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Messages - rbwillnj

Star Reloaders / Re: Powder bar designations
« on: May 05, 2021, 09:46:46 am »
Original Star powder slides came in four thicknesses.   The 0 powder slide (marked on the edge for the bar) and typically found on "Progressive" models is 1/4" thick.   The 00 powder slide, the most common, and standard on "Universal" models is 5/16" thick.    Star also made powder sides that are 1/2" and 5/8" thick that are typically used for magnum charges.  These powder slides are not marked on the edge.

All of the above powder slides are marked on the top with the powder, and the charge in grains.

Star made corresponding powder slide housings marked No. 0, No. 00, 1/2 and 5/8.    Star also made spacers to convert a No. 00 housing to handle a 1/2" or 5/8" powder slide.

The 299 designation is not a marking that I'm familiar with, but there are powder slides out there with markings for a number of now obsolete powders.

Bruce Williams

Star Reloaders / Re: DIY case kicker
« on: April 12, 2021, 01:58:50 pm »
It goes through a hole in the "L bracket"    The wire is .015 Hard Brite Spring wire, or at least that's the closest replacement I have found.

Star Reloaders / Re: DIY case kicker
« on: March 30, 2021, 02:12:35 pm »
Actually, I like your system because it doesn't interfere with a taper crimp die.   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.

One note:   Not all Shell Plate Thrust Nuts are the same size.  Yours looks like a late model which is the smallest.  Earlier ones tended to have a bigger diameter.

Bruce Williams

So if the outside diameter of the shell plate was a little smaller than normal that shouldnít  keep it from working then right?Ö Since that should still give me clearance to keep the plate from interfering with the tabs holding the case in place? Is that outside diameter what you would normally expect to see for a 45acp plate?

By the way, I measured the plate at work with my micrometer and it is .2174Ē thick

The diameter you mention above would be close to the spec for a 45 ACP shell plate.  Sorry, specs are proprietary.

Yes, you can use a shell plate that is smaller than spec, but it makes adjusting the shell locator straps a little harder.   The best way to adjust the shell locator straps is to turn the shell plate so the straps are NOT opposite a shell opening then adjust the strap so it just clears the shell plate.  Of course this assumes the shell plate diameter meets spec.

Bruce Williams

First off, the shell plate really does look like it was made by Star.   The G is a puzzle, but I have seen some odd markings on Star shell plates.

The slot where the case is inserted looks like it has a beveled edge which would be typical for rimless or semi-rimmed cases that are held in the shell plate by the extractor groove.   Shell plates for rimmed cases like 38 special and 45 Colt are held by the rim and the slot is not beveled (so far as I have seen).  This doesn't prevent it from being used for 45 Colt if the case fits and the recess on the bottom of the shell plate is big enough to accommodate the rim, and is the correct depth.

The diameter of each caliber shell plate is different.  This makes it possible for the shell locator straps to push the case all the way into the shell plate.

I wonder if it was a 45 ACP shell plate that was modified to fit 45 Colt.   I have seen such things.  I won't name any names.

Bruce Williams

45 Colt Shell Plates made by Star are generally marked LC.   So I'm guessing yours was made by someone else.  A picture would help.

Star History / Re: Powder Shut-Off
« on: February 15, 2021, 02:33:27 pm »
Kenn,   I think your 1909 birthdate is more plausible than the D&B reported birth date of 1926 which would have meant Elard was 13 when he joined Star.   Not impossible for a relative of CR Peterson in those days, but not likely.  I know he passed away in 1996 and had spent some time in a nursing home prior to that.

Elsewhere it has been reported that Elard worked for Star for 57 years.   That would line up fairly closely with a join date of 1939 depending of course on the length of time he spent in the nursing home.

Star History / Re: Powder Shut-Off
« on: February 14, 2021, 09:25:44 am »
The picture below is from the May 1934 issue of American Rifleman.  I had never noticed it before, but after seeing the powder shut off in the above pictures, I think this machine, which is even earlier, also has a powder shut off. 

Star History / Re: Powder Shut-Off
« on: February 13, 2021, 09:48:08 pm »
Should probably put this in the Star History section, but further to the above, I have a Dun & Bradstreet Report from 1979 which states Elard Mock was born in 1926 and went to work with Clarence Peterson at Star in 1939.   He along with Willis (Bill) Brenizer bought the company from Clarence Peterson (50/50 partners) in 1954.

Star History / Re: Powder Shut-Off
« on: February 12, 2021, 09:18:56 pm »
I suspect you are right Kenn, but we will never know.    We have heard that Elard Mock didn't like powder shut offs, but I think these machines might pre-date Elard at Star.  He was Clarence Peterson's nephew and he would have been pretty young in 1933 when the patent was filed. 

