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Thread: Why nose down?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    51

    Why nose down?

    Hi, as the subject says, I'm just curious about why most people using the Star sizer feeds it with boolits nose down. I use mine to size .452 200gn SWC (HG68 clone) but I always used base down without any issues. I have a SWC style top punch but I can make other styles on the lathe.
    Besides being able to use a single top punch for almost anything, is there any other advantage by feeding the sizer nose down?

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Moderator



    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Oregon Coast
    Posts
    4,183
    The Star sizers were originally designed to feed the bullets base first, with a top punch that matched the bullet being used, just like you're doing now. The owners of Star resisted any suggestions to use a flat punch for nose first sizing, probably because "we've always done it that way". It was John Paul Jones, a Star distributor, who tried to get Star to change over to the flat punch/nose first sizing, and when they wouldn't, he produced his own flat punches and started selling them himself.

    When Magma bought the rights to the Star sizers, they didn't want to use the fitted nose punches, so they only produced the flat punches. It's simpler to manufacture a flat punch, and eliminates keeping a huge inventory on hand for all the different profiles, and from having to make custom punches for customers.

    I've used both methods on my Star machines, and I have numerous fitted top punches, but for most sizing/lubing, I use the flat punches for nose first sizing/lubing. It's just simpler and handier.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    51
    Thanks Fred, much appreciated!

  4. #4
    To size nose down takes the sizing pressure off the nose, and puts it on the base.
    .
    Nose up sizing puts the pressure on the nose, ..and if you push down on a Lyman size machine handle to hard, the bullet's nose will bulge out, ...just a little, and the loaded round will not chamber,,,

    or the bullet will be bent, at the middle,and bent bullets usually do not shoot straight.

    .
    Better is to just hand lube, and say to hell with size machines, or.. if you must size, do so, .001 over cast diameter, so you only lube but not size..
    .
    And if you must use a crimp on gas check, crimp it on very very carefully.
    .
    .
    Better is hand lube your bullets, and use an old style "Ideal" gas slip on gas check, ...if you can find some.

  5. #5
    Moderator



    Join Date
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    Location
    Oregon Coast
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    4,183
    We're talking about Star machines here, which are a completely different animal than a Lyman, RCBS or Saeco sizer. I have all of them, and the Stars are a much better design, in my opinion, which is why I own ten of them at the present time, in addition to my Lyman, RCBS and two Saeco machines.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    4,673
    I've tried both ways and simply prefer the nose down. As mentioned in nose down the pressure is on the base and not on the nose. Running bullets nose down with a bullet feeder is faster because the bullet seems to line up better with the radius on the die mouth. Its a personal thing I guess some want to go base up and others prefer the base down. For me nose down is best.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Prineville, Oregon
    Posts
    332
    With the Star I can size my favorite .314" 32/20 boolit on down to .309" for use in several 30 cal rifles and still have a good looking, concentric boolit. If I do the same in my Lyman she don't look near as purty. I think this is just because of the natural superiority of nose-first sizing. I like 'em nose first; I'd rather fight than switch.

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    51
    Thanks for the additional comments, I always thought about the Start strictly for pistol / revolver boolits as I never had the chance to cast for rifles.
    About the distortion, I almost always water quench and leave the boolits on a box for a month so they are usually hard enough to prevent distorting the tip. But again, this is for pistol rounds that do not need to be sized down more than 2 thou.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Lenore, WV
    Posts
    2,049
    I have found that placing the boolit on the sizing die is much easier and faster nose down. Then again 95% of my Star bullets are H&G 68 and .358 158gn SWC.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check