What's with Herter's?


October 29, 2003, 11:42 AM
I've been noticing a lot of Herter's reloading stuff on eBay lately. I thought that outfit had gone out of business years ago.

I bought some of their dies in the late 1950's and it had to be the worst junk ever made back then. So rough inside they scratched even new cases.

Did somebody buy their tools? Are they still in business. Old Snoopy needs to know.

They did, however, make a reloading tool that a gorilla couldn't break.

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October 29, 2003, 11:58 AM
I bought a set of Herter's dies in 38 special a few months ago off of E-bay. I haven't used them yet. They appear to be brand new in the box. I don't know what the story is on the company.

Larry Ashcraft
October 29, 2003, 01:38 PM
I believe they went out of business shortly after the GCA of 1968, because they relied on mail order gun business. My dad used a Herters turret press that he bought in the 50's. It is built like a tank, in fact my brother still uses it. I don't know about theie dies, my dad used CH dies.

I remember their catalog. They carried everything a hunter or fisherman would need, something like Cabela's.

October 29, 2003, 05:42 PM
I have an old single press that was my dad's. It is a tank. You could run it over with a truck and it would still work. I still use it to load a small amount of handgun ammo. The only issue is the shell holders are non-standard. There is a company in Boulder that makes Herter compatible shell holders. I think they were about $15. I could look them up if you need the info.


October 29, 2003, 06:24 PM
A little off the subject, but a few months ago, I bought a Herter's Single Action revolver in .44 Mag. It looked well made; looked just like an old model Ruger. Price was $175. I needed it like a hole in the head, but for that price, what the heck. Seems to shoot great. I am not going to fire any blockbuster loads out of it since I don't really know anything about it, but it does fine with .44 Special loads.
When I saw it in the display case I thought it might be one of those .401 Powermags.
What was weird is that I had never seen a Herter's revolver in my life other than in the catalog. My dad used to have their catalog when I was a kid and I made a study of it every night. Then, about 30 years later, I saw this revolver in the case and the first thing that popped into my mind was, Herters. And, I was right.

October 30, 2003, 01:45 AM
Herters was a big mail order outfit that was killed off by the GCA of 1968 which outlawed the sale of firearms,ammo,and reloading supplies through the mail. Herters made it for a few years but went out of business in the early 1970's.
So you have to figure that a lot the people that bought Herters reloading equipment in the 1950's and 1960's through the mail are dieing off now. Not many WW II or Korean Police Action(War) vets around now and they would have been the ones to buying Herters reloading eqipment. Their widows/kids/grandchildren are selling their stuff. So it is only natural that a lot of this stuff would make it on to ebay. I am really starting to see a lot of it at gun shows in the last 5 years.
The Herters pistols are good quality and Weihauch of Germany was one of the companies that made the single action revolvers for Herters.

October 31, 2003, 04:00 PM
The GCA of 1968 did kill the firearms sales but Herters was much more than firearms. The were a major player selling, hunting, fishing, fly tying, reloading eq., camping gear, decoys, waterfowl calls etc etc.

I have Herters decoys purchased in 1973 that I’m still using today. Back in the 70’s I heard they were having financial problems relating to mismanagement. And they started to down size and finally end up selling mostly waterfowl gear and decoys. A while back Cabela's took over that part.

Herters are the finest decoys I’ve owned and for this years season I ordered 1½ doz.new decoys from Cablela’s and they’ll be around when I die.

Great company wish it were back.

Have a good day and remember to pray for our troops.


November 9, 2003, 10:59 AM
I don't know if I ought to reply to you guys about Herter's gear, I'm bidding against enough guys over at ebay as it is.

But their equipment in reloading presses is fantastic as to quality and being sturdy in construction. Geo. Herter knew how to build stuff to out last us ole farts and now being passed on to the happy bidders at ebay.

If you are one of the old school and like to swage lead bullets here are a couple of winners, the one on the left is the Herter's Super O Maximum and rarely seen on ebay. It is by far the best for swaging and has special adjustment linkage on the ram piston toggle for short stroking the brass.


November 9, 2003, 11:09 AM
Man, I don't know what happen...but when I posted a pix of the two Herter presses it open up my document file to everyone.

So, will delete and try it again.

