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Loading tools and bullet moulds
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March 28, 2018 - 9:25 pm
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We had an interesting thread recently on Winchester loading tools and I always like to see loading tools and moulds on collectors’ tables at shows but I know very little about them. A quick search of the Collector didn’t bring up any articles. Have we ever had an article on the subject? Do you think anyone besides me would be interested in reading it if someone knowledgeable on the subject would take the time to write & submit it?

 

Mike

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March 28, 2018 - 10:17 pm
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 Mike, I would! There used to be group that meet at the Denver Show in May. Lost track of them, they had a web sight with some very interesting tools posted. To me the tools are as important as the gun. In the black powder days most owners had the tools, why else would there be so many still out there if they didn’t use them. T/R 

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March 29, 2018 - 12:58 am
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TR,

The group you make reference to is the “Reloading Tool Collectors Association”.  I am member #9.  I’ve collected Winchester molds and tools for decades.  In fact, in the past few months decided it was time to sell off my extensive mold/tool collection and made that known on this web site.  Unfortunately, the responce was poor at best.  No matter, most pieces have already been disposed of.  Rare items are easy to sell.  Will take my boxed ammo to Denver and Cody.  Dosen’t seem like many here are interested of the older doxes.  I agree with you, that the molds, tools and boxed ammo are every bit as interesting and collectable as the firearms themselves.

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March 29, 2018 - 3:28 am
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What old boxes do you have for sale?  I usually only collect antique boxes.  I do look for Lee Navy boxes. PM me or email me at [email protected].

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March 29, 2018 - 4:04 am
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TXGunNut said
We had an interesting thread recently on Winchester loading tools and I always like to see loading tools and moulds on collectors’ tables at shows but I know very little about them. A quick search of the Collector didn’t bring up any articles. Have we ever had an article on the subject? Do you think anyone besides me would be interested in reading it if someone knowledgeable on the subject would take the time to write & submit it?

 

Mike  

Mike

I’ve been thinking of writing an article for the Collector for some time now and your correct that little has been written in the Collector on the topic. One of the founding members of WACA, Lewis E. Yearout wrote a Monograph titled “Winchester Reloading Tools” in 1982, and it was an Official Publication of the Winchester Arms Collectors Association. There was even two versions or editions written by Yearout.  It was also the go to text for R.H. Chamberlain & Tom Quigley’s Book and the recent book by Tom Rowe. If you don’t already have these books, they are good items to add to your library. 

I just haven’t found the right topic and the time to write said article. Unlike most of our members, I’m a younger man with two kids, a mortgage, and a 8 to 5 that keeps me a little busy. But I still have a passion for all things Winchester, and especially for Winchester Reloading Tools. Will gladly welcome any discussion on this topic. I’ve been doing research on the topic for some time, but progress is slow. I haven’t had much interest from many about my survey topic listed on the forum. But I also haven’t done much towards overly being ambitious about it either. It’s somewhat of a hard topic to do a survey on inherently anyway, unlike the various Winchester rifles, carbines,& muskets, the tools don’t all have serial numbers on them. What I always find interesting is that just like the rifles, so much is already known about them, and yet there is some much unknown about them as well. I believe there is more to be known about them, and do plan to some day write a book on them. 

I suppose I should just “get off the pot” and write an article already. Is there any particular sub-topic you’d like to know more about?

Sincerely,

Brady 

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March 29, 2018 - 11:57 am
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win4575 said
TR,

The group you make reference to is the “Reloading Tool Collectors Association”.  I am member #9.  I’ve collected Winchester molds and tools for decades.  In fact, in the past few months decided it was time to sell off my extensive mold/tool collection and made that known on this web site.  Unfortunately, the responce was poor at best.  No matter, most pieces have already been disposed of.  Rare items are easy to sell.  Will take my boxed ammo to Denver and Cody.  Dosen’t seem like many here are interested of the older doxes.  I agree with you, that the molds, tools and boxed ammo are every bit as interesting and collectable as the firearms themselves.  

