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Thread: Lyman 310...

  1. #1
    Boolit Master


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    Question Lyman 310...

    I see you can still purchase the Lyman 310 dies, but what about the handles?...

    Do they come with the dies, are they sold separately (I can't seem to find them), or do you have to have an old set?...

    Thanks…BCB

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    They sell new Small and Large handles. You can buy them separately or as a package with dies, but new dies are limited to maybe 5 or 6 calibers. If you check out cnyauctions, they have dies sets for many many more calibers. New Lyman handles are alloy and have been for many years. If you want steel handles, you will have to find an older set. Lots available on ebay and gun broker. I found my large steel set on gunbroker.com. The die set that came with them was a mixed bag, but thanks to a couple of guys here on this site, we got it sorted.

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Welcome to the madness! If you go up to the forum (on this site) entitled "Casting and Reloading Hand Tools" you will find the 310 tools in all their varieties being actively discussed. There are multiple tiers of interest from those getting into the game with all new stuff to folks who have been collecting and accumulating for years and take pride in finding and perhaps using the more obscure variants and calibers.

    As sigep1764 mentioned, Lyman's current library of dies has shrunk to just a few handgun and even fewer rifle calibers, but the used and NOS stuff available on S&S here and the various auction sites is truly mind boggling. In addition, The 310 Shop brokers all sorts of original dies and handles and even is having some calibers reproduced. This can be a very good time to be interested in the 310 Tool!

    Regards,
    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    I thought I might just consider it for the novelty of this concept of reloading ammo…
    (I have an old MRC reloading system ($9.95) for 10 gauge. It uses the hammer and dipper system. Crude, but I did reload a good many shot shells, from Winchester Super X paper hulls, for hunting turkey—time consuming but a good feeling of accomplishment when the feathers went flying. The reloads actually looked good)

    If I should try to get my “feet wet” a bit, can this tool be used as a method of passing a bit of my retirement time maybe sitting at a picnic table at my Cabin and reloaded a few rounds at a time and shooting at paper targets? Is the ammo reloaded with fair consistency?...

    Just something to mess around with, I guess…

    Thanks…BCB

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    And, I suppose you can reload 38 Special and 357 Magnum with the same set of dies?...

    I've watched several videos and it looks like fun, but a slow type of fun...

    I guess a person might want to prepare for a shoot-out a day or two ahead of the actual encounter?!!!

    Thanks...BCB

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    BCB, you sound like a perfect candidate. By all means go to the forum I previously mentioned and do a search for 310... you will be amazed at how much you can find there. There are a couple of articles that you can track down with titles like "Kitchen Table Reloading" or something similar, and the late great Skeeter Skelton wrote about loading by the campfire out of his saddlebags, all with the 310 tool. And yes, you are correct in your assumption; with the 38 Spl set you get a twofer... you can adjust up or down to load both 38 and 357.

    Regards,
    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  8. #8
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    I have never used one of these, have seen many and have always thought they might be fun. I have a feeling that they are ideal for small cases...

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Y'all please note, before you jump on the 310 bandwagon, that this tool can only neck size both rifle and handgun rounds. This works fine is you are going to use the loads in the firearm in which they were originally fired. There might be problems in another firearm.

    I am a big fan of the 310 tool, having sets in all of my most favorite calibers.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Until the late 1960s Lyman’s 310 tool was THE portable reloading outfit of choice at the range or deer camp.

    The original Ideal tong tool, which was patented March 11, 1884, had its dies machined integral with the steel handles.

    These tools featured a single-cavity bullet mold on the end and a bullet-sizer hole in the tool handle. Ideal’s No. 1 was adapted to pistol cartridges from .32 S&W through .41 Long Colt.

    The No. 4 was for longer cartridges from .25-20 through .44-40 and .45 Colt.

    The No. 6 tool was a rifle tool for .32-40 through .50-110 Winchester.

    After World War II today’s familiar threaded-handle design with removable die sets was adopted and designated as the 310 tool. The Tru-Line Junior press used the same dies, which were available for most then-popular calibers. According to http://the310shop.com/ boxed sets with steel handles were sold from 1947 to 1957 under the name “Lyman Ideal”. Aluminum handles were introduced in 1958 and sold into the early 1970s. The 310 was reintroduced when Cowboy Shooting became popular.

    There was a simple, threaded push-through, cast bullet sizing die made for the 310 tool. Following pan-lubing bullets, Lyman’s Kake-Cutter was useful to pop bullets out of a block of solid lube in the cake pan.

    Lyman "tong tools" and die sets frequently emerge from estate sales, yard sales and can be found periodically at gun shows or on the internet. Tong tool dies are not marked by caliber, but are identified by part number. So, unless you locate a boxed set, you must research compatible die parts in a pre-1968 catalog and search gun shows to assemble yours. This might require lapping out a “muzzle resizer” to best fit your particular brass and bullet. A collection of various diameter muzzle resizers for .30-30, .30-40, .30-’06 and .303 British is VERY handy.

    Neck size dies can sometimes be used to improvise in loading similar rounds of the same nominal caliber and head dimensions. The .250 Savage and .257 Roberts dies can be adapted to each other, and the Roberts dies work on .25-06. A .32 S&W die set can also load .32 ACP, .32 H&R Magnum, .32-20 etc. The .30-40 Krag and .303 British dies each will load the other. There may be other possibilities.

