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Messages - FOR_Star

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Star Reloaders / Re: New Star Owner with Safety Cam Question
« on: October 16, 2023, 11:36:38 am »
Hey Bruce, what's the clue from Jason's picture that his machine is a Phelps?

I never thought about .45 Colt being too fat to use the safety cam.  In the world of rimmed cases, I've loaded a bunch of .38 Spl & .357 Mags on my Star, but no other rimmed cartridges.  Will .44 Spl/Mag work without modifying the cam?  Will they fall through the hole in a standard 67U bushing?

Star Reloaders / Re: New Star Owner with Safety Cam Question
« on: October 15, 2023, 07:48:35 pm »
The Safety Cam is designed to work with only rimmed cartridges, like .38 Special.  At station #6, no taper crimp die would be in use and part # 67U (Shell Floor Base Bushing) would be required to allow the completed cartridge to fall through the base into a catch bin.  At station #5, both the bullet seating and case crimping operations would take place.  If case crimping separately from bullet seating is desired, then station #6 would be configured as if rimless cases were being reloaded, as described below.

This manner of reloading rimmed cartridges goes pretty fast, even without and indexer.  The #39U Safety Cam will prevent the operator from pulling the handle more than once without indexing the #13 Shell Plate, and allows the finished cartridge to fall downward through #67U and into a container.

When the machine is set up for reloading a rimless cartridge, like .45 ACP, the #39U Safety Cam will not be used, and part # 68U (Shell Floor Base Plug) would be installed in Station 6.  Since a rimless case cannot clear the Shell Plate to fall down through hollow #67U, a solid #68U is installed instead to support the case.  The case must be mechanically ejected or manually removed in order to properly index the Shell Plate after completing an operational cycle of the handle.

Star worked on a uniquely designed Safety Cam that would function when reloading rimless cases, but never put the design into production.  Bruce Williams may have pictures or examples of this different type of Safety Cam.

Star Reloaders / Re: Text Files
« on: July 24, 2022, 11:19:07 am »

Star Reloaders / Lifetyme Two-Stage Carbide .38 Spl Sizing Die
« on: January 31, 2022, 03:53:58 pm »
Some time back, I received a 2-stage carbide .38 Special sizing die as part of a Star parts bundle listing I purchased from an online auction website.
The outside appearance is the same as a "regular" Star Lifetyme .38 Spl carbide die, except for the "2S" marking between Lifetyme and .38 Spl.  This particular die was evidentially originally stamped as a regular 38 die, then restamped with the "2S" and a second .38 Spl marking.  On the inside, the second carbide ring is clearly visible.

A couple of questions for the group:

  • What are the situations or circumstances for needing to use the 2-stage sizing die when loading .38 Special ammo?
  • If there is goodness gained from using the 2-stage die, can/should it be used for loading .357 Mag ammo?

I remember reading long ago that the Star dual-ring ("two-stage") .45 ACP sizing die was a specialty die just for very thin-walled cases.  (Certain Remington cases, I believe.)  I don't recall hearing about when the dual-ring .38 Special die is called for.

Finished Prototype #1 for the M-A Systems Case Retaining Bracket.  Ugly, but functional.
I used aluminum instead of steel, and a #6-32 screw w/washer to hold the wire to the bracket.

Big thanks again to 824TSV (Robert).

Star Reloaders / Re: Dimensions for M-A Systems Eject-Ease Part
« on: January 28, 2022, 10:32:18 am »
Sent email.  THANKS!!

Star Reloaders / Dimensions for M-A Systems Eject-Ease Part
« on: January 27, 2022, 04:21:54 pm »
Could anyone provide the dimensions for the "Case Retaining Bracket" that is part of the M-A Systems' Eject-Ease case ejector system?
It's basically an "L" bracket that attaches to Star part #79U [Shell Base Locating Strap] using a slightly longer than OEM 8-32 screw.

I'd like to fabricate one to use for on my Universals.

Or, if someone had an actual "spare" one, I would be interested in acquiring it.


Loading Data & Reloading Procedures / Re: Tips and tricks
« on: December 19, 2021, 03:53:35 pm »
This applies not only to stars but what ever equipment you also may use.

..............The brass was flared and bullet seated square but it still shave lead every time! I replace my 38 spl seater die with a flat stem 45 acp seating die and it STOPPED.  My bullets seat straight and no longer shave and my over all length is to within .005 with lead cast bullets.

Sounds like you have solved the lead shaving problem, but thought I would share this.

