Forster Co-Ax Issues?


January 2, 2010, 08:15 PM
I'm graduating from a Lee Breeck Lock press. I went ahead and bit the bullet on a Forster Co-Ax last week and am currently waiting on the UPS guy to bring me my present. I was just wondering if anyone on here has had any issues with it. Anyone have any tips or advice on getting setup or running?

Like I said, I haven't got it yet. I'm just trying to make sure everything goes smoothly.

I am curious as to how to prime on this press. Will my Lee Auto Prime 2 (die) work on it or is the presses priming system pretty good?

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January 2, 2010, 08:33 PM
The Co-Ax is a great press, you'll be pleased with your purchase. Don't think your Lee will work for priming on the Co-Ax. The priming system on the Co-Ax works quite well but requires placing each primer in the priming cup by hand. It has two sliding fingers that you have to adjust for the case you're priming. Takes an allen wrench to loosen and lock the shellholder fingers in place. It has a positive stop and is advertised to seat primers at the same depth.
The only thing I can think of is some reloading dies have lock rings that may not fit in the slot where the dies slide in. I recommend buying Forsters Co-Ax die lock rings. I think they come 10 to a package. That way you can lock the Forster lock rings on your RCBS, Lee, Lyman, etc. and they will stay adjusted. If you use the lock rings provided with the press you'll have to remove them and put them on other dies when switching calibers. I think I've seen Sinclair stainless lock rings that fit the Co-Ax too. Forsters are aluminum but work well for me. Careful changing the automatic shellholders from small to large cases. It's very easy for the little springs to shoot out to all parts of the reloading room. I've spent several minutes looking for a spring that got away.
Here's the PDF Co-Ax press manual if you want to study it before your press arrives:

January 2, 2010, 08:55 PM
Thanks for the heads up. I did get 5 Forster rings as well. Most of my dies are Lee, and I figured the O-Ring lock system wouldn't work with the Co-Ax.

January 2, 2010, 10:53 PM
The Co-ax is a great press. The only frustration I have with mine is that the primer drop tube tends to get plugged and requires a few minutes to clean out.

January 2, 2010, 11:26 PM
It has two sliding fingers that you have to adjust for the case you're priming.
Mine may be different than your but mine has THREE "fingers'.
The Coax press is the best single stage press out there! I have been loading for over forty yrs now and have a COAX for most of those yrs.
Warning: do not over tighten the two allen head screws that hold down the shellholder jaw plate, to do so will cause fast wear on the tapered bolt that opens the shellholder jaws and it may cause the jaws to drag and not open freely. The primer system will take some getting use to, but it will always seat a primer the way they should be seated, .004 to .005 below flush. Any questions you may have with the Coax feel free to ask, i've been down that road. Oh the primer tube getting plugged can be fixed by leaving the tube slightly loose in the base so that it will shake a little, that will keep the tube clean. I also polished the insides a little with Frtiz polish, made it shiny smooth! Watch those jaw springs too! Change them in a 1 gal. zip lock bag, then you'll be able to find them.

Jimmy K

January 3, 2010, 02:15 AM
Correction, JimKirk is correct on the jaw fingers that you adjust for holding the case for priming. There are 3 jaws rather than two.

January 3, 2010, 08:17 AM
Also take a leg off a pair of blue jeans, cut it long enough to gather around the handle and extend all the way down to the bottom of the press castings. Take a nylon zip tie and put around the jeans and the handle leaving room for the now "press cover" to slide off the handle.

Jimmy K

January 3, 2010, 12:19 PM

What gets the co-ax dirty is case lube and smokeless powder spills.

The grunge does not matter unless it gets between the "wear plate" and the "guide block casting".

January 3, 2010, 01:44 PM
Wow, I've been using my Co-ax for 5 years every week and never realized it had a built in primer seater till I read this post. Should of at least looked at instructions. Matt S

January 3, 2010, 04:58 PM
awesome press. easily the best single-stage press available at any price.

only problems i've had with mine are:
-a little surface rust on the handle
-primer drop tube clogs
-priming system is slow, so i use a separate forster tool to do that and only use the built in one for one cartridge i load in small qty

January 4, 2010, 10:48 AM
Polish the inside of the primer tube with some Fritz on a jig and short cleaning rod, also don't tighten the tube tight into the base, let it wiggle a little. The vibrations of the up and down movements and the wiggly polished tube keep it empty. The priming is slow but I LIKE it, been looking at the separate Forster primer tool too!

Jimmy K

January 4, 2010, 04:48 PM
Have had my Forster (nee Bonanza) for over 30 years. I use a Lee priming tool as is faster than any other method that I know of. Started reloading with a Rock Chucker, but the Co-Ax works just great. I have always liked the slide in die feature and the adjustable shell holder feature. Great press.

January 4, 2010, 10:40 PM
Got the press today and got it all set up. Everything is working smoothly.

It surprised me how small it is. It looked a lot bigger in the pictures.

It did take me a couple minutes to get the hang of setting my dies up, but no biggy there.

Overall it looks like a very fine addition to the tool collection. Thanks to everyone for the help.

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