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Old February 3, 2011, 02:24 PM   #26
oneounceload
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Step ups from the MEC include, in the opinion of many, the RCBS Grand, The PW models and at the top of the mountain, the Spolar. When you add in a hydraulic or electric drive to a PW or Spolar, the machine starts to get real pricey.....that's OK if you are shooting the volume to offset the cost. I have had MEC 9000's - not bad machines once you get it tweaked.........still have some Jr's. Right now I am using the Grand and it does a nice job - and any and all replacement parts come free from Oroville - forever.
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Old February 3, 2011, 03:57 PM   #27
BigJimP
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I have a buddy with a Spolar machine - hydraulic - and 12ga and 20ga tool heads.... but I wouldn't trade my Mec 9000 HN's for the Spolar. But like OneOunce says --- once you understand a Mec --- its an easy machine to keep tuned up.
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Old February 3, 2011, 05:09 PM   #28
TheKlawMan
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BigJim. That is one organized garage. Besides the shotgun, I am trying to pursue antother pastime I have been getting into and you are obviously well into; wood working. It is nice to see that the reloading equipment takes up very little space.
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Old February 3, 2011, 05:25 PM   #29
BigJimP
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While I'm thinking about it ....we all have machines we prefer over others ....but one of the biggest issues ....

You need to decide on the hull that you want to reload ....not all 12ga 2 3/4" hulls are the same ...in fact they can be way different / which isn't logical. But some of them are a little longer, some are tapered, some have brass cups, some are steel, etc ....

In 12ga reloads ....
a. 10 Years ago 90% of us reloaded Win AA's exclusively ... But today, Win has the HS hulls..which I believe require a different wad / some of the promo loads like you might buy at WalMart,etc ...are a little different, crimp different..and may be a different quality of plastic in the hull.... So many of us / have given up on Win AA hulls ....

b. Remington has an STS hull (dark green) and a Nitro hull ( gold ) that are very durable / really strong hulls - and will almost reload forever. I have many with well over 20 reloads on one hull. Remington also has a black hull - called a "Game Load" ....and the plastic is a little thinner and more brittle than the Rem STS or Rem Nitro hulls. But all 3 of the Rem hulls are easy to reload - and take the same recipe. The Rem Game Loads will only reload 4 or 5 times before they seem to crack.

Today, based on what I see - 90% of us reload Rem STS hulls....

c. There are other hulls out there - Federal - which are fine .... / Fiocchi, Rio, Estate, etc which are all pretty much junk in my opinion ...

But you can't mix and match hulls - some WIN AA's, some STS's, some Rio's etc ..... / you can't necessarily mix and match wads or primers either . On shotshells - you have to follow the published recipe to the letter - and while some substitutions of wads may be allowed in the tables ...you can't mix and match everything...

So what I'm saying is some of the promo shells you're buying - may be junk / and not really a good option for reloading. The best hull to use, in my opinion is the REM STS hull in a 12ga. Some clubs sell once fired hulls for about $4 per 100 .../ or you might be able to beg a few hundred off someone ...( many of us that reload / have 20gallon garbage cans full of hulls ...) ...

Personally, I like Hodgdon Clays powder, Win AA 12SL wad because I load 1 oz of shot ( and I substitue a Green Duster brand wad for it ) - and that substitution is in the Hodgdon book, and Win 209 primers .....but part of the reason I use that mix ....is my club stocks all those components in case lots .... ( and I load 1 oz of 8's 99% of the time in my 12ga loads ).

The reason I happened to think of this - is it was a topic at my club yesterday ...when we found a guy picking hulls out of the garbage and he was mixing and matching all kinds of hulls... and he had some shells that were "bloopers" and some "misfires" ....so we tried to educate him ...and he had no clue ( and he can't read, can't follow directions, and hasn't cleaned his gun in over a year ....) .... Not saying you would be as foolish as he is ....but it isn't logical that all 12ga hulls are not created equal either ...since all 2 3/4" 12 ga shells will fit in a gun chambered for 2 3/4" shells ...you might think they had a mfg convention / where they were all the same ..but they aren't !!
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Old February 3, 2011, 06:17 PM   #30
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To add my favorite to Jim's Remington mentions-the Gun Club, frequently put on sale by Dick's and other big-box chains - while a steel base hull, they are as reloadable as the STS and crimp real well
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Old February 3, 2011, 06:40 PM   #31
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See, even though we're friends - we can occasionally agree on something

