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Thread: Lyman/Ideal 310, how old?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master jmsj's Avatar
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    Lyman/Ideal 310, how old?

    Hey guys,
    I bought a Lyman/Ideal 310 tool w/ dies today. It came in the old orange box w/ the the stamped metal corners but the instructions were missing. The dies are all there and are marked 357-38. The handles are stamped w/ only the Ideal name on them and seem to be aluminum.
    I bought these because I thought they looked really nostalgic and for the asking price, I couldn't resist. I know these are not super old but I was wondering how old these might be.
    Thanks, jmsj

  2. #2
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    Pressman's Avatar
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    Orange box with metal corners would put it before 1967. The 310 came out in 1947 with steel handles. The change to aluminum came in the mid 1950s.
    Ken

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    Boolit Master jmsj's Avatar
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    Ken,
    Thanks for the response. I knew someone here would know.
    Thanks again, jmsj

  4. #4
    Boolit Master



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    Just about any Lyman reloading manual will have instructions on how to use the 310 tool. In short, you:

    Resize with the "muzzle resizer" (sizing die) using a little white graphite on the case. It usually resizes only about 2/3rds of the case in pistol calibers. In rifle calibers it neck sizes only, which works beautifully for cast.

    Deprime with the depriming die.

    Expand the neck with the expanding plug die.

    Note: The three functions above were combined in one die (finally), usually marked "CMR" (combinaton muzzle resizer) in the later die sets.

    Reprime with the priming die.

    Charge case and seat boolit with the seating die.

    The 310 is actually quite a lot of fun to use and really handy either in the field or at the range. I've picked up several different expanding dies, usually in pistol calibers, and use them to open rifle case necks for cast boolits. If you have questions or need replacement parts, try Googling "The 310 Shop" in Texas. Nice guy to work with and very knowledgeable about Lyman tong tools.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master kywoodwrkr's Avatar
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    Steel with caliber insert?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pressman View Post
    Orange box with metal corners would put it before 1967. The 310 came out in 1947 with steel handles. The change to aluminum came in the mid 1950s.
    Ken
    Do you have a date for the transition steel handles, the one which have the caliber insert in them like the current aluminum ones?
    Thanks.
    Last edited by kywoodwrkr; 01-04-2012 at 01:39 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    KYwoodwrkr,

    Pressman will have the answer also. But my notes from a long discussion by ARTCA members research indicated the following sequence for the 310 handle styles show the following. Research mainly done by Floodgate and Jim Carter but atleast 4 or 5 others also and with me at least watching on for info.

    From the email research and soon to be article in the ARTCA newsletter ( I hope)

    So, could we roughly chart the 310 Tool handle evolution as follows?:

    Plum-blued Steel:

    1. Caliber-stamped and case-head diameter-specific, no wear plate, non-adjustable extractor; ca. 1945-6 to ????;

    2. Number-coded, case-head diameter-specific, no wear plate, non-adjustable extractor; very short - weeks to months production; date????

    3. Stamped "L" or "S" ("LS / LSPEC / SPL" variously, for oversize dies); added wear plate, screw-in case-head adapter, adjustable extractor with solid pin and straight-knurled nut; date ???? to 1957.

    (Above stampings all on "right" side of lower handle

    Black-painted Aluminum Alloy:

    4. Sand-cast, rough finish and paint, long / short nozzles but un-marked; wear-plate, adj. extractor with solid pivot pin and diamond-knurled nut; "IDEAL / Middlefield, Conn USA" stamp on "right side" of upper handle; 1957 - 1968?; (I bought a .45-70 310 set of this configuration in 1959 or 1960.);

    NOTE: Tom Griffin of Lyman advises the mould stamp was changed from "IDEAL" to "LYMAN" ca. 1967 - 68

    5. Sand-cast, rough finish and paint, long / short nozzles, wear-plate, adj. extractor with hex nut, solid pivot pint; "LYMAN" stamp on "wrong" side of upper handle, reading with nozzle down; ca. 1968 (or 1970, at transition to Leisure Products Group???) - 1977-78??? (this is the one you sent me; I have two others, with long and short nozzles; upper photo, below)

