Short Action Customs Nexus Press – Ultimate Reloader

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Short Action Customs is the newest precision manufacturer to release their own reloading press. Today we’ll take an in-depth look at the new Nexus press!

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About the SAC Nexus Press

The new Nexus press from Short Action Customs has a unique design intended to maximize precision and eliminate the need for shellholder contact with the die for cam-over and consistency. If you have a rifle with a really tight chamber, you may run out of sizing distance to bump the shoulder back with a traditional set-up. The Nexus press cams over on pucks, not on the die.

From Short Action Customs

When we set out to develop the Nexus Press, we were trying to build a press that eliminated any issues associated with the die and shell holder relationship. We also wanted to develop a more consistent and powerful cam over action every single cycle of the press as well as a work envelope so you can easily and efficiently process your brass without annoying C arms or small work areas in your way.  One of the highly innovative features of the Nexus Press is our dual floating shell holder system, which is also quick change and tool-less.  This is similar to a custom rifle action’s floating bolt head feature.  The shell holder will center on your die each time because of the “floating” ability of the shell holder.  Our shell holder system also allows .010″ more sizing than all other shell holders on the market.  So, if you are having issues not getting enough sizing out of your dies, there is no need to modify them anymore; the Nexus Press will take that headache out of the equation.  The press will include 4 shell holders: 223 Bolt face, 308 Bolt Face, Magnum Bolt face, and Lapua Magnum Bolt face.  Additional shell holders will be available to purchase a la carte.   One of the most groundbreaking features of the Nexus Press is the dual cam over pucks, which precisely stop the movement of your floating die block every single cycle of the press, eliminating the relationship between your shell holder and die when it comes to sizing and consistency.  One of the issues we discovered when developing the Nexus Press was the need for shell holder contact on the bottom of your die with traditional reloading presses.  This causes much stress on your reloading press and sizing or seating die, so we wanted to have the Nexus press cam over independently of the shell holder. Every single cycle of the press, your hard cam over pucks limits the travel, which gives you the same amount of cam over every single cycle, regardless of where your die is in relation to the shell holder.  The press cams over 2 degrees past the top dead center, allowing the same amount of sizing or seating with each stroke of the press.  The die retention system is entirely unique.  Two detents hold the die in the press, and you can use any standard lock ring available on the market today.  The die retention system has radial floating capabilities, allowing your die to center up each time it is used.  Additionally, the Nexus Press has storage areas for all your shell holders, dies, or cam over pucks.  There are also two 8×32 threaded holes to put small brushes in to help with brass prep.  The Nexus Press will easily allow you to run seven-eighths diameter and one-inch-diameter dies. To run one-inch diameter dies, you would simply replace this die retention top plate, and that’s it. The 1-inch plates will be available in early summer 2024. The Nexus Press uses two precision ground linear guide rods and two linear guide rod bearings, giving the Nexus Press a very smooth and consistent feel. Every Nexus Press is built to last; we use pre-hardened steels, which are then salt bath nitrided, increasing their strength, lubricity, and corrosion resistance.  We also use high-strength aluminum that is Type III hard coat anodized.  So, if you are tired of inconsistencies with your sizing or seating dies or having to modify your dies to get enough sizing, the Nexus Press is the fix you are looking for! Like all Short Action Customs products, the Nexus Press has a 100% lifetime guarantee.

What’s in the box?

    • Nexus® Press
    • 223 Bolt face Shell holder for cartridges like, 223 Remington, 204 Ruger, 222 Remington, etc
    • 308 Bolt face Shell holder for cartridges like 308 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6 Dasher, 30-06, etc
    • Magnum Bolt face Shell holder for cartridges like 300 PRC, 6.5 PRC, Belted Magnums, RUM’s, Noslers, etc
    • Lapua Magnum Bolt face Shell holder for cartridges like 338 Lapua Magnum, 300 Norma Magnum, etc
    • Primer Drop Tube
    • Template for drilling your bench
    • 4 Allen head mounting bolts and nuts

PROUDLY MADE IN THE USA

What’s in the Box

Besides the main press assembly and handle, SAC also includes an extremely detailed adhesive template. Place this sticker wherever you want to mount the press and drill through it! It also comes with two sets of cam-over pucks, shell holders, a lock ring, mounting screws for the handle and a primer drop tube. 

