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Star Reloaders Discussion Forums => Star History => Topic started by: rbwillnj on September 11, 2015, 10:49:16 PM

Title: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: rbwillnj on September 11, 2015, 10:49:16 PM
In December 2014, not long after purchasing Star Machine Works I took a trip to the northern part of New Jersey to look at a collection of Star Reloaders that was for sale.   Among the ten Star reloaders and four Phelps reloaders were two Star Inline (also referred to as Straight-Line) reloaders.   I brought them home along with six Universals.  As time has allowed I have been working to restore one of the Inlines.   It required parts from both machines plus some parts I acquired in the Star acquisition to get one of the Inlines to its current state.   I am still missing the primer slider, chain and counterweight that can be seen in the last two black in white pictures that were taken by Ken Walters and provided to me by Ken Neeld from the ARTCA forum.  The missing parts are a Rube Goldberg system of advancing primers held in the horizontal rectangular primer tube to the priming station.

This machine cannot be considered a progressive reloader as the cases must be moved from station to station manually, and it is not possible to perform all operations at the same time.   

You will note that the patent number is the same number used on Progressives and Universals.   Since there are Progressives with "Pat Pending" bases, it would seem to indicate that these machines came after the introduction of the "Progressive" even though the Progressive seems a far more advanced than the inline.  Although the Patent number on this machine is the same as used on the Progressives, I don't see anything in the Patent that would apply to this machine.

It's difficult to get a good idea of how this machine works based on the pictures, so when I have the time I plan to put together a YouTube video of the machine in operation.

Bruce Williams
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: rbwillnj on September 11, 2015, 10:53:00 PM
More Pictures
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: NYKenn on September 11, 2015, 10:53:58 PM
Bruce

Is it 30-06?

Kenn
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: rbwillnj on September 11, 2015, 10:56:47 PM
Yes, 30-06, in fact both of them are 30-06.
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: NYKenn on September 12, 2015, 08:59:33 AM
Thanks. The two you have are in better condition than most I have seen pictures of. Not having seen one in person, am wondering.
Was 30/06 the only caliber they were made in?
Are they caliber specific or could changes be made?
Any idea how many actually were manufactured?

Will probably never know or be able to find out, but would be interesting to know the thoughts behind making them, who for and why. Etc.

Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: fc60 on September 12, 2015, 12:34:53 PM
Greetings,

It appears that the powder slide is an adjustable design. Is my assumption correct?

Cheers,

Dave
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: rbwillnj on September 12, 2015, 01:30:04 PM
Kenn,

I believe this is the same press described in a post by eaglemike a while back.  He describes it as a multi-station press designed to be less expensive than the Progressive and indicates that only a dozen or so were made.   I know of six including mine.     Some believe the Inline predates the "Progressive".  I'm told that the 1937 Phil Sharps book "Complete guide to Handloading" has a picture of the Inline but makes no mention of the Progressive. Of course we know the patent for the "Progressive was filed in 1933 and granted in 1936.   

The powder magazine is nickel plated brass, the same as used on the Pat. Pending Progressives.  The powder magazine has a wider opening at the bottom and no built in baffle.

Here is a link to eaglemike's post.  http://www.starreloaders.com/forum/index.php?topic=238.msg583#msg583

Among the Star items I acquired  was a box of parts for the Inline.  (Actually, I had a feeling they were Inline parts, but wasn't sure till I acquired the two Inlines.)  Among the parts were a number of dies and expanders.  None have a manufactures name and many are unmarked as to caliber.  I assume they were made by Star.  Among those that are marked are .270/35 WCF, 22 Hornet, 45 (ACP?), 38 Special and 44 WCF.   

If you look at the side of the Powder Magazine "Housing"  you will notice two layers.   You can remove one layer and install a powder slide that is half the thickness, one of which was among the parts.   And yes, both powder slides are adjustable.
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: NYKenn on September 13, 2015, 06:58:38 PM
Thanks for the info.

It is interesting the more that is found out, the more questions arise!

For those that acquired the first 12, I would think they were people who knew what they had, and information could have been passed down with them. Unfortunately, I might speculate the early owners are long past, and whoever inherited them know nothing about them and they were readily discarded, or are still in an attic or basement and whoever finds them will have no idea what they are.

Thus the other 6 may never be found again.
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: rbwillnj on September 13, 2015, 08:35:12 PM
Actually, to be able to account for at least 50% of anything made 80 years ago is pretty amazing.    Keep in mind, when these things were made, they weren't antiques, and really are not particularly remarkable in their function.  The fact that they are a rare and relatively unknown part of Star's history is what makes them interesting.....especially to me:) 

Those who collect antique reloading machines seem to mostly pass over Star progressives (small p), but go GaGa over reloaders made in the 50's and  60's.   I think that's actually a testament to the success of the Star progressives.  They were so well designed that a machine built in the 1930's is little different than one built in the 1990's.   I have been trying to catalog the design changes in Star progressives during the 60+ years of production, and they are few in number and minor in scope.

