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Old February 21, 2007, 09:07 PM   #1
newguy07
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some older equipment still good

Looking to get into reloading and a family friend tonight showed me an old RCBS press and set up he has. He last used this thing back in 1994-95 or so. After looking at the RCBS website Im guessing its the partner press. He also has RCBS 3 set dies for 357/38 and others which is what I am looking for. Anyone know anything about these dies or this press. He doesnt have the instruction book for the press but does for the dies. He thinkg the dies are carbide but he is not sure. Any ideas. He also has 2 or 3 different kinds of powder and a couple of packages or primers that he has had stored since 94-95. Would these still be ok to use or should they be discarded and new bought? Finally the reloading manual is the lyman 47th edition from about the same time frame. Is this info still good? Thaks
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Old February 21, 2007, 09:27 PM   #2
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New guy,
It is all great stuff if it is mechanically sound. I started out with 38/357. You, in my opinion, need an auto-prime tool, and then you will be set. If you look at a post I put up earlier, you can see that used stuff is a great bargain sometimes. Best -
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Old February 21, 2007, 09:56 PM   #3
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The powder and primers are likely OK if he never mixed the powders in any way. when in doubt, throw it out. You can tell if the dies are carbide in a few different ways. The new RCBS carbide dies come in a grey box. If the box is green, check the resizing die. It usually says #1, size, or resize on it. If it says "Carbide" or "Carbo", then you know. One last way is to look at where the case goes into the die. If there is a circle of different looking metal around the entrance hole, it probably has a carbide insert. If the metal all looks the same, it's probably all steel and may require lube. You can get any instruction books from RCBS. Browse their website for an electronic copy or use their contact form. They always provide top notch customer service.
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Old February 21, 2007, 10:02 PM   #4
newguy07
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green box, top says 357 mag RCBS size #1 and then there is a 73. Any idea if this is carbide or if it needs lube? No none of the powders have been mixed. All three are in original containers. Likewise with the primers
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Old February 21, 2007, 10:05 PM   #5
newguy07
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There is some sore of primint tool set up on the press as well. It has a seat for the primer to sit and then it appears you push down on a lever to push the primer in place? He also has some bullets that the box is labeled 38 caliber 357 diameter. Does that mean these can be used to reload 38s or 357s? Sorry not sure if the bullet is the same for each or not.
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Old February 21, 2007, 11:23 PM   #6
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The 38 and 357 use the same dia. bullets you can use them in either 38 or 357. THe only difference in the cartridge is the 357 is .1" longer. the real difference is in the firearm. mostly you will find that 357 ammo will not fit in a 38 the chamber is too short. you can put a 38 into a 357 chamber and people use 38 ammo in their 357 for practice all the time. Older 38 cannot handle the higher pressures generated by the .357 ammo.
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Old February 22, 2007, 08:25 AM   #7
lockedcj7
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I've got that same Lyman book. Read the first several chapters on general reloading technique and most of your questions will be answered. If you call RCBS customer service, they will help you with anything you can imagine and will often send replacement parts at no charge, even if you aren't the original buyer of the product.
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Old February 22, 2007, 11:17 AM   #8
MADISON
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Is older equipment still good?

Go to www.rcbs.com
and download therir parts catalog.
You can find LOTS of older used equipment on
www.ebay.com
under reloading
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Old February 22, 2007, 05:24 PM   #9
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In 1960 I purchased a Pacific single stage press (forerunner of the Hornady line). It is still loading all my bolt action rifle bottleneck cartridges. In additon I still have the Pacific Manual, and other than lots of obsolete powders, the loads are still valid today.

I hate to hazard a guess as to how many cartridges I have loaded on that press, but it is probably will over 40,000.
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Old February 22, 2007, 05:33 PM   #10
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Define "older". I purchased my RCBS 4x4 in 1986, it replaced my 1975 RCBS
JR press, one shooting buddy is still happily reloading on his 1976 vintage Lyman Turret Press, and if I ever start reloading the .300 H&H Magnum my
Lyman 310 Tool that I bought over 30 years ago-and probably dates from the
1950s-will do just nicely. Most of my reloading dies date from the 1970s, the only ones I would consider "obsolete" are the older pre-carbide pistol resizing dies. The reloading equipment companies have been very good about adhering to industry wide standards-no odd sized threaded dies though I vaguely recall Lyman did have its own proprietary thread size years ago, the Lyman 310 Tool uses its own thread size. My die collection is a mix of Lyman, RCBS, Lee, Hornady, Redding and my first die set was a "Bear"-don't think they're in business any more.

Last edited by SIGSHR; February 22, 2007 at 10:00 PM.
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Old February 22, 2007, 06:42 PM   #11
newguy07
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Any way to tell from the info I provided above if these are carbide dies or not?
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Old February 22, 2007, 06:59 PM   #12
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I'm still using some reloading tools I bought in 1966.
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Old February 22, 2007, 07:07 PM   #13
Rico567
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Single-stage presses are an instance where there's nothing to make them go obsolete. If the press was made after the invention of standardized 7/8 x 14 dies and shellholders, it's still just as useful as when it was made.
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Old February 22, 2007, 07:26 PM   #14
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I use my RCBS Big Max press I bought in the 1980's, the 1st year it was introduced. It will Never wear out. RCBS is GOOD stuff..............hpg
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Old February 22, 2007, 08:52 PM   #15
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I use an RCBS jr that is around 30 years old. Works great, just sometimes wish I had two of them.
Looked at the progresive, but to me, priming, charging and bullet seating is not near the work of preping the brass, so thats where I am focusing on time savings.
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Old February 22, 2007, 09:59 PM   #16
SIGSHR
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Carbide dies have an insert-a ring, actually-that fits in the base of the die.
You should be able to see it, on several of mine the carbide ring is noticeablely lighter, plus you can see the seam.
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Old February 22, 2007, 10:30 PM   #17
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My Lyman single stage press sits next to my Dillon. I bought it in the early 50s.

Pops
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Old February 27, 2007, 06:28 AM   #18
Dogjaw
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If 1994 is old, I'm ancient, and so is my Dillon 1986 RL550B . I see no reason my press and dies won't last another 30 years.
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Old February 27, 2007, 07:36 AM   #19
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I got my press in the early 60s, and it was used then, so I wouldn't worry too much about one built in the 90s. With any kind of decent care presses and dies last virtually forever.
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