Hard time between Forster and Redding

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by sdkidaho, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. sdkidaho

    sdkidaho Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    312
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    From everything I've read, I think I want the Forster Co-Ax press. I've also seen a lot of good about the Redding. That and a current deal is making it really hard not to swing that way.

    I don't have to hurry and buy now, but if there was ample argument for the Redding, then I would jump on the group buy. I'm good with waiting and spending a bit more for the Forster setup, but with my lack of experience I guess I just want to know if that's the smart thing to do?
     
  2. Loner

    Loner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    599
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Read how the Forster works and you won't have a hard time deciding. It has more
    leverage, instant die changes with no additional bushings and no need for shell plates.
    It also grips the rim well enough that you should never stick a case with it.
     

  3. climb-101

    climb-101 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    142
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2011
    i love my forester press, its very simple to use. i also have the forester dies for my 7mm STW and i have the redding bushing dies for my 338 LM. I haven't had any problems with the press loading or using the primer on it and it is very consistent when loading
     
  4. Aldon

    Aldon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    719
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    i have used RCBS, Dillon and Forster Coax. Most are happy with whatever they own and they are usually up to the task.

    I now have a Co-ax and am quite happy but if I found a smoking hot deal, i would easily buy a redding.

    i am not sure 40% off MSRP is all that great. determine which press you are interested in and then shop the many venues and see if the price is close to the normal offered prices.

    I found that since I did not need shell holders nor did I need special set up to allow me to switch dies easily, the Coax was great and if you do searches on this site it's virtues are many. But al have plenty of champions that support them.
     
  5. extreme

    extreme Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    313
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    I use a forster and love it..It works better with the short handle than all
    the others with longer handles..Use it every week on 338/378 wby.mag
    and 338 lapua.
     
  6. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,636
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    I have never used the forester so I can not compare But I am very pleased with the Redding T-7, infact I now have 2 so my son and I can load together. I use it for all my precision reloading and my ammo has never been better in 30 yrs of handloading. With the redding Comp bushing dies I get consistant average run out of .0005"

    Jeff
     
  7. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,070
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    the difference between the two is much more than paper. In the long run the Forster is cheaper. You'll not be buying shell holders, and it comes with a pretty good priming device built into it. The ram does not torque with the Co-Ax, and thus will stay tighter for it's lifetime. Sooner or later your gonna want to try case forming, and the power of the Co-Ax really starts to show up when you look at those 35 degree shoulders being pushed back. As I've said before I bought mine in 1978, and it's as tight and square today as it was in 1978. The only thing I ever do is to oil the guide rods three or four times a year and put a couple drops of oil on the sliding jaws. They don't call it the Cadillac of presses for nothing
    gary
     
  8. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,528
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    In my case, I tore the rim off the case.... Twice. Shell holder was fine, press was fine, die was fine, brass was VERY soft, (plus a lube/temperature issue). So, how could the Forster not "stick a case" floating shell holder or non, doesn't seem like it would make any difference if the case rim tore off. Wouldn't more leverage would tear it off easier?
    Just a side note, I have refined my winter time technique. Never had a problemb tearing rims off any other brand of brass, or cartrige. Just very curious how the press makes any difference if the brass is in a shell holder, floating or not. Does the holder differ in dispersing grip more evenly in some way?
    Not nocking Forster presses at all. I'd love to try one. I'm just curious.
    Could you compare how the floating shell holder on the Forster works better in comparison to the standard shell holder for gripping the brass? I've never seen one in person. Does it have a tighter fit ? Or is it like a shell holder on a case trimmer where its "locked in"? More surface area touching on brass, for a more even grip all the way around the case? A comparison of some kind may help shed light on it for me. Thanks
     
  9. flashhole

    flashhole Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    412
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    I had a Co-Ax, nicely built press but I didn't like the ergonomics. Picked up a Redding Ultramag and sold the Co-Ax 3 months later. I don't know how folks can say the Co-Ax beats the Ultramag in leverage. Having had both on the bench at the same time sizing 300 Win Mag, 7mm Rem Mag and 45-70 and reforming 30-06 to 25-06 I will tell you there is no comparison. Ultramag wins hands down. Never liked pinching my fingers with the Co-Ax either. It was a real tight fit to load long bullets in a 300 Win Mag case.
     
