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Topics - Manuel

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Was the Super Star 223 Conversion kit designed for the Progressive model reloader or the Universal reloader or does it fit both?

Don't see this scale for sale used very often and one is available now on ebay.  Would be a top end scale for a reloader (this is the one I use that I like very much).  Do a search in ebay for Mettler PL83-S or look up on the web for a description.  Note that a 50 gram calibration weight does not come with the scale and must be purchased separate (the standard reloaders weights in 50 gram size are not accurate enough to calibrate this scale).

This is not my item. 

Anyone else using this scale?  Any opinions?

These numbers may be of help for anyone planning on using adjustable powder slides for A2230 rifle powder.  Both slides mentioned below were made by Rich Daniels (Barrel Tester name on this forum) for the Star reloader although the conclusions should apply to any adjustable slide the same size.

The inch powder slide adjusted to a perfect circle  (7/16 inch) throws 18.7 grain A2230 with a variation from 18.6-18.8 grain.  The 5/8 inch powder slide adjusted to a perfect circle (7/16 inch) throws 21.5 grain with a variation too small for my scale to measure a range.  Both of these amounts are smaller than the usual minimum charge for reloading 223 Rem with A2230.

Opening up the hole in the inch slide sufficiently with the adjustment screw to throw 26.4 grain gave a variation from 26.2 to 26.6 grains.  The 5/8 inch slide adjusted for a average throw of 25.1 grain gave a variation of 25.0-25.2. Note that as the hole is elongated by the adjustment, it becomes longer than the hole in the powder base housing and cover plate and as a consequence, there is more variation between throws.

Each of the preceding represents data for 5 throws.  The throws had to be very slow toward the end of the handle upswing or powder in the powder spout tube spilled out when the tube was withdrawn from the cartridge opening for the larger throws.  This was little to no  problem with spillage for the smaller throws listed for each size slide and not a problem for the large or small throws once I learned to slow down!

Because there is less variation for the larger loads when using the 5/8 inch powder slide, I would suggest that reloaders  planning to load A2230 in that range use the 5/8 inch powder slide although if the variation is acceptable in the higher loads or a lower load such as 22.5 grains is used, the inch slide will work fine. 

Hope you can use this.

Star Reloaders / Recutting 223 Rem standard RCBS dies for Star 11/16-24
« on: October 26, 2009, 11:22:15 am »
Dave Wilson (aka fc60 here on Starreloaders) took on the project of recutting a RCBS 11101 F.L. Die Set in 223 Rem for the Star toolhead with 11/16-24 die holes.  He did this as a one time project, noting that the RCBS dies were "difficult to machine."  The case hardened thickness of the rifle dies was .015 to .020 inches and that just to get through this hardened layer "ate up several carbide inserts".  He reported however that machining was straight forward once the hardened surface was removed.

The attached pictures attest to the skill of his machine work and he understands the clearances necessary for a die in a Star reloader.

He used as a initial guide the measurements I posted for modifying a set of Dillon standard 223 dies for a 7/8-14 hole head that are posted under "Reloading 223 Rem on Star" here in this forum.

I set the dies up using adapters to reduce the 7/8-14 holes in my toolhead to 11/16-24 to check for clearances.  If the pictures don't look quite right, you are probable seeing the thin knurled ring of the adapter.  It is close but as can be seen in the pictures, there is ample clearance for both the sizer and seater dies.  

Perhaps some others using this website can detail their experience using a commercial machine shop to make a part for their Star reloader.  I started this when I couldn't find a expander mandrel or powder measure spout for 223 Rem that was cut for the Star reloader.  Since I had a tool head factory cut for 7/8-14 dies, I would also need dies cut for Star clearances.  (I had no trouble finding shellplates for 223 and finding a 1/2 inch adjustable powder slide which would throw sufficient powder.)

I went to the largest machine shop in my area (one actually capable of large production work and considered "full service").  My reasoning was that they had a better chance of having the necessary mills and metals, etc. already in stock and and would have more flexibility in having machines free for the work.

I spoke initially with the owner and a project manager was assigned.  Most of my contact thereafter was with the project manager.  He made the computerized drawings, ran the prototypes, made suggestions and supervised the final batches for the items for which more than one was make.   

