Author Topic: Powder Shut-Off  (Read 1008 times)

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bwpsc

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Powder Shut-Off
« on: January 21, 2021, 04:20:10 pm »
A old progressive press showed up on e-bay this week.  It has a Star metal tag on the outside edge ot the tool head. What was different about this machine was that it had a neat powder shut-off built into the powder slide housing. Had not seen anything like this before in the housing. Anyone else seen this before?
Later,

NYKenn

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Re: Powder Shut-Off
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2021, 07:40:27 am »
Interesting. First time seeing a shut off built in. Maybe a prototype that was not utilized?
 
Also interesting is the Red paint. Wonder if it it original or someone went to the effort to change colors.

Also, there is some type of threaded thumb screw near the safety cam. Have not seen that before either. Would speculate it was some sort of stop for the final finished round?

Bruce..What say you?
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rbwillnj

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Re: Powder Shut-Off
« Reply #2 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.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 02:58:32 pm by rbwillnj »
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bwpsc

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Re: Powder Shut-Off
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2021, 01:40:27 pm »
Thanks Bruce,
I knew you would have some insight on this different part.
It's fun to see the different progression of the press.
Some good ideas and some so-so.
Thanks,

rbwillnj

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Re: Powder Shut-Off
« Reply #4 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
« Last Edit: February 12, 2021, 09:02:38 am by rbwillnj »
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NYKenn

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Re: Powder Shut-Off
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2021, 08:43:13 pm »
Would be interesting to know why the idea did not progress. I expect concern for loaded rounds without powder, by forgetting to turn it on? Others?

In reality, if every head had its own powder reservoir, the need for a shutoff would be almost negated.

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rbwillnj

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Re: Powder Shut-Off
« Reply #6 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
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rbwillnj

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Re: Powder Shut-Off
« Reply #7 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.
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rbwillnj

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Re: Powder Shut-Off
« Reply #8 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. 
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NYKenn

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Re: Powder Shut-Off
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2021, 12:03:57 pm »
Bruce

Had found a listing of an Elard G. Mock of San Diego, CA, that was born 08/09/1907, and passed away 02/10/1996.

May be a different person, but not sure how many persons were named Elard. It is somewhat unique.
(Have also seen it spelled Elord)

Puts him more into the date range of the patent.



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NYKenn

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Re: Powder Shut-Off
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2021, 12:32:09 pm »
Also spelled Ellard.

I noted a related family history associated with a Mary Hambaugh of Colorado where Elard was born.
It notes he was a resident of Sam Diego and earning a living as a machinist.
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rbwillnj

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Re: Powder Shut-Off
« Reply #11 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.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2021, 08:17:32 am by rbwillnj »
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johnfreeman

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Re: Powder Shut-Off
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2021, 08:47:23 am »
Fascinating bits of reloading history. Thank you all for sharing them.

NYKenn

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Re: Powder Shut-Off
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2021, 08:21:09 am »
Posted by EagleMike elsewhere in this forum 11/01/2005.


"I remember several times Elard would grumble about people wanting a powder cut-off. He indicated that he thought it was a bad idea. He wanted to be sure the machine would always throw a charge. He also wanted to be sure the safety cam was installed and working on every machine not using a taper crimp die. A friend of mine - Frank Appel - designed a safety cam that would work with the taper crimp die (at Elard's request), and sold some to Star. I still have a few. This was in the 70's, and CNC was still quite expensive, so only a low quantity was made. I'm not positive the design was ever really fine tuned."


"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"