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Old June 19, 2011, 12:08 AM   #1
Ideal Tool
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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.
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Old June 19, 2011, 06:26 AM   #2
Uncle Buck
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I love old/vintage tools. So I have to say "With-out pictures it did not happen."

(Can you tell I want you to post some pictures of the process and the tools used?)

Another thing folks tend to forget, you did not hop in the car to go get some supplies you might have over looked. Even in some of the small towns I have been in, they roll up Main St. at 5 PM. (But a big difference was that back then they had most everything you needed at the hardware store. So when the store opened you could get what you needed at a one stop shop.)
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Old June 19, 2011, 07:08 AM   #3
flashhole
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That was my thinking too. Love to see some pictures. Thanks for sharing.
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Old June 19, 2011, 07:08 AM   #4
PawPaw
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Quote:
you did not hop in the car to go get some supplies you might have over looked
Welcome to our town. No reloading supplier except for a local store that charges full retail +15% and one guy who works out of his backyard. Thank God for the internet or I'd be reduced to driving two hours or more for supplies. The good folks at Midway, Midsouth and Powder Valley have my data and ship things pronto.
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Old June 19, 2011, 07:25 AM   #5
Jim243
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Don't Know How Good We Got It!

You could say that again!!

Geeee, I was having nightmares just reading your post. No, I am not giving up my Lee Classic Turret or RCBS Rockchucker. The first thing that hit me was wondering how much a keg of black powder ran in those days (1892) and visons of little houses out back with half moons on the door. (LOL) And merchants that lived over their dry goods stores. And the reason little towns rolled up the streets at 5 pm was because Edison hadn't rolled out his electric wonder (the light bulb) or at least they didn't have them then in rural America. The Olds brothers were making horse less carages, but Heny Ford was still years away.

It's nice to reminisce about the good old days, but the good old days are today. (at least for me (LOL)).


Have fun and shoot straight and stay safe.
Jim
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Old June 19, 2011, 02:42 PM   #6
g.willikers
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Has anyone read the Hopalong Cassidy books, by Clarence Mulford?
They were written back in the 1930s.
Part of the theme of these stories is how much better Hoppy and the Bar-20 cowboys can shoot than anyone else around them parts.
They shoot so well because they practice a whole lot more.
And they practice so much more because they reload all their own ammo.
The process they had to use is explained in the books and it was crude.
Melting lead around the campfire, pouring powder by kerosene lantern light in the bunkhouse, wrassling with knuckle busting reload tools.
Small wonder most folks back then didn't shoot enough to get very good.
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