The press on the right is the Herter No.3, the one on the left is the Super O Maximum.

Note: The number 3 press has double coil spring arrangement to return the lever handle to an upright position...the Super O Maximum has a smaller single spring as there didn't seem anyway to block it from slaming into the toggle linkage.

Jim aka 44and45

November 9, 2003, 04:08 PM
My Herter's single stage is great, except that the blue paint on the handle is starting to come off.

Vega Tool Company in Boulder, CO makes an adapter for standard shellholders. 303-530-0174

I've also managed to find some at the gunshow, even a 12 gauge shellholder.

November 9, 2003, 07:38 PM
Vega, that's the one.
Do they really sell an adapter? The stuff I bought were Herter compatible
shell holders. An adapter would have been better, but I guess they'd
only get to sell one of those :)


November 9, 2003, 08:16 PM
Stevesmith7, www.ch4d.com which is the old C&H outfit in Ohio has the Herter's Universal adapter for regular modern shellholders...sells for about $14.

I bought one there and think I will get another one now that I have two Herters presses.


November 9, 2003, 08:46 PM
I must make a correction the C&H Universal adapter, it sells for $16.68 as they've had a price increase since I last bought one.


November 11, 2003, 10:05 AM
I believe they went out of business shortly after the GCA of 1968, Herters made it for a few years but went out of business in the early 1970's. There was a "Herter's Sportsman's Store" operating in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area well into the '80's. They had lots of reloading components and gear, and some interesting displays, like a mount of an Arhaun (sp?) a rather rare European game bird, and a large petrified mastodon tusk. They also sold "for decoration only" full size, operational, BEAR TRAPS.

December 8, 2008, 05:03 PM
Where might one find bullet sizing dies and top punches for old herters sizer lubber?

December 8, 2008, 05:17 PM
I've been noticing a lot of Herter's reloading stuff on eBay lately. I thought that outfit had gone out of business years ago.I believe part of the reason a lot of old Herters reloading equipment is showing up now is because, the old farts like me that were buying it in 1962 are dieing of old age now, or getting too old to reload & shoot much longer!

I have thought I noticed an awful lot of weird wildcat rifle questions cropping up on THR from new owners lately too.

Could be the same reason.

Wildcatting was in it's heyday about the same time Herters was in full swing.

BTW: The more recent Herters stores & catalog full of clothes & duck decoys have nothing at all to do with the old George Leonard Herter's mail order company, except the name.
Somebody bought the rights to it and is using it again.


December 8, 2008, 05:29 PM
Just as a point of interest: I use 11 different Herters die sets and they are every bit as good as any other brand from that time period. I've had more early RCBS problems than I ever did with Herters.

December 8, 2008, 07:00 PM
I too have several Herter's/ Krupp-American dies. Some are plated and still look like new. One set in 7MM Remag is a deluxe set with the bullet seater having a cutout in the upper part to insert the bullet through into a guide bushing. Worked great.


Dynamite Rabbit
December 8, 2008, 07:15 PM
Here's a quote from a Field & Stream article:

" In 1978, Herter decided that the future lay in retail, not mail order. He opened several mega-stores across the northeast, but do to the gas shortage at the time, the stores closed soon there after. In the end, Herter sold his company for only $300,000 (originally being promised 3 million) after turning down several offers over the years from other companies."

I bought a .25-06 barreled action and birdseye maple blank stock from them in 1974 or 1975 -- the barreled action was a BSA Monarch. I used to love looking through their catalog...

December 8, 2008, 08:55 PM
"But their equipment in reloading presses is fantastic as to quality and being sturdy in construction. Geo. Herter knew how to build stuff to out last us ole farts and now being passed on to the happy bidders at ebay."

Herters didn't make anything really. Like Sear's George L. H. purchased things and had his labels put on them by the maker. Some of his vendors weren't so good but most were okay. My Herter's dies are fine, wish they were still around to help Lee compete with those brands who would rob us blind if they could eliminate that one thorn in their paws.

I morned their passing, still do. My 1967 Herter's catalog is getting pretty frayed! If I'd known how long it would be before I got another one I'd have taken better care of it.

