View Full Version : Mightiest single stage press?
02-26-2007, 04:47 PM
Years ago I bought a Corbin similar to the current Corbin CSP-1 S-Press. I had forgotten how different and crazy strong this thing was until I unpacked my old Rockchucker and set it next to it? Anyone seen anything comparable?
02-26-2007, 04:51 PM
I've never seen or handled a Corbin, but those swaging presses are the mightiest for power and strength...I would say.
02-26-2007, 06:14 PM
The biggest press I've seen is a press called the" Rock chrusher" an was produced by Old Western Scrounger. I belive 50 bmg and bigger was what it was for..
02-28-2007, 05:51 AM
In terms of size, the older RCBS A2 is not much bigger than a Rockchuker, but it is much stronger being made cast steel instead of cast iron. The A2 is a truly wonderful life time press.
mike in co
02-28-2007, 08:18 AM
me thinks the newer lee classic maybe a pretty strong unit. its fairly new...i think only time will tell.
if you want strong...think of this: a dillon wiht a tool head with a single hole in the middle for one die, and an adapter to put a conventional shell holder on the ram!
( ps dillon already has my prototypes under review).
02-28-2007, 02:27 PM
I have had a lot of presses including the Rockchucker, the RCBS A-4 Big Max, Lyman Orange crusher, Bonanza co-ax, several Hollywood turrets including my present Senior Turret, and a C-H Heavyweight champion press. The C=H is the beefiest and has the most leverage, and is the most ergonomic of any press I have tried.
LEE in their reloading manual make fun of this press saying it is 40 times stronger than it needs to be for reloading, and then go on to state they use these C-H presses for production use in their own factory!!!http://www.ch4d.com/
02-28-2007, 06:33 PM
Don't know about the strength of different presses. Never dealt with Corbin's or any swagers, either. Many years ago when I bought my RCBS A4 Big Max I was told it was the strongest. I'm not sure of it being the strongest and have never tested it much but it sure seems strong and I love it.
02-28-2007, 07:00 PM
Im not sure why anyone would need a press any stronger than a rock chucker. i'm sure there's a reason, but I don't think i'd need anything stronger
02-28-2007, 08:53 PM
Well I have put my Hornady L-N-L single stage through some serious sizing and loading and so far she has never missed a beat. I have not yet been able to get the top strap to flex.
Edit, when reloading is slow I use my Hornady single stage press as an anvil to make horse shoes.:mrgreen:
Mohillbilly has named the biggest press I've ever seen. The OWS Rock Crusher weighs in at 67 lbs and has a ram diameter of 40mm. The stroke is 7½" and the standard die station is 2¾", but can be made larger on special order. It handles the 23x115 Soviet round. Last price I have is US$1,050.ºº.
RCBS A press patent shows a cam on the toggle to shorten the stroke to gain leverage for bullet swaging. I believe the Echo Champ press has a similar feature also, but with two pivot points.
There was a little SAS (and Herter) press for bullet swaging that is tiny but mighty.
Cheers from Darkest California,
03-01-2007, 05:31 AM
My Herter's Super O Maximum swaging press has the 2 position pivot pin setup, the ram on it is about 1 -1/4 inch in diameter. Very smooth and functional for such an old timmer.
But its not the biggest and the baddes today, just one of the earlier ones.
03-01-2007, 06:16 AM
Sundogg711... For ammo loading there is no need for anything beefier than the Rockchucker for certain. In the "Days of Yore", the old "C" presses would snap when put into service for bullet swaging and heavy duty case forming operations. The "O" presss like the old RCBS A series (ancestors of the Rockchurcker) and other were designed to overcome the shorcomings of the "C" presses.
Even if a "c" press didn't snap, the muscle it took to swage and case form made real work out of such duties. I had an old Pacific Super C press back in the late 50's which worked just fine for reloading. The Super C had a reinforced base from the older "C" model which could break at that point.
I had about ten gallons of fired LC 52 brass that I formed into different calibers. I had to slip a three foot piece of pipe over the handle to increase the leverage. I stood back from the press operating the lever while a buddy fed the brass into shell holder. It was an upstroke press and had to be on a heavy bench that was bolted to the floor.
The old RCBS A2 press has just a stub of a lever and the factory operating lever slips over this stub. This made it easy to add a longer lever if needed. The cast steel and "O" frame construction made it impossible to break or spring the press.
