January 3rd, 2017

Cortina’s Corner — Video Review of Forster Co-Ax Reloading Press

Co-ax Forster press

Forum member Erik Cortina has produced a series of YouTube videos about reloading hardware and precision hand-loading. This week we feature Erik’s video review of the Forster Co-Ax® reloading press. The Co-Ax is unique in both design and operation. It features dual guide rods and a central handle. You don’t screw in dies — you slide the die lock ring into a slot. This allows dies to float during operation.

Erik does a good job of demonstrating the Co-Ax’s unique features. At 1:00 he shows how to slide the dies into the press. It’s slick and easy. At the two-minute mark, Erik shows how sliding jaws clasp the case rim (rather than a conventional shell-holder). The jaws close as the ram is raised, then open as it is lowered. This makes it easy to place and remove your cases.

At the 5:20 mark, Erik shows how spent primers run straight down into a capture cup. This smart system helps keep your press and bench area clean of primer debris and residues.

While many Co-Ax users prime their cases by hand, the Co-Ax can prime cases very reliably. The priming station is on top of the press. Erik demonstrates the priming operation starting at 4:20.

Co-ax Forster press

Smart Accessories for the Co-Ax from Inline Fabrications
Lapua’s Kevin Thomas also owns a Co-Ax press, which he has hot-rodded with accessories from Inline Fabrications. Kevin tells us: “Check out the add-ons available from Inline Fabrications for the Co-Ax. I recently picked up a riser mount and a set of linkages for mine and love the results. The linkages are curved. When you replace the original straight links with these, the work area opens up substantially and the the press becomes much easier to feed.” CLICK HERE for Co-Ax Accessories.

Inline Fabrications Forster Co-Ax Accessories

Forster Co-Ax Curved Side Linkage
(For Better Access)

CLICK HERE

Forster Co-Ax Ultramount
(Riser plus Bin Support)

CLICK HERE

Co-Ax Roller Lever (Short)

CLICK HERE

Dual LED Lighting Kit for Co-Ax

CLICK HERE

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November 1st, 2015

How It Works — SEB NEO Rest Design Features & Operation Tips

SEB Neo front coaxial rest
Photo by R.J. Hamilton.

At the 2015 F-Class National Championships, nearly three-quarters of the F-Open shooters were using SEB coaxial front rests. And the man who makes them, Sebastian Lambang, was on the firing line too. Seb shot very well, finishing in second position in the F-TR division for the Saturday (Oct. 31) session. For those shooting F-Open or benchrest matches, Seb’s joystick rests really do represent the current state-of-the-art in front rest design. Courtesy of Seb, here are some photos that illustrate the “inner workings” of the SEB NEO Front Rest.

SEB Neo front coaxial rest

If you’ve ever wondered how a joystick front rest works, and how the parts go together, study the photos below. In addition, for those who use a NEO rest in competition, Benchrest Champion Mike Ratigan offers some PRO USER Tips that will help you get the best results from your NEO.

SEB Neo front coaxial rest

SEB Neo front coaxial rest

Unique Features of the SEB NEO Front Rest:

  • Lots of Travel — 43 MOA Vertical and 48 MOA Horizontal via joystick alone. The NEO offers more joystick travel than any other coaxial rest.
  • Variable Joystick Movement — The NEO is the only rest that can be configured for reverse action mode. That means you can optionally set it to lower the rifle with an up movement of the joystick if you prefer. (Standard setting raises rifle with up joystick movement.)
  • Rack & Pinion Risers — The NEO has dual support columns with Rack & Pinion system, offering a very broad vertical adjustment range.
  • Optional Counter-Weights — The NEO comes standard with a spring-loaded top mechanism to help hold up the rifle. Optional counter-weights allow you to reduce spring “pre-load”. Many people feel the counter-weights also allow a smoother, less jerky movement.
  • Reversible Base — The NEO’s base can be set-up with either the long leg in the rear or the long leg in the front. Putting the long leg in front gives more room under the rifle.
  • NEO Packs Flat — The SEB NEO is easily dismantled for transport, and can pack nearly flat. This is a big advantage when traveling.

