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Old September 22, 2006, 12:30 AM   #1
mgdavis
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Join Date: June 24, 2004
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What do I have, what do I need?

My Grandpa sent me a couple boxes of "stuff" for my birthday. A large part of the contents were reloading gear. I'm pretty much a neophyte when it comes to reloading, and I'm not sure how complete a set-up I got, or even what some of the things are. As near as I can tell there are two RCBS Reloader Special presses, and dies(?) for .338 and 22-250 (could be one other, can't remember at the moment. I've got a scale. The plastic hopper dispenses powder. Past that, I'm clueless. I'd like to load .223 and .38's. What do I need that I don't have? What would be nice to have that I don't? Do I have anything that's useless?
I know the "I'm new to reloading" questions come up all the time, but maybe the pictures will get you intrested enough to answer.

pic1
pic2
pic3
pic4
pic5
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Old September 22, 2006, 01:05 AM   #2
cpaspr
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Here's my take:

I'll tell you what I see, but you need to know what you're doing before you get started. Have a knowledgable reloader help you, or if you're good with books read, read, read till you are absolutely positive you know what you're doing. Even better is read first, then get guidance.

Okay, here goes:

Pic 5 is the holder for the primer catcher in pic 4 (top right). I'm pretty sure it will fit on the right-hand press, with the slots for the hold down bolts. Not sure if it will work with the beefier press on the left.

Pic 4 also has a powder trickler (top left). I have one, but have never used it. As I understand it, if you are loading up serious match loads (usually rifle), you would use the powder measure to get real close to your desired amount of powder in the pan (gold colored, pic 3, goes on the scale-more about that later). You put the pan on the scale, with your desired weight pre-set, then with the trickler hanging over the scale pan just turn the knob on the trickler to drop one granule of powder at a time into the pan till you have your exact weight. Then dump that powder into the shell, and begin again for the next shell.

Continuing with Pic 4. Not sure what the item middle right is, nor the bottom right piece of metal, can't help you there. Bottom right, second in, is a drop tube for the powder measure. You have two cylinders, one large (rifle) one small (pistol) which each use a drop tube to allow the powder to fill when you turn the handle-lower left pic 3 (which screws on the side of the cylinder). Then when you run the handle the other direction, it rotates the cylinder, sealing off the tube from the measure reservoir and dumping the powder out the bottom, where you either have the gold pan or a shell tightly held to prevent the powder flying all over.

Pic 4, bottom left appears to be a shell holder, size unknown, which slips into the top of the ram of either press. For what calibers that particular shell holder is used, check the number stamped on the holder and compare to the chart available at www.rcbs.com. Sorry, their site is down right now, or I'd give you the exact link to the chart. Just search their site for "shell holder". Next to that, if I can read the package correctly, is a primer seating attachment. Used one for years, works fine, but now I have a Lee autoprime, so I'll probably retire the press mounted one.

Pic 3, starting at lower right. Two holed metal plate is to mount the powder measure overhanging the edge of your bench so you can get the shell or pan under it to drop powder. Next to it is said powder measure, with the handle to the left. Above the handle is the spare cylinder. Next to the spare cylinder is the mounting hardware for attaching the powder measure to it's metal plate, along with the rest of the parts for the powder measure. Below the handle is another primer seating attachement, I think. At the top of the picture is a scale. Darn accurate, just make sure you set everything to zero, and rotate the dial under the left end till the beam balances at zero. Then you can set your desired weight and begin measuring powder.

Analysis: You've got most everything you need in general equipment. If you will be reloading rifle ammo, which I recall you said you would, you'll need a lube kit, fairly cheap to pick up. Cases will get stuck in the dies if you don't use one. You'll need dies for your specific caliber(s), and shell holders for your specific calibers, if you don't already have the right ones. You might need a case trimmer, or you might not. A tumbler would be nice later, for cleaning brass up, but isn't a necessity. I still don't have one, but maybe next month (I started reloading years ago, then stopped (okay, I hadn't shot up what I had previously loaded), restarted recently with pistol ammo).

Pic 2, well, those are your two presses. I have two that are very similar to the one on the right.

No, nothing useless, unless you have dies you will never use. If you are going to reload for pistols, and need to buy dies, make sure you get carbide sizing dies. They will let you bypass the lube pad. Quicker, cleaner.

Okay, I'm done. Good luck, and have fun. Go slow, learn, you'll get addicted.
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Old September 22, 2006, 06:16 PM   #3
mgdavis
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Thanks. That's just what I needed to know. I did get a stamp pad for lube in one of the boxes, but I didn't realize what it was for and left it at my parents house. I'll have to go see if I can find it. I do have a couple old books also, but I definitly need an updated load book and the ABC's of reloading. Do I need a case trimmer for .223 loads for an AR-15? Anybody have a clue about the mystery pieces in pic4? This weekend I might take a couple more pictures if I find time to drag everything out.
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Old September 22, 2006, 06:40 PM   #4
Barr
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Pic 4 looks like a powder trickler, base stand components for powder dispenser?, and a piece of a die set. Probably 1/2 charging die.
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Old September 22, 2006, 10:51 PM   #5
mgdavis
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1/2 Charging Die? What is a charging die? Which half is that?
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