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Thread: Who was Lachmiller?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    canyon-ghost's Avatar
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    Who was Lachmiller?

    That's my question. Some of you long-time hands that were reloading before I started might have an idea. I have read up on Herter's and George Leonard Herter ( interesting man) and know they still make powder.


    Some of these older companies that aren't on the advertising forefront are a bit difficult for me to identify. Anyone want to share memories? Did Lachmiller have a particular forte'?

    Ron
    In all, the .41 Magnum would be one of my top choices for an all-around handgun if I were allowed to have only one. - Bart Skelton

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    "I have read up on Herter's and George Leonard Herter ( interesting man) and know they still make powder."

    I don't think they have ever made any powder, marketed some yes.
    Hell, I was there!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Lachmiller made moulds, loading tools and dies. They went out of business in the '70's. RCBS picked up their casting stuff, the moulds and the sizer/lubricator, for selling under their own name.

    Lachmiller stuff was typically painted Navy blue and their loading dies were blackened rather than polished or plated and came in a yellow pasteboard box with red lettering. Everything I've used that they made has been perfectly serviceable and a good step in quality above Herter's.

    I think the old Herter's imported powder which they sold under their own name but I don't think they ever made any themselves. Somebody using Herter's name and their family crest now sells ammunition made in Eastern Europe.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Some Lachmiller dies were unplated, some were plated outside, probably industrial chrome, I have a set of 308 dies that are marked L.E.C. and are bright and shiney. About the molds; my early molds marketed by RCBS are marked Ohaus, as were their scales, I've never seen a L.E.C. mold in my part of the world. L.E.C. did loading equipment as a side line, they were first and fore most an engineering company, design and prototype for mass manufacturers. So I was told 40-50 years ago, no verification on my part, rumor central!!!!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I don't really know what their forte was, but I know that they made some nice equipment before RCBS bought them out. I have 2 Lachmiller molds that are great molds, and are identical to current RCBS molds except for thinner handle slots. Handles have to be thinned down to work on them if you don't have an original set of Lachmiller handles. The Lube-a-Matic sizer they made that later became the RCBS Lube-a-Matic is my favorite type of sizer. I have an original Lachmiller, plus two of the RCBS LAM 1's. I wish RCBS still made the LAM 1 and not the newer LAM 2. I like it better.

    I also have a couple of sets of their dies and they work quite well. My 303 Brit Lachmiller dies are better for my use as they seem to size the brass less.
    Lyman 22596,225107,225353,225438,225415,225450,225646, 225462,228367,244203,245496,245497,245498,245499 RCBS 22-55-SP,22-55-FP,243-95-SP,243-100-FP, NEI 100244GC-#14, 55 224 GC-#4,225 45-#3 PB, NOE 22-055 SP,MX2-243,Saeco 221 & 243, RD TLC225-50-RF,Lee 22 Bator 6c & 2c HP. Love casting small boolits, let me know if you have one that I don't that you would part with!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Pavogrande's Avatar
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    I have a lachmiller press and bench top priming tool -- Bought them used in the late '50s.
    Herter press #3 is a close copy of the lachmiller.
    The shellholders ( Herter & lach) are generally interchageble, the lachmiller holders for the priming tool have a slot across the bottom for the primer to feed from the tube holder. Bit of bother to load the tube.
    Just sold a set of lachmiller dies today -- as mentioned, black, knurled steel nuts, and yellow box. As good as RCBS or any other dies of its day.
    my tuppence

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    RCBS also bought Lachmiller's bench-top primer tool Pavogrande mentioned. Here is mine:



    I only have a 30/06 shellholder for it and wish I could get them for a couple other calibers. I have yet to find on Ebay after >1-year of looking. The press works pretty well.

    Pavogrande: I use Dillon primer feed tubes to load the Lachmiller.
    Member: Orange Gunsite Family, NRA-Life, Varmint Hunter's Assn, ARTCA, American Legion, & South Cuyahoga Sportsmen's Assn.

    "Gunnery, gunnery, gunnery...all else is twaddle!"--Admiral Sir John Fisher, RN
    "An armed society is a polite society"--Robert Heinlein via Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC
    "You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass"--Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

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    Boolit Master / Honcho
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    I have several Lachmiller 3-cavity moulds. All have handles and work great. I also have some Lachmiller die sets and a lubesizer. Even have both 16 and 12 Ga. shotshell reloading, 2 die sets, that I think will work in my rockchucker if I remove the bushing! Kinda' collect their stuff!
    @Kevin Rohrer: What does the shell holder look like when it's not in the tool, and what are the dimensions? I have some shell holders that I'm not sure what they fit...

    Take care!