CLICK HERE for Complete SEB NEO Coaxial Rest Instructions (PDF File)

SEB NEO PRO TIPS from Mike Ratigan:

Counter-weight Function and Calibration: “With the Seb NEO, equipped with the optional static counter-weight, the shooter can calibrate the counter weight to the rifle weight. The counter-weight is used to hold up the rifle. Clamping pressure of the sliding plates is NOT used to hold up the rifle like other coaxial rests on the market today. Other coaxial rests apply enough clamping force to the rest top mechanism sliding plates to resist the downward movement of the top when the rifle weight sets on the rest. This one feature of the Seb NEO almost completely eliminates bullets falling out of the bottom of your groups because the rest moved (or falls) down when you fired the rifle. This function is very important.”

SEB Neo front coaxial rest

On Hand Position: “I try to keep the palm of my hand grounded to the bench at all times. To do this at the closer distances, the handle will be laying flat (bend to the side) while shooting on the bottom of the target. To move to the top up (for right-handed shooters) I rotate the handle counter clockwise, which [raises the top] while maintaining my palm grounded to the bench.”

On Front Bag Fill: “Give some coarse sand blasting sand a try with the small stuff screened out. This will help reduce compaction from daily use.”

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
February 26th, 2015

The NEOs Are Coming…

Sebastian (“Seb”) Lambang has been working overtime at his SEB COAX production facility in Indonesia. That’s good news for benchrest and F-Class shooters. Seb is finishing up a large shipment of coaxial front rests for customers around the globe. Dozens of new NEOs (is that an oxymoron?) have been completed and are ready to be sent to customers. Seb tells us: “We are progressing. Here are some NEOs ready to be packed and shipped”.

Click image to see full-screen photo:
NEO Seb lambang front rest coax coaxial joystick rifle rest

CNC Machines Speed Production
After acquiring new CNC machines, Seb has been able to increase production in response to high demand: “Though they are only 3-Axis, my new CNC equipment sure helps to make the components.” However, even with the new CNC units, Seb says: “I think I will need more space, employees, and more equipment in the near future.” Whatever it takes Seb, keep those NEOs coming.

NEO Seb lambang front rest coax coaxial joystick rifle rest

Permalink Gear Review, News 5 Comments »
October 3rd, 2013

Prototype ‘Big Wheel’ Farley Co-Axial Rest for F-Open Competition

farley coaxial f-class f-open raton speedy gonzalezAt the F-Class Nationals in Raton, we saw a wide variety of front rests being used by F-Open shooters. One that caught our eye was a new prototype Farley Coaxial rest brought to the match by our friend Speedy Gonzalez. This one-of-a-kind Farley features a big wheel on the side for gross elevation adjustment, plus an extended locking arm. These two upgrades make the rest easier to use from the prone position. Up front is a new L-shaped Delrin forearm stop (Speedy say this would be black in the production version). Special large-diameter feet with extended “anchor shafts” complete the package. (See bottom photo.) Speedy used this rest at the Nationals and did very well, finishing second in the Master division, and in the top 15 overall among all Open-class shooters.

CLICK Photos Below to See Full-Screen Version.

farley coaxial f-class f-open raton speedy gonzalez

Speedy says the folks at Farley hope to market the Big Wheel Coaxial with these F-Class upgrades by the end of 2013. Some of the items should be available for purchase separately, as upgrades to current Farley rests. Sorry, no pricing is available at this time.

farley coaxial f-class f-open raton speedy gonzalez

The rest also sported a new Edgewood front bag with the new light-colored, super-slick bag material. Along with the new bag fabric, Speedy explained that there are subtle changes to the bag design and construction so that it holds its shape better and doesn’t “plump up” in the middle.

