November 18, 2007, 09:24 PM
Hi all, new to the site and new to reloading. Have been spending a lot of time reading through the threads (what I understand at this point, anyway) and wanted to thank everybody for their willingness to share their knowledge and experience.

My father did all his reloading before I was old enough to learn. When he retired, he passed all his equipment and leftover brass and bullets to me. I have kept them for several years and am now ready to commit to reloading as a hobby. I am a competitive highpower and clays shooter. I just have a couple questions to get me started.

1. He reloaded everything from 38 and 9mm to 7 mm and .348 on a RCBS Jr press. Does anyone know anthing about this particular press? Does RCBS still make it? It seems that I have all the necessary components and the equipment doesn't look too bad aside from a little rust here and there. The reloading guide in the box was copyrighted 1975...just wondering if anyone has any expereince with this press.

2. I want to heed all the advice I've seen on getting a manual and reading it cover to cover. All of the manuals he gave me are volumes I or II. Has enough changed in reloading that I ought to invest in a more recent edition?

3. Primers - if the primers are circa 1970 as well, should I be worried about their stability. They have been stored well...I just didn't know if it is wise to try and use them. If not, how do you dispose of them?

I guess that's it for now. Any advice, comments, etc are welcome. Thanks again for all the info...I'm sure I'll be back with more questions as I learn more.


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Ol` Joe
November 18, 2007, 09:32 PM
I still do some loading on a old RCBS Jr of my dads. I don`t know exactly when it was purchased, but it works as well today as when I was useing it as a teen (late 60s). RCBS still should have some parts for them if needed, I got mine minus the primer catching tray when my dad quit shooting, and they replaced it for free when I called and explained how it came up shy. They are a great little press and should still be making ammo for your kids.

BTW new data is definatly recommended, go to the powder companies web sites for a free source and buy a manual from the company that makes the bullet you plan on useing if possible. Old data may be OK, but it has changed in a lot of cases and might be "iffy".

November 18, 2007, 11:58 PM
Hey There, His advice is good as gold. You will need updated load info. Some has stayed the same but much has changed.
That press will serve you for many years and you will learn to love it. A few drops of oil every now and then and she will always work. RCBS is one of the best. I have 2 . The Rock chucker and the Pistol crafter. Both are fine presses.
As for those primers. Well 70s May be pushing it . But If for handuns they may work, rifles I might be more careful. You may be able to call the Maker and ask them what they think. And how you should kill them if they are questionable. Best advice I can give has been given. Get a good book or two and live by it. Have fun.:)

lil ski
November 19, 2007, 05:41 AM
I have a Jr also and it has been serving me well for 20 years (I got it used). About the primers some times old primers are more trouble than they are worth. Primers are still the cheapest part of the loaded shell. I would get some new ones just for a warm fuzzy that they are going to go bang when you pull the triger.

November 19, 2007, 07:22 AM
I have a Jr. also and it serves well.........Creeker

November 19, 2007, 07:44 AM
I use a Jr. a lot. Simple, rugged, reliable. Just not speedy although once you get familiar with reloading and establish an efficient process you will be surprised how many rounds you can kick out in an hour.

November 19, 2007, 01:27 PM
I have two Juniors that I no longer use but I would never sell them.
As for the primers, I would at least try them if they looked good.

November 19, 2007, 01:40 PM
I bought a Jr new in 1974 when I started reloading, and still use it all the time. I dought you'll have any problems with it.

If the primers were kept in a cool dry place, like an old ammo can in the basement, they're probably OK. I also think it would be best to get new ones, as it's pretty aggravating when they don't BANG. Get some new reloading recipes, the Hodgdon Annual can be had for around $10, and is a good place to start.

Good Luck!

Jim Watson
November 19, 2007, 01:56 PM
Don't worry about parts, there is not much to wear out on a good press.
30 year old primers are likely fine if kept in an area comfortable to the owner.

Ol Joe is right about the loading data. There are more powders available now and some of the old ones are not what they used to be. And the combination of more precise testing and company lawyers have made the authors more cautious.

November 19, 2007, 02:03 PM
Don't use the old primers for your self-defense carry ammo, or for a once-in-a-lifetime hunting trip, but they should be fine for just about everything else. The worst case scenario is that you get to practice your misfire drills. (maybe load a dozen of them just to make sure before you go crazy and load 500, just in case they are bad :))

November 19, 2007, 04:25 PM
I started out on an RCBS Jr and gave it to a friend years ago so he could start reloading too. The Jr is strong and sturdy and will last several lifetimes with proper care and use.
One thing to consider though is it doesn't have or use a compound leverage system so it can require a little more effort when resizing rifle cases. In all I'd say use it and enjoy having something your father passed on to you, it'll serve you well.


November 19, 2007, 10:22 PM
A Junior was my first (and only, for a long time), and I've loaded everything from .380ACP to .375H&H Mag on it. It took some dexterity to seat long bullets on the .375, but it was plenty of leverage for normal sizing. I have never necked down any brass, so I can't comment on that.

November 20, 2007, 07:45 AM
I'm still using a RCBS Junior which I purchased in 1968. I load all my SASS and hunting ammo on it to the tune of about 3000 rounds a year-I know I need a progressive.
As for the primers, if stored properly they should be good enough for practice. If you have a revolver, prime 20 or so and shoot just the primers off in the revolver to see what the reliability is. This will save bullets and powder.

November 20, 2007, 09:32 AM
Had two, gave one away. The give away had been purchased new in box in 1978 by a coworkers husband, been through a hurricane, tornado, and two floods. I needed some serious muscle to get the ram to move, sat unused for 20 years, but with less than 10 minutes effort, and some RemOil, the presswas 100% again, and ready to load.
Mine was made in 1981,(RS version, same thing), passed on to me by an old reloader, and will be passed down to my son when he is ready. It works perfectly.

November 20, 2007, 09:44 AM
"Does anyone know anthing about this particular press? Does RCBS still make it?"

So far as i know they no longer make the Jr. press. Mine has reloaded at least 150,000 rounds in the 35 years i have owned it. Took it apart early in the year, cleaned and lubed it. It is not worn at all.

If you can find a Jr. press in good shape, buy it.

November 20, 2007, 09:59 AM
plenty of leverage for normal sizing
And then some; I can apply enough leverage sitting down to torque my bench top. The linkage can be set up to apply upward pressure on the ram on the up or down stroke of the handle.

November 20, 2007, 11:24 AM
RCBS will take care of any parts you may need - I got several replacement parts at no charge from RCBS.

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