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Old July 8, 2005, 09:28 PM   #1
LHB1
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Hornady Shotshell Reloader??

OK, I need some advice/opinions. Am thinking about getting back into shotshell reloading. Used MEC 600 Jr/650 loaders some years back but am leaning toward buying a Hornady 366 Auto Progressive (20 gauge) this time. Comments? The only negative I have heard about the 366 is inability to remove shell in mid-cycle if something goes wrong. Is that really a problem? Thanks in advance.

ps: I have a pair of Hornady LNL auto progressive presses for loading pistol calibers.

Good shooting and be safe.
LB
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Old July 8, 2005, 10:48 PM   #2
swmike
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I used to load about 1,000 rnds per week in 12 ga with my 366. I got it after I used the MEC. No comparison. Yes, not being able to remove a shell in mid cycle could be a pain but I'm trying to remember it actually being a problem for me. Good inspection of hulls and attention to the process kept it to a forgettable level. I do remember that I wished I had a 12# Powder reservoir and a 25# shot hopper. Seemed like I was always filling both. Twice per week I loaded the better part of a 5 gal. pail and then off to the range. The former Mrs. took umbrage with the fact I was gone all the time. I eventually divorced, re-married and took up handguns (current Mrs. of 20 years likes to shoot). I guess you might say I solved both problems.
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Old July 9, 2005, 08:12 AM   #3
carpfisher
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I recently got a 366 off of Ebay for a great price. I have learned a couple of things.
1. It is a great press and make good shells but I agree with the comments above about the hoppers being to small.
2. It is possible to remove a screwed up shell. Just lift the advance device and rotate the plate backwards.
3. The one thing I have seem to be having some issue with is the Primer feed. It seems that it doesn't always drop a primer and I ahve learned to watch it every time. Additionally, you will need to learn the correct spped to move the operation lever to give the primer time to drop into the re-prime well.
Greg
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Old July 9, 2005, 01:04 PM   #4
snuffy
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got one

Mine's a 12 ga, I've had it for 12 years. A couple of things to be aware of, there's no shell sensing for the shot or powder drops. There is a shut-off for both, but if you forget to shut them off when there's no shell there, you've got a mess!

Mine makes good reloads if you are loading all one case type. Small adjustments are needed for different base wad heights and shell length causes changes in crimp apperance and quality. Changes in wads can make a difference as well.

Both shot and powder bushings are provided, but changing them is a major hassel. It's best to stay with a load once it's set up.
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Old July 9, 2005, 07:18 PM   #5
Tacoma
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I also progressed from a MEC JR to a H 366. The 366 really pumps out the shells ONCE you get it set up. You still need to stop evey 50 -100 rounds to refill everything though. It's a B#$ch to get "right" again if you run out of primers or domp shot into the mechanizm. I also don't like that resizing is a seperat operation. As much as I like it, I'd vote for a MEC 950 if investing again. It's a simpler machine that does the same thing.
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Old July 9, 2005, 08:24 PM   #6
snuffy
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"I also don't like that resizing is a seperate operation."

It doesn't have to be a seperate operation. Just put the first shell under the resizer station, then progress it to the first, (or deprime station.) Then keep putting a shell into the sizer station and onto the first station. Everybody else is now confused as he!!, but you know what I mean,(even if I can't explain it clearly!)
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Old July 9, 2005, 08:34 PM   #7
LHB1
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Actually I still have my old MEC 650 loaders (12 and 20) in the garage. Haven't used them in many years but have kept them covered to minimize dust and periodically sprayed them to prevent rust. Guess I could always pull them out and put them back to work. The main objection I now have to Hornady 366 is that it does NOT use case activation for powder drop and shot drop. Heck, even the old MEC 650 presses have that feature.

Thanks all for the comments and suggestions.

Good shooting and be safe.
LB
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Old July 20, 2005, 02:55 PM   #8
LHB1
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Thanks everyone for your comments. I made my choice and ordered the Hornady 366 20 gauge loader. Reasons: it is a time proven design, sits on top of the bench, (hopefully) better quality construction, and lower cost. I do wish Hornady would update the design with case activated powder/shot drops.

I considered the RCBS Grand but was just not convinced that the Grand was worth nearly $100 more, especially due to unproven design and some poor quality control on new press I saw locally. The plastic primer feed and plastic shell holder feet did not appear all that sturdy and the shell platform casting was VERY rough, with no finish polishing except in the small primer feed groove. There were visible rough spots and openings in the casting itself where it didn't completely fill out the mold. Looked like very CHEAP quality, not what I expected from RCBS and for that price.

Good shooting and be safe.
LB
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