( but the gun clubs crack after 4 or 5 loads / unless you load them real light --- like OneOunce does ) .... Although, one thing to help a hull last / and run thru the press better ....is bring them in out of the cold ...and let them warm up overnite before you run them thru the press .... ( or you could even run them thru the clothes dryer --- for a few minutes ---- if you don't get caught ...) or so a single buddy of mine keeps saying ....( I don't have the guts to do it at home ) ....and he won't either when he gets married later this year, trust me .... she'll kill him ...
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Old February 3, 2011, 06:45 PM   #32
DG45
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I don't shoot trap or skeet or dove, and don't need a lot of shells. So, I just load a few shells by hand as I need them or as the spirit moves me to. I load some vintage smokeless loads in paper hulls that I roll crimp, and I do some blackpowder loading (it's really a black powder substitute) in brass shells. I've found loading them as I need them this way to be inexpensive, uncomplicated and its the way everybody used to do it. It also really adds something to the enjoyment and anticipation of going hunting or shooting.

I already had a Remington Model 11 12 Ga. autoloader and a 100 year old Forehand Arms single barrel 12 Ga. when I started doing this. I also owned a rubber hammer, and a Black and Decker workmate to use as a work bench, and a 12 Guage shotgun cleaning kit.

I bought:
an antique 12 Ga. roll crimper on e-bay; about $18, incl. shipping.
100 primed Cheddite hulls $16.95 + shipping from BPI
10 CNC lathed brass shells from RMC (unprimed) $60-ish
1 lb. of Alliant Red Dot Powder (smokeless) can't recall but about $15
1 lb. of Triple Seven Powder (black powder substitute) cant't recall; say $15

With the exception of shot, which can be expensive in large quantities, the rest of the stuff I bought was a few bucks each. Finding small quantities of shot was the most difficult thing I ran into. (Although recently, I was practically given about 5 lbs. of #7 1/2 shot and an equal quantity of 00 buckshot by a gunsmith who was going out of business.)

100 Winchester primers
a bag of fiber wads
a bag of nitro cards and a bag of overshot cards.
a hand dipper adjustible in oz/drams; it's handle doubles as a 12 ga. tamper
a small funnel
a tube of Duco Cement to seal the ends of my brass shells.
a 12 guage sized dowel

I also bought a pricy set of brass priming, and depriming tools from RMC because I think they're cool, but I could have probably have gotten by with a block of hardwood, a socket from a socket wrench set, and a Torx screwdriver for depriming.

Works for me.
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Old February 3, 2011, 09:33 PM   #33
mwar410
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Progressives are not really machines beginners should start with. They can be very finicky, you really have to pay attention to them. The MEC jr. will be the perfect machine to learn on, then like you said, upgrade later. You'll get really good at loading with the jr. and you probably be watching T.V. as you are doing it. And until you start shooting a S@#$ load, it will will serve you well.
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Old February 3, 2011, 09:44 PM   #34
mwar410
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Missed a page, We used to load the gameloads to ( absolutely not reccommended) AA 1 oz. loads, called them black beauties. 4 loads and I would toss them, chrono @ 1050. would break targets fine.
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Old February 4, 2011, 02:36 PM   #35
halfmile
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reloads

The Wally world shells will screw up your game, 1 oz at 1325 FPS. And they kick a lot more than a good 1150 FPS reload.

Plus the shot is not as good, etc, etc.

Lyman Book and Mec instructions.....can't go wrong.

HM
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Old February 5, 2011, 10:06 PM   #36
rottieman33
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did this all with a Mec Jr. 2156 rounds.

