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Topics - rbwillnj

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Star Reloaders / Primer Explosion
« on: June 21, 2010, 09:22:21 am »
It finally happened.  I had a primer Explosion.  My fault of course, but I got off easy.

I let the primer follower rod drop the full length of a nearly empty primer magazine.

BANG!!!   Four primers went off in a single loud bang, and the primer follower came flying out.

No damage to the primer magazine, but the end of the follower rod got fried.  It took a while to clean up the magazine, the socket and the primer slide, and I had to replace the end of the rod.   I was lucky.   For the record, they were WLP primers.

Star History / Last two Stars Produced?
« on: March 05, 2010, 09:57:54 am »
Recently two Star Uinversals were listed on Ebay, one in 38 Special and one in 45 ACP.  The pair sold for of $1,504.99.    Aside from a little storage rust they were in excellent condition, and seem to include all of the original accessories that would have shipped with the reloaders, including the original shipping cartons.   

However, the most interesting item included with the loaders was the original invoice from Star dated July 7, 1993.  Since it's pretty well accepted that Star closed their doors mid 1993, these have to be among the last reloaders assembled by Star.

Note:   When I originally wrote the above, I was under the impression that Star stopped producing reloaders in 1993.   Magma Engineering had told me that they purchased the Lubesizer business in 1993 so I assumed that the reloader business was sold to Bill Cunningham at the same time.  I subsequently learned that Bill Cunningham bought the business in 1997, so Star was producing at least some reloaders until that time.   Also, I have price lists for both 1996 and 1997, confirming they were still operating at that time.

As Lifetyme indicates below, Star was not selling many reloaders in the final years.

Star Reloaders / 223 Options
« on: August 24, 2009, 03:58:29 pm »
OK, Manuel, George, and Tom,    You guys have inspired me to get off my butt and take some pictures.   I have had the long term goal to develop a means of loading 223 on a Star, but since I don't actually own a .223 it hasn't been a real high priority.   None the less, I have been researching it whenever I can, and picking up parts whenever the opportunity presented itself.

I was able to pick up a number of what I believe are Super Star parts a couple years back.   Most of them came from a guy who purchased them in a gun shop in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Its always been in my head that these parts were never part of a complete Super Star kit, but rather were the parts that Mike Dillon had left over when he stopped selling the Super Star kit.  I say that because the original owner had several duplicate sets of some of the parts.  I picked up the 5/8" adjustable charge bar on ebay.   It looks just like the one that Dillon had pictured in his advertisement.

According to Dillons website,  Mike Dillon said "So I went to a machinist and cut down an RCBS die, ground the hardcoat off of the outside and had him thread it to the weird thread size that Star dies used "

As you can see, the sizing die is just a neck sizing die.  I have heard elsewere that Dillon recommended that the .223 cases be full length sized before being reloaded on the Star.  I do not have the expander or the powder spout that go with the set.  TABranch's posts have helped answer some of my questions in that area, but I don't think the expander he has will work with the powder slide housing that I have.

Star History / Star or Not??
« on: February 02, 2009, 12:10:00 pm »
Currently there is a Reloader on eBay that is proported to be a very early Star.   What do you think?  Star or Not??  Why??

Courtesy of Ricketts, I have updated this post with larger pictures.    Anyone else have an opinion, Star or Not??

Star History / Star Dunn & Bradstreet Report
« on: January 31, 2009, 05:01:02 pm »
Attached, courtesy of Swanee, is a 1979 Dunn and Bradstreet report on Star Machine Works of San Diego Inc.

It shows their annual sales in 1978 as $900,000.  Eighty five percent of their sales was reloading equipment, and the balance was irrigation sprinkler equipment.   I always thought it was the other way around.

I have a 1979 price list which shows the price of a Universal at $760, so a little math leads me to believe they were selling maybe 900-1000 reloaders per year at that time.

Thanks Swanee

Star History / CPM on Ebay
« on: January 29, 2009, 09:47:50 am »

Star Reloaders / Interesting Star Reloader on eBay
« on: March 05, 2006, 10:45:36 pm »
There is an interesting Star Reloader on eBay.  It has some parts I have never seen before.  Can any of you identify them?
It appears to what I assume is an auto indexer, and there is an odd attachment on the case feeder that I don't recognize either.

Star Reloaders / Green Star? Reloader on eBay
« on: February 09, 2006, 05:51:42 am »
Has anyone seen the Green "Star" Reloader on eBay?   Looks more like a Phelps to me,  or possibly a Berdon.   The shape of the aluminum base is not quite right.   It also has 7/8" dies, but that doesn't prevent it from being a Star.  Here is the link;

Star Reloaders / Two Stage Sizing Dies
« on: December 21, 2005, 02:16:25 pm »
I have two, Lifetyme two stage sizing dies, one in 38 Special and another in 45 ACP.? They are both marked 2S after the caliber marking, and both have two carbide sizing rings inside.? ?Does anyone know what the idea is behind Two Stage Sizing Dies?? What's the benefit?

Star History / Star Shell Plates and Dies Catalog?
« on: October 26, 2005, 09:17:48 am »
Does anyone have a complete listing of the dies and shell plates that were offered by Star?

I'm also looking for information on interchangeability of Star Shell Plates.  I don't know if interchangeability is the right word, but basically, what I want to know is what calibers can be loaded with which shell plates.  Here is what I have so far.

1.)   9mm, 38 ACP, 38 Super, 40 S&W
2.)   38 Special, 357 Magnum
3.)   41 Magnum
4.)   44 Special, 44 Magunm
5.)   45 ACP
6.)   45 Long Colt

What other shell plates were offered?  Can the above shell plates be used to load any additional calibers?

Star History / Powder Slide Cam
« on: October 09, 2005, 11:27:04 pm »
On early models of the Star Reloader, the powder slide cam was attached directly to the base.  Later, the powder slide cam was attached to a seperate aluminum support that was attached to the base with three screws.  

Does anyone know when and why this change was made?

Star History / Star Price History
« on: March 01, 2005, 11:26:25 am »
I recently aquired a December 1958 catalog/price list for Star Machine Works.  It shows the price of a Star Universal with Lifetyme Carbide Die to be $190.   An Extra Tool Head with Carbide die was $70.  The Lubricator Sizer was $40.

What I really found interesting was the inclusion of prices for 4, 6, and 10 cavity Hensley Gibbs bullet molds.  Does anyone know the relationship between Hensley Gibbs and Star?

Star Reloaders / Different Saftey Cam
« on: January 10, 2005, 01:43:51 am »
I recently aquired my second Star Universal Press.  This one came set up for 38 Special.  Along with this press came a Saftey Cam that is a different shape than that on my other machine, and different than those pictured in the parts list.  I wish I could post a picture, because it is difficult to discribe.  It has sort of a hook on it, and it has a second spring.  For the life of me, I have not been able to figure out the second spring.  It doesn't look like a home made part, but it does have 38 scribed on it.  I was wondering if this was a replacement safety cam that came with either the Hulme case feeder, or with the taper crimp die.

Does anybody know what I'm talking about?

Star Lubricator & Resizers / Heater Base
« on: December 08, 2004, 11:26:56 pm »
Just in case you haven't tried one yet, Lyman makes a heating base that you can use with your Star Lubrisizer.   It's drilled and tapped for a number of popular sizers, including the Star.   At Midway, it goes for about $35.  It's not as sophisticated as the Magama heater, but a lot more economical.   It allows you to use the hard wax lubes in a Star, or use it on a cold day to add a little heat to your soft lubes.

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