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 Post subject: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:23 am
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I currently have a Mec 9000 with Auto Mate. Quite frankly I'm tired of powder and shot spills. I am looking to upgrade.

I am looking for inputs comparing Dillon 900, PW Patriot and Spolar Gold. What are the pros and cons of these units compared to the Mec 9000.

I am aware that they are more expensive but that doesn't scare me away. Reliability, ease of use and quality reloads are more important to me.

I haven't really found to much in the way of objective comprisons or product reviews and the internet.

Any help would be appreciated.

JPM




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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:49 am 
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For starters we can save you some money and help you get your 9000 dialed in to stop the spills.
None of mine drop components unless they should,I run 3 9000's anda Grabber on an Automate.



Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:53 am 
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OK. How do we go forward on this?
JPM


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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:01 am 
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marella wrote:
OK. How do we go forward on this?
JPM



The first thing I would suggest is to go up to the top of this forum and open the thread
"Top Threads" and read every thing Curly-No-Hair posted on MEC Progressives and see
where that gets you.

Then post questions about any other problems. {hs#


Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:45 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:41 pm
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My MEC starting giving me fits earlier this year. I would normally put up with a temperamental machine, but I wanted to get my sons into reloading and I thought that maybe a new press would make quality control a bit better. So for me, the extra money would be worth it. I spent an enormous amount of time looking at new presses to see if there was a big difference. After literally 2 months of research, I came to the conclusion that all major presses (MEC, PW, Dillon, Hornady, and even Spolar) have their benefits and issues one way or another. They all produce quality shells. However, they ALL can be temperamental and need adjustments and parts from time to time. So rather than rushing out to get a new press and start over, I thought I would spend some time working with my WEC 9000gn.

If you have the pull arm, I wouldn't use the automate while doing repair and readjustment. Pulling by hand allows you to watch and feel everything in action. Pull slowly and it may help you find out what is going wrong easier. Pay attention to what is happening on the down stroke and what happens on the up stroke. This will give you a solid feel for how the machine works and what happens when you make adjustments.

Problems I was experiencing ranged from spilling shot, under-charge, flipped primers, partially set primers, shot bar hanging up, carousel hanging up - find every problem on the forum here and I had it at one time or another. Again, I caught every problem before the shell made it into my box so I never really worried about it till I tried to let my boys use the press and all of a sudden we had all kinds of QC problems.

I started with doing a good cleaning and lube. I normally keep the press pretty clean, but it's always a good place to start. After reading many posts by Curly on the site here I replaced a bunch of small parts. Parts that made the biggest difference:
- red plastic powder baffle
- replaced rubber bushing in the charge bar. This was HUGE. The old bushing had worn to the point where shot was interfering with the bar and causing a lot of powder errors.
- new index ball bearing and clip

Note: I wouldn't mess with adding spring pressure to the charge bar using washers and whatnot. The spring pressure is more than adequate to move the bar. If it's hanging up, you have other problems to deal with.

Other than replacing the above and a few other minor parts I readjusted the machine according to advise on this board.

The press now operates better than it did when it was brand new and I am very happy with it. Saved myself a pile on a new press and a new set of hassles.

Long story short, there is a pile of information here. You might find that $50 worth of parts and a little maintenance will make all the difference. You will certainly learn a lot more about the press during the process as well.

If your'e married to the idea of a new press, I would go Ponsness Warren. Awesome press.

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:51 am 
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Tim

Just a polite FYI,when you run an Automate the "pull arm"comes off.Way to big of a PITA
to re-install for set-up / trouble shooting.


Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:55 pm 
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Thanks, Steve. I don't have the automate so I didn't think it was a big deal to switch.

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:01 pm 
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If you are still wanting to consider a new press, the RCBS Grand is designed so as not to drop powder or shot without a hull present - you can do one hull all the way around (as in testing how a new load might come out, or have 8 hulls in operation at the same time

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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:27 pm 
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oneounceload wrote:
If you are still wanting to consider a new press, the RCBS Grand is designed so as not to drop powder or shot without a hull present - you can do one hull all the way around (as in testing how a new load might come out, or have 8 hulls in operation at the same time




So is a 9000 designed this way and you can run 1 shell at a time,IF it is set up correctly.


Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:56 pm 
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I'll be politically incorrect and suggest you use the Google search on the top of this page. Unbiased no but using the "rule of large numbers" accurate info can be gained.

