The Best Frankford Arsenal M-Press Coaxial Reloading Press Review

Frankford Arsenal has just 2 single-stage reloading presses and the M-Press is stirring up the market with its price point and features. We will dive into what we like and tolerate about this single-stage press. And present to you the best Frankford Arsenal M-press coaxial reloading press review on the internet. Read our single-stage reloading press comparison article to find out the best.

Frankford Arsenal M-press Coaxial Reloading Press.

This single-stage reloading press has a few unique features. Out of all the features, the ones that stand out are its universal shell holder and the LED. But they miss or just glance over the good features. But this article will point out each feature and answer any questions you may have while pointing out its good and bad.

Unboxing the package you will receive:

  1. The Frankford Arsenal M-Press Coaxial Reloading Press.
  2. Ambidextrous Handle.
  3. Die Case containing 2 die blocks and another installed in the press.
  4. Micro-USB cable and Power adapter for the installed LED light.
  5. Instruction booklet.
Frankford Arsenal M-Press Coaxial Reloading Press review

Universal Shellholder – 1st Unique Feature

The M-Press Coaxial Reloading press is equipped with a universal shell holder, and like the name suggests it will accept all types of brass you can throw at it. This shell holder also has some notable features, which make it unique.

I’m talking about the mechanism of the universal shell holder of the M-Press. It automatically grips and releases the case for easier and more efficient access. It is hard to explain with words, so check out the Gif below.

Frankford Arsenal Universal Shell holder

Basically, when the shell holder is in the rest position, the cone-shaped dagger Pin pushes on the shell plates and the shell plate stays in the open position. This is when a case can be changed. After placing the case and pulling the Handle to lift the carriage, the pressure is released (because the dagger pin is welded to the base) and the shell holder grabs the case for operation. You can also view the whole process in the GIF. Due to this grabbing motion, the shell holder has a float in the right-left direction (X-Axis).

Now the second feature — The Shell Plates. The shell plates have 4 notches “Small”, “.308”, “Large” & “.223” and it accepts all types of cases from .17 Remington to .338 Lapua Magnum. The shell plates can be rotated (by pulling away from the middle) to adjust according to the type of case. Check out the X-Ray picture for a better grasp of the idea.

Universal Shell holder Blue Print

One another feature this shell holder has, which is usually neglected is the cleaning process. Say while sitting the projectile, due to mishandling gunpowder is spilled, and it slips inside the interchangeable shell holder. Don’t worry about cleaning all you need is to rotate the shell holders and all the spilled gunpowder will slip and collect in the spent primer catcher.

The LED – 2nd Unique Feature (was)

LED Light

The LED light is a unique addition to this coaxial reloading press. It provides ample light for case operation. If you have good lighting in the room and your reloading press is set near the light source with direct light shining on it, you won’t need it much. But even in a well-lit room if the reloading press is shadowed by another object or is away from the light source then the LED will be just perfect for your situation. On the left, you can see how the LED makes a difference.  

 The LED has a good feedback push button but for the LED to be useful, it always needs to be plugged in whether power outlet or battery. Frankford Arsenal Provides a long micro-USB cable for the connection from the back of the frame. The LED is easily replaceable in case it malfunctions (Electronics have a lifetime and luckily Frankford Arsenal thought about it).

The Ambidextrous Handle

In our Honest Opinion, the handle is a major part of a reloading press. And it majorly affects how one might judge a reloading press. The ambidextrous handle has amazing leverage and enough opening which can accommodate larger dies. The ball on the handle can also be changed to match the preference as it is threaded in.

The M-Press Coaxial Reloading Press has an ambidextrous handle, which can be used as a cam-over or positive (or hard) stop-pulling action. The switching is simple and can be performed in less than 2 minutes. Expert reloaders can use either of the settings but for beginner reloaders, our advice is to use the positive stop-pulling action to avoid damaging the shell holder.

We realized that the M-Press needs to be elevated or mounted on the side of the table to fully operate the handle as the reach of the handle reaches well below the base level of the reloading press.

Coaxial carriage Guide

RCBS, Hornady, or Lee pushes the carriage up with the pull of the level but The M-Press pulls the carriage up, which is guided by the 2 fixed rods hence the name coaxial. The coaxial rods act as the backbone of the reloading press which holds the whole reloading press as one piece and improves stability.

The coaxial rods are made of stainless steel, hence you can say goodbye to rust. The diameter of the axial is just above 1 inch (1 1/8” to be precise). The clearance for case operation is a staggering 5 inches.

The Spent Primer Catcher

The design for the spent primer is sleek, the storage box fits perfectly in the frame and does not look like it intrudes from the frame or an idea that was improvised in the frame. Even though it looks small, the spent primer can accommodate more than 100 primers.

Ejecting the spent primer tray has a little trick, to eject the box you need to lift the carriage from the base position, and simply pull the box. The tray is held in position due to the friction applied by the plates on each side of the tray.

Bad news for people who like an on-press priming system as The M-Press is not equipped with one. But if you have tested the bench priming tool by Lee — Believe me you won’t use the on-press priming system even if you had one.  

Quick Die Changing System.

Like other reputed brands like Hornady, FOSTER & Lee, Frankford Arsenal is also equipped with a quick die change system called die blocks. The Die Blocks effectively eliminate the need for lock rings as they act as one but are thicker. The Die Blocks uses the standard 7/8” 14 — Threaded Dies. To change simply pull the die block towards yourself and it will come out.

Frankford Arsenal M-Press

Frankford Arsenal M-Press Coaxial Reloading Press review in short.

We love the reloading press, it has some amazing features with little to no drawbacks. Below we listed them for easier comparison.

What We LIKE about the M-Press
Ambidextrous handle.
Excellent durability of the twin guide rods and the frame.
4.25” case operational clearance.
The LED Light
Spent primer catcher design
Universal Shellholder design
Efficient design to open and close the shellholder.
Die block, quick die changing system. Effectively eliminating the need for lock rings.
X-axis & Z-axis float for better alignment of the case.
Things we didn’t like
The Case’s mouth occasionally may bump against the die lips.
The case’s mouth occasionally may bump against the die lips.
Lack of on-press priming
Can not accommodate on-press powder measure.

Overall we love this reloading press. It has bold features that no other reloading press possesses. It is cheap but durable with an elegant design. And with all this, we conclude our Frankford Arsenal M-Press Coaxial Reloading Press review.

Setting up the press

It is pretty simple:

  1. Settle the press on a bench — do not mount it just yet.
  2. Place the handle and tighten it with the set screw.
  3. Now place the press on the side of the table, and using the handle give it a full stroke and measure how much space you need below the table top for a full stroke. (around 5.5 inches below the press’s base).
  4. Now mount the press on the bench or an elevated stand to be able to have that full stroke.
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