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Thread: I have 38-40 dies for a lyman 310, I need help identifying what dies I have/need/uses

  1. #1

    I have 38-40 dies for a lyman 310, I need help identifying what dies I have/need/uses

    I have the decapping chamber, the muzzle resizer die(38-40-MR), the priming chamber, and what looks like the bullet seating die(38-40-DA), but it also looks like the shell exp. chamber on the box, but has what looks like crimp space inside and a bullet depth screw. I also have two others, one which looks like a bullet resizing die, has # 401 on the die itself, and the # 43 on the push rod. The other die when screwed all the way inward has what looks like a cone with a flat top, and has # 401 on the piece that screws into the die, it also has a lock ring, I thought it could be a case expansion die, but it just doesn't have the code on it, nor does it look like the one on the box. If only I could unscrew it all the way out of the die, it has no grip area, only threads, and its in there good.Click image for larger version. 

Name:	lyman 310 38-40 800x600.jpg 
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ID:	302474Click image for larger version. 

Name:	lyman 310 38-40 mystery die 450x600.jpg 
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ID:	302476

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Southern Arizona
    If you have a vise with aluminum or copper jaws, you ought to be able to loosen the lock ring on that “401” expander plug, and then screw it in and out with the fingers. (Or the aluminum/copper jaws on the vise). I bought a miniature strap wrench at Harbor Freight which is my go-to for loosening stuck dies and lock screws. The preservative gets fossilized in the threads over 50 years or so, and can act as a thread locker.

    If you’re careful, a strip of leather between ring and a pair of pliers will work, with the die held with wood, leather or soft metal jaws in the vise.

    Your dies look to be (L to R):

    Universal decapper, decapping stem for same, muzzle resizer, neck expander (looks to be the one for jacketed bullets; IIRC, .403 is for cast), priming chamber, bullet seater (the “DA” means “double adjustable,” seating different boolit designs to whatever depth the operator wants), and boolit sizer die. I don’t know what the “43” means; usually the nominal diameter (eg, “401”) is stamped on the die up at the top, as you report.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Central VA
    What Mr Bent Ramrod said. Let me add that the 43 is probably to designate the bullet nose, kinda like the code on bullet sizing punches. Speaking of bullet sizing, that’s the function of the last die on the right. Supposedly they worked in the 310 tongs, but you would need gorilla hands to do many bullets that way. I like them better with a TruLine Jr press.

    "It aint easy being green!"

  4. #4
    Alright, thank you for the feedback.

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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