 Thanks for the up date, if you collect the guns you need the tools. Years ago my brother re-cut the threads on a Lee turret to accommodate the bottom half of a 1894 tool. I just thread in the bottom of a 94 tool and load for my old guns on a Lee turret press. If I need bullets, I cast them in a original mold. There is nothing more fun than shooting an old Winchester with cartridges loaded in the “original tools” at original velocity. You will be surprised how accurate that old bore is with a cast un-sized bullet out of a real Winchester mold. I collect tools in the calibers of the guns I own, they display well and are a practical loading option at a modest price. T/R

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March 29, 2018 - 2:28 pm
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I agree.  There’s nothing more fun than reloading with the old tools and molds.  I had around 90 molds and almost that many tools.   I collect 1873 and 1876 model Winchesters primarily, so I had a ton of tools and molds for all those calibers.  I was on a mission to find every model of mold and tool that Winchester made for all four of the 1876 calibers.  It took me three years, but I finally did it.  I knew the rarest item to find was the 2nd model brass mold with wooden handle in .45-75.  When I found that, I knew the rest of them would take time, but would not be impossible to find.  The second hardest item was an 1875 model tool in .50-95 Express.  When I decided to sell off my molds and tools a few months ago, all of the Express caliber items went first.  I did keep a couple of express molds, as well as an 1894 boxed set of .50-95 and the 2nd model .45-75 mold.  I loaded ammo for all of the 1876 calibers with model 1880 tools and cast bullet from the original molds.  Even RCBS dies don’t crimp as well as the original tools.

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March 29, 2018 - 6:15 pm
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  win4575, You’ve gone a whole lot farther than I have, I looked for years and never found a 1875 50-95 tool. I bought a lot of tools from Bill Jones out of Topeka Kansas before he past and for his son after. He use to setup on the lower deck at Tulsa. I know what you mean, the 50’s and early tools are hard to find and easy to sell. That said, most tools for common calibers are cheap and easy to find. Perfect opportunity for new Winchester collectors to get in and have some fun. Just like guns, buy condition if you can get it, but if it’s rare forget condition. T/R

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March 29, 2018 - 6:38 pm
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Some years ago I attended the Ca. Cartridge  Collector’s show.  There was a guy that had a display of all the Winchester tools.  Unfortunately I did not get or keep his card.  Best display of tools that I have ever seen. 

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March 29, 2018 - 7:14 pm
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I think we could probably get Bert Hartman to set up a “Loading Tool & Bullet Mould” forum topic.  What do you say Bert???????????

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March 29, 2018 - 9:08 pm
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Maverick said

Mike

I’ve been thinking of writing an article for the Collector for some time now and your correct that little has been written in the Collector on the topic. One of the founding members of WACA, Lewis E. Yearout wrote a Monograph titled “Winchester Reloading Tools” in 1982, and it was an Official Publication of the Winchester Arms Collectors Association. There was even two versions or editions written by Yearout.  It was also the go to text for R.H. Chamberlain & Tom Quigley’s Book and the recent book by Tom Rowe. If you don’t already have these books, they are good items to add to your library. 

I just haven’t found the right topic and the time to write said article. Unlike most of our members, I’m a younger man with two kids, a mortgage, and a 8 to 5 that keeps me a little busy. But I still have a passion for all things Winchester, and especially for Winchester Reloading Tools. Will gladly welcome any discussion on this topic. I’ve been doing research on the topic for some time, but progress is slow. I haven’t had much interest from many about my survey topic listed on the forum. But I also haven’t done much towards overly being ambitious about it either. It’s somewhat of a hard topic to do a survey on inherently anyway, unlike the various Winchester rifles, carbines,& muskets, the tools don’t all have serial numbers on them. What I always find interesting is that just like the rifles, so much is already known about them, and yet there is some much unknown about them as well. I believe there is more to be known about them, and do plan to some day write a book on them. 

I suppose I should just “get off the pot” and write an article already. Is there any particular sub-topic you’d like to know more about?

Sincerely,

Brady   

Hey Brady

Sub-topics are good.  You could always expand on a subject you wish previous books had discussed in more detail. 

That could apply to anyone else who is considering an article for the magazine as well.  We’re always happy to get some technical articles with good details.

Thanks,

Brad

Regards

Brad Dunbar

http://1895book.com/

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March 30, 2018 - 1:37 am
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Thanks for the library recommendations, Brady. Haven’t added a book in almost a week. Most of the vendors I see selling Winchester tools and moulds seem to know very little about them and I’m hesitant to dive into something I know little about….but it wouldn’t be the first time. A friend recently bought an 1893 Marlin, of all things, and included with the rifle was a Winchester loading tool and mould in pristine condition. The workmanship of the mould is very impressive.

Brad brings up a good point, it may be best to limit the scope a bit but rookies like me could benefit from an overview of the topic. I’ve read a bit of Yearout’s writings but this is the first I’ve heard of his article on reloading tools. If limiting the scope I’d personally be interested in an article on moulds as I’d like to add a few antique moulds to my collection of custom or semi-custom modern moulds.

