View Full Version : I Think I'm Ready To Bite The Bullet

03-26-2005, 11:18 PM
I think I' ready to dump my Lee sizers and get a lubisizer. I've about decided to get the RCBS or Saeco over the Lyman. It seems the Lyman has too many problems. I don't do enough to warrant a Star. I am looking for any input on the one to get.
I am also looking to get a good .44 mag hunting and plinking mould. I am thinking of a Keith type, either plain base or gas checked. Again, looking for recommendations.

03-27-2005, 01:09 AM
Bigscot--Having only used Lymans and RCBS lubers,I cant comment on the other brands. If for no other reason than the fabulous warranty,I'd go green--RCBS between those two. I do think the RCBS holds pressure better. The dies between the two interchange. If you get the newer RCBS,the lube pressure is from a toggle handle. The Lyman and the older RCBS both used a small ratchet to give lube pressure. I much prefer the ratchet. I did convert my newer model RCBS to ratchet. It is not a simple matter of exchanging the bolt---they dont fit. I did contact RCBS--and this is confirmation of what I said about their warranty. I told them I did prefer the old style ratchet. They sent(no charge) a ratchet and a new bolt that I could convert. My gunsmith/friend used his milling machine and milled a hex that the ratchet fit. I guess a guy could do it with a file and hacksaw,but it was much more professional looking than what I could have done by hand. I like it a lot better with that conversion.

03-27-2005, 10:18 AM
Bigscot, I have a Lyman #450 & an RCBS and frankly they're practically share the same body casting. However, the die retaining nut on the RCBS is larger with coarser threads so you're not as likely to cross-thread it as with the Lyman. Then too, you can't go wrong with RCBS's lifetime warranty: Go with the RCBS & look for a deal on eBay. ...Maven

Sky C.
03-27-2005, 03:46 PM
Big Scott-

I'm a faithful user of the SAECO and wouldn't change now because I have so much invested in DIES! The Saeco sized bullets come out shiney like a mirror - testimony to the excellent finish they receive. The sizer itself is of good quality too but the blasted dies can eat you alive. They run $25 a whack (new) and if you shoot a number of calibers and want to have the option of different sizing dies to try... In that regard - if I wasn't already so far into this Saeco gear - I'd surely consider the RCBS. They DO stand behind their product.

Best regards-

SKy C.

03-27-2005, 09:56 PM
Bigscot...I'm voting with Maven. Get an RCBS sizer with a Lyman sizer die. I've had better luck with Lyman sizer dies for some reason.

On the mould, you'll not beat the 429421 or RCBS equivelant in the .44 Mag./beagle

03-27-2005, 11:37 PM
I do it the hard way now. I push Felix lube into the grooves with my fingers and run the boolits through a Lee sizer, Cheap and straighter boolits. I can have 100 done before I set up and change dies in my RCBS. No worry about adjusting dies or boolits sized too much on one side. I love those darn cheap sizers. :lol:

03-28-2005, 12:47 PM
I do it the hard way now. I push Felix lube into the grooves with my fingers and run the boolits through a Lee sizer, Cheap and straighter boolits. I can have 100 done before I set up and change dies in my RCBS. No worry about adjusting dies or boolits sized too much on one side. I love those darn cheap sizers. :lol:

44man, I was wondering about doing this in a post on the old site. What bullets are you using? I have tried it with a Lee 150gr .30 cal mould and it seems as though the lube does not stick to the bullet well enough to work. Which brings me to another question. How much has to be on a bullet for it to work?. Do all the lube grooves need to filled full? I have made but not tried FWFL for this reason. I may be under the wrong impression but judging from the commercial cast bullets I have bought, the bullets have all the lube grooves full of what looks and feels like a hard lube. Do some bullets work better with hand lubing than others?

