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Thread: Lyman Spartan

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy 380AUTO's Avatar
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    Lyman Spartan

    It is possible to be attached to a reloading press!? Sounds crazy but the only press I currently have is a Lyman Spartan I bought it NOS when I was stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado. The press loaded the 30-30 round used to take my first Deer and since has produced all the cartridges that I and my family have used to take our game. I have upgraded the bicycle handle to a ergo lever made by inline fabrication (great folks and service). It has loaded everything from 25ACP to 300 win mag for me with no issues. But I have thought countless times to replace it with a more modern compound leverage press and just cannot bring myself to do it as it has served me so well. Anyone else in the same boat?
    Proud to serve, U.S. Army Infantry

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    I bought mine in 1974. A girlfriend gave me a RockChucker the following year.
    I still have the Lyman Spartan mounted on my bench, still use it.
    I have a Hornady L-N-L too.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Yes I have one I bought in I think 1976 it loaded thousands of rounds for me and 3 shooting buddies I added some other presses in the mid to late 80s but the spartan stayed mounted and working until a few years ago never a problem still works great one of my kids or grandkids will inherit it .
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    Last edited by onelight; 03-15-2019 at 04:30 PM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Mine is a Lyman AA. It's the one I use for load development and rifle rounds. I have 15 or so presses and it's my favorite non progressive.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    I have one and it's been wonderful! Very solid and if kept greased it'll keep on working fine!
    Pain is just weakness leaving the body...
    It is better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for who you are not (ask DJT).

  6. #6
    Boolit Man
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    I used mine today to deprime some cases. I can't tell you how many thousands of rounds it has produced. I too have loaded every thing from pistol cases to 300 Weatherby. There is a little spring when sizing those big cases but it will do the job. I got mine in the mid 60s while still in High School. I upgraded to a RockChucker in the 70s for rifle but the little Spartan soldiered on as my pistol press until I bought a used Spar-T in the late 80s. since then it has been used for specialty chores, depriming, military primer pocket cleanup and small batch loading. I suspect it will still be on the job when they haul my crusty butt off to the home or the crispyfier, whichever comes first!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I bought mine in the 70's. My first press. That old red handled greybeard has loaded tons of ammo. Plenty of hand room for left in, right out loading procedures.

    762
    Hope for the best, plan for the worst.
    My amendment can beat up your amendment.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy gunarea's Avatar
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    The Lyman Spartan brought me up from the depths of a Lee "whack-a-round" October of 1966, a birthday present. Although it was presented to me, the gift got me off the dining room table and the annoying sound away from my mom. So many local, regional and state shooting titles give credit to this press, it would literally disappear under the pile up. It did come up short during my stint shooting an A-1 Barrett. Fortunately the press wouldn't accommodate loading 50 BMG, that fact probably saved its life. Years of use brought out the young engineer in modifications made for producing "Match grade" ammunition.

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    Drill and tap for a die lock set screw. Primer catcher failures and replacement called for improvement. Cheater handle was needed to save original. Larger thumb screw replaced original set screw for case seat. The original Primer seater and tube feed are nearly new as a switch to the then new Lee hand primer tool was made. In 1978, some guy named Mike Dillon, convinced me to buy his new progressive press claiming it would be all I would ever need. That my friends, was a load of "********"!!

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    In the mid 70s sometime, with the threat of no more Spartans being made, I bought a spare Spartan just to have as a parts source. Still have it. While my Spartan does not handle much of the loading chores anymore, it still gets almost daily use. All decapping and neck size work is done on it. A shot of Kroil every now and then has it working smoothly as ever.

    Thank you so much for jarring those memories back into recollection. That felt very good.

    Roy
    Shoot often, Shoot well.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    I bought one last summer at a flea market for $15. Looks like new and even had the red plastic primer catcher. Didn’t need it, but couldn’t pass it up.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Love that plastic electrical box !
    Good Judgment comes from Experience, Experience comes from Bad Judgment !

