- March 15, 2017 at 1:27 pm #34097Butch WaxParticipant
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In an age where automated rotary presses and progressive units abound, my primary loading device is a Lyman and Ideal 310. I load for a few calibers and only for myself these days. Learned to load with these as a young lad with my old great uncle who loaded .45 Colt with black powder. He’d cast on a stove or at a campfire and size with the 310 as well. So this is where I began. Still have the old Lyman Spartan press I started out with on my own in 1960 and the Lyman Spar-T press I got a couple years later, but the 310’s were always around.
Oh, I was once a Class 6 ammo mfg and loaded for my PD and three others and had about 25 regular customers for exotic ammo. This became a monstrous pain in the rump after a time and I stopped loading for others and concentrated on my pistolsmithing and my police work. Learned my lesson on mass loading. Wasn’t worth it.
But back to the 310. To me it’s a more relaxed way of loading from an earlier time when folks weren’t always in a hurry to have everything right now. The tools are simple in appearance yet deceivingly precise. I load only one rifle round these days, the .30’06 with cast and jacketed. Use a 1903 mfg Ideal No.5 powder measure. And with these old tools are made ammo that will consistently produce 1MOA at 100yds off bipod IF I do my part on the bench.
Handgun rounds: .38Spl, .357mag, .44Spl, .44Mag, .45ACP, and .45 Colt are all loaded with a 310. For the sizing of cases with the. 38Spl I often use an old Lyman AA carbide in the Spar-T since I shoot this caliber from three different weapons and require full length resized cases. But all other procedures are done with the 310. Full length resizing in .45ACP is not difficult with a 310 but I’ll use a AA carbide for it sometimes.
Bullet sizing is not difficult with a 310 and can be quite precise as well. But I must admit the old Lyman 450 unit and it’s dies make this process much easier and cleaner! So I don’t often size and lube with a 310, but I have a .3095″ bullet sizer in my 310 gear that is remarkable in my cast loads matching the bore requirements of my ’06 perfectly.
All my 310 gear, No.5 measure, dies, and other parts to make 310s run, all fit in a standard tool/tackle box. A handy portable loading system that can easily be set up at any deer camp or range if needed.
So I’ve gone full circle with my loading gear for the most part. I’m back where I began. With one exception. Bless his heart, my old Uncle Leo always said Smokeless powder was just a passing fad and loaded his old 45 Colt SAA with black powder. Sorry Uncle Leo but I kinda like Unique, Bullseye, Herco, and a couple others that aren’t BP. But most of my cast bullets, moulds, and their design are fro 1903 through 1940 so I’m still a might “dated” in my loading still.
I was going to include a couple of photos but I cannot find them in this ridiculous smartphone I have…. But ya’ll get the idea anyway, right?
- March 15, 2017 at 3:53 pm #34105ScharfschuetzeParticipant
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I have a small collection of Lyman 310 tools and I also keep ’em in a tackle box. I use the 45/70 neck sizing unit in an adapter unit in my Rock Chucker press to necksize my 45/70 brass.
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