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New Press and Dies

08 Nov 2017
@ 02:34 pm (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

I've had a few days off and been researching single stage presses and sizing dies.

My trusty Dillon AT500 had served me well but now i've bedded my rifles, fixed triggers and done all the associated Nathan approved mods as well as rereading all his books, I have come to the conclusion that the Dillon is probably not up to the task of producing accurate repeatable rounds. From the computer world: "Garbage In - Garbage Out". I bought it 20 years ago when I was shooting hand guns more than rifles. Upgraded from a 70's Rockchucker. Hated the primer ejector and priming system both total after thoughts.

So my quest for an accurate press and dies.

If I had unlimited funds I would get these:

Press:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6c8WNl6dOo

Dies:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkPhHJql7KA&t=9s

So my question is, what's the most important, the chicken or the egg?

I also believe in pay once, cry once.

My current dies are Lee Collet and Redding Bushing competition dies, both near the top of the heap for standard dies.

I am thinking of keeping these dies and getting the best single stage press I can afford and if I still am not happy get those beautiful Warner dies later so the press must be capable of taking 1.25" x 12 tpi dies.

As we all know the quality of massed produced products is subject to the Friday Afternoon syndrome. It can be hit and miss.

Order of preference is

1. Accumaxx - bloody expensive landed in Australia. Did I say Expensive, but peace of mind as it would accurate and I have a 500kg bench to mount it on, no problem. (I only have one wish in Life: My wife doesn't sell my toys after i'm dead for what I told her I bought them for!) I have the room on the bench for it as well..............Oh, and those beautiful dies, neck and shoulder bumping to my chambers..................

then the rest:

Redding Ultramag - Stuff all info and still expensive AUD$1000, Accuracy?
Hornady Iron Press if the LnL can be removed via unscrewing to reveal larger threads?
Forster Co-Ax unobtainable and only for 7/8 dies, why don't they make a bigger one?

Please help Mark

Replies

09 Nov 2017
@ 03:38 am (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: New Press and Dies
Earlier this year I gave my ROckchuker press away and bought a new Forster single stage press. I really think for producing accurate, concentric ammuniition this is the one to get. Several really well done reviews on Youtube can be watched. It is a tiny bit of a different chore to get the Lee dies working with it but I got mine to work fine after some research online. Your Redding dies will do just fine with it, although I bought a complete set of Forster dies for every rifle I own and some my two boys have as well since I do their loading too.

Here is the link. These presses are not low cost ones and I have no idea of the cost for them in other than Canada.

https://www.forsterproducts.com
09 Nov 2017
@ 06:26 am (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

Re: New Press and Dies
Bryan, it's getting really hot and humid here so you must be getting snow?

Unfortunately the Co-Ax is unobtainable here in Australia and the local shops want about AUD$800 for one.

Have you or anyone tried the MEC Marksman? Utube vidoes show the same runout as the Co-Ax using the same dies. Only AUD$370.
09 Nov 2017
@ 10:18 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: New Press and Dies
Mark - my nephew bought (and foolishly left with me) an RCBS RockChucker IV "O" frame press kit. It works wonderfully with the Lee collet and Redding dies. I don't like the spent primer catcher, but it's better than picking them up off the floor. I just loaded some prelim loads for a '06 and when done they were anywhere from 0 to .002" run-out without even trying.
09 Nov 2017
@ 11:21 am (GMT)

Riki Waugh

Re: New Press and Dies
Mark, i just bought a new Simplex press, they are making them again and while i dont know all the technical jargon they were good when i was a kid and this one looks great is solid as a rock and its a pleasure to deal with them and they are Aussie. they made custom dies for my 25 Souper..25-308 as well and they work a treat.
09 Nov 2017
@ 11:36 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: New Press and Dies
I think the forster is one of the best press around and everyone I know that's has one is extremely happy.

I'm still using a Lee challenger press, I might up date it soon probably to Lee classic cast, main reason is because with my magnum rounds I have to feed projectile up into seating die before I put it on case neck as the stroke isn't very long.
09 Nov 2017
@ 03:24 pm (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: New Press and Dies
Quote:
Bryan, it's getting really hot and humid here so you must be getting snow?

Unfortunately the Co-Ax is unobtainable here in Australia and the local shops want about AUD$800 for one.

Have you or anyone tried the MEC Marksman? Utube vidoes show the same runout as the Co-Ax using the same dies. Only AUD$370.


Winter is just about here I would say. -12 to -18 F so far with a bit of snow on the ground but not bad yet.

Here in BC, Canada I found a dealer online in Montreal,Quebec who sold me mine for $550 Canadian. Thomas mentions the LEE Classic Cast press which is a low cost one that produces extremely accurate ammo. I taught a young fellow to handload on his and went to the gun range to help him with his load workup and was surprised at the results. Perhaps would not outlast the Forster for volume use but it worked well.
09 Nov 2017
@ 04:02 pm (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: New Press and Dies
Sorry I made a mistake above. Just looked up the cost for my Forster Coax press. It was $480 plus taxes and shipping costs which brought it close to what I said above.
10 Nov 2017
@ 01:51 pm (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

Re: New Press and Dies
Thanks for the suggestions.

I have narrowed it down to either the Co-Ax or Harrells Sportsman, both not "Cam Over" presses .

