Coax Press Experience


April 22, 2011, 10:47 AM
Due to a possible move I may need to build a new reloading area, probably downsizing from my 14 foot bench. I am consideringing going with a smaller, lighter bench that will not be attached to a wall. I know the Coax enables you to put less stress on the bench and am considering buying one. Can you guys who have one tell me what issues came up when you switched to the Coax? I would like both positive and negative comments.Thanks.

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April 22, 2011, 11:07 AM
If you load for a variety of different calibers you will have to switch out the shellholder jaws which is a pain in the posterior.

April 22, 2011, 11:29 AM
Switching the shell holder jaws takes 2 minutes tops. You'll save that much time in not having to screw dies in. Plus you don't have to change them out that often.

April 22, 2011, 11:33 AM
I recently upgraded from a Rockchucker to the Coax. I really don't know why I waited so long!

Only gotcha happened to me the 4th time I changed the jaws...make sure you order a few extra springs! I did find the spring...2 days after my new ones arrived!

April 22, 2011, 11:40 AM
I have a Coax press mounted to a stool for a portable reloading bench. It's plenty sturdy; just have to steady the bench sometimes when resizing cases that take a lot of force. (usually don't even have to do that.) A Hornady LNL-AP is mounted to the reloading bench, but it really doesn't get used much since I bought the coax.

If I were starting completely over and had to replace all my reloading equipment, a Forster Coax would be my first press (second would probably be a Dillon SDB, and the third a cheap Lee "reloader" press)

BTW, Lee lock rings work in a Coax press (much to my surprise)

April 22, 2011, 12:58 PM
Back when the "Bonanza" coax first came out the company owner used to demo the press clamped to a card table, the "trick" was a long extended mounting plate that the press was mounted on and then clamped to the card table. Was a real education to watch him full length size a case or even form cases with the press on a card table. For a while I used my coax on a grinder bench from HF, worked just fine for any task I asked of it and could be picked up and moved with zero problem any time I needed it out of the way.

April 22, 2011, 01:18 PM
The coax shellholder system is a pita, even if it only takes a few minutes to change. I upgraded from a coax to a Redding Big Boss and believe me it was an upgrade.

Doug b
April 22, 2011, 03:02 PM
The shellholder system on the co-ax is a little tricky until you get the hang of it,but it is part of a unique self centering system that loads some very concentric ammo.The priming system is slow and not very ergonomic.It's mounted on top of the press,I find it more comfortable to stand to prime.Also the work flow is a little awkward when priming,when you mount it leave room on both sides of the press for components it'll really smooth things out.That said,your result will be perfectly primed brass .004 to .005" below flush everytime.

April 22, 2011, 05:31 PM
Great press and I'm getting much better at quick changes of the auto-shellholder. Even with it's design I still would recommend a sturdy bench or a light bench either anchored at the floor or attached to a wall. It still puts a force on the bench making a narrow light bench try to tilt sizing some large rifle cases. Loads more concentric ammo than my other presses. I still couldn't be without my RCBS RockChucker and Big Max presses though. Also, I prefer to prime on my RCBS bench mounted Automatic Priming tool and if buying a Co-Ax get the Forster die lock rings that can be bought in a 10-pack. Some of your die lock rings won't fit or are a poor fit in the Co-Ax.

April 22, 2011, 07:50 PM
If you load for a variety of different calibers you will have to switch out the shellholder jaws which is a pain in the posterior.

People to know what they are talking about before they post.

I have a solution. I just built 12, sold 10 and kept two for my Bonanza and my Forster co-ax presses.

Here is a video of it

April 23, 2011, 12:27 AM
I have a Forster Co-Ax, and it is a great press. They are expensive compared to other single-stage presses, but I am glad I bought one. This is the press the Army Marksmanship Team uses. I do not use this press to prime cases, however.

April 23, 2011, 01:04 AM
That's a nice self-contained assembly. I like it.

April 23, 2011, 09:49 AM

Looks like the assembly is pretty neat. What is the price if you produce more and exactly what advantages does it have over original equipment? Just curious.

April 23, 2011, 12:13 PM
If you had not tickled my vanity, I would tell you to follow the link.
But I suddenly have energy to do it all for you.
Bonanza housing, Forster housing, and Clark's housing
Pointed, shortened 10-24 screws with knurled heads vs button head screw that come with press

"I made improvements to the co-ax press jaw shell holder housing.
1) If a case got stuck in the sizer die, pulling it out bent the housing. I fixed that with a beefier housing.
2) If the long jaw adjusting screw was adjusted too high, the housing would run into it, and the housing got bent. Fixed that by making the hole bigger for clearance so the screw passes through.
3) Changing jaws would sometimes be a pain, as the jaw springs flew across the room. Fixed that with springs in a hole, not a trough.
4) The button head screws took a long time to screw in or out with an Allen wrench. Fixes that with a knurled head screw that screws in with finger and thumb.
5) The button head screw was hard to line up with the holes in the wear plate, jaws, housing, and guide block casting. Fixed that with a pointy end on the cap head screw."