    Don

    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    My Lachmiller lubrisizer is still going great since I got it new in 1971. The automatic gizmo that advanced the lube finally gave up the ghost, so now I just give the wrench a nudge to feed more lube. Other than that, a quality product all the way through.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Pavogrande's Avatar
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    I have the same primer as Kevin --
    The proper shellholder sort of half grabs the case -- see kevins -- It also has a slot cut in the bottom surface to allow the primer to feed from the vertical tube.
    If you don't mind a deeper rim portion, herter holders work fine - a mill cut across the bottom is easy enough. Might even be filed in if you have the energy and make the cut all across the base.
    lachmiller/herter shellholders are 1" diameter at the rim catch, the portion in the ram is 3/4" diameter by 9/16" high with a groove for a set screw.
    In my experience herter holders are plated, lachmiller are not.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master JIMinPHX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Rohrer View Post
    I only have a 30/06 shellholder for it and wish I could get them for a couple other calibers. I have yet to find on Ebay after >1-year of looking.
    If you would like to send me your existing shell holder to look at as a sample, I may be able to help you out. Send me a PM for details if you would like to look into that possibility.
    “an armed society is a polite society.”
    Robert A. Heinlein

    "Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, cum pars servitutis esset."
    Publius Tacitus

  12. #12
    Boolit Master / Honcho
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    So would any of these be for the primer?

    (The small one at bottom right is a standard rcbs shellholder, just thrown in for scale)



    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
    - Henry S. Haskins in “Meditations in Wall Street”

    "Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end." ...Unknown

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Obssd:

    Those that have a groove are probably for the Lachmiller. The right-hand one in the first row, and the left-hand one in the second row are definitely for the priming tool. Do they have a number stamped on them? I'll buy them if you want to sell.

    The spring-loaded plunger you see on the back of my tool pushes a primer from the tube thru that slot onto the primer arm.

    When I get home from work, I will take a pic and post it here.
    Last edited by Kevin Rohrer; 08-22-2011 at 08:41 AM.
    Member: Orange Gunsite Family, NRA-Life, Varmint Hunter's Assn, ARTCA, American Legion, & South Cuyahoga Sportsmen's Assn.

    "Gunnery, gunnery, gunnery...all else is twaddle!"--Admiral Sir John Fisher, RN
    "An armed society is a polite society"--Robert Heinlein via Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC
    "You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass"--Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Pressman's Avatar
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    The big shellholder, bottom center is Herter's, all the rest are Lachmiller. They will all fit the priming tool, though not the auto feed primer.

    Lachmiller had a press, primeing tool and powder measure advertersied in American Rifleman in early 1952, two years before the Herter'sodel press came out. They were sold to Penguin Ind then came back to the original owner. They had planned to offer a big, RCBS type press at the time RCBS bought them out. No presses were released to teh public for sale though they are pictured in Gun Digest.
    Ken

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    This has been an interesting thread. And you're probably right, they may have never made powder. But the history lesson has been interesting. That's all amazing to me, guess it shouldn't be.
    In all, the .41 Magnum would be one of my top choices for an all-around handgun if I were allowed to have only one. - Bart Skelton

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    This is the shellholder for the 30/36, which is marked at the top. Sorry the photo is blurry. This shellholder has been used so much, the flat area cases slide into is badly chipped; cases are held only loosely.



    And this shows the back of shellholder.

    Member: Orange Gunsite Family, NRA-Life, Varmint Hunter's Assn, ARTCA, American Legion, & South Cuyahoga Sportsmen's Assn.

    "Gunnery, gunnery, gunnery...all else is twaddle!"--Admiral Sir John Fisher, RN
    "An armed society is a polite society"--Robert Heinlein via Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC
    "You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass"--Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    Canyon-Ghost: You need to join ARCTA.
    Member: Orange Gunsite Family, NRA-Life, Varmint Hunter's Assn, ARTCA, American Legion, & South Cuyahoga Sportsmen's Assn.

    "Gunnery, gunnery, gunnery...all else is twaddle!"--Admiral Sir John Fisher, RN
    "An armed society is a polite society"--Robert Heinlein via Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC
    "You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass"--Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I am using a older model Lachmiller priming tool that uses a cam rather than compound linkage. Huntington once stated that the main reason he purchased Lachmiller was to obtain the rights to make the priming tool and that he hadn't originally intended to get involved in casting equipment.
    Neil

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    My primer tool was made around 1953. If yours is older than that, I'd like to see a pic of it.
    Last edited by Kevin Rohrer; 08-25-2011 at 12:14 AM.
    Member: Orange Gunsite Family, NRA-Life, Varmint Hunter's Assn, ARTCA, American Legion, & South Cuyahoga Sportsmen's Assn.

    "Gunnery, gunnery, gunnery...all else is twaddle!"--Admiral Sir John Fisher, RN
    "An armed society is a polite society"--Robert Heinlein via Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC
    "You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass"--Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Pressman's Avatar
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    Kevin, you have the original design primer tool, Neil has the newer (and much simplified) design.
    The auto primer feed assembly was not carried over to the new design for some unknown reason.
    Ken

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check