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best press for 338AX and other large calibers

 
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  #22  
Old 09-23-2011, 08:09 AM
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Re: best press for 338AX and other large calibers

"^^^ Nice! If I had one complaint about my bench is that the press is not solid enough "

A bending bench is not only irratiating, it adds to the work. Two bench design problems usually cause this:

1. The press is mounted too far from a vertical support (leg) so there's frame compression flex to the top. Fix - Add or move a leg or relocate the press near a leg. (A 2x4 leg can take massive compression so there's no need for anything larger.)

2. The bench top is too light and it flexes. Fix - Add something sturdy to the bench top, like a 2x6, running front to rear, and mount the press on that. And it's of course imperitive the top sheeting be solidly connected the under framing - I use long steel screws and wood glue for that.


Steel or aluminum plates with square holes and special mounting bolts, nuts, etc, are very nice but not practical mounting solutions for most of us. Just use the largest bolts you can, 3/8" usually, and large washers underneath. I like cheap "all-thread" threaded rod cut to length with a hacksaw for the bolts. And then use either common large diameter "fender washers" OR, better yet, short strips of thickish scrap steel bar with holes drilled to match the press under the lower nuts to prevent excessive wood compression.

(Off topic but the OP's question has been well answered.)
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  #23  
Old 09-23-2011, 11:14 AM
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Re: best press for 338AX and other large calibers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike6158 View Post
I guess it all depends on where you draw the line at big. The OP asked about .338AX rounds, which, as I understand it, is a .338 Lapua Magnum, with a COL around 3.700 - 3.850. I reload .338-300 to a COL of 3.7765" all of the time with the newer style Forster Co-Ax.

That said (I just checked) the nose of a 300 grain bullet extends about 1/8" - 3/16" inside of the seater die AFTER the bullet is seated. I have not found this to be an issue (again, that's after loading a few hundred rounds) but it might bother someone else. I have to admit that the press is pretty much max'd out with the .338 Edge so if the OP is considering anything larger he's going to have to move up.

The older style press absolutely would not work (which is the reason that I bought the Ultramag press. I thought that it took up too much space on my bench but it's a hell of a press).

If I ever redo my reloading area I'll have a bench just for the Ultramag press and I would probably move my .338 reloading process to that. For now, what I do works for me.

.50BMG is way outside the range of the Co-Ax... and I have no doubt that the Co-Ax is too small for the Cheytek rounds.
I posted earlier that the Co-Ax was about 3.50" max in usuable length. It's possible with a slight redesign to make the Forster do 4" + rounds. You'll need longer rods and longer links to give the press a longer stroke. The shell holder is no problem. As for the stuff off the 50 cal. Browning case; there's so few people loading that stuff that your better leaving it alone for the specialty guys shooting the big long range stuff.

The only guy I know that reloads the Browning case uses his own dies, and a 13 ton arbor press. His sizer is cut from 4150, and the seater is from A2. The 4150 die has been nitride hardened with a .035" case on it. The two A2 dies are full hardened. The whole system works like a Wilson, but is much heavier in construction, and does an excellent job. By the way the die bodies are 1.94" in diameter. Aside from making his own dies; I doubt he has $200 in the whole outfit. I cut the die blanks for him, and hardened them after he reamed them (he reamed about .015" total). I do know that we tested them out, and after the die is slipped over the case; all you needed was about one inch of stroke max, and could have been done with most any cast iron press. He uses a Royal Purple and powdered graphite mixture for lube.
gary
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  #24  
Old 09-23-2011, 11:22 AM
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Re: best press for 338AX and other large calibers

Quote:
Originally Posted by boomtube View Post
"^^^ Nice! If I had one complaint about my bench is that the press is not solid enough "

A bending bench is not only irratiating, it adds to the work. Two bench design problems usually cause this:

1. The press is mounted too far from a vertical support (leg) so there's frame compression flex to the top. Fix - Add or move a leg or relocate the press near a leg. (A 2x4 leg can take massive compression so there's no need for anything larger.)

2. The bench top is too light and it flexes. Fix - Add something sturdy to the bench top, like a 2x6, running front to rear, and mount the press on that. And it's of course imperitive the top sheeting be solidly connected the under framing - I use long steel screws and wood glue for that.


