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Old 01-01-2018, 05:38 PM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Western New York
Posts: 606
Default complete newbie

I just inherited a RCBS JR2 . Now I know I need a scale but what else should I get to get started ? There as a 222 die that came with it but nothing else
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Old 01-01-2018, 07:02 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: mcdonough ga
Posts: 147

fun and rewarding hobby you're getting into - I just started back (after 30 yr delay)--press , scales, someway to insert primers , dies , ( I found all mine on ebay ) , most important-- BOOK and everyone has a different opinion on which one .. I only do 3 rifle calibers right now but I like to " crimp" I really call it a squeeze , lube pad , you can make a better and easier lube w/ lanolin and alcohol .. you can find all this on you tube . I would suggest you do that . remember this can be very dangerous so be deliberate and maintain concentration .. have fun
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Old 01-01-2018, 07:24 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Eastern wv
Posts: 3,503

dial calipers, case trimmer, a set of shell holders, the list can be endless
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Old 01-02-2018, 02:26 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: west central wi USA
Posts: 2,227

In addition to the items mentioned, I'd recommend a "reloader's eraser". One of those impact bullet pullers, or a bullet puller die. It will help fix rooky mistakes, which I still make on occasion.
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Old 01-02-2018, 01:53 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3,894

Here's a slightly modified version of my standard list of what I consider a minimal kit for reloading. I've copied and pasted this, then tried to consider your existing JR2. This list will get you loading, but recognize, by picking some of the cheaper gear available, you'll be wishing you had better gear within the first batch of ammo you produce. I'd pay a local kid to do my brass prep before I ever trim brass with a Lee case length gauge ever again - even when using a drill. Frankly, I hate loading on a single stage press even, with the exception of my highest precision loads.

Case Prep:
  • Case length gauge or case trimmer: Lee gauges SUCK if you're doing much volume (need the cutter and lock stud also), so I really recommend using an RCBS Pro-Trim II, or other lathe type case trimmer. For a little more cost, the Frankford Armory Platinum case prep center is likely the best deal on the market as it includes options for trimming, chamfer and deburr, and pocket cleaning all in one unit. If you do go with the Lee, get their ball handle cutter and chuck their lock stud in your hand drill, to help things go more quickly.
  • Chamfer & deburr tool: Best to buy a power prep center, but handheld tools are ok. The Hornady Trio is cheap and effective, the Frankford Platinum is a better overall deal, however.
  • Primer pocket cleaner: Handhelds again are fine, but screw-in heads for the power unit are far better.
  • Tumbler & Media: Lyman 1200 = $60, Frankford, Hornady, etc... media = $15-30, you also may want a way to sieve your media from your brass - the Frankford kit is great for the money.
  • Case Neck Brush: Take your pick = ~$10 in with brush and handle. I use individual screw-in brush heads, threaded into nut in a bench block, makes my life a lot easier.
  • Case Lube Pad: Take your pick = $10, but personally, I'd recommend Hornady One Shot Dry Case lube instead of any traditional lube - way, way easier to manage.

  • Press: You have the press, but since it came alone, you won't have many of the things which would normally come with a "beginner's kit" like the Lee Anniversary kit. That's good and bad - you don't have several worthless/low quality tools, but you also don't have a few convenient tools which would have came with it.
  • Powder beam balance: Every reloader should have one, and they're cheap. You may want to add an electronic dispenser like the RCBS Chargemaster or a manual powder drop like the RCBS Uniflow, but the balance beam like the RCBS 505 or 1010 is an essential piece for the new reloader (and veteran, really).
  • Powder funnel: Since you're running single stage, you'll have to charge in the reloading block. You can use a powder drop on a stand which feeds straight into the case, but you'll really want to have a powder funnel on hand too.
  • Priming tool: The round tray Lee hand primer is my favorite hand tool, but looking back now, if I could only have one, it'd likely be a bench prime. I'm not sure what "on-press" priming option exists for the JR2, but I can say I have NEVER liked the RCBS priming systems, nor do I care to ever prime on the press when using a single stage, so in your shoes, either a hand prime or bench prime would be my recommendation.
  • Set of dies: Lee Pace-Setter 3 die set = $30 for standard cartridges like 30-06. Get Hornady locking rings to replace them, since your JR2 isn't a bushing press, AND is a single stage. Lock the rings on the dies to allow you to remove and replace them without losing your settings.
  • Trickler: Take your pick = $15-20

