Foster Co Ax?

Subwrx300

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 15, 2014
732
345
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Cedar Springs, MI
#5
If you can afford it for a single stage it’s pretty great. The spent primer collection alone is worth it for me.
100% agreement with Spife7980 on pimer collection system. Super clean compared to last majority of presses.

Also, once setup, die swaps to ridiculously fast, swapping cases is much faster than standard shell holders (virtually no way for case to get stuck in shell holder), and handle has tons of leverage.

Sort of cons or a downside of sorts: swapping between small head cases (223 mainly < .400" diameter) and all other larger varieties (any +.400+ head or larger) takes extra 30 seconds to flip jaws around.

Also handle would be better as a ball head (available separately) or the roller handle from someone third parties.

Other than those, it is awesome!
 
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Nov 16, 2017
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#7
It is a little short for Magnum calibers.
I got a Big Boss 2 and use it with the Hornady Lock'n Load bushings, so it is fast and keep the dies moving to perfect center too.
 
Feb 21, 2012
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NV
#8
It is a little short for Magnum calibers.
I got a Big Boss 2 and use it with the Hornady Lock'n Load bushings, so it is fast and keep the dies moving to perfect center too.
All i would reload is 380, .45 acp, 308, 300 win mag. i dont plan on getting any new calibers.
 
Jul 2, 2014
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London, KY
#10
I love my Co Ax. The prime catch is awesome like other have mentioned. Once you set up your dies, swapping them out is super fast with zero to minimal adjustment.

I just started reloading and I’m getting great results and haven’t had hardly any issues. Current load is 3.6 SD 10 ES. I think a lot of this has to do with how repeatable the set up is.
 

Sharpshooter3

New Hide Member
Feb 10, 2018
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18
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#11
The Forster is amazing, the floating concept makes very concentric ammo. Plus you don't have to worry about shell plates with it. I would highly recommend it and I agree with Kadams1563 I also use a Dillon 650 for pistol and bulk .223.
 

Subwrx300

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 15, 2014
732
345
63
Cedar Springs, MI
#16
+1 to Fig on ease of resizing ... WhileOP is new to reloading, if he had run any other presses with bigger cases and then ran he Coax, it's unbelievable how easy it is to resize.

I catch myself pressing hard at the bottom stroke to ensure it's bottomed out but it's just habit. I checked case headspace with a light "finger" pressure stroke at bottom vs heavy pressure ad they were identical. This press has a TON of mechanical advantage.

It is a great press and as long as cases are properly lubed, it almost feels like resizing air with midsize cases. (6.5cm, 308win etc.). 223 can almost be sized with one finger.
 
Jul 29, 2014
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#20
used to do handgun with a single stage. never ever again...ever.

find someone with a dillon for that shit

can't believe you didnt find any threads on the co-ax though...its probably the most common single stage used here
 

MarinePMI

Battery Operated Grunt
Jun 3, 2010
2,981
1,448
113
San Diego, Ca
#28
Uhh where can I get one of those? The only bitch I have is the handle is too damn long and makes me have to step to the side while operating the press.
Ummm...you know that a set screw is the only thing that keeps it on right? An appropriately sized piece of metal barstock can be had at your local metal supply and chopped to whatever length you desire (You can even thread it for a ball if you want). Just saying... :)
 

Nodakplowboy

Wood Butcher
Mar 4, 2017
475
474
63
South Central North Dakota.
#29
I've been pulling the handle on my Bonanza Co-Ax for 40 years

P9290314.JPG

I'm estimating it's loaded something north of 100K rounds. I've noticed some play in the linkage the past few years, but a call to the Forester company informed me not to worry, they have customers that have 400K rounds through their presses before they replaced the linkage arms. Three years ago I changed out to the standard shell holder plate mostly out of curiosity, not because the factory jaws weren't working. Have not noticed any change in runout.

The plastic primer jug finally cracked out beyond any more tape repairs, so it got changed out recently

P9290315.JPG

About every 1,000-1,500 rounds I run a SS brush through the primer drop tube to clean out the gunk. The best lube for the rams and pivot pins I've found is Lock Ease graphite spray lube. Lubes well, doesn't collect dust or dry out. A few drops goes a long way. A note on the universal shell holder: make sure you have a couple of sets of spare springs. Those things can grow long legs when they pop out. Many years ago I removed the sliding jaws and polished the bottoms with 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper wrapped around a small granite plate. Used some water, went slow, really slicked up the function. Lube with a Q-tip sprayed with Lock Ease, go easy it doesn't take much.

Hmm, didn't really mean to write a tutorial, just some rambling thoughts. I've a toolbox full of reloading gadgets that for one reason or another rarely ever get used anymore. Not so with the Co-Ax, it's a lifetime investment. Hope to stick around long enough to get another 100K out of it.
 
Oct 29, 2008
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Denver CO
#34
I spent 25+ years using a Rockchucker for precision reloading and you can produce really good ammo on it. I moved on to an arbor press with wilson dies (VERY concentric - VERY accurate but tough to FL resize so you use the Rockchucker for that). I acquired a Corbin Press (bullet swaging & reloading) to do concentric heavy FL resizing. It is MUCH beefier than the rockchucker and is as accurate (alignment/concentricity) as the arbor press; however, the long powerful stroke is cumbersome and tiring (This press rarely gets used) .

