View Full Version : Gunshow Miracle (Hollywood Press)

11-29-2009, 04:32 PM
I've had about every kind of reloading press there is but never could find a Hollywood. Well today I went to the local gunshow and found one but it was sort of funny. I'm walking along the isle and spot a Lyman All American turrent press on the floor by a mans table. I ask how much for this press? He comes over and says $50. The press was hard to operate and he says it needs cleaning up but I've got another you might want! He goes behind his table and pulls out a single stage Hollywood! I said how much as my heart is ramped up and reality turns to slow motion! He says $10!!!

Well I never found my wallet quicker thats for sure! If anyone has any info on this press or opinionsI"d be happy to hear. It has no shellholders but I think someone makes a conversion unit so I can use regular shell holder. This press looks loke it was stored rather than used as it is smooth but still nice and tight with zero slop! Thanks!

11-29-2009, 04:38 PM
What a find.:drinks: One day I'll find a deal too.

11-29-2009, 04:55 PM
Hollywood made single stage tools and also a turret press for rifle and pistol and a turret for shotgun reloading. They were Premier level tools. Precision made and nicely finished. Lyle Corcoran (sp?) was the head honcho. I talked to him once at the ATA Grand one year. Nice fellow and extremely knowledgeable. The company was in California. They DID use special shell holders but if you ask on here someone may be able to direct you to a source for a conversion unit.

You made a nice find.


Uncle R.
11-29-2009, 05:11 PM
You lucky dawg!
I am soooo envious!

11-29-2009, 05:17 PM
Nice Find!

Vega Tool makes shell holders and also just the adapter so you can use regular shell holders


11-29-2009, 08:05 PM
Thanks Gentlemen,
I hope more Hollywood owners chime in. There is a place up top for another die to screw into but I don't know why??? Does anyone know where I can get a copy of an owners manual? Is there a web site for Hollywood Gun Shop now? I can't seem to find anything! Thanks again!

11-29-2009, 08:48 PM
CH4D has a shell holder adaptor that fits the Hollywood perfectly. As a bonus, it uses conventional snap-in shell holders common to the majority of todays loading presses. I believe the threaded hole in the top of your press is a bolt hole utilized to hold a bracket for a Hollywood powder measure. This bolt hole may be incorporated into a screw in bushing of larger diameter but I am not aware of the purpose of the larger diameter of the bushing. Your press is a Hollywood Senior. Some were made to utilize a long threaded tie rod between the die platform and the base to keep the die platform from flexing when the press was used for swaging. Note that there are several holes on the press linkage to adjust for different shell lengths or to increase the power of the press for swaging operations. Excluding the massive steel center column, linkage, handle and several small parts, the balance of the press parts will be either cast iron or aluminum. This is a very fine, powerful press, unlikely to be worn out in several lifetimes of use. The only downside as in many older presses is that it has no spent primer catcher. However a little Yankee ingenuity can be employed to overcome that small deficiency. Be sure to keep your press lubricated and enjoy using it. :-P

11-30-2009, 11:28 AM
Well I called CH Tool and got an adapter ordered for $12 shipped very reasonable and I know from their dies they do good work! I was hoping someone had a Manual they could scan maybe. I guess if you need anything for this loader you have to get it from E-bay because I hear the people that run the business now is hard to deal with! Thanks!

11-30-2009, 11:35 AM
There was a good article in a recent Antique REloadign Tool Collectors Association newsletter on the hollywood presses. Pressman on this forum can get you the info on a reprint.

Hollywood Engineering was in business (different owners same equipment) and you might be able to get new parts. I have read alot of things about delivery times being long.

.30/30 Guy
11-30-2009, 12:05 PM
Making a spent primer catcher is very easy as long as you do not want to prime when you decap the primers. Find a small soft plastic bottle about the diameter of the retaining nut for the shell holder. Cut the top of the bottle off and slip the bottle over the retaining nut. You may need to do some type of shimming to get a proper fit. This catches the primers very well. Empty the bottle every once in a while as too many primers can push the bottle off the nut. Only works with primer arm removed.

