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So I'm sitting around talking to the father in law after the kids got done hunting egg about reloading for the old shoulder cannon yesterday, when he he hands me an old RCBS JR2 press he found at the pawn shop along with a set of 45-70 dies and a #14 shell holder. The press has some rust but it moves freely and there's virtually no wobble, so score one for me. The only thing that concerns me is the end of the ram. It won't take a shell holder, but instead looks like it's machined for one shell size. 30-06/308/243 all snap right in. Does that mean you have to change the ram to change shell sizes? I've been hunting around the net and haven't found anything even remotely like this yet. I know this is a long outdated press, would RCBS be likely to have a different ram for it anymore?

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Rust would have been my first guess as well after looking at the pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I thought that too, but the slot is much, much smaller than what a shell holder will slide into. We compared it to the ram on his Rock Chucker and it's totally different. Like I said, it's perfectly sized for a 308 case. I can take a pic tonight of the ram compared to the shell holder base. I've never seen anything like it.
 

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The ram looks like it has been modified. I have this same press and it works great. My ram has a groove around the outside diameter that houses a spring clip. This clip acts as a stop for the ram and also holds the shell holder firmly in place. Yours is missing. Look on eBay they have plenty for sale at a good price. RCBS jr.jpg Shell holder clip.png Hunting_87325_main.jpg
 

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Didn't RCBS at one time sell a solid RAM for their presses specifically for swaging? Could this RAM be that one?
 

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Many old presses were like that, the shellholder was part of the ram.
To switch to a different rim size, you changed the whole ram.
I didn't think they used that system, wasn't it RCBS that invented what we think of as modern shellholders?
Anyhooo, you can get that one from Amazon, or here's another universal fit.
CH4D
 
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Xakk, welcome to the MO Family, from here in west central Mo. My suggestion would be to contact RCBS and get a new ram for a JR3 press, should slip right in the press put it back together and reload. I've got a JR3 from the early 70's still works today. Good luck with RCBS and take care, John.
 

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The ram could have been changed with another make of press. Someone gave me a press, Pacific, I think, that had two rams that had the "shell holder" as a machined part of the ram. I have never seen an RCBS made that way.
 

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Hey there X -- There is nothing out dated about that press. They are a great press with the correct ram. Clean it up and give it a fresh coat of paint and carry on! The cool thing about them is they have the primer seating and feed tube attachments milled into the frame. These are still available, even now from my local Wally World!! They look like this...

View attachment 100858 View attachment 100859 View attachment 100860

Hope this helps. Best regards. Wind
 

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Xakk, welcome to the MO Family, from here in west central Mo. My suggestion would be to contact RCBS and get a new ram for a JR3 press, should slip right in the press put it back together and reload. I've got a JR3 from the early 70's still works today. Good luck with RCBS and take care, John.
+1, RCBS should be able to help you out. I've always had good luck dealing with their customer service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, it turns out finding a new ram isn't as easy as I'd hope. I started out trying to order from Amazon, but it turns out that despite the description, the item is not the ram but some sort of screw in adapter. So I sent that one back and hit up Midway. They listed it out of stock, but was expected to come back into stock in a couple of days, so I placed the order. The restock date came and went and the status changed to "Date expected in stock: Overdue". Ok, fine. Cancel that order and call RCBS. I told them what I had and what I needed and they never batted an eye. He took my address and my payment information and we were done in about 5 minutes.

Jump ahead two weeks and still no package, so I call them back. The guy on the phone asks me what I ordered before he pulls up the record and I tell him a ram for a JR 2 press. He says "Oh, I don't even have to look that one up. We're out of stock on those and don't know when or if we'll get any more." You'd think the guy that took my order could have told me that two weeks ago? <sigh>

So no I'm waiting on a universal ram from CH4D, who were super helpful and a hoot to talk to. I was seriously beginning to wonder if it was all worth it, but I'm hoping this takes care of everything.

In the meantime, the brother in law gave me an old Lyman powder measure that just needed to be cleaned up, so there's that to keep me occupied. Good times.
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I've delt with the people at CH4D in the past and, your sooooo right, they're extremely helpful!
 
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Xakk, Welcome to the forum.

What Rory said.

Years ago The rams used to be cartridge specific. You should still be able to buy a universal ram from RCBS & you'd be in business.
Good luck I think you have a nice old press. With anywhere near proper care they hardly ever wear out.
Since RCBS is out I'd check on ebay & see what they have. Put a wanted add here in Marlin Owners forum. There will be one out there somewhere. Don't throw that press away. If worst comes to worst you can reload any ctg that has the .30-06 head size & that includes a LOT of cartridges.

Whooo boy great gift! That Lyman #55 powder measure is one of my favorites, I really like it. It's worth cleaning up & putting into use. I use rubbing alcohol on any moulds, dies, powder measures, I need to clean up. Works great & is self drying.
 
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