View Full Version : Reloading machine

July 1, 2002, 08:33 AM
I am completely new to reloading.

I just bought a used Mec 600 Junior.

The guy showed me how it works. It's set up for 12 gauge, and I even made some shells.

I am a bit unclear how do you change the specs. For example, if the hull casings are let's say Estate instead of another brand does it need a different type of power and shot? If so, how do you pick which powder and shot.

I am bit unclear how you chose the powder, shot, and bushings. It now has a 30 bushing.

Could someone(s) please give me a little explanations how this works.

Thank you,

July 1, 2002, 11:08 AM
Well, stop loading!! IMO you are not set up to safely load. You MUST have a scale for weighing the powder charges, the bushings are not trustworthy. Different lots of powder of the same brand and specs can change the charge weights by 3 full grains in the same bushing. This is experience, not speculation. Get a scale, don't load until you do.

For shot selection you need to identify what you want to accomplish with the loads. For skeet a #9 is all you need, for trap even out to the fence a #8 will break the targets if you hit them. For 99% of sporting targets a #8 will work very well. For trap and sporting a #8 or #7 1/2 will do everything and do it well. If you are hunting the larger shot can come into play, pheasant loads are #5 for me, turkey too. Grouse and chukkar are #6 loads for me.

Powder selection is along the same lines, what do you want and what will get you there. For all around target shooting with a 12 gauge Hodgdon Clays is the best powder I have ever tried, and I think I have tried them all at this point. Red Dot is also a good selection for all around target shooting. Clays is the cleanest burning powder on the market and economical too, Red Dot smells awesome. You need to get loading data before changing anything. The loading manuals are free from all of the powder manufacturers and you can get them off of the websites or in hardcopy from the retailers where you buy your powder.

Rather than buy all of the bushings for powder and shot I would suggest buying an adjustable charge bar. They are about 25 bucks, and will cover any 2 3/4" load you come across. The bushings are about a buck each and charge bars about 7 bucks. You hit the cost of the adjustable bar quickly. Hope this helps, if you need any more info let me know.

July 1, 2002, 11:09 AM
Pick up the Lyman book on shotshell reloading. I got mine from Cabelas,IIRC. This will teach you 95% of what you need to know.
Yes, hulls matter. They have different internal capacities, so loads need to change depending on the following variables-hulls, primers, wads,shot size and type, and buffer.
You choose load combinations by looking them up in a loadbook, and once you become experienced-by extrapolation from those known loads. Bushings hold a certain volume of either shot or powder. Conversion tables teach you how to convert the bushing numbers to relative amounts of shot or powder.
First, get the book. Read it and come back with any questions you may have.

July 1, 2002, 11:17 AM
you need a reference book to work from, I use the guides from the powder companies. Match the components exactly as in guide use your bushing chart as a starting point for bushing . load first shell and scale the powder charge , if it's at or less then the spec load 5 more then scale again if ok I load 10 more then check again.

July 1, 2002, 12:36 PM
you don't need a reference book, almost everything can be found on the internet now, and most of the powders have load specs on them for whatever you're using.
The 600 Jr will tire you out.
the guy who helped you set it up who you got it from, probably also gave you the formula to use. Keep using his formula until you do figure out what you want to go to. then do the whole weighing thing.
A 30 bushing is very good if you're using Clays and one ounce loads.
quick answer to your question is, you won't need to change powders when changing shells. But you may need to change powder amounts and wads.

July 1, 2002, 01:01 PM
I appreciate your responses. I do have the conversion books. I am not sure how to read them.

How do you change powder and shot amounts?

Do you do that by changed the bushing?

July 1, 2002, 01:37 PM
To change the powder charge, change bushings. To change the amount of shot dropped, you must insert a different charge bar. the charge bar that you are using is stamped on one end. that will indicate the weight of shot dropped by that particular bar. For 12 gauge, the 600 jr typically comes with a 1 1/8 oz charge bar, but yours could be different.

1. Decide what hull you are going to use and what shot charge you intend to drop. Pick a charge bar for that weight of shot. (If you only have one bar, that part is easy!)

2. In the powder manufacturer's internet site, look for the shot charge under "12 gauge," then look for the hull type. You will find charts showing different primer and wadcombinations for the powder and hull that you chose. Pick one.

