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Thread: Modern-Bond tong tool

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    East TN

    Modern-Bond tong tool

    Yesterday a long time friend caught up with me to show off his father's handloading tool. He wanted to learn about it - what it could or not do, how it operated and so forth. He handed me a very old cardboard box that had a hefty weight to it. Inside that box was a tong style tool bearing the name Modern-Bond. It had all the appearance of an Ideal tong tool but was half again larger in every direction - height, width and depth. Must have weighed 4 pounds! Made from all brass, there were stations for case sizing, bullet seating, primer installation, and another feature I could not readily identify. This must have been a generic loading tool that could accept dies for various calibers as it did not have a mold block on it.

    The tool was a bit covered with antique debris and small carboard crumbles, had not been wiped down in forever. His father passed away in about 1966 and no one had used the tool since that time but still kept it in the family. There were no signs of abuse or wear on the tool and even the rollmarks were as crisp as when it was made. He mentioned he was going to a local gun show this weekend hoping to learn more about. NO, it was not for sale (he made that statement before I could inquire...). A relic from a long ago time. All I could do was brag on it and talk generally about the Modern-Bond line of molds of which I have 3, perhaps 4 (like him, my molds are not for sale). Just as a pointer I wrote down the address for this site to let him do a bit of wandering and learning. Hope to catch him early next week to hear how he fared at the gun show. Learn anything? Offers??

    Thin Man

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Southern Arizona
    Townsend Whelen did a writeup of the Modern-Bond tong tools in one of the Arms And The Man magazines a couple years before the US entry into WWI. I think by then Marlin had gone into war work for the Triple Entente, and had dropped the Ideal line of reloading tools that it had purchased from the original owner, John Barlow.

    Winchester had stopped producing loading tools, and the guy who picked up the Ideal line, one Phil Talcott, was certainly not producing much. There is arguable evidence that he ground the “Ideal” name and address off an occasional tong and sold it to somebody, but at that point, new tools were simply not to be found.

    Modern-Bond and Yankee Specialty stepped into this vacuum, and started the production of loading equipment. The tong tool Modern-Bond made was one of several, and by no means their best, although it did follow the general outline of the Ideal tools that preceded it.

    Why they made it so big, I have no clue. It did, however, have a couple improvements over the Ideals, including a separate spigot for boolit sizing (instead of just a hole in the handle, like the Ideals) and provision for a shell adapter below the sizing/seating chamber so that one set of tongs could be used with a die set for any caliber one desired to load. Lyman picked up on these ideas when it merged the #3 and #10 Ideal tools into the 310 tool, much later on.

    It also had a sort of Sinclair-style chamfering bit on the offside handle, a much better deal than the conical section on the Ideal chambers. The dies fit the other Modern-Bond tools; the appalling lever press thing and the much better H-design bench press. I think all they did was neck size, but am not sure.

    As soon as Lyman bought the Ideal line in 1926 or so, the Modern-Bond tong tool vanished from the market. Heavy and unergonomic, it worked as a stopgap, but couldn’t compete with the Ideal design, once back on the market.

    I thought I posted here about my Modern-Bond, but may have taken the pictures down. I’m always on the ragged edge of overfilling my space here.

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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