Kinda, sorta hit the jackpot today, found a 38 spl. an a 45acp Star loaders. Bought the 38 over the phone an thinking strongly about the 45 one, prices were right too.
Guy also has a mint first year S&W model 41 for a good price, like to grab it.
Spent the afternoon setting up the 38spl Star, loaded some with bullkrap bullets, time to cast tomorrow. Also ordered another Lyman lube sizer.
Never used a Star loader. How does it compare to more common loaders?
Like comparing a Rolls Royce to a Yugo.
Got me curious so I checked out a couple videos of them. Look incredibly well-made; the craftsmanship looks awesome. But like a lot of turret presses, they also look slow - or maybe just labor-intensive - compared to what I'm used to. I'm used to auto-indexing and even auto-feeding of brass as well as the powder & primers. (For high-volume stuff like 9mm and .45auto. For magnums, casulls, & such, I still use a single-stage.)
Pull the handle,
rotate the shell-holder table,
manually remove the loaded round,
insert an empty case,
put a bullet on the next case for seating
Pull the handle,
put a bullet in the next case for seating
Not meant as an insult to them - it definitely looks a LOT more refined & well-made than the cheap progressive I mostly use, and will probably have a MUCH higher round-count lifespan. But I like quick & easy where I can get it; at least for low-impact, high-quantity rounds like the 9mm, .45acp & such. A sub-$200 lee progressive is what I've used for those calibers for nearly 30 years now, with little maintenance or down-time. Finally did wear out my original after 22-25 years of use; and the Star looks like it would probably last several times that long.
I took the easy way out when my original one died - for around $500-$550, I bought three new ones factory set up for the calibers I load the most of. So I'm probably set for spare parts for more than a lifetime, even if I do manage to wear out another one.
Thanks for the info on the Star; I've heard the name, but never looked at them before.
There is auto index, case feeders, bullet feeders for the Star and even a motor drive if you want to get real fancy. I am putting auto index an case an bullet feeders on mine. Making a riser so loaded rounds drop out the bottom on the last unused station ( that would be the 45acp taper crimp) (I roll crimp 38) instead of using the chute to catch them.
There is a Company that makes adapters to use Lee case an bullet feeders, if I can't find a Hume feeder I might go that route. Made four more primer tubes yesterday.
One heavy hunk of cast iron an steel, only thing plastic is the powder hopper. Hard to move with my bad back. This one was built in the late 30s or early 40s, well taken care of, looks like new. This model is 38 spl only, can not be converted to another caliber like the later ones.
Star in place..
Photo of BigBassMan's recent acquisition..
And the nightmare bench!
[QUOTE=BigBassMan;270426]There is auto index, case feeders, bullet feeders for the Star and even a motor drive if you want to get real fancy...[/QUOTE]
Set up like that, it would probably be hard to beat. I just refuse to give up my auto-indexing and case feeding. The auto-index thing was part of the reason I didn't go with Dillon when my old pro-1000 died. The one I was looking at (I think the Square Deal, but may have been the 550) didn't auto-index and still cost twice what a new pro-1000 does.
I confess I'm getting lazy at this point; even though I enjoy reloading & casting, I still want it to be easy. Using a quick-change riser mount from inline fabrication and a press set up in each caliber, changing calibers takes only two thumbscrews' worth of effort and less than a minute.
I just discovered inline a year or two ago. Wish I'd discovered them a long time ago. [url]www.inlinefabrication.com[/url]
I have the inline riser an mount for my Lee Classic Turret along with their reverse rotation kit.
Made a 4 1/2 in. riser out of oak today for the Star. Now drops loaded rounds into a bin. Spent primers go into another bin.
45 acp Star loader set up with the Hulme case feeder. One bolt moves case feeder over to the 38 loader. Hust have to set a bullet each pull of the handle. Only thing that slows the operation down is looking at all the cases for S&B headstamps with their odd size primers. If you ever tried to prime one of those dammed things you know what I mean.
Also made a oak 4in. riser for this press. Need a bigger bench! Or a bigger garage. Today going to move the buffers off the bench for a little more room. Would have plenty of room if the two Mustangs were out of the way for the Winter.
Risers are not sanded an stained an varnished yet, FordPerfect is going to do that little job as he watches TV.
[QUOTE=BigBassMan;270729]...Only thing that slows the operation down is looking at all the cases for S&B headstamps with their odd size primers. If you ever tried to prime one of those dammed things you know what I mean...[/QUOTE]
Because s&b uses small for 45acp (like federal sometimes does), or are their pockets just sized badly? I've used some s&b, but not a lot and mostly in 9mm.
S&B is almost always shallow and short on the diameter.
S&B primers are not Small pistol primers but they are a little smaller than a normal primer, even makes it hard to get a primer pocket reamer to start, what a mess if you miss sorting them out. One or two I will ream as I go but I sorted out a whole coffee can full yesterday. 9mm an 38 spl are a different size also. Neighbor (FordPerfect) buys that krap by the truckload since he likes to shoot 10in. groups instead of one hole. Tula is better an their brass case 9 an 45 is nice to work with. Sometime when I have nothing better to do I will mic the primer pockets. Might even try an see what a RCBS primer pocket swager will do. They used to color the primers red, made them easy to spot but they stopped doing that so now have to put glasses on an look at each one of the dammed things.
Another Star arrived the other day thanks to Bruce at Star Machine Works. 9mm this time. Loaded a few hundred rounds to get it broke in. Have installed the four tube case feeder an loaded round ejector Now just need to get busy an cast about a zillion bullets, picked up a couple of 6 cavity molds, should chain a neighbor to the chair an let him do it! Stars make a coffee can of bullets disappear in no time.
Case feeder not attached in above pics.
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