farley coaxial f-class f-open raton speedy gonzalez

farley coaxial f-class f-open raton speedy gonzalez

Permalink Gear Review, New Product 3 Comments »
October 29th, 2012

Gear Review: SEB Front Bag for Pedestal Rest

We’ve had our original SEB coaxial front rest for a few years now and we are impressed with its quality and performance (although the SEB NEO Rest is even more sophisticated). One of the great features of the original SEB Rest is the front sandbag. It employs double-layer construction on the sides and bottom, and has a unique microfiber material on the surfaces contacting the stock. The bottom of the bag is hard and flat, so the bag sits nice and square. We whole-heartedly endorse the SEB front bag — it is an outstanding product, affordably priced at $40.00, shipped (unfilled) anywhere in the lower 48 states. (SEB NEO front bags are $45.00 shipped to lower 48).

SEB coaxial rest bag

We’ve tested both 3″-wide and 2 1/4″-wide SEB front bags and they work great. With guns ranging from 22 lbs. to 10.5 lbs. we’ve found that that SEB front bags perform very, very well. They hold their shape, and don’t “hump up” in the middle. The microfiber material, in our opinion, is superior to either Cordura or untreated leather. Even without stock tape on your gun, the microfiber allows the rifle to slide very easily. With stock tape, friction is super-low. You don’t need to put silicone, sailcloth lube, or powder on the front bag — it’s not necessary.

Less Vertical, Better Groups with SEB Front Bag
One of our testers was experiencing vertical when shooting a 6 PPC with a different front bag. He tried both leather and Cordura front bags, and experimented with various amounts of sand fill, but the results were unsatisfactory. The leather and Cordura bags either did not hold their shape, or, with more sand fill, they were too hard and the gun jumped. Then our tester switched to a SEB front bag. He noticed an immediate improvement in gun handling and his targets showed reduced vertical with the same load. Problem solved.

Bag Works with Other Front Rests Too
field tested productWhile the SEB front bag is optimized for use with the original SEB coaxial rest, it can be adapted to other front rest tops. The standard version is made from black microfiber with brown leather, but it is also available with black leather sides. The standard vertical thickness for the 3″ or 2 1/4″ section between the ears is approximately 1″, but other dimensions are available on request. The latest SEB front bags have a filler spout on each side. SEB front bags are available in the USA from Ernie Bishop in Gillette, Wyoming. Call (307) 257-7431, or email ernieemily [at] yahoo.com. The standard SEB front bag sells for $40.00 including shipping to lower 48. Front bags for SEB NEO rests, either one-piece or Tri-lobe style, cost $45.00 including shipping to lower 48.

SEB coaxial rest bag

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April 8th, 2012

Tote Your SEB NEO Rest in Fitted Pelican Storm IM2450 Case

Seb Lambang NEO Coaxial restForum member Ed L. (aka itchyTF) owns one of the beautifully-crafted SEB NEO front joystick rests. These units are in short supply — creator Seb Lambang can’t keep up with demand. Anyone lucky enough to own a SEB NEO would naturally would want to keep it in perfect condition, and Ed is no exception. Ed put together a system to cradle and protect his SEB NEO during transport and storage. Ed tells us: “I decided to give my NEO its own home. I only wanted to remove the leg before storage so I decided on an empty Pelican Storm IM2450 case and added my own foam. This IM2450 case is a little wider than it needs to be, but I couldn’t find anything closer and still fit the other dimensions. The blue and white foam is more rigid than the typical gray foam. The Allen wrenches are placed in the rear piece of white foam.”

Ed found the Pelican Storm IM2450 case on the internet for $103 with free shipping. This same case is sold as the Hardigg IM2450 Storm Case. All-up weight, with the SEB NEO rest in the case, is 32 pounds. CLICK Thumbnails below to view larger images.