03-01-2007, 06:32 PM
Sundogg: The Corbin is designed for bullet swaging, I've never done any swaging, but it seems to take a lot of power. DALE
03-01-2007, 07:12 PM
I have never used the others presses but the Lee new Classic cast is real hefty and is designed to load the 50BMG! If you could buy a stronger press I don't know what you would need it for!
03-01-2007, 07:36 PM
The RockChucker on my bench is the strongest I've used to date, and I've seen pics of OWS' Rock Crusher. Unless I totally flip out and start wanting to swage j-words, I think the present tooling will last me until they plant me.
03-10-2007, 03:59 PM
I have broken both a Rockchucker and a Lyman orange crusher press resizing IVI 7.62 nato brass fired in our old Browning GPMG's in the Canadian reserves. The headspace was generally set on the large size, and I was sizing them in a RCBS small base sizing die.
I find the Rockchucker incredibly unergonomic due to the handle blocking the right side of the press opening, not to mention it spits primers and grit all over. Redding makes some very nice presses and I see RCBS makes a mega-rockchucker now that controls spent primers properly, I wonder if the handle still blocks the right side of the press?
03-10-2007, 04:14 PM
I have a C-H Champion press,haven't even used it much.
After loading for 35+ years I've settled on a Redding Ultra-mag press as my heavy duty press. I like where it applies the leverage. No way the frame can be sprung. But you don't need all that "power" for a lot of reloading tasks, so I also have a Redding "C" frame press. for light work.
03-15-2007, 08:00 PM
Um...let's see, @ the moment I have:
Lee Cassic Cast
Lee Cast Iron Turret
Lee C frame
Each one serves its purpose fantastically!
03-27-2007, 08:58 PM
I built a wildcat, the 505 Gibbs necked up to take a .552" diameter 725gr RFN, and the A4 runs them thru two-fingered like S#%t thru a goose.
04-24-2007, 07:25 PM
Here is what I mean by a handle blocking the right side of the press. The RCBS Big Max is on the left, the CH Heavyweight Champion is on the right.
04-30-2007, 04:25 AM
Do you mean strength of the frame? Or the most leverage?
There are plenty of presses out there with more frame strength than 99% of all users will ever need.
The Corbin presses are designed for swaging and as such they are designed to achieve the maximum leverage possible over the entire range of ram/handle movement.
Your standard heavy duty reloading press has a lot of leverage at the end of the stroke but not at the beginning.
I have a Lee O frame press, Lee Pro 1000, Lee C frame press, and RCBS Rockchucker. None are the beefiest I've seen, but I second what Sundog says; why on earth would you need anything stronger than a Rockchucker for anything short of 50BMG? Heck, for that matter, my O frame (backup, my first press, now mainly used for sizing cast bullets) never gave any trouble except for the pot metal link on the arm.
Biggest and beefiest I've seen? Well, various Dillon progressive jobs for biggest; honestly though the Redding R7 turret press was the beefiest I've seen, though I know it isn't the strongest out there.
05-04-2007, 08:27 PM
I have the new Lee 4 hole classic press . It works great but i was forming some cases with it and found that i had broken one of the turrets .I think the 4 hole turrets are weaker than the 3 hole .Arnie
12-07-2007, 04:42 PM
And I sit on the sofa watching TV and loading 8mm Mauser and .44 specials with my Lee hand press. The toughest job I do with it is full length sizing the 8mm and it does that with no problem. Seems to me, with most loading chores press strength isn't really an issue.
12-07-2007, 08:32 PM
I certainly concur that the average press can handle the shaping and sizing of most bullet swaging...however, the press's Achilles heal is at the beginning of the ram stroke and the damn linkage pin gets the brunt of the stress of pressure. These pins will bend and even break...I know, been there done that with a Hornady 07 and a C-H Jr. Champion press. (That is not the bigger C-H Champion)
You have to have everything in proper alignment on the ram and shellholder, bullet punch that top out at the end of the rams stroke. You do this by adjusting the linkage and in some cases shortening the shellholder like on a Lee Classic cast iron press.
Forming jacketed bullets with copper jackets is whole different ballgame, you should aspire to own a Corbin type press that has the leverage beef to do that work.
