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 Post subject: Moving from lead to steel on a Mec9000
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:25 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:33 pm
Posts: 481
Location: Kettering, England.
I've been thinking about making some cartridges using steel shot. Can anyone advise me what changes if any I would need to make to the reloading process apart from different components. Thank you.




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 Post subject: Re: Moving from lead to steel on a Mec9000
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:33 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:06 am
Posts: 3591
Location: UK, England, Britain
Bigger drop tube. And maybe drill out the hole in the shot bottle.
Apart from that, take it easy. Steel shot doesnt meter well. I use 114 lead bar for 7/8oz steel. In a single stage press.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving from lead to steel on a Mec9000
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:34 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:06 am
Posts: 3591
Location: UK, England, Britain
Jus go slow. Think #4s meter fine. After that it can get choppy


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 Post subject: Re: Moving from lead to steel on a Mec9000
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:44 am 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:51 pm
Posts: 1438
Location: S.E. Wisconsin
MEC has bars to load steel, they are sized for the shot size and weight you want to drop. They also have shot drop tubes with larger ID's to help with the bridging. MEC machines will load clay target sized shot just fine, the larger "hunting" size can be an issue.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Moving from lead to steel on a Mec9000
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:35 am 
Presentation Grade
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Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:32 pm
Posts: 509
What size of steel shot?
Are you using something other than Alliant Steel powder?

A lot of steel shot wads have very thick petals and some taper near the base. I've had issues with the larger steel shot drop tube pulling some wads back up because of this.

I would (and have) use the 9000 as a single stage press. Using larger shot and Alliant Steel powder, I'll pull the hull at station 2 to add powder, wad and shot. Then I'll put it back in station 3, turn the turret to station 4 and crimp in a normal fashion.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving from lead to steel on a Mec9000
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:23 am 
Tournament Grade
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Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 5:45 pm
Posts: 107
Location: St. Louis
My experience with Steel was that it was a very slow and arduous process. I was reloading steel waterfowl loads on a 600jr into brand new pre-primed hulls. It required measuring out each powder charge by hand and dumping it in each shell and then doing the same for each shot charge. The only thing I used the press for was to seat the wad and then the crimping stations. Yes, I purchased the Steel conversion kit for the press. I had no issue with the volume of shot dropping through the tube. I tried using a Universal Bar but could never get a consistent drop with Alliant Steel powder or the shot. I loaded everything from BB's to #3's.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving from lead to steel on a Mec9000
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:15 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:06 am
Posts: 3591
Location: UK, England, Britain
sits.
most steel shot loaders are wildfowl orientated. thats why its often mentioned its difficult to translate that to a reloader, especially for mass production. i might safely assume you are refering to small game loads?
in your criteria, its basic to get a reload friendly recipe. i`ve found small shot to meter great, even steel shot. big stuff not so. (even though i do it). alliant steel has been mentioned, but it doesnt meter consistant. whatever recipe you`ll choose. check the powder drops, in full flow, the mec machines can drop light. not like single stage, where the powder bushing is under the powder and shakes quite a bit to "really fill" that bushing.
the next part might be annoying, but wad compression with the steel wad (just a plastic cup version.) to make the wad sit nice, its not needed to crush the powder flat, but a nice seating. the ram tube might lift the wad. might not do it to compression versions.
after that it should run as normal.
i reloaded steel on a sizemaster, infact i loaded copper, itx10, niceshot, lead, powershot, bismuth through the bushing and bar system.
my equivalent would be 100 an hour easy.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving from lead to steel on a Mec9000
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:53 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:32 pm
Posts: 40
Location: So. IL
I load a lot of steel shot and non-toxic shot. Each charge is done my hand on a scale. Steel is not as forgiving as lead.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving from lead to steel on a Mec9000
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:50 am 
Presentation Grade
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Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2003 8:43 pm
Posts: 623
Location: Rural Michigan
I purchased a used MEC 9000, it had been used for steel shot. The loader was screwed up in part because steel had got in the collet and since it does not squish out like lead, it broke the collet, and the former user bent a bunch of other parts up. Cost me well over $200 to get the loader fixed.
Again, the mechanics of progressive MEC loaders (my opinion) just does not work well with steel, particularly large steel pellets. The duck hunting sizes bridge up in the shot tube, and you will be better off with a single stage loader IMHO.


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 Post subject: Re: Moving from lead to steel on a Mec9000
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:51 am 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:51 pm
Posts: 1438
Location: S.E. Wisconsin
rosiesdad wrote:
. The duck hunting sizes bridge up in the shot tube, and you will be better off with a single stage loader IMHO.


And even these can have issues. We have to remember none of MEC's loaders were ever designed from the ground up to drop large shot. The SteelMaster is just a slightly modified SizeMaster with a "steel bar" and thinner walled powder/shot drop tube to help with bridging.

Steve



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I repair MEC presses. PM me.
Used to be Steve Y


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