SEB NEO rest transport pelican box

Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
January 27th, 2012

Hyskore’s New “Bench Beast” Linked Front/Rear Rifle Rest

Editor’s NOTE: Though the product has some shortcomings, we wanted to show you guys the Hyskore Bench Beast Coaxial Competition Rest because it has some interesting engineering features (such as the scissors-jack primary elevator). The front bag holder won’t accept very wide fore-ends, and the high sides of the rear rest compromise your ability to get in close to the gun and work the rear controls while aiming. Still, there are few integrated front/rear rests on the market, so we thought you’d want to see this new offering from Hyskore.

At SHOT Show 2012, Hyskore unveiled an combined front/rear mechanical rest system appropriately named the Bench Beast. The front rest has a coaxial-type control activated by a long, angled joystick. Hyskore claims the joystick control provides 110 MOA adjustment for both windage and elevation.

For gross elevation changes, this contraption uses a scissors-jack type lift in the front that is definitely industrial in origin. In fact, the Bench Beast looks like something made in a Latvian tractor factory. But this may be useful for someone who wants a linked front and rear mechanical rest that can support a very heavy rifle (50 lbs. or more). It looks like the max width in the front is limited to 3″ so this would not work with a super-wide stock without modification. Too bad. Moreover, the front bag supplied with the Bench Beast is designed for narrow, hunter-style fore-ends. Even to run a 3″-wide gun, you’ll need to purchase an aftermarket bag. While Hyskore calls this a “competition rest”, the Bench Beast is not really set up for competition rifles.

About $500.00 for Combined Front and Rear Rests
The front and rear units can be purchased separately. Exact pricing is not yet set, but the front section should cost about $300, with the rear priced about $200.00. People should note, however, that, if you have full windage and elevation adjustment in the rear, you really only need gross height control in the front (to get on target). With a good rear rest, all the fine windage and elevation adjustment can be done from the rear, and, because of the geometry, a little bit goes a long way. It would be interesting to combine the Bench Beast’s rear unit with a simple (non-joystick) front pedestal rest.

Design Concerns
We’re intrigued with the Bench Beast’s rear unit, since there are few mass-produced, mechanical rear rests on the market. However, we have some concerns about the footprint, height, and overall size of the rear unit (SEE video 1:00-1:10). Ideally, a rear mechanical rest should allow the shooter to tuck in comfortably beside the gun. The Bench Beast has fat control knobs and tall support shafts placed far out from the centerline, on the extreme edges of the rear base.

While the wide rear base provides a solid platform, the outboard support columns and control knobs, we believe, make it difficult for the shooter to position his upper body close to the gun.

The main rear rest control knobs are also not conveniently placed. Look at the video carefully. Better rear rests have the controls further forward and closer to the centerline where they can be easily reached by the shooter’s non-trigger-pulling hand, in a comfortable shooting position. That way a right-handed shooter can easily use his left hand to work the controls while viewing the target through the scope, and holding the rifle grip with his right hand. We like the idea of an affordable rear mechanical rest, but we think the rear section of the Bench Beast would benefit from a major redesign.

Permalink Competition, New Product 2 Comments »
March 5th, 2010

NEW Prototype SEB NEO Rest Unveiled

We recently received a prototype version of the new NEO rest from SebCoax.com. Designer Sebastian Lambang’s new rest is an engineering tour de force. Your editor can say, straight up, that this is the best joystick rest I’ve ever used. It is butter smooth in horizontal travel. The NEO does not suffer from the jerky, or jumpy vertical movement of some other joystick rests. With a 17-lb gun on the rest, yes there is more resistance in the vertical plane than in the horizontal, but you can still move the crosshairs up smoothly in one motion. You don’t have to “over-shoot” and then come back down on your aiming point. If you’ve used other coaxial rests, you know that the upward movement can be jerky if the resistance is set so that the joystick does not droop when you let go. Not so with the NEO. Seb Lambang has fitted the NEO rest with expensive, new German-made internal bearings. These new teflon liner bearings, plus two additional internal leaf springs for weight support, make all the difference.