The press would have been a bargin at $150.

11-30-2009, 12:47 PM
Hi Gentlemen,
Thanks for the info! I hope Pressman shows up I'd really like to see the article on these presses and how they were setup originally. They seem to be a popular press but not alot of info or pics on them? I worked on cleaning mine last night and after all the dirt and surface rust removed it's like a new one pretty much. I notice that there was 2 types of the single stage Senior . One was robustly built and another looks a little less heavy but had a "tie rod" on the front? I do not know when the change occured or which one came first? Thanks again!

11-30-2009, 01:03 PM
Seagiant you have a pm.

11-30-2009, 01:07 PM
Got it!

11-30-2009, 01:09 PM
should be there now. let me know if you got it. For the rest it was a pm with some info on hollywood tools.

11-30-2009, 01:17 PM
Did that help out as far as information goes?

11-30-2009, 01:22 PM
You are going to enjoy that press. You got a good steal on it also.

I had to pay $25.00 for my last one. The one on the left.

11-30-2009, 01:29 PM
I started reloading with that exact press in 1963, when I bought it used from one of my college professors, along with a set of Hollywood .30-06 dies, for $25.00, which was a lot of money in those days. I was making $1.35 an hour working part time in the mail room of the local newspaper, so it was about a week's pay.

My Hollywood is still going strong and is setting on one end of my loading bench, where it keeps company with 3 other presses of more modern lineage.

You're going to need both small and large primer arms for your press, if you intend to prime on it. The Hollywood is one of the best primer seating devices ever invented. If it won't seat a primer, then the case can't be primed. It gives you a great "feel" when priming, though it's slow. A primer catcher can be made from the plastic top from a spray paint can. Just drill a hole in it and use a flat head bolt to hold it in the primer arm hole. A small patch of cloth at the bottom of the cup will keep the primers from bouncing out.

For the ram, use either Rem-Oil, or Machine Gunner's Lube (www.sprinco.com). By the way, unless your press says it's a Senior in the casting, it's the standard press. All the Seniors I've seen have been so marked, and normally have the reinforcing rod at the front of the press for swaging bullets.

You got a great deal on your treasure, but I'll bet it scratched the hood of your truck.......

Hope this helps.


11-30-2009, 01:48 PM
You have a great press. I lucked up on one of the 12 hole turret presses with over 20 shellholders and a Hollywood powder measures for $100.00 about 15 years ago. I think your bargain might have beat mine.

One thing to check for. I don't use the primer seater but you might want to see if yours is for the older cupped primers instead of regular flat primers.

Enjoy your new find.


11-30-2009, 02:41 PM
Hello everyone,
Thanks for all the info really interesting reading all the storys of these presses. Yes if the seller had pulled out a super turrent model for $20 bucks They would probably had to call the medics! I was pretty wired up anyway when I saw it was a Hollywood! I don't have "senior" any where on the press? It seems though that everyone is calling the single stage presses that.

Manley was nice enough to give me a link to a VERY good article on these presses that is a must read for anyone interested! I usually prime with an RCBS tool or a Lee hand tool when using a single stage but might try the Hollywood priming if I can find the tools at a reasonable price. It seems that the 7/8"x14 thread hole in the top is for a button that can hold a powder measure or the extra die in a two die rifle set. I have an old 60's Brown Bear H type press and I thought it was pretty smooth but this press beats it hand down!!!

11-30-2009, 03:31 PM
I`ve had the same press for about 4 years now. I ordered the RCBS shellholder adapter from my local gunshop. I took it apart for a complete cleaning and noted just how much tool work it required. No "slop" with that large ram!
Unfortunately, it doesn`t see much use since I found a Dunbar.
(2 station...just as heavy)

11-30-2009, 05:50 PM
The Hollywood Senior is a one piece casting. Made in cast steel or aluminum. The one with the "tie rod" was part of the 1961 redesign and other improvements to the linkage.
There seems to be no date to when aluminum took over from cast steel, or if both were produced together. Hollywood ads do not give any information and early factory litrature is worse than non existent.