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Funny you mention the Spartan specifically.
    That was my first press as well and I still use it. I bought a lot of four Rock Chucker IVs at an auction, mounted one next to the Spartan. Planned to mount another in it's place but instead decided to build another bench!
    Just cant see taking it out of service.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    This will seem little, but my first press was a Tru-Line Jr given to my dad and me by a favorite uncle (when he moved up to an All American) sometime in the early 1970s. It’s still bolted to a corner of the loading bench and currently dedicated to loading 32 S&W Longs, a job for which it is perfectly scaled. I recently inherited the MEC 650 Jr in 20 ga upon which I loaded my first shot shells. Those two presses have lots of company now, but neither is likely to be going anywhere.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    The first press I bought back in the early 70's was a Spartan. I have bought at least 20 other presses since then but that old Spartan is still in use. It is not my main press now, but it has never let me down.
    NRA Benefactor Member NRA Golden Eagle

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by pworley1 View Post
    The first press I bought back in the early 70's was a Spartan. I have bought at least 20 other presses since then but that old Spartan is still in use. It is not my main press now, but it has never let me down.
    I have had my Spartan since the 70's and it still does good work neck expanding brass and sizing bullets.

    ukrifleman

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy 380AUTO's Avatar
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    I’m away from home but when I get back I will post a picture of mine. I have the primer catcher as well and as long as it doesn’t break or bend anything it will continue to be my primary press.
    Proud to serve, U.S. Army Infantry

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy 44magLeo's Avatar
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    As others have said the Spartan is a good press. Getting another press to go along with it is not a bad idea. I don't think your Spartan will be jealous of another press, Might even be glad to have some help. A press with compound leverage will make those jobs the Spartan has to grunt a bit to do you can use the other press.
    One guy I know has several presses lined up on his bench. When loading he puts the dies in the presses. Does step one on the first press, step two on the next and so on down the line. Kinda like a turret press but instead of spinning a turret you just move down the line.
    I have a Lee Challenger press for the heavy work. A Lyman Tru-Line Jr for some tasks, a CH C press for some tasks. I even have a Lee hand press. I have many Lyman 310 sets each with it's own handles, some alloy, some steel. Each has some advantages over the others.
    I have several die sets for just the Tru-line. All the 310 sets can be used on the Tru-Line. I use them all. Sometimes just the fun of using them.
    After all this rambling I just want to say get what you want and have fun.
    Leo

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    I've got one exactly as shown by onelight in post #3. It was my first bench press, purchased used from a deputy back in about '75. He had loaded thousands of 9mm rounds on it, and I used it for many thousands more rounds, mostly .38 Sp. But, like you stated, I have loaded rifle rounds on it as necessary before I purchased two RCBS Rockchucker presses. The Spartan is a really excellent little press and I still use it, mostly for .38s.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    The older "C" presses don't spring as much as some seem to think. And modern "O" presses aren't nearly as rigid as most folk think. A few minutes play with a precision dial gage on a pet press can open a lot of opinionated eyes!

    The Spartan and those of it's ilk are still quite useful. Handgun cartridges don't need big presses and neither do a lot of small rifle cases (.30-30, .35 Rem, etc.). For those cases even the advantage of greater leverage is largely pointless.

    The greatest effective advantage modern compound link presses have over the old simple toggle types is leverage on big cases. It takes a lot more operator energy to FL size big rifle cases on the simple Spartan than on anyone's compound link presses. BUT - the old presses did - and can still do - any common reloading tasks we put to them.

    The supposed time delay to exchange dies in a single stage press is, IMHO, a myth. I haven't wrenched a die into a press since about 1970 because hand is plenty tight. I can easily spin dies out and new ones in by hand in less than a minute. Thus, using a typical two or three die set takes me two or three minutes in a loading session that typically runs about an hour; if I had a turret press and preloaded die heads that little bit of time would hardly show up at the end.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I use a spartan and I like it other than I don't have a primer catcher for it. I made a wedge to go under it, and I'm working on a mod to keep the handle up better. I've loaded a bunch of pistol ammo and 30-30 on it.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    I wish that someone with a 3-D printer would do a run of primer catchers for the Spartan. These presses turn up pretty frequently, and it seems normally without the primer catcher.
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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