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 Post subject: universal charge bar on MEC 600 Jr. (reloading 410)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:49 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:38 pm
Posts: 12
Hello, all.

New reloader here assembling some 410 shells. I have a MEC 600 jr, which I will add a powder baffle.

Is the universal charge bar on this machine a good move? Would appreciate any explanation why or why not?




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 Post subject: Re: universal charge bar on MEC 600 Jr. (reloading 410)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 4:27 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:22 am
Posts: 83
Hi again. No, the universal charge bar hole spacing does not work well with the very small volume charges in the .410. I bought one and found out for myself. If you want to explore different shot volumes, a guy on eBay sells MEC Jr. charge bars with the shot hole reamed out to take MEC bushings just like the powder hole. I have one of these and it works great. If you can't find the bushing to drop the volume of shot you like, it's easy to ream or rasp out a smaller bushing. -Ed


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 Post subject: Re: universal charge bar on MEC 600 Jr. (reloading 410)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:33 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:04 pm
Posts: 477
UCBs tend to be items people either love or hate. The trick in my experience is that they work best when you get them set, then don't fiddle with them. Which in some respects negates the value of having a UCB.

They'll also perform differently with different powders, and to some extent with different shot (especially at .410 loads).

If you have one, you can probably get it to work. If you don't, you can buy 2 or 3 bars and a bunch of bushings for the same money, and probably get the same or better result.


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 Post subject: Re: universal charge bar on MEC 600 Jr. (reloading 410)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:07 am 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:04 pm
Posts: 1396
Location: Upstate NY
I have one on my old .410 MEC 600 Jr. and it works fine. It came on the machine when I bought it used from a guy I know. And it was on the machine when HE bought it used, and he loaded a lot of rounds on it for a long time.

I'm actually going to take it off though... I only load skeet loads for my .410 and never change the recipe. I'll move the UCB to my 28ga. or 20ga. machine. The UCBs are like gold now that they've been discontinued. Used ones are selling for well over a c-note on the big auction site.

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 Post subject: Re: universal charge bar on MEC 600 Jr. (reloading 410)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:46 pm 
Shooting Instructor
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 12:11 pm
Posts: 3547
Location: Afton, VA
I'm in the "love it" camp as far as UCB in 12, 20, and 28 ga usage. I found the cavity too far off center in the .410 MEC hydraulic I was using, and powder drops were not as consistent as I would have liked. I use the MEC bar for .410 with Dremel adjustments to the shot cavity (about 224 gr) and the powder bushings.

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 Post subject: Re: universal charge bar on MEC 600 Jr. (reloading 410)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:13 pm 
Diamond Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:36 pm
Posts: 1635
Location: Northeast Ohio
Uh oh! I didn't know the UCB has been discontinued.

I've been loading for almost 50 years and never was really tempted to use one. I have a plethora of bushings and bars...including several duplicates.

Now that the magic word "discontinued" has been uttered, I'm fighting human nature! I think it will pass though. Especially at $100. I got along without one all these years, maybe I'll come to my senses.

Now WWAACF hulls...that's a different story. :D


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 Post subject: Re: universal charge bar on MEC 600 Jr. (reloading 410)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 9:23 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:51 pm
Posts: 10899
Location: Phoenixville PA
The UCB works fine for 12 through 20 gauge, and drops acceptable powder loads, so I use it for that. BUT... for 28 and .410, the powder charges are too small and give too much variation. So for these small gauges, I don't recommend it's use.

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 Post subject: Re: universal charge bar on MEC 600 Jr. (reloading 410)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:39 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:51 pm
Posts: 422
I use one on a 410 MEC Grabber set up to drop 16.0 grains of 296 and it works well so far. I do check it on a scale regularly though.

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 Post subject: Re: universal charge bar on MEC 600 Jr. (reloading 410)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:08 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:04 pm
Posts: 1396
Location: Upstate NY
LilBoog wrote:
I use one on a 410 MEC Grabber set up to drop 16.0 grains of 296 and it works well so far. I do check it on a scale regularly though.


Maybe the reason for our success and others' frustration is the powder? I use H110 and Winchester 296 is the same stuff. It seems to meter consistently with the UCB. (It leaks a bit though...)

