Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks
A few months ago, I wrote a short note about the neighbor who first introduced me to reloading. He was a bachelor who loved to hunt and trade guns, chickens, dogs, etc. He is well remembered and thought of in our community.
I wanted to mention another gentleman who I have become acquainted with in the last few years. He has always had a witty saying or a word of wisdom each time we spoke. Although he is certainly considered an “elder” by myself and most others, he has always been willing to listen and learn. He has asked many times about advice to reloading situations or firearm information in general. We have developed a special bond and friendship that I do and always will cherish.
One afternoon as we were visiting and pondering world events and solutions, he asked me about some reloading dies that he had. He had used them for many years and they had served him very well. They were Lyman hand dies in several different calibers. They included 243 Winchester, 270 Winchester, 7 mm Remington Magnum, .30-30 Winchester, 308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, and 6mm/244 Remington. We talked about their use and methods that he had used with them. He then told me that he wanted to show me the press that he had made to use with these dies.
He was a welder by trade and he had fashioned a press to both resize the cases and then push a steel rod through the die to push the case back out of the die. While there are many different arbor presses made and sold today, remember this one was made to fulfill a need when there weren’t many such things available.
He then wanted me to take the press and dies to either use or not. He said that they had served him very well and he wanted someone that could appreciate them and understand what they were. I told him I would gladly put them in my reloading room and put them on display there.
His comment was, “You will have the only one of one I ever made.”
For me, things like this serve as a reminder of a simpler time in life and the ingenuity that kept the family as well as our nation alive and thriving.
Phillip H., my hat off to you my friend. I just wanted to share your token of friendship with a larger community of like-minded people. You are one-of-a-kind and greatly treasured.