View Full Version : Star sizer dies
07-12-2007, 05:59 PM
I am about to order my star sizer and I am a little confused on how to order the dies because of the lube grooves. One poster advised that I order twice the number of grooves that I need, in case I want to use a different mold. I guess I just plug one set of lube holes if I don't need them.
How do I decide how many lube grooves and how far apart?
07-12-2007, 06:25 PM
Most, if not all star sizers come with at least three lube rows drilled into the die body, each row at a different elevation on the die. You may not need to worry about this, and if pressed for an answer, just tell them you want three rows, at standard spacing.
What you are supposed to do is plug the row(s) that you don't need with #7 1/2 shot. You simply press the shot into the hole from the outside to plug the lube holes you won't need.
For example, the Hensley & Gibbs .38 Wadcutter bullet, design #50, has three lube grooves. So for this bullet, you would not want to block any of the rows, but instead leave them all open for lube to flow into the three lube grooves.
If you suddenly decided to start lubing H&G #51's which have a single lube groove, depending on which way you want to lube (nose first or base first) you would probably want to plug the upper and lower rows with shot and leave the middle one open. You would adjust the punch by screwing it in or out to center the bullet lube groove in the center of the middle row of lube holes that you left open.
But, now that you've blocked the upper and lower row, you won't be able to lube #50's until you remove the shot with a #7 (I think, can't remember) drill bit by HAND DRILLING the shot out.
I avoid this tedious exercise by having two sizing dies for .38. One for #50's, and one for all my other .38 designs that have a single lube groove.
Robert Stillwell of Stillwell Tool & Die (http://www.sizingdie.com/) will make any die you need in any size (within reason) for just about any bullet you want to size. You can send him a sample bullet and if you desire, he can just cut the same number of lube rows, at the same spacing as your bullet sample, to perfectly match bullet and die.
Hope this helps...
07-14-2007, 08:30 PM
If you send a bullet when you order from Stillwell he will set up the die for you!
He's a great guy!
07-15-2007, 01:02 PM
Most Magma dies have 6 sets of holes. If you tell them you have 2 lube grooves they will drill 6 sets of 2 holes, with 3 sets set a little higher then the other 3 sets so that they overlap to allow for different bullets. If you tell them you have 3 lube grooves you will get 6 sets of 3 holes, staggered also. I have a used Magma die in .356 that came with a press, it has 3 sets of 2 holes and another 3 sets of ONE hole for a total of only 9 holes. The more the merrier as far as I am concerned, better chance that they will line up properly. The holes are easy to plug up, just take a 7 1/2 shot and tap it into the hole with a hammer. And they drill out fine, the dies are hardened, not much chance of messing it up. The dies cost the same either way, why not get more holes?
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