How much has changed from the 70's?

This is a discussion on How much has changed from the 70's? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; My grandfather, and father used to reload many moons ago...Since my grandfather passed away about 10 years ago my dad has not reloaded at all. ...

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Thread: How much has changed from the 70's?

  1. #1
    Member Array FearSheeple's Avatar
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    How much has changed from the 70's?

    My grandfather, and father used to reload many moons ago...Since my grandfather passed away about 10 years ago my dad has not reloaded at all. We kept almost all of my grandfathers reloading equipment, and I just came across all of it today since I'm considering getting into reloading.

    He has probably 10 different die sets for many different calibers, .38, .357, 30-30, .30-06, .300 winchester, and a few others I haven't even heard of (some awesome looking .22 caliber casing that's about as big as a .300 winchester!)

    It's a single stage RCBS press (my guess would be it was purchased in the early 1970's), with all RCBS dies, powder measure, and many other parts (scale etc) Basically everything I'd need to start reloading except primers and bullets (lots of .300 bullets)

    Is the old RCBS powder measure system going to be sufficient? Or would I be safer getting something new?

    I have not looked into RCBS presses (new) much at all, mostly dillon, lee, and hornady. Will any dies work on this old RCBS press? I'm interested in reloading .40 S&W to start, since that is/will be my EDC weapon I want to practice as much as possible with it.

    All of the RCBS dies are 2 or 3 die sets, I guess I'm used to seeing 4 die sets with the progressives...is that because the progressive die sets have their own powder measure?

    I know progressive dies use a shell plate. I didn't investigate thoroughly but are the single stage's supposed to have a shell plate as well? I didn't see one but then again I don't know exactly what I"m looking for.

    ETA: I forgot to mention...there is also a 4lb 'keg' of powder. What're the chances that this is still good? It's probably from the 80's, it has no date on it that I could see, it's sealed like new, but it's a cardboard cylinder not plastic or glass. it's been stored in a dry basement, are there ways to test it? or just throw it out(how do you dispose of powder...other than the fun ways :))
    Last edited by FearSheeple; April 13th, 2008 at 03:22 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    Everything should work just fine.
    There is no shell plate, just a shell "holder" that fits into the top of the press that is case specific.
    Like the shell plate on a progressive, a shell holder will usually work for more than one case, dependent on the size of the base.

    The progressives have a die that the poder measure sits upon and the powder passes through it. Single stages dont have that.

    All dies will work with the RCBS as long as the thread is the standard 7/8-14 threads per inch.

    That awesome looking .22 case that is as big as a .300 is probably a .220 Swift if I was guessing.
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  4. #3
    Member Array FearSheeple's Avatar
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    .220 swift that'd be it :) Found the dies for it too...never seen it before, hell of a lot of powder for a small bullet!

    Thanks Hot Guns!

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    Senior Member Array ridurall's Avatar
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    I've got powder and primers from the early 1980s and they still are as accurate as they ever were. I've kept it stored in a very large sealed ammo cans. My largest keg is an 8lb keg of 4350. That along with about 25 lbs of other powder I'm not afraid to use. Although they do have some better types now that work in more varied temperatures. Ie Varget and the new IMR 4350.
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    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    I just recently used up some UNIQUE that I had bought before I was married in 1976, I still have some small pistol primers from back then that I occasionally use, simple rule is if it was stored in a cool dry location the stuff keeps for a very long time.
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    Hey fearsheeple, sounds like you're good to go. That's the same set-up I acquired in the 70's that I'm still using and which works as good as ever.

    What kind of powder is the keg?

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    Senior Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    If the powder was store correctly it should be good to go. I am still shooting some WW2 surplus 4831 I bought back in the 1950's for way under a dollar a pound.

    Nothing much has changed over the years. The procedure is still the same for reloading. There have been improvements in equipment and quite a bit of progress in bullet design, powders have been cleaned up somewhat and carbide dies have really helped. That is about all.

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    Member Array Wolf357's Avatar
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    The one major change since the 70s is: PRICES
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Wolf---I have to disagree on the PRICES a bit.

    30 to 50 years ago we made far less money per hour and the cost of shooting could be just as prohibative then as it is now.

    I can remember as a kid buying .22 shorts for a penny each and only making 35 cents an hour.

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