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 Post subject: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:17 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:16 pm
Posts: 41
So I have a MEC sizemaster that is basically a old jalopy of a machine.
I figured to rebuild it would cost about 150 using parts from Ballistic Products.
And I am not sure that I would like the result.
So I was looking at MEC 650N presses.
I was looking at Ponsness Warren 375s with a kit for MEC powder bushings
I was looking at a Steelmaster with short kits.

Here are my desires.
12 gauge currently, other gauges possible.
All lengths of shells.
Something that keeps leakage to a minimum.


The thing I dont like about the Steelmaster is that it has that resize station built into it. I dont find resizing very valuable these days. But the short kits get me to the shorter lengths pretty easy.

I used to have a steelmaster which is basically just a long sizemaster.
The other two presses I have never played with or know much about.

Thanks




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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:47 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:07 am
Posts: 2271
Location: Paris,Illinois
Used 600 jr on Ebay?


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:03 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:16 pm
Posts: 41
It seems like nobody makes a "perfect" press. The 650 N is looking good though


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:13 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:25 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Florida
I like my 650n: just a grabber without the resizer.


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:27 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:04 pm
Posts: 542
It really depends on volume, but I shoot about 200 a week and can keep up with that on a few half-hour sessions on a 600 Jr.

I kind of like being more or less forced to check each shell as I go - becomes clear very quickly if something isn't working properly.


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:53 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:25 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Florida
All the MEC's from 650n to 9000 are basically the same: just each step adds more features, so that's why I got the 650. I resize and deprime on an old grabber.


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:19 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:01 am
Posts: 6303
Location: Newton Kansas
I consider a 650 as LACKING one vital element.

can't imagine doing twice the work, using 2 machines, just so a person could use basically a Crippled Grabber, one with no sizing function.

Use a Fully Functional Grabber instead.

_________________
I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:38 pm 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:51 pm
Posts: 2076
Location: S.E. Wisconsin
dannyd93140 wrote:
All the MEC's from 650n to 9000 are basically the same: just each step adds more features, so that's why I got the 650. I resize and deprime on an old grabber.



Why wouldn't you finish the job on the Grabber??

Steve

_________________
The More Times You Pull The Trigger The More Fun You Are Having.
I repair MEC presses. PM me.
Used to be Steve Y


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 7:27 am 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:21 pm
Posts: 706
The PW 375 cost more but if adding a 2nd Gauge to the presses head price gets closer to two Mec machines. Has the advantage of less bench space too. They will handle “Short” shells without extra parts or altering the press, just run the dies lower.

Mec machines are well designed and reasonably priced. Ponsness Warren well designed too & nicely made. No stamped parts very little plastic. Sizing feature built in to PW press system not essential but good thing to have if shooting different guns. Adaptor to allow Mec powder bushings on PW press cost about 15 bucks.

Bass


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:56 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:25 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Florida
YevetS wrote:
dannyd93140 wrote:
All the MEC's from 650n to 9000 are basically the same: just each step adds more features, so that's why I got the 650. I resize and deprime on an old grabber.



Why wouldn't you finish the job on the Grabber??

Steve




I like to clean the hulls before loading. Same with pistol and rifle. It's an OCD thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:58 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:46 am
Posts: 371
Tackdriver1 wrote:
So I have a MEC sizemaster that is basically a old jalopy of a machine.
I figured to rebuild it would cost about 150 using parts from Ballistic Products.
And I am not sure that I would like the result.
So I was looking at MEC 650N presses.


What's all wrong with the Sizemaster? I've rebuilt a dozen mec presses from the 600jr to the 9000 and never had one cost me more then $50. The nuts and bolts are mostly 10x24 machine hex bolts that can be purchased at any hardware store. I've never replaced a die as most just need a good cleaning and internal buffing with something like JB bore paste. It's really hard to kill a Mec press. Last 650 I purchased was just a box of parts off EBay, took about 2 hours to get it set up and $20 to replace a couple missing parts. Seems like the primer seat stem, pad and spring are always missing.


