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Forster co-axial press

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Old 08-04-2009, 07:03 AM
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Posts: 85
Forster co-axial press

I need to upgrade my current press and am considering the Redding big boss and the Forster co-ax. Apart from the sales brochure hype, is there any real advantages to choosing the co-ax above the big boss?
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:32 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mountians of SW NC, near Asheville
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Re: Forster co-axial press

The Co-Ax has some unique features that make it nice to use, but your reloaded ammo will never know the difference.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:33 AM
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Location: Texas
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Re: Forster co-axial press

Don't know anything about the big boss, but I replaced my old RCBS with a Co-Axial 2 years ago. I like it so much better. Set all your dies up 1 time and never adjust again
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:30 PM
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Posts: 430
Re: Forster co-axial press

Your question touches on an issue not unlike religion. Both presses are very well made, and both do essentially the same job. Whether any difference is real or merely perceived is hard to determine. You could buy both, compare,and return the loser. Someone on another forum reported on that scenario. The discerned difference was that cartridge length could be varied on the Big Boss by using varying levels of seating force, flexing the stops on the Big Boss, not necessarily a real world issue. While some have reported superior cartridge run-out results with a Co-Ax, in this incident the Big Boss was it's equal. These two presses were also compared to a RockChucker Supreme; it did not fare as well.

The Co-Ax has unique ergonomic characteristics; the press is more easily operated from a standing position. It's universal shell holder is inconvenient to change over when necessary. The press will not accommodate oversized die threads. Bullet pulling requires special considerations.

In the end, the press you choose will depend on what appeals to you. You have complexity on one hand, and simplicity on the other. The Co-Ax is the last H-frame press mass produced. The Redding press is the best of its design. Toss a coin as a provisional selection; then you can determine your level of satisfaction with the outcome. The choice is easily changed. What do you like?

Last edited by Winchester 69; 08-04-2009 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:17 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 85
Re: Forster co-axial press

Thank you all for the replies.
Win 69 - I was told by a very knowlegable and respected gunnut in local circles - who happens to sell a lot of both these presses - that he would much rather spend the extra$ and upgrade to the co-ax. Main argument being the alignment that is (automatically) controlled by the case and not the press, and that this results in less runout.
The upgrade would involve:

new press
new set of redding competition bushing and seating dies
meaning that i would also have to start doing outside neck turning and would have to invest in those tools as well

for now i would easily fall for the big boss (same style as my current press), but i'm just scared that i might miss out on some "magic"................(i did read in another thread on this forum that there is "no magic" involved)
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:08 PM
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Posts: 430
Re: Forster co-axial press

Originally Posted by zoeper View Post
...the alignment that is (automatically) controlled by the case and not the press, and that this results in less run-out.
There is enough latitude in the shell holder of a standard press that the case aligns itself to the die routinely. Some remove the wire retainer and replace it with a rubber O-ring to allay all doubt. The two critical elements are ram play (lack of) and die alignment. You won't go wrong with either press. It's a matter of evaluating the trade-offs (ergonomics and limitations) of the designs, and then deciding which really appeals to you.

As an aside, Glen Zediker, noted reloading and shooting guru, wanted a press for seating bullets at the range. He chose the cheapy Lee C-press. He floated the die in the frame, using rubber O-rings both under the die and to retain the shell-holder. That press with all of its slop and imprecision is the last one I would choose. He was perfectly satisfied with his run-out. He now represents Forster, but I doubt that he hauls a Co-Ax to the range (it probably just replaced his old Boss). He uses an aluminum turret for that purpose. I haven't said it, but perceived desirable results generally follow the choice of equipment, ruling out obviously poor choices or defects. People tend to be happy with what they buy, reinforcing their purchasing decision.

I use a Redding Boss and feel no need for anything else. If someone gets warm fuzzies from owning the Co-Ax then he knows what makes him happy. I would pay close attention to ergonomics; it's what you'll really be living with. But go with the one that makes you happiest; that's the most critical element.

The dies don't determine the desirability of neck turning. Having a tight-chamber barrel permits the fitting of the case neck to the chamber, and that requires neck turning. Many use the Lee collet die for factory barrels.

As a suggestion, you may want to obtain a copy of Zediker's book, Handloading for Competition. It's available from Sinclair or Zediker directly. If you get it from Sinclair, you can request their catalog. Reading it before making a choice may make sense; you'll carry more information into that process. It's difficult to read due to Zediker's writing style, but also it's very informative.

Last edited by Winchester 69; 08-06-2009 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:39 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Base of the Bluemountains aka Gods Country
Posts: 466
Re: Forster co-axial press

I look long and hard at both presses and got the forester and love it.
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