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Lyman All-American 8 - Review after 6 Months

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Olympus, May 13, 2019.

  1. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    Well I thought I'd share my experience with the press after 6 months and a couple hundred rounds of rifle reloads. I'll be the first to admit that I had high hopes for this press when it was announced. The biggest competitor to the Redding with one more die station and about half the price. I just knew this press was going to be great, especially since I've always been a fan of Lyman products in general.

    I have to say that after 6 months, I'm less than impressed with the press. My first complain I noticed fairly early on in the press use. The spent primer catcher only catches about about half of the spent primers when the cases are deprimed, the other half fall on the floor. I've never noticed with my other presses, but when this press deprimes, the primer comes apart in two pieces. There is the cup and the other piece is the little star shaped piece that is seen inside the primer cup. I'm using my same Lee dies that I've always used. But for some reason, the primers tend to break apart more with this press. So that means I have twice as many pieces in the floor to pick up when I'm done. I have a bunch of random star shaped pieces and empty primer cups and also complete decapped primers.

    The second issue I ran into was when I wanted to switch the on-press priming system from small to large primer. I could not get the small primer seating ram out of the lever that it sits in. I removed the set screw completely and it still wouldn't come out. I ended up having to put the lever in a vise and use a pair of pliers to get the seating ram out. It gnarled up the spring and the primer cup to the point of not being able to use them anymore. That aggravated me.

    Then last week when I was reloading large primer rifle rounds, the large primer assembly just came apart in the middle of loading. It's like the set screw backed out while was priming it pulled the assembly apart as was I trying to seat a primer. Needless to say, the little spring that sits under the primer cup disappeared and I could not find it anywhere. I'm afraid that it might have went down inside the ram where the spent primers go. If that's the case, I'm further afraid that it could block the passage for future spent primers. If that's the case, I may have bigger problems on my hands in the future. We shall see.

    And lastly, I've never been a fan of the primer pickup tubes. I have a Dillon that uses pickup tubes and they are fantastic. These tubes are junk. They are just a solid brass tube without any special tip on the end like the Dillon tubes. Primers go inside fine, but when you turn the tube upside down to go into the press, the primers don't slide down inside the tube. They ALWAYS hang up in the tube. I have resorted to using the blast shield to tap on the sides of the tubes up and down to encourage any hung up spots to settle down. Usually this works, but occasionally they will still get hung up in the tube.

    So I called Lyman customer service today and explained all the issues. They are going to send me new large and small priming assemblies and also new pickup tubes. So I will see if that improves things. But so far, my issues within the first 6 months have been more on this press than I've had with any other press aside from a Lee Loadmaster. I have to say that I'm not impressed and I'm already doing a little window-shopping for a possible replacement. I sure thought this was going to be "the one".
     
  2. forty_caliber
    • Contributing Member

    forty_caliber Contributing Member

    Joined:
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    I have one of these too. The on press priming system leaves much to be desired. I knew that when I bought it and have never even installed it. Lots of YT videos out there on this. Besides being clunky, it's in the way. I use the Lyman Ram Prime die if I need to prime on that press.

    I have also noticed similar issues with spent primers going all over the place. About 1 in 10 don't make the cup. Decided not to worry about it since I'm using it out in the shop and I can just sweep them up. I'm thinking of trying the straw trick.

    The press is going to keep a place on my bench for the time being. I've found it does a great job for small batches of 50-100 rounds. It's great for utility needs like pulling bullets, swaging, and tough resizing jobs. Something other than a progressive is needed for some tasks.

    The turret has big advantages over a single stage. I've got two different turrets one for .308 and large primers and one for .223 and small primers. Turret change over is quick and easy to do.

    I'm reasonably happy with it even if not perfect.

    .40
     
  3. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    I did the same with a turret dedicated for small rifle primers and one turret dedicated for large rifle primers. I guess I'm still in search for that "perfect" press for small batch rifle loads. I've tried a couple of Lee single stage presses and just didn't like the way their Breech Lock bushings worked. I like the idea of not having to reset my dies every time, but the Lee bushings just felt cheap, weren't that easy to install, and didn't seem to provide as much consistency as I'd hoped.

    Right now I'm looking at the Forster Coax, the Frankford Arsenal M-Press, and the Hornady Iron press. But I'm just looking, no real plans to replace the Lyman. But I could certainly be swayed if someone else has found the perfect small batch rifle press.
     
  4. Whiterook808

    Whiterook808 Member

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    That really isn't much different than many other single stage/turret presses. It sounds like a good press for the money, even with the stated deficiencies. You save enough money off the Redding to buy a separate priming tool.
     
  5. Jeff Flannery

    Jeff Flannery Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    85
    I have one of these presses also. I tried it today for loading some pet 7mm/08 loads. I totally agree with the large (and maybe small) primer pick up tube is worthless. The primers hung up with in the tube even when I used my Hornady LNL primer guide to help push them down the tube. No luck. I removed the tube very carefully thinking the primers would slide out on the floor and.... nothing. I put a light down the tube and saw no hollow cavity! The primers were hung up about two thirds of the way down the tube. I tried all I could to make them move down the tube with no luck. I then loaded each primer by hand in the VERY small area around the primer punch. I'm not happy at all with the priming system and feel lucky to have a hand primer!!!
     
  6. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    I agree. I told Lyman about the issues with the pick up tubes and they said they have not had any issues with them. I told them I have cleaned the inside with gun scrubber and blew the insides out with compressed air and that didn't help. I'll have to agree that the on-press priming system is junk. And the spent primers not getting caught in the tray is also annoying. I'm no engineer, but it doesn't seem like it would be that hard to design a system to catch 100% of spent primers.
     
  7. Jeff Flannery

    Jeff Flannery Member

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    Jan 1, 2018
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    85
    VERY well said. I'm going to call Lyman tomorrow and see what they say. My brass was already deprimed so I can't comment on the primer catcher. But i'm sure it will be an issue. I took off the priming system and then realized I cant prime at all with it off. That's when I put it back on and hand primed the ammo. If ii had more to do, I would have hand primed them. You would think that if a company wanted to keep selling an item, they would get the bugs out of the item first!!
     
    Olympus likes this.
  8. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    Just a quick update. The Lyman parts arrived promptly and the new pick up tubes seem to be working perfectly, at least the large primer tube does. I haven’t had any primers get stuck in the tube so far. Their seems to be a hair more room inside the tube and the primers fall a lot more freely.
     
    Livin_Cincy and troy fairweather like this.
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