Mark
11 Nov 2017
@ 02:17 am (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: New Press and Dies
Let us know how you like the press that you get. Always good to get such info.
12 Nov 2017
@ 04:16 pm (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

Re: New Press and Dies
I've just ordered a Neco concentricity gauge with "The Cat" so I can definitely check my loads and adjust them before I get a new press.
17 Dec 2017
@ 12:21 pm (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

Re: New Press and Dies
All my parts have arrived for my new 243 and after a day at the range yesterday here are the results.

Reloading Equipment used.
Dillon AT550 Press
Lee Collet Die
L E Wilson Seating die (Standard) with VLD Stem
21st Century Arbor Press
L E Wilson 243 Case gauge
L E Wilson Case Gauge Depth Micrometer
NECO Concentricity gauge
Once fired Winchester brass after seating SST in new brass 0.5 MOA accuracy.
Hornady 95gr SST seated to 2.795 inches 71.06mm

Case #1
Before sizing Runout 0.0005"
2 Passes Collet 1/8 turn 0.0010"
2 more passes 1/8 turn 0.0010"
SST seated 0.0015"

Shoulder depth - bump
Before sizing 0.0"
2 passes -0.0020"
4 passes -0.0025"

Outside neck Diameter
Before sizing 0.277"
2 Passes 0.2715"
4 Passes 0.2715"
SST Seated 0.2730"


Case #2
Before sizing Runout 0.0005"
2 Passes Collet 1/8 turn 0.0010"
2 more passes 1/8 turn 0.0015"
SST seated 0.0010"

Shoulder depth - bump
Before sizing 0.0005"
2 passes -0.0025"
4 passes -0.0035"

Outside neck Diameter
Before sizing 0.277"
2 Passes 0.272"
4 Passes 0.2715"
SST Seated 0.2730"

Case #3
Before sizing Runout 0.0015"
2 Passes Collet 1/8 turn 0.0020"
2 more passes 1/8 turn 0.0015"
SST seated 0.0045" On this case I stopped the seating 1/2 way
and turned the seating stem - bad move.

Shoulder depth - bump
Before sizing 0.0020"
2 passes -0.0030"
4 passes -0.0035"

Outside neck Diameter
Before sizing 0.277"
2 Passes 0.272"
4 Passes 0.2715"
SST Seated 0.2730"

Case #4
Before sizing Runout 0.0035"
2 Passes Collet 1/8 turn 0.0020"
2 more passes 1/8 turn 0.0020"
SST seated 0.0015"

Shoulder depth - bump
Before sizing 0.0005"
2 passes -0.0030"
4 passes -0.0030"

Outside neck Diameter
Before sizing 0.277"
2 Passes 0.2715"
4 Passes 0.2710"
SST Seated 0.2730"

So what can be deducted from this small sample.
- Don't turn the Wilson seating stem
- The collet die is bumping the shoulder back 0.002" Perfect for a bolt rifle.
- The Press(?) is inducing 0.0005" runout, acceptable at this stage.

At this stage I will keep with Lee Collet, Wilson Seating Dies. I will keep the Dillon for decapping and other duties and next tax time invest in a Harrells Compact 308 Size press.

Mark
17 Dec 2017
@ 01:05 pm (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

Re: New Press and Dies
I just loaded 3 cases using a Lee Loader

Same brass,
Same Arbor Press
Mark 1 Precision Rubber Knockometer

Case #1
Before sizing Runout 0.0005"
Lee Loader 0.0025"
SST seated 0.0020"

Shoulder depth - bump
Before sizing -0.0010"
Lee Loader -0.0010"


Outside neck Diameter
Before sizing 0.2775"
Lee Loader 0.2705"

Case #2
Before sizing Runout 0.0005"
Lee Loader 0.0005"
SST seated 0.0040"

Shoulder depth - bump
Before sizing -0.0020"
Lee Loader -0.0020"


Outside neck Diameter
Before sizing 0.2775"
Lee Loader 0.2705"

Case #3
Before sizing Runout 0.0010"
Lee Loader 0.0015"
SST seated 0.0025"

Shoulder depth - bump
Before sizing -0.0010"
Lee Loader -0.0010"


Outside neck Diameter
Before sizing 0.2765"
Lee Loader 0.2705"

Acceptable results as an emergency field system.

-No Shoulder bump
-Tighter neck tension
-Seating induced runout.

Before all my new dies arrived I tested some reloads made with the LEE RGB dies. An average of 0.006" seated runout.

Mark
24 Dec 2017
@ 11:27 am (GMT)

Mark Whitaker

Re: New Press and Dies
Compliments of the Season to Nathan, Steph, family and all the contributors around the world.

I've just size some cases of 300 win mag using the Lee collet die.

All the cases had neck runnout of less than 0.0005" before sizing, After sizing using the Dillon 550, neck runnout on all cases was 0.002".

Waiting for a 223 collet die to test them, but I will get the Harrells aud$340 or Co-Ax aud$560

Mark
25 Dec 2017
@ 12:42 am (GMT)

Mike R

Re: New Press and Dies
I get similar runout with lee collet dies about 2 thou full length dies get around 6 thou. Lee makes good gear that just plain works, not saying it’s the best at all but for most shooters it’s more than enough. I’m thinking of getting the delux quick trimmer for my 223 though as trimming 2-300 cases hurts my fingers
 

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