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Thread: Herter's Model 27 Press

  1. #1
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    Herter's Model 27 Press

    Introduced in 1955 as a companion press for the Lyman 310 “Nutcracker” tool, the Model 27 is a neat little press with some innovative features. I say little press because it is literally a 1/3 scale model of the famous Model 3. Shipping weight is only 6 pounds while the Model 3 shipped at 23 pounds.

    The size and strength of the Model 27 is near perfect when used with Lyman 310 dies or Herter’s Universal Neck Sizing Die. According to Herter’s literature it makes the “Nutcracker” completely obsolete. There is also a caution in the Herter’s catalog about not using the Model 27 for full length resizing. The press is all aluminum with the handle being the weakest point. It will break before the leg does. Of course owners of the Model 27 payed no attention to Herter's instructions and used the press for everyday reloading resulting in a lot of broken handles and the bottom leg. After all the press is threaded for 7/8-14 dies. It also uses the threaded shellholder and ram prime system of the Model 3A and the Model 9A.

    I really like this smaller press for neck sizing and seating; it just seems the press is a lot easier to use, plus it provides better feel than the larger, full size presses. I wish someone still made a press like this one, it is nearly ideal for loading at the range.

    The press is tapped for 7/8-14 dies and requires an adapter, available from Herter’s, to use 310 dies. It uses a unique shellholder that threads both onto the ram and into the die station. When inserted into the die station a primer post is threaded into the end of the ram for priming cases. This is the first ram prime system that I an aware of and it is a good one. The ram is smaller in diameter than the Pacific-type and therefore not interchangeable.

    There are two versions of the Model 27, the original model with a green anodized finish and all aluminum construction was made until 1959 when it was replaced with the Model 27A, a stronger version of cast iron wearing the traditional Herter's brown paint. Notice the longer and strongly reinforced handle. This one is cast iron and is in new condition. Finding an aluminum 27 that has not suffered a broken frame or has a cast iron replacement handle is difficult today.

    Price new in 1955 was $8.75. It was dropped from the catalog after 1961.

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    Antique Reloading Tool Collector, Historian and Writer
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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy 380AUTO's Avatar
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    That’s cool I love old things
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  3. #3
    Boolit Man .50bmg's Avatar
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    Awsome bit of Herters history. Thanks Ken!
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  4. #4
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    Great information, thanks Ken!
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I love it! Thanks!

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Ken,

    I’d love to see an image of the press with some item of known size next to it. The design is so perfectly scaled that without such size reference, it just looks like any other C type press!

    BTW, what was the weight of the later, cast iron version? At the reduced size, I’m guessing it would still be reasonable. Now I’ve got to start looking for one for myself. You know how I love my 310 stuff!

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy danomano's Avatar
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    That's a Dandy! Thanks for sharing

  8. #8
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    Mr Frog Person Sir, I don't have access to the presses right now, still hiding in Texas waiting for the start of mosquito season to return to Minnesota.

    The cast iron press is light and should be very handy to load on. I really need to set it up and try it.

    Ken
    Antique Reloading Tool Collector, Historian and Writer
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  9. #9
    Boolit Man .50bmg's Avatar
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    Here’s mine and some pics for size comparison.


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  10. #10
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    Great comparison, thank you.
    Antique Reloading Tool Collector, Historian and Writer
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I've gotta check this page more often! Nice pix, .50bmg! That really is a cute little thing, isn't it? The word "petite" even comes to mind.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    How did the cast iron version hold up to full size reloading? Pretty neat, thanks for sharing.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I believe it was the "finest press ever made".

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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