  10. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,417
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    I have an RCBS Rock Chucker I bought in 1990 and use it primarily. I bought the Forster Co-Ax a few years later. I love the quick and easy die change out of the Forster. I hate the leverage and ergonomics. It is better to use it if you want to stand or sit in a high stool.

    If I'm doing a batch of 50 or so loads or I'm in a hurry to size a bunch, I just use the Forster.

    When working up loads to begin with and loading a bunch, I use the Rock Chucker.
     
  11. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    655
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkT_s4jerLQ&feature=plcp]de priming brass with one hand every 3.5 seconds.MOV - YouTube[/ame]

    In this video I de cap a piece of brass every 3.5 seconds with one hand using a co-ax press with jaws that grab the case.

    If I use the right hand, I lean to the left.
    If I use the left hand, I lean to the right.
    This keeps the spine load balanced.
    Reaching out with both hands is tiring, but one hand reloading is easier.
     
  12. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,070
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    The one real problem a Forster has is that with it's high leverage ratios it's easy to collapse a case in the die if it's not setup correctly. You always start out with the die set high (or long), and work your way down. I once stuck a 41 mag case in an RCBS die that was so bad that I had to put the die in an arbr press to get the case out. It looked like an accordian! But on the otherhand the samething would have happened with anyother press. It did tear the rim off the case as you did. I found the problem was the die being set too low and that case lube failed to do it's job. But on the otherhand the jaws did their job as they didn't let go. I now set my jaws up kinda loose, and if it happened again, I could get the case out much easier. Issues like this are simply part of the learning curve.

    The Forster floating jaw system does not aign the case, nor does it retain the case during a sizing operation. It only retrieves the case from the die. The bolster plater is what locates the case head (under the jaws). This takes any machined error in the shell holder out of the equation. Does the case move much during the sizing operation? Not as much as everybody here thinks it will, but it does move a little as the die slides over the case being sized. I do not use the Forster lock rings like most guys do. I like the steel Lyman rings as they are a few thousandths narrower, thus allowing the die to also align itself. It's not perfect, but in my mind the Forster ring is so tight in the groove that any machined error is added into the alignment. I also do a procedure to square up the ring with the threads under pressure. Does it help a lot? I doubt it, but it gives me peace of mind.

    The system is not perfect for sure, but at least it's a start in the right direction. I personally would like to have seen a hard insert where the case head contacts the bolster plate. I also would like to see them make a press with a half inch longer stroke (all they have to do is make different links and longer guide rods.). Another thing the might think about doing is going to a larger die body with a press design that supports this. The larger case diameters that are so much in vogue these days tend to cause the die bodies to distort. A 1.125" x 12TPI would be perfect, or the same 1.25" thread that the big calibers use

    Lastly if your near me, I'll be glad to allow you to try my press out anytime.
    gary
     
  13. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,070
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    I can take you about 15 minutes south to a bench that has four or five worn out presses under it. He does almost nothing but long strait walled cases. He now does all his full length sizing in my Forster. Under that bench is a Redding and a Big Pacific plus a couple RCBS prsses. The presses are rebuildable, but are very loose. The Forster is a true "toggle Press", where the others are not. A toggle press is an engineering device to compound the exerted force in travel. There's no way that a conventional press of anykind will ever reach those power levels. As for pinching fingers, I simply can't see how in a 25-06 unless you were trying to do it. ( I can see it in something like a 17 hornet). Just did a bunch of 30-06 cases in my press, and it was a breeze. I've also done 300 Win mags and never saw the slightest problem. Perhaps a .300 WBY mag might be starting to get tight (I don't load that one), but not a 2 5/8th" case length. The press has plenty of room.
    gary
     
  14. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,070
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2010
    I usually stand while using mine. I've got it mounted right now on a riser to raise it another six or eight inches. I didn't do that to make it more comfortable while standing, but did it for better eye contact with the jaws. But I have also used the press while setting on a stool, but find myself getting off the stool all the time doing something else. It just got in the way. When I first set it up, I used it on a bench that was about 30" high. Worked like a charm. The bench I have now is about 38" high, and that was why I did the riser. Interestingly I find the small RCBS uncomfortable in the 38" bench, and doubt a riser would help (it's a smaller RBCS). Yet for what I use it for the hight is about right. ( 90% of the time I cut cases off with a jeweler's saw in it)
    gary