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July 31st, 2023

Excellent Guide to Reloading Covers the Basics Step-by-Step

cartridge reloading reload step instruction manual high pressure signs

The Shooting Sports USA website includes two excellent articles about the basics of metallic cartridge reloading. These two articles provide an excellent summary of the key procedures. If you are new to reloading, we recommend you read both articles:

Introduction to Metallic Cartridge Reloading Part I »

Introduction to Metallic Cartridge Reloading Part II »

Part II is particularly helpful because it explains the entire reloading process step-by-step, with 14 listed steps. The author notes: “In this, the second installment on metallic cartridge reloading, we’ll follow the sequence of steps involved in reloading a rifle cartridge and refining a metallic cartridge load. These steps are based on the use of a single-stage reloading press and a separate priming tool.”

Much important advice is provided as this article runs through the 14 Steps of Reloading. For example, when explaining Step 13, Bullet Seating, the article states:

“Proper seating depth is critical. Too much bullet protrusion and the cartridge may not work through the gun’s magazine, or it may fail to chamber. Too little and the bullet intrudes excessively into the powder chamber, decreasing volume and raising pressure. Neck tension is also important; any bullet that fails to seat with some resistance may be held only loosely by the neck and may be driven back into the case when the round is chambered, especially in semi-automatic arms.”

Important Guide to Detecting Over-Pressure Signs in Brass
As an example of the invaluable advice provided in these two articles, here’s a sample from Part II that explains how to determine if your load is over-pressure. We recommend that EVERY reader read this twice. There are more things to consider than a stiff bolt lift. You need to inspect cartridges very carefully:

cartridge reloading reload step instruction manual high pressure signs

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, Reloading No Comments »
February 16th, 2023

Review of Forster Co-Ax Press — Plus Cool Co-Ax Accessories

Co-ax Forster press
Forster Co-Ax Press

Forum member Erik Cortina has produced a series of YouTube videos about reloading hardware and precision hand-loading. Here we feature Erik’s video review of the Forster Co-Ax® reloading press. The red-framed Co-Ax is unique in both design and operation. It boasts 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
Forum member Kevin Thomas also owns a Co-Ax press, which he has hot-rodded with accessories from Inline Fabrication. Kevin tells us: “Check out the add-ons available from Inline Fabrication 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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December 18th, 2022

Midsouth Goes Green for Christmas — Big RCBS Xmas Sale

Midsouth Christmas RCBS sale discount reloading chargemaster rockchucker

As part of its big Christmas Season Sale, Midsouth Shooters Supply has discounted RCBS products — the line-up of green-colored Presses, Reloading Kits, ChargeMaster Scale/Dispensers, Case Prep Centers, Tumblers and more. We’ve checked around, and right now you’ll find some really great deals on RCBS equipment at Midsouth. For example Midsouth has the Rock Chucker Supreme Press at $169.99 with FREE Shipping. That’s over sixty bucks less than some other sellers charge. And you can get the ChargeMaster Link Powder Scale/Dispenser for just $269.99, $22 less than the current Amazon price.

Midsouth Christmas RCBS sale discount reloading chargemaster rockchucker

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March 14th, 2022

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 Forster 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.”

Permalink Gear Review, Reloading 4 Comments »
December 27th, 2021

Getting Started with Handloading — USAMU Advice

USAMU Reloading press instruction

This article originally appeared on the USAMU Facebook Page. The USAMU regularly published reloading advice for many years. Check the Facebook archives for related USAMU articles.

Here at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), we receive inquiries from shooters at many skill levels. One of the most frequent questions we are asked is, “What equipment do you recommend I buy to start handloading?”

USAMU Reloading press instruction

Often, the handloader will be focused on producing ammo in quantity, and a big concern is whether to begin with a single-stage vs. a progressive press. However, there is one critical item that often gets overlooked as folks talk about the especially interesting topics such as reloading die brands and types, scale types and brands. And, what might that item be?

