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BarryinIN

Got Something Neat: Hollywood Turret Press

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I have wanted one of these for a while, and have to brag.  

 

This thing is a big ‘un.  That’s a Rockchucker next to it in the picture. The angle of the picture makes the Hollywood look bigger than it is, but not by much.  

 

The head has 12 die stations.  I plan to use it for dies that I can set and LEAVE set, like crimp dies for revolver cartridges, a .223 seating die adjusted to 55 FMJs, a .308 seating die adjusted to my heavy bullet load, etc.  This will save time and should be more consistent than adjusting them again each and every time I change them out.  

 

Shellholders are going to be a speed bump.  Shellholders are pretty much standardized between brands now, but not when Hollywood started making their stuff.   Although a couple of other companies used the same style, the design is different from what is made now, and I’ll have to scrape some originals up or buy an adapter (RCBS makes one, as does others).   These presses were made with a rotating casting that holds four of their shellholders.   That let you install four different shellholders that you could instantly switch between.  A previous owner “experimented” on this piece and hacked up one spot.   The guy I got it from is a machinist and eliminated that location so it’s now a three-hole arrangement.  

 

These presses were available with either a steel or aluminum frame. I might’ve preferred steel for the strength if I was buying a new one (50 years ago)..  Mine is aluminum but I don’t think it’s lacking any strength.  Let me say a big press is harder to carry than I thought it would be.  I don’t want to overblow  it into too big a deal, but like a sleeper sofa, everything wants to move when you pick it up.  The added weight of a steel frame would not have helped.  

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It’s old-ish.  The company was Hollywood Gun Shop, a pretty small company.  I’d say they were about the same size company as Star.  They made reloading equipment- mostly presses, dies, and powder measures- from roughly the 50s until only a few years ago.   I think this model started production in the mid-60s and lasted for 25-30 years  

 

Hollywood outlasted small names like Texan, Bair, and the like, but not by much.  It might’ve been in the 80s when they slowed way down, but they didn’t have far to go.  I thought they had quit some time in the 90s, but evidently the last owner was still making reloading tools until just a few years ago when a fire made it too hard to continue.  I only read that after buying mine.  I think that fire was 2013. 

 

If it helps to find them online, other Hollywood models were the Junior, Senior (made in both single stage and turret), and Automatic- a progressive.  This one is a Universal turret.

 

Another company called Dunbar made very similar-looking models.  I don’t know if there was any connection, but when I say they look similar, they look very, very similar   

 

BTW, an odd thing about this press is that the ram raises on the UPstroke of the handle.  Some presses have been made so this action is reversible, but I don’t see how it can be done on this one.   

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I thought they did handle the .50 BMG, but not too long ago read the travel is a little short.  Oh well, I don’t have the need anyway.   I need to measure, but am guessing the travel is about the same as a Rockchucker.   On this large press, that amount of movement looks too little, like it should be scaled up to match the press size.   It looks funny this way.

 

I found a new, intact, shellholder plate and have it on the way.  This will let me keep four of them in place instead of three, which is not a big thing, but it’s nice to make it “right” for $30.   I now have one shellholder (.38/.357) to fit it and have two more coming (.308/.30-06 etc, and 9mm).  

 

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