I have a Dillon 650 and it is a great press for what it does. I did a lot of experimenting with the Dillon and found that you CAN load very good precision ammo (3-8 fps SD) on a Dillon if you are careful and pay close attention to detail; however, the overhead of the set up care and feeding is not worth it unless you are doing runs of 400+. The Dillon is no faster than you can meter & weigh out an accurate powder charge and furthermore, for precision ammo, you typically want to do two separate runs on the Dillon, one for brass prep and a second run for priming, charging & bullet seating. If you need to run different head-space of same cartridge for two different guns this also decreases the speed advantage of the Dillion.

I purchased a Co-Ax about a year ago and was skeptical. I have found that it is the best press I own by a wide margin for the type of reloading I do (many small runs (20-100) of different cartridge recipes) . In hindsight, I wish I would have started out with the Co-Ax. So convenient, so fast to setup & change, great for running experiments and lot sizes of 50 - 200 rounds. All of the other presses now sit unused (except the Dillon which comes out 5-6 times a year for large runs of practice / varmint ammo). The Co-Ax is perfect for Long-Range precision work (lot sizes of 50-100 rounds). For your trainer and pistol reloading get a Dillon 550 or 650.
 
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whatsupdoc

Duck season
Dec 12, 2017
406
242
43
Long Island NY
#36
I have a coax and an rcbs, checked cases resized on both for run out, there was NO difference.
The coax design blocks the case on three sides where the rcbs does not.
Many times while removing cases from the coax shellholder it hooks the cases extractor groove forcing you to wiggle the case in order to remove it.
If you reload any older rimmed cases it is ever worse.

I do not prime or decap on the coax so cant comment on that.
Funny thing is I found that the coax with the large shellholder plate works fine with small .223 brass so i dont switch it.

I use it and it works fine but I would not say it is way better than any other quality press.
 

Strykervet

Resident Phoenix Eye and Dim Mak Instructor
Jun 5, 2011
3,098
1,261
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Pierce County, WA
#41
Only heard good about it and you'll find a lot of fanboys for it on here. I reckon it's earned it. I use Forster dies when I can, much nicer than others at similar prices. I started with the rock chucker though, I figured on loading thousands that way, tried it, and when I stepped up I went the 650 route instead of sticking with single stage. I got an M2HB and had to feed it, ammo is like $5.50 per round and 100rd belts don't last long, so I got the Dillon BFR. I may be the only person on here with one, never met another. Anyway, that 100lb. fucker doesn't play.



If you don't plan on doing a lot volume and want the most accurate loads even if means you're only gonna be able to crank out maybe 100 and never be able to do volume (without LOTS of time and patience) then it's probably the way to go. Some guys on here do both
 

Strykervet

Resident Phoenix Eye and Dim Mak Instructor
Jun 5, 2011
3,098
1,261
113
42
Pierce County, WA
#42
I started with a rock chucker and I still use it for random jobs. I mostly use the 650 or the BFR and the rock chucker to resize bullets, pull bullets, swage primer pockets on .50 brass, etc. The Forster won't do that.

650 loads great ammo, and I disagree, it's always gonna be faster if you can prime, seat and crimp while throwing a load. And it's about as good as the dies are really. The Forster dies really help and I swear by those. I mostly use the mic seating die and their sizing die. 650 will also throw very accurate out of it's powder dispenser. Probably the best one out there. As long as it's fine grain it'll throw +/- .1gr. --that's the tolerance of my scale.

I'd get the Forster if you need to and plan on loading very accurate ammo in low counts. Like 100 of this for this match, or 50 of that for a hunting trip. For quantity, Dillon is the only way to go. And if you move up to Dillon stuff later, you may still find you need a cheap rock chucker. In that case, go to a gunshow and look for the old timers selling all the old reloading gear (some of the stuff is very high quality, no longer made, true gems, but plenty of cheap 1 stage presses).

As far as just getting a single stage press goes, not sure if the coax has any peers. Still, I'd compare it to say, the RCBS Ammomaster. I know that one is a beast that can accept 7/8" dies as well as 1.5" (or however big those are). It has enough power to size a BMG case so it'll make sizing anything else just a breeze. 3 heavy bolts holds it together, same with my BFR. Solid as a rock. Anyway, that's one press I'd compare it with for sure if I was in the market and looking at 'em. Not sure but the Ammomaster may also have a turret accessory also for smaller cases? Worth a look.

There's this German press mfg. that's been mentioned on here a couple of times and they make some very nice stuff as well. Maybe check them out too if possible. They look very well made, better than US made stuff for sure.

Good luck!
 

Sig Marine

Sergeant - USMC 1968-1970
Dec 29, 2013
390
71
28
So Cal
#43
I’m not as in love with the Co-Ax as some on this forum; it is a good but there is so much more to reloading quality ammunition than the press. I have one and all I use it for is decapping while doing all other tasks on a Redding T-7. Personally, the ergonomics and the location/swing of the handle are awkward when standing if front of the machine.

As noted in the above posts, many use alternative presses from the Rock Chucker, Lee, Hornday, Redding and Dillon with success. Good dies and finding a process for maintaining cases, neck tension, powder measuring and consistent seating are critical when reloading for accuracy. I'm not saying you have to go down the "rabbit hole" and weigh primers, cases and bullets while using an arbor press with a gauge to measure neck tension when seating bullets but there are some that do. Buying a good press will certainly help with making your process easier but there is no guarantee regardless of whose press you use if you can't pay attention to the details required in the other steps involved.