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Old 12-14-2007, 04:48 PM
flashhole's Avatar
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Lyman reloading equipment

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Seems odd to me that there is a lot of banter about RCBS, Redding, Lee, and other equipment but Lyman has always been conspicuously absent from the discussions. Any Lyman enthusiasts out there?

I just bought my first set of Lyman dies. They shipped today so I should have them by mid next week (unless of course this pending monster snow storm shuts everything down for days on end, they're forecasting snowfall in FEET, not inches). I bought a set of 25-06 dies to augment the dies I already have with the intent of re-sizing some 270 brass to 25-06. I went the Lyman route because I read on a gunsmith's website that Lyman dies do a better job of sizing the web than some of the other dies on the market, especially near the base. I'll let you know how I make out.
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:25 PM
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Pretty much all the equipment on the market now has been ran thru the consumer crunch over the last 20-30 years. If it wasn't any good it would be gone from the market. I don't think there is any really bad equipment anymore. I'm a Lee fan as most here know, but I think that all of us that have been in the reloading business for long have equipment from several folks on our bench. I've got Lee's, Hornedy's, RCBS's, and several more on the bench. Let us know how those dies work Flash.
Bob from Idaho
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:29 PM
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I have a couple of Lyman M-dies, and they're well made.

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Old 12-14-2007, 08:10 PM
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Lyman has been around reloading and bullet casting for a long time. I'm still using their .45 ACP and .38 Special TC (carbide) dies that I bought in the early 60's. Not much fanfare on this site may mean not many problems.
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Old 12-14-2007, 10:07 PM
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Agree. I have some Lyman molds from way back. Also a carbide .45 ACP sizer die I bought separately after already owning a steel set. Also a .38/.357 die set and a .44 Spec./.44 Mag set, all with carbide and separate taper crimp dies and all with type M profile expanders. The decorative chrome plating on those dies is about the only thing I could have done without. Some of it peeled and flaked. That didn't hurt the utility of dies any, though. There is also an iron Spar-T press, not currently on active duty status. It is still in great shape and it did a lot of loading back before the Blue boys found their way onto the bench.

When I bought my lubrisizer I went with the RCBS clone because it just looked beefier than the Lyman my dad has. The sizing dies were interchangeable, and some of mine are Lyman rather than greenies. There is an old Lyman lead thermometer on the shelf that has been outmoded by digital thermocouple thermometers. I have some Lyman gas checks, but I suppose everyone has some tucked away somewhere.

When I bought my 20 lb casting pot, I also went with RCBS. The lure of the inconel lining proved too great to ignore. Its thermostat is pretty good, but that doesn't mean the Lyman's isn't just as good. I bypassed it with a solid state PID controller, anyway.

So, there is both orange and green among my loading gear. The irish ancestors from mother's side seem not to be haunting me over it one way or the other. Lyman gets special kudos for their greatly informative loading manuals.
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Last edited by unclenick; 12-14-2007 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 12-15-2007, 11:57 AM
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I have several sets of Lyman dies for both rifles and handguns. The .40 S&W is the one I have used most recently; it makes as good ammo as the RCBS dies I own. I like them better than Lee, but not as well as Redding. Odessa
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:57 PM
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I use quite a few sets of Lyman dies; .25-20, .357 Magnum, .32 H&R Magnum, .358 Winchester and quite a few others. I prefer the Lyman 450 Lubrisizer over the RCBS but it is for very small reasons.
I use quite a few M-dies and have a number of plungers for them.
I prefer Lyman dies for any caliber I intend to shoot cast bullets. The availability of various nose profile seating stems is a plus.
Lyman dies are easily taken apart for cleaning – as are Redding dies – when filled with bullet lubricant.
I used a Lyman 1000 scale for many years until I retired it for an RCBS charge master with scale.
I have many sets of 310 tools and various dies along with a Tru-Line Junior and several sets of dies and shell holders for it.
When I look around there is a lot of orange on my bench, I had not realized how much until now.
My wife could tell stories of how I struggled between a Lyman or Forster case trimmer many years ago. She finally told me to buy one or the other and shut up…. Girls just don’t understand.

Have I ever mentioneed how much I really dislike the new format of the forum?

