by Charlie Shaeff with additional new listings provided by J Martin  (JRMartin1964 on castboolits)

 

            Ever since John H. Barlow founded what became the Ideal and later the Lyman Reloading tool company, there has been a stream of high

quality, handy reloading equipment coming out of Connecticut.  It is quite likely that the series of tools that had the most to do with the popularity

of these products is that which began from the first as “tong tools” and is with us to this day in the form of the 310 tool.  As various calibers of

rifles and pistols have gained and lost favor or disappeared altogether, so too have the handles and special dies for them come and gone.  One could

spend a lifetime gathering all the calibers and variations of the tools and their dies, but with this article we will hit some of the high points of production

variations and then list as many of the production codes by which the dies were formerly identified as have been discovered.

 

            Initially, the tong tools were each meant to be a sort of all in one, nothing else necessary unit, usually for a single rifle or pistol cartridge. 

Well equipped with the basic tool, the  shooter could deprime and neck size his fired case, reprime it, and cast a bullet for it (in some cases even

size the bullet!)  Then after adding powder with the dipper that was frequently part of the set, he could seat the bullet and be ready to shoot

again.  Everything was part of and attached to the tool itself except for the decapping stem and the powder dipper, leaving little to lose in the

field.  Later versions of the tools had adjustable bullet seating built into the dies, then the dies themselves were made removable, and herein lies

the rub.  Since it appears that the tool was sold almost always as a complete unit for one specific cartridge in those days, there was no need

to mark the dies, especially those that were part of the tong itself.  There was a series of tools numbered 1 through 10 (although no #9 has been

discovered) and the numbers 3 and 10 which lacked the bullet mould were most like our current 310 tool with no bullet mould and removable dies. 

 

     As the dies became removable however, it became necessary to distinguish which dies went with which calibers.  So began the numbering

system which has made identifying these dies a challenge to the modern day enthusiast who frequently encounters them separated from their original sets

and instructions.  The following chart is a compendium of the die code numbers as gleaned from about a half dozen old copies of the Ideal Handbook. 

Following the table will be found additional notes and explanations of abbreviations and alternate applications.  Anyone having any additional caliber information

to add is invited to contact the author.


 

Die Code

Cartridge

Die Code

Cartridge

Die Code

Cartridge

Die Code

Cartridge

1

 

51

40-50 BN

101

45-90 Win

151

38 Long Colt

2

 

52

40-50 Sh St

102

45-85 Win

152

30 Newton

3

22 WCF

22-15-45

53

40-65

40-70 BN

103

 

153

270 Win

4

22-10-45

54

40-70 Sh St

104

 

154

455 Webley Mk II

5

22-15-60

55

 

105

45-125 Exp

155

35 Newton

6

 

56

40-90 BN

106

 

156

35 Newton

7

25-20 SS a

57

40-90 Sh St

107

45-75 Sh St

157

35 Whelan

8

25-21

58

40-60 Win

108

 

158

22 B Niedner

9

25-25

59

40-60 Mar

109

 

159

257 Neidner Spr

10

25-20 WCF

60

40-70 Ball

110

 

160

25 Neidner Krag

11

25-35

61

40-85 Ball

111

50 US Carbine

161

400 Whelan

12

25-36 Mar

62

40-90 Ball

112

50-100-450

162

375 H&H Mag

13

30-30 b

63

40-75 Bu e

113

50-90 Exp

163

7.62 Russ

14

30-30 Mar

64

 

114

50-70 Gov't

164

275 Mag

15

30-40 Krag

65

40-70 Rem (bottleneck) 

115

 

165

22 Hornet

16

303 Sav

66

40-70 Win

116

7 mm Mauser

166

257 Roberts

17

303 Brit

67

40-82 Win

117

7.65 Rifle

167

 

18

 

68

40-72 Win

118

8 mm Mauser

168

300 H&H

19

32 S&W L

69

 

119

38 ACP

169

220 Swift

20

32 Colt NP

70

 41 Short (OL)

120

30 Luger

170

348 Win

21

32 LR (IL)

71

 41 Long (OL)

121

405 Win

171

219 Wasp

22

32 S&W

72

41 Long (IL)

122

32 ACP h

172

172 Bee

23

 

73

 42-77-330 Russian (adjustable)

123

30-06

173

22 Lovell

24

32-44 S&W

74

43 Span  f

124

35 Win SL

174

357 Mag

25

 

75

 

125

32 Win SL

175

 

26

32 Ideal, Paper Patched

76

 

126

9 mm Rifle

 

 

27

32 Ideal

77

44 S&W Rus

127

45 ACP/AR

 

 

28

32-40 (or use DA #97) c

78

44-40 WCF

128

35 Rem

 

 

29

32-20 WCF

(+ 30 Carb)

79

44-40 Marlin (WCF with different bullet shape)