    Today’s Lyman 310 tool has aluminum handles machined from a die casting, with dies being offered only in the popular “Cowboy” calibers. http://www.lymanproducts.com/lyman/d...n-310-tool.php The 310 Shop http://the310shop.com/ offers new dies and handles as well as complete sets in most traditional and modern calibers, including many never available in from Lyman. A link with more practical information on using the 310 tool is http://www.lasc.us/Brennan_Lyman310Tool.htm

    Lyman never produced carbide sizer dies for its tong tool. Because they only neck-size, you must use cases originally fired in your gun, unless you full-length size range pickup brass on another press first. When using plain steel dies, fired cases must be clean and lubricated to avoid grit scratching the dies or your brass. Mechanical advantage and extraction power of the tong tool is very limited. While you can brute-force an over-expanded empty into a 310 tool, you probably won’t get it out, because the extractor hook will jump off the rim and the handles don’t have enough mechanical advantage to either force the case in or to pull it out!

    A shooting buddy from high school days recalled in his reloading for a .44 magnum M29, that to use the 310 without excessive cursing, it was important to load revolver cartridges conservatively. Five chambers in that M29 kicked out empties which worked fine with the 310 tool, but chamber number 6 was the one which had survived an overload a mutual friend, the previous owner, used to try to demonstrate what Elmer’s real .44 magnum load should be! The inability to drag stuck cases out of the muzzle resizer is why it is critical to clean brass well (both inside and out!) to avoid introducing grit which WILL make cases stick in the muzzle resizer or on the expander plug!

    It is important to clean primer pockets because the priming chamber engages only half of the case rim at a time, so you must push, then rotate the case and squeeze again to seat the primer so it is fully bottomed, flush and square.

    It was common to "dip measure" powder when using the tong tool. As long as you know that your charge cup and powder combination produces a safe and useable load, this is OK. The Lee dipper set and charge tables are recommended these days. For my nostalgia trip I soldered up some home-brew charge cups from empty cartridge cases and copper wire and weighed some samples. The results are fascinating!

    An empty .22 LR case makes a dip measure which throws about 3 grains of Bullseye. This is a safe load for a .32-20 revolver, .32 H&R Magnum or .38 Special with standard-weight lead bullet for the caliber. It also works well to improvise "cat's sneeze" loads with single-0 buckshot in almost any .30 cal. rifle case.

    A .25 ACP case throws 3.5-3.6 grains of Bullseye, a good full-charge load for the .38 Special or mild load for the .44 Russian, .455 Webley or .45 Auto Rim.

    A measure made from a .32 ACP case throws 6 grains of Bullseye, a full charge load for modern cowboy revolvers and lever-actions chambered in .44-40 and .45 Colt, and a nice plinker in the .44 Magnum. It also makes a great small game load with 110-120 grain cast bullets in .30 cal. rifles of .30-30 size and up.

    A .32 S&W Long case throws 11.5 grains of #2400, a very useful “medium-velocity” load with standard-weight lead bullets in the .357 Magnum. It is also fine for soft, plain-based bullets in the .30-30, .32 Winchester Special, .32-40, .30-40, 7.62x54R, 7.7 Jap, 7.65 Argentine or .303 British.

    A 7.62x25 Tokarev case throws 14.5 grs. of #2400, a full charge .357 Magnum load and fine, mild gas checked bullet plinker in any .30 cal. from 7.62x39 to .30-’06.

    A .38 Special case throws about 21 grains of #2400, a full charge load for the .44 Magnum revolver, or a useful jacketed bullet or gas-checked cast-bullet plinker in the 7.62x54R, 8mm Mauser or .30-’06.

    A 7.62x39 case throws 29 grains of RL-7, which is a full charge load with 150-grain jacketed bullet in the .30-30. This also makes a good heavy hunting load with gas-checked bullets in any .30 cal. Rifle from the .30-40 Krag through the .30-06. It also throws 28 grs. of IMR4064, which is a full-charge, gas-checked load using the #31141 bullet in the .30-30, and a good target load with gaschecks in any .30 caliber from the Krag up through the .30-’06.
    The ENEMY is listening.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    Real good info there Outpost75…

    That is mostly what I was planning on doing…

    Low pressure loads, likely small charges of fast burners, and use the same brass many times in the same handgun—not sure as to go 38/357 or 45 Colt yet…

    Dippers will also be used. I have 2 complete sets of Lee, plus a few extra ones I found here and there…

    I too have made dippers from empty cases. I have taken a piece of solder from a spool and warmed the trimmed case to the volume I want and just touched a piece of solder to it. A handle and a custom dipper…

    The case being only held by ½ of a shell holder never dawned on me. So a simple twist will resolve the primer seating as you described…

    Yea, all I want to do is just try a different, method of reloading like many who preceded us had to do. After 45 years of reloading, I have acquired, thousands of dollars’ worth of good equipment. Now it might be time to go a bit primitive. If a person hits the target at 20-25 yards, there will be a degree of accomplishment from simple tactics….

    Thank…BCB

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCB View Post
    Yea, all I want to do is just try a different, method of reloading like many who preceded us had to do. After 45 years of reloading, I have acquired, thousands of dollars’ worth of good equipment. Now it might be time to go a bit primitive. If a person hits the target at 20-25 yards, there will be a degree of accomplishment from simple tactics….

    Thank…BCB
    You will find that rounds loaded with a 310 tool will be as accurate as those loaded with your bench tools. The 310 tool is slow, but does not take a back seat in the accuracy department.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

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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