YouTube Preview Image

The upward movement is MUCH smoother than before. In this Editor’s opinion, the NEO is smoother (with less jumpiness) than the Farley. It is also easier to set joystick tension on the NEO rest that on the previous (Gen 1) SEB rest. Before you had to fiddle with hex-head bolts. On the NEO rest, SEB has provided two, large diameter knobs. It is easy to set the tension so the joystick doesn’t fall on release, but travel is still smooth and positive in all planes.

Make no mistake, joystick movement on this rest is smooth and fluid, even in straight upwards motion with a 17-pound rifle. No more of the jumpiness or stacking found on lesser designs. SEB has got a winner here. Just as a top-fuel dragster lives or dies on quarter-mile speed, a coaxial rest is judged, foremost, on its ability to move quickly and precisely to point of aim in ONE MOVEMENT. Here the NEO rest shines. It may be the smoothest-functioning coaxial rest ever produced. And it also has the unique feature of adjustable front bag width (see videos). That’s great if you shoot both wide benchrest rigs and narrow-forearm rifles. Also, when disassembled, the NEO rest packs up very compactly — a big plus when traveling. If you didn’t like joystick rests before, the SEB NEO may make you a believer.

Triple-Sandbag Configuration and Vibration Damping
How about shooting performance? The rest is rock-solid, with no wobbly movement, so no mechanical flaws should prevent match-winning performance. However, the NEO rest has three separate, fairly thin bags. This configuration has been used with success in rimfire benchrest. Some European centerfire rests use a similar tri-bag arrangement. However, we are concerned that the smaller, separate bags could behave differently than a conventional front bag. There may be differences in vibration damping and how the bag responds under recoil. We have NOT done enough testing to judge how the NEO’s tri-bag system performs compared to a conventional one-piece sandbag. But it’s something to consider.

NEO Rest Offers More JoyStick Travel
The SEB NEO rest has a very wide range of travel. Running the joystick to max travel, we placed shots 43 MOA apart vertically and 48 MOA apart horizontally. That’s four FEET of horizontal travel at 100 yards using JUST the joystick! If you need more than 43 MOA of vertical travel, the whole coaxial carriage moves up and down on two large columns, delivering a bag height range from about 5″ to 10″ above the bench top. That’s a HUGE amount of travel. The gross height is adjusted with two large knobs, one on either side of the carriage. This movement is very smooth — as if the carriage is on ball bearings.

The geometry of the NEO Rest is somewhat unique. Although the NEO can be positioned in either direction (i.e. it is reversible), it is designed to have the long, narrow foot out front, on the target side. This opens up the entire area behind the rest, so there is no interference with the joystick’s movement. “But what about my vertical speedscrew?” you may be saying. Well, with the SEB NEO’s 43 MOA of vertical travel, you really don’t need a vertical adjustment screw on the shooter’s side of the rest when aiming your rifle. There ARE two adjustment screws on the left and right rear sides, but these are intended to level the rest only.

YouTube Preview Image

Overall, we were very impressed with the quality, range of adjustment, and versatility of the NEO rest. It has more than enough joystick travel to shoot an ARA rimfire target with 25 bulls. It has enough gross vertical adjustment for 1000-yard F-Class use, even if the target is way up on a hill or down in a valley. And, the rest is relatively easy to transport, with a fairly small footprint and a convenient carry handle built into the “back” side of the rest.

NEO Rest Specifications

- Reversible base configuration: Rest can work with joystick tension adjustments in front, or in rear, per user preference. If you want the single long foot on the “driver’s side”, that is also possible.
– Size assembled: Approx. 13″ wide x 14″ long, 8.6″ tall.
– MOA adjustment (joystick travel): At least 40 MOA (vertical) x 44 MOA (horizontal).
– Net weight: approx 9.3 kgs (20.5 lbs), with standard aluminum base and filled bags.
– Bag Width Range: 200 mm (approx 7.874″) between posts CTC. This allows a max forearm width of about 4″ (four inches).
– Height Range (from bottom of base to top of horizontal bag): Approx. 5″ (lowest) to 10″ (highest).
– Sand Bag Thickness: Approx. 3/4″ for the “horizontal’ bag, approx. 1/2″ for the side chambers.
– Construction: All metal throughout. Base is cast aluminum. Rack gear posts and pinion are stainless steel (SUS 420J). Coaxial body, rest top, forearm stopper are made from aircraft grade alumunium.
– Price: Not yet set, but probably $675.00 to $750.00 US.

