Mark 7 just released a new 10-station progressive press called the APEX 10, and in this article, we’re going to get hands-on with it!
About the Mark 7 APEX 10
Comes Standard with:
- All new 11” High Speed Case Feeder
- Lyman Stainless Steel Pro Hold Down Die included
- Mechanical Powder Measure
- Standard Priming with all New Shuttle Disk Delivery System – Small/large primer conversion included
- Double Guide Rod support for the tool head creates more stability
- Upgradeable with Mark 7 Autodrives and sensors
- Smooth Ergonomic Ambidextrous Handle
- Fully supported – Mark 7 community and technical help included
- Supports one-pass processing and loading
- Works with new and fired brass
- Precision CNC machined aluminum and steel
- A massive, robust 10-station cast iron tool head which allows you to “have it all”
What’s In the Box
Above you can see the “Boxes within the box” that you’ll pull out of the main box. After opening each of these boxes and laying out everything neat and tidy, you’ll see the following gear:
Above, clockwise from left:
- APEX 10 press core assembly
- Completed cartridge bin
- Spent primer tube
- Powder measure
- Handle and handle mounting block
- [not normally included, part of my special order: extra case inserter block and shellplate]
- Mounting feet and press mounting hardware
- Top: Priming system components
- Hold-down die for swaging station
- Extra parts bag
- Case feed mounting brackets and pole parts
- Case feed drop tubes and adapters (small and large)
- Power cord
- Case feed motorized collator bowl assembly
- Case feed plate
- Case feed upper shield
This is everything you’ll need to get your press setup, except dies. For caliber changeovers, you’ll only need select parts: Toolhead, shellplate (if different), case inserter (if different), etc.
Mounting the APEX 10
The first thing I did after unboxing the APEX 10, was to fabricate a mounting plate for it that would be compatible with the Ultimate Reloader Bench System.
Above: Machining a 10″ x 12″ 1/2″ thick aluminum plate for the APEX 10. Mounting holes for this press are 5″ on center (square pattern).
The press comes with bolts and nuts do perform a standard “thru-bench” type install. I didn’t use this hardware since I was using my bench system.
before mounting the press, you’ll need to screw on the stand-off feet:
I shortened some 3/8″ 16 cap screws I had on hand so that I could screw them directly into the tapped holes in my mounting plate- it worked great!
Setting Up the APEX 10
As shown in the video, the APEX 10 is very straightforward to setup once it’s mounted:
- Install handle
- Cut zip tie, let tool head rise to top position
- Install case feed brackets
- Install case feed pole assembly (including upper and lower block which holds the two halves together)
- Install case feed bowl
- Route power to case feed bowl
- Install case feed plate (drops in)
- Assemble and install powder measure
- Install and adjust dies
- Install Mr. Bullet feeder and powder check (optional, but trust me: you’ll want it!)
At this point you can run up and test your APEX 10!
Die Station Utilization
As shown in the picture above:
Station 1: Case feeding
Station 2: Sizing and decapping
Station 3: Swage with hold down
Station 4: Primer seat with 500 S&W magnum die (no decapper) for hold-down
Station 5: Case flare/neck expansion
Station 6: Powder drop
Station 7: Powder check
Station 8: Bullet Dropper
Station 9: Seating
Station 10: Crimping
This is an AMAZING setup! Each function/step has its own station, which makes setup and tweaks much faster.
Loading with the APEX 10
Like with the Evolution, loading with the APEX 10 is about as fast and smooth as you’ll get for a manual press. And what’s more- you can add an autodrive and really kick things into high gear! I had zero issues while loading with this press, and am very excited to have it up and running. (Can’t wait to try the Primer XPress primer feeder).
The Mark 7 APEX 10 is essentially the “Evolution of the Mark 7 Evolution”. There have been multiple design improvements, and additional parts/capabilities and at the same cost as the Evolution was offered for! I’ll have an in-depth story comparing the two, but here is a high-level overview of the changes:
- More parts as standard equipment: The APEX 10 includes parts for both primer sizes (large and small for both priming and swaging), both case feed drop tube sizes (large and small)
- Much improved all-new case feed system with all-metal bowl, quick dump window, variable speed, inductive sensor, and reverse
- Improved tolerances on main assembly (three parts converged into one casting)
- Toolhead is now cast iron (was aluminum) and includes both guide rods when ordered separately (formerly an add-on)
The APEX 10 will be available in April 2021, and is currently available for pre-order at the time of the writing of this article!
As mentioned previously, the Mark 7 APEX 10 is also available from the Double Alpha Academy!
Stay tuned, lots more Mark 7 content coming! Don’t miss out on these Ultimate Reloader updates, make sure you’re subscribed!