CONDITION ORANGE: LYMAN'S SIGNATURE COLOR SIGNIFIES INNOVATION.

Author:Taffin, John
Position:HANDLOADING
 
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Do you remember Roy G. Biv? Long before I knew of Roy Huntington, Roy Campanella, Roy Acuff, even Roy Rogers and Rob Roy, I met Roy G. Biv in my early grade school years. This particular Roy was not an actual person but rather a way of remembering the primary colors established by Aristotle as Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. When it comes to handloading/reloading our primary colors are red, green, blue, and most assuredly orange.

Over the past 60 years anyone peeking in my loading areas, which started as a small corner in my teenage bedroom and has now become two very large workshops, would find reloading presses and other items colored red, light green, dark green, blue and the original orange. Orange is the color of choice for Lyman. Lyman began as of the Lyman Gun Sight Company with the Lyman No. 1 Tang Site way back in 1879, and in 1925, the Lyman family purchased Ideal Reloading Products.

When I started reloading in 1956 Lyman was basically it. My first "reloading press" was the Lyman Nutcracker, the 310 Hand Tool. It was a long process to use this tool and it did everything but fulllength resize. After spending all the time and energy to load a box of cartridges, which in those days were .38 Special/.357 Magnum and .45 Colt you can bet I was very careful how I shot them. None were wasted.

To re-size a cartridge case I used a standard sizing die, lubing the cartridge case, and then employing a benchmounted vise to squeeze the case into the die. After this a wooden dowel of the proper diameter was used to tap the case out of the die. Did I say I was very careful how I shot up my painstakingly crafted cartridges?

With the time and energy spent, along with the somewhat sore hands, using the 310 Tool I soon graduated to a Lyman American reloading press and then in later years used a Lyman Orange Crusher press both with Lyman reloading dies. All of my early cast bullets were dropped from Lyman molds first from a cast iron pot on the top of my mother's kitchen stove and then a Lyman electric melting pot, after which they were lubed in a Lyman 45 LubriSizer.

In those early days I also found the Lyman Handbook of Cast Bullets an exceptionally valuable resource, and over the years I began adding copies of the Lyman Reloading Handbook. The latest, Lyman 50th Edition, is a large book covering nearly every cartridge for both handguns and rifles using both cast and jacketed bullets. It is an extremely valuable resource.

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