Hello, I am beginning to produce cast bullets in large quantities for the first time and I am realizing that my simple system of manual lubrication and the lee sizing die is just not keeping the pace. What sizer/lubricators are the best and can I use homemade lube? thanks
I can relate The Star sizer seems to get the nod as the best unit out there.
I've been using a Lyman 450 I traded into, and have been pleased with it so far, especially as the sizing dies are more common, and less exspensive then some of the other units.
You can use home made lubes in all the sizer/lubers, though it can make for a mess loading it in. I use 50/50 moly greese and beeswax.
Thanks for the reply, how do the lyman 450s compare to the RCBS unit? If I were to buy one used (I have never inspected one) what would I look for? Are there parts that wear out first or parts that could be missing? And how does the gas check seater work?
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Between the lyman and the rcbs the rcbs has better warranty service. Even if you bought it used. The lyman sizer dies seem to be better than the rcbs ones. The O-rings on the lube nut are about the only thing I have worn out in many years of use. I have 2 lyman 45's and one rcbs. The 45's are older than the 450's. The gas check seater fits to stop movement on the sizer die pin. I haven't used mine as when I size bullets it also seats the gas checks fine at the same time. Orygun
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jsirm.....You can use homemade lube in either the Lyman, RCBS or Star....no problems.
As for the sizer. I have one of each and several Lyman's out on the bench.
The Star is a classy machine and does good work. The advantage being in that the bullets are nose first sized. Disadvantages are that sizer dies are expensive and not as pentiful as dies for the Lyman 450 and RCBS which will interchange as well as the top punches.
The Lyman 450 and RCBS sizers are about neck and neck in their ability to size bullets well.
The advantage goes to the RCBS with their excellent warranty.
Sizer dies are another matter. Here, the Lyman dies have proven to be better for me over the RCBS dies due to consistency and concentricity.
If I was looking to acquire a sizer, I would look on E-Bay and find a good, used Lyman 450 or RCBS. Avoid the Lyman #45. It's a good sizer when properly used but parts are no longer available.
In the matter of used dies. Look for Lyman's. Insure that they have the O-ring at the top as these are the newer dies with a tapered lead-in at the mouth. The others are useable but only work well after you've had someone to gring a tapered lead-in on them./beagle
I have both a lyman 450 and the Star made by Magma. The 450 has served me great for 10+ years I have had to rebuild the linkages 3 times. I now have steel replacements works better than new. Thye star has the feed sytem woo hoo great set up for sinlge feed it works great allso. Yes the dies are more expensive but it is built hell for stout as a single feed. The upgrade to a auto feed is great as I said but there are a couple of things I am changing and when they are done and made I will post pics.
As for recomendations.if on a budget buy the Lyman kit with sizer, melting pot and book. Hey for what you get it is a good value and you can allways do some trading.
The only problem I've had with my 450, and it's the older style one, is I broke the handle on it, trying to size a massively oversize bullet in it. You can get an upgrade kit to put the newer style handle, but I just MIG welded the handle together, adding some washers at the holes that broke to re-inforce it.
I would look for the best price when shopping used, and especially see if you can get one that comes with some sizer dies. Even if the dies aren't sizes you're likely to use, you can sell them off.
I've sized 1000's of bullets through mine, and haven't had any problems. Mine was missing the nut that holds the die in place, and the top cap of the lube resevoir. I called up Lyman, and I think both parts and shipping was not much over $5. The handle upgrade was $30, but the lady said there is no need to upgrade if the existing one works. I was in the middle of sizing up bullets for a buddy, so just fixed it myself when it broke.
I've never seen the need for a gas check seater, they are only used if you want to seat a gas check, and shoot the bullet unsized. I simply pop the gas checks on the base of the bullet, and run them through the lube sizer the same way as I would a plain base bullet.
You can upgrade a Lyman or RCBS to a pressure feed now. Check out ALF at castingstuff. It will lube a lot of bullets without the constant turning of the handle. web page
Thanks for the replies, I have been shopping around and Im wondering about the redding/saeco sizer. Is it any good? it looks good to me, there seems to be a few features that make good sense. Also, I notice that saeco has 45454 top punches and rcbs has 454 punches, are these interchangable? If I had a saeco sizer would I ever have a lyman/rcbs bullet that didnt have a top punch to match? Thanks again for all the information.
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The Saeco is a good sizer maybe one of the best. The top punches will not interchange with a LY or RCBS sizer and the dies are a little more expensive. If you shoot a Saeco bullet you can buy a top punch for the LY sizer. LY and RCBS punches are held in with a set screw, Saeco's are threaded. Gianni.
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