Reloading Press

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by D Scott, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. D Scott

    D Scott Well-Known Member

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    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
     

  2. newmexkid

    newmexkid Well-Known Member

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    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.
     

  3. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "... 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.
     
  4. g0rd0

    g0rd0 Well-Known Member

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    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 :rolleyes: I would have 1 on my bench.
    :D
     
  5. varmintH8R

    varmintH8R Well-Known Member

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    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....
     
  6. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    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
    gary
     
  7. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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    "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.
     
  8. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

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    I been using the Forester for over 10 years reloading for at least a dozen different calibers.it is the easiest and most accurate press I have ever used.
     
  9. D Scott

    D Scott Well-Known Member

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    thanks for all the feedback I think I will stay with my rockchucker` now until I see more evidence that the forster is better, thanks Scott
     
  10. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Gary...

    The Forrester has a bit more mechanical advantage than the Rockchucker and the nifty shell plates but I'll keep my Rockchucker too. I do like their Co-Axial bench primer. I'll be getting one of those soon.

    I've got an Webber cylinder square. I'll have to see how much deflection the chucker has. Never been an issue though.

    I like the mechanics of the new RCBS Summit press but I haven't seen one close up yet. It may be a consideration because it sits entirely on top the bench. I'm always banging into the chucker when I walk by...clumsy me.
     
  11. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    you know what my line work was, so you probably know that I had access to just about any device to check alignments with. I had a 4", 6", and a 12" cylinder squares that had a magnetic base. These were "lab grade", and all error in them was calibrated (the 12" one had .000033" and .00015" taper in it). The four inch one was extremely close, and all it's error was measured in tenth of an arc seconds. Just be sure to rotate the square 180* to figure the built in error of the square out of what you measure. I was lucky in that the post on the four inch square was 20mm in diameter, so it would pass right thru the slots on the Forster. Had I todo all over again, I'd have used the 12" one as it'd been easier to work with.

    After you make you inspection, you might find it kind of interesting to check the press under a load in several places (I like doing it in three points 90* apart). Nice thing about the conventional "O-frame" presses is they are pretty easy to rebuild, should you desire to do one. That knee mill and a good angle plate will make the job a lot easier than doing it in a vertical machine. I know an old guy that chambers his barrels on a war finish K&T knee mill, and they usually come in at about +/- .00015"!
    gary
     
  12. ericbc7

    ericbc7 Member

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    if you think that the press doesn't matter then you don't understand the interaction between the cartridge and the chamber. You will not get a better interaction between the die and the shell holder than you will get with a forster floating system.
    if you cannot float it you cannot make it true.