As for the hole in the top, I am assuming that it is from part of the manufacturing process, that is, how the casting was clamped in the lathe for turning. Very early Seniors do not have the hole tapped 7/8-14. Though many did have a "top nut" installed to fill the hole.

Hollywoods enjoy a great reputation for all sort of claims. Though in reality they are no different than the typical steel H press of that time. (1953)
Your press on eBay would sell in the $135-150 range and possible higher depending upon who has auction fever.

11-30-2009, 08:45 PM
Hi Pressman,
WOW! that hole in the top of the casting has more uses as the minutes go by! What you say about them using it to cut the ram sounds viable. They probably secured the base to the lathe face plate and ran the tailstock at the hole. Mine is tapped 7/8'-14. I am in the process of refurbishing it. Someone before me ground some divits on the side of the head for what I don't know and then I guess the same idiot tried to unscrew the handle off with some channellocks and scarred the handle pretty good. I know he did not succeed because there is no threads on the handle it is held in with a long pin that also holds the round arms on the sides! I'm going to clean everything up and repaint and slow rust blue the bright peices to help fight rust in steamy Florida! Thanks for the info!

11-30-2009, 08:50 PM
seagiant or Manley,
I would be interested in reading that article on the Hollywood presses.
Thanks Larry

12-01-2009, 05:46 PM
here is a picture of 3 Hollywood Universal 3 12 hole turrets I had at one time.


here is a picture of the small single stage Senior, a Universal 3, and a Super Turret on the right.


here is a picture of the Senior 8 hole turret press.
I would also like a view of that article.

12-01-2009, 05:52 PM
You said that horrid word "had":groner:

12-01-2009, 05:56 PM
I now have a Senior turret 8 hole, and am looking for a Super turret.

12-01-2009, 06:25 PM
The article several of you are wanting to see was published a year ago in the Newsletter of the Antique Reloading Tool Collectors Association. Back issues of the newsletter are available for a cost of $5.00 each. To obtain one you would have to contact the newsletter editor on their website.

12-01-2009, 06:54 PM

You have just relayed what I did about the ARTCA Newsletter. I also recommended they become members. It is a pittance to pay for the ability to get the informatin that is available on the old tools. And to meet a good bunch of people.

The fore mentioned article on Hollywood press history is in Issue 15. Also an excellent articl eon RCBS presses in that issue if I remember correctly.


12-01-2009, 09:54 PM
I still have the alloy single colum Hollywood I got 49 years ago for 15 bucks. I also have the RCBS adaptor for other shell holders. I still like the long stroke for BP cases.

12-02-2009, 01:10 AM
Thank you very much for those pics!!! Those are some great looking machines. Until I saw the Hollywood press I bought the other day I had only seen pictures! I have never seen a Hollywood till then but knew in a second what it was when the gentleman pulled it out from under his table. I would not mind paying a couple hundred for one of these machines but in my area they seem to be rare! Thanks again!

12-02-2009, 01:57 AM
I've had about every kind of reloading press there is but never could find a Hollywood. Well today I went to the local gunshow and found one but it was sort of funny. I'm walking along the isle and spot a Lyman All American turrent press on the floor by a mans table. I ask how much for this press? He comes over and says $50. The press was hard to operate and he says it needs cleaning up but I've got another you might want! He goes behind his table and pulls out a single stage Hollywood! I said how much as my heart is ramped up and reality turns to slow motion! He says $10!!!

Well I never found my wallet quicker thats for sure! If anyone has any info on this press or opinionsI"d be happy to hear. It has no shellholders but I think someone makes a conversion unit so I can use regular shell holder. This press looks loke it was stored rather than used as it is smooth but still nice and tight with zero slop! Thanks!

I think my neighbor has one of these in his reloading room, but I didn't know what it was. What is a fair price to offer him? He's my hunting buddy, so I'm not out to steal it.


