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Old June 9, 2000, 12:10 PM   #1
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Join Date: August 21, 1999
Location: Ashland City, TN
Posts: 779
My wife, after much deliberation, bought for me the RCBS Rock Chucker Master Reloading Kit. I will give you the exact contents, and I'd like to know....

1. What I must have besides actual bullet components to get going.

2. What I may like to get to make this process easier.

I will not be in mass production here, so I think a single stage was the way to go for multiple reasons. It requires greater attention to detail, and I think it seems this would be the best way for a new person to get started.

The kit includes:
1. Rock Chucker Press
2. 505 scale
3. Speer reloading manual #13
4. Uniflow Powder measure
5. Manual trim Pro kit
6. Deburring tool
7. Case loading block
8. Primer tray-2
9. Auto primer feed Combo
10. Powder funnel
11. Case lube kit
12. fold-up hex key set.

I have a set of calipers, and the Winchester reloading manual.

I see several different styles of dies offered, I want a quality set because as most will probably agree that it is in the dies that the whole thing comes together. I want a set to do the job right.

I only plan to run a low production level of .308 Winchester at this time. It will all be fed into a box fed bolt action rifle. (This seems to be of importance and I don't know why?)

Can a 2 die set get "everything a case needs done", or do I have to buy a separate die for full length sizing? I have been told that you can get away with neck sizing only for about 3 reloads then you must full-length size. WHO MAKES A COMPLETE SET THAT WILL DO IT ALL? And fit my RCBS press.

Wifey ordered it all UPS ground so I figure I've got about a week till it gets here.

I will be loading in Winchester Brass, using WLR primers and the Winchester PP bullet. I will use this along with a Winchester powder to learn, then I will work up to doing interesting and different loads. I have a buddy who can get me Winchester components at a discount rate, therefore the exclusive use of Winchester components.

Thanks in advance for the help, this is a world I am looking forward to diving into.

Also living in an apartment, will the MIDWAY USA portable stand suffice for my low-production center?

I thought I'd seen it all, until a 22WMR spun a bunny 2 1/4 times in the air!
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Old June 9, 2000, 12:28 PM   #2
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Join Date: October 2, 1999
Location: AZ
Posts: 1,759
Just a couple of things to make life better;
1-lee or RCBS auto prime.You will find these are better then the press mounted primer systm and a lot faster.
2-lee dies work as wll as anything on the market.I have many thausand rds with them.
3-case lube.Hornady make a case lube in a little tub that works the best of evething I have found.I have used many others and allways come back to it.
4-I full length resize all the time.The two die set is all you need.
If you have any questions feel free to email me direct.Hope this helped.

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and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men
every day who don't know anything and can't read.
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Old June 9, 2000, 12:39 PM   #3
Jeff, CA
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A powder scale.
Marker & labels to label your loads.
Spiral-bound notebook or equal for record keeping.
Cartridge boxes better than the cardboard ones.
A chronograph.

Edit: As for the bench, do you have a desk, or some sort of work table (other than the kitchen table)? I have all my bench-mounted tools mounted on 2x4's about 2' long. I clamp the 2x4's to a $99 work table (from Office Depot) with 2 8" C-clamps. Works pretty well, and I can put everything away and use the table for other things.

[This message has been edited by Jeff, CA (edited June 09, 2000).]
Old June 9, 2000, 01:44 PM   #4
Join Date: January 25, 2000
Posts: 92
Whatever you do, hang on to that wife!:-)

ahlan wa sahlan
PCV Yemen 1984-86
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Old June 9, 2000, 02:03 PM   #5
Stephen Ewing
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Join Date: February 26, 2000
Posts: 329
Take a pass on the Lee priming tool, and go for the RCBS. I'll repeat the "all the manuals you can carry" advice.

Also, take a look at the "Real Cost of Presses" thread by the wise Munir, who just demonstrated a magnificent grasp of the important things in life.

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Old June 9, 2000, 05:47 PM   #6
Bud Helms
Join Date: December 31, 1999
Location: Middle Georgia
Posts: 13,155
What Munir said!
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Old June 9, 2000, 09:17 PM   #7
Jay Baker
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Join Date: March 26, 2000
Location: S.W. Idaho
Posts: 1,294
Unless I missed it in your list, a powder trickler for sure! At least one more manual. Hornady, Sierra or Nosler.

I'd add at least one more 60 round case block. Nice to be able to separate loaded rounds from unloaded.

Make sure that where you set your press and scales, you have good light over them.

Always use safety glasses when reloading!

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Old June 9, 2000, 11:32 PM   #8
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Join Date: January 12, 1999
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,004
Two options on die sets-

1) Buy Redding's 3 die set ($47 at Midway) that includes a FL sizer, neck sizer and seating die.

2) Buy a standard 2 die set (I prefer Redding or RCBS) and RCBS' Precision Mic in .308. Really no need to FL size brass in a bolt action every time. Overworks the brass which decreases lifespan.
With the Pecision Mic you can set the headspace with your FL die so that your only pushing the shoulder back 0.002" - 0.003", all that the brass needs to function in that 1 rifle.

Option 2 is my recommendation.

The OAL of your loaded rounds are limited by the "box" mag, ie they cannot be longer than the box or they won't fit.

A handy item I use (but not necessary) is Stoney Point's bullet comparator. This gizmo allows you to measure the exact distance to the lands with any style bullet. It gives you the OAL from the brass casehead to the bullet ogive (not the total OAL). This will set you back about $21 and consists of the comparator, .30 cal insert and oal modified case.

Definitely buy at least 1 add'l loading manual, Speer, Sierra...

HTH and good luck.
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Old June 10, 2000, 01:45 PM   #9
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Join Date: June 9, 2000
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by munir:
Whatever you do, hang on to that wife!:-)

Does she have a sister?

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Old June 10, 2000, 07:24 PM   #10
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,126
DOCSpanky: Most any new or good used (without scratches in the sizing die) two-die set will do just fine for rifles. I have dies from just about every manufacturer in the US; some of them are over 50 years old.

I neck-size with my full-length die. I just back off a few turns, so the case doesn't go all the way into the die. Generally, I just size about 1/2 to 2/3 of the neck. It doesn't seem to matter; it's enough to hold a .30-'06 bullet in place.

As long as the case goes into the chamber okay, you don't need to full-length resize.

Those who shoot .308 from semi-autos often buy "small base" dies, and full length resize every time. This provides more reliable chambering. It is not an issue in a bolt-action rifle.

Hope this helps, Art
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