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What's with Herter's?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by cdbeaver, Oct 29, 2003.

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  1. cdbeaver

    cdbeaver Member

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    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.
     
  2. einnor1040

    einnor1040 Member

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    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.
     
  3. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  4. stevesmith7

    stevesmith7 Member

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    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.

    Steve
     
  5. 444

    444 Member

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    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.
     
  6. JA

    JA Member

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    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.
     
  7. Turk

    Turk Member

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    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.

    Turk
     
  8. 44and45

    44and45 Member In Memoriam

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    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.

    44and45
     
  9. 44and45

    44and45 Member In Memoriam

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    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
     

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    Last edited: Nov 9, 2003
  10. Adventurer_96

    Adventurer_96 Member

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    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.
     
  11. stevesmith7

    stevesmith7 Member

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    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 :)

    Steve
     
  12. 44and45

    44and45 Member In Memoriam

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    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.

    44and45
     
  13. 44and45

    44and45 Member In Memoriam

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    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.

    44and45
     

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  14. HankB

    HankB Member

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    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.
     
  15. rsfrost

    rsfrost Member

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    Where might one find bullet sizing dies and top punches for old herters sizer lubber?
     
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    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.

    rcmodel
     
  17. MMCSRET

    MMCSRET Member

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    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.
     
  18. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    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.

    NCsmitty
     
  19. Dynamite Rabbit

    Dynamite Rabbit Member

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    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...
     
  20. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "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.
     
  21. WNTFW

    WNTFW Member

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    I saw some "Herters" branding in conjunction with Cabelas recently.

    I remember the catalogs. "Model Perfect" and they had a crest I think.
     
  22. avan47

    avan47 Member

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    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.
     
  23. AKCOP

    AKCOP Member

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    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.
     
  24. TooTaxed

    TooTaxed Member

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    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.
     
  25. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    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
     
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