View Full Version : New Star Owner
03-06-2006, 09:32 PM
I recently did a swap for an old, little used Star lubrisizer and four sizing dies, along with 3 sets of Lyman moulds and two mould handles.
I got the sizer set up in my loading room today to try it out.
Quite a change for someone that has been using Lyman 450's for the last 34 years. This sizer has apparently sat around a lot, I had to heat it up with a blow dryer to get the congealed lube moving, it was hard as a rock.
Hopefully one of you has some experience with these sizers and can add to my knowledge, here are my first impressions:
Filling with lube is easier than the Lyman, there is no center rod to mess with, and I always use my own homemade 50/50 Alox 2138 and beeswax. When I mix it up, I pour it into a cake pan rather than forming tubes.
I've read that the dies are a pain to change, I don't think it's any worse than the Lyman method. At least you don't have to wrestle with that fine threaded cap that the Lyman uses to hold the die in place.
I don't like the fact that the lube holes have to be plugged to suit the style of boolit. I cast a dozen different .45 caliber boolits.
It is certainly faster than the Lyman sizer...I'd guess three times as fast.
My next project is to make some sizer dies for it. I make all my own Lyman dies, and these don't look like they will be too tough to duplicate.
03-07-2006, 03:48 AM
Let us know how you come out on this deal. My brother found "such a deal" on a used Star for me, too. Comes with a heater and a bullet shuttle. I don't know what the bullet shuttle is. Any ideas? What is the best source of dies for these? I will need a .411 and a .358 as a minimum.
Thanks for any help you can give.
03-07-2006, 06:47 AM
Bodydoc--they have size dies here- http://www.magmaengineering.com/ Nick
03-07-2006, 08:14 AM
I think a bullet shuttle is the tube that auto feeds bullets to the sizing die.
The dies are a little pricey, $35 each from Magna. Not a problem for me, as I said I plan to make some soon.
03-07-2006, 09:21 AM
Thanks, guys. I will have to await delivery in May to see what the whole package deal is. It is supposed to have .44 caliber stuff with it but I'll have to wait to see what else is in the box. Guess the Mrs. will have built in shopping lists for the next couple of cycles of birthdays, etc. to accumulate all the accesssories.
03-08-2006, 05:37 AM
454PB - If you make your own sizing dies, you can put in what holes you want. For me, plugging holes I do not need works great. Robert Stillman also makes great dies.
Tip - for setting up the base punch. Lay your bullet next to the sizing die on your bench, line up the lube grooves with the lube holes in the die, measure the distance from the bullet base to the top of the die, subtract that from 2 inches, =X. Install die and base punch in Star. Set base punch X measurement above top of sizing die. Then keep a record for future use.
03-08-2006, 08:39 AM
Thanks, Cherokee. There are instructions for that in the PDF file I downloaded from the Magma web site. By the way, you should read that set of instructions, they are a riot. If I didn't know better, I'd swear they were written by the same people that write the instructions you receive with a Wal-mart watch made in China. Full of misspelling and critical words missing, etc.
FYI when ordering dies from Magma you can have as many or as few lube holes as you llike.
03-09-2006, 02:21 PM
When ordering from Magma Engineering, you can also send them some of your unsized bullets, and they will give you a die with the holes in just the right places, and which sizes your bullet (using your alloy) to the size your specify.
03-09-2006, 08:05 PM
A new Star owner. I heard the Ambrose family was trying to give him away to include paying the shipping.
03-12-2006, 11:51 AM
I recently cast some bullets in .44 and .45 caliber the other day, finally had a chance to try out the newly acquired Star luber-sizer. :castmine:
After much nose goo and cursing my inability to bring the lube holes to line up on the two bullets lube grooves, then fianlly succeeded.
Also had to get familiar with the handle pull that activates the lube lever squirter, just how much pressure on the handle where it begins to do the squirting. It doesn't take much pressure to do the job.
Now I'm rocking and rolling with dispatch, its alive, ITS ALIVE! And working great.
So far haven't had to punch some #7.5 lead shot into any lube die holes, hope I don't have too...will have to buy a brass hammer if I do.
I have lube dies in .355, .356 and .358; they came with the Star lube sizer. Probably won't use those much if ever.
But the .429, .452 and honed out .451 to .454 will get a lot of work out.
I may have to order a .430 lube die down the road, but not sure yet. Will shoot some of these .429 bullets soon I hope...if the freaken snow ever moves on...can't get into our shooting ranges yet. :violin:
03-12-2006, 01:01 PM
Yup, it takes a little experimentation to get everything set, but is worth the effort once you get rolling! Make sure you measure and write down where you ended up :-)
A piece of brass rod would probably do the job of poking the lead shot in if needed. I agree with you, I'd rather not put shot in the lube holes. My Star also came with .429, but I've had such good results with .430, I'm going to hone it out. Another die is .308, which I'll hone out to .310.
03-12-2006, 07:47 PM
Yeah, probably me too, on getting the .430 diameter lube die from some place for my gascheck bullets.
I can always swage a hollow base on my .429 bullets if I need to.
Right now, I'm having better luck just warming up the lube in the Star with a hot air blow dryer rather than turning on the heating element attached to the Star luber's base.
Whatever the red lube in there is not the rock hard kind, seems to warm up quite easily.
03-12-2006, 08:14 PM
I built a sizer heater for mine the other day. I works great, but I'm not quite done with it. Once it's finished, I'll post some pictures. I've always used a hair blow dryer, but this is quiet and thermostatically controlled. I checked it with my infrared heat gun and it holds 150 degrees.
I think Magma wants $90 for the heater, mine is built out of junk parts and cost zero $.
03-13-2006, 06:03 AM
That sounds really cool, hope you put a thermostat control on it so the Star lube don't get too hot on ya.
I wonder if my Star heater could be adapted with a thermostat control, I'm not an electrician. What is the ideal lube temperature for one of these gadgets.
Those Star instructions from MAGMA are indeed interesting. I came to the exact same conclusion as you. Either that machine is made in China or the the writer went to China for training on how to write instruction sheets ! :) :)
I have been looking for an older Star without any success. I guess I will break down and buy a new one.
03-13-2006, 08:43 AM
GLL, after seeing the prices on ebay for used Star lubers, you might as well buy a new one.
Some fellows only like the older models made in San Diego, seem to think they are made better. I have no idea if this is true or not.
Find out what kind of warranty comes with a new one from Magma Engineering in AZ before you order.
Go to ebay reloading stuff, type in Star, should bring up auctions on their line of stuff. They sell auction new and used, but prices are really high.
These rigs require quite a bit of tinkering to get use to how they work, but well worth the trouble in learning experience.
GLL you'll be happy with a new one. I own 2 old and 2 new. They are all great. When it comes to speed, they are so far ahead of anything else manually operated you'll feel you recouped your money after a couple of months. HEE HEE
03-13-2006, 10:11 AM
There is one on Ebay right now with 4 dies and punches. Current bid is $145.
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