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Thread: How does the BPM hand press compare to the Huntington Compac?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    How does the BPM hand press compare to the Huntington Compac?

    I'm interested in a comparison of both the Buchanan hand press and the Huntington compac. Specifically, what advantages does the BPM press have over the Compac tool?

    I've not used either, but my research shows me the compac won't stand up like the BPM press will. The compac could be modified to have a stand on it's bottom. But how does it's strength compare? Say for full length resizing 30-06 size ammo? How does the ergonomic compare?


    And while my chances of running across a decker are slim, how does it compare to the compac? They look similar enough I'd guess about the same.

    No doubt the BPM press is a superior design, but I've not seen any comparisons between them.


    Thanks

    Bazoo

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I use a Compac regularly. I'd be more than happy to accept a donation of a BPM to do a side by side comparison for the good of the order. Randy and I have corresponded at length on this forum, but he hasn't seen fit to take the hint and send me one to play with.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Well, Mr Frog sir, Could you offer any insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the compac model?

    Thanks

    Bazoo

  4. #4
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    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    The Huntington Compac is drilled to be attached to a board - this can then be clamped to a table and you have a stable mount. This was recommended in the paperwork that came with it.

    Somewhere on this site (one of Randy's threads about his press, I think) I have posted pictures of both of them side by side.
    Last edited by Wayne Smith; 01-02-2020 at 03:39 PM.
    Wayne the Shrink

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazoo View Post
    Well, Mr Frog sir, Could you offer any insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the compac model?

    Thanks

    Bazoo
    Strengths: made of good heavy steel and aluminum, virtually indestructible. Accepts standard 7/8 X 14 dies and RCBS style shell holders. Plenty of leverage for any task to which I have applied it.

    Weaknesses: will severely pinch fingers or palm if operator is not cautious.

    Overall evaluation: I like it a lot and would replace it with another if need be or with one of Randy’s units. They are quite a bit more expensive than the Lee unit (which works, but just not quite as well for me) but I think I’m worth the extra cost!

    Green Frog
    "It aint easy being green!"

  6. #6
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Buchanan's is available. The Compaq is out of print. I managed to snag a spare Compac from Gunbroker about a year ago, so I'm set for life. They don't come up for sale very often.

    If you attach a plate to the bottom of the Compaq, using the through-bolt nuts, it can then be secured to a tabletop with a C-clamp. The spare I bought came that way, but I haven't used it. At the range I still work with the Compaq in my lap, figuratively speaking.
    Last edited by uscra112; 01-02-2020 at 02:05 PM.
    flectere si nequeo superos, acheronta movebo

  7. #7
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    The main task I accomplish with my Compaq/Compac is final taper crimping of Civil War type percussion cartridges (flash hole, no primer) for my percussion Maynard. I use these in speed events so I want them to drop into the chamber freely, and I sometimes need to "tweak" some of my loaded cartridges out at the Skirmish site for N-SSA events.I'll freely admit that I've not had to do any serious case sizing with it, but I have a honking big single stage press bolted to a loading bench if I want to do any of that.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  8. #8
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    The Compaq will easily FL-size .30-06. I did 40 cases as a trial just after I bought my first one. The marketing material said it would, but I was skeptical. Not no more. The used Lee hand press I had would do that, (barely), but I binned it because it was out of alignment, (frame bent). I'm sure the Compaq would do 1000 without breathing hard.
    flectere si nequeo superos, acheronta movebo

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I appreciate the responses. Very insightful.

  10. #10
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    OK here's some more info on my Tool.

    I have a guy who went on a Depredation hunt in Namibia a year ago. He took two guns a .577 NE Double and a Sharps .45-110. That country would only allow him to bring in 20 loaded cartridges for either gun.

    He took one of my presses and Reloaded Ammo at the campfire every night for a month. He fired 150 rounds of .577 and about 100 .45-110s. He was using a LNL version of my Press and his .577 dies had to have the LNL bushing removed in order to thread into the top plate with 1 1/4-12 threads. He also had to back the seating die out a bit each time so he could get the .577 boolits on top of the case before he seated them as they were beyond the 3.75" limit of travel before seating. After seating they were short enough to be removed from the shell holder without backing the die out. He had no problems F/L sizing these big cases and remarked how easy it was.