“When all else fails, read the what?” Yes, we recommend those new to handloading actually begin with reading the early chapters of one or, preferably two quality handloading manuals. They contain copious information on basic handloading safety, how to choose and use components, and how to recognize and avoid potentially dangerous conditions. Of course, they also do a fine job of teaching new loaders the correct methods of adjusting dies, determining safe loads and improving accuracy. Beginners can recognize and avoid many potential pitfalls, shortening the learning curve tremendously.

As a government entity, we aren’t able to make specific brand-name recommendations as such. However, recent manuals from the major bullet and powder manufacturers, especially those who emphasize accuracy and match-type bullets are generally a wise choice.

USAMU Reloading press instructionHandloaders often come to prefer one or two maker’s manuals over others for various reasons. Asking a friend who’s already an experienced loader which manuals they recommend is a good start. Borrowing one or more to read before purchasing is another.

This is a good way to both save money and get a feel for the variety of component types and data that are available. Comparing differences in data from different manuals in the same caliber, with the same powder and bullet weight can be an eye-opener. It is also a wise step in researching any loading project before one begins—and the reasons for the differences are fully explained in the manuals!

The AMU recommends buying proven, high-quality equipment. It should have a reputation for great durability, good ergonomics and reasonable-to-excellent precision. In addition, ask fellow shooters which companies have a good reputation for support after the sale. Several of the better handloading companies set the bar very high.

Video Shows Special Features of Forster Co-Ax Reloading Press

With the better ones, it’s common to call to order small replacement parts and receive them at no charge in the mail immediately thereafter. Other companies don’t enjoy such a sterling reputation. Often, these focus on cheap equipment made with low-quality materials, aimed at those to whom cost is the prime consideration.

Good quality equipment not only leads to less frustration, faster production, better results and less misery — it is also an excellent investment. Certain companies’ products sell virtually instantly on the used market and retain high resale value. Other gear from less well-regarded companies is much more difficult to sell. Moreover, it brings far less of its original purchase price—if it can be sold at all.

Ask veteran handloaders — preferably those who are still very active in the shooting sports — which equipment they prefer, and why. After getting specific recommendations, search for reviews of that equipment, as well as possible alternates and newer designs. Learn the steps of operating the various options, and evaluate them for efficiency, effort and precision. A little research can pay big dividends here!

(more…)

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 1 Comment »
May 18th, 2021

MEC Marksman Press Product Review with Videos

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

MEC Marksman reloading press single stage Rock Chucker RCBS cast-ironIf you need a heavy-duty, single-stage reloading press, definitely look at the MEC Marksman, a beefy black single-stage unit with many impressive features. MEC, noted for its shotshell reloading machines, now offers the cast-iron MEC Marksman press, offering many features we really like. First, the rugged, cast-iron frame is strong enough for the toughest reloading jobs. Second, the Marksman features an OPEN front — that smart design makes it easier to insert and remove cartridge cases. 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 LNL single-stage press also has an open-front layout. Importantly, the MEC Marksman has an innovative, self-centering shell-holder. This patented design should help hand-loaders reload more efficiently.

MEC Marksman Press USER MANUAL »

We were impressed when we first saw the MEC Marksman press. The Marksman combines a sturdy cast-iron frame with a smart, user-friendly open-front design. With a $255.00 MSRP it is more expensive than an RCBS Rock Chucker ($214.16 MSRP), but the MEC Marksman offers some distinct advantages — such as the open front plus the patented floating shell-holder system.

MEC Marksman Press Review by Ultimate Reloader

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.

MEC Reloading Press Marksman Gavin Gear UltimateReloader

Manufacturer’s Product description: The MEC Marksman® is made from ductile cast iron for superior quality and durability. Our patented shell holder self-centers each cartridge. The MEC Marksman® is compatible with all 7/8-14 thread dies to change calibers quickly. Reloading .22 Hornet to .416 Rigby can all be done with one convenient machine.