The 650 is a good press, I load on 3 12ga and 1 20ga 650's. Contrary to what some think the 650 does resize hulls but it has to be done in an extra step as the resizing tube and ring have to be screwed into the press head to resize then removed to load the hulls. I started out with a Mec case conditioner may years ago and continue to use it as I like to inspect the hulls and get a count before storing them. Yep I know kind of OCD but I know exactly how many hulls I have in inventory and there all sized and deprimed.


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:17 pm 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:51 pm
Posts: 2076
Location: S.E. Wisconsin
dannyd93140 wrote:
YevetS wrote:
dannyd93140 wrote:
All the MEC's from 650n to 9000 are basically the same: just each step adds more features, so that's why I got the 650. I resize and deprime on an old grabber.



Why wouldn't you finish the job on the Grabber??

Steve




I like to clean the hulls before loading. Same with pistol and rifle. It's an OCD thing.


OK, so clean the hulls and load on the Grabber.

Steve

_________________
The More Times You Pull The Trigger The More Fun You Are Having.
I repair MEC presses. PM me.
Used to be Steve Y


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:54 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:25 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Florida
YevetS wrote:
dannyd93140 wrote:
YevetS wrote:
dannyd93140 wrote:
All the MEC's from 650n to 9000 are basically the same: just each step adds more features, so that's why I got the 650. I resize and deprime on an old grabber.



Why wouldn't you finish the job on the Grabber??

Steve




I like to clean the hulls before loading. Same with pistol and rifle. It's an OCD thing.


OK, so clean the hulls and load on the Grabber.

Steve



It's a very old Grabber and needs to be rebuilt. The parts cost as much as the 650n new on sale.


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 1:36 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:16 pm
Posts: 41
Muddy Dogs,
The holes in the main stem are completely ovaled out.
The ball joint that holds the crimp starter and the crimp starter need to be replaced as the crimp starter falls off every stroke.
The priming station has missing parts and i rigged it with a cut-off-and-drilled-out 10 gauge shell and hardware store spring. Got creative on that one.
I want to disengage the resizer. I mainly shoot one gun and found the clackety clack annoying. Never had a problem with a swollen case in the last three decades. Now before that, with the oldish stuff from the 70s that was a different matter.
I need a bunch of new rubber washers for the bottles and a new copper washer for the bottles.

And I want to try the new BP charge bar.

So maybe I will take a run at rebuilding, we shall see.


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 2:21 pm 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:51 pm
Posts: 2076
Location: S.E. Wisconsin
Tackdriver1 wrote:
The holes in the main stem are completely ovaled out.


It would be so much easier helping you if you would use the correct part names from the exploded parts diagram for your model press.

Steve

_________________
The More Times You Pull The Trigger The More Fun You Are Having.
I repair MEC presses. PM me.
Used to be Steve Y


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:43 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:01 am
Posts: 6303
Location: Newton Kansas
YevetS wrote:
Tackdriver1 wrote:
The holes in the main stem are completely ovaled out.


It would be so much easier helping you if you would use the correct part names from the exploded parts diagram for your model press.

Steve

Wouldn't it though?

Geezzzzz.......

Quote:
The holes in the main stem {column P/N 8093 ($40)} are completely ovaled out.
The ball joint that holds the crimp starter {not available separately Spindex Crimp Starter P/N 8439 (head ($5.25)) P/N 8462 (entire assy ($9))} and the crimp starter need to be replaced as the crimp starter falls off every stroke.
The priming station {Primer Seating Assy P/N 325CA ($15)} has missing parts {Cup P/N 326, Spring P/N 330, Spring Pad P/N 331} and i rigged it with a cut-off-and-drilled-out 10 gauge shell and hardware store spring. Got creative on that one.
I want to disengage the resizer. I mainly shoot one gun and found the clackety clack annoying. Never had a problem with a swollen case in the last three decades. Now before that, with the oldish stuff from the 70s that was a different matter.
I need a bunch of new rubber washers {Grommet P/N 304G ($4ea)} for the bottles and a new copper {brass} washer {P/N 100304W ($1 ea)} for the bottles.


