Forster Co-Ax vs. Hornady LnL?

cgv69

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Jun 4, 2009
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Guys, I want to get a single stage press (which will be my first press). For background: I'm not the type to get in cheap and then upgrade later. When it comes to tools, I'm generally never happy with "good enough". I like to start with high quality tools from the get go. So what I'm saying is, saving money is not my #1 priority, quality and performance is. That said, I don't like to waste money needlessly either. If given the choice between 2 tools, I don't automatically buy the more expensive one just because it's more expensive. I need to see that it is clearly superior then the less expensive option so that I can justify the added expense. As for how I will use it... at first I will be using this press to learn reloading while attempting to make precision loads for my 223 bolt gun (and maybe some 9mm practice rounds too). Later I plan to get a progressive press to mass produce 9mm and 223 practice\training rounds and will still use the single stage for workups and precision loads.

From the research I have done so far, the 2 the presses that I'm interested in are the Forster Co-Ax and the Hornady LnL. The Forster seems to be considered by many to be the Cadillac of presses. Very well built, easy to operate, quick change dies, ambidextrous operation. The Hornady also seems well respected and also has quick change dies. The Hornady also has an optional primer feed kit which looks like it would be really handy (assuming it works?). Lastly, while I'm not focused on cost, I can't help but consider that there is about a $100 difference in cost between the 2.

So is the Co-Ax superior to the Hornady and if so, in what way(s)? Do you feel those difference are worth the added cost? If you were buying today and those were your two choice and money wasn't your top priority, which one would buy and please state why?
 

pistolpete75

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Re: Forster Co-Ax vs. Hornady LnL?

I have no experience with the Hornady, however I do have the Forster. I have no issues with this press what so ever, and I am a nit picky type of guy. Excellent construction and extremly easy to change dies. With the right dies, it makes very precise/ consistant ammo. The primer seater is a little slow, however it perfectly seats the primer perfectly. I have no need to "trade-up" to another single stage press. Match it up with a Giruad trimmer, RCBS Trim Mate, and RCBS Chargemaster you'll have the quickest and most accurate set up that money can buy.
 

Rhys

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Feb 28, 2008
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Re: Forster Co-Ax vs. Hornady LnL?

Come to the dark side and get the Co-Ax. No shell holders needed, the only thing more consistent I know of is my arbor press and hand dies. I still use the primer seater on the co-ax when loading with my hand dies at least for everything that has the same cases head diameter as my .308.
 

david777

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Jul 16, 2008
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Re: Forster Co-Ax vs. Hornady LnL?

I have both the Co-Ax and the LNL AP. While the LNL is a good progressive press, anything that requires precision I only use the Co-Ax. Even the primer seater works very well and was well thought out from a design point of view. You won't be disappointed in the press or the results you get.
 

Winchester 69

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Re: Forster Co-Ax vs. Hornady LnL?

Look at the ergonomics of the Co-Ax before buying. It is generally considered to be easier to use from the standing position. There's been a lot written about the Co-Ax, and searches may be productive, if not on this forum (defective Search function) then others.

If the quick-change feature of the Hornady press is attractive, some O-frame presses, like the Redding Big Boss and UtraMag, can be converted with to use Hornady bushings. Cast iron is a more stable basis (and more wear-resistant) for a reloading press.
 

cgv69

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Jun 4, 2009
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Re: Forster Co-Ax vs. Hornady LnL?

Thanks for the responces so far guys. Just to be clear, the LnL I'm considering is the "Classic" single stage press. Not the AP (although the LnL AP is what I'm considering for a progressive
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Winchester 69</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Cast iron is a more stable basis (and more wear-resistant) for a reloading press.</div></div>
I'm guessing the Hornady is not cast iron? What about the Co-Ax?
 

jdel

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Mar 4, 2007
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Re: Forster Co-Ax vs. Hornady LnL?

Trust us, get the coax and you will be very happy. The coax is cast iron as well as the others but it's different than the others. You don't need shell holders with the coax, jaws clamp around the shell base to hold it in place. If your picky about your tools and want the best of the chioces you have given I would get the coax.
 

kombayotch

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Sep 20, 2007
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Re: Forster Co-Ax vs. Hornady LnL?

By design, the CO-AX is a better press. What is really unique about it is that loading the handle does nothing to affect case alignment. On most other presses, this introduces torsion and/or side loading to the ram because the handle is offset. This affect is greatly amplified if the linkage is loose or if over-caming occurs.
 

Winchester 69

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Re: Forster Co-Ax vs. Hornady LnL?

The Hornady Classic press is aluminum. It's a good press, but tends to loosen with time. Frequent lubrication is beneficial.

The AP is also aluminum, but is massive and is equipped with Zirk fittings.

Get to know the Co-Ax before buying. The universal shell holder can be difficult when it needs to be changed. It's possible to pull bullets with the Co-Ax, but the right tool is required. These are not veiled warnings. The Co-Ax is a fine piece of equipment, but it's different.
 

kombayotch

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Sep 20, 2007
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Re: Forster Co-Ax vs. Hornady LnL?

I use the Hornady bullet puller on mine and it works just fine.
 

david777

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Jul 16, 2008
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Re: Forster Co-Ax vs. Hornady LnL?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Winchester 69</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Look at the ergonomics of the Co-Ax before buying. It is generally considered to be easier to use from the standing position. </div></div>

I found that to be true also. I use a pretty high bar stool I bought at Costco and it gets me high enough with my loading table height to still use the press with some degree of ergonomics while seated.