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March 28th, 2021

Forster Co-Ax Reloading Press Review by Erik Cortina

Co-ax Forster press
Forster Co-Ax Press

Forum member Erik Cortina has produced a series of YouTube videos about reloading hardware and precision hand-loading. Here we feature Erik’s video review of the Forster Co-Ax® reloading press. The red-framed Co-Ax is unique in both design and operation. It boasts 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
Forum member 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

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »
March 3rd, 2021

Forster Co-Ax Press Features Showcased in Video

Forster Co-Ax Coax Reloading Press Grafs Grafs.com Sale Co-Axial rockchucker

In recent months, Forster Co-Ax® presses have been somewhat hard to find, as demand has out-stripped supply. But they are still worth looking for. The Co-Ax Single Stage Press accepts any standard 7/8″ X 14 reloading die, but Forster suggests using Forster Cross Bolt Lock Rings for best results. As the Co-Ax is currently back-ordered at most vendors, but you can try multiple sources.

If you are not yet familiar with the many unique features of the Forster Co-Ax, we recommend you watch the video embedded below. This shows how the press operates and highlights the design elements which set the Co-Ax apart from every other reloading press on the market.

Video Shows Special Features of Forster Co-Ax Reloading Press

Forster Co-Ax Press Video Review
This is a very thorough review of the Forster Co-Ax done by Rex Roach. This 14-minute video shows the key Co-Ax features, explaining how the floating case-holder jaws work (3:30 time-mark), how the dies are held in place (4:40 time-mark), how spent primers are captured (6:10 time-mark), and how to set the primer seating depth (10:00 time-mark). We’ve used a Co-Ax for years and we still learned a few new things by watching this detailed video. If you are considering purchasing a Co-Ax, definitely watch this video start to finish.

Forster Co-Ax Coax Reloading Press Grafs Grafs.com Sale Co-Axial rockchucker

The Co-Ax case-holder features spring-loaded, floating jaws. These jaws have two sets of openings, small and large. This allows the system to adapt to various rim diameters. The jaw plates can simply be reversed to switch from small jaw to large jaw. In the photo above, the Co-Ax is configured with the large jaw openings in the center.

Photos are screen shots from Forster Co-Ax Review by Rex Roach on YouTube.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading 5 Comments »
December 23rd, 2020

Buchanan Hand Reloading Press — High Quality, Unique Design

Buchanan Hand Press reloading level-action portable sizing die lee

Our friend Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com has tested the nicely-crafted Buchanan Hand Press. This symmetrical, twin-lever tool can handle pretty much any sizing and/or seating task as it offers plenty of leverage — even for full-length case resizing. Crafted by Buchanan Precision Machine, this Hand Press has a central mount for the die on top with a conventional shell-holder at the bottom. There is a handy spent primer catcher, plus an optional Lock-N-Load die insert adapter (Top Plate). This press is well-built, but the $250.00 price is steep. There is also a basic version without upper plate for $200.00, but even then you could buy FOUR Lee Hand Presses for the cost of a Buchanan.

You can see how this press works in this UltimateReloader video. Gavin demonstrates all the key functions, including decapping, sizing, and bullet seating. You can see that Gavin was impressed with this hand press, which is well-suited for loading at the range:

Gavin explains that the modern Buchanan Hand Press is based on a previous design: “This press is an evolution of an old press that has been out of production for years: the Huntington Industries Decker Hand Press. While it shares some of the basic design features, the Buchanan Precision Machine Hand Reloading Press takes quality and functionality to the next level. This press accepts standard shell holders, uses standard 7/8×14 dies (or dies with Hornady Lock-N-Load bushings as I showed in the above video), and has a COL capacity of 3 3/4″. Need to load 30-06 away from the bench? No problem, this press can handle it. Unlike other hand presses, this one stands by itself on a flat/level surface, and can be clamped to a bench in order to stay in one spot.”