NEO Rest vs. SEB Standard Rest
Seb told us: “The NEO rest is NOT designed to replace the regular SEB rest. It’s only for people that need faster elevation adjustment, and a rest that can be set to a lower level overall or a higher lever overall. On the production NEO rests, the ‘body’ of the coaxial unit will be polished, just like the current (Gen 1) rest. The current (Gen 1) rest will remain in production, so don’t worry if you prefer that design. I haven’t established the final price of the NEO rest yet, but I think it will be about $675.00 to $750.00. Yes, it will be somewhat more expensive because of the extended travel capability and increased cost of materials.”

Further Enhancements for Production Model?
The NEO we received is a prototype model and SEB tells us that he may add or modify some features in the final production version. What changes would we like? First, we think a front rest in the $700+ price range should have a built-in level. Obviously you can buy a bubble level and stick it on, but Seb should include one. Second, we’d like to see some variations on the side sand chambers. They tend to plump up in the middle. For stocks with side flats, such as the McMillan Edge, the thickest part of the side bags is a bit too high. Also the side tension knobs push the bags inwards well above the contact point with the stock. We also would like to have more forearm stop travel. As made, the front forearm stop has a good range of adjustment. But an optional, longer extension for the stop would better suit rifles that balance/shoot best with the rest placed well back on the forearm.

Included Cord Helps Rest Alignment
Included with the NEO rest is a nylon cord with metal ends. Just pop one end of the cord in a hole in the middle of the forearm stop and draw the cord back in line with the target, running the cord through the ears of your rear sandbag. This allows you to center and align the rear bag optimally. The cord is a thoughtful accessory provided by SEB.

Review Disclosure: SebCoax.com provided the Seb NEO rest for testing and evaluation. The rest’s manufacturer is not currently advertising with AccurateShooter.com.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Gear Review, New Product 8 Comments »
February 9th, 2010

Gear Review: SEB Coaxial Rest and Rear Bag

Mark Trope, Webmaster of the Gun Owner Network website, has written a very thorough review of the SEB Coaxial front rest. Mark’s SEB Rest Review covers all the bases, showing how the rest works with a variety of rifle types, including both wide-forearm match rifles and narrow-forearm sporter rifles.

SEB Coaxial Rest Review

Mark provides dozens of good photos of the rest, including many close-ups showing the fine points of SEB’s impressive design. The review shows how to set-up and level the rest, and how to tune the “feel” of the joystick to suit your preferences. Some rest users prefer the joystick to move quite freely, while others prefer to dial in some resistance so there is no chance of movement when you remove your hand from the joystick.

SEB Coaxial Rest Review

After covering the features and performance of the SEB Rest, Trope turns his attention to the SEB “BigFoot” rear bag. He explains why it’s a super-stable choice in rear bags, one of the best products available. You’ll note we acquired a SEB BigFoot rear bag for our latest AccurateShooter.com Project Rifle (see story above). After providing tips on how to fill the bag with heavy sand, Trope shows how to adapt a RubberMaid “ActionPacker” plastic storage bin to carry both the SEB Front Rest and the BigFoot Bag.

SEB Bigfoot bag eview

If you are considering the purchase of a joystick-style front rest, or joystick-style rest top, you should definitely read Trope’s Rest Review. It will definitely help you identify the features you need, so you can make an informed decision, whatever brand you ultimately choose. To learn more about the SEB coaxial rest, or to place an order, contact Sebastian Lambang’s American dealer, Ernie Bishop:

Ernie Bishop
306 West Flying Circle Drive
Gillette, WY 82716
(307) 257-7431
ernieemily [at] yahoo.com

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