Last edited by William Iorg; 12-15-2007 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:57 PM
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I mostly started years ago with Lyman equipment and still have a lot of it in use. Whenever I upgraded I usually relied on the price since all of the equipment on the market seems to be of good grade now days. If a particular make of reloading equipment was on sale at the time I needed it, thats what I bought. Heck I can't help it if I'm cheap.
If it ain't broke, fix it till it is. (K5JWO)
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Old 12-15-2007, 02:29 PM
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I strted handloading in 1948 with Lyman tong tool and dies.I still have them;still use the dies.I have'nt bought any newer dies except for the M dies in any caliber that I shoot cast bullets.My favorite bullet molds are Lyman,as is my case trimmer and bullet lube/sizer.
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by william iorg View Post
Have I ever mentioneed how much I really dislike the new format of the forum?
I'm with you. I guess that I'm a bit less adaptable as I get older and BTB was the first gun website that I got involved with. Cost me a lot of money....Marshall, Ranch Dog, et al, got me going on I own only Marlins...19 of them and growing. In my opinion, this website is the BEST and will still be my "home". I just need to get comfortable with the new look.

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Old 12-15-2007, 03:38 PM
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I have a couple of Lyman M dies I bought and several hand me down Lyman dies from my dad. They all work fine.

William and Dan, please read my post about computers in the general section.
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Old 12-15-2007, 04:15 PM
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Dan, I agree, this was my first web site too, and it has cost me a good bit of money along the way. It is the Forum members and Moderators who make the Beartooth board. Men such as Dale McGee, Kragman, ENGLANDER and quite a few others who share experiences freely and don’t laugh too hard or long when we ask the same question a year or so apart. Jack M has taught me the value of folders – more than once!
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I forgot to mention to Nick that I use the Lyman 20 lb. Magdipper. This is a fine pot with a good heat range. I enjoy using this pot.<O></O>

EDIT: This post was using Times New Roman 12pt and using the copy icon.

Last edited by William Iorg; 12-15-2007 at 04:18 PM. Reason: comment on the copy icon
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Old 12-16-2007, 05:54 PM
EDK EDK is offline
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I've been using Lyman when I could since a 310 tong tool and a single cavity mould for a 38/40 came my way in 1966. I now use a Star lubri-sizer for mass production and a Dillon 550. The 4500 lubri-sizer is on the bench, getting used regularly, and I'm still using the 20 lb bottom pour LYMAN furnace. This year I finally bought 6 cavity LEE moulds on a group buy over at castboolits. (Did I tell you how neat full wadcutters in a 44 are?) I like 4 cavity (or more) moulds and the LYMANs have all been good. I just wish they would expand the line or you could special order old ones like...the full wadcutter 44....and yes I know about the SAECO but lack the patience for 4 months plus waiting.

I bought a 50/90 SHILOH SHARPS in 2003, knowing LYMAN dies were about $40+ When I saw the RCBS price, I was stunned. Maybe it's my perception, but I see RCBS as regarding pistol shooters and bullet casters as "red headed step children" a two cavity mould or non carbide dies are a joke for serious pistol shooters. LYMAN needs to do better, but they are a little more attuned to the current markets and trends. LEE is pretty basic and more for the casual reloader, but I'm impressed by the 6 cavity moulds and the factory crimp dies.

This is the way I see things. Please feel free to enlighten me.
Ed aka Blue Roan other forums
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:20 PM
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I could be all wet about this but I believe RCBS is more in tune with the “precision” handloader, benchrest shooter and wildcatter. I do not think RCBS is seriously going after the “production or high volume reloader.”
RCBS has been a strong supporter of the Cast Bullet Association and several members of their engineering staff used to participate in discussions of design and function of bullets molds and casting equipment in the official magazine: The Fouling Shot. Quite awhile ago there was an interesting and long lived discussion of cast bullet mold material, design and function in the Fouling Shot. These discussions were all pre-Internet.
I believe RCBS is aiming for the serious home hobbyist. Some of the RCBS cast rifle bullet designs are capable of quite good accuracy in a wide variety of production rifles and in general terms the RCBS molds are very uniform from one mold to another.
As much as I like Lyman products their mold cavities do tend to vary in size from one mold to another. The Leisure group just about ruined the company in the late 1970’s and through the ‘80’s, Lyman has never recovered their prominence in the industry. There was a time when a phone call to Lyman was akin to opening the back door and throwing your money into the yard. I have called Lyman several times in the past ten years and have found their staff friendly and courteous – this is a big change from what I experienced in the 1980’s.
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by william iorg View Post
. . . I have called Lyman several times in the past ten years and have found their staff friendly and courteous – this is a big change from what I experienced in the 1980’s.
Ditto this. A couple years ago, I purchased a used Lyman Super Targetspot rifle scope that had been made in the '60s and long discontinued. I called Lyman to see if I could get a copy of the original operating manual. Lyman CS told me the manual was no longer available but that they would make a copy of one that they had and mail it to me. A few days later, it came in the mail. I was impressed.
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Old 12-17-2007, 03:33 PM
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Lyman M dies for 44 mag .432 dia Beartooths and 30 cal for round ball gallery loads in the 06. They are well made and just the thing for what they do.
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