03-28-2005, 01:38 PM
Bigscot---I know hand made biscuits are better than canned biscuits. Home made bread better than store bought. Hand made home made bread is better than bread machine home made bread. I know a lot of Mexican men here boast that their wife makes home made tortillas vs store bought. (I can't tell that big a difference in the tortillas). You may be right that hand lubed bullets are better? Even though I like home made bread better--I have to settle for store bought. Even if hand lubed bullets are better--I'll stick to my RCBS luber. BTW--what kind of bread do you eat and what kind of biscuits? Go to www.castpics.net and look under recipes and find Carpetmans biscuits and give them a try. Bet you will think thats more worthwhile than hand lubeing bullets.

03-28-2005, 08:34 PM
Bigscot, I do it to all of my cast boolits. I fill the grooves and there is a lot on the outside of the boolit too. Pushing them through the Lee sizer removes the excess lube. I don't really size my boolits and the sizers are oversize. Any that do need sizing come out more even from the Lee sizer then they do from my RCBS. The Lyman I had also sized more on one side then the other. I think there is too much flex in the lube-sizers.
I made brass tubes to remove excess lube from my BPCR boolits the same way without sizing.
A hard lube is no good at all in revolvers. Felix lube is soft and sticky and is easy to rub into the grease grooves. LBT magnum lube is also very good. LBT blue is good but too hard to hand lube, anything harder is no good at all. Read Linebaughs notes on lube where he say's hard lube is only good for crayons. I found that out years ago before I found Felix lube. I use no other and praise Felix every day. Easy to make and cheap. Go to castpics and join me in praising Felix. :D :D

03-29-2005, 03:59 AM
44Man---Go to castpics and praise felix. Hmmm--he hangs out here so why go to castpics? Besides you might give him the big head and ruin him. Nah---he's had this celeb status since 1998 and it aint ruined him.

03-30-2005, 02:14 AM

If I found myself in your position, that is, without a lubrisizer, and not doing the volume for a Star, I'd go for the Saeco! :)

Great quality, and you only buy the sizer once for each size. If you size a quantity, you have the answer!

I, unfortunately, have way too much invested in the Lyman/RCBS setup. :?

03-30-2005, 08:17 AM
44man,rather than get yer fingers stickey with lube have you used a lube cutter? i use a pie pan to lube with.stand up 50 bullets,melt enough lube to bring the lube up to the desired level and cut the bullits out with a lube cutter.after lubing you can size in your lee sizer.the next 50 bullits go in the same holes.wave a torch or heat gun over the lube .let cool and cut out the next batch.i dont size bullits unless they won't chamber.in my marlin 1894 the larger bullits seem to work better.as for lube i use industrial stick wax. it is used for drilling,sanding,spinning,sawing.it comes in a cardboard tube.it is a high pressure lube.i use it for all my cast bullit loads,low and high velocity in my ruger sbh and my marlin 1894.do not have any problems with leading at all.this is much cheaper than commercial lube.this is a firm to semi-hard lube.

03-30-2005, 08:31 AM
For a mould I'm completely happy with my two 4 cavity L-429421 moulds. Some aren't so I'd suggest the Ballisti Cast #1103 bullet. Bruce and the guys will work with you to give the diameter you wish. Great moulds.

03-31-2005, 12:04 AM
My two-cents says RCBS simply because of their warrenty. I picked my RCBS up at a yard sale. It had one bad part I sent to RCBS got a new replacment part and a new set of o-rings free.

For 44 cal plinkers you can't beat the full wad cutters. If you act fast Lee is surplusing both the dual and 6 cavity 44 caliber full wadcutter molds. Once their gone their gone, don't wait. Lee is also surplusing the 44 cal 214gr round nose 6-cavity for a mear 25 bux. Not my favorite bullet style but it is dirt cheap and works well in my Rossi lever action where the 208gr wadcutter has a tendancy to hang up. Both slugs shoot apx the same at plinking ranges with mild loads and I don't have to mess with the sights. For plinking ammo I don't pay much attention to the mix usually straight wheel weights or whatever scrap I have on hand. For serious 44 mag shooting the Keith style gas check is hard to beat, the harder the mix the better.

Don't dump the Lee equipment, it comes in handy if you're in a hurry and just want to do a few. I still use my Lee sizers if I'm using tumble lube to drive the lube into the grooves.

