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 Post subject: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:46 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:56 am
Posts: 204
Got these from a buddy. Mainly wanted all the components that came with them.

20 gauge is an unknown model. No markings anywhere on it.

12 gauge is a Bair panda

Can anyone identify the 20 gauge press?

Anyone here still using a panda?

I haven’t really done anything with them yet. Came with a couple of coffee cans of bushings and extra parts that I need to go through.

I have a PW press that is my primary press. Got these to play with and will likely set them up for a particular load and leave them like that.

I did try a hull in the depriming station on both and the hull caught up in there and had to be pried out on both presses. Great start!




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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2020 12:18 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:51 pm
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Location: S.E. Wisconsin
Jeepwm69 wrote:
Can anyone identify the 20 gauge press?


Pictures??

You can also "picture search" Google.

Steve

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I repair MEC presses. PM me.
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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:56 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:56 am
Posts: 204
Ah, pics too big to load. Will resize when I get to my desktop Monday


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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:23 pm 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2003 3:31 pm
Posts: 17880
Location: Kearney NE
I’ve got 2 Bair Honey Bair 405s. Only because I found some used Pacific dies on Ebay, one is a 20 ga and one is a 16 ga machine instead of the original 12 ga. I assume your mystery press is blue, and a single stage press, round base? Does it have plastic hoppers that turn in a black base to shut off the shot and powder?

BP

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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2020 6:19 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 1:25 pm
Posts: 369
Location: New Mexico
Quote:
I did try a hull in the depriming station on both and the hull caught up in there and had to be pried out on both presses.


Pretty common for ANY shotshell press that has been neglected for a long time, and perhaps stored in unheated building or shed. ALWAYS scrub out all the die bodies with a bronze brush and bore cleaner (or Kroil oil). This will get the dust, crud and surface rust off. Then inspect. If pitted heavily, it may be necessary to run a shotgun chamber hone (flexihone) lightly in the dies to get the steel die walls back to smooth. Rough surfaces will grab the hull head and even the plastic body.

Likewise, I used to use a Honey Bair loader. Slow, plastic parts that finally broke, but it made great shells when it was still running.

Good luck, garrisonjoe


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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 9:19 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:56 am
Posts: 204
A cleaning is likely needed. I just remember the old Pacific 266 I cut my teeth on actually popping the shell out of the resizer. That was 30 years ago so wasn't sure if this one was missing a component/kicker, if the set up on the press was for lo brass only, or what.

Trying to upload pics again. Hopefully they'll work this time.

Obviously this is the Bair, which I believe is a "Panda Bair"


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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 9:21 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:56 am
Posts: 204
This is the other, which looks similar, but has no markings of any kind on it.

Any ideas on this one?

I tried going through the two coffee cans full of what appear to be extra dies and bushings etc, but the one year old wasn't having it, so I had to put it off till I can go through it while she's napping.

Thanks for the replies thus far.


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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:26 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 1:25 pm
Posts: 369
Location: New Mexico
The 20 gauge loader is the right color and general design to be an old (1960s) Bair. But I don't have a catalog that would identify it specifically.


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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:59 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:56 am
Posts: 204
They are similar for sure, but there are enough differences where I wondered if the 20 might be a different make.

Of course, my pics leave a lot to be desired.....


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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:51 pm
Posts: 1807
Location: S.E. Wisconsin
The paint appears to be the same color, the tops on the hoppers are the same, and IMHO since most people stick with the same model press, it sure looks like a Bair.

Steve

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


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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:06 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:26 pm
Posts: 75
The mystery press looks a lot like a Bair "Bobcat" in .410 that I picked up in a package deal that included a 20 ga. Mec 600 Jr, $35 for the pair. I managed to load a few boxes of fairly decent looking shells on it before I had way more than my limit of frustration and pitched it out into a snowbank. When the snow melted enough I retrieved it and may try it again, then again I may just throw it in the scrap heap. The MEC was like new so I didn't get hurt on the deal.


Last edited by Alan in Vermont on Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:11 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:56 am
Posts: 204
Alan in Vermont wrote:
The mystery press looks a lot like a Bair "Bobcat" in .410 that I picked up in a package deal that included a 20 ga. Mec 600 Jr, $35 for the pair. I managed to load a few boxes of fairly decent looking shells on it before I had way more than my limit of frustration and pitched it out into a snowbank. When the show melted enough I retrieved it and may try it again, then again I may just throw it in the scrap heap. The MEC was like new so I didn't get hurt on the deal.


Ha, sounds like we share the same level of patience!.

I think 410 is just tough to do anyway. My father has a nice PW progressive, so these won't be my primary presses. I got them with a bunch of lead, primers, wads and hulls, and thought it would be nice to set them up for a specific load and leave them that way.