Buchanan Hand Press reloading level-action portable sizing die lee

For more details, check out the full Buchanan Precision Hand Press Review on UltimateReloader.com.

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April 14th, 2020

Why Cases Can Stick in Dies — And How to Cure the Problem

This article originally appeared in the Sinclair International Reloading Press.

We have all been there…..you place a piece of tumbled brass in the shell-holder of your press, raise it into the die, and suddenly it is like somebody hit the brakes. The case is stuck in the die. Your first instinct is to reverse it out. You crank on the handle, and BANG! The rim rips off the case head and you are looking at a piece of brass stuck in the die.

A stuck case is one of the boo-boos that all of us reloaders have faced from time to time. If proper lubrication is applied, then it should not be a problem. No matter if you are a seasoned reloader or new to it, this situation can happen. Take your time, use the proper procedures, and you will be back in business in no time! This article explains how to avoid stuck cases (through proper lubrication) and how to use a stuck case removal system.

What Causes Stuck Cases
One of the first common mistakes reloaders face is the stuck case. It can be caused by too much or too little lube. Too much and a vacuum can be formed causing the case to become suctioned into the die. Too little lube and friction is the culprit. So what is the cure? There is no exact cure, but the best lube that we have found so far is just a dab of Imperial Sizing Die Wax on your fingers and applied in a thin coat on the body of the case, not the shoulder or neck. Too much of this wax can cause the vacuum effect, or can eventually load your die up with gobs of residue. If it is applied to the shoulder area, or the leftover wax moves up into the shoulder region of the die, you will see dents or dimples in the shoulder. [AccurateShooter.com Editor’s Note: For normal full-length sizing of small cases such as 220 Russian/PPC, 6mmBR, 6.5 Grendel, or 6.5×47 Lapua we recommend Ballistol (aerosol) lube. It is very slippery, goes on very thin, and does not gum up the die.]

A great way to ensure that your dies are clean is to use a simple chamber mop with a dab of your favorite solvent on it and clean out the die. Be sure all of the solvent is out after cleaning by spraying the die out with Quickscrub III or use a clean chamber mop. If you are storing your dies, you can apply a thin coat of a good oil to protect the steel such as TM oil or Starrett M1 Spray.

Using a Stuck Case Removal Kit
If you do stick a case in your die there are a few good stuck case removal kits available. Each one works in a similar fashion. I have found the Hornady kit very effective and easy to use.

Basically what you do is remove the die from the press. Unscrew the decapping assembly and pull it out as far as you can. You then need to drill/tap threads into the stuck case head (this is why it is suggested to unscrew the decapping assembly as far as you can to get it clear of the drill bits). Once this is done screw the die back into the press. You then install the included shellholder attachment on the shellholder ram, and thread it into the case via a small wrench. With some elbow grease you can reverse the stuck case out of the die with the leverage of the press, and not damage the die.

However if the case is stuck….REALLY stuck, you may pull out the threads on the case and you are still left with a stuck case in the die without any way to pull it out. If the case is really difficult to remove even with the use of a stuck case removal kit, do not try to be Hercules with the press ram. Here is a trick that may work. Take the die with the stuck case and place it in your freezer for a couple of hours. Then repeat the removal with the cold die. The freezing temperatures may cause the brass to contract, and make removal easier. If this does not work it is recommended to send it to the die manufacturer. They will be able to remove the case without damaging the die.

Another fix if you can remove the decapping assembly completely is to use a tap hammer and a punch or small wooden dowel to knock the stuck case out. This isn’t the best way since it is very possible that you will damage the die internally or externally on the threads, or both. Send the die to the manufacturer to have this done properly. You will be happier in the long run.

This article appears courtesy Sinclair International. It first appeared in Sinclair’s Reloading Press Blog.