When loading High-Tek coated bullets ( as an example), I started chamfering the inside edge of the case mouths as part of my brass prep. Yes, I know it's a pain in the butt, but it's a one-time thing if you know what cases you have already prepped this way.  [And, I had told myself that I would never chamfer bulk pistol brass. Lied to myself, again.] It does keep from inadvertently scraping through the High-Tek coating when seating or crimping.  I separately taper crimp all semi-auto ammo, but roll crimp at the seating station for all revolver ammo.  I also flare the cases just a little more when loading coated bullets, in addition to the chamfering.

I think your solution has worked because the body of the caliber specific seating die can remove too much of the flare while pushing the case up the die to seat the bullet.  This is not a crimping action, but just squeezing the flare back to near nominal case diameter. I've encountered this even when the seating die is backed off a considerable amount to ensure no crimp is applied. I've thought about trying the next bigger caliber seating die, or having the true seating die reamed out a little bit, but haven't done either.  Just went with the inside case mouth chamfering for now. I also realize that seating and crimping at one station can deform the bullet slightly, or shave a little lead.  I haven't seen enough of a problem on my revolver ammo to change to a taper crimp, and it's mostly "general blasting" ammo anyway.

I have also tried a Lyman M-Die 9MM expander plug (on my Star) when loading 9's.  Never got any happiness using it.  The 9MM cases would bulge or buckle in their mid-section (about 85% would do this).  Trying the M-Die expander in the original Lyman body on a single stage press got me the same unsatisfactory results.  My 9MM M-Die expander plug seems way too long for 9MM bullets, and more appropriate for bullets the length of .38 wadcutters.  Maybe I'll try it loading some .38's on the Star.  Maybe the Lyman 9MM M-Die had the wrong expander plug in it??

Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience and solution. Keep on cranking 'em out!

Star Reloaders / Re: Half the Mounting Holes Drilled Out to 3/8"
« on: September 24, 2021, 02:13:01 pm »
Just replace the base. 
Star Machine Works should have replacement bases.  At least they did when I inquired a few months back.

That is one way.  I'm sure Bruce could fit a new base if I sent it back to him.

Does anyone know if the base is cast aluminum, or is it cast zinc-like metal similar to the powder slide housings?
And, if aluminum, could a welder experienced in aluminum welding close up the holes so they could be re-drilled and countersunk? (obviously, without FUBARing the base)
Bruce and/or Dave, any thoughts?


Star Reloaders / Re: Half the Mounting Holes Drilled Out to 3/8"
« on: September 23, 2021, 03:10:29 pm »
Any thoughts on a somewhat reasonable way to return these two holes to their original dimensions? (1/4" hardware, with countersink)

Star Reloaders / Re: Half the Mounting Holes Drilled Out to 3/8"
« on: June 25, 2021, 04:55:11 pm »
Yeah, those pesky 1/4" machine screws. HaHa

Surprised the OEM Star mounting bolt wasn't a 17/64-28 UNS. (an attempt at a little SMW over-engineered humor)

Star Reloaders / Half the Mounting Holes Drilled Out to 3/8"
« on: June 24, 2021, 03:25:14 pm »
Acquired a new-to-me Star Universal.  Everything looks original and in good condition, but does need a good cleaning, fluff & buff, and lube.
I'm curious as to why a previous owner would drill out the two "front" mounting holes to 3/8".  Has anyone seen a mounting arrangement that needed the front holes opened up to 3/8"? Some sort of quick-disconnect arrangement?

Could make using a Ray-Vin indexer more challenging, I guess.

Star Reloaders / Re: Powder bar designations
« on: May 05, 2021, 06:07:04 pm »
Hey Luis,

This website is a wealth of Star knowledge like no other.

Post some good pictures from various angles and folks here will help, advise, and encourage you in your Star travels.

Bruce Williams is "Da Man" for Star reloaders, both Progressive and Universal models.
Bruce's contact info can be found at:

Welcome to the world of Star.

Star Reloaders / Re: DIY case kicker
« on: April 09, 2021, 06:47:22 pm »
.............You might consider a thin wire like used on the MA Systems Eject-Ease to push the case back in.   It doesn't interfere with the ejection.   Picture attached, let me know if you need a better one.  This is what I had handy.

Bruce Williams

Bruce, how does the thin spring wire ("whisker") attach to the "L" bracket in that setup?

Star History / Re: Bruce Willimans
« on: February 11, 2021, 01:41:44 pm »
Roger that.

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