- March 24, 2016 at 11:34 pm #26302
I’m wanting to set up a press (preferably used) for the sole purpose of sizing. I’ve got some bullets that are sized to different sizes for different firearms. So sometime I need to squeeze that bullet down .004″. That’s something my old Lee Single stage “beginners’ press just can’t handle. Not enough leverage………..and when I am able to resize on it, it takes a whole lot of physical effort on my part. I’m looking for a single stage press with a lot of leverage advantage. Anyone know which press has the greatest leverage advantage?
- March 24, 2016 at 11:45 pm #26303dvernaParticipant
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Rock chucker should do it.
- March 25, 2016 at 12:01 am #26304
I too would say RockChucker . . I’ve read that the IV is even better than the original or the RCII I have on my bench ,they both make it pretty ecase back out of the 8×57 die but it goes in pretty easy to make 280 Rem from 06′ and it’s too late when you hit the cam over to get the dry 06′ back out of the 8×57 die. I’ve pushed .325 bullets through a .316 sizer pretty easy too.
- March 25, 2016 at 12:41 am #26306
I don’t have a lot of spare cash to spend on this press. Any thoughts where I might go to find one really inexpensively? I never luck out at garage sales. The only time I see good garage sale finds is two weeks after I’ve paid big bucks for something!
- March 25, 2016 at 12:58 am #26307
- March 25, 2016 at 1:19 am #26308
Harter;n4843 wrote: I too would say RockChucker . .
……. I’ve pushed .325 bullets through a .316 sizer pretty easy too.
No joy here. Where they air cooled?
Water quenched takes a LOT of force. I was thinking of a four foot cheater pipe…
- March 25, 2016 at 3:13 am #26315VANNParticipant
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I’ve heard that Lee’s classic cast is a pretty heavy duty press, some have said that it is slightly better than the Rock Chucker.
- March 25, 2016 at 3:40 am #26317
No joy here. Where they air cooled?
Water quenched takes a LOT of force. I was thinking of a four foot cheater pipe…
STP and Buckshot sizer.
- March 25, 2016 at 4:04 am #26319
I tried lots of sewing machine oil and a .314″ Lee push through. Moved the bench about.
- March 25, 2016 at 4:33 am #26321
Heard a guy say his Prius would outrun a challenger too. The only folks that say that are those who wish it were true because that’s all they’ve got. LOL!
- March 25, 2016 at 4:45 am #26323
The best lube for HD sizing operations in my experience is Imperial sizing wax. Really great stuff.
If you’re moving your bench around, you need a heavier bench. You don’t have near enough junk on it yet, but that will come. LOL!
Now, the best press you can get for cheap is the Rockchucker RC IMHO. Don’t be foolish about this. There are many green RCBS presses out there and they are not all created equal. You’re looking for the ones that have massive linkage that is painted green. You’re looking for one that looks beefy in the LINKAGE. As much as people like to thump their chest and talk about how awesome their press is, the place where you get leverage, and the place that breaks most often is the linkage, and that’s true across the board. The Lee is plenty strong enough in the frame to do the job (as long as it’s a D frame of some sort) but I could bend their little handle into a pretzel with some of the sizing operations I’ve done, and that’s not even the weak part.
If you want to see what a real jaw breaker of a press looks like, check out the RCBS BigMax A4. You can swage bullets with that puppy (although it’s not really suited for it). It’s nothing you want to buy if you’re on a budget though.
Dig these Ebay pics. I use and recommend them, and you’ll see the common theme here.
- March 25, 2016 at 5:06 am #26326ScharfschuetzeParticipant
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I upgraded from an RCBS Junior press about 40 years ago to the RCBS Rock Chucker and haven’t looked back. 32 S&W Longs to case forming, it has done it all without a hiccup.
+1 on the Imperial Sizing Wax.
- March 25, 2016 at 5:59 am #26327DaveInGAParticipant
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- Overall: 50
Actually, I owned both, had both (both US made, not the chinese rock chucker) on the bench side by side for three months. The Lee Classic Cast is the one I still own and I can afford anything out there right now. It truly is one of the few good values out there.
