems..

did the press come with a powder measure??

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Old 01-19-2012, 04:17 AM   #9
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I got a scale with it... What does a powder measure look like? (I know very little about reloading as of now)

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Old 01-19-2012, 04:17 AM   #10
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Before buying anything else, go over to Amazon, get a used copy (2011 version is fine) of The ABCs of Reloading. Read it before you buy.

Lee Precision website has some good info. You can also pick up some items (dies) fairly cheaply on Ebay (yeah, I hate it too, BUT...)

powdermeasure.jpg
Powder measure

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