Many ask this question. Some intend to justify owning something else, others to understand why so many desire to own and use a reloader designed almost 70 years ago. The fact is that they produce consistently accurate ammunition of the highest quality and Stars hold their value. They oulasted the original company, weathered copy-cat products, and still offer production capacity on par with most newer product designs that substitute warranties for the confidence of old school quality and workmanship that are Star's hallmarks.
The progressive type reloading tool was made successful with Star's design for a commercial volume reloading tool. It was the tool used by police departments and armories. Previous to this design, the options were complex and expensive straight-line or single stage reloading tools.
Many companies envy Star Machine Works of San Diego for it's reputation of lifetime quality. A successful company producing reloaders from the 1930s until the late 1990s with an efficient design and high quality gets attention. There was a waiting list as long as 18 months, similar to today's wait for a custom firearm with hand-fit precision craftsmanship. Elard Mock worked for Star over 57 years to assure the quality standards and design integrity.
Many improvements were suggested to enable Star design to increase output from hundreds of rounds per hour to upwards of a thousand rounds per hour. This is close to the same maximum output today's most expensive commercial progressives produce when fully outfitted with automatic case feeders, indexers, bullet feeders, etc. The Star reloading tool developed an industry for accessories including case feeders, case tube fillers, automatic indexers, bullet feeders, and many other innovations.
Immitation is often considered a sincere form of flattery. It is also a formal endorsement for the viability of the original idea. Star's design was copied by many companies over the years and we can point to similarities with today's reloading tools. Star is the originator of the design and inspired many others. Is it any wonder that Star is still a great product as wonderfully reliable today as it was over half a century ago.