    This was an exceptional case which was right at the limits of the tools capability. He said the .45-110's required no special operation of the tool and sized and loaded like a 45-70. The first cases I sized with my prototype were .45.70 cases and they went in easily and came out easily as well. These are strait wall cases so there is no Expander to deal with in the sizing operation.

    I personally have sized some .375 Weatherby Magnum Cases that Artful sent to me for testing along with his dies from the 1970's. They sized easily with proper Lubrication inside and out, but were definitely the hardest ones I've done. (Partly due to the old school dies) I figured that if it would do those it would do just about anything.

    In my videos I loaded some .308 cases but only neck sized them. However Gavin Gear of the Ultimate Reloader Channel on youtube sized .308 machine gun brass in one stroke! I was even blown away at that because it takes me three progressive pushes on my Rockchucker to size that brass!

    I have sold several of these tools to Long Range Shooters reloading .338 Lapua, and the feedback has been all positive.

    What you need to understand about this design is that it works exactly like the crankshaft in an engine. The last few degrees before top dead center have the greatest amount of mechanical advantage. IE: The handles move more, for less movement of the ram, as it approaches the top of its stroke. Where this advantage shows up is in the last little bit of travel when the case's shoulder is being set back, which requires the largest amount of force in the operation.

    My press will not allow the handles to go past TDC and neither will the Compac. However my handles are longer and thus provide a higher amount of leverage than the other tools. Also the ratio between the length of the handles and the distance between the handle pivot and the connection to the links is greater than the Lee or Compac, so there is more MA there as well.

    If you look at the ratio on a Rockchucker, the handle is @15" long and the distance between the pivot on the ram and the pivot of the handle is about 2.5" so the ratio is 6:1 my tool is 2" to 9.5" or 4.75:1. The Hand Press also has the advantage of Opposed Handles which effectively double the amount of force that can be applied to the Ram. The Ram moves in perfectly strait line because it is being pushed by 4 links which oppose each other to prevent misalignment, both side to side and front to back. Lastly the Handles are wider than others which increases the surface area of your hand in contract with the handles which increases the amount of force you can exert onto the work. All of these factors went together to make the improvements to the design actually accomplish something useful, not just look better.

    Conversely when pulling the case out of the sizing die it will break free of the neck sizer ring easily however when the expander ball on the stem is pulled thru the case mouth the press is at its lowest amount of Mechanical Advantage (Handles down in the stroke) and as such it requires more force on the handles to pull the ball thru. This is why in the instructions I recommend sitting the press on a table and turning it sideways so you are doing a push/pull motion with your arms. It should also be noted that the design of the expander ball makes a big difference. Newer style expanders are oval shaped and go thru the case mouth much easier than older style ones which are mostly cylindrical with nearly square ends. The "newest" style of expander has the ball at the top of the stem so it goes thru the case mouth immediately after the case mouth exits the neck sizing ring on the down stroke, and any press works much better with these.

    The only .30-06 cases I F/L size are for my Garand. All the rest get neck sized using a Lee Collet Die like shown in my video loading .308's. But suffice to say this tool has more than enough power to easily F/L size virtually any Brass case below .50 BMG.

    So in closing You can see that I basically took a Compac Press and a Lee Press and refined the ideas in both to come up with something that was Mechanically Superior in every way to either one,and included a few features the others either didn't do well, or at all.

    And then I added the Final Touch which was "Craftsmanship" and using the best materials available which were machined and finished to Current Industry Standards.

    I am into this tool 3+ years and just shipped Press #185, and so far only one has been returned for a refund. That guy forgot that he already owned one and bought another only to find the first one. I happily refunded him just because I have done the same thing a thousand times.

    It's just a newer and improved version of what has come in the past. Maybe someday someone will come along and improve on mine? Just copying it won't cut it You have to do better or you are just a no talent hack.

    I tried to do better.

    Randy
    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 01-12-2020 at 05:40 PM.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Randy. I am interested in one of your tools. I've asked about the compac because I've seen a few used ones and I like old stuff better than new. I do recognize the superiority of a new tool though.

    One question I have in regards to your tool is about the 1 1/4x12 threads. Can you clarify please. So the LNL version is threaded 1 1/4x12 with an insert to accept the Hornady LNL bushings? I don't have need for that but it does open up a few extra possibilities.

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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