January 5th, 2017

MEC Marksman Press Review on UltimateReloader.com

MEC Reloading Press Marksman Gavin Gear UltimateReloader

We were impressed when we first saw the new MEC Marksman press. Created by the makers of the popular MEC shotshell reloading systems, the new Marksman combines a sturdy cast-iron frame with a modern open-front design. With a $225.00 MSRP it is more expensive than an RCBS Rock Chucker, but it offers some distinct advantages — such as the open front plus a floating shell-holder system.

Our friend Gavin Gear got his hands on a MEC Marksman press and put it through its paces. He came away impressed with the product, saying it delivers excellent performance, and has many impressive features. Gavin tells us: “Cast iron tools and machines are a lifetime investment. The made-in-USA MEC Marksman features ductile cast-iron construction, an open-front frame design for easy cartridge access, a new floating shell-holder design with a unique retention system, and ambidextrous handle setup.”

CLICK HERE for REVIEW of MEC Marksman Single-Stage Press on UltimateReloader.com.

Gavin liked the Marksman’s system for holding spent primers. A tray sits behind the ram to catch spent primers exiting from a hole near the bottom of the ram. This is more foolproof than the plastic primer cups on some other single-stage presses. Expect less spent primer “spillage”.

MEC Marksman Relodading press

The Marksman is sold as a stand-alone unit. However MEC also offers a very nice steel mount/riser for the Marksman. Gavin tested the Marksman with this riser, and he says it was sturdy and well-built. Gavin liked the riser. He said that elevating the Markman press up above the benchtop made it easier to handle cases and to operate the handle. You also get extra left- and right-side die-holders.

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November 2nd, 2016

New Cast-Iron, Single-Stage Marksman Press from MEC

MEC Marksman reloading press single stage Rock Chucker RCBS cast-iron

If you’re shopping for a heavy-duty, single-stage reloading press, there’s a new option you should consider. MEC, noted for its shotshell reloading machines, has just introduced an all-new, cast-iron press, the MEC Marksman press. This new single-stage press has features we really like. First, the beefy, cast-iron frame is strong enough for the toughest reloading jobs. Second, the MEC Marksman features an OPEN front — that smart design makes it easier to insert and remove cartridge cases during the reloading process. It also makes it much easier to place your bullets during the seating stage. This open-front design makes good sense — note that Hornady’s new LNL single-stage press also has an open-front layout for important reasons. Lastly the MEC Marksman has an innovative, self-centering shell-holder. This patent-pending design should help hand-loaders reload more efficiently.

MEC Marksman reloading press single stage Rock Chucker RCBS cast-ironMEC MARKSMAN

Manufacturer’s Product Description
The MEC Marksman is made from ductile cast iron for superior quality and durability. Our patent-pending self-centering shell holder provides greater accuracy and consistency to every reload. The MEC Marksman is compatible with all 7/8-14 thread dies to change calibers quickly. Reload .22 Hornet to .416 Rigby all with one convenient machine. The MEC Marksman single-stage metallic reloader and accessory products are made in the USA in Mayville, Wisconsin.

In addition to the MEC Marksman, MEC’s new Metallic line of products will include reloading accessories. Powder measure, powder trickler, scale, and calipers will be offered. An additional base is available for easy installation and is compatible with the MEC Jig Fixture mounting system. Case prep tools and components are also available.

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October 27th, 2016

What Is Your Favorite Item of Reloading Equipment?

Sierra Bullets Reloading Equipment Bulletsmiths RCBS rock Chucker single stage press
This article originally appeared in the Sierra Bullets Blog.

We asked a few Sierra Bullets bulletsmiths “What is your favorite ‘don’t know how you ever lived without it’ piece of reloading equipment?” Along with the not-so-surprising “reloading press” responses, there are some interesting answers, including a reloading room, an annealing machine, a comparator, and a home-made tool for detecting incipient case head separation. Check out all the answers below. We would love to hear from you too, please share your response in the comments below.

What Is Your Favorite Piece of Reloading Equipment?

Ballistic Technician Carroll Pilant answered: “Dillon 550 and 650 presses.”

Ballistic Technician Rich Machholz answered: “My universal decapping die is as handy as a pocket on a shirt.”

Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin answered: “A comparator gauge to measure from the base of a case to the ogive of the bullet. This bypasses the tip of the bullet, so I can repeat the same seating depth the next time I visit a specific combination.”

Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks answered: “I don’t know that you would actually call this equipment, but the item that comes to mind would be my reloading room. I had always had to squeeze everything into a corner or even an unheated shed. After we bought our current house, I built a garage and placed it so that I had a window looking down a 250-yard range. I built a dedicated room with heat and A/C. It contains my reloading bench and a shooting bench. The shooting bench lets me slide open the window and shoot down the range. It is very handy to not have to load everything up to go to the range. It also makes load development a lot simpler and efficient. I don’t know how I ever got along without it.”

Ballistic Technician Paul Box answered: “The Lee hand priming tool.”

Former Ballistic Technician Robert Treece answered “My homemade dental pick. I use it to check incipient case-head separations. We all see the ‘bright ring’ down close to the case head, that’s natural, but after several firings could be starting to split apart. You could start by just straightening out a paper clip; flattening one end; sharpening and turning it 90 degrees, then bend if about 1/8″ long will even fit all the way down into .204″ cases. On the other end, bend about 3/4″ to 90 degrees also, in the same direction as the pick. That will give you a handle and also ‘points’” in the direction of the pick as you scrape along the side wall from down inside at the bottom upward along the side wall. If the pick hooks into a crevice — DON’T TRY TO SIZE THE CASE. It will pull apart in your die.”

