Don't Know How Good We Got It!
Hello everyone. I chuckle over the threads of the new guys wanting more speed, without knowing the How & Why first. Well, I decided to take a little trip back in time. As per my handle..I collect vintage Ideal/Lyman/Winchester moulds & loading tools. I decided to find out just what our forebears had to go thru to get in a supply of ammunition. I used an original Ideal tong tool with integeral mould. These are heavy cast-iron & nickle plated. The tool was for the .22WCF. The black powder era forerunner of our .22 Hornet. First thing you learn is to get a HEAVY pair of gloves..that iron acts like a huge heat sink..so tool must be kept HOT! I ended up using very thick insulated welding gloves. The bullets came out suprisingly nice, and round..something not always possible with more modern moulds. Next I had to lube them. I used an original Ideal lubesizer, dated 1892, filled with Lyman Super Moly. Now this old tool has less play, perfect top-punch to sizer die mouth alignment..and frankly, makes the modern Lyman 450 look like so much junk! Next, the cases needed to be sized..these tong tools can only neck size..and they do it with a vengence..brass was sized way too small, & had to be expanded back..probably due to generous chamber dimensions back then. Had to use lots of case lube. Handles had to be pulled apart to free case..there is a spring loaded extractor on one handle to do this. Next priming was in order. case is placed in hole of one handle & primer set over pocket. little fixed punch in other handle seats primer when handles are squeezed. After charging cases..I "cheated" & used a modern measure & scale for this chore. Bullets were seated by squeezing handles & pulling them apart, to extract finished round. If needed, crimping can be done by threading die deeper in handle & again..a big squeeeze & pull to remove.
After 20 rounds of this..my hands were sore! and all I wanted to do was to get away from it for awhile.
Last year, I needed to load up some .38 Long Colt, regular .38 Spec. dies worked ok, until I needed to crimp..case too short. Out came an old Ideal nickle plated .38spec. tong tool. You see, these tools don't use a shell holder, so die can be threaded right down to case head. Tool put a very neat roll crimp on those cases..but after 50..Man Oh Man my hands hurt!
So before we start to bitch and moan about how long we have to stand in front of a single station press..think about the old days.