1. how much can i afford to spend??????????
2. what am i going to use it for right away ???????????
3. what are my future palns for the press ??????????
4. how much room do i have ???????????
5. how handy am i at building things ( place to mount the press and attachments for the press modifing the press )????????
6. how much noise can i make before the land loard runns me out of the building ?????????????
7. how precise do i want the bullets ???????????????
now that you are starting to get the idea hear we go
richard ( RCE ) has some vary exelant hyd presses you can buy at reasionable prices. one thing i like is his bench models they come with quick disconnects on the hyd hose and switches and you can use the power hyd unit on several presses. this saves you money when setting up several presses.
to start with you will probable want to swage only bullets this is fine but you will find you will need a timer to hold the press at the full up position for 1-2 sec to get your cores to come out consistantly ( plus or minus 1-2 grains ). next you will need a set of ram stops for the point forming to be right on or do a rough form in the hyd and a final in a hand press to get the bullet point right.
now copper tubing jacket making. they work great for this because there is almost no real critical dim. ( plus minus .001 ) that has to be held in the stroke length. you will also notice a large time saving and less body abuse from this.
next you will want to make your own lead wire and you cannot beat a good hyd press for this. you can get the dies from richard or dave for this and a good pair of leather gloves is needed to keep from burning your hands on the lead as it comes out of the die. also some kind of take up real is vary handy to roll up the wire on or cut it off in 3 foot lengths is handy also for running it through the core cutting die. note if you set every thing up just right you can run the wire right out of the press into the core cutting die and make the cores as you go no fuss no muss easy to store and you are running high production.
next you will want to start makeing your own cups from copper strip. hear again the hyd press is great and fits the bill to a T. you just need a supplier of material and you are off and running like a heard of turtles. on the dies for the cup making you can save alot of money and time if you get the material rough cupped. then draw it on down form there. draw dies are about $200 - $400 each depending on what you get and from who. a complete set cost about 2-3 thousand dollars for one caliber. the punches run you about 100 dollars each for differant wall thickness. so if you were to buy your copper rough drawn ( blank to cup done ) you would only have to buy say 3 dies to get it to a cup in the caliber and wall thickness you want. if you are really sharp about what you are doing you can make all your calibers from one die set and only change the rough drawn cups you are using. so hear again as you can see it all depend on what you want and how deep are your pockets.
the smaller hydro jr and small bench press of richard's are good presses but i would only use them for bullet making and there only 338 and smaller along with 50 ae and down pistol bullets. the next size is the bench master of richards and the hydro jr of daves. note you can take a chp-1 and put a hydorolic cylinder on it and you have a hydro jr. now both of these are what i call dumb presses. you have to push the button to make it do anything. now if you know a good electrical person you can add a few relays and boom you now have a auto press capable of destorying dies at a much faster rate if you are not vayr carefull. yes you save money but if not done properly you loose equipment or loss of a finger or your life. so choose wisely here
you can always design your own from the pictures but i think you will find unless you can do all the work your self and are a good machinest it is far less fustarating to just bite the bullet and buy the press pree made.
richard and dave are both more than willing to talk to you on the presses and what they will do and how good they are. lissen vary closely on what they say and how much the press can do so you can decide. the list of questions i listed above is a good place to start. if you want to use your old bullet making dies this also needs to be mentioned. because the press will break a die in a heart beat and not even be the least bit sorry. it also does a vary good job at bending up punches to. so a few extra punches is handy.
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