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Thread: Lachmilller Powerhouse Press ( pre RCBS BIG MAX )

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy .50bmg's Avatar
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    Lachmilller Powerhouse Press ( pre RCBS BIG MAX )

    Here’s the precursor to the RCBS BIG MAX press. It’s a Lachmilller Powerhouse Press. When RCBS acquired Lachmiller in the 60s the Powerhouse press was not released and thought have been scrapped. RCBS years later released the BIG MAX. You can definitely see the similarities between the two presses.


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    Last edited by .50bmg; 03-19-2018 at 03:39 AM.
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    Glad to see a side by side picture. The A4 is a lot larger and doesn't have the rear brace.
    I was once told by Buzz Huntington that RCBS used the front / rear brace because it was less flexible than the left / right brace.

    Your next mission is to find out how many presses were released and where they went.

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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy .50bmg's Avatar
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    Ken, hereís a few more pics. The BIG MAX really isnít that much bigger. Hereís some better pics with both of them lined up as close as I could get them.


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    Boolit Master
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    Very interesting 50BMG, that’s some great examples of history right there. Thanks for the pics and post.
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    Cool press! That thing is a beast! I can't help but notice that the opening in the shell holder adapter in the Big Max is at the 7 o'clock position? Is that a stock adapter? The reason I ask is that I have been trying to gather info on how these adapters index when screwed into the ram VERSUS serial number. Mine clocks at the 6 oclock position. I've made several of these adapters for members here (using my press to clock them) and have found that sometimes they index perfectly at 6 o'clock, and sometimes they are off a bit in the customers presses. It's not a big deal as you can rotate the shellholder 360*,but it is just one of those things that bothers me. I guess I am just too anal LOL!
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    My Big Max factory adapter indexes at 7 o' clock which seems natural for a right hander..
    EDG

  7. #7
    I Had one of those Lachmiller presses and broke the linkage where the handle attaches, it looked like a bad casting, a friend fixed it and uses it to this day. I also have a Big Max, actually 3 of them and on 2 the shellholder clocks right at 6 o'clock, the 3rd one clocks at 10 o'clock, so there was variation even in the factory parts. Like you said ICH the shell holder spins 360 degrees so it's no big deal.

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    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by renegade99 View Post
    I Had one of those Lachmiller presses and broke the linkage where the handle attaches, it looked like a bad casting, a friend fixed it and uses it to this day. I also have a Big Max, actually 3 of them and on 2 the shellholder clocks right at 6 o'clock, the 3rd one clocks at 10 o'clock, so there was variation even in the factory parts. Like you said ICH the shell holder spins 360 degrees so it's no big deal.
    Can You Post a Photo Of your Lachmiller machine for a Comparison
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Very cool photos. The side-by-side with the A4 are great. Thank you.

  10. #10
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    My Dad had one of these. He used it to form a lot of different wildcats in the 1950's-60's. He used an ancient LYMAN COMET for everything else. Wish I could've got my hands on either/both of them.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Powerhouse Press

    Enclosed a Powerhouse Press in used . Dated 1961Name:  PowerHouse Press.jpg
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  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy .50bmg's Avatar
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    Sal we still haven’t seen another one in existence...

    Quote Originally Posted by salpal48 View Post
    Enclosed a Powerhouse Press in used . Dated 1961Name:  PowerHouse Press.jpg
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Size:  3.0 KB
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    I still have a Big Max and it's a fine press. Originally I got it for forming brass and using it for swaging pistol bullets using the C&H and Hemp swage dies. I don't use it anymore because it's just too big and heavy for what I load now days. This press came with a claw type universal shell holder that is a handy option and works well. If your loading the 50 BMG this is a press well worth using.

  14. #14
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    I am thinking, that since .50BMG lives in the North LA metro area that this press may have come directly from Lachmiller after the sale to RCBS. It would not be uncommon for one or two of them to go home with someone, like a designer, who loved the press and knew that RCBS was going to scrap all of them. Sadly it's been too many years and there is no one left to ask.
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    Don’t know why but I always love the lunch Miller stuff

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Contrary to popular believe, Lachmiller did not sell Everything to RCBS. I went to see Mr. Lachmiller or about 2009-10 at his home. He died in 2012. RCBS only Bought his designs and patents and machinery . The balance of the inventory was sold to Penguin industries. Penguin currently is still in business @ the same address in Coatsville ,Pa.. There not in Reloading but the trail goes there. The powerhouse press I missed was in Allentown Pa. @ the gun show. Just remember if there One there is more
    Good hunting
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I have one I inherited from my dad years ago. No room on the bench ATM. I may strip it down and repaint it over the winter!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Lets post a picture?????????????
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  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy .50bmg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithnframe View Post
    I have one I inherited from my dad years ago. No room on the bench ATM. I may strip it down and repaint it over the winter!
    Pics???
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  20. #20
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    Stripping and repainting this press would be a disaster for it's value. These presses are rareand can bring big bucks to the right collector, if they are all original.
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