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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to reloading. So new I haven't yet done it. Have picked up Lyman's "bible" already. Anyone have any opinion about the Lee Load All Reloader? It's economical, which is good, but what are any drwabacks? What can/can't it do? Will I hate using it? I don't mind spending more. What do y'all propose is a good entry-level reloader? This will priarily be for 12 ga, and progressive is preferred. I want to pump out shells and I shoot targets only.
 

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The Lee Load-All isn't worth bothering with in my judgment. If you want a good progressive for 12 gauge, the MEC Grabber or 9000GN are excellent values. The basic difference between them is that the 9000GN is an auto-indexing/auto-ejecting progressive while the Grabber is manually indexed. The MEC 650 is also a progressive press, but it does not allowing resizing during the normal loading cycle.

If you go progressive, I strongly suggest you set the press up for whatever hull and load combination you prefer and then leave it alone.
 

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Some of us have used the loader in question, And take it from us if you plan on more than 3 or 4 boxes a month, step up to a mec or better press. A mec can be had used for a new Lee, and it will have some resale value.
 

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Buy a MEC 600 Jr or a used Hornady/Pacific DL-155 or 266. I have a Load-All. I keep it arround as a, well I really don't know why? Maybe just to keep someone else from the misery! :wink:

BP
 

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If your budget allows for it, go with a MEC.

If you want to try reloading with an investment of less than $50 the Lee will serve you well. It comes with pretty much every bushing you require with the exception of a 3/4oz shot bushing.

I have loaded thousands of 12 & 20GA rounds on the Lee and every shell has gone bang and they bust clays just as good as a buddy with a Dillon and another buddy with a P-W. I load a couple hundred rounds per week on the Lee and it has served me well. The primary limitation is that you have to chose your components wisely, as there is literally no adjustment to the press.

All that said, I will be upgrading to a Sizemaster in the next few months but will keep the Lee for 20GA, as I don't shoot it enough to justify a second MEC.

Good luck!
 

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I sarted with a Lee Loadall in 12 gauge and loaded many different hunting rounds with it. It works, but as Red Leg said, some combinations don't crimp well. You will end up with a number of wads that you find you can't use. If I were just starting out, I'd go with a MEC 600Jr. If you decide reloading is not your thing, at least you'll get part of your money back with the MEC. I bought the adjustable charge bar for my MECs, some like them, some don't (as you'll find if you do a search on this forum). Good hunting and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, my local gunshop advises to go with something progressive. I sorta feel that the mec jr. is a good starting point (as I feel confident enough just from reading Lymans book), but fear that it will take me hours upon hours to finish 300 rounds per week (assuming that I can only reload at night).

Later on, I hope to shoot 28ga skeet and would like to reload for that as well.

I also shoot trap, so the 12 ga will never go to waste.

Maybe the mec jr is the right way to start. Then get a 28ga kit; then a mec9000...

Keep it coming, as I want to order my first press tomorrow!!!

Thanks for everyone's help...u too BP!
 

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Well, I shoot about 200 shells per weekend, give or take a box or two.

I shoot .410, 28, 20, and now 12.

I own four Mec 600Jrs. Forget about the gauge kits and just get one for each gauge.

Ebay is a good place for 12s and 20s. I got my 20 off eBay. All the rest were bought new. If you get a used one and it needs some minor parts, MEC customer service will fix you up at a fair price. I had to get a few for the 20.

For 300 shells per week, the progressive will give you more free time away from the bench if those 300 are all the same gauge.

Enjoy the search, then enjoy the reloading!
 

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A 600JR WITH auto primer will produce 150 shells per hour.With good hulls and components close at hand I have loaded 200 shells in a hour :wink: 8)
 

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Yeah, but for a beginner on a 600 Jr., 3 boxes an hour is a good number to start with, then work up from there. You just get more organized with practice.

BobK :wink:
 

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Personally, I can't see any sense in buying the 600 Jr., except maybe in .410 bore, when the Sizemaster doesn't cost much more considering it comes with the auto primer feed standard. The 600 Jr., using MEC's MSRP, costs about $161 with the auto primer feed ($120.32 + $40.90), and the Sizemaster costs about $182. That extra $20 gets a press that is more rugged and has a better resizing mechanism. Frankly, I think the Sizemaster is the best value in single-stage shotshell presses on the market today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Now, what are the differences between:

MEC Grabber and 9000G

Seems like a Sizemaster would be the best value for single stage, simplicity and a little more speed.