- March 25, 2016 at 7:56 am #26328
I’ve got two of those monsters on my bench. One’s a RC and the other is a RC II. I can’t agree with you more on the quality of the older ones.
My bench moves because it’s free standing. I haven’t got it bolted to the wall and/or floor. That’ll change soon. Planning a remodel. I’m looking for a used metal commercial door as a table top. Second choice would be stacked 2×4 studs on edge bolted together with all-thread.
I might increase the number of electrical plugs over the bench too. (Sounds like a project post in the works.)
I haven’t tried Imperial Sizing Wax, but I know where to get it. Thanks for the tip.
- March 25, 2016 at 8:07 am #26329
I’m surprised the Prius owner isn’t flaunting the 68 mpg on the freeway…..
- March 25, 2016 at 11:48 am #26332ScrewboltsParticipant
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There is lots of good advice above.
I have never owned a green press from RCBS my green pressis is a Redding C type that I got in 67. But I do believe they are of good quality and a fine investment. I have been part owner of a the big red press that is a clone to the Big Green press that comes with the Hornady or RCBS 50BMG kit. Red or green your choice, same press different dies. One of the happiest days of my life was when the late Neil wanted to be the sole owner of that Red – RCBS press and Hornady dies. ( my half was actually more than I paid for the Clasic cast 50 bmg kit ) I had already purchased a LEE CLasic Cast 50 BMG kits, one of the very first ever offered LEE CLasic Cast 50 BMG kits, (I believe with 50BMG dies it was $159.00) and used it almost exclusively to load my 50BMGs. I did leave the priming feature in the Hornady press and used that for that work after I got the LEE. being both presses were hung 90 degrees apart on the same 6×6 post in my shop it was very easy to see the differences. The LEE CC has mor mecanical advantage that the long handled Greem/red press. The handels were the same length but the lee traveled in a longer ark more (degrees of a circle) with an actual shorted ram movement over all. ( Still more than enough to load thousands of 50 BMG shell) So the IMHO, and from my actual measuring, The LEE Clasic Cast has more mechanical advantage.
When you are looking at several large ammo cans of pulled 50bmg projectiles to size threw matching CH .5095 push threw dies, 1 each with 1.25″ and 1 with 1.50″ thread, it becomes very obvious to the simplest of farm boys, what press takes more ballast on the handle to size the nastiest of them pulled projectiles. I lubed them with Gliserin/alcohol lube and The Late Neil and I would go the work, Many times we had to change presses at it would take my ballast jumping on the handle of the red/green Hornady press to push a projectile threw the die. Whom ever was feeding my Lee press just stood there feeding projectiles on the pusher ram. We had both presses set so the bullets were just out of the constricted portion of the die at the stop on the lee or the roll over of the Red thingy, ( come to think deeply on it, they were both red) that being the point of the mostest mechanical advantage of either red press. Just want you to know I am not prejudice to any color of presses, I have orange, red/ grey combo, green and red, lots of red ones, maybe I am prejudice, HUMM. And That folks is why I did the fancy measuring and discovered the hidden value in a LEE clasic Cast press.
- March 25, 2016 at 12:47 pm #26336
Maybe the bench structure has something to do with the ease of use. Mine is 2″ angle iron and about 3×6 ft with 2x2x1/4 front through bolt rail doubled with the 5/8 osb top sandwiched in between.
- March 25, 2016 at 1:34 pm #26337ScrewboltsParticipant
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Now there is that word “Maybe” , ( that is an interesting Word, “maybe”). Well, in my post, I clearly point out that both the presses are/were mounted to the very same 6×6 post 90 degrees apart. ( it happens to be a red pine treated type of post commonly used in construction even today) tHEY ARE EVEN THE VARY SAME HIGHT ( opps cap locked again) I forgots to say and I can take pictures if reguired ,of the 6×6, 3/8 angle iron mounts that I even reinforced with a quset, by welding in another piece of steel. ( that being a farmer type of thing) I do my heavy sizing standing and today, I do 99% of all my reloading in the standing position. With that being said, “maybe” in my post it truley has little to nothing to do with the structure of a bench. Yup, Maybe.
