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Old November 14, 2005, 09:06 PM   #1
drvector
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Old Pacific single stage press

Greetings All,

…Looking for a little advice, I was all set to purchase an RCBS RockChucker Supreme kit. No kidding, I was two days away from punching the button on this! I’ve got a bunch of Cabelas points all saved up and with the latest catalog that had an additional $25 coupon I was all set to go. It wouldn’t have cost me a penny for the kit. Now one of my buddies comes along and “throws the wrench” in the works by hooking me up with an old single stage Pacific single stage press (Hornady bought them out 35 years ago) and Redding balance beam scale for free.

So the long and the short of it is, do any of you know anything about either of these two pieces of equipment. The Pacific press is a “C” style cast iron press that has seen some action, but appears to be in working condition. I don’t have any dies or shell holders, so I haven’t been able to check whether there are any alignment issues. For that matter, I’m not sure if shell holders are a universal item that can be swapped from one press manufacturer to another or if they are still available for this press.

Then there is the redding scale…the RockChucker kit comes with a RCBS 505 scale. Are these comparable? The scale appears to be in good shape and I've heard that Redding equipment has a great reputation, but I’ve not yet checked the scale with calibrated weights (I’d have to buy a set of those). So what you folks think? Should I hang it there with the original plan and pick up the RCBS stuff, or build on the press and scale I lucked out on - any pros or cons?

Thanks
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Last edited by drvector; November 14, 2005 at 09:43 PM.
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Old November 14, 2005, 09:54 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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Pacific led the way to standardization on 7/8x14 threaded dies so you are almost certainly safe there.
They also introduced the T-slot interchangeable shellholder, so there is a good chance it will take current manufacture shellholder heads. However, they also kept on making the old style press with caliber specific shellholder cut in the top of the ram itself for a good while. You will just have to take a close look at it, preferably with a shellholder in hand to try.

The Redding scale is probably fine unless bent or the knife edges dulled. If it is not magnetically damped, you will have to learn how to use it. If it has an oil damper that is probably best left empty and treat it as undamped.

If they check out, then free is good. IF you want to put the effort into checking them out. No problem on the press, you have to have dies and shellholder anyhow. Just try them to see if they fit the old press. The scales will take some close examination.
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Old November 16, 2005, 10:39 AM   #3
MADISON
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Old Pacific "C" press

The old Pacific press sounds like a good deal.
You will have to purchase/buy all the things in the RCBS Acessory Pack to complete your equipment.
Hornady ownes Pacific so phone or e-mail them about parts.
I have found that Hornady dies are cheaper, IN PRICE, but just as good quality wise as other manufacturer's expensive dies.
You will probablly, in the future, get a Rock Chucker press.

Last edited by MADISON; November 16, 2005 at 04:23 PM.
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Old December 9, 2005, 10:30 PM   #4
jsflagstad
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I grew Up With an Old Pacific Press

It was about 1975, I was 4 years old, and I remember my dad and my uncle getting this neat looking red thing from my grandpa for Christmas. I had no Idea what that thing was, but my dad soon showed me. My brothers and my dad and I spent many ours handloading for a special little wildcat in our arsenal.

Here it is 30 years later, and that little press is still pumping out handloads. We use it for a lot of different calibers now, as it seems to work great for setting up dies. It sits on a bench right next to a newer Dillion progressive press. They both get used, as they both have their purpose in our system.

The Pacific is a great little press, very handy to have around.

JSF
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Old December 10, 2005, 08:00 PM   #5
Harpman
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It would probly take a big hammer to ruin that old c press, and you can never have to many single stage press's in my book, I have 4 singles, I just leave certain dies setup that I use alot.
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Old December 11, 2005, 11:25 AM   #6
WESHOOT2
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money well spent

$25 Scale Weight Check set; mandatory new or used.
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Old December 25, 2005, 02:19 PM   #7
Paul B.
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It's easy to check out whether the ram takes individual shell holders or is cartridge specific. Look at the right side of the ram at the top. If it takes interchangable shell holders there should be a tiny hex head screw (Allen screw) or possibly a spring clip on later models. Mine is old enough to have that tiny hex head screw.
A quick and dirty way to check the scale's accuracy is try several bullets of different known weights. They may not be totally perfect, but it will show you if the scale is radically off.
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Old December 27, 2005, 09:28 AM   #8
WESHOOT2
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and

Both manufacturers (like so many in the 'gun' business) offer utterly unbelievable warranties; contact them direct (and don't be afraid to use the telephone, and actually talk to the fine folks).
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Old December 27, 2005, 11:03 AM   #9
Leftoverdj
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Quote:
$25 Scale Weight Check set; mandatory new or used.
I didn't get that memo. Didn't even know that anyone could give orders.

CH sells a replacement T slot ram for older presses with cartridge specific rams.
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Old January 1, 2006, 09:32 AM   #10
WESHOOT2
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no memo, putz

Common sense indicates, without a check, scale numbers are arbitrary, ay?

Common sense.
Safety first.
Learning vs know-it-all.
Help vs deriding.
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Old January 1, 2006, 10:52 AM   #11
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Wes, reloading ain't an exact science. Lot-to-lot and gun-to-gun variances are too big to treat it like one. From time to time, I weigh a few factory bullets. If my results are within one percent of nominal weight, and my repeatabilty on a given bullet is within a tenth of a grain either way, I call it good. My check is actually a bit closer than 1% because there is some tolerance in factory bullet weight. I can cross check that by using bullets of several different makers and the same nominal weight.

I don't trust anyone else's data within one percent, and using loads I have worked up myself, in my guns, and with my powder, I need repeatability a lot more than I need absolute adherence to an arbitrary standard.
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