Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > Ammunition-Gunsmithing > Reloading
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


View Poll Results: I recommend you get the...
Forster Co-ax 2 33.33%
Redding Big Boss II 2 33.33%
Redding T-7 2 33.33%
Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-06-2010, 11:20 AM
novalty's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 12,731
Likes: 158
Liked 959 Times in 621 Posts
Default Forster Co-ax versus Redding Big Boss II

Looking for opinions on the presses to help in making decision. Not looking to start a brand loyalty fight. Both of these presses have me racking my brain on which would be best for me. I am looking to reload the following calibers: 45ACP, 9MM, and .223Rem. In a long search through the web reading reviews on both presses, I find myself saying ok I am going to get this one, read some more and say ok, I am going to get the other one. These are kind of the pros and cons I have found between both, and hopefully can get some advice/suggestions on making decision.

Foster Co-ax:
Pros:
*Accurate and unique loading with jaw type shell holder for precise alignment.
*One shell holder jaw will fit all 3 calibers I am looking to load.
*Consistent primer seating depth.
*Quick change slide in die system
*Pull down top-mounted handle system with significant leverage.
*Primer catcher that eliminates spent primers and carbon falling on bench of floor.
*Lifetime Warranty

Cons:
*Price about $250 (approximately $80 more than Redding BBII)
*Primer seating is a slow process using press and involves handling each primer.
*The pull down handle functioning most people have found is easier to operate from standing position. If mounted at a level seating position it would seem there would be lots of bending to insert extract shells while loading. Possible ergonomic problem.


Redding Big Boss II
Pros:
*Large opening and offset O-design for making it easy to access shell holder location, and load large calibers.
*Spent Primer Collection system.
*Offers a slide-bar primer assembly to allow for less handling of primers, however adds approximately $40 to cost bringing it to around $220--still approximately $30 cheaper than Forster Co-ax.
*Provides considerable leverage, making sizing easier.
*Lifetime Warranty

Cons:
*Requires shell holders for each caliber.
*Large opening makes for longer stroke of handle, which assuming will make for extra work especially loading handgun calibers 45ACP and 9MM.
*Requires dies be screwed in, but can accept Hornady Lock-n-load bushings. Which ultimately add to cost of press in comparison.

Last edited by novalty; 06-06-2010 at 11:26 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-06-2010, 12:01 PM
Leonard's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Ohio
Posts: 551
Likes: 22
Liked 83 Times in 36 Posts
Default

I have 4 different presses the Bonanza for the calibers you list is fairly fast once jaws or shell holder is set correctly it centers the case in the die. Adjusting or changing the jaws is slower than changing a shell holder. You will need to buy rings that fit the Bonanza for the non Bonanza dies you use. You can also buy a shorter handle which speeds up bullet seating, crimping, expanding. The regular handle gives more leverage as required. If you use micrometer seating dies they will not clear the handle!

One of my presses is an old RCBS Rockchucker that I rebuilt. I recently added a case kicker, along with the Hornady quick change die rings and it is my smoothest, and fastest press I currently own. The addition of the case kicker made it my # 1.

I prime off the top of another RCBS one by one as it has a positive stop so I can dial in the exact seating depth and not have to rely on feel.

Look around for a used press. I rate my presses as follows.

1. RCBS RockChucker
2. Bonanza
3. Redding
4. RCBS Big Max (needed for really long cartridges)
__________________
Len
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-06-2010, 01:15 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Citrus County, Florida
Posts: 1,946
Likes: 1
Liked 83 Times in 48 Posts
Default