- March 25, 2016 at 2:10 pm #26339
Okay, my bench is more than adequate. Not only is it practically immovable un-anchored, but it is anchored to the wall. Bench is not my problem. Sizing lead bullets is the function I’m performing. I’m trying to size a Keith SWC bullet that is .003/.004″ larger than the die. I have a Forster Co-Ax that will size these bullets with a generous amount of effort. More effort than my bum shoulder can handle for a full session. The other drawback is the bullets have to be “picked” one at a time as I’m sizing them. My regular sizing press is the lightest single stage that Lee makes. It’s honestly done a great job until this bullet. I’m able to put a catcher on the top so each freshly sized bullet simply falls off the stack into the catcher, making the process a whole lot faster. So I’m looking for a press that has a handle under the press and extreme leverage and a price that won’t break the bank. Lots to ask for, I know, but that’s what I’m looking for. I’d think a swaging press would be more than adequate. I’d buy a Corbin, but haven’t won the lottery yet and don’t have any relatives who will be leaving me money. So short of a Corbin, are most of you saying the Rockchucker II has that kind of leverage?
- March 25, 2016 at 3:55 pm #26346
How about an older up stroke press?
1 of the beauties of the RCII is that you can add 4″ to the handle . With an extended handle or a cheater.
- March 25, 2016 at 3:57 pm #26347VANNParticipant
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I can’t believe that you haven’t broken your light duty Lee yet, I’ve broken two just loading ammunition. I have the first model RC, I love it and know that I’ll never be able to kill it.
With that being said it has cam over which I don’t like, the Lee Classic Cast doesn’t.
It’s a pain to load long rounds on, most of the time I have to set the case in and then push the bullet up into the die to get it started. I know that the newer RC has a larger opening so does the Lee, but the Lee has an adjustable stroke so you don’t have to use the full length of travel.
Plus Lee has a primer catch that actually catches the primers and drops them down a tube, primer arms that can be moved to either side of the press and a 1 1/8″ ram.
The price on Midway is about the same for either and I’m seriously thinking about replacing my old RC with a Lee.
- March 25, 2016 at 4:16 pm #26348
Seems something is weird. I haven’t been around a Co-Ax but considerable force sounds like a pretty heavy load have you manipulated the leverage curve of the press to use just the Last half inch of throw ?casting zinc maybe ?
- March 25, 2016 at 5:24 pm #26353
Harter;n4904 wrote: Seems something is weird. I haven’t been around a Co-Ax but considerable force sounds like a pretty heavy load have you manipulated the leverage curve of the press to use just the Last half inch of throw ?casting zinc maybe ?
I’m casting a Lyman #2…………….12.5 to 15 bhn, depending on who is reading it. I’m going to go out to my shop and look at the manipulating the leverage curve question…………admittedly, I have no idea what you are talking about.
- March 25, 2016 at 6:03 pm #26354
Well, Harter, I’ve just gone through the manual for the Co-Ax. Can’t find anything about leverage curve adjustments. I’m using a NOE bullet sizing system with interchangeable dies. It seats where it seats on the Co-Ax and the throw is what it is. So not sure what you are suggesting.
- March 25, 2016 at 7:01 pm #26358
Many presses have more leverage effect at the bottom of the stroke . Raising the sizing die a few turns can change the point that the effective leverage becomes most effective. This results in short stopping the bullet I’m the die and making the next 1 bump the 1st out. .
- March 25, 2016 at 7:25 pm #26359
Well, as I mentioned, the Forster press limits some of that, and I’m using an NOE sizing system that limits it’s ability to go any higher. http://noebulletmolds.com/NV/product_info.php?cPath=104&products_id=2415 So I’m unable to make any choice in that matter. It is what it is. I need to go to a different type press. Just don’t know which one.
