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Thread: Ideal Armory press

  1. #1
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    Ideal Armory press

    One of the more unique parts of our reloading tool history began in 1905 when John Barlow of Ideal brought it out. From the beginning and all through its 30 year history the marketing of the press was limited to Armory's, police and gun clubs. Never to the individual who needed something better than the Ideal tong type tools. This resulted on low volume sales and an even lower survival rate. Barlow retired in 2015 and sold Ideal to Marlin Arms Company. Great War production demands caused Marlin to sell Ideal to Phineas Talcott who copyrighted the Ideal name regarding reloading tools. For reason unknown at this time Mr Talcott sold the Ideal line to Lyman in 1925 where it has remained.
    Early tools are marked with the New Haven address, later ones with the Middlefield address.
    The 1905 tool and the Marlin are marked New Haven, the Lyman tools pictured here are all Middlefield.
    In 1935 the Armory tool was discontinued, to be replaced with a simplified tool following the same pattern, the Tru-Line press. Simpler production but the same limited marketing and using the same dies.
    But there are two additional tools that use the Armory frame. The #2 Lubricator and sizer and a full length case resizing press. Both are extremely rare. There are probably less than 5 #2's known, only one resizer has been identified. The same holds for the Marlin press, there are just two known to exist.

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    Antique Reloading Tool Collector, Historian and Writer
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master brassrat's Avatar
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    Great info thanks for posting

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Good solid looking press. don't see a lot of spring in that desighn

  4. #4
    Boolit Master



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    Pacific gets the credit for our modern "C" press design.......but I always wondered why they didn't copy Ideals down swing handle? I really like my Pacific, early thirties production, but hate having to pull the handle up.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Well, you stumped me. I have been reloading since late 50's and had not heard of or seen those presses until your pictures & info showed up. Thanks for both the pictures and info. There's just something about the old equipment that grabs me and rarity has little to do with it. The old time stuff was made strong to last long. I care little for this plastic world. james

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


    Springfield's Avatar
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    John Barlow retired in 2015? Dang, he sure lived a long time.

  7. #7
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    Not sure were the 2015 came from. Barlow retired in 1911, he died in 1912 while visiting his daughter in Italy.
    Ken
    Antique Reloading Tool Collector, Historian and Writer
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  8. #8
    Boolit Mold
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ID:	191398 I still have a few of these lying around along with some tooling that came from the Winchester tool room that I have to figure out.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    3006guns - GONRA always thought Pacific is the orignal "7/8-14 threaded dies" source.
    Is this correct?

  10. #10
    Quite an education. Thanks !!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    So these used the 310 dies, Ken?
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  12. #12
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    Wayne, no. they use a complicated odd ball die. Look closely at Minaprob's picture. He has a number of die parts.
    I published an article on these presses a few years back with directions to reload using their dies.

    I had an email disaster and lost your email, and everyone else's too. If you send me a note I can send the article to you.

    Ken
    Antique Reloading Tool Collector, Historian and Writer
    Newsletter editor: Antique Reloading Tool Collectors Association
    Archive manager, Antique Reloading Tool Collectors Association
    email: pressman@antiquereloadingtools.com
    www.antiquereloadingtools.com

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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