Looking for a new press

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by gearfoot, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. gearfoot

    gearfoot Member

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    Aug 28, 2009
    My Rockchucker is on it's last leg. I got it from my dad over 10 years ago and it is getting pretty worn out.

    What would be the recommended press for an upgrade? I've heard a lot of good reports on the Forster Co-Ax but know very little about it. I don't load enough volume to justify a progressive.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Don't know how you'd manage to wear out a Rockchucker in ten years! I still have my original RC press (from 30+ years back), and it went through a 20 year period where I routinely loaded 120,000-140,000 rounds a year.

    If you're looking to upgrade, though, the Co-Ax is tough to beat. Well designed, lots of leverage, a unique (and good) integral shell holder and they produce very straight ammunition. Still have that original RC, but I tend to use the Co-Ax for most of my reloading today.
     

  3. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "My Rockchucker is on it's last leg. I got it from my dad over 10 years ago and it is getting pretty worn out."

    Worn out? Goodness, that's hard to comprehend. My cast iron Lyman turret press is 46 years old and doing fine, my Rock Chucker is 23 years old and doing fine, my two little aluminum alloy Lee presses are 12 years old and doing fine; all of them have had some significant amounts of use.

    Perhaps a Redding Ultramag might stand up to your needs? (Maybe an occasional cleaning and oiling might help.)
     
  4. Gunpoor

    Gunpoor Well-Known Member

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    If I remember correctly, RCBS will rebuild your Rock Chucker free of charge except for the cost to ship it to them. If you don't load a lot of ammo I don't see why you need to upgrade. Again, I would contact RCBS and see if they will take care of you. If you are dead set on buying another press any of the iron ones should work for you.
     
  5. Gene

    Gene Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that tip. I bought my RC used around 1980, and use it every day. I think the only wear could be in the ram bushings. Mine has very little wobble, but I have thought about having the bushings replaced. Is that all RCBS does to rebuild them?
     
  6. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    " I think the only wear could be in the ram bushings."

    Gene there are no ram bushings in the press but a couple could be installed by a machine shop. Actually, a "little wobble" can be a good thing in a press for precision reloading. No press can force a case straight into an out-of-line die but a little ram slack will certainly allow a round case to self center in a round die -- unless a too-tight press prevents it!
     
  7. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    Jun 11, 2010
    the RCBS style of press depends on everything being in perfect alignment. A lot of variables there, but I suppose it can be done. The real problem with the design is that when the ram is being pushed up it tends to torque in two directions. Always felt there should have been a couple guides added in the housing to help keep the ram strait as it travels. A Forster uses two guide rods that are rigid. The die and case float for alignment. With long strait walled cases the press stays very strait (something like a 50-120) , and you can see this with the naked eye. These same cases are a bear with a Rockchucker, and cause undo wear in the housing bore. The average guy here would never see anything like this, but you might working with cases built off the "404" case size. I've installed bushings and reground the ram on a few RCBS and Hornaday/Pacific presses. You really need a good jig bore to do it, but a dead square knee mill will work just fine. I used Ampco 16 bronze bushings that were shrink fit in two counter bores, and then bored to fit the ram (.001" clearence). I suppose you could hard chrome the ram and grind it oversize (about .010". Then bore the housing to fit the ram. A lot of work!
    gary