BCM and Harrel Presses
I am considering start reloading at the range and would like to have a press that would fit my needs on reloading 6mmBR, .30BR and .308win calibers.
The best setup press I saw is this Italian made: http://www.bcmeuropearms.it/presse_eng.html
Two 7/8-14 Die station and one Straight Die (Wilson) station is everything I ever need.
There are other two presses that I a studying, both from Harrell:
Harrell Combo Press:
It has one 7/8-14 die station and one Wilson style die station.
The only problem I see is the price of U$275,00. With U$245,00 I can buy a Harrell Compact Press AND a Harrell Arbor Press...
Other option is the Harrell Turret Press:
This press seems to be very handy as it allow up to 4 7/8-14 dies (ex: a full length sizer, a neck sizer, a seater and a decaping die).
On the book "Handloading for Competition" the author says lots of good things on this press.
So, I would like any opinion and experience about these 3 presses to reload the 6BR, 30BR and .308win calibers at the range.
Thank you in advance!
That BCM press looks nice but where can you get one and how many $$$$'s?
I have been using the Harrell combo press for about a year now and really like it. I see that the Italian press would be nice in that you could have your decap and seater die in at the same time then throw your charge and seat your bullet without having to change the dies. What I don't see on it, or on their website, is the ability to clamp it on to a bench (in the sense that there is a clamp built into the press like the Harrell's) Although a couple C clamps would change that.
The Harrell's comes ready to go and is very steady when clamped to a bench. It also may be less bulky, but that may not be a factor for you.
You will have no problem prepping the brass that you mentioned. I use it to prep my 45-70, 30br, and .223. Smooth and reliable.
Can't speak to the two separate Harrell's presses, though if they are anything like the combo you won't be disappointed.
Hope this helps.
I have both of Harrel presses that you are asking about. They both work well. With the turret you could leave dies for each caliber set up in its own turret.
Currently, I am using the Combo, since I FL size and decap at the same time. I never neck size. This particular model has the best clamp system that I have seen. The screw points up, rather than the usual. I carry a small piece of wood to protect the bench top. When I tighten the clamp, there is no wiggle at all when sizing. This press also has exceptional leverage, for a portable press, due to its handle length and 180 degree stroke.
This is a link to a review of the combo that I wrote. the last two pictures were added by the editor from another source.
Last edited by Boyd Allen; 09-16-2008 at 08:04 AM.
I resisted for a long time to try a combo press. Mainly because both of my wrists were broken/crushed and I have virtually on movement in them. I main concerns were the size of the platform for the seater die and getting the case in and out of the sizing area. Well, I broke down and bought a used one and then stared at it a few months before trying it out. Well, I love it. It has tons of leverage and is easy to access and use. Now my single stage harrells sits in the bottom of the closet....it does a great job...but the combo is the shizzit.
Originally Posted by JohnnyJohnson
It sells in Italy for about 350 Euros... that means close to U$700,00 after shipping to US. Very expensive, as European stuff usualy are...
Here a photo of a Hood combo press and the BCM side by side that a gentleman in US send me. He made me clear that the BCM is a big press and it is indeed!
Becasuse of the price of the BCM and its size (not so good to bring at the range) and I now between:
A) The Harrel or Hood Combo;
Pros: I can definetly reload with the best seater dies (wilson style) with just this press. Small size.
Con: I may have to change dies. Lack of feeling to seat bullets (may be?)
B) The Harrel Turret Press and a Harrel Arbor Press;
Pros: I can leave the dies setup for all my 3 calibers (6BR, 30BR and .308win) and a decaping die if needed. Having the Arbor Press as well I have all the presses I will ever need. And it gives me flexibility and small sizes.
Con: The prices to buy both would be high, about U$360,00 (ok, not so high...specially for what I will get). Will the Harrel Turret press be so precise (and straight) as the single die station Harrel Press?
C) The Harrel single die and a Harrel Arbor Press.
Pro: Having two of the best and smaller presses. The price would be the best of all setup: U$245,00. Godd flexibility of reloading setup on bench.
Con: dont have a second 7/8-14 die station.
Please, apology for my questions but these are presses not availble in Brazil so my only source of information is the opinion of you guys. And this forum is really helping me to choosing (and using) better equipments. Thank you!
One thing you may want to consider. A turret press is not normally as accurate (runout) as a single stage. Due to the turret having to rotate, there are some tolarances that allow flex and movement. I've never used the Harrell's turret so I don't know how much, if any, but there is also more wear areas that are not favorable for absolute accuracy.
I would go with the combo or a single and arbor.