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Newbie Qs: Pacifica Power C Single Stage

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by otisrush, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. otisrush

    otisrush Well-Known Member

    I inherited a Pacifica Power C single stage reloading press from my dad. I have to dust off brain cells from when I was younger, but my guess is he got it in the late 70s. I just got a 9mm - a caliber we didn't shoot when I was a kid. With the way I'm chewing up ammo I'm considering doing some reloading.

    * Shell holder. Will it be tough to find a shell holder for this press? I thought I read someplace that Pacifica was bought by someone - RCBS? Will RCBS shell holders work in this press?

    * Speed. With a single stage like this how long, on average, does it take to whip out 50 rnds? Given I've got a press (and hopefully I can still use it), powder measure, etc.) I'm thinking I can get a setup going for basically the price of the consumables (have to buy dies, of course), but I'm wondering if it'll be worth the time required to load up 50 rnds vs. paying $0.22/rnd at Wal-Mart.


  2. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    OR -
    Welcome to THR and Welcome to reloading !!

    Do you mean "Pacific" ? They were bought by Hornady and their stuff always was top drawer. By 1970 or so, things in reloading were fairly well standardized. Shell holders don't all use the same numbering system, but they are interchangeable as far as fit. So I'm betting an RCBS or Lee shell holder will fit right into your press. Here's a link to the Cross Reference Chart.

    Even though 9mm is cheap, you can reload it for about $4/50, which is a better price than you can get anywhere. And don't forget, you'll be tuning your ammo to your gun so not only will it be inexpensive and plentiful, but it will be the most accurate ammo you've ever shot! Accuracy is the main reason most people reload.

    You can usually whip out 50 rounds in less than 2 hours. That's not great, but it is a lot of fun and it's "shooting" you can do when it's raining or other foul weather. Not sure where you live, but foul weather is upon us.

    Best to start with reading the "stickies" at the top of this forum page, then reading a book like "The ABC's of Reloading" (possibly from the library), or maybe even several of the "how to" sections in your dad's old reloading books. The process hasn't changed since 1970. What has changed is the powders, so eventually you'd need a new manual too. May I suggest the Lyman #49 for about $28.

    How else can we help?
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  3. otisrush

    otisrush Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much for the info. Yes - Pacific. :)

    I recently bought a Hi Power (my first 9mm) and also have a 15 year old son. Those two things coming together mean that we're chewing through ammo. :) Dropping $20-40 / trip to the range is a little hard to swallow - so I'm trying to see if I should venture into dusting off the reloading gear and dusting off my knowledge. (My dad and I never reloaded pistol/rifle together - he did that on his own. However he and I reloaded 1000s and 1000s of shotgun shells together. We used to shoot trap quasi-competitively.) So I have some general reloading history. Improving my accuracy with hand loaded rounds would be really cool.

    Thanks for the info. I'll absolutely make sure I'm dealing with modern info given the current-day powders. There is powder sitting in his basement that is probably 30 years old. I presume that should not be used and should be destroyed. True? If so - any recommendations on the best way to destroy it? (Even if it's ok to use - I have powder that must be destroyed - so I'd like to know how to do that no matter what. Don't ask me why - but he put some powder in containers that are not well marked - so I can't be totally sure what it is.)


  4. JimKirk

    JimKirk Well-Known Member

    Powder that has been kept in a sealed container will last a long time.... I have some from the late fifties/early sixties that shoots just as well to day as it did when I start reloading. Always check for off color and different smells. As for disposing powder ...pour it out to the yard plants ...watch them turn green!!

    Jimmy K
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Step 1, get the book. Lyman is good, additional load data is available in free literature or on the websites of the powder companies.

    Step 2, tool up.

    It is little remembered now but the old Pacific Tool Company introduced a lot of things we take for granted or credit to other companies. Specifically, they were the first with the T-slot interchangeable shellholder and 7/8"x14 threaded dies. Other makes followed along. So a 1970s Pacific press will take standard accessories.

    30 year old powder can be quite usable. Black or dark gray coloration and a smell of ether, alcohol, or acetone, or no smell at all are normal. Red dust, red fumes, acidic smell, and rusty cans are signs of deterioration and such powder should not be used.
  6. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    Pacific equipment is good stuff as others have said.

    If the powder is not stored in the original container, I would destroy it. If you are not confident the powder in the container matches the label, I would destroy it. The wrong powder used in a particular cartridge could really ruin your day.

    Yes, powder is good fertilizer. Scatter it on your grass/garden to dispose of it.

    On a single stage press, I do things in batches--resize all the brass then expand all the brass and so forth. I use a tumbler for cleaning.

    I generally prepare and clean brass shortly have shooting it and then store it away for a future loading session. It keeps the resize/clean steps at manageable levels and usually does not take very long. Resizing/cleaning is not difficult, it is just tedious with large quantities of brass in my world.

    When I load the brass, I can process about 100 rounds in the first hour. The rates go up a bit if I load a little longer. Again, it is done in batches. Prime all the cases, charge all the cases then seat bullets.

    Find the process that works for you. Enjoy your new High Power.
  7. Rollis R. Karvellis

    Rollis R. Karvellis Well-Known Member

    After the initial cost for gearing up, you will find you are still spending atlest the same if not more. The benefit is you will be shooting a lot more. Do a good inventory of your father's stuff, toss out any questionable powder, or any primers that are not marked. Enjoy the deseis.

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