Reloading Press Upgrade

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Firecat, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Firecat

    Firecat Well-Known Member

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    I've been using a Hornady Loc-n-load press for the last few years and its time for an upgrade. While the quick change die option is nice it is certainly flawed in design. Hope that I haven't ruffled any feathers by saying that. However, watching the press operate leads me to believe that our time together has come to an end. I am considering one of the following three options for a replacement. Please let me know what you are using or what you would recommend.

    # 1 Redding Big Boss II

    # 2 RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme

    # 3 Redding Big Boss

    # 4 Lee Classic, I thought that I would also include this one.
     
  2. padd54

    padd54 Well-Known Member

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    I have a Redding Ultra-Mag that I am very pleased with. It handles everything I throw at it with ease.
     

  3. diriel

    diriel Well-Known Member

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    Forster Co-Ax is also a nice press. Just thought I would toss that in there. But your list seems comprehensive for Tough as nails!

    Gary
     
  4. Firecat

    Firecat Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. Does anyone use a Lyman Crusher? They look pretty beefy as well. Im Looking into that Forster Co-ax. Looks promising.
     
  5. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Well-Known Member

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    The Lee Classic Cast and the Redding Big Boss II have through-the-ram spent primer handling, the others on your list do not (nor does the Lyman C2). TTR keeps spent primers and debris off the press, bench or floor, and where they belong in a bucket or catch bottle below the press.

    The Redding UltraMag and Forster Co-Ax also have this feature. The UltraMag is a larger capacity (longer stroke) press than the others we have discussed. Depending on the sizes of cartridges you reload, that may or may not be a factor for you.

    I use and highly recommend the Forster Co-Ax. It has its own snap-in/out floating die retention system, universal shell holder jaws, and many other design and construction features I find desirable. The over-the-top, down the front handle motion is unique, and may not suit your preferences, so if you are concerned about it, try to find a brick & mortar shop that has one so you can try it out a little. Cabella's carries it and has it on display. I find the high-mounted handle to be very easy to use myself, with no bending over to reach the bottom of the handle stroke. If a conventional press was mounted that high, handling cases and bullets would be too high for me. The tubular grip also affords multiple hand positions along the handle for just the right amount of leverage for the task at hand. You do need to use thicker, cross-bolt lock rings such as those from Forster, Hornady or Sinclair in the Co-Ax. Lyman also sells aftermarket cross-bolt lock rings, but does not include that style with their dies. The original RCBS lock rings were of the cross-bolt design, before they changed to the cheaper hex nuts with set screws. You can still find them at gun shows, etc. Besides working well with the Co-Ax, cross-bolt lock rings lock securely and squarely to the die body, without marring the die threads. No matter who made the dies, all mine wear cross-bolt lock rings, even before I got my Co-Ax.

    Just curious, but what design flaws have you found with the LNL bushings? All of the presses mentioned except the Lyman C2 (and of course, the Co-Ax) are compatible with the LNL press conversion kit.

    Andy
     
  6. Firecat

    Firecat Well-Known Member

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    Andy, I found several problems with the Hornady press. These are problems for me but may not be for others. For one the ram linkage and handle assembly seemed loose and sloppy. The actual ram itself was not super sloppy but enough to make me wonder. The second problem I noticed was with the bushings themselves. They do not remain tight. Especially when you are full length resizing. I also noticed when resizing that the bushings had a small amount of vertical play. Even a couple of thousandths will have an effect. This problem was mainly noticed when the die began to loosen up. I just got tired of having to check the die for tightness after every one or two rounds. Every ten to fifteen maybe, but not every one or two. For a beginner or a casual undiscriminating reloader, this will be a good press. However, when trying to achieve every ounce of accuracy, it just doesn't cut it for me.
     
  7. Booney

    Booney Well-Known Member

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    I love my co-ax
     
  8. CogburnR

    CogburnR Well-Known Member

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    I am also going to get a new press. I have pretty much decided that I am going with the Lee Breechlock Classic Cast press. It will be my 4th press I have a Lee Challenger, Lee C type, and Dillon 450.

    The Forster Co-ax was the other press I was looking at but the Lee is really what I need and it is 150$ cheaper.

    The Lee Breechlock is very similar to the LNL setup...what kind of problems did you experience?

    https://factorysales.com/html/xcart/catalog/breechlockclassic.html
     
  9. Firecat

    Firecat Well-Known Member

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    Cogburn, I mentioned in my last post the problems that I observed with my Hornady press. It appears that the problems that I had with my press may not be experienced with the LEE. The bushings that LEE uses are based on an interrupted thread pattern. It is a better design than the Hornady uses.
     
  10. nheninge

    nheninge Well-Known Member

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    Forster co-ax is awesome for single stage. Dillon for progressive gets my vote
     
  11. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Well-Known Member

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    If you have the money ($265), take a look at CH's '444', 4-station. It's all-steel, compact, and sets on top of your bench out of the way. You can use their primer sysystem and powder measure or our own.

    Welcome to CH Tool & Die / 4D Custom Die

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Well-Known Member

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    If you have the money ($265), take a look at CH's '444', 4-station. It's all-steel, compact, and sets on top of your bench out of the way. You can use their primer system and powder measure or your own.

    Welcome to CH Tool & Die / 4D Custom Die

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Forester

    Forester Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for the Forster Co-Ax. If the ergonomics are something you like or can adapt to easily enough then there is not much downside.

    Whatever press you settle on, don't discount controlling spent primers. Having switched from a Rockchucker to the Co-Ax, not having some way to positively control spent primers would automatically disqualify a press from my consideration.
     
  14. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

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    Forrester Co-Ax is the way to go.