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Old April 17, 2008, 04:31 AM   #1
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FORSTER Single Stage B3 Co-Ax

I am considering buying a new single stage press and the Forster Model B3 Co-Ax is the one I am currently most interested in. I would be interested in any comments (good OR bad) from folks who have significant experience with this machine. I reload several rifle calibers (.243, 6.5-06, .280 Rem, .308, .30-06, 8mm, & .45-70). I have not started with the 6.5-06 as yet but will undoubtedly be sizing .30-06 cases down to 6.5. I currently own a Lyman Crusher II.
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Old April 17, 2008, 07:38 AM   #2
Whisper 300
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After 45 years of using a RCBS single stage press and a couple of progressives for pistol ammo I recently -0ne year ago- purchased a Forster Co-Ax and have been kicking myself for not doing it earlier.
What a sweet piece of tooling.
Can you say smooth? Sure you can-it's Co-Ax.
You really can size without lube and NOT stick the case in the die- not recommended but I had to try- and on a 338 Lapua Magnum just for grins. No problem.

I load the precision stuff I need in rifles exclusively on the Co-Ax now and the poor ol' RockChucker has been rested. Yeah, it is still bolted to the bench but I have not used it since the Forster arrived.
I would recommend getting the Large shell holder plate since I see you have included the 45-70 in your selection - it will also work on the other calibers you listed.
The LS plates will not hold the 45-70 and similar large cases.

In summary, I really like the unit .
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Old April 17, 2008, 11:58 AM   #3
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It's my own choice - but notice

It's my own choice - but notice there are a couple of issues.

(1)The handle swing may be longer than necessary for bullet seating - a leverage issue for sizing where the high leverage of moving the handle a long ways to move the ram a short ways is good when leverage is necessary a nuisance when little leverage is needed. For seating bullets a simple open throat C-press may do just as well. The Co-Ax with Redding or Forster fancy dies does seat bullets pretty straight.

(2) Because of the say the handle comes over the top long dies cannot be used. This includes the currently fashionable micrometer dies for cases longer than the .308/7.62x51. That is some of the long British cases can't be used in any dies at all. Then too some presses allow larger diameter dies for bigger cartridges the Co-Ax doesn't.

I also have a Hollywood Universal Turret with some big holes in the turret for odd-ball use the Co-Ax won't do but I don't use it much.

Just the same the only alternatives in a single stage rifle cartridge press are the special bench rest units - see e.g. the new Sinclair and they have even more issues with case length.
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Old April 17, 2008, 06:59 PM   #4
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Whisper kinda said it just fine. I too have been loading for years and found the forester to be the press I use for all my precision loads. Wish I had it alot sooner but will settle from now on. You will be very happy with your choice of presses.
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Old April 17, 2008, 08:21 PM   #5
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The Co-Ax comes with a straight handle with a long grip. You can hold the handle anywhere along that grip for the amount of leverage you need/want. They also have a short, ball-tipped handle, which I have tried, but I like the long straight handle better. I prefer the over the top handle ergonomics compared to standard press handle position/motion.

The new B3 Co-Ax has an elongated handle yoke that should handle just about any die available in 7/8-14 size, micrometer or not. The current/older B2 model, which I have, will handle every Forster micrometer die they make, including cartridges much longer than 30-06. It will handle most micrometer dies, including the RCBS windowed die, up to at least 30-06 & 7mm Rem Mag. However, Hornady seating dies with the optional micrometer screw usually will not fit the current B2 series. They work fine with the standard screw.

The co-ax is the best designed, best built single stage reloading press available. If I needed something bigger, I'd get a Redding UltraMag, but I'd still use co-ax for anything that would fit.

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Old April 18, 2008, 03:42 PM   #6
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I had a B2, it was a fine press but I got tired of pinching my fingers loading 300 win mag ammo when trying to get a bullet lined up for seating.

I sold the Forster in favor of the Redding Ultramag and now have two Ultramags on the bench (a truly great press). My reloading style doesn't really warrant anything but a single stage press because I do batch loading of dedicated steps when building ammo. Still, I wish now I had kept the B2 because I picked up a 221 Fireball and the finger pinching would not have been an issue for the small Fireball case.

I also load 45-70 and am considering a Lee Classic Turret Press just for it.
,,, stupidity comes to some people very easily. 8/22/2017 Pat Lengyel (my wife) in a discussion about Liberals.
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Old April 18, 2008, 05:29 PM   #7
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I began loading on a Co-Ax about 30 years ago. I love it. Very smooth. You'll be pleasede. At least one Army Marksmanship unit loads on one, I saw it on one of the military channel specials a while back.
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