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Thread: Which lube sizer, and why????

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Which lube sizer, and why????

    I've been using a Lyman 450.
    It's ok.
    I keep on thinking it's going to break something.
    I also have a Lyman 45 and a RCBS.
    Never tried them.
    Had a Star. Sold it. Dies seem hard to find at a price like the Lymans.
    So, of the three, which is better, and why????

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The RCBS is the toughest, in my opinion. They all lube the same, using the same dies, but the 45 isn't for heavy work, and the 450 just doesn't have the leverage and linkage to take the abuse like a LAM does, again IMHO.

    Which is better? It depends on why you say better? I use 45s. I have 5 of them, and 4 of the older No. 1's. I think I can see and handle the boolits better in the old ones, they seem to be a little more "open" in that area for my butterfingers. But I run my boolits through a Lee push thru sizer first, so the lubers only have to lube, not size. There is no stress on them. They should last forever.


    Edit:...... of the three sizers he currently has... they all use the same dies. He asked which one of those was best.
    Read the last line of his post.
    Last edited by Beagle333; 06-13-2018 at 11:45 AM.
    KE4GWE - - - - - - Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    The Star does not use the same dies as Lyman and RCBS. Dies for the Star are easy to come by and price is about the same. Just PM Lathesmith on this forum. The Star is much faster, easier to use, and easier to reload with lube than the RCBS. I only use my RCBS for bullets that I load in small quantities. For anything that I shoot a lot, I use the Star.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    It's just my opinion but for basic lubing it's 6 or two 3's. I have an ancient Lyman, I guess a 45, have used a 450 and have the RCBS. I can't fault any of them. Biggest reason I have more than one is for different lubes, smokeless and BP.

    In a pinch I used the old Lyman for neck sizing cases. Had to jump through a hoop or two but it enabled me to shoot a rifle a lot sooner than the year it took to get loading dies made for a really weird cartridge.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

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  5. #5
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    I bought a used Star sizer on eBay for $125 and I am 1,000 times happier that I was with my Lyman lube sizer. My rate of production is way faster now. Initial set up is a little slow but once she ms running she runs. It’s makes living just as quick as PCing boolits.

  6. #6
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    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    star all the way. Use one once and you wont need an explanation.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    You sold the best one. Not what you want to hear but.......it is reality.

    I got my dies from lathesmith nice quality and fair price.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy daloper's Avatar
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    I love my Star. My uncle gave it to me so I am only out of pocket on the dies. Lathsmith is the go to guy for dies. When I PC I use the Star adapter and dies from NOE.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Lyman 4500 and a Star. The Star is hands down awesome. Nothing else like it that lubes, sizes, and automatically drops boolits out of the die. Boolits are handled once. Drawback is it will deform point nosed boolits on the nose. The 4500 is what I started with, newer linkage that I cant bust. Will do Spitzer style rifle boolits without deforming the nose. Drawback is that you have to handle the boolit twice, putting it in the mouth of the die and taking it out again. I could have sold the Lyman when I got the Star, but figured its paid for, it'll prove useful. It has. Why not just have one of both? Lotsa people say money gets in the way. I don't believe it. How many of us have one gun? One press? Buy a lubesizer. Then buy another. Be happy.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Probably shouldn't have sold the Star, But it went to a good guy.
    I sold it because it's kind of hard to find the dies here.
    Lyman dies all over the place, but none for the Star.
    From the look of them, the RCBS looks the strongest.
    When I have some time, I'll swap out the 450 for the RCBS.
    Would the heater on the 450 work with the RCBS?????
    How come the 45 is for light duty???
    It looks stronger than the 450 to me.
    I used to pan lube with the LEE sizers.
    The Lube sizer is faster.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    BD's Avatar
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    Star, nothing else to say.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by abunaitoo View Post
    How come the 45 is for light duty???
    It looks stronger than the 450 to me.
    The 45 is made from cast iron. The 450 has steel linkage and handles. The 45 will snap a handle or break off a bolt flange before the 450 would.
    But not if you size them in a Lee push thru first, it takes all the stress out of lubing.

