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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I’m kinda new to reloading and I have only used Lee dies and RCBS dies. I was at my local gun store and stumbled across a old set of 7x57 dies made by Lyman. I picked them up for $15 cause this is the next round I want to load. I was wondering if any one has used old lyman dies and could tell me if they are any good or not?
 

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They should be fine, unless they've been abused.

I started reloading in 1976. What's that - 43 years? I'm still using that first set of 38 Special dies.

Dies can be damaged by stupidity. But as a rule, they don't wear out.

The only problem with OLD dies - like maybe from the 60s or earlier - is they might not fit modern presses.

All dies, and all presses, these days, have a 7/8 by 14 thread, and the ram has what they call a universal fit, so anybody's shell holder will snap in. But WAY WAY BACK, many of the reloading companies had proprietary dies, that would only work with their presses.
 

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I'm still using a couple sets of dies from the 50's. As has been said, unless they've been abused or horribly neglected, they should be fine, after a good cleaning.
 

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Do inspect the dies cavities for rust. I see old dies at gun shows and a high percentage of them have surface rust on them. Where that is bad is on the internal working surfaces where removal of the rust may screw with the precision of the die and its ability to make compatible ammo.

My oldest dies would be from the mid 1980's . At that time I bought LEE dies which I have been replacing over the subsequent 30+ years with RCBS and a few Hornady's. So it is unlikely that any of those original LEE dies are in my collection of 30+ different caliber die sets. The only dies I have ever had that rusted were LEE dies. Most of my dies lived 5 miles from the ocean for 10 years and 20 years in the dry desert air. No RCBS die of mine has every rusted.

LDBennett
 

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Yes they were (are - they still make them). The tong tool uses smaller dies, and they used to make a small press they called the Junior, which used the same smaller dies.
 

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I have a set of the Lyman "small dies" with the 7/8x14 adapter rings so they can be used in a regular press. I am guessing they are probably 1960s vintage.
 

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The main "problem" with used dies is the abuse by previous owners. I first look at the body threads, then the set screw heads/sockets and rounded bolt head corners (pliers marks). Gnarled/distorted threads tell me the owner tightened the lock ring way too tight and he didn't take good care of his tools. If I see any of these, I'll just put them back and move on...
 

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Lyman also made a "Tru-Line" that took dies similar to the 310 Tong Tool. I have a tong tool and a set of 32-20 dies for it that I still use on occasion, for nostalgic purposes.
 

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Clean them up and I'd bet you'll be just fine. Lyman makes good quality products. Unless those dies are horribly abused/neglected I doubt if you will have any problems. Standard shell holders for a .45 ACP/.308 Winchester/.30-06 will work just fine with a 7X57 Mauser so don't waste your time hunting those down.
 

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+1 with pretty much everybody. I'm convinced that, at least for hunting and general use ammo, dies are dies. My collection includes Lyman, Hornady, Redding, Lee, RCBS and Herter's. Vintage runs from maybe mid-50's to brand new. They all make good ammunition. As most everybody said, give them a good cleaning and you'll be fine. BTW, as mudman said, welcome. Lots of expertise and good information on this site.
 

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Yep, I would take them apart, clean real good then put back together putting some lube on them as you go. I have bought many old used dies & haven't found a bad one yet.
You may have to do a search online for setup procedures but most that I have seen are close to the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the info guys it is much appreciated. I have looked the dies over the FL resizing die is perfect. The bullet seating die upon further inspection has some rust I cleaned it up and I don’t think it will affect anything but I’m going to keep an extra close eye on it.
 
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