Press advice please

cast1

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I am looking for the best option for precision reloading 338 lm and .308. I currently have a Dillon rl550 b that I run pistol loads on that's about 20 years old.

I am wondering if the Dillon is precise enough for long range shooting (1000 yds+) or would I be better served by a single stage press? If so, my searches of the board seem to indicate the Forster Co-ax is a great press. Is there any other press I should consider?
 

jagged77

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Re: Press advice please

The Co-Ax is a great choice, you can't really go wrong there. I upgraded to one from a Rock Chucker (which now only gets used for de-priming) and have never looked back.

For the .338 you'll need the extra set of jaws, it also is a little tight on space when seating .338 bullets but its not really a problem as far as I'm concerned.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
 

rdl65

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Re: Press advice please

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Jagged77</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The Co-Ax is a great choice, you can't really go wrong there. I upgraded to one from a Rock Chucker (which now only gets used for de-priming) and have never looked back.

For the .338 you'll need the extra set of jaws, it also is a little tight on space when seating .338 bullets but its not really a problem as far as I'm concerned.

Good luck with whatever you decide. </div></div>

+1 I just upgraded to a Co-Ax about a month ago. Reloaded on a Rockchucker since 1986 and wish I would have seen the light years ago. Get you a Forster, You will love it.
 

Greg Langelius *

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Re: Press advice please

All I have ever owned or used is an RL550B, since the early 1990's.

You <span style="font-style: italic">can</span> load precision ammunition on it.

First, you can work all the cartridges through a single station at a time, just like a non-progressive press.

Or, you can run them through in progressive mode, taking each newly charged case out of the powder station, checking/adjusting it, and returning it to the powder station to be advanced further through remainder of the progressive cycle.

That's the method I use for my match ammo. Basically, the powder charge is the main thing that can come through as a variable. The other stuff stays consistent until you change a die setup.

To ensure better consistency, the base plate should be adjusted snug, with just a smidge of drag.

The powder measure can be cranky about cylindrical powder kernels. Keeping the powder path clean helps, and static charges that can retard flow can be dealt with by providing the press with an electrical ground.

Because of static, I will sometimes postpone loading if the humidity is especially low.

Don't be concerned about the vertical play in the toolhead, it has no significant effect on accuracy.

Using the 550 can actually be an advantage, because of the interchangeable toolhead. It permits a die setup to be retained between loading sessions; so as long as the one session produced good ammo, it's highly likely that successive sessions will conform to the same spec until a die adjustment is changed.

Greg
 

SND

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Re: Press advice please

I went from a single stage to the Dillon 550b about 10 years ago from a simgle stage press and agree with what Greg is saying above. I reload .308 semi-progressively. Nice thing is I can load a bunch of .223 and .45 progressively. It gave me the flex I needed. You may not need as much, I understand.

Scott
 

427Cobra

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  • Nov 24, 2005
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    Re: Press advice please

    You can't go wrong with a Co-Ax the extra mechanical advantage it has will come in handy when FL resizing 338LM brass, not needing to buy indivual shell holders and it's superior spent primer retention system make it a great press, and because of the floating die and floating shell plate things find there center, ie concentric ammo.
     

    BullzeyeNJ

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    Re: Press advice please

    The Forster Co-ax press is a wonderful piece of machinery. I have been using it mainly to reload 308 but started doing 338 lapua magnum last week. Both operations are smooth sailing. This is my first single stage press. I bought it b/c I heard great reviews on it. Glad I made the right choice.

    I also have a Dillon xl650 that I want to start loading 308 and 223 on semi-progressively. I will order the caliber conversions and casefeed plates this week. Starting out with the Whidden floating toolhead to see if that gives me any advantage with consistency.
     

    JimGnitecki

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    Re: Press advice please

    I went from a Dillon 650 to a Harrell Turret press, which I use in "single stage" mode.The reason for getting the 4-hole turret even though I do one operation at a time, is so that I can leave the meticulously set up dies alone once I find the right setting.