129

351 Win SL

 

 

30

32-40 Rem

80

44 Long

130

30 Rem

 

 

31

32-40 Bull

81

 

131

32 Rem

 

 

32

32-35 Stevens

82

40-60 Sh

132

6 mm USN

 

 

33

32-30 Rem

83

44-77 Sh BN

133

25 Rem

 

 

34

38 S&W d

84

44-90 Sh

134

9 mm Luger

 

 

35

 

85

 44-90 Bottleneck (doesn't specify Sharps or Rem

135

 45-70 Wood Shot

 

 

36

 

86

45 Colt

136

 

 

 

37

38-44 Rifle

87

45 Schfld

137

6.5 mm I

 

 

38

38 short (presumably colt)

88

45-65 Win

138

7.63 Pistol

 

 

39

38 Lng  (OL)

89

45-70 & 90

139

 

 

 

40

38 Long  (IL)

90

45-70

140

43 Spanish and 11mm

 

 

41

 38 Extra Longf

91

45-70 Mar

141

22 Sav HP

 

 

42

38-40 WCF

92

45-350 Win

142

280 Ross

 

 

43

38-40 Remington-Hepburn

93

45-70 Gld

143

250-3000

 

 

44

38-55

94

 

144

380 ACP

 

 

45

38-90

95

38 Spl/ 357

145

256 Newton

 

 

46

38-56

96

28-30 Stev

146

300 Sav j

 

 

47

 

97

32 W Spl g

147

401 Win SL

 

 

48

38-72

98

33 WCF

148

 44 Evans (presumably New model)

 

 

49

38-40 Rem (WCF with different bullet shape)

99

35 WCF

149

44 S&W Am

 

 

50

38-50 Rem

100

45-75 Win

150

44 Spl

 

 

 

 

ABBREVIATIONS USED

 

 1.  ACP = Colt’s Automatic Pistol or Automatic Centerfire Pistol

 

2.  Am = American, a designation used on one of the S&W 44’s

 

3.  AR = Auto Rim

 

2.  Ball = Ballard

 

3.  BN = Bottle Neck

 

4.  Brit = British Military round

 

5.  Bull = Bullard

 

Carb = Carbine (ie US Military M-1 Carbine)

 

DA = Double Acting, the die/chamber which seats and crimps bullet

 

Exp = Express, loadings for Winchester Single shots, mainly

 

Gov’t = Government (ie US Military)

 

H&H = Holland and Holland

 

IL = Inside Lubricated

 

Mag = Magnum

 

Mar = Marlin

 

L = Long

 

Neid = Neidner, (B Neid = Baby Neidner)

 

NP = New Police (Colt’s designation)

 

Rem = Remington

 

Russ or Rus = Russian

 

S &W = Smith and Wesson

 

Sav = Savage

 

Schfld = Schofield (a S&W designation in 45 cal)

 

Sh = Sharps

 

Sh St = Sharps Straight

 

SL = Self Loading (usually Win. Manufactured)

 

Span = Spanish

 

Spl = Special

 

SS = Single Shot

 

Stev = Stevens

 

USN = United States Navy (applies to a single cartridge developed for Navy use)

 

WCF = Winchester Center Fire

 

Web = Webley (Web M II = Webley Mark II)

 

Win = Winchester

 

 

 

*****

 

 

 

Special Notes

 

 

 

a  #7 was also variously applied to other calibers, but this is the primary use.

b #13 may also be used for 303 Sav and 30 Rem Rimless

 

c # 28 may also be used for .32 Winchester Special

 

d # 34 DA may also be used for 380 ACP

 

e # 63 may also be used for 40-75 Bullard and 44-77 Sharps

 

f # 74 may also be used for 11mm Mauser

 

g # 97 may also be used for 32 Rem Auto and 32 Marlin HP as well as 32-40 (DA only)

 

h #122 was used eventually for all of the 32 S&W pistol calibers

 

i # 137 is the same for 6.5 Japanese or Mannlicher

 

j # 146 may also be used for 7.7 Japanese

 

 

 

 Also, since the Sizing Dies were made to neck size only, the improved and “K” versions of several cartridges were loadable using the same die as the

 

originals.  Similar necks sizes could be used in the same die as 276 Hoff Magnum in #164 (275 Mag,) 38-40 in #162 (375 Mag,) 257 Roberts in #159 (25

 

Neidner Springfield,) and 8mm Lebel in #156 (35 Newton.)

 

 

 

****Special Numbers****

 

 

 

Calibers that were added near the end of the period in which the so-called serial numbers for calibers were used (ca 1954) never had those numbers

 

assigned to them and will be seen with the following; 

 

222 = 222 Rem

 

22/250 = Savage-developed cartridge of that designation

 

308 W = 308 Winchester (AKA 7.62 NATO, etc)