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Thread: Star Lube-Sizer Bullet Feeder Alternatives

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    72

    Star Lube-Sizer Bullet Feeder Alternatives

    I use a Star Lube-Sizer to size my Hi-Tek coated boolits but Iím looking to speed up the process. If it makes a difference, mine is an older model and I have no additional options on my press (no heated base).

    Magma lists the bullet feeder option at $125. It looks like a pretty simple device and Iím wondering if there are any alternatives to buying a new one.

    My eventual goal is to automate the process but this the first step. (I tried searching for this info but all I get is actual bullet feeders, aka Mr. Bullet Feeder)


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  2. #2
    Moderator



    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Oregon Coast
    Posts
    4,056
    I've got bullet feeders on four of my Star Sizers, and I've got another six of them without bullet feeders. To tell you the truth, in my mind, it's six to one and half dozen to the other as to which method is faster.

    With the bullet feeder, the actual sizing is much, much faster, but when you factor in the time it takes to fill tubes, I think it's pretty much a wash. I have enough tubes for .38/9mm size bullets to put just over 1,000 bullets into tubes before I start sizing. Even with the trays I made to align the bullets before putting then into the tubes, it still takes quite awhile to get all those tubes filled up.

    For .44/45 bullets, I've got enough tubes for about 700 plus bullets, and even with the larger bullets, it still takes quite a bit of time to fill them up. The speed of sizing without a bullet feeder also depends on the bullets being sized, as some bullets are easier to pick up and orient than others. A short, fat bullet is like picking up marbles, and a smaller bullet (.380 and .32) are harder to pick up, but a longer bullet is easier, at least for me.

    Short of a collator that will consistently orient the bullets the way they need to be fed (nose down, or nose up), to me I've found that it takes pretty much the same amount of time either way, hand feeding, or tube feeding. That's not to say that I don't use the bullet feeders, because I do. I can fill tubes while watching the talking heads on what used to be called "news", if I feel like lugging a box of 1,000+ bullets, and the tubes, upstairs to where the TV is. Then when the tubes are filled, I lug them back down to the shop and start sizing/lubing. It all depends on my mood sometimes......

    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 Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    72
    Again, this is just the first step. I'm definitely adding a collator... I've got a MBR gathering dust and I'm currently building a 3D printer to print a collator. My only issue is the nose down aspect.

    I generally cast 45 pound batches of boolits and then Hi-Tek coat them (Three fifteen pound batches fit my process nicely). The part I dislike the most is running them through the sizing die so I'm looking to "streamline" it a bit.

    Magma wants $125.00 for the bullet feed option and another $30.00 for a mounting plate (again, I don't have a heated base to mount the bullet feeder to). With my luck and the day after I place the order for the bullet feeder, I'll discover a thread where casters are building bullet feed options for twenty bucks.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    2,853
    It is possible to build a ramp out of PVC pipe that directs the bullet to the Star. Pick up a handful of bullets, use thumb and forefinger to orient bullet and drop it onto the ramp. This prevents getting your fingers caught in the sizer. It is the fastest way to it. ReloaderFred is correct about the tube system being of little advantage. To make the Magma feeder worth the cost, you need to have a collator.

    Here is a link to what one guy did. He made his own collator and feeder and it is not difficult. I would use HDPE for the feeder if I was going to do it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbzubR3qVeg

    And another

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3IipNQOoTI
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    72
    Thanks... That's what I was looking for. Two entirely different approaches but in the end you're just moving a bullet over a couple inches.

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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