Bruce Williams
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: NYKenn on September 15, 2015, 07:25:18 PM
And machines built in the 30s are still functioning and is use! As you say a testament to the Star.

You are right in that there were relatively few changes. As the Star remained almost the same, their total production numbers over the years were substantially higher than many other presses from the many manufacturers, almost making them common. The Star quality is probably one of the reasons for smaller numbers of other presses, as most could not complete with the Star, and thus did not last long.

Do you know or is there any idea of how many Star presses were actually made and sold over the years?


Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: rbwillnj on September 16, 2015, 10:09:37 PM
Kenn, I have no idea.
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: NYKenn on September 17, 2015, 05:48:46 PM
I think it is safe to assume if Bruce has no idea, we will never know, unless someone finds all their business records, which by now are probably long gone to the dust pile.


Kenn
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: rbwillnj on September 18, 2015, 04:05:49 PM
I don't know if I would go that far Kenn, but thanks.

I think I have mentioned before that I do have the carbon copies for the last five years of Star's operations, ending in 1997.   But that's it.  Beyond that we have to rely on personal antidotes and conjecture.
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: johnfreeman on September 21, 2015, 06:51:49 PM
Bruce

That's quite a find and you've done your typically superb job of cleaning/refurbing.  What beautiful work these Stars are, with real metal and machinist handwork.

Thanks for sharing with us. I'll never see another!

John

Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: CHAWKI44 on May 30, 2016, 08:20:45 PM
I have a Star Inline in 45-70
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: 824tsv on May 31, 2016, 09:00:27 AM
I'm quite sure pictures of your Inline would be most appreciated!
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: ChrisMock on June 28, 2016, 11:28:47 PM
Very cool.   My Great Uncle is Elard Mock and I am trying to fill in the pieces of family history.   My Grandpa also worked at Star. i remember going to the shop as a child and Uncle Elard loved showing me all the machines.  He was super sweet, smart and simple. Loved hunting and was an awesome Gunsmith as well.  This forum is interesting as I have gaps on exactly what happened when he became sick and the shop was sold.  I am sure he would be so pleased his work is still appreciated!
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: fc60 on June 29, 2016, 12:31:07 PM
Greetings Chris,

What a great contribution you can offer!

Hopefully you might be able to fill in the gaps and other questions with your knowledge and maybe some photos?

With kind regards,

Dave Wilson
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: tony barone on June 29, 2016, 03:28:24 PM
Would love to see shop photos of Star. How about Bruce with some photos of your shop and Dave wilson also.
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: NYKenn on June 29, 2016, 08:46:04 PM
Welcome Chris.

I am sure you will have some comments or observations that you can contribute. So much is known of the reloaded but so little of the company and the man(men) behind it.

Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: rbwillnj on June 30, 2016, 02:22:39 PM
Chris,

I'd love to trade notes with you.  I never met your great uncle, but I have talked to a few people who knew him well. I'm sure they would be happy to talk to you.

Bruce Williams

Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: rbwillnj on June 30, 2016, 02:29:04 PM

I believe this is the same press described in a post by eaglemike a while back.  He describes it as a multi-station press designed to be less expensive than the Progressive and indicates that only a dozen or so were made.   I know of six including mine.     Some believe the Inline predates the "Progressive".  I'm told that the 1937 Phil Sharps book "Complete guide to Handloading" has a picture of the Inline but makes no mention of the Progressive. Of course we know the patent for the "Progressive was filed in 1933 and granted in 1936.   

Since this post is active again I thought I would add some additional information.   Apparently the multi-station press that eaglemike was referring to was not the Inline but a press similar to the one pictured below.  The pictured press belongs to CHAWKI44 who's stepfather got the press from Elard Mock.
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: NYKenn on July 01, 2016, 09:51:04 PM
Thanks for posting Bruce.

First view of this type. Only a dozen or so would explain why most of us have never seen it.
Were the RCBS shell holders original to its use or added later?
Any idea on the year for the one in the photos?
Title: Re: Star Inline or Straight-line Reloader
Post by: rbwillnj on July 26, 2016, 04:16:00 PM
Ken,

Sorry for the late reply.  Somehow I missed your post.

I'm afraid I really don't know much about this machine.   I seem to recall eaglemike saying that he modified it to use RCBS shell holders, but this was not one of eaglemike's machines.   Eaglemike worked at Star in the mid-70's and again in the mid-80's so it's possible he may have done the modification even if it wasn't his personal machine.