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Star Bullet Sizer Questions

Black Angus McPherson

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I just recieved a Star bullet sizer and the "instructions" are pretty worthless. I need to adjust the bullet punch to the proper depth for the bullet I'm sizing.


The instructions advise, to find a starting point, place the bullet to be sized next to the lube holes to be used, measure the distance from the top of the die to the base of the bullet then push a bullet into the die to that measured depth.


Next, place the die in the sizer and adjust the punch to just touch the bullet at the bottom of travel. Well, ok, I guess, but, I can't get the punch screwed far enough up into the machine. It's still too long and will push the sized bullet too far. AND that's just where it falls to rest. I'm guessing the "Bottom of travel" for the lever is where it ends up when pushed against the lube release(?) and not where it stops under its own weight. Am I correct in that assumption? The instructions are pretty vague. That's another 1/8" - 1/4".


Am I missing something here or do I need to order a shorter bullet punch?


For what it's worth, this is my first bullet sizer (you could probably tell). I'm sizing (I hope) a 250 gr. .452 bullet with two lube grooves from a LEE mold.





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I highly recommend Wild Bill Blackerby's Web page on the Star:

Wild Bill's Site


& here's a YouTube Video:



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I have a Star for BP lubing mostly. I also have automatic sizing and lubing machine.


On the Star. I found that I don't need the locking nut on the bullet punch. Too Much trouble when needing to adjust push depth.


Now if your punch will not screw in to the press far enough to put lube where you want it, you might have the wrong set of holes in the sizing die. For most single lube groove bullets I use the middle of three row holes in the die or the bottom most in two hole dies. I also start by pushing the bullet in to the die where lube will be on the crimp groove. Then I screw the punch down the needed amount to get to the lube groove.


I use #8 shotgun shot to plug the holes in the die I don't use. I reload a lot of shotgun rounds for customers so I have a lot of #8 shot.


Not using the punch locking nut is not a problem. I can't remember the punch ever needing re adjustment until I change dies.


Star bullet sizer.

Bullets go through the die nose down.

Most other sizers go nose up.

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You are correct, the bottom of the stroke is all the way down when you are forcing lube into the lube groove. You are also correct the Star instructions are not real good. You are feeding the bullets pointy end down, right? This is the opposite of all the other lube/sizers on the market.


I use a Star for three different bullets, a PRS 250 grain 45 Big Lube, the J/P 45-200 Big Lube, and the Mav-Dutchman 200 grain Big Lube. I keep the punch, or whatever it is called at the same setting for each. Now granted, all three of these bullets have one very wide lube groove, so absolute precision is not needed when I have the punch all the way down. Just for reference, the punch is extended about 1.165" from the threaded portion of the press. This distance is measured from the bottom of the punch to the cast body of the plunger. The nut is snugged up, but the measurement does not include the nut, just from the bottom of the punch to the die cast part that slides up and down. That is the measurement that works best for me.


First off, not all the dies you get from Star are the same. The feed holes for the lube are arranged in rings. Some dies have two rings, some have three. Ideally, you want to place your bullet against the die and determine which ring or rings of feed holes will line up best with lube grooves on your bullet. Star provides a small bag of shot, I think it is smaller than #8. The shot is to be pressed into the feed holes that you are not using, so all the lube will go exactly where you want it. I have never tried lubing a multiple lube groove bullet. You may be having trouble getting the rings of feed holes to line up perfectly with your lube grooves. If the feed holes are not pressed against the lube groove when you are squeezing out lube, you probably will not get any lube out of those holes. If the feed holes are lined up with the body of the bullet, there is no space for lube to come out and migrate over to the lube grooves. It will not feed out at all because the body of the bullet is pressed tightly against the feed hole.


When I bought my Star I bought a whole bunch of dies with it. The lady at the other end was very knowledgeable. She wanted to know the dimensions of my bullet, and where the lube grooves were located. She sent me what I needed.


First off, determine if the rings of feed holes on your die are positioned so they will feed into both lube grooves. If not, choose one ring that will work for one lube groove and start experimenting. You may be able to fudge it because there is still some travel to the plunger between when the lube starts to flow and when it is all done. You may be able to get the lube into one groove, and then as you keep shoving down the other groove may line up with the other groove.


It is a bit of trial and error, you have to keep adjusting back and forth until you have the setting just right. If you do get it right, do yourself a favor and right down the distance the punch is extended for that particular bullet, in case you need to change the setting for a different bullet.


Then again, you can always call up Star and discuss the problem with them. You may need to buy a different die that has feed holes that will line up with the grooves in your bullet.


Or, you may want to try a single lube groove bullet. Are you casting for Smokeless or Black Powder?


Once you get it right, you will love the Star. It pumps out lubed and sized bullets about 4 times faster than a Lyman or a RCBS Lube Sizer.

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I size bullets from large single lube groove bullet to large bullets with 4 lube grooves. It is all trial and error at some point. If your bullet is too high with the punch is all the way up you are either going to have to use some lower holes or if the die doesn't have any get either another die or another punch you can shorten. It isn't rocket science but it sure can be frustrating at first. Wait until you get a bullet feeder to make things even more interesting! pm me if you have any specific questions, I have 3 Stars and use them everyday, so maybe I can help.

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The bullet I'm using has two lube grooves. I seem to recall something in the directions suggesting the use of the top lube holes in the die when using multiple groove bullets.


The lube holes are in alternating columns with one column having 3 holes (top, middle, bottom) and the next with two holes (2nd and 4th). I think that should make sense to those of you with Stars. The top holes in each column seemed to line up best with the lube grooves in my bullets.


I guess I need to check to see if any of the other lube holes would work ok. Then I could drive the bullet further down in the process to be lubed. That may give me enough extra play to adjust the punch properly.


Unfortunately, I already plugged the extra holes with shot. It's gonna be a pain clearing them back out. :(


I think I understand the use of the machine well enough, once it gets adjusted. It's just the initial adjustment that's aggravating me.





p.s. I'm using the bullets for smokeless loads.

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Ya could try starreloaders.com..lot of info there.

I have been using one for 40+ years with your same problem.

Wild Bill's site is the best ever!

But he is that type of Pard.

He is not just another pretty face.

He knows his stuff.

And listen to 'Old Drifty' also he also knows his a thing or two.

And remember it is best to have some type of heat at the base to keep the lube going.

I used a fish bowl light bulb.

Good luck. ;)

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Little lube streaks on the bullet nose is usually caused by too much pressure on the lube from the pressure screw or air cylinder if you have it.


Also if you are trying to get the two lube grooves filled in one stroke by using more pressure from the screw.


I lighten up on the screw and hold the handle down for a few seconds to let the lube flow around the grooves. Then a second stroke to add a little more lube. Then on to the next bullet.

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