Last edited by rottieman33; March 3, 2011 at 04:53 PM.
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Old February 6, 2011, 11:21 AM   #37
oneounceload
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You must have had a good workout!
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Old February 6, 2011, 11:58 AM   #38
rottieman33
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oneounceload let me put it this way i am single now girlfriend go so ****** at me cause i wasn't spending any time with her. Doing all that work wasn't bad cause with my work i use my upper body alot. but i do want to get a progressive press now just picked up a Saiga 12 and think my rounds will go fast now.
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Old February 6, 2011, 12:16 PM   #39
zippy13
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In the early 70's I had only two shotguns: Skeet W-101's in 12 and .410. My neighbor, who was in the process of clearing out for a move, came to my door with two cartons. One had a picture of a MEC 600 Jr and the other box was much larger. I recognized the MEC box because I'd been reloading with a 12-ga 650 for several years. The larger box had well over 4,000 once fired Fed paper .410 hulls. My neighbor proposed giving me the hulls if I would buy the loader for $35. With the deal done, I got some .410 powder and 5,000 ea of primers, over-powder and filler wads. After quite a few evenings working the 600 Jr. I had something in the neighborhood of 175 boxes of .410s -- quite an impressive sight. I thought I would be shooting these little guys for some time to come. Surprise, surprise, it seemed like no time at all before they were gone. Rottiieman33, let's see if your experience is the same.
Several years later, when I was shooting the .410 more seriously, I got a MEC Grabber in .410 and sold the 600 Jr for $35.

Last edited by zippy13; February 6, 2011 at 01:38 PM. Reason: typo
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Old February 6, 2011, 12:18 PM   #40
BigJimP
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Impressive pile of boxes my man ....

For that kind of volume ---- look at the 9000-GN ( its manually operated / but progressive and auto index.)

The 9000-HN is the hydraulic version / but the downside to this model is you need a permanent place to put the press / with the motor and pump that stays on the floor - and you operate it with a foot pedal.

Both of the 9000's are very good machines / they'll both do 100 boxes in about 5 hours.
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Old February 6, 2011, 12:29 PM   #41
rottieman33
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2500 rounds in 5 hours my 2000 rounds think it took me about 15-20 hours lol.
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Old February 9, 2011, 04:07 PM   #42
TheKlawMan
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Basics supplies to reload

So what do I need to get started reloading? I can think of hulls, primers, a loading system and I would go with a MEC 600 Jr., shot, and shot cups. Do I also need a scale and what about a tumbler or is that just something for brass?

Also, in a youtube video some guy demonstrating a 600 Jr,, just a guy not doing it for any company, taps something each time to ensure that all the powder falls down. Is that necessary or is he using cheap powder. If some is left up in the thing will it end up in the next shell and will that be a hot load?
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Old February 9, 2011, 04:20 PM   #43
BigJimP
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Yes, you need a scale ....but a balance beam is fine ...for shotshells especially.

You need Hulls...( pick one ... like Rem STS, 2 3/4" hulls 12ga )

You need "wads" ....follow a published recipe .... for 1 oz loads you need a WIN 12SL wad ...

You need 'primers" ....like Win 209 ....

You need a 25 lb bag of shot .... like 8's ...

You need powder - like Hodgdon Clays ...

( and no, you don't need to smack the feed tube every time ). If he's doing that / on powder or shot ....he probably has some static built it / and he should address that issue ( by using static free dryer sheets, etc ) not smacking the powder feed tube.

No tumbler / just wipe off your hulls if necessary ( but I do nothing to mine ). If I drop one in the mudd / or a puddle ....I dry it off / drop it into my vest.
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Old February 9, 2011, 04:34 PM   #44
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You need a manual or to look at the powder maker websites to get recipes - first and foremost.

Hulls and wads are not always interchangeable (actually most times NOT). Primers are not the same either, although a few brands can be used interchangeably.

With ANY reloading, a scale to verify powder drops is something you need.
Press for the proper gauge, hulls of decent quality - stick to Remington's or Winchester in the AA. Add in the correct powder and wads and you are set to go.

MEC progressives are decent machines - as are the Hornady, RCBS, Dillon, Ponsness-Warren and Spolar - (those are listed in approximate ascending cost order).

The process is simple enough, and in some aspects, it is not as critical as metallic, but recipes are to be followed as changes in pressure can be bad if they get out of line
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Old February 9, 2011, 04:43 PM   #45
BigJimP
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On the scale issue - the MEC loaders use "powder bushings" - where you look up your powder recipe in a book / say 17.0 grains of Hodgdon Clays for a 1 oz 12ga load ....

and you pick the powder bushing that MEC recommends that gets you the closest to 17.0 grains ...in their chart ....like a # 31 bushing probably in this case. You can fine tune a bushing / by polishing a little ...etc ...but usually you go with what it drops as close enough.

