Q: I bought an old Redding Ultra Mag loading press very cheaply and it seems to be strong since I can full-length magnum brass without having to apply a lot of force on the press handle. But one thing puzzles me: unlike the majority of loading presses which have the linkage attached to the lower half of the press, the Ultra Mag’s linkages are connected to the top of the press frame. Is there any explanation for this?
A: The Redding Ultra Mag is unconventional, using a long-link compound-leverage system connected to the top of the press frame. This is claimed to allow the handloader to apply tonnes of pressure without the usual concern about press frame deflection which can cause misalignment. The system is attached to a “C”-type frame with four bolt slots for bench mounting. Spent primers are collected in the hollow ram and the Ultra Mag also features a priming arm that swings into position during the ram stroke and flips out of the way when not in use. It accomplishes primer seating at the end of the ram stroke for maximum sensitivity at the lowest possible leverage. The frame opening is 4-3/4″ and it weighs a whopping 23lbs 6oz. From memory it was introduced in 1983 and I reviewed one in 1984. A kit was available with shellholder and a set of Redding AA dies. You got a good buy.