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Thread: Lube sizers whatís out there?

  1. #1

    Lube sizers whatís out there?

    I have everything pinned as far as my casting equipment goes except the lube sizer. After reading through most( ok a little over half so far) of the ingots to bullets e book. seems the fastest and cleanest way to process boolits for sizing and lubing is a star lubesizer. I looked them up and there a bit on the high side for me so Iím wondering does anyone else make one along the same lines as the star but with a softer price tag? Iíd like to avoid the Lee setup as it looks messy.

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Beagle333's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Back in the woods a piece, just outside Auburn, AL.
    No. The Star is the Cadillac. But you can lube just fine with a RCBS LAM or a Lyman 45/450/4500 as long as your boolits aren't bevel based. Those need more attention in a base-first sizer. If you aren't going to use a LOT of boolits, then you won't need a Star anyway, they are just nice to have.
    KE4GWE - - - - - - Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master DonMountain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    I have used an RCBS LAM-II for 25 years or more, and find it convenient to swap dies and set it up for other bullet sizes if you aren't going to do more than a 1000 or two at a time. If more then that I would prefer the Star. The Lyman 4500 is also almost identical to the RCBS unit I have and works the same way. So, for doing 500 to 1000 bullets of each size and then swapping dies, I would recommend either the RCBS or Lyman sizers. If you are really heavy into one or two calibers like shooting pistol bullets in competition, the I would buy a Star.

  4. #4

    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    The Star is worth the price and holds it's value pretty well. If you can afford it, it is the one to buy.
    with that said,
    the old Lyman 45 does quite well.
    what is your goal for casting/sizing? a few hundred a month? or a few thousand a month?
    The Star is nice when you are sizing thousands of boolits.
    The Lyman does fine if you are sizing hundreds of boolits.

  5. #5
    Right now goals are to fill the 2500 ish 9mm brass and proceed to cast and load everything I have for the dozen+ calibers I reload for. Then shoot everything and start over!

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Elkins45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern KY
    Changing calibers or even bullet styles in the same diameter is more of an effort with a Star. If you see yourself frequently switching sizing dies then the Star may not be for you. Where the Star excels is setting it up and then doing huge runs of the same bullet.
    NRA Endowment Member

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    St. Louis
    In a perfect world, Lyman 4500 for calibers you shoot less, Star for the one or two or three calibers you shoot a ton of. But they have it right above me, Lyman/RCBS for a few hundred of each, Star for a ton of like boolits.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Cecilia, Kentucky
    Economy dictates finding a used Lyman 450 like I have. I bought it here for in the 75.00 range. Full assortment of sizing dies are available and cheap. It may not be a cadillac, but its a solid work truck.
    Last edited by Bazoo; 05-02-2018 at 09:54 PM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    Walter Laich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Cypress, Republic of Texas
    I have a Lyman 450 that I've sized and lubes 10,000s of bullets on.

    Then I discovered powder coating (PC)! cost was $30 for a new cheapest-one-they-had toaster oven at wally world, $13 for lb of Smoke's powder (he has good stuff and is a vender here; he also has sample packs of 4 colors) and a Lee push through sizer--$21. You would also need a #5 recycle container but a cool whip container does nicely.

    there is a bit of learning curve but then most things have one.

    Now I've been doing this for several years but I can cast 18# of lead, PC and size them in 2 hours. These are 200 grain .45 Colt bullets

    either method works but I like the PC cause it doesn't melt off the bullets in our hot Texas Summers
    NRA Life
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    I use the Lyman lube sizers.I bought a 450 new during the late 50's and still use it.Over the years I bought a Lyman 45,two more 450's and a 4500 used.I really don't need that many but use different lubes in each one.If I was buying new I would get the Lyman 4500 with the lube heater.There isn't that much price difference.Used can be found on EBay as long as you pay attention to shipping charges and don't get into a bidding duel.Lyman 45's are hard to get parts for but the pressure screw ans piston are replaceable with parts from the 4500.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    May 2014
    I was in the boat as the OP, and after looking (and missing) on a few good used deals, I got the RCBS on special on Midway. I hope to use it this coming weekend for the first time


