Author Topic: Advice for the n00b  (Read 8650 times)

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johnfreeman

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Advice for the n00b
« on: January 26, 2013, 09:34:34 pm »
Hello All,
Thanks for letting me be part of the forum. I've been looking at Star equipment as it comes and goes on ebay and finally signed up here to learn more about them.  I like to shoot 38 Special, 9mm and 45 ACP which seems a good match to Star reloaders.

Can you please advise me what to look for (and look out for) when purchasing a first Star? Which model should I select? Any other advice that would help me avoid making mistakes on my first purchase would be greatly appreciated.

Best
John ???

rbwillnj

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Re: Advice for the n00b
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 10:02:06 am »
I'll kick things off John, I'm sure others will have something to add.

There are only two models of Star reloaders that you are likely to encounter, the Progressive and the Universal.  The Progressive is for 38 Special and .357 Magnum only, and the Universal can be set up to load all common pistol calibers, and even .223.   The easiest way to distinguish one from the other is the presence of absence of shell locator straps.  (see pictures below).  Universals have them, Progressives do not.

If you want to load all three calibers (9MM. 38 Special and 45 ACP) on one machine, you will need a Universal, plus dies and shell plate for each caliber, plus primer parts for large and small primers.  You can take it a step further by having extra tool heads for each caliber.  That way you won't have to reset the dies each time you change calibers, just install the appropriate primer parts and change shell plate and tool heads.   One step further would be a small primer machine and large primer machine.

Don't dismiss the Progressive.   They are typically less expensive than a Universal, and a very worthwhile investment if you load a lot of 38 Special.

As for choosing a machine, once you have decided what you want, it all comes down to condition.

Bruce
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varmintpopper

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Re: Advice for the n00b
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 12:13:56 pm »
Very well Said Bruce !
Welcome to the forum John.

Good Shooting

Lindy

NYKenn

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Re: Advice for the n00b
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2013, 12:28:14 pm »
.38 is the most common found, closely followed up by .45. The 9mm will be a little harder to find and acquire, especially in original components. One advantage of this forum is contact with those who can help find, provide or make the necesssary items you may need.
In addition to Bruce above (RBWILLNJ) you also have Dave (FC60) and Rich Daniels (BARRELTESTER).  Between these fine people, they can machine dies, shellplates, powder measures, etc., all of which will help speed up your ability to get up to speed in loading the calibers you want.

You also have Ebay as a source, but be cautious in what you look to acquire there. Example: The seller may have a head, but not all the pieces attached to make it function. Some of those pieces can be difficult to find.

Good luck/
"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"

cc656d

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Re: Advice for the n00b
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2013, 01:04:00 pm »
That is a very good point. Sometime ago I bought a Star 45 head that had a much less that desirable sizing die ( appeared that the body was very similar to a Lifetime carbide die but is was not a carbide die ) As I have a couple spare Lifetime carbide dies I bought it . The price was very, very good.
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johnfreeman

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Re: Advice for the n00b
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2013, 04:30:39 pm »
Thanks very much for the input.. I think I'll look for a Universal first. I suspect half the "fun" is the hunt for the parts and pieces. They sure look like nice machines, and I'd really enjoy putting one back to top shape making ammunition again!

John


Welsh Rifleman

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Re: Advice for the n00b
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2013, 09:17:56 pm »
I am still in the "newbie" to this forum category...but can echo some advice from the previous feedback.

I took my time after "acquiring" my first Star Reloader and read the back and forth WTS/WTB on this forum and became familiar with the good advice that came along with each specific thread.

I am now reloading with two universals with many of the "add ons" that are not only fun to install and adjust but make the process easier for me.

I have bought everything that I am using from 4 of the regulars on this forum including my second "ready to go" universal reloader.  These gentleman all machine quality products and you don't have to "guess" about what you are going to receive.

I have had good experiences buying small parts, etc. from Bill Cunningham who still sells under the Star Machine Works label from Pioneer, California.  This was as advised from other members of this forum.

My best advice....is that before buying.....I noticed that items that I was intersted in continued to show up so I didn't feel like if I didn't buy one....it would be my last chance.

Good hunting,

George (aka Welsh Rifleman)
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Sundance

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Re: Advice for the n00b
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2013, 09:38:11 pm »
I have only been a member of this forum a short time, less than a year, but I have used a Star for over 30 years.  They are great machines.  I also have bought from the three mentioned in NYKenn's post.  They are great men to deal with and have helped me set up a second toolhead for my Star.  You can change the dies and powder bar, but the second toolhead makes it so much simpler and faster to switch calibers. Changing the shell plate and primer feed is quick once the toolhead has been removed.

These guys will be able to solve any problems you may encounter.  Good luck and stay safe.

Bob :)

johnfreeman

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Re: Advice for the n00b
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2013, 09:34:43 am »
I took everyones input and did ....both.

I bought a restored Universal from Bruce. It arrived yesterday and is spectacular....far better than I expected, and I suspect, cheaper than finding the parts and pieces to assemble one. I'm truly grateful to own this machine.

Secondly, I bought a Progressive off of Craigslist. It seems in very good condition, and since I own 4 S&W Model 10's and a Model 36, I'll get a lot of use out of it. It was packed very carefully and arrived with no damage whatsoever.

I'll post pics if anyone is interested. Thanks for your advice! I'll own these machines forever.

John

1960

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Re: Advice for the n00b
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2013, 10:52:53 am »
We always like to see pictures of new babies.  tt

johnfreeman

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Re: Advice for the n00b
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2013, 07:56:09 pm »
Here's the new/old Stars.

First is a beautifully refurbished Universal in 45 ACP (Thank you Bruce). The Progressive is a Craigslist find (CHPD? Wonder what police dept that was/is?). It's in nice shape, and doesn't seem to have much wear, though it's getting a good cleaning.  

There's also a picture of a threaded "what's it" that came with the Progressive. Any ideas?

I'm really glad to own these!
John
« Last Edit: March 23, 2013, 07:59:08 pm by johnfreeman »

fc60

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Threaded Part Identification
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2013, 12:58:47 pm »
Greetings,

The threaded part in photo one is for the Star Greaser. It is used to pull the sizing die out of the Aluminum casting. Sadly, you are missing one piece. The part that actually removes the die.

The knurled knob threads into the upper housing and the smaller rod is used to push out the remaining bullet from the greaser die so you can insert the missing rod to pull the die out. Remember to back off the set screw on the side of the casting.

Cheers,

Dave