 

Mike

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March 30, 2018 - 2:42 am
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TXGunNut said
I’ve read a bit of Yearout’s writings but this is the first I’ve heard of his article on reloading tools. If limiting the scope I’d personally be interested in an article on moulds as I’d like to add a few antique moulds to my collection of custom or semi-custom modern moulds.
 
Mike  

 Mike

Yearout’s Monograph is a must read, it goes into good detail on each model Tool and Mould. The early version is 21 pages with the later version being slightly longer with 24 pages. I’ll see what I can come up with in regards to moulds. I was actually thinking of writing about Tools that are in Non-Winchester calibers, which sounds simple at first but in certain Tools there were more Non-Winchester or Non-Proprietary Cartridges available to be ordered from the factory. I think I’ll cherry pick a few tools from my collection and discuss them. As far as a large scope of writing about each model Tool & Mould and their variations, I’m leaving that for a book. Even though its already been done before, I think I may can do it a little better. We all have our aspirations.

Sincerely,

Maverick

P.S. After responding to this topic, I think I may have a good topic for a short article about a bullet mould.

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March 30, 2018 - 3:37 am
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I saw Yearout’s collection many times back in the 70’s.  In his basement was an 8′ glass display case.  The case was 24″ wide and around 40″ tall.  He had removed the bottom so it sat flat on the floor.  That way, he could fill it with bullet molds and reloading tools, without crushing the bottom of the case.  Most were Winchester, but there were also many other period implements.  These pieces were stacked in the case like cordwood.  From one end to the other and front to back. He said he figured he had over a thousand pieces.  I wouldn’t be a bit surprized.

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March 30, 2018 - 6:04 pm
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win4575 said
I saw Yearout’s collection many times back in the 70’s.  In his basement was an 8′ glass display case.  The case was 24″ wide and around 40″ tall.  He had removed the bottom so it sat flat on the floor.  That way, he could fill it with bullet molds and reloading tools, without crushing the bottom of the case.  Most were Winchester, but there were also many other period implements.  These pieces were stacked in the case like cordwood.  From one end to the other and front to back. He said he figured he had over a thousand pieces.  I wouldn’t be a bit surprized.  

I’m probably not at the same mark as his collection was, and I haven’t been collecting as long as he had, but I’m trying to get there. A while back I bought a 1920s store display case and have been trying to fill it up and organize it as a nice display. When I got the case, my wife asked me, “Once you fill it up your done, Right?” Had to break it to her, that NO! I’ll still have plenty to go. I’ve already got another case in the foyer ready to start filling it up. But I’ve still got room at the bottom of this one. Probably won’t once I re-organize it.

Here are some pics of my modest tool collection, as it currently sits all over the place in my office.

Case1.jpgImage EnlargerCase2.jpgImage Enlarger

Wish I could show it to yall once I have it organized. It’s hot mess right now, but one day I plan to tiddy it up. Other than buying the tools, next biggest hurdle I’ve found is trying to find interesting or nice ways to display them. Some of the model tools are just down right odd to display.

Sincerely,

Maverick

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March 30, 2018 - 9:37 pm
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win4575 said
I saw Yearout’s collection many times back in the 70’s.  In his basement was an 8′ glass display case.  The case was 24″ wide and around 40″ tall.  He had removed the bottom so it sat flat on the floor.  That way, he could fill it with bullet molds and reloading tools, without crushing the bottom of the case.  Most were Winchester, but there were also many other period implements.  These pieces were stacked in the case like cordwood.  From one end to the other and front to back. He said he figured he had over a thousand pieces.  I wouldn’t be a bit surprized.  

 win4575, What happen to Yearout’s tool collection? Someone told me there was a fire, I hope they weren’t part of that. T/R

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March 31, 2018 - 1:23 am
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There was a fire at his son Leyton’s house.  After Lew passed away, most of his collection was moved to Leyton’s underground vault.  During the fighting of the fire, the vault had a lot of water in it.  I don’t think much, if any of the collection burned in the fire, but the water damage was horrible.  What was salvaged went to auction, including what he had left of the reloading tools.  Some of the guns we see in the Madis book are still in limbo, I guess with Layton’s half sister.  We may never know all the mysteries surrounding that famous collection and it’s owners.

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March 31, 2018 - 3:18 am
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 Thanks for the update, sad. T/R

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