Don't use an Automate on a 9000 but all my powder spills were basically from me not paying attention. Part of the attention needed is to make sure the press is functioning correctly and watching primer drops. I rarely spill powder or shot currently. I learned how to run the machine. I practice paying attention to the process. I adjust the machine for different loads... Ask for help and replace parts as needed.

This may sound self righteous. Too bad

I'll admit there may be times a new machine can help with frustration. Some people do it better the second time around.

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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:06 pm 
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Location: Covington, WA USA
jeebs79 wrote:
Note:I wouldn't mess with adding spring pressure to the charge bar using washers and whatnot. The spring pressure is more than adequate to move the bar. If it's hanging up, you have other problems to deal with.

;) - spot on!


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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:50 pm 
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Location: Central Ohio
I just switched over to a PW 800 Plus from my MEC's. I ran in to issues from the press not being properly set up directly from PW. I've spent the last 3 days working on the press to the suggestions on the members here. Here is the link to my ordeal. http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=299483

I will say that I asked a couple of the dealers about the differences of the Patriot and the 800 Plus and I bought the 800. I just got the PW running smoothly but, there is currently a sour taste in my mouth that I'm sure will fade. If you go PW, there is a chance that a steep learning curve will be in your future. Now that it's properly adjusted, it's turning out nice looking shells. The 800 Plus will still drop shot and powder on the bench if you're not paying attention. The new Patriot requires a shell to be under it before it will drop either so, that would be a nice feature.

Good luck no matter which direction you go. If you go PW, you'll most likely need the knowledge of the members here to help you get it set up.


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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:34 am
Posts: 39
I have recently upgraded from the MEC to the Dillion SL9000. I had the 9000 tuned pretty well but it did not have "stops" so it would not drop powder or hot if a shell was not present or an automatic shell feeder - so I had the switch

The actual set up of the Dillion was exceptionally easy and the adjustments for shot and powder are very easy as it has a "universal type" drop bar for both powder and shot. So no more messing around with bushings. I see lots of humidity changes here in Florida and it is really easy to check drops and make very slight adjustments to both powder and shot

Another thing I have noted is the stroke is much easier on the Dillion than the MEC

I generally get into a rhythm and make a shell every 4 seconds and can go hundreds in a row without a hiccup. I can speed up to one about every 2 seconds but then I may jam a shell or not set a primer completely or flip a primer etc..... So if I slow down just a little, pay attention, the process is great. So far, I am really happy with the upgrade

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:31 pm 
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Ditto, take the time/get the help needed to tune the 9000 correctly, and you will not need another reloader.


And to add, just went through and fixed/tuned a brand new 9000 in 410 that the guy gave up on the machine after adjusting it all out of whack, and dam near destroying it ( Has a PW in 410 now, and just donated the 9000 to the SCTP shooters to action it off, which it sold for $250).

The low downs, have the collet so packed with spray grease that is was a magnet for anything near it and was packed full of debris. Had problems with seating primer (shot in the priming station), and then proceeded to add so much powder drop tube tension to the bottom of the hull that it center cut punched the bottom of a hull out, and clogged the powder drop tube with a plastic plug. End for the shot drop tube, either got the the index 1/2 hole out of rotation or did not adjust the wad guide correctly, and mangled the end of the tube by trying to just handle through the jam. So, 45 mins of tearing the machine down to clean/fix parts and then readjusting it, it was reloading right as rain without having to drop a single cent in the machine.

Short bus it, any machine has a learning curve to adjusting them, and you have to learn the machine before you start making adjustment. Better yet, when you do have a jam or spill, then is the time to clean/clear it up, and not just continue to run the machine with the problem still ongoing.

Granted that with a machine that has fixed sizers over the collet, you may luck out without the loose shot/powder binding up the machine, but this is the exception to the run only; since there are still places in every machine that can cause problem with loose shot or powder getting into them.

But if you are hell bent of unloading your "Broken" machine for pennies on the dollar, I'm sure that anyone one of us will be more that willing to buy it so you can buy another machine to get out of adjustment as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:47 pm 
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So as I embark on a Spolar acquisition, can someone tell me if the re-prime station pushes down from the inside of the hull like a MEC does? I'd hate to think that I wouldn't ever be able to reload Rio hulls on a Spolar.


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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:31 am 
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Republican wrote:
So as I embark on a Spolar acquisition, can someone tell me if the re-prime station pushes down from the inside of the hull like a MEC does? I'd hate to think that I wouldn't ever be able to reload Rio hulls on a Spolar.