I have an older Forester (marked Bonanza) and like it.
I prime with a hand primer, I do not want to handle primers separately. Once and a while I reset an primer with the Forester.
Lots of finger room around the case/shellholder/dies.
Primer disposal is super.
I have removed the co-ax jaws, normal shell holders fit (adapter needed) and are quicker for me, shell holders cost about $4. For lots of caliber changes in small runs the co-ax is great.
Once the dies are set they change very quickly, adjustments are seldom necessary but are quick.
I have it mounted to a 20 high bench, I sit in a chair at normal chair height and the press is easy to use.
A short handle gives plenty of leverage for everything but case forming or full length sizing of long rifle cases IMO.
From a design standpoint the alignment and leverage are very good, under heavy usage; I expect it would last forever with a minimum of care.
Forester Customer Service is excellent.
If I needed a single stage press I would buy another Forester Co-AX.
__________________
Ipsis Rebus Dictantitbus
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-06-2010, 03:09 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 206
Likes: 0
Liked 17 Times in 8 Posts
Default

I have been using a Bonanza Co-Ax press since 1974, and wouldn't have anything else. Luckily, I have a full set of original Bonanza shell holders for seating primers. I tried one of those contraptions made by Forster, that takes three hands, to set up, every time you change
calibers. What a waste!

EarlFH
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-06-2010, 03:30 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Birmingham AL
Posts: 1,333
Likes: 12
Liked 565 Times in 271 Posts
Default

If you plan to load that many calibers I might suggest looking into the Redding T7 turret press. I have Forster Coax, Redding T7 and Dillon 550.

I like the Coax for several reasons. The little jar that captures primers is a great idea that works. The universal jaws that do not require a shell holder work very well. You can change dies out in a matter of seconds. The T7 is a little more versatile because it allows the use of tools on top of the press..powder measure, and others.

You cant go wrong with either one. Most Coax owners are very fond of their equipment and you don't see many on the used market.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-06-2010, 06:05 PM
novalty's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 12,731
Likes: 158
Liked 959 Times in 621 Posts
Default

I took a trip to my local Cabelas today, and got to see the Forster in person, and it seemed to move well, but really not a true test of the functionality. Right now the only thing that I am very hesitant about on the Forster is the priming function. As I had posted in a recent thread, hand priming tools are to labor intensive on my hands with arthritis. I am not looking for a mass production/get it done fast set-up, more for something to supplement my hobby for the winter months, when I can't get out to shoot, that way I can slowly work my way through replenishing my supply of ammo for the summer. Having to handle every single primer and feed the cup, already has me envisioning cramped hands. The T7 is an amazing press, but some of it's abilities are the main ones I like about the Big Boss II--spent primer collection system, and slide primer arm assembly.

Last edited by novalty; 06-07-2010 at 11:50 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-06-2010, 06:23 PM
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Texas Coast
Posts: 1,962
Likes: 159
Liked 838 Times in 425 Posts
Default

All of the calibers you mentioned can be reloaded on a Dillion 550, or a Redding Turrent press. Not one of them needs a heavy duty single stage press. If you want to reload those particular calibers on a single stage press, a RCBS Partner will work just fine at much less than half the price.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-06-2010, 06:38 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Press

That Bonanza press is morhodite pain in the A**.Get yourself a RCBS Rockchucker and you are set to load anything you want for the rest of your life. Lifetime warranty to boot!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
45acp, cabelas, hornady, lock, micrometer, primer, rcbs, sig arms, universal

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Reloading Thread, Forster Co-ax versus Redding Big Boss II in Ammunition-Gunsmithing; Looking for opinions on the presses to help in making decision. Not looking to start a brand loyalty fight. Both ...
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
WTB or trade for: Forster Tap O' Cap GatorFarmer WANTED to Buy 1 08-15-2011 10:53 PM
FS: Redding 10X Pistol Powder Measure & Redding Stand............ Marksman Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 1 10-30-2010 11:49 AM
Forster Case Trimmer Gary Reloading 16 03-31-2010 09:36 PM
WTB - Forster pilot Aussie44 WANTED to Buy 0 02-26-2010 09:38 AM
WTB - FORSTER CASE TRIMMER rudyc WANTED to Buy 1 03-29-2009 09:40 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:13 AM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)