hornady seating dies and the co ax

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by gohring3006, May 15, 2014.

  1. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    how does everyone feel about the hornady dies? And will the hexed lock ring fit my forester co ax ? Thanks in advance....
     
  2. Varangi

    Varangi Member

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    I have no info on the Hornady dies but I know that I have several extra Forster Locking Nuts that I use with my Co-Ax. One of Forster's selling points is the ability of the die and shell plate to free float. I do not know if you'd be able to get the repeatability out of the Hornady nuts or if they even fit. I use Redding Dies in my Co-ax and the ability to quick change the dies with the Forster nuts is priceless. Last time I bought them I think they were 5-6bucks a pair or $20 for 6. Forster or Precision has them on their website. I found them to be a good investment.

    hope this helps

    Mike
     
  3. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I've been using almost nothing but Lyman rings in my Co-Ax for about twelve years now. The Hornaday rings probably won't do all that well due to bearing area alone. Plus the Lyman rings are about 2/3rds the price of the Forster rings and have a better lock screw setup.
    gary
     
  4. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    thanks for the info I'm new to the co.ax. I'm just getting it set up its a very nice press. I was just hoping I could set it up with some of my existing equipment, what about RCBS dies and rings?
     
  5. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I've had a Bananza B2 since 1978 (yes it's even pre Forster), and spent the ghastly sum of $83 for it. Folks laughed at me for spending those kinda dollars when I could have spent $35 or $40 dollars. Those presses are long in the scrap heap.

    Mine was one of the last ones that still used the old style priming device, but also was one of the first with the sliding jaws (unveiled at the NRA Convention a few weeks earlier). At the convention, they had a row of presses that must have been 100 feet long with tubs of mil spec .308 brass to try each one. I think I tried everyone at least a half dozen times, but kept coming back to one press as it simply felt better than the others. A guy walked upto me and introduced himself. Told me that the Co-Ax was the one I wanted, and was the best by far (I could tell that already). He was Bob Milek, and was a writer for Shooting Times magazine. I had read a lot of Bob's work over the years, and had respect for him. He then calls over a couple guys, and introduced me to john Wooters and Skeeter Skelton (I was in Heaven!). Then Wooters waves at this guy with a cigar and the biggest hat I ever saw on a man. Of course that was Elmer Keith!! Bob went over to a table and picked up a couple die sets to show me, and told me these are what I wanted once I told him what I was reloading. Then we got into the in's & outs of the 30 Herrett, and how to build it. (I'd been trying to form cases with about a 50% failure rate). Bob and I traded letters for several years, and he was the greatest work aid I ever had.

    The following Monday I made a call to the guy I bought most of my stuff from, and told him to order me the press, and three sets of dies. They were 41 mag, 45LC, and 30 Herrett. The first two were RCBS, and did OK, but later replaced them with Lyman dies. There was a world of difference in case forming with the Herrett compared to what Thompson sold me. The difference was in the shoulders being formed better. Two weeks later I ordered in a 30-06 set and a .222 Remington set. The dealer called me back to say I was nuts for spending that kinda money on that press! I said get that press (my brother also felt I was looney). The press comes in from Brownells, and Jerry calls me to ask if it was OK for he to try it out as he'd never seen anything like it before. I worked with Jerry, and a couple days later he tells me it was easily the best press he'd ever used, and had ordered in another five of them for his shop. He sold all five within a week, and started keeping a couple in stock all the time. But he wasn't sold on their dies. I loaned him my 30-06 set, and he was turned around.

    While this was going on, I was learning the Co-Ax. I learned to square dies up in the press, and the ways to make the sliding jaws work even better. I found the slot in my press to be very tight, and was almost an interference fit with the Forster lock rings. I made the rings a few thousandths thinner and that helped, but later found the Lyman rings to work better. Always learning.
    gary
     
  6. Varangi

    Varangi Member

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    "...Lyman rings work better." Ok- price, locking screw I got- Is there anything else about the Lyman nuts that makes it functionally better?

    Mike
     
  7. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    they're about .005" thinner than the Forster, and I think this allows the setup to float better. Just make sure you square up the nut with the thread (on all dies and in all presses). The Forster lock screws are unhandy on a good day, and I prefer the socket head cap screw Lyman uses.
    gary
     
  8. ehryk

    ehryk Well-Known Member

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    I have the Hornady lock rings and they work just fine.
     
  9. Daveinjax

    Daveinjax Well-Known Member

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    I love my co-ax but I will never buy another set of Hornady dies. They are the only brand of dies I've been dissatisfied with. I've had a couple of sets because I'm apparently a slow learner. I like my Forester dies and if I feel the need to burn some money tnen the Redding Comp dies are really nice. For everything else I use Lee dies as I have found them to be just as good if not better than everyone else's standard dies. I use the Forster lock rings mostly because I bought a bulk bag of them and haven't run out yet. I might have to try the Lyman lock rings some day.
     
  10. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I've done a lot of experimenting with the Forster press and dies thru the years. Sometimes with good results picking up a tenth here and there, and other times a complete waste of energy. Awhile ago I read a post from a guy on another board explaining how the micrometer head was not perfect, and two other brands were far better. Guy had his head where the sun don't shine much. But he was right in that there is some backlash, and the seater stem and plug could be better. Had I the time and money, I could build an after market seater stem and plug that would be as good as anything in a Wilson. Just not rocket science. All micrometer heads have to have some backlash, or you can't adjust them. but there's ways to help with the issue and Forster took a simple direction. We probably couldn't afford something better without a forty page thread crying about it.

    The press is not perfect of course (there is no perfect press in my book). But still getting close. I'd liked to have seen an upgraded press with three guide rods instead of the normal two. Three will help gain two to five tenths in concentricity without having to jump thru the hoops to get there. Another half inch of stroke would be nice, and once again easy to do. Others have wished the spent primer drop tube be made larger. I think a .31-24tpi would be better than the current
    .25-28tpi. Optional risers under the base would be a nice option for folks buying one. I've built 4", 6", 8" and a couple 6" and 8" ones that angles back about 20 degrees. I personally prefer the old style priming device, but also know others that like the newer one. Better big bore shell holders are needed badly here. The adjustment screw for the sliding jaws is a pain in the butt to me, and should be slightly redesigned to make adjustments easier with a hex socket key and a thumb nut to hold it in place. One of these days I'm going to build a new handle to attach to the yoke. Not looking for power, but ergonomics.
    gary