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Thread: Lyman Shell sizers

  1. #1
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    Lyman Shell sizers

    I recently got a group of Lyman Shell sizers. There were 20 in the group.
    Most are marked for what they are for. Some on the side, some on the end.
    There are two that are 6.5 mm. On both the 6.5 is stamped into the end. On one it looks to be hand written on with some sort of scriber Special. Both are in boxes with 6.5 MM stamped in the white spot. The one the Special die is in also has Italian hand written on the box.
    Some put white stickers on all the boxes and wrote on them what they are. On the Special's box the sticker says 6.5 Italian. The other says 6.5 Mauxxxx Can't really read it.
    On measuring the openings on the dies The 6.5 MM Special had a large hole of about .451 or .452 Hard to get the tips of the caliper to hold in the very edge of hole to get the measurement. The small hole was .274. The closest case I have to fit these dies are 30-30 cases. I ran one into each die to come up with a measurement for where the shoulder meets the neck. On this case I got about 1.775. These measurements were a bit hard to get too, so not exactly precise.
    On the 6.5 mm die, I got a large hole of about .451 or .452. same as the other. The small hole was .283, The shoulder was about 1.810.
    With searching through my sources of info this leads me to believe the one marked 6.5 MM Special is for the 6.5 mm Italian Carcano.
    The one with just the 6.5 mm has a longer body. This leads me to belive this one is for the 6.5x54 Mannlicher-Schoenauer. This had the sticker I can't read. I
    I'll change that one to read 6.5x54 M&S.
    My 30-30 case are not large enough to get the shoulders of the cartridge formed by running them into these dies. I don't think I could run a 308 case into them. Afraid I might get them stuck.
    I bought this group to add Shell Sizers to the 310 and Tru Line JR sets I have. The others I plan to list on here in the want to sell area.
    Leo

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Regards
    John

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    John Boy,

    I think 44MagLeo is talking about the old, long-discontinued FL Shell Sizers rather than Shell Holders, but since you mention Shell Holders, I'll pose the question, are the sizes of J-type shell holders in all cases close to if not identical to those of the X-type shell holders with the same numbers? Wherever I've been able to compare them one to one it appears they are. Some applications pre-date the current X-type lists and some cartridges were developed after the J-type lists were discontinued.

    Back to the original topic of this thread, I'd like to pose this question... has anyone actually ever seen one of the old push-through sizers for 32 S&W Long? I think I've seen listings for them in some of the old Cast Bullet Handbooks, but of all the sizers for pistol cartridges I've owned or even seen, this is one caliber that was made in that era that I have never encountered. Anybody have one? Bueller? Bueller?

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  4. #4
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    How about a pic of what I have. Guess I should have included one to start.
    Here's one I snagged of the net. You can see the body. You drive the case in one end. Use the punch to drive the case back out.
    Very similar to the may the Lee Loader works. Lee has it capable of doing more than sizing.
    The Lyman 310 tools just neck sized cases. The Tru Line JR just resized most cases. There were some Tru Line JR dies for some straight walled pistol cartridges that did F/L resize. I think they may have made some for short bottle neck cases. used in pistols. Don't quote me on that.
    When you neck size cases and load toward the upper end of the load spectrum the cases will grow a bit with ever loading. Eventually the cases get hard to chamber. At this point you need to F/L resize. This Shell resizer did just that.
    This group had a 7.62x54R Shell Sizer. I have some once fired brass that wouldn't chamber well even full length sized with standard dies. I thought this die would.
    I tried sizing a few of the cases that wouldn't chamber with this Shell sizer. They all chamber without a hitch now.
    I think these Shell Sizers are what we may call small base dies now days. Back when these tools were first made Lever and slide action rifle were as common as bolt guns are now.
    Lever and slide action guns don't have quite as much strength to chamber and unchamber sticky cases as a bolt gun. They needed cases sized a bit smaller to work well.
    This group also had several others I wanted. I thought I'd pass on the ones I didn't use to others that could use them.
    Leo
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  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The pic kinda looks like it may be used like a Lee Loader sizing die. Tap/push the case in one end and use the supplied rod to remove the case. Perhaps home made or custom made?

    OOPS! I guess I agree with 44magLeo...
    Last edited by mdi; 12-29-2019 at 01:38 PM.
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    OK, it's challenge time. I've kinda tried to find a listing for these shell sizers... I know i've seen one somewhere, but I can't lay my hands on it now. Does anyone know which catalogs and or handbooks had listings for the cartridges for which they were available? No prizes for the winners, but I will give a big attaboy!

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

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    Mr. Frog Person, you may half to save that Attaboy for another occasion. Those go way back to the beginning of the smokeless powder era and the new need to full length resize. You were expected to write Ideal, later Lyman, with your needs and they would get back to you with cost.
    Near as I have seen at this point there was never a complete, nor partial list of them published in the early Handbooks. I have not look closely at the late, post war catalogs, maybe one of them has an identifier in a chart in one issue.