12-07-2007, 10:32 PM
The majority of the stuff I do I could use a Lee Load All hand press just fine. One project I had I used my big Guillotine frame upringht log splitter for drawing jackets from copper plumbing tubing because it was faster that way. The splitter has a 32 inch stroke and I was running that length of copper tubing through drawing dies on the reverse stroke to take 0.875" diameter Type L tubing down to 0.827" diameter in one pass through the die, using lots of Ivory soap as drawing lube. One time I had a bunch to do in a hurry and I made a mount to clamp the tubing on the dozer blade on my Caterpillar D4D dozer and I was pulling 20-foot lengths of copper tubing through the die in seconds. Got a bit hot, too.
If anyone asks what us guys do over here where we spell the name of our product "boolits", tell them that in order to get the job done that we have been known to use both log splitters and Caterpillar dozers to run stuff through sizing dies. Of course you don't need to tell them what it was, but it was related to what we do since the jackets I made had centers I cast from wheel weights.
Oh, yeah, the log splitter on reverse stroke pulls 25,400 pounds or 12.7 tons, the Caterpillar D4D dozer has a rated draw bar pull of around 15,000 pounds. It didn't require that much, of course, but it sure as heck sounds impressive!
01-19-2008, 03:18 AM
Wow! While at this time I can only aspire to having a need to draw copper tubing in such a fashion, I hope to one day take my hobby that far.
As far as why do you need a big press? This is america, why not!? Hell, some of the bliss taper-plug presses get up to 80 tons at over 5000 cycles per hour. I've used a number of presses, for the most part I prefer RCBS and own several of them. Sure they were expensive, but I should get a new one if I break one in half (that whole warranty thing). I havn't had a chance to break an RCBS press yet, but I had a similar experience resizing 7.62 brass on a Lee, the shell went in, a loud crack was heard, and it took me a few minutes to realize I had actually snapped the press in half. I'll give lee some credit, their little hand press is cheap and easy to use. I wouldn't consider it much of a heavy lifter though.
As far as big presses, the cold header press I use to make bullets maxes out at 40 tons. I don't think it's even breaking a sweat yet running at 3K cycles/hr.
01-19-2008, 12:35 PM
I've got the Corbin CSP-1 press set up for reloading rather than swaging. Like so many of the posters in this thread, I needed something with more ram travel for a larger caliber, in this case 416 Rigby. Works like a champ; I'm happy that it will out last me. The reason I bought the CSP-1 was the ability to swage at a later date if I wanted to.
02-15-2008, 01:22 PM
I've had linkage problems with the Lyman Orange Crusher. The pins and bolts tend to bend or break when stressed. I switched a Lee Classic Cast press, and this unit is really beefy! The linkage is heavy-duty, and there is a built-in stop that prevents overtravel. Had Lee brought this press out years ago, in its cast iron configuration, it would have given the RCBS Rockchucker a lot more competition than it probably currently does.
02-16-2008, 12:04 AM
Has anyone beside's me read where Richard Lee turned the support rods down to
1/8" on his press to show there's really no need for strength to reload and size cases?
Tell's about it in his book.
Am thinking about keeping this 450 dillon for swaging. Was trying to get rid of it.
Does look plenty powerful. With it and the herters C3 I should have press enough.
02-17-2008, 08:18 PM
As long as the press materials don't yield before the item being squeezed by the press does, everything is fine. That's why Dillon, et. al. can get away with using aluminum to construct their presses. The Corbins use tool steel in their's because of the greater stress on the press when forming lead and gilding metal into jacketed bullets. There's no comparison. But like I said, the aluminum and cast iron presses work fine for the low stress tasks like case forming and general reloading. The short stroke of the swage press magnifies the pressure exerted for the same amount of handle travel. All the work in a swage press is done during the last bit of ram movement, unlike a reloading press.
04-24-2008, 04:27 AM
The BIG Corbin press literally "dwarfs" the regular reloading presses in size and power.
04-24-2008, 05:39 AM
I've had linkage problems with the Lyman Orange Crusher. The pins and bolts tend to bend or break when stressed. I switched a Lee Classic Cast press, and this unit is really beefy! The linkage is heavy-duty, and there is a built-in stop that prevents over travel. Had Lee brought this press out years ago, in its cast iron configuration, it would have given the RCBS Rockchucker a lot more competition than it probably currently does.
jlchucker, I found the Lyman Orange Crusher to be very loose in its linkage, was given one as a gift by my son in VA. It also broke and bent the linkage pins back when I was fairly new in bullet swaging.