Set-Up

I started with putting together the dedicated 4” Micro Ultramount from Inline Fabrication.

I decided to go with the dedicated mount over the quick change as it is more rigid.

The Micro Ultramount proved to be the perfect height for the press on my bench — very easy to use without hunching over.

Next I installed the press and handle – all the pieces fit together perfectly. 

The Nexus press has a very unique design. Each shellholder has a domed bottom that fits into a “dish.”

This allows the shellholder to tilt slightly along two different axes of rotation for perfect alignment with the die.

Slide these pieces into a shellholder retention block and then into the rear of the press to secure it.

From here you have a choice between two sets of cam-over pucks.

One allows cam-over, one prevents it. Each comes with O-rings for better retention, but I chose to remove the bottom ring so the pucks would fit into the press more easily. 

This press was built with efficiency in mind with storage for three shell holders at the top of the press and locations for the cam-over pucks not in use behind the shellholder retention block. 

At first glance it appears the entire top of the press may move, but in reality, only the die block does. It will accept both ⅞” and 1” dies. Traditional die lock rings fit into the slot in the die block but are a little bit shorter so you have to push the die up to bottom out and lock into place. To make the die more secure, I took my Lyman MSR die and added a Short Action Customs Forster-style lock ring. These lock rings have an easy-to-grab tab and fit  tightly into the Nexus press. Another interesting feature of the Nexus press is that the die block channel includes small ball bearings that engage the die threads. 

Behind the shell holder storage stations on the top of the press are two 8-32 drilled and tapped holes. These are included for convenient storage of a brush, chamfering tool, or any other accessory you may desire while reloading. 

The design of the Nexus press requires constant parallelism between the floating die block and the press base throughout the entire range of motion. A set of dual linear-bearing guide rods makes this possible.

Press in Action

I decided to use .223 for my inaugural loading session. Though the factory ring on my Forster .223 die  would work in the press, I swapped it for a Short Action Customs lock ring for better fit.

I also inserted the .223 shellholder and the tall cam-over pucks.

Sizing and depriming was effortless though I forgot to place a garbage can underneath the press to catch the spent primers. SAC says the Nexus press provides approximately 0.010” extra seating depth while retaining consistency. 

To truly evaluate the difference this press makes, I took the same die and moved it from the Nexus to another press, setting it up the same way and sizing another piece of brass.

I now had three items to compare: fired/unsized brass, brass sized on the Nexus, and brass sized on the third press.

I used the unsized brass to set a comparison point, placing it in a comparator and zeroing the calipers. The Nexus press bumped shoulders approximately 0.007”!

The other press didn’t bump the shoulder at all.

I wasn’t surprised or alarmed that the Nexus didn’t bump the shoulder a full 0.010” as I didn’t know where the shoulder was to start. Also, 0.010” movement does not equal 0.010” shoulder bump when you account for spring back. This proves the Nexus press provides extra sizing latitude. 

Next came seating. I started out with a piece of  brass in the shellholder, torqued the die down over top of it, and backed it off.

For making dummy cartridges, I did not worry about exact seating depth, only that they are mag-length. After loading a few, I checked them for runout using a Sinclair concentricity gauge. The results: +/- 0.001”! 

Conclusion

The general fit and finish of the entire press is impressive. It is also extremely well-designed with a smooth, ergonomic handle that fits the hand and a wide window opening in which to work. The press was very pleasurable to use — practically effortless, and their cam-over block design truly does make a difference. 

Get the Gear

Short Action Customs Nexus Press

Inline Fabrication Ultramounts 

Lyman MSR Dies at Midsouth Shooters Supply

Forster Dies at Midsouth Shooters Supply

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Thanks,
Gavin Gear

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