These are very early machines.  The machining is crude compared to even later Pat Pending machines.  Some of the parts like the Rocker Arm and Angle Lever look almost hand made.   The pictured rocker arm is from the machine above and on the other side it is stamped with the same number that was stamped on the base.

Bruce Williams

Star History / Re: Powder Shut-Off
« on: February 12, 2021, 08:54:30 am »
A couple weeks ago, a customer sent me two bases with columns to have me drill and tap them for mounting case feeders.   I recognized one as a very old base so I asked the customer to send me pictures of the machine when he got it back together.   As it turns out, it was another Pat Pending machine with a bronze powder slide housing and a powder shut off.    I think this confirms that Star experimented with powder shut offs on very early machines then abandoned the idea.

Bruce Williams

Stars Want to Sell/Want to Buy / Re: WTB star universal
« on: February 03, 2021, 09:35:34 am »
I have fully rebuilt/refinished Star Universals available which can I can configure in a number of calibers.   9MM is currently out of stock but is in production.  Most other calibers are available.

Attached are few pictures of a typical rebuilt machine.

It's best to call to discuss caliber, options and price.

Bruce Williams

Hi All, Iíve been studying all the details of the star universal and find them irresistible! Sooo I decided to buy one ,well here I am!
 I would like to buy one in very good operating condition preferably with a 9mm set up but 45acp is good too or heck any caliber! A shell loader option would be desirable too.
 Willing to pay a fair price for the right unit plus shipping of course. If you like you can call me at 360-three five 6 two three two 9.

Star History / Re: Powder Shut-Off
« on: January 23, 2021, 02:51:41 pm »
The pictured reloader is a very early Pat. Pending machine.   I have one that is nearly identical with a Bronze powder slide housing like the one pictured.  Mine does not have a powder shut off.   

It should be noted that a No. 0 powder slide is not used with this powder slide housing.  The powder slide is 1/2" wide rather than 5/8" wide.  I have another Pat. Pending machine that uses a standard No. 0 powder slide, but the housing is not marked as such.  I'm guessing it predated the development No. 00 powder slide housing so there was no need to distinguish between them.  Although Star reloaders remained largely unchanged for many years, there were quite a few changes in the first few years.

The machine itself is not a prototype.  It is definitely a commercial model, and not the earliest commercial model which would have had a cast iron rather than an aluminum base.   As for the shut off, I don't know if it is something Star tried then abandoned or if it was user installed.

Bruce Williams

PS   My early Star was given to me by the late Larry Lawson.   He was a great guy with whom I spent many hours talking on the phone.  That alone makes this machine a cherished part of my collection.

Loading Data & Reloading Procedures / Re: problem crimping 357 magnum
« on: January 14, 2021, 09:57:32 am »
When I set up machines for a roll crimp, I back of the seating stem so it doesn't come into play.  I put an sized, unflared case in the seating/roll crimp station, and with the tool head as low as it goes (not camed over) bring the die down to where the crimp section of the die just touches the mouth of the case.  Then bring the die down another half turn.  Then I adjust the seating stem to get the desired OAL.   You will mess up a few bullets in the process, but that's jus the way it is.   If you happen to have a loaded round with the correct OAL, you can put that in the seating station and with the tool head in it's lowest position, bring the seating stem down to where it stops on the bullet.   This will get you pretty close but you might need to make some minor adjustments.

The condition you have happens when the crimped portion of the brass bottoms out in the crimp groove, or digs into the bullet while the bullet is still moving.  The brass has nowhere else to go so it begins to buckle or bulge the case below the bullet.

This is also a common problem with bullets that have no crimp groove like 45 ACP.   If people try to crimp too much they get a bulge below the bullet.  Doing a Taper Crimp in a separate station alleviates the problem.   For 45 ACP, I set the Seating/Role Crimp die so it removes the flair, but doesn't crimp, then crimp with a Taper crimp die.

Star Reloaders / Re: Parted out Machines on eBay - Buyer Beware!
« on: January 11, 2021, 11:47:17 pm »
Sorry, the $250 does not include dies or shell plate.  I was trying to do an apples to apples comparison to the stripped down tool head that sold on eBay.  There are from time to time some good bargains on eBay for complete tool heads with dies, but you have to be patient and hope no one else is looking for the same thing.

Maybe,  If you don't mind unhappy customers.   I'm pretty sure the ones who purchased the crankshaft assembly and primer casting won't be very happy with their purchase.

As for the tool head, I sell a nice complete tool head with powder slide housing for $250.   If you add up all the parts that tool head is missing, it comes to $138 plus shipping, The tool head customer spent $140 plus $10 shipping, so not exactly a bargain.

Does tat $250 price apply to a tool head equipped with 45 ACP dies? I don't want to spend the money right now but that will be on my wish list if it does. And does it include the casing holder?