- March 25, 2016 at 10:53 pm #26366
OK I see some cornfusion here on what is going on with the leverage of a press. I will attempt to splain what’s happening..
All Reloading Presses convert Rotary Motion to Linier Motion. IE:The handle moves thru an arc and the ram goes strait up and down. They work just like a crankshaft in an engine.
The leverage ratio is the distance between the pivot pin for the handle and the pivot pin attaching either the handle or the linkage to the ram,,, and the length of the handle.
IE: The distance between the pivot pins is 2″ and the length of the handle is 12″,,, the ratio is 6:1
The only purpose the linkage type handle serves is to allow the handle to go past top dead center and to spread the loads generated out over more joints..
Since the press exerts the most force in the rams last few tenths of an inch before it reaches TDC This is where you set your dies to do their most work.
As the press ram goes up, the further the handle is towards the end of its stroke the less the ram actually moves. In other words the rotary travel of the presses handle is effectively gearing itself down as the linkage approaches TDC. Thus the force the press is exerting increases as the ram approaches TDC.
If you are full length Resizing a Big Rifle Case then you want the die set so that press goes over center just as the shell holder contacts the bottom of the die. The most force required in this operation is moving the shoulder of the case back to it’s original position before it was fired. This actually stretches the press a small amount and also takes all slack out of the press’ linkage joints. It also insures that the case is completely sized, as the case has been shoved all the way into the die and can’t go further.
If you are using the press to debulge pistol cases, you set the die up to where the press is at it highest leverage as the toughest part of pushing the case thru the die happens.Or just as the press goes thru TDC when the base of the case is going thru the sizing ring of the die..
On a press like my new Hand Press the handles will not allow the linkage to go past TDC so the last little bit of the arc that the pivots would like to go thru is not available due to the limits of the handle travel. However it is close to making TDC so it still has enough leverage to do the job of sizing large rifle cases easily, but it makes up for the loss of that last bit by having two handles opposing each other which provides a different kind of mechanical advantage ,,, Effectively doubling what one handle alone would yield. It sizes the Largest Rifle Cases with ease.
All other normal operations in reloading ammo require less force to execute than Full Length Resizing.
If you are doing a Boolit sizing operation on your press using a push thru type of sizing die then the set up would be the same in that you have the press and die set up so that the driving bands on the boolit are being swaged just as the press goes over center.
The only other force acting against you is the friction generated by the boolit being stuffed into a hole that is smaller than it. Lubrication helps here as lubrication reduces friction,,,,
That’s mostly why we put oil on things.
Hope this helps some.
- March 26, 2016 at 12:38 pm #26384
That’s the problem Randy, he’s using a die that I helped design that is made by NOE. Instead of putting the die in from the top, your screw it up from the bottom and the face of the bushing comes to a little over 1" below the window of the press.
This means that you are always sizing in the middle of the stroke which is not the most powerful place . Long hard bullets are a bear, but the solution is to size them before they get that way. It’s meant for speed and versatility. Not swaging diamond hard alloy.
- March 26, 2016 at 12:43 pm #26385
ChrisC, The trick here is to not use bullets that have been allowed to harden that bad in the first place, but now that you’re stuck, you have to get a rhythm that allows you to get a run at it. I’ve found myself in the same place you are, and once I found the right rhythm I was going through those babies like gang busters. Also, those are fresh cut dies and there’s a little bit of a break in I think.
If you want to send me some bullets and your die, and let me tweak it a little just PM me.
- March 26, 2016 at 1:23 pm #26389
Thanks for the education, guys. I’m new to all of this stuff, so “splainin” is highly welcomed. I’ll try and take a picture of my problem sometime today. (too much “real” work to do here on the property) I did find that by using a case sizing lubricator on the bullets, it went much, much easier with my light weight Lee press. I’d prefer to do them on my Co-Ax but it’s not really designed for the NOE die. Tim knows exactly what I mean.