You may be interested; BSA barrelled actions with Dougles tubes for just under $50. We had much lower salaries then, typical annual wage for most of us ran $8-9K but that was a good buy even then. Like a young fool, I thought Herter's and those prices would last forever so I bought shoes for the little girls instead of the important things like cheap barrelled actions. Ah well, too soon old, too late smart.

December 9, 2008, 05:32 PM
I saw some "Herters" branding in conjunction with Cabelas recently.

I remember the catalogs. "Model Perfect" and they had a crest I think.

December 9, 2008, 07:08 PM
Well, I'm not an old fart yet, but I sure do remember shopping in the Herter's catalog. I used to have one of those "O" presses. I sold it when Herter's went out of business because the prospect of getting new shell holders wasn't too good at that time. It was also about as heavy as 3 of the RCBS Rockchuckers I replaced it with. Since I was in the Air Force back then, and moving around a lot, I thought that was a good trade off. That old press was built like a tank though, and I wish I had kept it. I still have my Herter’s Mk U-9 30-06, My first rifle. It is still one of the most accurate rifles I own.

December 10, 2008, 08:00 AM
When I lived in MN back in he early 70's a trip to the Herter's store was an adventure, kind of like going to Cabela's today. They seemed to have just about anything you needed. I guess I am getting to be an old fart and I am still using several sets of dies. My .45 ACP dies have more rounds loaded through them than I could count and they are still going strong. Herter's even had their own powder and primers.

December 11, 2008, 01:05 AM
RSFROST, I also have one of the Herter's Lubri-Sizers. I've been told that they were made by Saeco, and the Saeco dies should fit.

December 11, 2008, 07:05 AM
I use a Herter's that I bought used in the early sixties. Back then all the manufacturers were on a "I can build mine stronger then your's" kick, and those presses will last forever. They no longer build car jacks as strong as those older Herter's presses were. I'd need a thousand ton crusher if I ever destroy that monster. :D

December 11, 2008, 12:32 PM
While I don't have a Herter's press, I do have a Lyman Spar T press. This press does not have compound leverage. I have not been able to small base size a 308 case on the thing. Bent the handle trying to do that.

A lot of those older presses did not have compound leverage, something that is on on every press built today.

Regardless of the amount of cast iron in the thing, if it does not have the leverage, don't buy it.

December 11, 2008, 01:05 PM
Besides my Herter's Lubrisizer, my Herter's "C" press, powder measure, beam scale, and several sets of dies are still in use and as good as new after 50-years of heavy use. I also still have some of the Herter's .30 180-gr SP "Wasp-Waist" bullets, and my .30-06 Springfield still has its Herter's stock.

That said, most reloading equipment simply doesn't wear out even if only marginally maintained. Second-hand presses are a bargain...as long as they use standard case holders!

About the only important recent innovation I see in presses is the Hornady Lock-N-Load die mounting system, now also used by Lee on one of their presses. Lee is probably the most innovative among current reloading equipment producers...their Loadmaster press has some very interesting features. Hornady's drum powder measure with removable powder chambers is a tremendous advance in powders...

But I digress. Must be getting old!

January 4, 2009, 06:06 PM
Glad to see the ongoing interest in Herter's. I too remember seeing something about Herters coming back to life, and found this link: http://www.herters.com/

Anyone know anything about Ruhr-American, from Glenwood, MN? They put out a catalog that, if I remember correctly, was identical to the Herter's catalog. Wouldn't surprise me if Ruhr and Herter's were one and the same!

Herter's cheap prices and beefy manufacturing practices hooked me while in high school. I started out using a Lee hand loader for my surplus Mauser, then graduated to Herter's products. I still have my Herter's Model U-3 Super Press, powder measure, one or two calibers of dies and my favorite, the Powermag six shooter in .44mag.

That "will kill any animal on the face of the Earth" slogan sticks in my mind re the Powermag pistols. Of course, my trusty ice pick would do the same if someone would hold the critter down while I poke holes in 'em!

The Powermag was made by JP Sauer (now Sig Sauer), and like models were also marketed by Hawes and Sauer, but with nicer grips. The cheap plastic grips are all that have given out on mine, which I replaced with micarta, plus a stronger spring to keep the cylinder pin from working it's way out due to recoil. I think I paid $59 for it new, but the oddball .401 went for about $20 bucks less!