Chief Ballistician Tommy Todd answered: “A brass annealing machine.”

Production Toolsetter Brad Vansell answered: “Redding Ultramag single-stage reloading press for my rifle and my Dillon 650 for my pistol loading.”

Process Engineer David Palm answered: “Homemade case lube.”

RCBS rock Chucker single stage pressPlant Engineer Darren Leskiw answered: “Beyond the normal equipment, I’d say my electronic scale. Using the beam balance for the past 9 years was ok, but nowhere as easy as using an electronic scale.”

There were many votes for the classic RCBS Rock Chucker single-stage press:

Ballistician Gary Prisendorf answered “RCBS Rockchucker Press, it’s built like a tank, and it will last me a lifetime.”

Production Manager Chris Hatfield answered: “RCBS single stage reloading press.”

Maintenance & Machine Shop Lead Craig Westermier answered: “RCBS Rock Chucker.”

Production Resource Manager Dan Mahnken answered “RCBS Rock Chucker! Buy one and it lasts a lifetime.”

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November 8th, 2015

Reloading Press Comparison: Rock Chucker vs. Co-Ax vs. Summit

RCBS Rockchucker Rock Chucker Forster Co-Ax Coax Summit single-stage Press Hornady Laurie Holland Target Shooter

“The press is the heart of the handloading operation, also traditionally the most expensive single tool employed…” — Laurie Holland

British competitive shooter Laurie Holland has reviewed three popular, single-stage reloading presses for Target Shooter Magazine (targetshooter.co.uk). Laurie bolted up a Forster Co-Ax, RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme, and RCBS Summit to his reloading bench and put the three presses through their paces. These three machines are very different in design and operation. The venerable Rock Chucker is a classic heavy, cast-iron “O”- type press that offers lots of leverage for tough jobs. The smaller RCBS Summit press is an innovative “upside-down” design with a large center column and open front. It offers a small footprint and easy case access from the front. The Co-Ax is unique in many respects — dies slide in and out of the upper section which allows them to “float”. The cartridge case is held in the lower section by spring-loaded jaws rather than a conventional shell-holder.

READ Laurie Holland Reloading Press 3-Way Comparison Review

If you are considering purchasing any one of these three presses, you should read Laurie’s article start to finish. He reviews the pros and cons of each press, after processing three different brands of brass on each machine. He discusses ergonomics, easy of use, press leverage, smoothness, priming function, and (most importantly), the ability to produce straight ammo with low run-out. The review includes interesting data on case-neck run-out (TIR) for RWS, Federal, and Norma 7x57mm brass.

RCBS Rockchucker Rock Chucker Forster Co-Ax Coax Summit single-stage Press Hornady Laurie Holland Target ShooterReview Quick Highlights:

RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme
“My expectations of the antediluvian RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme’s performance weren’t over high to be honest as I mounted it in the place of the Summit. As soon as I sized the first of the stretched RWS cases though, I saw why this press has been such a long-running favorite. The workload was considerably reduced compared to the other two presses and doing 40-odd cases took no time at all with little sweat — it just eats hard-to-size brass.”

RCBS Summit Press
“Despite its massive build and long-stroke operating handle, [the Summit] took more sweat than I’d expected, even if it was somewhat less work than with the Co-Ax. Although the Summit is apparently massive, I noticed that the die platform would tilt fractionally under the heaviest strains[.] It is nevertheless a very pleasant press in use and bullet seating was a doddle — the few examples tried proving very concentric on checking them afterwards. The optional short handle would be valuable for this task.”

Forster Co-Ax
“[On the Co-Ax], the operating handle is above the machine, located centrally here [with] twin steel links at the top end of the press dropping down to the moving parts. The Co-Ax incorporates a number of novel features, principally its automatic and multi-case compatible shell-holder assembly with spring-loaded sliding jaws, very neat spent primer arrangements that allow hardly any gritty residues to escape and foul the moving parts and, the snap-in/out die fitment that allows rapid changes and also sees the die ‘float’ in relation to the case giving very concentric results. I own this press and it meets my handloading needs very well.”

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July 11th, 2010

Lee Classic Cast Press on Sale, Plus MidwayUSA $10 Off Promo

MidwayUSA has the Lee Classic Cast Iron “O” press (item 317-831) on sale now through the end of July. Priced at $77.29 (marked down from $82.99), this is an outstanding single-stage press for the money. It performs as well or better than some presses costing twice as much. If you don’t believe us… read the dozens of positive reviews from Lee Classic Cast Press owners.

Modern precision machining ensures a precise fit of the ram so it moves smoothly. There is plenty of leverage, and the handle can be moved from left side to right side. One really cool feature is that spent primers eject straight down through the center of the ram, exiting through a tube.

Lee Classic Cast Press Sale

Save an Extra $10 off Order of $50.00 or More
If the price reduction for the Lee Class Cast Press isn’t enough of an incentive, MidwayUSA is offering an exclusive promotion for AccurateShooter.com readers this July. To save an additional ten bucks on your order of $50 or more, use PROMO CODE 2437210 during check-out. This promo expires 7/31/2010.

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