RepackboxTitan ReloadingRotoMetals2MidSouth Shooters Supply
Lee PrecisionADvertise hereReloading UKInline Fabrication

Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Here we go again

  1. #1
    Boolit Master FISH4BUGS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Inland from Seacoast New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,343

    Here we go again

    SAECO 45 acp 230gr rn standard GI profile bullet.
    New Sizer die.
    Lathesmith die with top holes open. Others closed.
    Midway heated base. Set the same as thousands of bullets before it.
    Magma Red lube
    I have done tens of thousands of bullets on this Star Sizer before.
    No matter what I do, I can't get this thing to line up with the lube hole and the lube groove.
    For over an hour, I started from the top (punch as far up into the Star body as possible) and turned the punch a tiny bit deeper each time. No dice.
    I measured 1 7/32" to start as they recommend and went up and down from there.
    I am beginning to wonder if this thing has any pressure in it at all.
    Any thoughts?
    Collector and shooter of guns and other items that require a tax stamp, Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master


    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    5,413
    If you take the die out and operate the Star does lube squirt out?
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  3. #3
    Moderator Emeritus


    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Posts
    13,925
    Sometimes, the Star can be frustrating.

    instead of what Dverna says, leave the die in the Star and cycle the Star without boolits, you should see lube squirting through the die lube ports.

    I assume you are familiar enough with your setup, to feel if the heater is heating the die section of the Star?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  4. #4
    Moderator Emeritus


    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Posts
    13,925
    I measured 1 7/32" to start as they recommend
    Who is "they"?

    When I am setting up a new to me boolit, with the Die and Punch out of the star, I measure where the punch needs to be at the bottom of the stroke, so the lube groove aligns with the lube ports in the Die.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  5. #5
    Boolit Master FISH4BUGS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Inland from Seacoast New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,343
    Thanks to both of you. I was so frustrated last time I just unplugged everything and walked away.
    "They" is the Star documentation. Their docs that come with the lube/sizer. I save all those things in a file.
    My heater seemed to be working fine. I took the excess overflow of lube and put it into my flux wax bin.
    I will do 2 things:
    1) relocate the lube holes to the MIDDLE row, not the top row.
    2) Test to make sure lube is flowing.
    I went to the Magma site and noted that I set this die up with the holes on TOP, not the middle. Maybe ....just maybe that might have something to do with it.
    I am vary familiar with the Star but struggle every time I do a new bullet.
    Collector and shooter of guns and other items that require a tax stamp, Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

  6. #6
    Moderator Emeritus


    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Posts
    13,925
    you said "Lathesmith" die. Maybe the hole location is somewhat different than a Magma Die? That's why I asked who is "they"?
    Measuring your die, punch, boolit is the best way to setup a new boolit. The last one I did, it was right on, from the get go, no adjusting.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Carmel, Ca
    Posts
    3,181
    My die came with 21 holes and the top rows were too high for the punch at minimum extension.

    After I changed to middle holes I opened the valve enough to see lube coming out of the holes. I used a nut and bolt like a depth micrometer from the bottom to measure the hole position, added the base of the bullet and set the punch there. A depth micrometer would be handy but all the ones I've seen max at 1 inch and wouldn't work.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master bosterr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Western Pa.
    Posts
    678
    To line up the lube groove to the holes/hole in the die I hold the die with my left hand and pinch the punch and the boolit end to end together with my right thumb and forefinger. I size plain base boolits base first and gas checked ones nose first and use nothing but flat punches. I then move the die/boolit up or down until I line the desired hole/holes and up to where there's about 1/8 inch of the smooth part of the punch shaft above the top of the die next to the threads. I either use a short steel machinist ruler or cut a paper gauge to set the punch depth in the sizer after installing the die as well. I use nothing but Lathesmith dies and punches and his jamb nuts with set screws and keep a punch for each boolit I size. This is about a 5 minute process and almost always get the punch depth set on the first try.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master FISH4BUGS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Inland from Seacoast New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,343
    So here is the problem. I moved the lube holes to the middle - that might have been the wrong thing to do.
    As I write this, I wonder if setting the bullet sizer to the BOTTOM hole might work? The punch has plenty of length to accommodate the bottom lube holes.
    I think I will try that later today.
    As an aside, there is plenty of lube pressure - no question of that!
    The problem with placing the holes in the middle is that the punch depth cannot be set in shallow enough into the die to accommodate the distance between the top of the bullet and the lock nut with the lube holes in the middle. The top holes are definitely out.
    This is a 45 acp bullet with the GI profile. I am itching to try them in the UZI SBR.
    I need a shorter punch or I need to move the lube holes to the bottom row.
    It is 7/10 of an inch (measured with a case length caliper) from the top of the bullet (when lined up with the middle lube groove) to the top of the sizer die, and I simply can't get the punch body to screw into the sizer body deep enough to push the bullet lube groove to the middle holes.
    This punch works just fine on the 44 bullets (H&G # 503) so i guess I need another punch that is not as long. That is one option. The other is I will try to move the holes to the bottom.
    If that doesn't work, I'll call Magma on Monday and see what they say.
    I have to say I HATE the Star sizer......until it gets set properly and then they are the greatest thing since sliced bread.
    Last edited by FISH4BUGS; 11-30-2020 at 07:55 AM.
    Collector and shooter of guns and other items that require a tax stamp, Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

    fivegunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    LOWELL Michigan
    Posts
    652
    How about taking the Nut off, Thats what I had to do one time .

