Author Topic: Every Star has a Story  (Read 14587 times)

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Every Star has a Story
« on: August 06, 2013, 10:13:58 pm »
My interest in Star reloaders began in 1972.  My friend Bob French, who was also a student at the Colorado School of Trades, said one day that he had just traded for a Star reloader, and that I should come over to his house and see it.  It turned out to be a universal in 45 ACP, with an extra tool head set up for 44 Rem. Mag.

I was still relatively new to guns and reloading at that time, but I immediately recognized that this Star reloader was a tool of very high quality.  Bob offered to trade the Star for my pre-64 Winchester M-70.  After some thought, I said no.  My reasoning was that since I had seen this Star so quickly after enrolling in gunsmithing school, that I would continue to see them on a regular basis.  The next one I saw was in 1976.  This was after moving back to Southern California.  That man wanted $500 for his star, with no trades considered.  I had to tell him no as well.  I just could not afford it.

What followed was a 28 year dry spell, with no Star sightings at all.  I always felt that I had made a mistake by not trading the M-70 for the first Star I saw.  The M-70 was now long gone, but I knew I would still have the Star, had I traded for it.

One day in 2004, a customer walked into my Gunsmith Shop near Sacramento, CA.  He asked about the cost of installing a muzzle brake on one of his rifles, and doing trigger jobs on two others.  After quoting him a price, he said he would have to think about it, then turned to walk out the door. As he was half way out the door, he turned back to ask if I might be interested in accepting a Star loader in trade for the work we had just talked about.  I asked if I could see the loader.  He said that he would bring it in after work tomorrow.  And he did just that.  It was covered in cosmoline, but I did not have to look at it for very long before saying “it’s a deal”.

After agreeing, he said, “oh by the way, I have some more parts out in the truck that go with this”.  He walked back in the shop carrying a wooden box.  In this box were 4 extra tool heads, each one complete with Lifetyme dies and appropriate powder measures.

This mans gunsmithing work went right to the front of the line, and was quickly completed.

My immediate interest on your website, is the location and purchase of a few parts.  These would be top plates for the Hulme Case Feeder, adjustable powder bars, a powder drain and primer feed tubes.
Regards Ernie Paull
erniethegunsmith [at]
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 10:15:44 pm by erniethegunsmith »


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Re: Every Star has a Story
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2013, 10:43:11 pm »
Welcome to the forum Ernie.

I make top plates for the Hulme as well as primer magazines, followers and primer pickups.  I also make half inch powder slide kits that accept the Hornady bushings.    Barrel Tester makes adjustable powder slides.  Maurilew makes a very nice powder drain.  Fc60 makes new dies that are in every way equal to the originals.

Star Machine Works
Star, the original blue Press.  Made by machinist, not machines.


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Re: Every Star has a Story
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013, 11:15:16 am »

Great trade!!! You did very well.

Regarding aftermarket accessories, such as a powder drain. The thread of the powder supply tube is tapered, not straight, with a 27 pitch thread. Most aftermarket parts do not have the tapered thread. They may screw in partway; but, over time, they will damage the powder slide top plate.

Be wary and ask questions.




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Re: Every Star has a Story
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 09:04:18 pm »
That's a great story, and I'm glad you finally got a Star.   I'm sure it will serve you well for many pleasurable years.


Green Frog

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Re: Every Star has a Story
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2014, 12:10:19 pm »
I'd like to reactivate this old topic with my own story.  It begins back in the late 1990s when I visited the home of a casual elderly friend who was a lifelong shooter and reloader.  I went to look at some early Ideal™ and Lyman™ tools I knew he had, but then went on to buy a like-new Star Progressive.  The back story was that the tool had been sent to John Amber for testing at the time of the writing of his first edition of Handloader's Digest.  It came with most of a Hulme case feeder and of course the Lifetyme sizing die, standard powder magazine and standard primer feed with a strange rotary plastic add-on to carry about an extra 800 primers.

I bought it mostly on advice of a friend and shooting mentor who had used Stars while on the Navy pistol team, and we contacted Cunningham for information and instructions but had no further dealings with him.  Meanwhile, my friend had a horrible recurrence of cancer and passed away, so the press sat around gathering dust for over a decade, with me only occasionally moving it from one storage site to another and slowly gathering parts to complete it.  Somewhere along about this time I joined this forum with the (correct) idea that I could get ideas and encouragement.

By two years ago I had everything I needed for the basic operation of my Star, so I took it to a friend with extensive reloading (and especially Star Reloader) experience and he cleaned it up and set it up to operate at his place.  Since then, for one reason or another, I didn't finish setting it up at home, but having gotten the last puzzle pieces from rbwillinj and maurilew recently, I had no further excuses.  I found a strange single drawer unit intended to sit on top of a dresser(?) and am mounting the press on that and after another learning trip to my mentor's place in OH, it's up and running.  Now to get the operator's skills up to the standard needed for smooth operation and I'm there!  Thanks again to the folks on this forum (especially Bruce and Ma) for all the help and encouragement!



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Re: Every Star has a Story
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2014, 08:19:14 pm »
You mentioned "John T Amber" in Your post  and the name sounded familier but couldn't place where I had heard it. and then
I picked up the book I have been reading and there it was !  Gun Digest 1973 27th Anniversary Deluxe Edition. On page 264
Amber had written an articule named "Handloading Centennial"
I also noticed that he is the Editor of the book.

Good Shooting

« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 08:40:44 pm by varmintpopper »