I was selling them for $20 delivered to people I contacted with private messages.
I contacted 9 posters who have co-ax presses, and sold 10.

I make ~ 20 times as much per hour doing engineering, and I am turning down engineering jobs, so why did I do it?
Just for fun.

April 23, 2011, 12:19 PM

Will you be producing more or was this a one shot experiment?

April 23, 2011, 01:24 PM
One shot for now.

April 23, 2011, 04:21 PM
"If it's not red....leave it in the shed"

The spent primer collection system works great. The priming feature is too slow. The shell holder is slow to switch over but works good. The opening for big hands is a small issue but doable. The leverage power is good. Smoothness of operation is excellent. Run-out is very low. Overall, a good press....

September 28, 2013, 08:42 PM
Ive picked up where Clark left.. off.. I contacted him on the hide for one and he is no longer making them.. however he sent me his prints. I made one like his
and then another and changed a few things.. and he gave me his list and Ive picked up where he left off.. if you want to see pics or want one or where on a list to get one but have been left hanging please PM and I will get you taken care of.. If you need references on how they are please contact Clark.. he has one from me and is happy with it along with some others..

September 29, 2013, 12:13 AM
If you don't like messing with the standard Co-ax shellholder jaws to suit large and small calibers, Forster makes an adapter that lets you use standard shellholders. Midway and Grafs (and probably others) have them for about $18.

September 29, 2013, 08:48 PM
My Co-Ax has more than 80,000 rounds through it, and still going strong!


September 29, 2013, 11:16 PM
I like mine - resize 300 mag cases with ease.

I've never used the primer seating on it though. I use an RCBS hand primer.

If you're using micrometer style seating dies you might check the handle clearance. I seem to recall that can be an issue.

September 29, 2013, 11:46 PM
a) I made my own jaws for the co-ax press, but they are not better than Forster's.
b) I made my own handle for the co-ax press, but it is no better than Forster's.
c) I made my own wear plate for the co-ax press, but they are not better than Forster's. But if two co-ax presses take different die adjustments, one can balance them with wear plate thickness.
d) I made my own shell holder jaw housings and button head screws, and they have some advantages:
...1) The screws are pointed on the end to find the holes
...2) The screw heads are knurled so they can be tightened without an Allen wrench.
...3) The housing is thicker so that pulled out stuck cases does not bend it. It is machined 1018 steel, not cast.
...4) The springs are captive in holes, not trenches, so the springs do not shoot across the room when swapping jaw ends.
...5) The clearance hole in housing is large enough for the jaw opening screw long can pass through without jamming and bending the housing

I made a dozen housings and screw sets and sold them on line to guys I could see had co-ax presses.
More guys want them, but I am old and don't need money.
Now some young guy has got the drawing from me and made some with CNC. He is not selling the screws.

Here is a pic left to right of the Forster parts, then my parts, and now this week... the young CNC guy's housing.

Yesterday I bumped into an old guy that did the same thing I did... make a few improved co-ax housings with a manual mill.

September 30, 2013, 07:09 AM
The gentleman Clark refers to the the above sent me an email telling me of the he is making the Clark's improved jaw housing for $35.00 shipped. I ordered it and I am impressed. Its is beefier and does simplify changing the jaw plates or for just cleaning and re-lubing that part of the press. No more flying springs! I use this press for 8 different bottleneck calibers. I've never had a problem sizing any case ever with the original fittings but the flying springs was a PITA but no more with this upgrade.

October 1, 2013, 09:47 AM
Looks like something I need to look into

send PM for info

October 7, 2013, 09:25 AM
Get the Co-ax. You will never regret it. Reversing the jaws is simple and quick. I've had mine for 5 years now and work it hard. I would never consider another single stage press if I had to buy another or wanted a second press.

I have a friend that wants to buy one now and is unable to find one in stock anywhere. Hopefully backorders won't take too long.


October 7, 2013, 02:46 PM
Watch they sometimes have them. Their website says they expect some in November.

October 12, 2013, 10:35 PM
Thanks, I will do that

October 19, 2013, 09:03 PM
In the 90's I had a coax that was anything but coaxial with respect to the rifle cartridges it loaded. I sold it to a guy at work, and he hated me ever since.

I like the idea behind the press, but the ammo mine loaded was not so great as measured by the NECO concentricity gage.

Now I have a RCBS Summit which is similar in design and works better I think.

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