Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by stoney1666, Jun 12, 2019.
Check reloading sale forum
Get an older used RCBS jr or Rockchucker $70 will get you done, RCBS will replace any worn parts for free mate. I bought my1973 press, they hooked me up.
Just buy the Lee Classic Cast. The difference in price between the Challenger and the LCC on sale is minimal considering what you probably spend on other discretionary stuff each month.
And forget about the breech lock version. It's much stronger without the interrupted threads.
You perform each step in batches. A few extra seconds to change a die doesn't make any difference.
The older RCBS ( RS and JR) are about as good as it gets
There are three guys with in an hour os so of Seattle that deal in used reloading stuff. The one in Olmpia has about twenty used single stage presses. He had a Hornady Lock n Load single stage that I was thinking of buying.
He might have the press you want and he ships. He hss tons of reloading equipment.
A JR2 or JR3 press would be a very good choice if you can pick one up in superior condition for $50.00 or less.
All cast iron with excellent leverage despite being of the single toggle type.
I resize .30-30, .44 magnum and .357 magnum brass on mine easily.
Compared to my Redding Big Boss II it's the difference between easy and almost effortless.
Also, RCBS still has parts, I believe. I got a new JR ram (that I damaged, my fault) at no cost from them about a year ago.
I bought it new in 1973 when I was nineteen. Still in near-new functioning condition with a few scrapes and dings at 46 years old. It will outlive me.
I don't necessarily agree. My first press was a RCBS Reloader Special 3 (RS3.) It's a big enough press to get the job done, but it does not like big brass like .30-06 and, for example, .348WCF... the leverage just isn't there. .30-30, .223, .45-70... stuff like that, sure, it's fine, but when you go to bigger brass or, in my case with .308 and .30-06... brass that's been fired in an autoloader... no. I'm surprised I haven't broken the linkage pins (my press is 30+ years old,) but I gave up and bought another, bigger, O-frame press some years ago. Yes, I still use my RS3 press... it's parked right next to my ProJector... but all my rifle resizing gets done on the Rock Chucker in the garage. The difference is marked.
I find it hard to believe that a JR press would not size standard rifle cartridges like the .30-06 or the .308 effectively.
.30-06, .270, .308, .303 British, 8 mm Mauser, and really anything in the standard rifle cartridge class should work just fine.
Likewise with the C presses of the 50s, 60s and 70s.
These were the bread and butter cartridges that people bought these presses for, and the cartridges that RCBS designed the JR press for. The changeover to the O press was because C presses tended to flex with rifle case resizing.
Sizing .303 British is not difficult at all, so I really can't see why .30-06 would really be more difficult.
Certainly a compound leverage press would be easier though.
I own a Redding Big Boss II which is superior to the much older Rock Chucker design, but I got by without it for many years when the JR3 was my only press.
I never felt handicapped.
Indeed. One of my axioms is 'let the tool do the work' vs trying to muscle everything. Yes, my RS3 press will size .30-06 brass, but it is far easier with first my Hornady 007, and now my RockChucker... because of the leverage. If it's easier on me, that means it's easier on the press, too, and the cost of a better press for the job is minimal.
I do my brass sizing in lots. Typically I will size 500 .30-06 cases in a session... it was a beating with the RS3 press, it's just a process with the RC.
Just to share an experience, I was having problems sizing 308 brass fired in my bolt guns using the mid size press.
Once I started examining the situation a bit closer I discovered that the Die was under sizing the body way too much .008 iirc
My solution was to select a Die that matched my chamber only reducing the body about .0015
Problem solved and resizing is now smooth as butter.
This is a Wilson FL bushing type die, imo close to a custom Die as possible without the time and expense.
I started out on Jr Press back in the 70's. They have a very limited mechanical advantage, so doing larger calibers require the use of a Very Good Lube. I sized 308 and 7mm Mag on mine, but I had to apply lube several times in order to size them if the force was too great.
500 rifle cases on a single stage? I've never sized that many cases at once in any cartridge.
I've got about 1500 5.56mm cases setting next to the press to size right now.
When I load .41 Magnum or .45ACP, it's usually in 500rd lots, although I do that on the progressive, of course.
Rather than focusing on price, I suggest focusing on durability, longevity and manufacturer's support. The difference in current price between an RCBS RockChucker and a Lee Challenger comes down to pennies per year over its anticipated life. The difference is that RCBS will be there for you 40 years down the road when you need replacement or repair parts.
I wouldn't count on that 100%. In hindsight we know that this has been historically true. But 40 years into an uncertain and rapidly changing future, who knows what changes will occur?
But we do know that as far as we can tell companies like RCBS and Redding will stand by their products for as long as possible.
The Lee classic cast (not breachlock) is usually considered the best bang for buck. If I were in the market for a new O ring press it is what I would buy! I own a RCBS Rock Chucker and it is a great press, does everything Ineed it to do but I would have bought the classic cast if I hadn't picked up the Rockchucker for $50.
If your sole consideration is to get the most for the least, then the Lee Classic Cast is a fine choice. I am sure that it is comparable in strength and durability with it's competitors including the older Rock Chucker and the more modern Redding Big Boss II.
However, the LCC comes with a tubular steel handle with a wooden ball compared to the solid steel handles with heavy duty polymer ball grips of the other two.
Of them all I prefer and bought the Redding.
I addressed that with a solid steel Ergo handle from Inline Fabrication when I picked up the Ultramount for it...along with their Case Ejection system
I still have my first RCBS press. It's resting now. A second hand RCBS II does the resizing etc.today Every one of these topics it brings on an inventory of stuff in the Skunk Works. It necessary to strain to remember what was bought new. I've gotten some kick butt deals in pawn shops buying boxes of reloading stuff. Most of these guys are glad to see anybody that's interested. So far as I'm concerned any of the presses will do exactly what it's designed to do. Better to buy it second hand. Good luck on your reloading.
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