  11. #11
    Moderator



    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Oregon Coast
    Posts
    8,446
    Use the lower set of holes before buying another top punch. It's cheaper, and is the reason for three levels of holes in the dies, other than bullets with multiple lube grooves.

    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.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master FISH4BUGS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Inland from Seacoast New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,343

    SUCCESS!....sort of.

    Well gang........SUCCESS!....sort of.
    I moved the holes to the bottom row, measured 1.1", made the setting on the punch, locked the nut, and VOILA! Perfect ....almost.
    I noted some scratching on the drive bands of the bullet....that comes from the leftover shot remnants in the formerly plugged bottom holes. No problem....I'll just take a 50 cal bronze bore brush and run it through a couple of hundred times. That cleaned up 95% of the scratches.
    At this point I said go for it and proceeded to size/lube 1000 bullets.
    After I did the run of bullets, I had to put in a new lube stick and did the routine except for the spring plunger now somehow has stripped threads. I can't thread the rod to pull it out.
    Gonna have to chase those threads.
    At this point, I am not even going to mess with it. I will send it back to Magma and have them do it. I'll have them go over it anyway, for I bet I have done well over 100,000 bullets on this unit.
    If it isn't one thing it is another.
    The good news is that after all these years, I think I have FINALLY mastered the Star Sizer.
    ....and THAT trumps all.
    Last edited by FISH4BUGS; 11-30-2020 at 09:01 AM.
    Collector and shooter of guns and other items that require a tax stamp, Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

  13. #13
    Moderator Emeritus


    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Posts
    13,925
    I love those moments of success !

    also, regarding stripped threads, be sure to check that the threaded hole in the plunger is not filled with hard Lube.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  14. #14
    Boolit Master FISH4BUGS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Inland from Seacoast New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,343
    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    I love those moments of success !
    also, regarding stripped threads, be sure to check that the threaded hole in the plunger is not filled with hard Lube.
    Nope...the threads on the spring plunger are stripped. Can't get them started no matter what i do.
    Back to Magma!
    Collector and shooter of guns and other items that require a tax stamp, Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master FISH4BUGS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Inland from Seacoast New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,343
    Got a call back from Star. The threads were, in fact, stripped. They chased the threads and replaced a bent arm in the mechanism. I'll get the bill shortly. They are way behind in their production and repairs and will ship when done.
    Collector and shooter of guns and other items that require a tax stamp, Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Carmel, Ca
    Posts
    3,181
    It's a small shop. They had a machine down when I ordered my sizer and it took 2 months. I can only imagine how busy they are now.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3,604
    When I try to figure where a lube groove is going to line up with which row of holes, I use a toothpick. Before I put the die in the sizer I'll stick the pointy end of the toothpick in a hole from the outside so the very tip is extended into the sizing channel. I hope that makes sense. Place the desired bullet against the die so the lube groove straddles the tooth pick. A bit of lube on the outside of the die helps keep things in alignment. Then I place the punch against the bullet base and mark the punch on the entrance side of the die flange with an ultra fine sharpie. As long as the better part of the punch "nose" is in the die your good to go. It's a bit of a juggle till you get used to it. Thumb on the side of the toothpick, middle finger pressed against the bullet and die so the bullet is pinched with the lube groove straddling the toothpick. Index finger is pressed against the threaded end of the punch to keep the business end against the bullet base. Use the other hand to operate the sharpie. I rotate the punch so I get a line all the way around. Sounds hard/complicated but easy with a little practice. Fastest way I've found so far.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master FISH4BUGS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Inland from Seacoast New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,343
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Paso View Post
    It's a small shop. They had a machine down when I ordered my sizer and it took 2 months. I can only imagine how busy they are now.
    That's OK if they are slow. I have plenty of ammo loaded and the 45 acp to load.
    What shortage?
    Collector and shooter of guns and other items that require a tax stamp, Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master FISH4BUGS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Inland from Seacoast New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,343
    Quote Originally Posted by jsizemore View Post
    When I try to figure where a lube groove is going to line up with which row of holes, I use a toothpick. Before I put the die in the sizer I'll stick the pointy end of the toothpick in a hole from the outside so the very tip is extended into the sizing channel. I hope that makes sense. Place the desired bullet against the die so the lube groove straddles the tooth pick. A bit of lube on the outside of the die helps keep things in alignment. Then I place the punch against the bullet base and mark the punch on the entrance side of the die flange with an ultra fine sharpie. As long as the better part of the punch "nose" is in the die your good to go. It's a bit of a juggle till you get used to it. Thumb on the side of the toothpick, middle finger pressed against the bullet and die so the bullet is pinched with the lube groove straddling the toothpick. Index finger is pressed against the threaded end of the punch to keep the business end against the bullet base. Use the other hand to operate the sharpie. I rotate the punch so I get a line all the way around. Sounds hard/complicated but easy with a little practice. Fastest way I've found so far.
    I am going to print that out and try it when my Star returns.
    I will do it with my new to me 25-20 moulds.
    Thanks for the idea!
    Collector and shooter of guns and other items that require a tax stamp, Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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