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Thread: Ideal/Lyman Mold Manfactor History

  1. #1
    Boolit Master frnkeore's Avatar
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    Ideal/Lyman Mold Manfactor History

    This is from a post by Doug Elliott (no relationship to me) on another forum. He is long time Ideal/Lyman collector/historian, many here may know of him.

    Since there are many inquiry's regarding how to ID certain things about the moulds, I thought this might make a good Sticky.

    Frank

    As was explained to me some years back by Lyman's Tom Griffin, this is a quality control code for the cherries made for them by various outside suppliers. "BW" indicates the second (B) #457193 cherry made for them by supplier "W"; and "BV" the second from supplier "V".

    Another letter/number code sometimes found might be something such as "F1", indicating that the mould was cut by employee "F", on machine "1".

    The one-, two- or three-digit number on each pair of blocks is a "match number" assuring that the pair is kept together throughout the machining, finishing, assembly and packaging process.

    A tiny pair of additional match numbers sometimes is also found on the collar of a hollow-point or -base plug and one of the blocks it is fitted to.

    Other tidbits: Vent grooves were added to the mould blocks sometime in the early-to-mid-1950s; the company's stamp was changed from "IDEAL" to "LYMAN" in 1964; and the company move from Middlefield to Middletown in the summer of 1994 is also reflected in the address stamping.
    Last edited by frnkeore; 03-07-2016 at 07:20 PM.

  2. #2
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    Great reminder from a true genius about reloading gear. I believe Floodgate still drops in but rarely posts or logs in here. He is missed.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master frnkeore's Avatar
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    This needs to go back to the top

    Frank

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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Stuck

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks, very interesting

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    While I can't put dates to them, I have noticed changes in the moulds. This applies only to the exchangeable moulds.

    Large diameter alignment pins. Later the alignment pins shrank to the same diameter as the sprue plate stop pin.

    The sprue plate screw was a 10x36, changed later to a 10x32.

    Sprue plate screw locking screw was 10x36 with a large head slightly rounded. This later changed to a slot-headed 10x36 set screw, then a 10x32 Allen head set screw.

    Sprue plate had a small notch that would go around the sprue plate stop pin, locking the two halves together. Notch went away.

    The block match number had a letter prefix. Then just the three numbers.

    The female hole that the alignment pins fit into was drilled all the way through the block. When the alignment pins were reduced in diameter the holes stopped being through-drilled.

    The two screws that attach the blocks to their handles had a small point on their ends, then the went flat. They were later changed to a screw that was threaded full length.


    The only thing I have to back up this progression is that virtually all manufactures loose features/simplify their processes over time. It's called "Value Engineering" and usually sucks for the consumer. But not always. The change from 10x36 to 10x32 was undoubtedly caused by the standardization of machine screws in America over time. Same with the two screws that lock the mould to the handles.


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  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy Walks's Avatar
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    Every time I think of LYMAN these days. I remember being told by the New Customer Service Manager that they closed down for a week in July 2015 to clean out ALL THE STOCK & PARTS NO LONGER CATALOGUED. Just dumped 40+yrs of parts to a scrap dealer. That was why they could no longer service any non-catalogued item.

    It's sad to see them scrambling to keep up with all the other mold makers/reloading tool manufacturer's.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy georgewxxx's Avatar
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    From the 70's

    Some of you may have come across mould blocks with additional letters on the and don't know what they mean. I had purchased several of them with a capitol "R" on them. One still had a tag in the the box with a disclaimer saying they were basically rejects. I understand these were all sold to a private vendor. All the moulds I have with the marked "R", cast fine and only one had slightly tilted handle attaching grooves, and were very tight fitting on the handles.
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  9. #9
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    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    Lyman offered the “R” moulds cheap, with no guarantees, refunds or exchanges, in Shotgun News in the 1980’s. I bought a two-cavity 225415 and it casts as well, and produces as good boolits, as the single cavity 225415 I’d paid full price for a decade earlier.

    There are also “U” moulds around. You could order an “undersized” version of certain cavities, probably dependent on which cherry had been sharpened past the minimum. There was apparently no discount with these, and all warranties were good. I have a few of these, and they typically cast close to the nominal diameter on the mould, with Lino/Wheelweight scrap alloy.

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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
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HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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