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 Post subject: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:09 pm
Posts: 696
Location: Massachusetts
I recently moved from single stage MEC's to progressives for 12 and 20 gauge. One is a Grabber and the other, a 9000. In my experience, these machines are in constant need of adjustment, despite the fact that I'm a "set it and forget it" one recipe kind of guy . My friends that are loading on Pacifics, Spolars and PWs just laugh at me when I rant about my struggles. I always thought that they were crazy for spending what could be new shotgun money on their machines, but now, I'm not so sure. A peek at multiple forum posts seems to indicate that MEC users have far more issues than the users of other equipment.
I'm not an incompetent with machinery, having spent a lifetime in the trades; I recently tore down and rebuilt 6 vintage skeet machines for use on a five stand field. And they keep on working.

Should I give up on these reloaders and sell my truck to raise Spolar money?




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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:30 am
Posts: 760
Location: Massachusetts
I load with 5 different 9000’s (2x 12, 20, 28, & 410) all sharing one Automate drive unit. I have zero issues, without constant need for adjustment.

Equally as important as having your machine set up properly is to also pay attention to your components so that you are feeding the machines with components that are both compatible and consistent.

There is a wealth of Mec knowledge on this forum, start with your most common issue and go from there.


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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:40 pm
Posts: 731
I rarely have to adjust my 9000G.


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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:18 am
Posts: 217
I rarely need to make an adjustment to my 9000 G .


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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:54 pm
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Location: Kansas
What specifically needs constant adjustment? I think we would all like to know what gets out of adjustment between loading sessions

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"We pulled the trigger, the safety went forward, both barrels fired almost together, the gun opened, ejectors kicked the fired cases over our shoulder ...the most completely automatic gun we ever fired" Elmer Keith- Shotguns by Keith


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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:33 pm
Posts: 6662
Location: Mascoutah IL
Exactly what do you have to keep adjusting?

I have 3 9000s and 1 Grabber and don't remember the last time I had to adjust any of them. I don't think your struggles have anything to do with the reloaders.


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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:50 am 
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IF you set a 9000 or Grabber up correctly, and don't change loads, there is no reason to have to constantly adjust either of those machines.

The problem is, that people do not read the instructions, get the adjustments just 'good enough', but not correct and there are constant problems.

The best advice is to read the directions, run one load through at a time (as the directions state) until you have the adjustments on the money, not just 'good enough'. If you can't run one hull to run through with no problems, you will never get 6 to run through with no problems.

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aka Mr. Tactful. Common sense no longer appears to be common.
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Last edited by dogchaser37 on Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:02 am
Posts: 2540
Location: KS
Did you have adjustment problems with your single-stage machines? Do you actually need the production capacity of a progressive machine?


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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:12 am
Posts: 5864
If the MEC is in need of constant adjustment it's probably operator issues. Most common is short stroking and operating to fast which causes short stroking. Fatigue can also be an issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:19 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:04 am
Posts: 63
It's all in in the adjustments, when I first got mine I had a couple melt downs until I figured it out.Works great now and fun to run(box every 4 minutes or so). Shooting buddy just bought a used one and had it sent to me. It was like new but all out of adjustment, had it pumping out factory looking shells in a couple hours. They are both 9000's. Just keep one eye on the primer at all times


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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:59 pm
Posts: 1406
Location: Soda Springs, Id.
I probably wouldn't go as far as a Spolar when just about any Ponsess out there is capable of wearing out a new Perazzi.


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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:39 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:23 pm
Posts: 53
Case length varies so much even in the same brand that it can give crimp problems until you find the happy medium. Gun clubs and other Remington cases can be a problem between swirl crimps and others open enough to spill shot.
.


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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:57 am 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:30 pm
Posts: 97
Part of the problem is that mec instructions for set up are poor . It took me over a year to get mine set up to where I could load 3/4 oz, 7/8 oz, and one oz loads with changing only the wad depth adjustment.

For me, going to zero wad pressure made all the difference in the world. By that, I mean set the wad pressure so that the edge of the cup is even with the crimp crease. Do not be too concerned that the wad may not be firmly pressed against the powder at this point. I found that the crimping process will seat them perfectly. After that, I found that rhe suggested precrimp setting of "being able to fit a pencil eraser in the hole" was a bit bigger than what worked well. About half that size is what seemed right. Now you can follow directions to set crimps per the mec manual.

Now once you get all of that so your crimps are looking nice, cut open a shell and double check to see if your wad depth is were it is expected.

One thing that will throw you into chasing your tail on a mec is changing hulls. I find even going from gun clubs to STS causes minor adjustments. Gun clubs are not consistent in length and will often run inconsistent, some with swirls , some with holes in the crimp (just like factory gun clubs). STS and Nitros work the best for me. I gave up on AA hulls before I completed the above learning curve.