Miscellaneous tools:
  • Vernier Calipers: Cheap yet functional set = $20
  • Cartridge trays: Want at least two, take your pick $5-10 each = $20 Or you can use your reloading boxes, but this can be a huge pain in the butt. If you're handy with a drill press and forstner bit, you can make your own loading blocks, just be sure to seal them thoroughly (spray polyurethane is nice for this, as you eliminate the risk of pooling in the bottom of your case bores).
  • Bullet Puller: Hammer style or press mounted = ~$15-20
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Old 01-02-2018, 02:11 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 874

Funny Wingbone, after learning this reloading stuff 45 or so years ago, I still find use for my bullet puller on occasion as well. You surely don't have to be a rookie to screw up. I can attest to that with complete confidence.

As Ridge Runner said, this is a very long list as well as an expensive one for some people. Good reloading books should be number one on your list. Speer has some excellent manuals that not only give you the loads but also has some that have step by step instructional pages too. Start out with the basics:

stable mounted press
Good set of calipers, these should not be skimped on as they are one of your most important tools.
Good scales, again not to be skimped one as you could lose body parts or your life if they are inaccurate.
Case trimmer
Prime/deprime tool
Primer pocket cleaner
Lube/lube pad
Properly matched dies/seaters
Properly matched cartridge holders
You can get away without a powder dispenser but they are nice to have.

As far as cleaning your brass, one can get by with just a brush and cleaning them out to start with but most of us usually get into some sort of cleaner system such as a good media vibrating cleaner.

My advise for beginners and experts alike is to adhere to strict inventory controls and only load one cartridge type and powder at a time so you have no confusion ending up using the wrong powder in a cartridge which could result in injury or death. Always pay close attention to what you are doing at all times. Reloading is a very good way to get the most out of your rifle but it can get a little monotonous so it can get easy to lose focus. Take several breaks to clear your attention span. My little sister is probably the best long range shooter in our family and, like the rest of us, she was taught to reload before really getting into the shooting. Problem is, she has the attention span of a gnat on crack when it comes to long reloading sessions so I reload for her as well. Here eyes start to glaze over after about 30 rounds and her mind travels anywhere but where she is.
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:52 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: mcdonough ga
Posts: 147

and I forgot to mention---you will eventually need a chronograph -- I know, I Know-- my first bullet cost about $500, they get a little cheaper after that .. this hobby ain't to save money on ammoi just got back from shooting today .. tried 5 different recipes and i'm still not happy, so back to the drawing board .. it's almost like figuring out somebody's phone #---so many variables-- you gotta love it

Last edited by davidg; 01-02-2018 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: OK
Posts: 28

Johnl, you may also want to invest in a couple of good reloading manuals. I have 5 or 6 manuals that I use on a regular basis. I have found it helpful to buy the manuals published by companies that manufacture the bullet brands and/or powders you may be using. Lyman, Nosler, Sierra, Hornady and Lee all have decent manuals that I refer to often. Never hurts to compare details from one manual to another based on bullet type and weight. Also, Hodgdon's website is a great resource as well. Have fun reloading!
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Old 01-03-2018, 06:21 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 874

Biggs300 brings up an excellent point. Whatever bullet/bullets you intend on loading up, you should use the same manufacturers manual. Bullets have different shapes between manufacturers which create different pressures and pressure spikes. You will end up having better results using the corresponding manuals. You can get away with using say a Speer manual for a Hornady bullet, providing they are the same in weight and base design, but you will honestly have better results using the manual for that bullet.
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Old 01-05-2018, 04:58 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: MICHIGAN
Posts: 2,568

As some one advised in 2013 red the sticky above.

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