12-02-2009, 02:51 AM
Hi Johnly,
Well others can tell what they think but for me if I was you I'd get it as cheap as I could. I'm not in this hobby to make mony but I'm not in it to waste mony either. A friend of a friend was wanting to get into reloading and my buddy brought him over and after everything was done. He had bought about $180 worth of gear off of me. I sold him a complete set up, turrent press,scales,powder measure and some dies! Did I make money on this?No,I sold it to make my mony back and was able to sale it cheap because I had bought it cheap and we have another reloader in our ranks to further our interest! For me the more people that enjoy reloading and shooting the better I like it!
If you help your friend out and are really friends I'm sure you can figure it out!

12-06-2009, 11:04 AM
I never get that lucky at any local shows. I did get a press for a snake.

Diablo Loco
02-08-2010, 12:09 AM
I thought I would introduce myself, as I am new to this site. I am Bryan. I have been reloading for about 5 years. I was looking for some info on the Hollywood Press reloaders and came across this site in an engine search. I thought I would share some of my experience with the presses and show some pics of the ones I got off of Craigslist.

About 2 1/2 years ago, before Ebay changes their rules about what components for guns you could sell, I used to buy and sell lots of reloading stuff that I would get at yard sales and auctions. At this time, I also started looking on Craigslist. I live in Fresno, CA. There was a guy what had a listing on Craigslist for a bunch of reloading equipment. He did not list names or brands. I had to email him to get his number. When I spoke with him, he said he had brass, bullets, powder, primers, dies, reloaders,.......etc. I asked him what kind. He said Lee, Lyman, a few others and a few that were called "Hollywood Gun Shop Press." He ws asking $450 for everything. This guy lived in Prunedale (don't laugh), which is about a 2 hour drive toward the coast. Because it was raining, I decided to take my Lexus SUV. Plenty of room. When I got there, we started talking and he told me that his dad had died a couple of years ago. His father lived to hunt game. (The son hated guns). He had a whole room dedicated to reloading. A big room. The room he took me into had about 12 presses all set up and ready to load whatever caliber he needed at a given time. There were stacks of dies, over 100. There were huge amounts of powder, in 1lb, 4lb, 8lb and even 15lb. There were over 60 containers of these. There were 100's and 10's of boxes of bullets. almost all were new and un-opened. And then there was the brass. There was a ton of it, almost literally. Just shy of 1400lbs. There were also reloading books, lots of them.

Well, after talking to this guy for a while, I was able to get him down on the price. I talked him down to $250 cash. I had to disassemble the presses myself from the benches and that took some time, but not as much time as it took to load everything up. I was there for most of the afternoon. The SUV was packed to the hilt. I could not see out of the back window and the front seat was also loaded, as well as some stuff tied onto the roof. Thank God, my SUV has adjustable shocks. It was a long and scary ride back home. I was afraid I would break something on my rig with that over-load.

Well, in that lot, I got a couple of Hollywood Presses, with a whole lot of extras. I did sell all of the stuff on Ebay, except what I needed for myself. I did use the Hollywood Presses for a while, but ended up going back to my Dillon. So, the Hollywood's were sold also on Ebay. Here are some pictures of them. The first 2 sets of pictures are of the Univeral. The 3rd set are of the SR.

Diablo Loco
02-08-2010, 12:11 AM
Second set of pics

Diablo Loco
02-08-2010, 12:13 AM
3rd set of pics of the SR

02-08-2010, 02:05 AM
If I had gotten into a situation like that ....... I'd go rent a U-Haul trailer if my rig could not have handled it straight away.

Reloading has a rich history and some wonderful tools to show for it.

Three 44s

02-08-2010, 10:51 AM
Here's a little information I got at the Costa Mesa Gun show a week or so ago.

Walking down the asile and spotted a batch of Hollywood press's on a table at the end of the row. A single stage Senior and a turret Senior as well as all the tooling and shell holder one would ever need.

Turns out this is the Hollywood Engineering booth and eveything is new manufacture!

Joe Mueller and his wife Margaret run the business and they are located in Sun Valley CA.

E mail is cadqueenell@aol.com Phone is 818-842-8376

Standard shell holders are $10.00 bucks according to the catalog they gave me, the universal one is $20.00

Hope this info helps you guys out.