Steel or aluminum plates with square holes and special mounting bolts, nuts, etc, are very nice but not practical mounting solutions for most of us. Just use the largest bolts you can, 3/8" usually, and large washers underneath. I like cheap "all-thread" threaded rod cut to length with a hacksaw for the bolts. And then use either common large diameter "fender washers" OR, better yet, short strips of thickish scrap steel bar with holes drilled to match the press under the lower nuts to prevent excessive wood compression.

(Off topic but the OP's question has been well answered.)
to each his own, and I'm not dissagreeing with you. But the system I came up with works well, and if you have a small drill press you can build it with little work. By the way I have my Co-Ax mounted on a bench with two 5/8" pieces of plywood. It's soon to be history, and the next top will be either 2x8" with a 1/4" Masonite top or a hard maple top mounted on my old kitchen cabnets. I get zero flex doing very long strait walled cases right now.
gary
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  #25  
Old 09-23-2011, 08:00 PM
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Re: best press for 338AX and other large calibers

My RC II is mounted on a 1/2" x 6" x 12" steel plate, drilled and tapped for 3/8" grade 8 machine bolts. My two Lee's are mounted on rectangular steel tubing that lift them 1 1/2" higher than the bench top. My Lyman turret is elevated/mounted on a 12" long section of 6" steel "I" beam, the top flange is drilled and tapped for 5/16" grade 8 bolts; it all works for me. It was easy for me to do all that because I have the required tools and had access to the free metal. But I know it would be quite difficult for most others to duplicate what I have so I don't even mention it because it would be taken as a pointless suggestion. Fact is, IF others have access to the tools and materials they probably don't need my suggestions. Thus, I prefer to suggest something I have used before I had access to all the good stuff I have now, simple methods that are easy/practical for most people to use without sounding like the world should at least wish to duplicate what I do.

Last edited by boomtube; 09-23-2011 at 08:05 PM.
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  #26  
Old 09-24-2011, 11:24 AM
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Location: greenwood, IN
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Re: best press for 338AX and other large calibers

Quote:
Originally Posted by boomtube View Post
My RC II is mounted on a 1/2" x 6" x 12" steel plate, drilled and tapped for 3/8" grade 8 machine bolts. My two Lee's are mounted on rectangular steel tubing that lift them 1 1/2" higher than the bench top. My Lyman turret is elevated/mounted on a 12" long section of 6" steel "I" beam, the top flange is drilled and tapped for 5/16" grade 8 bolts; it all works for me. It was easy for me to do all that because I have the required tools and had access to the free metal. But I know it would be quite difficult for most others to duplicate what I have so I don't even mention it because it would be taken as a pointless suggestion. Fact is, IF others have access to the tools and materials they probably don't need my suggestions. Thus, I prefer to suggest something I have used before I had access to all the good stuff I have now, simple methods that are easy/practical for most people to use without sounding like the world should at least wish to duplicate what I do.
actually our mountings are very similar. I've used grade eight .375-24 bolts with the half inch steel plate on top. I have found that things work best for me using a bottom washer plate.

But to be honest with you; if I were to do all over again, I'd have made a series of dovetail mounts to go into one body. I did find somebody that has all the parts you need on the shelf except for the half inch CRS plate (Reid Tool)
gary
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  #27  
Old 11-27-2011, 03:46 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 38
Re: best press for 338AX and other large calibers

I have a 338AX and a Rockchuker but I have to unscew the Forrester Die to get the bullet in place. You will need a different press to do it right. I can load a 100 rounds pretty quick with what I have. I have a TAC 50 to but I don't reload it...I use the 750AMAX rounds for it.
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  #28  
Old 11-28-2011, 02:47 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 14
Re: best press for 338AX and other large calibers

Had a response from Forster .

"Thank you for contacting us. The 338 Lapua and AX will work with the optional set of “LS” jaws that are available for the press. The co-Ax Press will not work with the 50 BMG.
Thanks for your interest in our products.

Dee
Forster Products
310 E Lanark Ave
Lanark IL 61046"
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