04-12-2005, 10:04 PM
I have two SAECOs which I bought used one on the net and one in a gun shop. This way I can run two different lubes. one home made and one store bought. I find them to be great but I have no comparrison other than my Lees which I use with tumble alox. I do wish the dies were as cheap as the rcbs/lyan dies. My advice is this, if you need but a few dies, go SAECO if you need a bunch go RCBS/Lyman. JB

04-21-2005, 02:45 AM
I've had nothing but bad experiences with Lyman products (including a model 45 I had to get rid of). Subsequently I now avoid all things orange like the plague. I have a RCBS lubrisizer that works fantastic. The Saeco looks a good unit too , but heed JBMauser's advice concerning the dies issue.

04-30-2005, 01:06 AM
I have had a lyman 450 for years no complaints, I got a rcbs recently in a good ebay deal & it also works great... by the by there are several lyman 450's on ebay 2 are unused ?? might check it out JD

04-30-2005, 04:23 PM
Just wondering if you purchased a lubersizer? I like the Star if you're doing any volume at all. I must lube thousands of bullets and while I do most my 429421's on an auto machine I still use two Star's a lot. I've heard the bullets won't be quite as accurate as those sized in a Lyman or RCBS but because of the number we shoot, I wouldn't consider anything else.

05-01-2005, 09:44 PM
I have not bought a lubrisizer yet. I opened up a .429 Lee sizer to .431 and have tried pan lubing with FWFL for now.This is was I shoot most in cast. I am going to see how this works first. For the amount of cast I currently shoot then I will stick with this. If I do get one then I will get either a Saeco or RCBS.


05-03-2005, 09:17 AM
I only use my Lymans for lubers and I size in a seperate operation in push through dies. As a consequence my Lyman 45 has lasted for more years than I have been alive and still does the job. If I were going to buy a new unit I would go with the Star for down and dirty go to it work. You can just abut double your bullet output with the Star over the RCBS or Lyman. I would like to try a new 4500 and see if they are an improvment over the old orange.

05-03-2005, 12:19 PM
I bought a Lyman 45 in 1958 and it is still a good functional machine today. I also own three Lyman 450s and they all give good service. I have had a couple of glitches over the years with these machine, but every time it was my fault. Either I wasn't paying attention or I was asking the machine to do something for which it was not designed.

I keep one 450 filled with my own home brew, one with Felix and one with beesway/moly grease combition. I avoid store bought lubes like the plague. Don't get me wrong, I am certain there are some fine lubes out there, it is just kinda unseemly to buy lube. Makes it sorta hard to look fellow hard core boolit casters in the eye.

05-30-2005, 06:37 PM
Maybe I should have posted this one myself but why is a lubisizer better then the Lee die set up. I am new to this and am thinking about getting the Lee sizer die.


05-30-2005, 06:49 PM
Maybe I should have posted this one myself but why is a lubisizer better then the Lee die set up. I am new to this and am thinking about getting the Lee sizer die.


There is a difference of opinions on whether it is or not. You won't know which side of that equation you're going to fall on till you try one or both of them. I use the Lee system. It is faster, less labor, and much cheaper. You can buy a Lee sizer for what, $15? Even a used Lyman 450 and one sizing die and one top punch is going to cost you a $100. Check your catalogs for prices. If I were in your shoes, I'd spend the $15 and give it a try. Then, if I didn't find that satisfactory, I look for a used Lyman or RCBS.

05-30-2005, 07:10 PM
Scrounger is right. See, me on the other hand, disagrees as to the lee being easier to use. Simpler, yes. Here's a senario for the Lyman type luber sizer. You take a bullet (put a gascheck on it if it is of that type) put it in the sizer, pull the lever up down, it's done. Lubed and sized. Aha, no so with the Lee. You see the problem I find (well one of a few) is lubing. You either have to pan lube, which to me is a pain in the butt, or rub the lube in with your finger...messy job there for sure. They you size it and it's done. For the difference, which I don't believe exists (with having a good Lyman or good RCBS luber/sizer) accuracy is suppose to be the thing with folks using the Lee. They claim it doesn't bend the bullets like the Lyman type. Can't prove that by me. So I'll stick with and am very happy with my Lyman. I only have one Lee sizer and that is for my 8x56R M95 Steyr, which takes an oddball size sizer that, so far, nobody makes, except Lee. Someday I'll get around to honing out a .325 Lyman sizer die to fit my need for that particular gun.


