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Messages - Kenneth L. Walters

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Star Reloaders / Re: 223?
« on: May 28, 2011, 12:16:54 am »
For whatever it is worth, the rifle machine was made a very long time before Star admitted having one or offering it for sale.  The Army insisted that they make it for use in Asia among tribesman who were helping them in Vietnam.  Not in Vietnam, I think, but in Cambodia.  Star told me that they were basically forced to design and make the machine.  How a few of those early machines got into private hands I don't know but it was one of those early machines that I got one of.

Star Reloaders / Re: Star factory tool head for 7/8 inch dies
« on: May 27, 2011, 09:49:32 pm »
I have what I think (was told) is a Star factory tool head which came cut for 7/8 inch dies. The most obvious difference, other than the size of the die holes, is a semicircular vertical kerf cut in the tool head lower link pin housing which aligns with the 7/8 inch hole for the sizing die and allows the 7/8 inch die to be withdrawn from the top side.  Without this clearance kerf, the sizing die could not be inserted or would need to be machined down so it could be inserted from the bottom of the tool head.  None of my Star machines for Star dies have this clearance kerf.  This tool head looks like it has the original paint and not a touchup suggesting the cuts had been made aftermarket.  Can anyone comment about my assumption that this is a factory cut characteristic or describe the clearance solution on their known factory cut 7/8 inch toolhead?

I think that that is right.  Mind you I sold my Star collection in 96 so my memory isn't all that great but I do think that that cut was there.

Star Reloaders / Re: 223?
« on: May 27, 2011, 05:14:26 pm »
No.  But a bought a couple from them.  The locking rings were modified, as I recall, but nothing else.

Star Reloaders / Re: 223?
« on: May 26, 2011, 10:23:41 pm »
Can the star press be used for 223? If so , where do you get dies and shell plate? How about 7.62 x 39?

Making a regular Star load 223's is how Mike Dillon got started.  It was called the Super Star kit.  Decades ago I did a review of it for either Gun Digest or Handloader's Digest.  Have no idea now what I thought of the kit but...

Of course there was also the Star pistol/223 tool.  And the Star rifle machine.  Both of those could easily handle the 223.

Back when this was all happening the 7.62x39 wasn't really known here so no Star tool was ever made to handle it.

But the Phelps might.  The Phelps rifle machine, as I recall, had a much longer shaft and a manual powder measure so it could almost certainly have handled both cartridges.  But again there was no interest in the 7.62x39 back then.

Star tool heads, of course, could be bought new using 7/8x14 dies.  I don't remember what thread size the rifle machine or the pistol/223 machines used.

Star Reloaders / Re: Mystery Press
« on: May 25, 2011, 05:39:11 pm »
Like I said I gave all the photographs away a long time ago.  That alone would kill this idea.

And no one cares.  You would never convince a publisher to print this even if you had the pictures.  I'm sure about that because decades ago I tried.  The article, or maybe articles, never got printed.

And the one piece that did get printed, on the Potters, was a very hard sell.  GD agreed to print it ONLY if all the other magazines turned it down.

So as interesting as I found all this stuff, there is just no market for it. 

Star Reloaders / Re: Mystery Press
« on: May 25, 2011, 01:11:31 am »
Some years ago I gave all my photographs of this stuff to a younger fan.  So maybe some of this will be preserved.  But you need to remember not many are interested.  But if you are one, you might try

Star Reloaders / Re: Mystery Press
« on: May 24, 2011, 10:18:46 pm »
Wasn't me.

Star Reloaders / Re: Mystery Press
« on: May 24, 2011, 09:24:03 pm »
Hey Dave, You might want to put the pic on the "cast boolit forum", if the 'pressman' Ken sees it he will most likely be able to I D it. Cheers back to you, Dave

I was banned from the cast boolit forum some time ago for objecting to the hateful way some of those people went after Redding and Lyman.

Star Reloaders / Re: Mystery Press
« on: May 24, 2011, 09:22:37 pm »
It is a PESCO, Police Equipment Scales Company.  Made in Chicago for a brief period by two brothers names Gerstenburger.  They build them in their basement in the evenings.  Talked to the wife of one of the men years, maybe decades, ago.  I owned three of these.  I think that there might be a picture of one of these in Phil Sharps book.

The bullet feeder tube isn't original and I doubt that the paint job is either.

The first straightline progressive was the Newcomb.  That design was bought out by Buchanan.  Then these two guys built this one.  It is this press that CH copied to make the Auto Champion.  Of course the Auto Champion was copied to make the Cougar & Hunter, the Jet and the RCBS Green Machine.

Joe Dircks loaned Buchanan the money to buy the Newcomb.  $1000 which back in the 30's was a lot of money.  Joe, of course, went on to make the Dircks and Tri Standard straightline progressives.  Someone, I don't remember who, is still making one of those two designed.  Unfortunately I lost the guy's contact information when my computer died recently.

The reason CH didn't recognize it is that the current owners of CH had nothing to do with making the Auto Champion.  Tony Sailer of Owen Wisconsin was the driving force behind the CH Auto Champion.

Star Reloaders / Re: A bit off topic - Question
« on: May 20, 2011, 07:58:24 pm »
"Don't Pass Up a Potter" 11th edition Handloader Digest 1987 page 18

It has been a very long while since I've seen this old article of mine but as far as I know it was the only piece ever written about the Potters.  I had found the Potter family and had them fact check it for me.

Star Reloaders / Re: Star Press Bullet Feeder
« on: May 04, 2011, 01:07:23 am »
Hulme made one but not many.  I've only seen (actually owned) one.

Star Reloaders / Re: Rifle machine, recent find
« on: January 18, 2011, 12:59:22 pm »
Last time I knew there was one for sale at Ron Peterson Guns in Albuquerque as well as a Star straightline.  If you call, talk to Ron.  The clerks wouldn't know anything about it.

Star Reloaders / Re: Rifle machine, recent find
« on: January 15, 2011, 03:21:34 pm »
Ellord told me decades ago that they never wanted to make the rifle unit BUT the U.S. government insisted.  They wanted them for the Cambodians so that they could reload 223 ammunition.  It has been way to many years for me to be certain now but I think a 308 version might have also been made.

Last time I knew, and it was 13+ years ago, Ron Peterson Guns in Albuqeurque still had mine and my straightline.  You might call and ask but if you do be sure to talk to Ron.

Star History / Fellow who bought the rights to make the Star
« on: September 26, 2010, 01:10:20 pm »
Did that guy ever make any Star's?

Star Reloaders / Re: Any interest in new star type reloader?
« on: March 21, 2010, 05:01:04 pm »
CPM did one other remarkable thing for which they never got credit.  They were the ones who design the conversion kit between a single stage reloader and a progressive.  Dillon forced them to drop that.  RCBS now calls it a Piggyback.

CPM's problems were that they built complete machines but buying parts was almost impossible.  Also a CPM worked ALMOST like a star but not quite.  Took me years to realize the subtle difference.  Til then running one was a nightmare.  Afterward it wasn't.

Phelps lingered long after it should have.  I don't remember the name of the last owner but he was a fireman, as I recall, who was occasionally building them in his basement.  Dan Fausto, maybe.

Though I knew him and met him I can not now remember the guy who designed the Star.  As long as he assembled them personally, which he did virtually all his life, the machines were fine.  When he died the quality of assembly suffered.

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