- March 26, 2016 at 6:59 pm #26408
Question for Tim…………and, honestly, for all of you guys. My light-weight Lee reloading press is 1″ thick at the top. My Co-Ax is 1 1/2″ thick. How thick are various “O” type presses at the top?
- March 26, 2016 at 7:13 pm #26410
Bout an inch normally.
When I designed my Hand Press, I went and looked at my Rockchucker for this dimension. Since all the pieces are made of aluminum bar stock 1″ thick is a common size.
The strength requirement here is enough metal to resist deformation under load. One inch thick anything is pretty hard to bend.
- March 26, 2016 at 8:26 pm #26415
Okay, then which press has the most leverage?
- March 26, 2016 at 9:25 pm #26424dragon813gtParticipant
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Chris C;n4990 wrote: Okay, then which press has the most leverage?
- March 26, 2016 at 10:27 pm #26426
Guess I need to rephrase that. I’m needing a press with a lot of leverage that I can afford…………something in the retail range of $150. I’m looking to find something used, but need to know which press to look for. Oh, by the way, that CH4D is a gorgeous press. What’s it used for, cannon shells?;)
- March 26, 2016 at 11:16 pm #26431
The old RCBS Rock Crusher and four feet of 1″ pipe.
- March 27, 2016 at 12:41 am #26442
After considering all the options available, I decided to pour myself a “stiff one” and go sit at the bench and see if I could figure out why this new die, that’s supposed to pass bullets, is “constipated”. Originally I could stand on the lever and couldn’t get it to pass a bullet! Then I put the die on my Co-Ax and sized 250 bullets. 😮 Sat down at my bench a few minutes ago with said “stiff drink” on the table and put the die back in the Lee light-weight Single Stage. I sized 50 bullets faster than I did on the Co-Ax! Not sure what caused this. :rolleyes: Could it have been the brand new die just needed some breaking in, or did it eat some Ex-Lax? I know I’m laughing, but I’m serious about the question. Does a new die sometimes take some breaking in to loosen up? I’ve only had one other sizing die, so I just don’t know.
- March 27, 2016 at 5:40 pm #26469
Yes,,, just like a new barrel needs to be broken in.
It used to be that no one ever broke in a barrel by the current accepted method of cleaning after every shot for a few then every 5 shots until 50. People just shot their guns with whatever ammo they normally used for hunting to sight in the gun and then cleaned it and went hunting. This is because nobody had figured it out. In the last 10-15 years people who shot a lot did figure it out, and the processes they came up with actually work and deliver better accuracy from guns that had previously been lacking
All machined surfaces have a “Surface Profile” that is generated when a cutting tool of any kind contacts a surface. Doesn’t matter if it is a drill an endmill or a grinding wheel or stone. Even a hone which generates the finest finish there is ( with the possible exception of the new EDM Polish cycles) leaves some kind of surface markings behind. the only difference is the roughness of that Surface Profile. I actually have a gage that measures it. Sometimes on a drawing there will be a surface finish call out, such as 64 128, or much finer at 16 or even 8 which is getting close to a honed finish.
Obviously the smoother the surface, the less friction is going to be generated by whatever is touching that surface.
But surfaces can be “refined” by use as evidenced by the barrel break in procedure or more commonly the Break in Period for a new car or other motorized machine.
Basically these Break in Periods wear off all the high spots that were left behind during the manufacturing process when parts were not completely deburred or just cause two parts to wear together. This generates a new smoother Surface Profile on the interacting parts.
Places like Russia have no word for Deburring in their dialect. Thus Russian machinery typically have long break in periods. An example is the Ural Motorcycle which typically has a break in period of about 20,000 miles! Frequent Oil Changes are recommended! Then since they are basically a BMW design from before WWII, they will run forever.
in case you ere wondering all of the tools you use for reloading were made in a machine shop somewhere. Thus machine shop practices dictate the end results.
Hence my lengthy dissertations on machine shop practices here and elsewhere.
- March 27, 2016 at 7:30 pm #26479
Thanks, Randy. Interesting info.
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