Nifty little 1960's reload tool for .38 spcl


September 14, 2010, 08:08 PM
While at the gun show this weekend, I picked up this nifty lil gadget that will load special conversion .38 special cases to shoot a pellet with a primer out of your .38 special revolver or rifle. It was made in 1963 and is in great condition. The instructions state that calibers .44 and .45 were also available.

It is called the "Pip Squeak" made by Lachmiller Engineering. It is my understanding from a net search that Lachmiller was bought out by RCBS in the 1980's. Lachmiller also made reloading dies, presses and accessories for reloading.

It consists of a primer tool (cammed with a primer pin and rod lever), base, 5 steel .38spl conversion cases that will shoot an .173 lead ball or pellet (I have been using .177 pellets with real sucess), pellet ram rod/de-capper and instructions.

Original cost was $9.50 for each caliber. My cost at the gun show was $16.00 for the .38 Special caliber.

I also found some small pistol primers at the show for this, size 1 1/2, CCI 1000 for $22.00 and some standard .177 pellets for $3.00 for 250 count.

I have shot about 100 rounds out of it and so far accuraccy is at 15 feet is about 3" groups. They also penetraited a 1/4" piece of plywood and both sides of a filled with water soda can. I will buy some other pellets and different primers to see if diff combos provide better accuracy or pent. I wonder is small pistol magnum primers would perform better.

Here are some pictures:

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September 14, 2010, 08:47 PM
What a fantastic find. I think they would add hours of fun and make for good conversations. I hope you don't try to size them...;)

September 14, 2010, 08:48 PM
Chrono ???

September 14, 2010, 10:10 PM
Small rifle primers !!!!

Maj Dad
September 14, 2010, 10:11 PM
Lachmiller made other stuff too - don't recall what all, but they used to advertise in American Rifleman & other gunrags. Seems I recall it was all well made... many of those brain cells were lost in a recent, massive die-off... :rolleyes:

September 15, 2010, 10:45 AM
Neat gunshow find.

A company call "Convert-A-Pell" makes a similar product.

Been thinking about getting one in .223 Rem to shoot .22 cal air rifle pellets. The rifle-cartridge versions uses shotgun primers. The pistol-cartridge versons use Large Pistol primers.

September 15, 2010, 04:28 PM
Is it quiet enough to shoot indoors without hearing protection?

September 15, 2010, 04:54 PM
I have seen the 223 version at Cheaper than dirt for about $14 I think. I am going to try making one out of an old 223 brass. The only problem will be the indent in the bottom of the case neck. I am thinking a tight fitting hardwood dowel and an automatic center punch making opposing detentes. I will make the 409 pockets the same way I did for using the wax bullets for the 45 LC fast draw.

September 15, 2010, 05:06 PM
@ Black Talon:

I don't think that you can fire any primer indoors without ear-pro. Even the primer-only .22 rounds made my ears ring when playing in the garage, and that was out of a 16" bolt action, rather than a pistol.

September 16, 2010, 08:31 PM
Yes, I shoot it indoors in the basement 15 and 25 feet. I still use the basic squeeze ear plugs and have the duct fan on exhaust for the primer fouling the air. I also have the convert a pell and the convert a pell is more accurate but you do have to alter your gun to add the convert-a-pell barrel insert to shoot it. I can see a pontential safety issue if someone forgets (you know it will happen somewhere and somehow) to take the barrel insert out and then loads the cylinders or magazines with their normal use ammo and fires with the barrel insert installed.

Jeff H
September 16, 2010, 09:34 PM
The newer version of "shooting in your basement" is Gluelets. <-- Hot glue bullets powered by a primer. Very accurate when shot across the room.

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