    But don't hold your breath.
    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

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Well that just SUX! I thought I remembered seeing a listing of them in an old '60s catalog or something. I was hoping to find where there was a list (perhaps even several over time) so I could find out for sure that the one I was hoping to find would have been catalogued and confirmed. I've gotten a pretty good selection of pistol cartridge sizers, but I can't seem to find even a mention of a die for 32 S&W Long. I know there won't be one for the longer (H&R and FM) 32s, and I already have a couple in 32-20 dies and of course I can find 38 Spl/357, the 44s and 45s, but the little 32 just seems to elude me. Has anyone actually seen an Ideal shell sizer in 32 S&W or S&W Long?

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  9. #9
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    All the evidence I’ve seen indicates that Pressman is right. They were an ask-and-you-shall-receive thing.

    I checked my ridiculously large pile of the things and found .32-20, .32-40, .32 SPL, but no .32 S&Ws. There might be an example out there, but factoring in the minuscule level of reloading done for bureau-drawer revolver cartridges (I recall Sharpe prefacing the loading chart for one of them with “It is not practical to reload these small cartridges”) and the .32 S&W Long’s other specialized role in bullseye target shooting, I wouldn’t imagine that full-length resizing was much needed until Pacific made it a routine part of the loading cycle with their press and dies.

    IME, you have to look pretty hard to find used 7/8”x14 press dies in those calibers. Ideal tong tools in such calibers only got “more frequently” encountered when many of them in larger, more historically interesting calibers started disappearing into collections.

    The FLS dies are slow to use, but, since no clearance is needed for a shell holder, you can size right down to the rim. Comes in handy sometimes for swollen range pickups or other much-fired cases that don’t want to chamber.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bent Ramrod View Post
    All the evidence I’ve seen indicates that Pressman is right. They were an ask-and-you-shall-receive thing.

    I checked my ridiculously large pile of the things and found .32-20, .32-40, .32 SPL, but no .32 S&Ws. There might be an example out there, but factoring in the minuscule level of reloading done for bureau-drawer revolver cartridges (I recall Sharpe prefacing the loading chart for one of them with “It is not practical to reload these small cartridges”) and the .32 S&W Long’s other specialized role in bullseye target shooting, I wouldn’t imagine that full-length resizing was much needed until Pacific made it a routine part of the loading cycle with their press and dies.

    IME, you have to look pretty hard to find used 7/8”x14 press dies in those calibers. Ideal tong tools in such calibers only got “more frequently” encountered when many of them in larger, more historically interesting calibers started disappearing into collections.

    The FLS dies are slow to use, but, since no clearance is needed for a shell holder, you can size right down to the rim. Comes in handy sometimes for swollen range pickups or other much-fired cases that don’t want to chamber.
    Yep, that’s just about what I had begun to fear from all my searching. One bright spot in all of this is that I was well served in the 310/TL Jr department, having found a complete boxed Ideal #3 set in 32 S&W as well as boxed sets of 32 S&W L dies for both the 310 and TL Jr way back when nobody was looking for them... a rare case of the old Frog being ahead of the curve!

    I guess I’ll just put the push in sizer on my grail list and continue to look for the slightly more approachable .313” bullet sizing die for the small presses. I really need to organize all the flotsam and jetsam, decide what I should keep and sell or swap the rest.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  11. #11
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    If you don't mind it being anew made one, the 310 shop could build you one.
    That's how I got the adapter die and the priming chamber for my 7.62x54R.
    Leo

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Bent ramrod said "The FLS dies are slow to use, but, since no clearance is needed for a shell holder, you can size right down to the rim. Comes in handy sometimes for swollen range pickups or other much-fired cases that don’t want to chamber."

    And it's the truth. I had some 30-30 brass that was fired from either a gun with a sloppy chamber or a gun with excessive headspace and the Lyman hand die is the only thing that would size it to chamber in my winchester 94. They work beautifully.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master



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    This is an interesting thread. I’ve learned new things I never knew about reloading history. A good point was brought up about the shell holder keeping the case from being completely full length sized.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    I bought some 7.62x54R fired brass, Most was PPU, some S&B and some Win.
    Non of this would chamber in my rifle. After I sized it in a F/L size die it still chambered tight. I got this group of dies mainly because of the 7.62x54R die. It also had some others to fill out my growing collection.
    I used a sharpie to color one of these tight cases. It came out showing it was tight at the shoulder and just above the rim.
    I then ran it through the Shell Resize die. It chambers just like a new case now.
    I think my rifle has a tighter chamber than a lot of these old rifles. A friend has a couple. One a Hex receiver and he other a model 41 I think. It has the short barrel and folding bayonet.
    His fired brass from the hex fits my rifle. Fired brass from his carbine won't without resizing.
    I like this about my rifle but it can make shooting other brass a challenge until now. Any tight brass I get can be run through the Shell Sizer and used.
    You could almost call them a small base size die.
    You might even be able to use one of these as a body die. Like using the 8x57 on my 7x57 cases. This would size the body with out touching the necks. Then I could neck size to get proper neck tension. This would work the neck much less than just running them through a standard F/L size die.
    Leo

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I trim every time for 30-30, so I still run over my expander after using the Lyman die. Otherwise the pilot of my trimmer won't fit in the case mouth. Guess I could grind a special pilot for the occasion. Then all it would take is the M die. It's definitely a brass saver. I need to get one for all my calibers.

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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