I sent it back to source it came from and told my son he'd get the credit to his card...it was a piece of junk in design engineering.
Got a Lee Classic cast iron press and was amazed at the structural strength in its linkage...though not perfect until I shortened the shell holder by about 3/8 to 1/2 inch. Now the press has a beautiful break-free point in the ram & shell holder's upward travel into the swage die.
I also ordered extra Lee screw on & off shell holders so I could make one adapted to use Herter's shell holders that have been altered.
Been using this press for around 3 years now...no problems at all.
Herter's shell holders with punches held in place by a nut through the primer drop hole.
This is the first ejector device I had built to automatically eject the swaged bullets out of the swage dies with the Lee Classic...
This is my current method of automatic bullet ejector, a super strong box spring device...you can purchase the plans from me for $15.00, if interested contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
04-24-2008, 09:19 AM
I definitely prefer the UltraMag and Co-Ax approach., instead of making a very heavy press frame, use a design that doesn't put any force on the frame of the press; allowing the press to be much lighter AND stronger. The Co-Ax is probably not that strong, I think that the casting of the upper handle mount would snap with any significant force on it. The UltraMag would be surprisingly strong, the upper pins are in double shear and the lower pin is continuous across the toggle block. Again, the cast toggle block that mounts the handle would probably snap first, but it would take a LOT of force to do it. A great design, it's amazing that more companies don't use it.
04-24-2008, 10:56 AM
I have had a Co-Ax press on my bench since 1972. Hard to say how many rounds, but perhaps seven figures. Thousands of 22-250's made from old 30-06 brass. Wildcat case forming, etc. Pistol ammo - probably 3,000 pounds of lead pistol bullets over the decades got loaded on that press. Still my main loading press.
By far the worst job I ever threw at my Co-Ax was forming 25-20 Single shot brass from 5.56 nato brass. Made about 500 cases that way...
I have seen one Co-Ax broken. The wishbone was snapped off, and the owner claimed he was just resizing 38 spl brass... Bonanza replaced the handle at no charge. If he was telling the truth, it was a mfg defect. Or he had a pipe on it...
I had an Eagle Cobra press for a long time. I sized mostly 30-06 on it, and I shot a lot of it (trying to wear out a Garand). It was an odd shaped aluminum unit that was incredibly strong. Sold as "unbreakable", I guess they were telling the truth - I never did. I gave it to my brother, and he is still loading ammo on it.
The old guard around the shop back then (Lachmiller & Hollywood owners) all said the die threads in the aluminum body would pull out resizing big stuff. I pointed out that the aluminum threads in the lock ring never had a problem on the Co-Ax, even when forming cases.
"Mighty"? Sort of depends on what you are doing. A swage press develops a lot of power in a short stroke. A loading press does not need much power for most of it's travel, and is generally designed for a progressive leverage. A 5 ton arbor press has the same leverage for all of it's travel...
04-24-2008, 02:29 PM
Have any of you had any experience with a Hollywood press? My father has one that is over 60 years old and given to him by my great grandfather. The Hollywood press will do anything a person would ever want to do in the reloading field.
The CH4D Heavyweight Press looks very strong. Does anyone know what this frame is made of? Thanks.
06-21-2008, 09:42 AM
The Co-Ax is probably not that strong, I think that the casting of the upper handle mount would snap with any significant force on it.
I've pushed my Co-Ax pretty hard, and the handle started to bend when i did, but nothing broke.
06-21-2008, 01:27 PM
I vote for the A4 Big Max as far as a reloading press goes. I've had mine since the early 80s and have done some serious wildcatting and case forming with it. It has always been up to the task. I also swage bullets on it without a hitch. One thing that I like about the Big Max is one can put the handle on either side or for that matter install a long handle if needed. I would imagine (since I haven't actually used one) that any bullet swaging press would have to be stronger than most reloading presses, simply because of the task they were designed for. For the majority of us, an Orange Crusher or a Rock Crusher should last our lifetimes, but like most things we by nature are always looking for something better. I say this because all of us are making and shooting our own boolits. AND that is my $.02!!!!!
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