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Forster

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BillMcCall, Feb 9, 2008.

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  1. BillMcCall

    BillMcCall Member

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    Does anyone use a Forster single stage for rifle reloading? Are you satisfied with the press operation? What kind of neck run out do your re-sized cases and finished rounds have? Are you using a one piece die, two piece or perhaps a body die and separate neck sizing operation? I'd welcome your opinion and any ups or downs you've had with the press.
    Thx Bill
     
  2. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Are you talking about the CO-AX press?

    Don
     
  3. paperpuncher49

    paperpuncher49 Member

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    IMO, the Forster Co-Ax is the best single stage press commonly available. That being said, do a search. Several threads on THR discuss this press.
     
  4. Bad Flynch

    Bad Flynch Member

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    I have used a Forster Co-Ax for many years. I have used others, too. The Forster is very, very good.
     
  5. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Member

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    The Co-Ax is the Cadiliac of single stage presses.
     
  6. flashhole

    flashhole Member

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    The Co-Ax is a good press, some will say a great press. I had one. I liked it but replaced it in favor of a Redding Ultramag. Got tired of pinching my fingers and dropping bullets when loading long cartridges. There just wasn't enough opening. Aside from that there is nothing bad to say about it.
     
  7. Clark

    Clark Member

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    Do not load with a Rockchucker for 10 years before buying a Forster Co-ax press, like I did.

    Pay the money early in life.

    Don't buy cheap:
    Barrels
    bullets
    scopes
    dies
    cleaning rods
    synthetic stocks
    binoculars
    shoes
    etc

    And don't be too cheap to buy a Co-ax press, and let the years go by without it.
     
  8. BillMcCall

    BillMcCall Member

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    USSR

    Yes the CO-AX. If you use one Don what kind of neck run-out do you get re-sizing rifle cases.
    Thx Bill
     
  9. brian427cobra

    brian427cobra Member

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    Since the Co-Ax allows the die to float and the case to float, runout is close to nil, I have never measured a case, but my loaded rounds are always <.002

    Brian
     
  10. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Bill,

    Don't have one; wish I did. As previously stated, they are the very best single stage press. Assuming you are using decent dies, your runout should be negligible.

    Don
     
  11. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    best press you can buy, for dozens of different reasons. use search
     
  12. rg1

    rg1 Member

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    I have a C0-AX press and it's the best press I've used for getting less run-out in rifle and pistol. The quick die changes is another big plus on the CO-AX. I use Hornady seater dies for pistol and some rifle. The sliding alignment sleeve helps hold bullets straight after you turn them loose and start raising the ram. With other seating dies from RCBS, Lyman, and Redding they give very consistent loads with very little run-out. I don't personally like the priming feature on the CO-AX but I prefer my RCBS Auto-prime tool but the priming system does work ok.
    I like the caseholder feature on the CO-AX and the spent primer catcher is great for catching spent primers and debris. Forster advertises that sizing effort is lower than on other presses due to the press design but I find it takes more effort to size 30-06 sized cases than it does on my RockChucker or Big Max presses. Not a problem but I prefer case resizing on the RCBS presses. I have the Co-AX and RockChucker side by side and use them in tandem with seating in the Co-AX and crimping in the RockChucker for instance. If you get the CO-AX press buy the Forster die lock rings to put on your other dies. They sell them in multiple packs.
     
  13. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    I was disappointed in my co-ax press. You have to use the Forster die rings or it won't work right. I had issues with the shell plates not opening properly. Runout was no better than anything else I used.

    Since I sold that press in a fit of anger, I discovered that proper inside case neck lube was likely causing my issues, rather than the press.

    Still, I would not buy one again due to the necessity to use those proprietary rings.

    Since then I've discovered the Lee Classic Cast Turret press, which has the good feature of the spent primers going down through the ram, like the Co-Ax, but it has a better primer seating system too. At a fraction of the cost.

    IMO. YMMV.
     
  14. ldv444

    ldv444 Member

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    I have a Co-Ax and I love it. In fact, I'm getting ready to buy another. I load rounds up to and including the 375HH and I don't have a problem with space. It has a lot more leverage than my old Rockchucker, and full length resizing my buddies 416 Rigby was not an issue. Much more mechanical advantage than the Rockchucker. Unlike a lot of people, I actually prefer the priming system on the Co-Ax. It's easy to use, very consistent and accurate. I have loaded rounds with other presses, dies being the same, and the run-out with the Co-Ax is considerably less. Get one! Read the owners manual thoroughly before messing with it, and enjoy! Also, the old RCBS rings work great. Hope this helps.
     
  15. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Member

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    Hornady rings also work in the Co-Ax and are cheaper.
     
  16. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

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    The only lock rings I am aware of that will not work on a Co-Ax are Lee (terrible on any press) and Dillon. But I prefer Hornady lock rings on any die on any press anyway (I've heard they're too big on Lee turrets and Dillon tool heads); they have clamping action rather than set screws, and wrench flats to boot.

    I recommend a seating die that has a sliding alignment sleeve. Hornady and Forster have this on all their seating dies; Redding and RCBS have it on their Competition series (RCBS' windowed seating die). The sleeve allows you to let the bullet enter the sleeve with your fingers for assistance, but the sleeve slides up out of the way, and does not pinch your fingers. The windowed seating dies avoid this finger-pinching problem altogether.

    The Ultramag has more room, but it lacks the floating die retention and the shell holder jaws of the co-ax. I personally prefer the over-the-top handle motion of the co-ax, but that's just my personal preference; YMMV.

    Many recently designed presses direct spent primers through the ram into a catch bottle. However, because the co-ax does not have a slot in the ram for a priming arm (through which primer debris occasionally escapes), and the shell holder is much farther away from the ram bearing surfaces than on traditional presses, it does a better job of making sure that abrasive primer debris goes into the catch bottle, and not where it can damage the press.