    I very rarely hear of anybody breaking a RCBS either though. They are pretty tough.

    Yes, the stars are superior, by far. I have three of them. But they do cost more, by far. And the dies cost more too. Lathesmith makes wonderful dies, I have several, but he does get $47 for a die shipped, and that's without a punch.
    KE4GWE - - - - - - Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  13. #13
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    The Lyman 45 may not be the sturdiest out there, but mine is as old as my mom and still going strong. And i can afford the dies. So its doing something right. I have a Lyman 4500 also. Its definitely more sturdy and works just as good.
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
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  14. #14
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    Hands down, the Star. Sizes more concentrically than the others, when you use it as a nose first sizer. Tapered bullet end, self centers. I use my Star, mainly for rifle bullets. You can run spitzers, nose first, and not deform the nose by using a dedicated pusher bullet.......an undersized flat nose cast rifle bullet. It's an extra step but your noses will thank you.

    The RCBS, my first luber, is used for pistol bullets. Mainly, because I have accumulated many more of their dies. When I'm looking for extreme accuracy, I purchase a Star die from Lathesmith. BTW, I have had to weld the handle on my LAM.........their chintzy spot weld broke.

    Winelover

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    I have a Lyman 45, 450 and a Lam ll. Hands down, the Lam ll is the tool of choice perticularly with WD fodder.

    The 45 I use strickly for 32 caliber. It will handle other stuff but is pretty much dedicated to light duty.

    The 450 I picked up used and have used it to discover it is off center reguardless of how much tweaking I do.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Ed_Shot's Avatar
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    I use a 450 I bought new in 1968. In the last couple of years I installed a new Lyman pressure piston kit and a new Lyman handle kit which were pretty cheap up grades. I believe its good for another 50 years. Did some looking last night and could not find those upgrade kits for the 450 for sale anywhere. Did Lyman stop making them?

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    I currently have a Lyman 45,5 Lyman 450's and a Lyman 4500.More I than I need perhaps but they're set up with different lubes and dies.I haven't had a problem with any of them.They're all strong enough to do what they're intended to do.I can't imagine what I would have to do to break one.The top punches on all of mine line up properly with the sizing die.
    I would call Lyman about the upgrade kits.They aren't currently on their parts website but I have bought them before.You may have to order the individual parts.I bought and installed a couple of upgrade kits but I won't do it for the 450's I have with the old handles.I don't see any advantage personally.

  18. #18
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    I think the Star is the best...especially for pistol boolits.
    but, I do prefer the Lyman 45 for Rifle boolits with GC.
    If I am heat-treating Rifle boolits, I use a lee style push through size die first, then Heat treat, then lube them in a Lyman 45.

    PS, I've owned a Lyman 450, actually I've had 3 of them, I didn't like any of them, I think the linkage/ram is a poor design, and all three of mine were mis-aligned or worn enough, that they were only good for pistol boolits.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    I have a Lyman 450 (very old) and a Star. I use them for different chores, the Star is used for volume runs and the Lyman gets used for the 100 or 200 of this and that. Now, the Star is a much better unit, but I find it a royal PITA to switch to another size. I do use an air pressure piston on the lube chamber and really like that! I do use fairly hard lube that takes heat, so both units have PID controlled heaters.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Walks's Avatar
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    Grew up on a STAR & LYMAN 45. When I started my own reloading setup 43 yrs ago I bought a LYMAN 450. Added an RCBS about 10 years later for Black Powder Lubing. The LYMAN 450 has had a Heater since they came out 25-30 yrs ago when they 1st came out. 10minutes to get the WHITE LABEL LUBE "BAC" warmed & moving, then I unplug it. I've bought replacement parts, but I've never needed them. I have replaced a few O-rings on sizing dies, but that's it. The LYMAN 450 just keeps on going. With never a problem.
    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

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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