3. The manufacturers give a chart that will show how much of their powder is dropped by which MEC bushing. Since you only have a #30, you may be restricted here, but additional bushings only cost about $2 each.

4. Many people have simply relied on the charts to give them a starting point, but it is a good idea to weigh a powder charge to confirm how much of your lot of powder the bushing drops.

July 1, 2002, 02:20 PM
Thank you Clemson.

July 1, 2002, 02:37 PM
Never, never trust the bushing charts. Always weigh the powder charge and check it against at least two different sources.

Hull type, wads and primers must be matched to a known formula available in the various books or tables put out by the manufacturer.

Primers from various manufacturers are NOT interchangeable. Every primer is different and will yield different pressures. Same with wad types and hulls. Unlike centerfire reloading you have to pay attention to the components and check them against the recommendations of components manufacturers.

Using the wrong components can lead to dangerous pressures. Be carefull!!!

Dave McC
July 1, 2002, 03:21 PM
To second what the guys said....

The Lyman manual has a show and tell chapter on using a single stage press, and they use the 600 Jr for this.

A scale is essential for the reasons given. There are old reloaders and bold reloaders, but no old,bold reloaders.

Here's my recipe for target loads, right from the manual and good with 7 1/2, 8 or 8 1/2 shot.

AA hull.

16.5 grains of Clays, this is Bushing 29 for me.

Win 209 primer.

1 oz of hard shot, I use West Coast.

WAA12SL wad, or the Claybuster clone.

About 1175 FPS, nice tight pattern.

Naturally, I disclaim responsibility if this hurts you or your shotgun. Sue Lyman, not me(G)...


July 2, 2002, 08:12 AM
Okay I got a question or two.

The guy I bought the machine from suggest IMR 700X powder. I have the chart. It's an old one though.

The shells I have been using are Estate. The chart doesn't have Estate. It has Federal, Winchester, and Remington.

1) So how do I determine what I need for Estate?

2) I followed the chart for 1 1/8 oz of Winchester and it came up with the powder grain.

Then I went to the bushings chart and it has another number for powder grain

How do I put both charts together? They both have different numbers they suggest for powder?

Thank you,

July 2, 2002, 10:04 AM
it sounds like you found the grains you're supposed to use, then went to the chart and looked at the grains you are dropping with your 30 bushing. What you'd want to do with your first figure, the grains in powder you want, is to find where that amount is dropped from your bushing chart for your powder. Then go up (or to the side, i think it is up) in that row to find out what bushing you use.
But you dont even need the bushing chart if you have a scale, you can just toss a bushing in there and weigh whats being dropped, and keep changing them till you find what is closest to the amount of powder you want to drop.

July 2, 2002, 10:11 AM
Ah. Thank you Matt.

Dave McC
July 2, 2002, 04:21 PM
First, do NOT substitute a hull for another brand or type. I can run pressures up past the red line from an innocous load in an AA hull to a grenade in training if I use a Federal or Fiocchi. Stick to the recipes exactly.

As for two differing pieces of info, use that scale and go with the results.

I like to keep pressure levels under 9000 PSI on my reloads. That might be a very good guideline until you learn more about reloading.

July 2, 2002, 04:47 PM
I would strongly recommend reloading ONLY Winchester AA, Remington STS/Nitro 27 or Federal Premium hulls.

These hulls are manufactured with reloaders in mind and are designed to be reloaded many times. Cheaper brands, including the cheapie promo loads from the above three manufacturers, are generally constructed with a seperate internal basewad and thinner plastic. They are just not as sturdy and may weaken after a reloading or two.

I know, I know , some people use them and get good results, but generally it pays to use quality hulls that are designed for the task. I have seen nice guns destroyed by Kabooms, it is not pretty and can cause injury. The last one I know of from a shooting buddy was a $4,000 O/U! He reloaded some off brand european hulls and paid for it the hard way.

European shotshells are generally constructed with quality internal components and thin hulls. Europeans rarely reload, preferring to shoot the hulls and dispose of them.

Estate hulls are usually sold to the Sporting Crowd most of whom are too impo.... er... busy to reload! :D

If you cannot find a reloading recipe put out by the powder/component/shell manufacturer I would not use those hulls.

My $.02

But I ain't blowed up my gun yet :D