That is all the stuff I have learned on how to dial it in so it requires minimum adjustments. That said, I have had to constantly watch my charge bar travel on my mec grabber. It will change at times from one stroke to the next . I have found the connecting rod to the cam wiggles fore and aft and that changes the travel of the cam. I have not figured out what to do on that except watch it and push it in position .

Overall, I agree with you that it is not a set it and forget it type press. Right when I think I got it , it seems I need to start tweaking something. Out of the blue last week, it started to partially deprime. The primer was only 80% out of the hull. I had to trouble shoot that. I finally got it, but I have no idea on what caused it to go from running great to not knocking out primers.


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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:17 am
Posts: 873
lt0026 wrote:
If the MEC is in need of constant adjustment it's probably operator issues. Most common is short stroking and operating to fast which causes short stroking. Fatigue can also be an issue.

Well, I use an Automate so short stroking cannot be my issue. Now, I mostly have all my 9000's working to my satisfaction. That said, I still believe a Mec needs too much adjustment. For example, my 20 gauge has loaded many thousands of shells, trouble-free. A couple days ago, the bar lock, wouldn't lock. The tab needed to be bent down about 1/32 inch. Why would that be since I'd had no wrecks? What caused the tabs amount of downward deflection to change? I dunno; it just did. That's a MEC for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:30 am
Posts: 760
Location: Massachusetts
Vette Jockey2 wrote:
lt0026 wrote:
If the MEC is in need of constant adjustment it's probably operator issues. Most common is short stroking and operating to fast which causes short stroking. Fatigue can also be an issue.

Well, I use an Automate so short stroking cannot be my issue. Now, I mostly have all my 9000's working to my satisfaction. That said, I still believe a Mec needs too much adjustment. For example, my 20 gauge has loaded many thousands of shells, trouble-free. A couple days ago, the bar lock, wouldn't lock. The tab needed to be bent down about 1/32 inch. Why would that be since I'd had no wrecks? What caused the tabs amount of downward deflection to change? I dunno; it just did. That's a MEC for you.



Hmmmmmm

Check the bracket that holds your shot and powder drop tubes. Sometimes that bracket gets bent down a bit effecting bar lock timing. It should be dead horizontal.


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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:39 am 
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I load on a MEC 12ga 9000gn and an older 28ga Grabber. The only adjustment I need is if I change hulls and sometimes need to adjust the pre-crimp and crimp station which requires a screw driver and 60 seconds.
I have a friend that has a high end Dillon which isn't fool proof. His shells don't look any better than mine. I have to say it is an impressive machine with an automatic hull feeder. The price was impressive also. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:17 am
Posts: 873
icyclefar wrote:

Hmmmmmm

Check the bracket that holds your shot and powder drop tubes. Sometimes that bracket gets bent down a bit effecting bar lock timing. It should be dead horizontal.

Let's say that is true, hypothetically. (I'll check in a bit to see if that is so). What caused the bracket to get bent? Remember, I've had no wrecks; the bar lock just quitting doing its job. See what I mean? Crap happens with a Mec for no apparent reason.


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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:30 am
Posts: 760
Location: Massachusetts
Vette Jockey2 wrote:
icyclefar wrote:

Hmmmmmm

Check the bracket that holds your shot and powder drop tubes. Sometimes that bracket gets bent down a bit effecting bar lock timing. It should be dead horizontal.

Let's say that is true, hypothetically. (I'll check in a bit to see if that is so). What caused the bracket to get bent? Remember, I've had no wrecks; the bar lock just quitting doing its job. See what I mean? Crap happens with a Mec for no apparent reason.



If you raise the wad rammer tube too high you get the shot drop tube sitting on its internal shoulder then when your flipping bottles back and forth the bottom of the measure pushes back and bends the bracket down. That's one way I've seen it done.

I've solved more bar lock problems adjusting that bracket than probably anything else.


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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:00 pm 
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Location: Kansas
I own several Sizemasters and several 9000s. Basically each machines are set up for one type of hull and one load. All are dialed in as close as I can get them. They can sit for quite a while and start loading immediately when I want a particular load. I never have to adjust anything. I can’t understand how things can suddenly become unadjusted just by sitting or while in use.

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 Post subject: Re: Are MEC's the moth's wings of reloaders?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:51 pm
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Location: S.E. Wisconsin
Vette Jockey2 wrote:
For example, my 20 gauge has loaded many thousands of shells, trouble-free. A couple days ago, the bar lock, wouldn't lock. The tab needed to be bent down about 1/32 inch. Why would that be since I'd had no wrecks? What caused the tabs amount of downward deflection to change? I dunno; it just did. That's a MEC for you.


Constant upward stress and flex from use.

Steve



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