A "bunch" of the grommets would be 3 lifetimes supply, each is good for around 20 years (2 required), when they get hard and crack, they need replaced, but that takes a while.
2 brass washers too.

If the sizing collet assy. makes noise, it is likely damaged by abuse from a prior owner, but MAY only need cleaned and properly greased.
Mine (both) are silent (Sizemaster and Grabber), you don't know they are there.
Collet: P/N 808012 (12 gauge), $47


Looks like $75 in parts, plus collet, maybe.

The only way you get $150 in there is if you replace the entire base too.

_________________
I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:29 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 2:16 pm
Posts: 41
yeah I might give a rebuild a shot. I got to 150 based on I want to try that new BP adjustable bar too


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 6:52 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:01 am
Posts: 6303
Location: Newton Kansas
You don't get to count Ad-Ons in an overhaul.

_________________
I don't always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:50 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:34 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Buffalo NY USA
McMaster-Carr has all kinds of ball joints: https://www.mcmaster.com/ball-joints

(They are a large industrial supplier)

The ovalled out stuff is a fairly simple machining job (sleeving)
Yeah, you can tell I just got in from work ...(heavy industrial maintenance and machining)....

_________________
'...de grey goose come a-flyin, lawd lawd lawd..."


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 Post subject: Re: Shotgun reloaders
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:48 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:46 am
Posts: 371
Tackdriver1 wrote:
Muddy Dogs,
The holes in the main stem are completely ovaled out.
The ball joint that holds the crimp starter and the crimp starter need to be replaced as the crimp starter falls off every stroke.
The priming station has missing parts and i rigged it with a cut-off-and-drilled-out 10 gauge shell and hardware store spring. Got creative on that one.
I want to disengage the resizer. I mainly shoot one gun and found the clackety clack annoying. Never had a problem with a swollen case in the last three decades. Now before that, with the oldish stuff from the 70s that was a different matter.
I need a bunch of new rubber washers for the bottles and a new copper washer for the bottles.

And I want to try the new BP charge bar.

So maybe I will take a run at rebuilding, we shall see.


For the main stem do you mean the column? The part that goes from the base to the press head? If I remember right on some columns the bolt holes have a lead in taper to them, I guess it's there for guys that can't line things up, which makes the holes appear ovaled out.

For the crimp starter I would figure that if the Ball Pivot pin has a ball on the end it's good to go and the reason the crimp starter keeps falling off is the hole in the starter where the pivot pin goes is just worn from to many times on and off. This doesn't save you much but a couple bucks.

Seems most used presses are missing the primer parts and it appears that Mec knows this as these parts seem to cost a bit more then I would expect. Just last week I had to order a priming pad for a 650 20ga and the whole priming cup assembly for a 600jr I was working on.

I looked into disengaging the sizing station on a 9000 as I use a case conditioner to deprime and size all my hulls but as I remember it was more hassle then it was worth. In the end I just cleaned up the parts, replaced a couple bent bolts, lubed it well and adjusted the timing right so it wouldn't effect the press operation and worked right if I ever want to size on press. 1000's of rounds later the sizer is still operating fine and not making anymore noise then the rest of the press.

Rubber and copper washers are consumable items and a guy should have a few extras around. The copper washers tend to flatten after extended use. Rubber washers get brittle over time and torn up from shot occasionally.

From my resent Mec parts searches I have found Mec itself to be the best place to purchase from as all the other online sources offering somewhat cheaper prices are out of stock on most parts. I could have saved a few bucks on parts placing orders at 2 or 3 different suppliers to get what I needed but 2 or 3 shipping costs would have eaten up any savings on parts. The 2 orders I placed at Mec were shipped the same day I ordered.




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