Permalink - Articles, Reloading, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
November 14th, 2019

Video Demonstrates Lock-N-Load Press Conversion Kit

Lock N load Conversion Kit Die bushing twist lock Hornady

Would you like to swap dies in and out of a reloading press in just seconds, with a quick twist of the wrist? Hornady’s Lock ‘N Load twist-lock hardware makes that possible. This time-saving system uses “die bushings” that screw on to your dies. Don’t have Hornady press? No problem — the Lock-N-Load system can be used with non-Hornady presses via the Lock-N-Load Conversion Kit. This includes three die bushings and one press conversion insert. The adapter will work with RCBS RockChuckers and any other reloading press using a 1-1/4-12 thread. The Lock-N-Load Conversion Kit costs just $15.59 at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Watch this video to see how it works.

Product and video tip from EdLongRange. We welcome reader submissions.

.

Permalink - Videos, Reloading 1 Comment »
August 6th, 2019

Lyman Universal Press Stand Review

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

I absolutely love using this press stand. I use it with my Forster Co-Ax as well as my Dillon 550. The stand mounts those presses at the right height to minimize fatigue and maximize torque. Some products I merely review and return but this one is a keeper and won’t be leaving my bench anytime soon. — F-Class John

Lyman Universal Press Stand REVIEW

Product Review by F-Class John
Positioning your press at the optimal height is one of the oldest problems in reloading. Most presses sit low off the edge leading to uncomfortable arm strain or inconsistent pressure being applied while using. Lyman has set out to fix that problem with a reasonably-priced ($53.99 at Midsouth) press riser that works with the vast majority of reloading presses. This unit will raise just about any press up off your bench securely, allowing you to working more comfortably from a standing position. This also frees up vital bench space UNDER the press.

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

I have used a variety of presses over the years. At times I’ve run into issues mounting a press at a level that doesn’t promote arm or hand strain during normal operations. In the past I’ve used blocks of wood or even tried other brands’ proprietary stands. But I had very limited success with those options. Accordingly, I was very excited to give the Lyman Universal Press Stand a chance.

Lyman’s Universal Press Stand comes complete with side plates, two different top plates, and a large collection of mounting hardware. The two top plates are pre-drilled for numerous popular Single Stage or Progressive presses. Helpful diagrams and instructions show which side of the top plate you need to use. The pre-drilled holes accommodate a variety of presses from RCBS, Dillon, Lyman, Redding, and Hornady. But surprisingly, the plates are not pre-configured for the Forster Co-Ax Press.

CLICK to WATCH VIDEO Showing Lyman Universal Press Stand

Setting up the stand was very simple. The two sides bolt to the lower shelf unit at which point you attach the top plate. All the supplied bolts made this a breeze and once everything was snugged down, I was able to place it on my bench where I wanted it and mark the drill holes to mount it. After securing the stand to my bench it was time to mount my press.

Lyman Universal Press Stand with Dillon 550 Press

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

Adapting Lyman Universal Press Stand for Forster Co-Ax
At the time of testing I was primarily using a Forster Co-Ax press. With no pre-drilled Co-Ax configuration for either Lyman top plate, I decided to customize the blank side of one of the top plates. I opted to position the mounting holes so that the press could sit 100% on top of the mounting plate and not just off one edge. I found this process simple to execute. Mark your drill holes, then drill the plate. This can easily be done with regular drill bits although using a step-bit worked faster and cleaner to help enlarge the holes just a little when I needed some extra clearance.

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

Lyman Universal Press Stand Is Stable and Strong
Once set-up, I found the stand to be incredibly stable. The design allows for full force to be applied to the press no matter what the operation. Having used this Lyman Press stand regularly over the past few months with both my Co-Ax and a Dillon 550c, I still find myself loving it. The height is perfect and allows me to load as much as I like without straining my arm or getting fatigued. With an attractive price point (under $55.00 street price) and a simple design, I feel this is a great system for those looking for a secure and raised platform for their reloading presses.

