Hornady Iron Press 6 Month Review
by Greg Ritchie
It’s been Just over 6 months since I traded my RCBS Summit portable "reloading kit in a bucket" for the Hornady Iron. Bottom line is I like the Hornady Iron a lot.
First a look at the disadvantages of the Hornady Iron. Cost is considered to be one, and it is expensive, but compared to other "target single stage" presses, the cost is in line, if on the high side. A quick look at an online vendor shows the Hornady Iron at $260. The RCBS Summit is $230, The MEC Marksman is $210, and the Forster Vo-Ax is $349. So while it’s not the cheapest, it is not the most expensive either.
The shell holder plate is another supposedly disadvantage. It makes the cartridge case take a cant. I find that this is not true. Maybe I got lucky, or maybe the issue was fixed. My shell holder plate it a very snug fit. Matter of fact I can not just simply slip it over the shell holder. It requires a bit of force. I have to press down with both thumbs to secure mine. It is very sturdy and secure.
The tool attachments on the top of the press is another disadvantage. I agree with this. I feel brass shavings and crud would be an issue. My solution? I just don’t use them.
And I should mention the gravity fed priming system. It is not a part of the press, but an accessory. I am not interested in it as it seems like too much trouble to change primer sized. I have other priming options that I like and am not interested in replacing.
Another thing I keep threatening to do is to replace the Lock N Load bushing with a regular threaded bushing. I have no problems with the Lock N Load bushing, just think I prefer standard threads. The Lock N Load bushings are very convenient though.
Spent primer collection is positive. The primer drops about a third of the way down the ram where it is trapped by a lip. As you lower the ram a ramp on the priming arm pushes the primer over the lip where it drops into a front mounted primer catcher. It’s a positive system, I have only had a very few spent primers bounce out of the collection cup. It does require that the priming arm be installed to work though. If the gravity fed priming system is installed it changes the way the press catches primers. I can not comment on that.
The press is massive and well built. It has a lot of leverage and a very strong cam over that some may dislike. And it is up to the task of case forming. I have not done any heavy case forming, but I have made 25-06 Remington and 308 Winchester from 270 Winchester brass. The effort was not hardly any different from standard resizing.
And the big question. Is the press accurate? Very! I mostly load 25-06 Rem, 308 Win, and 280 Rem On the press. I took a random sampling of 5 of each of the mentioned cartridges, measured the runout and averaged them. The average came to .0013. I would call that pretty good!