    Andy
     
  17. paperpuncher49

    paperpuncher49 Member

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    BigJakeJ1s.

    You stated "The only lock rings I am aware of that will not work on a Co-Ax are Lee (terrible on any press) and Dillon." Neither RCBS or Redding rings fit in the Co-Ax press. At least not their current production rings. Years ago, if my failing memory serves me correctly, RCBS rings did fit the Co-Ax press, but they now use a cheaper-to-produce lock nut. And I'm not intending to stir anything up, but I fail to see the benefit of having wrench flats on Hornady rings. IMO, if a wrench is needed to remove a die from the press it is being torqued in much tighter than is necessary.
     
  18. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

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    I have some of the latest RCBS lock rings, and they will "work" on a Forster co-ax. They are not optimal because they are too thin, and I don't think they do a very good job, but they will function (for instance, I only tried it with a universal depriming die, where optimal performance was not required). Knowing the Redding rings are similar sized to RCBS, I assume that they would function similarly. The Lee and Dillon rings will not work at all, because they won't stay put and/or won't fit.

    Lyman also makes a clamp style ring (not offered on their dies), that may work, as do the standard set-screw rings that come on Lyman dies.

    As for wrench flats on die rings, I agree that under most circumstances, they should not require a wrench to loosen. However, there are two occurrences where they may be needed. First is when the die and ring are first adjusted and then tightened (clamped down) on the die. The clamping action usually causes the lock ring to center on the threads, which may cause it to tighten/jam against the press more tightly than it had been by hand, thus requiring a wrench to loosen. The second is when a die is left in a press for an extended period in a garage or other non-climate-controlled environment. Repeated heating and cooling can cause the die to tighten (or sometimes loosen) in a press. Some dies do not have a wrench flat on the body, and I prefer to apply a wrench rather than pliers which often mar the finish of the die or lock ring.

    Andy
     
  19. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    Some Lee lock rings work on my CoAx. RCBS rings work but are a bit too thin. Redding works and Hornady doesn't.
     
  20. ldv444

    ldv444 Member

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    Rings/Help!

    Guys-
    I am the proud owner of a Co-AX and I must be doing something very wrong. The only rings that I have found to work are Forester and the old RCBS rings. Not all the old RCBS rings work, I have found that some are too thick to fit in the die ring space.

    I have tried the Hornday, and they don't line the die up correctly. If the flat side of the ring is put in first, or towards the back of the press, then the die sits too far backward. The Redding, Lee, and current RCBS rings are too thin and don't hold the die in the holder at all. This is my experience...what the heck am I doing wrong?:cuss:

    If you just load a ring ( no die ) into the press-first the Forester, then whatever else, you will see a big difference in the "fit". Let me know what I am doing wrong.....been known to be a monkey with a hammer!:D
     
  21. paperpuncher49

    paperpuncher49 Member

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    ldv444

    I don't think you are doing anything wrong. Everything you said is correct. I think someone has inhaled way too much primer dust, or is snorting too much smokeless powder. Personally, I wish one of the respondents who claims current production RCBS rings will work in a Co-Ax would post a picture as proof. I would suspect they are refering to the rings RCBS supplied with their dies many moons ago. All I can say is you can ram a .270 winchester round into a .30-06 chambered rifle and it will fire. That doesn't mean it works. C'mon. Let's see some photos of the non-Hornady or non-Forster rings that supposedly work in the Co-Ax.
     
  22. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

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    Sorry, but I don't have a digital camera handy.

    But I just measured the slot (.318), forster ring (.315), hornady ring (.311), and the lock ring I took off my 2 year old rcbs universal decapper (.266), bought new at the Cabella's store in FW TX.

    And my co-ax (just over a year old) works fine with Hornady rings, but as someone else mentioned it is sensitive to how the ring goes into the slot. Mine works fine if the flats are fore and aft, but side to side does not let the spring detent hold the die in place. The forster rings are a closer fit, and their round shape doesn't care which end/side goes in where, but I don't like their phillips head clamp screw. One of these days I'm going to replace them with allen head cap screws.

    We're talking about the RCBS lock rings with the brass set screw that you're supposed to put a lead shot under, right? That's the one I have. Blued steel, 1.265" across the rounded corners, 1.181 across the flats. The Forster ring is 1.365" OD.

    Like I said, the only die I've used it with is a universal decapping die, where precision is not that critical, and I already said it is loose in there. At least on my co-ax, the barrel of the die fits well enough in the press that it positions the die pretty well (except for sliding out when the detent does not hold it in place).

    Maybe I didn't make myself clear, but I would NOT recommend RCBS rings with the co-ax, but they will work in a pinch, until you can get something else that works better.

    Now, just who's inhalin' or snortin' what?! ;^)

    Andy
     
  23. BillMcCall

    BillMcCall Member

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    Forster Rings

    BigJakeJ1s
    It sounds like the rings might be a problem. Lyman makes a steel split lock ring. does anyone know what the dimensions are?
    Bill
     
  24. paperpuncher49

    paperpuncher49 Member

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    Hey Andy,

    No offense intended. Your last post says it all. You might be able to use a Redding or an RCBS ring in a pinch, but as you stated, neither will center the die properly. I think we would both agree that the Co-Ax is the best single stage press commonly available, whether or not there has been any snortin' or inhalin' going on!

    And Bill, the rings are really not a problem. You can buy the rings separately. I have maybe 10 spares in case I buy a new set of dies for some new firearm. They do not cost all that much. Even with the added cost of using the Forster rings, I would tell you that is a small price to pay in order to gain all the benefits the Co-Ax press offers. I think most Co-Ax users would tell you the exact same thing.
     
  25. Clark

    Clark Member

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