  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    May 2011
    When I first started out, I was trying to be as cheap as I could. Thought I could get by with pan lubing and the Lee push through sizers. I very quickly realized that wasn't going to work for me, so I bought a Lyman 4500. It has provided many years of reliable service for me. However, times change and as I get older and my kids get older my time is more valuable to me. I just put in an order for a Star with Magma and sizing dies from Lathesmith. I haven't received either yet, but I sure feel like a kid waiting for Santa Claus to come. You don't have to get the cadillac now, but you might just end up with one down the road.

  13. #13
    I hear ya skeeno my time at the bench is pretty slim with the little one and the wife and all the other obligations life brings thatís why I was hoping to find something like the star but on the cheap

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  14. #14
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    [QUOTE=Elkins45;4360082]Changing calibers or even bullet styles in the same diameter is more of an effort with a Star. If you see yourself frequently switching sizing dies then the Star may not be for you. /QUOTE]

    Anyone who has ever actually used a star sizer would completely disagree with the above statements.

    It take about 60 seconds to swap out the die+punch in a star.

    1. unscrew the punch.
    if you have the punch lock nut that has a set screw (or double nutted) then you don't even have to look for a wrench,
    since the the punches can be screwed in just finger tight.

    2. screw the punch part of the die puller into the ram. (a die puller is about $20 from lathesmith and makes things so easy).
    3. screw the puller rod from the puller through the sizing die into the punch part.
    4. raise ram to remove sizing die.
    5. unscrew the punch part of the die puller.
    6. screw in new sizing punch.
    7. push in the new sizing die using a 1" thick piece of wood or plastic between the ram and top of the new sizing die.


    it took longer to type that in than to actually do it

    In addition, sizing with a star is 2 or 3 time the speed of sizing with a lyman/rcbs/saeco.

    Watch the swapping+selling forum for people selling used star sizers.
    The typically sell quick, but they are out there.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master JMax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    I had a couple Stars setup in 38spl and 45ACP when I was shooting buckets full in ammo. Now I buy pistol bullets as the volume is down to 5000 a year. I shoot a several thousand cast rifle bullets a year but I use a separate sizer for each bullet diameter. I use a Pat Marlins DOCKRocker for my 4 lube/sizers and case trimmer saving bench space. There are 2 LAMII, a LAM and an old Lyman45 all mounted with a Lyman heater on the base plate. I prefer my LAMs and those are my volume rifle bullets. Now setup is to loosen a few screws, pull out one sizer and inset the new one, plug in heater wait a while and start lubing after 15 minutes or so.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    In 1972 I couldn't afford the Star Caddy so I bought the Lyman 450 Chevy. I'm still using the 450 and have yet to replace a single part. I would buy a Lyman 4500 based on the the years of service I have gotten and my bank account .
    I still don't drive Cadillac 1968 Chevelle gets me there just fine.
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

    mold maker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Piedmont (Conover) NC
    Like GW, I've been so satisfied with my original Lyman 450 that it's still in use. I did replace parts to make it a 4500 due to a friends hamhandedness.
    Information not shared. is wasted.

  18. #18
    I too bought the RCBS from Midway. Still on sale and works fine. I made a heater out of a piece of aluminum plate and a cheap wally world iron. Later I got fancy bought a flea bay pid and heater for about $20 total. Drilled the plate and inserted the temp probe and heater and works great. I am at work and have no access or I would post a photo.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    I'm another that started with a Lyman and finally bought a Star. I still own and use the Lyman but the Star gets the call for the stuff that I size and lube in volume. Once you change the dies and top punches a few times there is not much difference in the amount of time that it takes. If you go the Star/Magma route, buy the die removal tool. Lathesmith makes great dies for the Star and also offers a die removal tool.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    marlin39a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Paulden, Arizona
    I've been using the Lyman 450 for over 40 yrs. I have 3 of them. I wish I had bought the Star yrs ago for speed. But these days, my Lyman's suit me fine.

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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