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Thread: Herters Super U3 press

  1. #1
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    Herters Super U3 press

    I was watching one of these on Ebay, wasn't gonna pay what they were asking as a minimum bid, eventually, they sent me the "make an offer" thing, so I lowballed less than half the minimum bid and they took the offer. It arrived today.

    Massive thing. Looks like it oughta be as strong a press as is out there. I need to get this thing set up on something and use it.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    You have a nice new toy, actually a nice press. As Model 3 variant the U-3 Super is one of the more interesting ones. It was the first Herter's press I owned and the reason I took off down the rabbit trail of tool collecting. Herter's made this model from 1965 to 1975. There are three variants based on the hole location for accessing the shellholder retaining screw. The original design had no access hole, instead a very short Allen wrench was supplied with the press. Trying to get it on the screw and turn it will spike your blood pressure and not improves your vocabulary. The first model also had a removable die bushing that was machined into a recess of the raised boss your die threads into. There is no practical way to remove this bushing. The second version that you have has an access hole drilled after the press was fully finished, the inside of the hole has no paint. This was a quick fix to keep customers happy. There is another version with the access hole near the bottom of the right side and it has paint in the hole. It's a nice press, other than changing shellholders is a little awkward. A sister press, the Model O-3 Super has a large vertical window rather the the solid side, it is much nicer and easier to use.

    Ken

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Rick459's Avatar
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    richhodg66,
    i have the same press picked up on ebay last march. the hole on the right side of the press is for the allen wrench to remove the shell holder as pressman stated. also if you look on the left side of the press and follow the rib up to the hole with the allen head set screw in it underneath that set screw should be a spring and a detent ball. if you look at the ram in the up position you will see a groove all the way around the top of the ram and a shallow groove running down the left side of the ram.that is where the detent rides and then when the ram is in the down position the detent ball locks into the top groove so that the handle stays in the up position. you can adjust the pressure on the detent ball using the allen head set screw on the left side of the press. if the spring and detent ball is missing it takes a 7/32 detent ball and spring. you should be able to find them at ebay. this is one beast of a press mine came with the adapter to use modern shell holders. also i had Dan at inline fabrications make me a quick change plate to mount it on for his press stand. had to modify the quick change plate and also the plate on the stand nothing major. if you need any more info PM me. enjoy the press.
    Rick

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the info!

    I'm gonna have to build a bench that will let me mount up all these reloading tools I've been accumulating.

    This press cost me less than $60 including shipping. I see good old presses at gun shows for less than half that. Can't understand why people but new, entry level Lee presses when this kind of thing is around.

    I really like the looks of this one and could see it becoming my primary press. It does use the old Herters shell holders, of which I have a few and also have an adapter, might juts put the adapter in this one and start using in instead of the Rockchucker.

  6. #6
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    I sold one of these a few months ago on S&S. The one I had was in very good condition but a previous owner had slopped some paint on it(looked by accident) so it didn't look as nice as yours. One thing I had to be careful of was the handle flopped down by itself. I would hate to have a finger in the way of the ram if that happened. I used a small bungee cord to hold it up.

    I've got a copy of Herter's shell holders. If you would like me to mail you a copy of this copy, just PM your address. You will see the 3 shell holders that went with the press indicated on the copy.
    John
    W.TN

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    .... might juts put the adapter in this one and start using in instead of the Rockchucker.
    If you do that you'll quickly learn about the leverage advantage of the compound toggle actions that quickly drove the old simple toggle presses out of the market.

    Your old massive cast steel (IIRC) press is a good one and will still do anything the common reloader needs done. But, you'll certainly have to work harder to resize cases and you'll have to have very sturdy support under it to prevent bench sagging under pressure.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Pressman's posts always amaze me .
    His knowledge of reloading equipment is always informative and interesting .
    Thanks a lot Pressman

  9. #9
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    Hey, just doing what I love doing.
    Antique Reloading Tool Collector, Historian and Writer
    Newsletter editor: Antique Reloading Tool Collectors Association
    Archive manager, Antique Reloading Tool Collectors Association
    email: herters@netins.net
    www.antiquereloadingtools.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by onelight View Post
    Pressman's posts always amaze me .
    His knowledge of reloading equipment is always informative and interesting .
    Thanks a lot Pressman
    Yes, me too.

