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Well - sorta related - at least if anyone reloads and casts too!

I am in ''archive and search'' mode today and remembered this post I made on THR ages ago (18 months) - so it is like many things I post - a sorta ''interest'' deal.

At the end I am posting a quote from Paul which fills in some gaps about him.


I bought this from Paul ''Fitz'' Jones (a THR member and a retired guy who used to make ammo and IIRC dealt with ''Star" loading gear) .. knowing he had one or two left. It is branded Saeco and all steel. It is just what I need. No requirement for any Rockwell or Brinell ratings, just a simple ''relative'' measure, and this it does real well. I believe it went out of production some while ago ... he may correct me on that.

Some pics ........ elegantly simple design and function here. First, the device ready to accept a bullet. The screw thread section on the right, has a machined and stepped set of rebates, which will accept the bases of std cals .. .45, 38 and 30.

The idea is .. open up the gap by unscrewing, place bullet in rebate whilst holding device vertically. Then screw it closed until bullet touches a spike (just visible on first pic - look hard!). After which it can be closed further in horizontal position. The first pic and close-up show starting situation .. and note the vernier scale, which is in two parts, upper and lower.. the upper registering the spike indentation, relative to a collar on the lower scale (can't see that in pic)

Now with bullet in place (a 230 grn Lee SWC .429) ... notice the witness mark is lined up (well, nearly!) with mark on lower vernier scale. Now all that's needed is to find a matching pair of lines with upper scale and lower ... and read off the ''relative hardness factor''... here it is about 5.

If used with LRN bullets, it is suggested that the bullet is first deformed in a vice with a piece of smooth steel over the nose .. to produce a flat area . this enables a better result.

The calibration is based on 0 - 1 being pure lead and the 9 -10 region something like pure linotype.

So, this bullet ... well it is a mix I use which is IIRC about 11:1 lead - tin .. maybe a small amount of antimony because some old recovered bullets mixed in. The benefit I anticipate with this device is at least knowing what a batch of alloy is like .. and try and balance it to previous, so gaining more consistency.

Time has created cheaper products

As the main distributor of the Ca-Saeco products along with Star, C-H and my Fitz Pistol Grips I was concerned at the death of the Saeco owner and the daughter was keeping the company going looking for a buyer. When one came in he started looking closely at every material and product and every movement of the machinists for a way to take advantage of the Saeco good name and selling cheaper quality tools in the materials and workmanship allowed.
Consequently I stocked up on all the original Blanchard Ground blocks and sprues and tools already made in inventory worth many thousands of dollars as I could see that the quality would be going drastically down hill. It did happen and HW shortly went out out of business because I refused to buy any of his cheaper material tools and the company sold to Redding Saeco who continued to make the cheaper made and materials molds and changed the Original Patent Steel tester to aluminum hardness testers.

I had made a thousand burnished Steel original patent lead hardness testers and supervised the use of all my Meehanite mold blocks being cut with the proper diameter bullet cherries and got the last of the fantastically accurate powder measures.

Most everything is sold now since I came on line in 2002 and mostly to Star owners and Bullseye list members. My Steel testers are gone unless I find some more and all I have left of the 965 4 cavity Meehanite Lifetime molds I had made and in inventory when I was injured is less than 175 now. There are very obvious differences that can be described by men that have the old and the current production and you are welcome to ask for a list of what I have left which is 11 out of 55 designs I sold.

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