January 4, 2009, 06:12 PM
Herters coming back to life, and found this link:Not really.
As mentioned in an earlier post, these folks only bought the rights to the Herters name. They have been around for several years and I used to get a little paper flyer occasionally.

Only offering decoys, clothes, and waders. Nothing at all like the old Herters company as far as gun & reloading related stuff.


January 4, 2009, 08:30 PM
Not really.

True enough! I don't expect them to come fully back to life. It would be nice to see some fishing gear (fly tying supplies) and those fancy stock blanks come back.

May 6, 2009, 10:13 PM
Found this thread while searching the internet for some other stuff related to Herters and thought I'd register and post some info.

Herters was not done in by the GCA of 1968. They were caught for something entirely different and that was the importation of illegal feathers for their fly-tying kits in violation of some other treaty or something. Because of this the Feds hit 'em where it hurt the most, their gun business. I was in the service at the time but got the info from my folks back home in Waseca, MN which was Herters headquarters. They also had an operation in Mitchell, SD which they ended up closing down and eventually went out of business around 1976/77 after I got home from the Navy.

They were then bought by a company and moved most of the the operation to Beaver Dam, WI (mostly the decoy and clothing) where they operated for awhile before being sold at least one more time before being bought by Cabela's.

I don't know who it was that bought all mounts from the Waseca store but I do remember them being all over the place in the showroom.

May 7, 2009, 10:04 AM
I'm still using their powder funnel.

Their powder trickler is the best, still in use for my hand weighed rifle loads.

I have a Herters flash hole measuring device and a .357 expander--don't care for the expander.

January 27, 2010, 10:00 PM
"...don't have a Herter's press, I do have a Lyman Spar T press. This press does not have compound leverage."

Mine does! 'Course it took a loong summer Saturday in my home shop and some welding and grinding to make it so. But it sure works better now.

January 27, 2010, 11:39 PM
As mentioned in an ealier post Cablela's has the rights to Herter's name.

There was a Herters Store in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, that I use to shop at. I know it was open in the 2004-2007 time frame, but I haven't been to it in a couple of years. Not like your typical Cabela's. Tiny little place.

Perhaps that's their buisness model. Small stores for small towns. Cabela's stuff with a Herter's name over the door.

January 28, 2010, 12:12 AM
One of my three concealed carry guns is a Herters .357 Mag double derringer...the others being a Makarov and a S&W Mod 642 .38-Spl w/Lazergrips. The Herters still is completely dependable and is what I carry most often. They were made in Germany for Herters.

January 28, 2010, 01:32 AM
My Herters #3 press was purchased in 1957. $13 new. Of course then I worked all week for $20. What an old workhorse. Still using it. I have a couple sets of Herter's dies from the same vintage. They are just fine. Work the same as any other brand I have tried.

I had a machinist friend make a shell holder adaptor for the press. Now standard shell holders can be used with it.

Just a couple of weeks ago I bought the Herter's Professional Fly Tying Manual on eBay. I had one years ago, but somehow it got lost.

Good company. I hated to see them go.

January 29, 2010, 12:14 PM
Years ago I would order tie flying supplies from Herters. They had the best prices . Last year at a sale I got a bunch of tie flying supplies and a Herters tool set that were in their orignal packegs and shipping box for $ 2.00. Over the years I have collected Herters reloading equipment and still enjoy reading their old cataloges. Last year I got a shell holder adapter from RCBS but I have not used the tools.

January 29, 2010, 12:56 PM
Cabelas is selling ammo under the Herters name as well. I bought a 1,000 rnd case of 7.62x39 Herters ammo at Cabelas this month.

January 29, 2010, 06:52 PM
I don't think Herter's made anything. They just contracted out for the reloading stuff and had it packed in boxes with their name on it. Kinda like Sears, JC Pennys, Western auto, etc. I've never used any of their equipment, but my older friend told me their quality was right up there with the best.

I see someone is outsourcing Herters ammo on Cabelas website. It's just repacked commie stuff, probably wolf.

January 30, 2010, 02:32 AM
I'm glad to see people talking about Herters. I have one of the model 3 super-O presses, a set of 30-06 dies and the shell holders for the 06 and 30-30. Not only that, but I've got one of those microadjust powder measures too. With all that cast iron, I'm afraid my reloading shed might sink into the ground....LOL. I'm impressed by the quality of all the herters gear I have.