    I'm the classic "jack of all trades" type who seems to know a lot over a broad range of things, but isn't a subject matter expert on anything, and it impresses me when I run into someone who has studied anything as in depth as he has. All interesting stuff.

  11. #11
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    The only thing I’ll add here is that an old machinist/gunsmith friend, now deceased, put me on a quest many years ago to get one of these presses for him to use for heavy duty sizing and swaging. Rightly or wrongly he felt like it was the strongest thing out there. He was a good friend and I was glad to get it for him, then I thought about it and decided I had to get one for myself. As soon as I get a round tuit I’ll be mounting it on my bench, replacing the RCBS Jr single stage in that spot now. The only disadvantage I see to it now is the proprietary shell holders or need to use an adaptor, but I’ve found a handful of the ones I need, so I’m good there.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  12. #12
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    For Michigan people looking for a Herter's press this appears to be a cool one:

    https://nmi.craigslist.org/spo/d/owo...008522568.html

    I'd go look at it but I'm in the middle of downsizing my reloading stuff, I've run out of space and need to simplify, can't find what I need half the time.

  13. #13
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    OK, while we're on the subject of Herter's presses, does anyone know of a shell holder converter that would fit the Super U and be locked in via the set screw, then allow the RCBS shell holders to be held in via spring clip as many modern presses do? I may have to bite the bullet and get the conversion if I lock down my Super U as my main single stage press... those Herter's shell holders are getting too rare and expen$ive!

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  14. #14
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    Gerald E. Schwartz
    P.O. Box 187
    Myrtle Point,Oregon 97458
    541-572-0323
    elysianfield@outlook.com

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Well, I went down and looked at my Super U and found out two things... first, I already have the shell holder adaptor I described... I knew I'd seen one somewhere. Second, my press lacks the die bushing, being threaded for 7/8 x 14 directly, and it dawned on me that I've never even seen one of the bushed presses. My Model 3 has one, of course, but of the Super U's I've encountered, none were bushed. How long was the first variant produced? Is the lug cast into the later bodies big enough to drill and tap to the larger size, or did they change the casting? Any enlightenment will be appreciated.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  16. #16
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    PS Thanks, Rick459. That was quick!
    "It aint easy being green!"

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy Rick459's Avatar
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    you are welcome.
    Rick

    i have the U3and the model O and niether are bushed
    Last edited by Rick459; 11-22-2019 at 10:53 PM.

  18. #18
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    Mr Frog Person Sir, the boss is large enough to be opened up and threaded for a bushing. The original set down into the boss, flush with then top. Having it fit with the flange on top of the boss would make it practical. Though I am not sure the cost and effort would be rewarded by extra usability.

    FYI, I just sent an email to the guy in the link in Michigan, see if he responds.
    Antique Reloading Tool Collector, Historian and Writer
    Newsletter editor: Antique Reloading Tool Collectors Association
    Archive manager, Antique Reloading Tool Collectors Association
    email: herters@netins.net
    www.antiquereloadingtools.com

  19. #19
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    That Michigan Craigslist press looked interesting. What was the purpose of the double ram? Just to have a two die set up all the time?

  20. #20
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    If it has the double ram, it's not the Super U, it has another designation, the Model 81 (if I got my information correct.) Ken (pressman) will be along soon to tell us more, I'm sure. This double barreled "single stage" press (X2) was a strange idea but worked almost like a progressive press, doing two separate actions on two separate cases at the same time. I never thought they were all that practical, but maybe it was because I never had occasion to use one.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check