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Frankford Arsenal Co-Ax Clone?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Doublehelix, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Some pre-production presses are out and at last we know how the jaws work

    The knobs retain the jaws, but aren't really screws. What they retain is a round plate into which is cut half-moons with 90 degree separation. The cutouts are marked 223, 308, Small, and Large.

    To change to a different case head size, your move the knobs outward to release them from retention. You rotate the knobs, and the attached plates, to the desired casehead size. When done, you push the knobs back toward the center...I believe they are spring loaded. Nothing to disassemble and no springs to lose. Everything is contained under that panel
     
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  2. gojones

    gojones Member

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    I have the Forester B-3 Co-Ax but find that competition among manufactures is good for the users. Maybe the FA will become a successful competitor to Forester and they can occasionally one up each other. We will ultimately benefit via price, innovation and quality. I have never had Brand loyalty but consider it responsible to evaluate the market and go from there.
     
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  3. Bang!

    Bang! Member

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    gavintoobe put out a video.

     
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  4. Doublehelix
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    Doublehelix Contributing Member

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    That actually looks pretty sweet. I do like the shell holder design a lot.
     
  5. 2011redrider

    2011redrider Member

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    Watched the video on the M press this morning. Comes with light for press, die blocks are 16 bucks for 3 and a new die box since the stock boxes won't close with the new blocks attached. Has a cam over and straight stop system that you can change by rotating the left link arm. Don't know why they didn't use a slot that accomadates die lock rings like the Co-ax, they copied everything else with a few modifications.
    I got my Co-ax a few years ago and would buy again over the M press, all fittings on M press are metric so, I assume it's from China? 3 sets of die blocks would cover the 50 dollar higher price tag of the Co-ax.
     
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  6. tcoz

    tcoz Member

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    Yes, it’s made in China. Gavintoobe mentioned something in the video about making sure that the dies are adjusted correctly otherwise the shellplate can be damaged but he didn’t offer any specifics.
    I don’t have a Co-Ax but if one of its biggest advantages is being able to produce ammo with an absolute minimum of runout, I’d be skeptical of a knock-off having just as tight and well engineered tolerances to do the same.
    The reloading press is the most basic and important of all reloading tools and I want mine to be manufactured in the USA or another country where they have a history of designing and engineering these tools, not somewhere that they depend on making knock-off products and undercutting prices.
     
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  7. santacruzdave
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    santacruzdave Contributing Member

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  8. Whiterook808

    Whiterook808 Member

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    I notice he paused a bit when the run out on one of the cartridges was a bit much. So far the Chinese have not made heavy inroads into the reloading tool market. I for one am hoping it stays that way.
     
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  9. drband

    drband Member

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    The Chinese pretty much own the semi-conductor industry (production) though a great deal of design is still done in the US. I would expect the reloading tool manufacturing industry to follow suit eventually. Time will tell.
     
  10. Whiterook808

    Whiterook808 Member

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    We all vote with our dollars.
     
  11. drband

    drband Member

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    Agreed!
     
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  12. farm23

    farm23 Member

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    When I get my next press it will be USA made.
     
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  13. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    BEST part for ME is, it won't matter, because MY CO-AX will STILL be putting out QUALITY ammo!

    That's the BEST part about buying a "quality" product, in the first place!

    DM
     
  14. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    So...you're crossing RCBS off your list of options?
     
  15. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    This is very true, but it is also why production of many products are moving overseas...most folks just aren't willing to pay for American labor anymore
     
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  16. Doublehelix
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    Doublehelix Contributing Member

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    The thing that impresses me the most with the FA press are the jaws that hold the shells. I think that is a pretty cool design, and honestly, I sort of like die block design as well that lock in place with the detent spring.

    However, I still think the Co-Ax is still the better overall *value*, and made in the USA is worth paying a bit extra for IMHO.
     
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  17. rtrj

    rtrj Member

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    It's funny, the Co-Ax is a copy of a Frankford Arsenal press:

    BenchTools2.jpg

    from 1896!
     
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  18. 209jones

    209jones Member

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    Haven't really delved into looking at what options FA has for other shellholder sets, the ones that come with will cover a lot of ammo needs, but certainly not all of them by the look of it. May be that they won't offer any others, so a person may have to check that before buying.
     
  19. bds

    bds Member

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    I have been a happy user of various Battenfeld products (Caldwell, Frankford Arsenal, etc.) over the decades owned by S&W - https://www.btibrands.com/#

    I think quality improved with new direction for reloading equipment such as Platinum Series for Frankford Arsenal since S&W bought Battenfeld in 2014 but not sure if I am a fan of the new FA press.

    Perhaps FA going with a single stage press was due to Dillon having solid base of customers with 550/650 presses and Lee securing new customer base with Auto Breech Lock Pro adding to Classic Turret/Pro 1000 customer base which I believe will continue to be unchallenged with improvement made to 2018 model of Pro 1000.

    This will be significant for many reloaders.

    Lee continues to make all of their presses and dies in the USA.

    If Lee keeps making products like Auto Breech Lock Pro and their carbide pistol dies, they will keep getting my money. :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  20. NWPilgrim

    NWPilgrim Member

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    What is the advantage of a Co-Ax press over the other single stage presses. Is it mainly the shell holder and alignment and or something else? I know nothing about this style of press but have seen them in catalogs and wondered.
     
  21. bds

    bds Member

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    To me Co-Ax presses are similar to "H" type presses but with handle supported by both sides. I have 2 C-H 3/4 station "H" type presses and advantage over "O" type single stage presses are better visualization of shell holder/case/bullet and having multiple die stations. Co-Ax presses further improve on leverage over "H" type presses.

    044000.png
    To better visualize shell holder/case/bullet, some "O" type presses are rotated slightly on the center axis. My C-H 205 press has bent front part of "O" to the right for better visualization.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    For ME, it's the alignment of the shell holder, the "auto part" of how the shell holder works. The better control of spent primers when de-capping, the instant in and out of the dies and the fact that the press can be mounted "in" the bench, (and can be turned toward you) instead of on the edge of the bench.

    DM
     
  23. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    What first caught my attention, about the Co-Ax, was how easily you could change dies and maintain adjustments...this was before I discovered the Hornady bushing system. The floating shell holder and die should help alignment...I'm mostly a handgun guy...but the open face access also appealed to me, especially if you add the Inline Fabrication curved linkage arms.

    The FA M-press copy is very interesting in that it is completely above the bench top (that attracted me to the RCBS Summit also). The included lighting is also nice
     
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