View Full Version : sizer lubricator questions
I know nothing about them. my production should be around 500 rounds a month. I will be using it on 9mm and 40sw.
Is the heater element important?
Which ones should I look at and why?
Thanks for the help in advance.
If you want nice, neat bullets, you need a sizer/lubricator. If you can live with ugly bullets that shoot great, you can tumble lube them like the big factories do for their lead bullets. In many cases, you don't need to size bullets, if you do, the Lee sizers work great. Most 9mm molds drop bullets at 0.357/0.358" and most guns chamber them fine. I don't size my 9mm bullets for example and I use them as is in 38Spl as well. My 40SW and 38 cal molds are a little too big for some of my guns so they get pushed through the sizer.
The heater depends on the lube you are using and the room temp the gear is kept in. Hard lube in a cold garage will need a heater. Soft lube in a 65* room won't.
You're not going to like the answer, but the only sizer that is worth buying is the Star from Magma Engineering. It's $250 (last time I had one). The Lyman/RCBS are nice, but are slow as all get out. If you're doing 500rds now, you'll do more later and be happy when you bought right the first time.
Depending on the type of lube you use, a heater is nice. Hard lubes like White Label Red Carnauba like heat to flow. The BAC (beeswax and carnauba) will get away without using heat, but a tad won't hurt to keep things flowing. Some guys use an aluminum plate with clothes iron to warm it up others hit it with a handheld propane torch for a few seconds to warm it up and repeat when flow is restricted.
A lubrisizer is very simple by design and either will serve you well. I prefer and promote the Star sizer by default. I don't cast commercially any more and I would still buy a Star in a heartbeat (my helper has one I bought him in exchange for labor, so he just sizes for me).
Here is a short video I made a few years ago when I was in the bullet casting business. Here I'm sizing the Lee .45 230gr TC bullet sized to .452 lubed with White Label Lube's Red Carauba. The shovel handle (bought after this video is a very nice option I recommend, like a Dillon roller handle) speeds things up and is easier on your wrist.
Never used anything but the Star Sizer. I hear the others are slow so I bypassed them based on everything I read. Slow is no good for me. Star is FAST and easy. You don't need top punch's for every bullet type. All you need is one punch because you push the bullet from the base not the tip. You of course need the sizer die for each size you want. You can get them cheaper from LatheStar (or whatever his name is) over at castboolits forum. I say get the Lyman heater for $50. It's good enough. I say get the Hard Lube from Magma (what I currently use) or from "Red" from White Label (guess where ;)). I hate sticky bullets. After loading I hate sticky bullets while loading. It takes longer to lube with alox, size, relube, and then clean alox off the bullets after loading then it takes to just lube size them right with a Star normally from the start. I did try the Lee Push Sizer and alox. It works, it's just not my cup of tea at all.
AS Steve & Freak note, the Star/Magma is the best. It really isn't much more than a Lyman or RCBS or Saeco & when you factor out top punch costs, they are really close. Performance though, no comparison, the Magma is easily twice as fast. If you are going to size a lot of gas checked bullets, then I would probably go w/ the RCBS or Saeco, it's just easier to seat gc. Like Steve, I prefer non stickie bullets so use a harder lube that needs a bit of heat, so yes, the heated base is worth it for me.
thanks for the info guys.
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