    I very pleased with the quality of the Harrell press, and it is very highly regarded by people like Zediker (it is the press he uses and recommends for highpower competition). I also like the fact that it is very compact, and easy to take to the rnage for a laod development session if you want to do so.

    The precision is incredible. You can see and easily control the cam over that the Harrell borthers built into the press. VERY nice press - a work of art that even my wife commented favorably on. About $255.

    The only question I would have for your applicaiton is how suitabel it would be for sizing of cartridges larger than 308. It does my 308 Lapua nicely, but I have not tried anything larger. You might call Harrell and ask.

    By the way, purchasing a Harrell press is in itself an experience. When they answer the phone, it is one of the 2 brothers. You will hear production machinery in the background. You will wait a few days or a couple of weeks (3 weeks in my case, as they had a part out at the plater). They will not take your money when you order. They take your name and address. The press shows up with an invoice for you to then pay. Checks only (no credit cards). There is all extremely unusual in today's World.

    Jim G
     

    ScottWatkins

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    Re: Press advice please

    After using my press, an old Bonanza, I talked Santa into getting me a new one. I opted for the Redding Big Boss 2. My dad bought the Bonanza new when I was a baby and I'm almost 41 now. We have loaded millions of rounds on that press and it is still mechanically sound. We loaded pistol rounds and I got the new one for more leverage since I'm loading more for rifles.
     

    turbo54

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    Re: Press advice please

    I use a Dillon 650 to load 308. I do individually weight powder charges of Varget though.

    Starting with "ready to load" unprimed brass, I can load about 120 rounds/hour this way.

    Concentricity is .0015 or better. Accuracy is better than 1/2 moa.

    I wouldn't do it any other way.
     

    aloreman

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    Re: Press advice please

    ur press is fine unless your just looking for an excuse to buy a new one. the press has no bearing on the ammunition produced it is simple that, a press for pressing things together. a good die set and shell holder are all that matter. i have produced some of my finest handloads with a wilson hand die and a hammer
     

    aloreman

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    Re: Press advice please

    im loading 338lm on a rock chuckar supreme and it takes some force to full length size if i was buying a press for the lapua id go for an ammo master
     

    cast1

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    Re: Press advice please

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: aloreman</div><div class="ubbcode-body">ur press is fine unless your just looking for an excuse to buy a new one. the press has no bearing on the ammunition produced it is simple that, a press for pressing things together. a good die set and shell holder are all that matter. i have produced some of my finest handloads with a wilson hand die and a hammer </div></div>

    You sir are probably correct. Any excuse will do. Just ordered (backordered) my Forster.
     

    DJD3

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    Re: Press advice please

    I had a rock chucker, but hade leverage issues when resizing my 7mm Ultra Mag, and 300 Ultra Mag. I bought a Redding Ultra Mag press. It does a super job. Actually, run out on my ammo has lessened since using the Ultra Mag. All the presses mentioned are great.
     

    PeterWBush

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    Re: Press advice please

    Another vote for the Forster Co Ax. Yes, any press can make great match ammo but it's easier to do (and repeat) on a Co Ax. After I bolted mine down for the first time I wondered what the hell I was thinking the past few years when I didn't have one. The press is just about perfect.
     

    Fuzzball

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    Re: Press advice please

    "ur press is fine unless your just looking for an excuse to buy a new one. the press has no bearing on the ammunition produced"

    Ditto. It's not the press that matters for quality ammo, any of them used correctly will do fine work if the user and his dies are good.
     

    wchartz

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    Re: Press advice please

    Is there any way to use Redding competition shell holders on the Forster Co- Ax? Or to accomplish the same end is there any way to positively change the distance from the shell holder to the shoulder of the sizing die on the Co-Ax?
     

    Clark

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    Re: Press advice please

    A) Use all the time:
    Bonanza co-ax press
    Forster co-ax press
    RCBS partner press

    C) Use sometimes:
    (3) Lee reloader presses
    RCBS rockchucker press

    F) Never use:
    Lyman All American Press with shell holder adapter
    Dillon 550B set up for 9mm and 223


    What does it all mean?
    I have my preferences, and the next guy may have the opposite.