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 Post subject: A couple new(to me) loaders followed me home today
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:39 pm 
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I was working a booth for the Vt. Federation of Sportsman's Clubs at the Barre, VT gun show today. I took a break from the booth to do a quick pass around the floor.

One vendor had a bunch of WAA12 wads on his table along with two shotshell presses, one a pre-83 MEC 600 Jr and one, which I took to be an early Pacific unit. We chatted for quite a while before I got to the "How Much". The wads were $3 a bag (250 count), good price and they don't exhibit any tendency to be brittle even though he said he didn't remember how long he had had them. We chatted a bit more and I finally got around to asking about the presses. I have been looking for a second 600 Jr since I have been swapping three gauges on the one I have now. He wanted $35 for the two presses and a cigar box of misc. parts & pieces.

So, for $35 I got both presses, 5 short MEC powder/shot bottles and a bunch of "stuff" that looked like it went the the Pacific press. The MEC alone was worth the money as it looks only lightly used. Somebody turned it upside down at some point and the primer cup and related parts are missing, which isn't a serious cost item.

Then I got to looking over the other press, which isn't a Pacific, it's a Bair "Bob Cat" and it's for 410! I have been watching for either a MEC in 410 or a cheap conversion kit so I can load some affordable 410s to use shooting a little Contender skeet. The press is pretty basic, as well as being built hell-for-stout. It doesn't have a resizer function or an attached wad guide. The primer seater seems to be all there. It does have a 6pt crimp starter and final crimp die and I found the wad guide in the box of "stuff".

Charge bar has a 1/2 oz. shot bushing and a powder bushing marked "NO 6-297" Current Hornady chart doesn't show a bushing with that number. I can probably figure out how much 296 the bushing I have is supposed to hold.

Does anyone here have access to an old bushing chart for Pacific bushings? I think I remember seeing an adapter that will use MEC bushings in Hornady loaders so that might be a work-around, if I can find that adapter again. Any history on the Bair presses would be welcome as well.




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 Post subject: Re: A couple new(to me) loaders followed me home today
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:47 pm 
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Yes there is an adapter. You can order it from midwayusa.com. And I think the Pacific bushings are the same as current Hornday/ RCBS.

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 Post subject: Re: A couple new(to me) loaders followed me home today
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:51 pm 
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casonet wrote:
Yes there is an adapter. You can order it from midwayusa.com. And I think the Pacific bushings are the same as current Hornday/ RCBS.


The Bair bushings are the same as Ponsness, RCBS, Hornady and Spolar

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 Post subject: Re: A couple new(to me) loaders followed me home today
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:10 am 
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I'm thinking some Bair bushings might be different than the Pacific/Hornady/Spolar/PW. Somewhere along the line they do match up, but I seem to recall, depending on the vintage, there is a difference in outside diameter, might just be the shot bushing.

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 Post subject: Re: A couple new(to me) loaders followed me home today
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:45 am 
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Alan in Vermont wrote:
Any history on the Bair presses would be welcome as well.


Pacific / Bair / Deitemeyer history:
https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Pacific_Tool_Company

It got messy between Bair and Pacific in 1976 with a lawsuit over ownership of the fixtures:
https://casetext.com/case/henkle-joyce-hardware-co-v-maco-inc

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 Post subject: Re: A couple new(to me) loaders followed me home today
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:39 pm 
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Slowpoke Rodriguez wrote:
Alan in Vermont wrote:
Any history on the Bair presses would be welcome as well.

It got messy between Bair and Pacific in 1976 with a lawsuit over ownership of the fixtures:
https://casetext.com/case/henkle-joyce-hardware-co-v-maco-inc
I agree, it looks that way on the surface. But it appears Pacific didn't want to prosecute the claim and assigned it to a 3rd party, some hardware store owner. The hardware store pursued the claim against Bair, all the way to the SCONE. Looks like the lawyers did just fine on it.

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 Post subject: Re: A couple new(to me) loaders followed me home today
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:40 pm 
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I was back there this morning, working the Federation table again. The vendor I got the presses from still had a bunch of wads so I bought all I had shelf space for. He also had a part bag of 410 wads which he threw in with the ones I bought.

So I ended up with six bags of WAA12, one of WAA20, and one of WAA12R for the princely sum of $59.

Now a question, thinking the Bair press is probably a close copy of the early Pacifics... How the Hades does one empty the powder & shot tubes? Unbolt the press and turn it upside down?


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 Post subject: Re: A couple new(to me) loaders followed me home today
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:17 pm 
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I don't know the particulars of the press you have, but typically, the measure casting with the shot/powder tubes on top is detachable from the rest of the press and you can empty them one at a time but turning the assembly upside down and removing the reservoir caps.

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 Post subject: Re: A couple new(to me) loaders followed me home today
PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:17 pm 
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Nebs wrote:
I don't know the particulars of the press you have, but typically, the measure casting with the shot/powder tubes on top is detachable from the rest of the press and you can empty them one at a time but turning the assembly upside down and removing the reservoir caps.


Nebs, I finally figured out hot to remove the the measure assembly. There is a 5/16" cap screw that threads into the main column, I had been looking at it right along but never made the (obvious) connection.

I've been playing with the press for the past two days and have manage to put together three boxes of loaded rounds. Apparently ergonomics was not a concern back in the day!the loose wad guide really could use three hands, there is nothing to locate the shells at the various stations If you put the wad guide on top of the shell the shell is prone to falling over with any little jolt. The crimp starter works fairly well, The final crimp die is just a flat ended punch molded into a plastic housing, There is a height adjustment on the crimp starter but the final crimp depth is set by adjusting a threaded post that the stage contacts, adjustment requires manipulating two wrenches to deal with nuts on the post, one visible and easy to access, the other one buried under the raised base of the loader and has to be done by feel I once did a little 410 reloading with a Lee Loader whack-a-mole Loading on this old Bair is, at best, only slightly easier than the lee was, although for my limited plans for 410 ammunition, and once I get more familiar with it, along with having only $17.50 invested in it I can live with it




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