05-31-2005, 02:33 PM
I really like The Frugal Outdoorsman web site on the way he Casts 30-30 boolits. He uses the Lee outfit and has great results. Hi put the Lee lube in a baggie and then coats the boolits. Looks like it is easy to do.



05-31-2005, 04:08 PM
I really like The Frugal Outdoorsman web site on the way he Casts 30-30 boolits. He uses the Lee outfit and has great results. Hi put the Lee lube in a baggie and then coats the boolits. Looks like it is easy to do.



I've done it that way, but it evolved into using a plastic cup that margerine or cottage cheese comes in.

05-31-2005, 06:05 PM
My learning curve was steep but short.

I started casting when my bride and I were seized by a passion for shooting Bullseye Pistol competition back in the late '60s, using .45 Gold Cups as the match centerfire guns. Living a LOOOOONG way from any sources of supply in the Northwest Territories, I began by using what was available for the first little while, and this happened to be a borrowed Lyman 310 hand tool in .45 ACP, and linotype alloy.

EVERY SINGLE BULLET had to be driven by hand throught the 310's sizing chamber, after having its lube grooves squoooshed full of some horrible unknown lube by my fingers, and those were HARD damned bullets!. They came from a single-cavity 452374 RN mould, cast from a pan on the kitchen range. Wife and I needed 180 such bullets EACH to shoot a match, and that of course doesn't include a much higher need for practice ammo. A single-stage Spartan assembled the loads.

It didn't take long before a #45 lube-sizer came by mail, and the Spartan bolted to the kitchen counter was replaced by my (still-active and wonderful) All-American turret press, and the frying pan on the stove morphed into a SAECO bottom-pour furnace. Then came a 4-cavity 452389 mould...nasty design for feeding. It all took less than a year, IIRC.

I think perhaps my still-obvious fixation on production is rooted in those painful early days. Getting through that purgatory is either a testimony to my determination.... or ample evidence of my outright bullheadedness.

Anyway, the lube-sizer allows me excellent production rates along with the ability to select bullet diameter quite accurately. My ol' #45 was sold off long ago, and I now have a pair of #450s, which are better machines in my experience. One is filled with FWFL and the other with SPG at this time. If I hadn't had such an investment in Lyman/RCBS die sets, I'd probably have tried a SAECO before now, but it's just not practical considering the number of dies I have that won't fit the SAECO.

Efficiency matters to me! When casting, the ONLY thing I inspect is the easily-visible bullet bases. Actual inspection of the complete boolits is done while lube-sizing. I run an inspected bullet down into the sizer and tweak the pressure wrench while picking up the next bullet for inspection. This allows a few seconds for the bullet in the die to get its lube, and then it is lifted out and the freshly-inspected bullet is sized in its turn. BOTH hands are used...one takes out the lubed bullet, the other puts in the new one, and then one hand works the luber handle while another bullet is picked up by the empty hand. In this way, I suspect my lube-sizing/inspection processes at least ten bullets per minute....I haven't actually timed the routine, though. That would probably include the hand-seating of the gaschecks, if such are being used.

I find that a Wal-Mart magnifying-lens flexible lamp really helps with inspection. This light only cost about ten bucks, and is rapidly making itself invaluable on my bench for many different functions. Imperfections are painfully obvious under the lens!

A lube-sizer is simply the ONLY practical way for me to turn out the numbers I need. Push-through sizing, which I do on rare occasions, is far too slow for ME, because it involves handling every bullet a number of times, and that impedes my rate to a large degree. I'm thinking about adding another #450 to the collection, too.