No, hulls are contained within the sizes, so the sizer retains the hull and what is holding the hull at priming. So on note, although you can adjust the depriming tool to push the base wad back down at deprime, if the inserting the primer is going to push the base wad back up, then you are in trouble with these hulls on the machine. From there on out, the only thing that is going to push the wad back in will happen at either wad insertion/ shot drop, or crimping; with a chance of powder migration past the base wad before its reseated.


I know that it was covered somewhat in HS lose base wads, but I don't think it was ever covered if powder migrate past the base wad before it was reseated; with the powder being ignited and sending the wad down the bore instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:28 am 
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First off, I don't think powder migration past the base wad is even possible, so that's not an issue.

On an HS (and the Rio's), it takes a fair amount of force to reseat a raised base wad, so I'm wondering how the deprime station on a Spolar would do that. What is the shape of the deprime punch, and is it spring loaded ? I'm assuming that you are talking about just lowering the deprime punch so low that it is forced to reseat the base wad. If so, I wonder how it would accommodate base wads of differing heights. I assume adjust the deprime punch for each hull type, right ?

I wish there were more pictures available for the Spolar so that I can see how it all works. It would be nice if an instruction manual was available on the web (like the MEC reloaders).

Another question: what type of resizer does it have, and how does it work? Is it a swedger type thing like the MEC's ?

I have a line on a used Spolar that I'm looking into buying, thus the questions. I'll go see the loader next weekend, so I wanted to research any/all that I can before going to see it. I reload a lot of Rio's, so I need to know about how the Spolar would deal with the lifted base wads. As you probably know, this is one thing that the MEC does really well (reseat lifted base wads).

If loading Rio's isn't going to work out on a Spolar, my choices would be to either pass on the Spolar and stick with loading them my MEC 9000, or possibly start loading the maroon Federal fiber base wads as my cheapo disposable hulls for my autoloader.

Thanks for the help.


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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:12 am 
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The steel dies in the machine do the sizing,sta 1 picks up the shell and as it goes on to sta 2,it hits a small bevel built into the bottom cross head and pushes it up into the die.Sta 2,then resize's the shell
and decaps the spent primer.Sta 2 also has a small spring loaded beveled button, that you have to
push in and then pull up on the die to remove it and then look at the reprimed shell.This small
bevel also keeps the die held down against the bottom cross head.I have loaded all kinds of shells
on my machine,Rio's too,but any of the newer steel based shells can at times raise havoc,with any
of the reloaders.A lot of shooters use a MEC super sizer prior to loading the steel based shells.If you do make the buy,I strongly suggest buying and using Hornady One shot.It works wonders on the
primer tract and other parts also and drys without leaving a residue.Don't use graphite on the primer tract,as one shooter told me he does.


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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:59 pm 
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Republican, as stated, at the hull insertion station, the hull is pushed up into a full steel sizer that carries the hull until is knocked out of the hulls finished at the hull knock out station.

The depriming tool is like a Mec, but instead of just the top nut that draws the tool all the way up against the bottom of the tool plate, the Spolar de-priming tool is threaded into the tool plate, with a bottom Jam nut instead. This will allow you to thread down the de-priming tool to use it to reset a base wad at depriming (maybe). But yes, on different hulls, you would need to adjust it for the need depth per base wad to be reset.
Note here, depending on the age of the machine, it may or may not have a true size 12 gauge depriming tool. Spolar a while back changed out the size of the de-priming tool to one small to prevent the tool from snagging on the folds of the hulls as the tool entered the hull. But again, since either of the tool is angled tipped, still not the best way about going to reset a loose base wad since instead of resetting it, the angle part of the tool may just wedge into the hull primer channel, ending up with more pulled upwards bases then you set out to reset.

To sum it up, if you are reloading hull with loose base wads, then staying with a MEC is your best bet to reset them; due to the way that the Mec machine primes.


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 Post subject: Re: Mec 9000 vs Dillon, PW, Spolar
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:06 pm
Posts: 2629
I have been loading Estates,Rio's Federals and those junk Universals for years,just load them once
and let fly,mainly because of the paper base wad.I believe that the Spolar changed to a 410 type primer
punch assembly,a while back,but I don't know that for certain.I have the older style 12 ga punch out
assembly and I have never noticed any problem with it.On a rare occasion you will find you will get a
shell that has been shot in a gun with a very large over sized bore and that caused a jamming of the steel
base into one of the sizing dies,again rare,happening.I use a hydro unit so this may have helped cause the jam.If you load by hand you would have caught this,but when using a powered device ,no!




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