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Member: NRA, New York Rifle and Pistol Association


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 Post subject: Re: universal charge bar on MEC 600 Jr. (reloading 410)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 12:56 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:25 pm
Posts: 2320
Location: Attica, Mi
Damn, just bought a used one for 20$. The fix for the close spacing of the holes is to file/grind the slot longer so the bar can go over farther. In my 28ga 650 I did just that when I found out the powder opening in the bar was coming up short - wasn't centered under the powder bottle opening. A little file work with a round file fixed the problem. Just bought a 410 650 and when it comes it'll be the first thing I check out.

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 Post subject: Re: universal charge bar on MEC 600 Jr. (reloading 410)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 8:49 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 10:42 pm
Posts: 380
Location: In The Woods Of The SC Low Country
Using 2 Mec 600 jr MK 5's in 410. One set for 2 1/2". The other for 3". I tried the UCB. Like others stated above the small setting DON"T LINE UP with the holes in the powder/shot bottles. They are way off center toward the edge of the opening. You are 100% better of to use bars with bushings. I won't ever use one with 410 again.......BTW: They sorta work OK with the 12/16/20 guages due to the much larger openings.


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 Post subject: Re: universal charge bar on MEC 600 Jr. (reloading 410)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:43 pm 
Presentation Grade
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Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:32 pm
Posts: 610
BobK wrote:
The UCB works fine for 12 through 20 gauge, and drops acceptable powder loads, so I use it for that. BUT... for 28 and .410, the powder charges are too small and give too much variation. So for these small gauges, I don't recommend it's use.


x2 on 28 and 410 gauge. The UCB does not sufficiently line up with the drop tube. I have multiple UCB bars on 20, 12 and 10 gauge 600 jrs and 9000's. The 410 and 28 gauge get the standard bar.

If someone has an extra UCB for a 9000, I could use one more.

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 Post subject: Re: universal charge bar on MEC 600 Jr. (reloading 410)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 1:25 pm 
Diamond Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:04 pm
Posts: 1396
Location: Upstate NY
Since I have been using UCBs on my MEC 600Jrs. for both .410 and 28ga., I figured I'd better do a little experiment.

I just loaded 25 rounds of .410 using the UCB in my very old 600Jr. The powder side of the bar is equipped with a red plastic powder baffle. I used Winchester AAHS hulls, Claybuster CB5050-410HS wads, Winchester 209 primers, and 1/2 oz. of Eagle #9 "magnum" shot. My desired powder charge was 16.5 grains of Hodgdon 110.

After dropping each powder charge, I removed the hull from the press and emptied it into my RCBS 5-10 powder scale pan, tapping on the brass head to insure all powder is out of the hull and in the pan.

Here are the actual weights of the 25 powder charges weighed, honest and true:

16.5
16.0
16.0
16.4
16.4
16.4
16.5
16.4
16.4
16.5
16.4
16.4
16.4
16.5
16.6
16.5
16.4
16.4
16.4
16.6
16.6
16.4
16.4
16.4
16.5

I think the initial two lighter charges of 16.0 may have been caused by a variation in the reloader's vibration in operation when I loaded hulls that were already deprimed and sized.

These results are certainly satisfactory to me with almost every charge within .1 grain of my desired weight. These results are from a very old 600 Jr. and an equally old UCB. But I also get excellent results with my new-this-year 28ga. 600Jr. and new UCB using Hodgdon's Longshot powder and a metal powder baffle.

_________________
"The freaks can't be normally formalized, nor can we be formally normalized. What we want is complete weirdification."
KD2TTM
Member: NRA, New York Rifle and Pistol Association


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 Post subject: Re: universal charge bar on MEC 600 Jr. (reloading 410)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:22 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:25 pm
Posts: 2320
Location: Attica, Mi
Those look real good to me.Even though I'm a big fan of UCBs, I probably won't use it for the 410. I won't be changing powders. For my 10 and 12ga guns I sometimes change powders quite often so a UCB comes in handy.



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Venue shotgun chairman of the LCSC and the LPSXSA


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