Star Reloaders / 223 Rem die planned by CH Tool and Die
« on: September 21, 2009, 09:39:07 am »
Dave (dave at ch4d dot com) has let me know that CH Tool & Die/4D Custom Die plans a run of at least 10 Star die sets for 223 Rem in the Spring or Summer of 2010.

I have already let him know that I want 2 sets. 

I don't know if they will actually keep a list of potential buyers and notify them when the dies are ready but I am sure he would appreciate hearing from potential buyers so he can more comfortably estimate how many to make in the first run.  He may also want to know if the preference is a 2 die or 3 die set.

If you are interested, please email him. 

Manuel Cepeda

Star Reloaders / Reload 223 Rem on Star: Part 3, Expander Mandrel
« on: September 18, 2009, 11:53:35 am »
Below are pictures of the expander mandrel for the primer station.  It is of tool steel.  I did not heat treat and grind because of the additional expense.  I don't think the tool steel will wear significantly with ordinary noncommercial use. The diameter of the expander shaft is .223 inches (spec calls for plus or minus .0005 and slow turning on the machine to help with smoothness).  

I removed the expander ball from the decap shaft in the sizer die and this considerably reduced the force necessary to throw and return the handle (I did lube the outside of case as per die manufacturer's instructions.  The case lube additionally reduces the throw pressure noticeably).  

The expander mandrel requires much less force (so much less force that I didn't bother to lubricate the cartridge inside neck) than using the expander ball in the sizer die. I can now answer the question about which is preferable.  It's expander mandrel in primer station over using sizer expander ball hands down.

It'll take about two weeks to get a batch back from the machine shop.  I didn't have to make any changes this time, the first protype was it.

Star Reloaders / Reload 223 Rem on Star: Part 2, Powder Assembly
« on: August 26, 2009, 03:09:05 pm »
The next step has been to grind (using ordinary tool grinder) a flat on the powder slide housing base so the 7/8 x 14 taper crimp die next to it clears.  It's close but doable with the modifications to the taper crimp die already covered in a separate post.

One base pictured is a 00 base and the other is a 1/2 inch base.  The photo showing the clearances with the die inserted into the toolplate shows the 00 base with the spacers and cover for use with a 5/8 inch slide.

Star Reloaders / Reload 223 Rem on Star: Part One, Dies
« on: August 23, 2009, 07:51:58 pm »
The following is a description of the modifications made to a Dillon 223 Rem three die (carbide sizer)  set for use with a Star Universal press (no modification to column height or link assembly).  The tool head was manfactured by Star with three stations cut for standard 7/8 x 14 dies and with the toolhead recessed to allow clearance for the sizer die.  If a standard 11/16 x 24 Star die toolhead is recut for 7/8 x 14 dies, the smaller cutout for sizer die clearance must be enlarged to allow clearance of 7/8 inch dies.

Carbide dies are more difficult (and more expensive to machine, relap and polish)  and next time I would use ordinary steel dies instead.    If I had dies available to choose from, I would look for those with knurled barrel assemblies rather than the built in nuts on the Dillon dies that require more machining.

The sizer die was reduced in lenght at the threaded end by .060 inches and the circumference of the threaded end machined to a diameter of .630 inch for a distance of 7/32 inch so it would clear or enter the relief cut into the shellplate.  A 1/32 inch radius was added to the internal diameter of the threaded end opening.  The built in nut at the top of the die was machined off and the barrel reduced to a diameter of .860 inch so it would clear the relief cut into the tool head (previously described).  There is a photo showing this.

Star Reloaders / How to adjust Shell Plate Dowel Pin
« on: June 16, 2009, 12:42:45 pm »
The shell plate dowell pin binds in the base alignment hole and makes the throw with the handle difficult.  What's the best way to make a adjustment so the handle moves freely throughout the range of throw?

(I don't know whether to start pounding on the pin to change the alignment, start using a laping compound and work the pin in the hole or what.  I did raise the pin a inch or so but it is still tight and I also worried about any alignment problem that might cause. I  rotated the pin some but that didn't seem to help. When the pin is out of the shellplate, it drops freely through the base alignment hole. When I look at the pin against a straight edge, it does not appear to be absolutely straight but is very close with only a sliver of light in places.)

Appreciate some help on this one.

I have a Star progressive reloader (not Universal).  Can the completed bullet drop through hole be plugged and the base ledge be filed away so a taper die can be used in that position and the bullet extracted out the side?  If it can be plugged, where do I get the plug or what do I use?

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