The Universal Press Stand comes with two plates. If you have different presses that fit each plate you could easily swap presses just by changing plates while leaving the presses attached. It’s less functional if you have two presses that share one plate and would require removing one press before installing the next one.

lyman universal press stand review Dillon 550 Forster Co-Ax bench lift reloading

Lyman Press Stand Unboxing and Set-Up (KFW Video Review):

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Reloading 1 Comment »
January 16th, 2019

Cool New Products from Lyman for 2019 — All Winners We Bet

Lyman case trim xpress carbide cutter bushings adjustment wheel Lyman

2019 will be a big year for Lyman. This company is rolling out a number of new products, including three unveiled today: a variable-speed case trimmer, a universal press stand, and a really nice shooting mat. We think all three products offer some very cool features and a lot of performance for the price.

Lyman case trim xpress carbide cutter bushings adjustment wheel Lyman

For 2019, Lyman offers the Case Trim Xpress, a new, affordable variable-speed case trimmer with a razor-sharp CARBIDE CUTTER. Available in either 115V or 230V, the Case Trim Xpress can quickly and accurately trim brass at a rate of approximately 15 cases a minute. The unit has its own power source, and a strong variable-speed motor, so there is no need to use power drills. Using the 10 provided bushings, the unit indexes off the case shoulder — that’s simple, fast and reliable. Plus a precision trim adjustment wheel allows case lengths to be easily “dialed in” to 0.001″ increments. To trim your brass, simply push the case against the carbide cutter until the shoulder stops on the bushing (with precise case OAL set by the wheel). The Case Trim Xpress comes with 10 bushings that fit the most popular bottleneck rifle cartridges, so no pilots are needed. Expected retail price is around $140.00.

  • Fast and accurate — trims approximately 15 cases per minute
  • Variable speed motor and ultra-sharp, long-lasting carbide cutter
  • Utilizes case shoulders for centering and indexing cases (not for straight-walled cases)
  • Comes with 10 bushings fitting the most popular bottleneck rifle cartridges — no pilots needed.
  • Spring-loaded operation allows smooth, chatter-free trims
  • Compact, low-profile design uses minimal bench space

Long Range Shooting Mats HD Lyman

Lyman says that its new Lyman Press Stand is the only press stand on the market that will accept most current single station, turret and progressive presses of any brand. The stand is heavy-duty steel for strength, pre-drilled for common presses. It will elevate your press 9 ¼” above the bench, providing a clear view of all reloading operations while keeping the operator in an upright, back-healthy position. Raising your press can reduce fatigue while giving you extra room (below) to hold bullet boxes and dies.

Press Stand Fits All these Presses and More:
Lyman: All-American 8 Turret, Crusher, Ideal C-Frame, T-Mag, Victory
RCBS: Rock Chucker, Rock Chucker Supreme, RCBS 6 Turret, Pro 2000
Lee: Load Master, Pro 1000, Classic, Value Turret
Hornady: AP, Iron, Lock-N-Load Classic
Dillon: 550, 650, Square Deal
Redding: T7 Turret

Tac-Mat Long Range Shooting Mats

For 2019 Lyman will offer new Tac-Mat Long Range Shooting mats — in both standard and HD padded versions. These mats are long enough for tall shooters, but they still can be rolled into a compact, easy to transport size. The Tac-Mat will be offered in two versions: a basic design in 600D construction with a carry handle and shoulder strap, or the heavy-duty version (HD) in 1000D construction with elbow pads, a built-in bipod stop, carry handle and shoulder strap. We like these new mats — a lot of smart thinking went into their designs and features.

Long Range Shooting Mats HD Lyman

Want more info on all Lyman products? Click this link for Complete 2019 Lyman Product Catalog.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, News 1 Comment »
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.

Permalink News 2 Comments »
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

Permalink - Videos, Reloading 2 Comments »