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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:15 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:56 am
Posts: 204
Nosed around at the pile of stuff that came with these, and it looks like the Bair marked press came with 12 gauge dies installed, AND also had 20 gauge dies, AND 28 gauge dies.

The other one was set up for 20 gauge.

Had a few shot bushings and powder bushings as well.

Anyone have a set of 16 gauge dies for a 155? I don't have a 28, so don't really need those, but I do shoot a 16 ga 11-48 from time to time during dove season.

The smaller "mystery" press does indeed have "Bair" caps on the shot and powder tubes, which appear to be original, so as some of you guessed, probably a different model of Bair press.


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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:20 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:56 am
Posts: 204
The other question I had would be, are there 3" dies available for these, or can one adjust the existing dies to load 3"?

I only shoot 3" during duck season. Since I have a progressive PW press, seems like setting up the Bair for duck loads and leaving it set would be the way to go. Use the PW for dove/clay loads.


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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:33 pm 
Diamond Grade
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:51 pm
Posts: 1807
Location: S.E. Wisconsin
Jeepwm69 wrote:
The other question I had would be, are there 3" dies available for these, or can one adjust the existing dies to load 3"?


I know on a MEC you adjust the center column up to load 3" hulls and there are no special dies. Could this machine work the same way??

Steve

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


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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:00 pm 
Crown Grade
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Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2003 3:31 pm
Posts: 17880
Location: Kearney NE
I’m sure with a little field expedient that can be accomplished. Extend the center support bar the correct length and probably make a new die body to install the sizing die on, 1” pipe and a lathe makes quick work of it. With the other dies an extra 1/4” won’t bother a thing. You aren’t going to be changing back and forth so cutting and welding won’t hurt you any. Maybe that’s more work than you want to go to? I’ve got all that equipment so it’s no big deal for me. If your sizing die is a one piece part rather than a tube with a cap screwed on the bottom, a Hornady sizing die is the cap and you can easily make the body from the 1” pipe by cutting it the right length and cutting the correct threads on both ends to fit the cap and press head. I did this to make my 16 ga die set work in my 405 Honey Bair.

BP

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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:36 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:56 am
Posts: 204
Burnt Powder wrote:
I’m sure with a little field expedient that can be accomplished. Extend the center support bar the correct length and probably make a new die body to install the sizing die on, 1” pipe and a lathe makes quick work of it. With the other dies an extra 1/4” won’t bother a thing. You aren’t going to be changing back and forth so cutting and welding won’t hurt you any. Maybe that’s more work than you want to go to? I’ve got all that equipment so it’s no big deal for me. If your sizing die is a one piece part rather than a tube with a cap screwed on the bottom, a Hornady sizing die is the cap and you can easily make the body from the 1” pipe by cutting it the right length and cutting the correct threads on both ends to fit the cap and press head. I did this to make my 16 ga die set work in my 405 Honey Bair.

BP



Sounds like something I can make work then. Thanks for the info!


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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:50 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:26 pm
Posts: 75
Jeepwm69 wrote:
Alan in Vermont wrote:
The mystery press looks a lot like a Bair "Bobcat" in .410 that I picked up in a package deal that included a 20 ga. Mec 600 Jr, $35 for the pair. I managed to load a few boxes of fairly decent looking shells on it before I had way more than my limit of frustration and pitched it out into a snowbank. When the show melted enough I retrieved it and may try it again, then again I may just throw it in the scrap heap. The MEC was like new so I didn't get hurt on the deal.



I have been browsing through my collection of "Digest books", one of which is a 6th edition of Handloaders Digest. In that I found a so-so picture of a Bair "Bair Cat"shotshell loader which looks a bunch like this "Bob Cat" that I have. I went so far as to drag out the old beater to confirm the model name, thinking I had mis-remembered it when I posted the above information. It is, indeed Bobcat and in 1972 the price for the Bair Cat was $44.95. In that same timeframe the MEC 600 Jr. listed for $72.00


Ha, sounds like we share the same level of patience!.

I think 410 is just tough to do anyway. My father has a nice PW progressive, so these won't be my primary presses. I got them with a bunch of lead, primers, wads and hulls, and thought it would be nice to set them up for a specific load and leave them that way.


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 Post subject: Re: Bair Panda and unknown similar press
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:18 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:56 am
Posts: 204
Interesting info.

I'm still waiting on the old man to get out my loading bench that they took down 25 years ago when I went off to school. He put it in storage and I'm nudging him to get it back out so I can get set back up again.

I did go through the stuff I got with these two presses, and discovered that the stuff I bought also has a set of 28 gauge dies for the Panda, along with a 12 ga Lee Loader, and a bunch of shot and powder bushings.




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