Carl N. Brown
March 15, 2010, 01:41 PM
the importation of illegal feathers for their fly-tying kits

As I have heard it, Herter's was done in because AFTER a species of bird was declared endangered, Herter's continued to make flies from feathers they had legally stockpiled BEFORE the birds were declared endangered.

I have tried to warn people NOT to pick up feathers of eagles off the ground where where eagles fly on the Holston River: the feds treat you like you mugged the eagles and pulled their feathers out.

March 15, 2010, 08:10 PM
Not a SINGLE mention of how the Herter's catalogs always touted their stuff as the





March 15, 2010, 08:43 PM
Guide Quality! Every Item!

I remember the catalogs well.

Their .401 PowerMag revolver was ahead of its time..

March 15, 2010, 09:00 PM
I was always told that George Herter lost his European connections and therefore the loss of a massive supply of surplus armaments, effectively shutting him down.

I have an old Herter's bullet sizer. That thing has probably sized two or three million bullets, if not more. It leaks lube everywhere but keeps on sizing.

Some day I fear that the words "surplus rifle" will just be a fond memory of a a bygone era. Already is just about.

April 2, 2010, 08:56 PM
Sorry I was looking to post on this thread but instead posted on another Herter's question above this one on the index.
ancient rifle smith

April 2, 2010, 10:34 PM
"Not a SINGLE mention of how the Herter's catalogs always touted their stuff as the





And that's as opposed to a Sear's catalog perhaps saying J.C. Penny's has better deals on some items? Goodness, what a thing to take exception too !!

Herter's didn't deal with "surplus" stuff so that story is a fraud.

April 2, 2010, 11:12 PM
I still miss Herter's...used to buy a lot of their stuff. Still have a Model 3 press, bullet Lub/sizer, rotary powder scale, beam scale, some reloading dies, and a .357 Mag double derringer...one of my CC guns...in service after fifty years, with no signs of wearing out.

Maybe their stuff was the "best stuff on the planet" at that time!:scrutiny:

Carl N. Brown
April 3, 2010, 06:33 AM
Herter's, Hy Hunter, Hunter's Lodge and several other hunting/fishing/military surplus dealers of the 1960s took advertising courses at the University of Hyperbole (same place movie ad writers of the 1950s learned to tout the "Amazing Colossal..." and "Incredible Shrinking..." Whatisits.)

Doesn't mean their stuff was bad for the price, just over promoted, and when they did offer really good products, there was a built-in skepticism among the buying public.

May 5, 2010, 12:14 AM
I know this is an old thread, I just acquired a Herter's 9 Ton Bulletmaker SA6D, I am looking for the 30 caliber dies to make rifle bullets and the 44 dies for pistol bullets.

The Gun Control Act was the big blow to the company, my father used to get all of his fly making stuff and things to build his own fishing rods from Herters. Some of his materials were from endangered species and could no longer be purchased. Some where I still have a Herter 40 caliber SA revolver, no brass and no data. Some of the Herters books on animals were excellent, I find them now and then.

If anyone has a lead on where to get a 30 cal and 44 cal dies set it would be appreciated, I have check eVilbay and GunBroker for these with no luck.



Carl N. Brown
May 5, 2010, 08:36 AM
My impression is that Herter's reloading equipment was over-engineered and very robust construction. Even though the (original) company is gone, working Herter's reloading eqipment will be around a long, long time.

Like Bannerman's, Herter's is a landmark in hunting and shooting history.

May 5, 2010, 12:21 PM
Herter's stuff was built to last the sportsman thru out an active life and still be able to be handed down to his/her children and grand children.

A couple people have stated that they had dies that were rough, I never found that to be true with my reloading gear from Herters, all of my Herters stuff was great and a head of it's time in some cases.


May 25, 2010, 08:20 PM
I got to this forum because I was looking to find out what happened to Herter's. I discovered a couple of small unused bundles of fine steel wool from Herter's, still in the paper wrapper, for finishing bamboo fly rods, in my father's work bench, and it brought back fond memories. So, I did some digging. I've gotten a kick out of all the memories given here.

My most fond memories are about the boots my father and I got that were superb, not to mention how much I loved the catalogs.

Also found this that fits in here:

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