But you do need a scale to check once in a while ...as you're loading.

Now in 12ga, 1 oz, loads using REM STS hulls .... you'll find published recipes for 15.7 grains of Clays @ 1125 fps all the way up to 19.8grains of powder @ 1290 fps .....so if you're goal, on powder is to drop 17.0 grains you have a lot of leeway ...for safety. It isn't like handgun loads where your safe minimum might be 4.1 grains --and the max safe load is 4.4 grains.
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Old February 9, 2011, 04:52 PM   #46
TheKlawMan
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OK. I thought I had the basic equipment down but was not sure if I needed a scale. I do. As for having to strictly follow established recipes, I picked that up from your earlier posts. There is a wholesale loading supplies company I have located that also carries used shot. Its Phillips in Covina in case anybody knows of something closer to me in Lake Forest or perhaps a better place. Hint Zippy.As I am in Ca I also need to check if I need something to store the powder in. A guy at Turners, a local chain of gun stores, said I do but the same guy said they didn't carry 25# bags of shot and I quickly found them on their reloading supplies, mainly geared for pistol and rifle cartridges, aisle.
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Old February 9, 2011, 05:30 PM   #47
BigJimP
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I don't live in CA.....but in my state, Washington ....you can have up to 25 lbs of powder stored in a residence, with no special requirements.

From 25 - 50 lbs in a residence --- it has to be stored inside a solid 3/4" plywood box.

In Washington state - you cannot have over 50 lbs of powder stored in a residence.

Your state websites / may help you answer the question.

Note: many of us as reloaders keep up to 4 or 5 different powders in stock in our homes / and typically in 8 lb kegs ...so up to 40 lbs with no issues. For a 12ga reloader - all you need is one powder / and an 8lb keg will give you 56,000 grains ( or at 17.0 grains per shell --- about 3,200 shells or 128 boxes ....).

There will probably be limitations on primers as well in your state / in mine its 10,000 .... and I always buy primers in case lots of 5,000 ....and a couple of cases on hand is plenty...
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Old February 9, 2011, 05:57 PM   #48
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Fifty pounds of smokeless powder takes up a significant amount of cabinet space. On the other hand, 10,000 primers, the old limit, don't take up very much space at all. The other day I thought I was getting low on pistol primers… I quick count showed I was just below 20,000 in about 6" of shelf space. Well above the old limit; but, since they are all labeled with DOT 1.4S, I'm legal.

TheKlawMan,
I don't have a clue where to get discount components locally in SoCal. My last bulk order was from J & S up in Jackson. The last time I was there, the had low prices on MEC, too. You might ask the shooters at Prado who's their component guy.
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Old February 9, 2011, 06:08 PM   #49
wildphilhickup
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And you do not ...

You do not have to load shotshells exactly as the book may call it out.

Their recipes are not written in stone.

You can use any primer. I prefer those that are "sealed". I think it was the old 57 type that were open.

You can use almost any wad, ... as long as it will hold the amount of shot you want and give a decent crimp.

You can use any hull, high base or low base, makes no difference. But again, the wad and shot amount will be your limiting factor. I prefer hulls with 8 point crimp. AA - red or gray, RXP, STS, etc.

You will find that most loads use around 20 grains of powder.

I select loads as to the powder type and amount of shot.

This is a "ratio" you must follow.

I never EXCEED MAX powder charges.
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Old February 9, 2011, 06:15 PM   #50
TheKlawMan
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BigJim and Zippy, Thanks again. So as not to possibly invalidate our fire insurance policy, I will check the storage question out with the Fire Authority. It looks as if there are no state regs, if less than 20 pounds of smokeless are stored in a residence. To be safe I will also run things past a contact in the city builidng department, if local ordiances aren't clear. Even if nothing is mandated, I will probably knock together a box out of fire treated matrerials. Off hand I don't remember but gypsum board (drywall) may be better than plywood.
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