Lyman Brass Smith Ideal Presss: From Unboxing to Loading

Ever since the SHOT show this year, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get hands-on with the new Brass Smith reloading presses from Lyman. Well that time has come! Last week I got my Lyman Brass Smith Ideal press, and this week I got my Inline Fabrication Mounting plate (Brass Smith presses have same bolt pattern as Lyman T-Mag, for all Brass Smith presses) – so I thought it was time for a video and post here on Ultimate Reloader.

Facts and Figures

The Lyman Brass Smith Ideal Press is a budget-friendly cast iron single stage reloading press built right here in the USA. Here’s the official info and specs:

The large opening and C frame design allows you to access the shell holder without hitting the support bar on other types of presses. Changing shell holders is a breeze and the press holds standard 7/8″ x 14TPI dies from any manufacturer. The high quality steel ram is one inch in diameter and the 3 7/8″ opening allows you to reload cartridges up to 3.7 inches tall. Since this is an open concept design, the Brass Smith is a true ambidextrous press that can be accessed from either side and mounted the same.

Specifications and Features: 

  • Rugged Cast Iron Frame
  • Ambidextrous Design
  • Handles Pistol Calibers and Rifle Cartridges Up To 3.7″ Long
  • Durable Powder Coat Finish
  • Compound Linkage and 1″ Diameter Ram
  • Accepts Standard 7/8″X14 Dies and Standard Shell Holders
  • Weight: 12.6 Lbs.

One of the things I liked about the Ideal press was its short stroke design. This makes the Ideal the “Ideal” press for handgun operations, bullet seating, or any activity where speed is desirable. It’s very substantial for its size thanks to the cast iron construction, and I love the fact that it’s “made in the USA”.

What’s In the Box

The Lyman Brass Smith Ideal press is shipped in very nice packaging, with attention to detail evident throughout. Here’s what you’ll see when you unpack the box:

Here we have:

  1. Box
  2. Press assembly
  3. Primer catcher
  4. Instruction booklets
  5. Thread locker (for shoulder bolts)
  6. Press handle and nut
  7. Shoulder bolts and hex wrench

And as you saw in the video, it takes only a couple minutes to setup the press.

Mounting the Brass Smith Ideal Press

All of the Lyman Brass Smith presses share the same bolt pattern as the Lyman T-Mag press, and that gives you a lot of options for mounting your press. You can bolt it straight to your bench, or use a mount of some sort. Since I have standardized on the Inline Fabrication Ultramount System (with quick change), I got one of the quick change plates for the Ideal (#77), and was off and running!

So far, I’ve used the Brass Smith Ideal for 6.5 Creedmoor, and have found it to work well. This is a no-frills quality press that’s not going to break the bank. It’s open-front design is convenient, and I like the ambidextrous design.

There’s more Lyman Brass Smith content coming soon, I’ll publish things as soon as I can! Stay tuned for videos and posts covering the Victory, and the All American 8-station turret- it’s going to be interesting!


5 thoughts on “Lyman Brass Smith Ideal Presss: From Unboxing to Loading”

  1. Gavin- are you going to be doing any measurements on concentricity/runout using these presses? I’m interested in getting the most consistent and accurate loads I can with a standard single stage, and am curious to see how this compares to the RCBS Rockchucker and others. (I know the Forster Co-Ax is regarded as the best in this area, but I don’t think I can justify the $$$ for it in my personal budget :-P). My goal would be to have something like the victory or rockchucker for sizing, depriming, etc. and then something like this Ideal for bullet seating.

  2. Looks like a basic press, nothing too great but hey hopefully it serves the purpose which is fine.

  3. Very nicely done and typical Lyman quality and attention to detail. The one thing that is missing and this is essential, in my opinion is a breech lock mechanism for pre-setting dies allowing you to switch dies quickly. Hornady does this, Lee does this, other manufactures as well. This is a major shortcoming in my mind. Otherwise it’s a nice simple single stage press.

  4. A video of how to put it together and use it would be worth 1000 words or at least a step by step guide on how to use it would be great . I am a total beginner to reloading and I am lost

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