I am going to run batches of the same gauge. One week I may reload 7/8 12 ga, the other 1 oz 12 ga. Any problems here that would make me want the single stage over the progressive?

Will the progressives create a nightmare for a new reloader? Or be the hero after some experience?
 

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Now, what are the differences between:

MEC Grabber and 9000G ?
Grabber is manual indexing. 9000 is auto indexing, which some don't like in these two. Manual allows better control.

Seems like a Sizemaster would be the best value for single stage, simplicity and a little more speed.
I got my new 600s locally for $109 each plus tax. The priming doesn't cause me that much slowdown. I set the primers on the bench and when I take the hull from the deprime station, I simply place the hull down on a primer at the primer pocket which half-way primes the hull; place it in the prime station, and pull the handle. The .410 and 28 I place on the primer rod. The 20 and 12 I place on the priming anvil before pulling the handle.

I am going to run batches of the same gauge. One week I may reload 7/8 12 ga, the other 1 oz 12 ga. Any problems here that would make me want the single stage over the progressive?
Use the Claybuster grey wad (I think it's the WAA12L? replacement?). It'll interchange with 3/4oz and 7/8 oz loads. You may have to tweak the crimp settings a bit. And of course, change the chargebar. But that's no big deal. I think Hodgdon International powder will work for those two shot charges. So will Promo. I see no problems with either type reloader except the speed advantage of the progressive over the single stage.

Will the progressives create a nightmare for a new reloader? Or be the hero after some experience?
I would say hero. If you have problems, all you have to do is ask here and the progressive owners will jump in with plenty of help.
 

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I guess I might as well stick my $.02 worth in here too. :lol:

I'm using the Mec Sizemasters now, one for each gauge. I'm a fairly new reloader, so I like the simplicty of the single stage reloaders. I can reload around 4+ boxes an hour with no problems.

I did buy a 9000G at the start, but sold it. There were to many things going on at one time for a new (me) reloader to keep up with.

Now that I have a little experience under my belt I'm looking at buying a Grabber in the 28 ga. for a little more speed in reloading.
 

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I got my new 600s locally for $109 each plus tax. The priming doesn't cause me that much slowdown.
There is no question but what the auto primer feed is a plus. There just isn't that much difference in price between the 600 Jr. and Sizemaster when the auto primer feed is taken into consideration.

Use the Claybuster grey wad (I think it's the WAA12SL? replacement?).
It is the Claybuster CB0178-12 or Winchester WAA12L. The SL wad is the pink wad for 1 ounce loads. Titewad, Clays, Red Dot, Promo, American Select, International, and Green Dot all work with 7/8 ounce loads, although the faster burning propellants are more suitable.

Will the progressives create a nightmare for a new reloader? Or be the hero after some experience?
If you take the time to understand the working of the progressive press, it shouldn't cause you any grief. The biggest problem with progressive presses is that they can be somewhat complicated to readjust. In that sense, they are not quite as versatile as a single stage. On the other hand, the MEC progressives are the easiest to readjust that I've seen, with the Hornady 366 running a close second. With the various P-Ws, RCBS Grand, or Spolar, it would be far better to set them up for one load and leave them that way.
 

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OKShotgunner,

I corrected my post. I bought a bag of WAA12L's today and a pound of International. I saw the SL's on the shop shelf as well and got to compare them visually. (SL- "sorta light"?....L- "Light"?....go figure :roll: )

mbrody,

I would also suggest the Rem hulls over the newer AAs, but I will load anything I can get. Rem Gameloads, AAs, but I find no STSs on the range. There was a thread recently that got debated feverishly about the newer AAs vs. Rem STS. Again, I'll reload/shoot what I can get.
 

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I'm not much into reloading anymore, but I still have my Lee Load All with the auto primer feed. Great little setup. Paid something like $29.00 for it and reloaded a couple hundred boxes with it. It's not fancy but it did what I wanted. I seem to remeber it didn't do the crimps real well in one mode. My neighbor had a Mec and it was a great setup. I stopped using my Lee and we used his setup. I stopped reloading when the kids were born. Small house, little kids, explosive material...Now I just buy shells.
 
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