I am planning on getting a new custom rifle, either a GA Precision or benchrest set up, my question is this, are most reloading presses, fairly equal in the quality dept of producing straight ammo?
I have an RCBS single stage press now, havnt used anything else, but have looked at the forster coaxial press, would the forster produce more accurate ammo? It sounds like having the self centering "float" in the press is a good idea, I would appreciate any thoughts or feedback on other presses out there, or choices on this topic, Thanks in advance Scott
I've had a Rockchucker for many moons. Things started coming together for me when I started using good brass, turning my necks, annealing and using Redding and Forster bushing dies. I'm sure there are other dies that work as well or better but, for me, it was the light at the end of the tunnel.
"... have looked at the forster coaxial press, would the forster produce more accurate ammo?"
No, in spite of all the stout web claims otherwise. Ammo is made in the dies, all a press can do is push the cases into and pull them back out; they all do that.
I have a Rock Chucker, an OLD Lyman turret and two of Lee's tiny "Reloader" C presses. With the same dies, components and skills I can make the same quality of ammo on any one of them. Skill doesn't come on a box and without the needed skill no one can make high quality ammo on any press. And without an accurate rifle, good glass and a well developed load, even great loading skill doesn't do much.
I agree with boomtube the press is not the issue, the issue is the quality of the dies and your ablity to be consistant.
I also have owned a rock chucker, a lyman turret press, a pro1000 and a challenger press. They all do the same thing shove brass in, pull brass out.
Now that I have had my say let me add that a friend has a forster coaxal press and I have had the pleasure of trying it. Trust me it is the easiest press I have used by far! If I was not so cheep I would have 1 on my bench.
I agree with the crowd: keep your press and instead drop the $ on high-end dies and tools to measure your ammo quantitatively - when you can measure what you are doing with precision you'll know if and when something gets out of whack....
find some folks that use the presses your looking at. Try them all, and then make that decision. That's kinda what I did, but I did it at the NRA convention sizing .308 brass. I bought a Co-Ax two days later, and have never looked back. Still I also own one RCBS press that I use for some odd jobs that are friendlier to do on the RCBS.
You can buy a Co-Ax for about $275 if you shop around. But after a couple years, and you want to unload it, you'll still get about $240. That ought to give you the hint as to why most guys love them.
Last time I checked my press for wear and error built into it was about six years ago, and it showed about .0005" off a certified cylinder square, and .0008" under a hard load on one side of the ram (front to back and side to side). Now this press was built in early 1978, and I started using it in the summer of 1978. Guys laughed at me for spending $83, but I've also watched everyone of the go thru three to five presses per person. Money well spent in my book.
I also use an arbor press with Wilson dies and a couple custom built dies. I've managed to get loaded rounds down into the .00075" (TIR) range on occasion, and rarely exceed .0012". Yet I get about .0013"/.0015" rather constantly out of the Co-Ax. No tweaks or holding your fingers crossed behind my back. It just does it everyday. I take the die out of the box, and I know what it's gonna do. Almost boring!
The Forster doesn't do everything well. I do some heavy case forming that involved cutting cases back almost 5/16". Just a pain to do on the Co-Ax! I use my RCBS for that. I don't love pulling bullets! And would rather pull them on the RCBS. The Co-Ax is not fun to reload very short cases like the .380, but not so bad with a 45 acp. The opening kinda limits you to about 3.75" (I've done longer, but they are not fun.) One thing you come to love about the Co-Ax is it's shear power. You can full length size a .308 case with two fingers. Very long strait walled cases like the 45-70 are easy, and they come out very strait. Plus they are easier to do.
Like I said, before buying I would try several of the brands. Use the same dies in each press (like .308 and military brass). They will all be the same except one
"You can buy a Co-Ax for about $275 if you shop around."...
For what I can buy a Rock Chucker for...someone will have to do some serious selling to sell me a press for $275. I had a Dillon 550B....and when I got away from shooting 45 ACP's and didnt need a bazillon loads for the next week...it went Bye bye too.