    6. Die- or pressure-cast (possibly forged?), much-improved finish & flat-black paint; long / short nozzles, wear-plate, adj. extractor with hex nut, extractor pivot changed to roll-pin; note that recess for case-head adapter lock screw is noticeable larger, with considerable space around flat-head lock screw - latter is identical to wear-plate screws - the replacements sent by Lyman ARE correct - apologies to Karen Griffin!; "LYMAN" now in (cast / forged / stamped???) raised letters in impressed cartouche on "wrong" side of lower handle, reading with nozzle up; tentatively assumed that this coincides with reversion from Leisure Products to Lyman Products for shooters, late 1977; (I got this in a vertical camo-pouch set in .30-'06, ca. 2000; lower photo below):



    6A. Nickeled variant for commemorative issues, with added serial number stamp to left of cartouche:



    Definitions: "Upper" handle has the extractor; "lower" handle the nozzle; "right side" has nozzle down and pivot to left; "wrong side" has nozzle down and pivot to right (No. 5), or nozzle up and pivot to left (Nos. 6, 6A), reading with "maker's" mark right-side-up.


    Do you know of any other significant variants of the 310 tool handles?

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy Swampman's Avatar
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    I bought a tool and dies for my .45-70 today. The box has stamped steel corners. The Ideal manual with them is the 1951 edition.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


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    I bought a Lyman "Ammunition Maker" kit in 1958 and it had aluminum handles. Of course, this could have been sitting on the shelf a while./beagle
    diplomacy is being able to say, "nice doggie" until you find a big rock.....

  9. #9
    I have a 310 tool new in the box in 250-3000 as marked. Often wondered how old it was.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Other day I picked up cheap another Ideal stamped 44-40 with dies. I thought the decapping pin looked worse for wear. When took apart, the decapping pin turned out to be a piece of wire or nail bent doubled back on the end for pin chuck to lock in place.

    Don't know how long it worked, if at all, but guess any port in a storm.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hang Fire View Post
    Other day I picked up cheap another Ideal stamped 44-40 with dies. I thought the decapping pin looked worse for wear. When took apart, the decapping pin turned out to be a piece of wire or nail bent doubled back on the end for pin chuck to lock in place.

    Don't know how long it worked, if at all, but guess any port in a storm.
    Keep in mind that the long time credo of reloaders has been to make working ammo with what you have, where you are! When that tool was made, there wasn't a LGS to drop in on and pick up repair parts, and no quick communications to order parts for next day delivery... you used what you had at hand. BTW, you will probably find that the current Lyman decapping pins are too fat for your pin chuck, so you will need to find one of the old type (or make it yourself) to get back to work. Hey, a piece of wire in the right diameter would probably work!

    Froggie

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I have some of both diameters.

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold
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    I'm cleaning out my Dad's old reloading supplies. Most are useless to me or my kids, so I'll be selling.
    I grabbed one boxed "Lyman Ideal 310 Tool" for .22 Hornet. (I'm keeping his Stevens Walnut Hill in that caliber).
    The tool is packaged as described above. He has many other "Tong" type tools as he described them.

    My question is if the the 'swap, sell' part of this group is an appropriate place to sell these old, vintage hand reloading tools (?).
    I'll make a full inventory of the tools, and post them on this forum.
    I'm not greedy, but don't want to get bent over. ....mostly interested in getting his treasures in the hands of someone who will appreciate them.
    Thanks,
    Dave

  14. #14
    Boolit Master



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    Certainly the swap & sell forum is a good place to list your 310 items and you can be assured they will be going to folks that will appreciate them. I. for one, will be watching for your "sell" posts!

  15. #15
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    Pictures would really help here. I have a suspicion that there are some early Ideal tools, pre-dating the 310. Pictures would help ID what you have.

    Ken
    Antique Reloading Tool Collector, Historian and Writer
    Newsletter editor: Antique Reloading Tool Collectors Association
    Archive manager, Antique Reloading Tool Collectors Association
    email: herters@netins.net
    www.antiquereloadingtools.com

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Assuming these are like common "decapping pins" - GONRA suggests
    trying to make 'em out of "spring wire", "piano wire," etc.
    Get out yer micrometer and figger it all out.....

    BUT - Drill rod is best (machinable) .
    IF ya'll can handle that - NO FREE LUNCH HERE!

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