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Information On R F Wells Model C Press?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by David Wile, Feb 4, 2008.

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  1. David Wile

    David Wile Member

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    Hey folks,

    I just bought an R F Wells Model C press that looks rather similar to the old Herter's Model 3 metallic "C" frame press. They are both massive old beasts. Like the Herter's press, the ram on the Wells press is set up for screw on shell holders.

    First I would like to know anything I can find out about the Wells press. I never heard of it, and I could not find anything on the internet. It looks like a precursor to the Herter's press, and it is also from Minn like Herters.

    Secondly, is there any not so expensive way to adapt the ram on this press to use modern shell holders? I was checking on new RCBS adapters for the Herters press, but they sure are expensive for what is essentially an old press even if it is in good condition. Does anyone have a used adapter they would be will to sell at a reasonable price?

    This press is not a "must have" for me. I bought it because it was cheap and it represents a classic time of reloading for me. I have a Rock Chucker and a Hornady L&L progressive, but this is just something that should be put in working order and standing tall.

    Best wishes,
    Dave Wile
     
  2. lgsracer

    lgsracer Member

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  3. Chawbaccer

    Chawbaccer Member

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    CH has the universal C press ram to use modern shell holders.
    I have an old Pacific press and about twenty rams for it. Sometimes I will set it up with some vintage dies and give it a work out.
     
  4. Ringneck16

    Ringneck16 Member

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    I checked with CH and their universal ram is the wrong size for the Herters in diameter. It is smaller than the Herters.
     
  5. Otto

    Otto Member

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    Wells presses are basically Herters knock-offs.
    You can read more about it at ARTCA.
    http://www.antiquereloadingtools.org/discus/messages/8/1614.html?1199538654
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2008
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Why in the world would anyone try to "knock-off" Herters products?

    They were already "knocked off" about as far as possible and still make a small profit.

    I had always been under the impression Wells was the actual foundry or manufacture who made the presses for Herters.
    Not the other way around.

    1224.jpg
    rcmodel
     
  7. David Wile

    David Wile Member

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    Hey folks,

    Sometimes I suspect I am a bit of a fool for buying old presses that are not in working order, that are outdated, and are not really as useful as an RCBS Jr. In fact this R. F. Wells antique press has now cost me a good bit more than I would have to pay for an RCBS Jr on E-Bay, and that includes shipping.

    In spite of that fact, I bought an adapter from Dave at C-H Die that screws on the top of the Wells ram and enables it to use modern shell holders. The adapter alone cost a little over $45 with S&H. Dave at C-H said he made up a dozen of these adapters for a Herters press that had a threaded ram. From the looks of this adapter, it would seem the Herters ram must have been a 1 inch diameter. The ram on my Wells is about .810 inch in diameter, so the adapter looks like a big knob on top of the ram.

    The cost of the adapter seems rather steep, but I am not a machinist, and I am unable to make one myself from scratch. I was unable to find any other adapter to fit the threaded ram on the Wells. I am sure if I went to a macine shop to have one made, it would cost a lot more than $45.

    In any case, I now have an R. F. Wells press that looks almost new, is in actual working condition, and is ready to fill some cases with bullets. I realize it is not as practical as my Rock Chucker, but then everybody has a Rock Chucker, while very few have an R. F. Wells press.

    Hmmm, not too sure if that speaks good or bad for my common sense?! Oh well, the Wells press adds character to the bench.

    In the meantime, you can snicker at me for spending good money after bad on an old fashioned press of questionable value. I have to confess that I like to see old machines working again - I just hate paying for the privilege. One can never have too many reloading presses.

    Best wishes,
    Dave Wile
     
  8. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Dave good reading. Hey do you have a picture of that press. I can say i am pretty much on your side. If i found an old press like that i would clean it up put a new coat of paint on it. Replate what ever needs replating. Then for the shell holders. I would MIC out the diameters. Then draw what i needed, then have it made. Yep i know it would cost a lot. However i know a lot of guys with mills and old lathes. Im sure we could have made up a shell holder adapter for maybe the cost of a good 12 pack. Then for the dies. i have seen a screw in adapter bushing that would make the size go to the current size of most modern dies. That we could have made up too. In the end i would have been sporting a old working press too.
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Sounds pretty neat!

    My apparently later model Herters press used shell holders that were bigger then the standard size. I made an adapter that fit the ram O.D., and fit the I.D. of the smaller shell holders from RCBS, Pacific, etc.
    Held them in place with three set-screws.

    I still have the adapter, but no longer have the Herters press.

    It was still hard to beat for heavy-duty sizing!

    1224.jpg
    rcmodel
     
  10. David Wile

    David Wile Member

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    Hey Scrat,

    I wouldn't mind taking a couple of pictures, but I have no idea of how to include them in a posting. Can you tell me how to do it?

    Best wishes,
    Dave Wile
     
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Some of us are just suckers for cool old stuff. :D
     
  12. ravencon

    ravencon Member

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    Eccentric hobbies make life interesting. Enjoy!
     
  13. Ringneck16

    Ringneck16 Member

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    Here is a pic of my beloved Herters.

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  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Boy that brings back memories!

    I still miss getting the big ol Herters Catalog in the mail every year!

    1224.jpg
    rcmodel
     
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