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Mec 650, 8567 Grabber, or 9000G?

3569 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Jersey Hunter
I want to start reloading my own shells and don't know exactly which reloader I want. I want to get one that I will be completely satisfied with from the start so that I will not be "forced" to upgrade later. I want a good value, but I will pay for a good loader. I am pretty much set on a MEC because of the ease of getting replacement parts and information. Which one should I go with?I am a hunter who is just getting into sporting clays. Edited by: hoover18 at: 4/18/03 9:02:29 am
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Have fun!
For about $150 more than a 9000G, you might want to consider the RCBS Grand....I feel that it is far superior to the mec line, and I've owned about every mec to come down the pike.... I've had mine for about 1 1/2 yrs. and haven't had one problem out of it. It's built like a tank, and the simplicity of the machine makes me believe that it will continue to work flawlessly for yrs. to come... gotta love the case activated powder and shot drop too... absolutely no powder or shot spills with this press..
I think you'll find the you get what you pay for with mostr reloaders. Higher price usually will mean faster reloading. I have 2 of the 8567 Grabber and one old 76 Grabber. I can see where the 9000G would help speed the process with auto indexing and shell ejection. The down side is if something gets messed up (crunched hull), the slower models are easier to clean up and get back a running. I have heard good things about the RCBS Grand, but they are another $150.00 over the price of a 9000G. Also heard good things about the Dillon as well. I think for the average casual shooter the MEC Grabber is the way to start. If you need more later on you can easily sell the MEC for a few $ less then you bought it for. If you got deep pockets then look at the RCBS and Dillon.

I went for the hydraulic version of the 9000G, the 9000H, and no regrets. But then, I reload and shoot over 10,000 shells a year. It's worked great for me, the one serious meltdown I had was probably mostly my fault (attention lapse) and I bent a couple parts. MEC had replacements out to me within a couple days of ordering them and parts are not hugely expensive for most things you would need to replace. It was very easy to take apart, fix, and get back running, and I'm the sort of gal that can't program the VCR... you know... !!!

If you have a bit of spare cash I can't recommend enough the hydraulic system. All I have to do is put a shell and a wad in and my foot pedal takes care of the rest. I can load a case or more in under a half hour.

I've had mine for ... hmmm... about a year and a half, probably put nearly 17,000 shells through it and it's working great.
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I too do a lot of reloading for 12 ga, even going as far as to make my own lead shot. ( Littleton ) I've have had the Grabbers in .410 up, but have been using the PW 900G and love it. I can load 750 shells an hour, with the loads looking like factory ammo. I'ts hard to beat the MEC for cost. P/W makes the best one made for the money, though. I've never broken a part on the P/W and really could'nt aford the down time if I did, as we shoot and reload for three shooters every weekend. The P/W reloads will function in ANY shotgun made. The shell is fully encased in it's own die for all steps. The result is one SAMI spec shotshell. Good luck, good shooting.
I can't speak about the PW from experience. I do have an 8567 Grabber. It does make nice crimps (after much trial and error). The weight of shot dropped seems very consistent, and the hull sizer is easy to adjust.

However, the primer feed unit, despite much tinkering, was inconsistent to the point where I just gave up on it--it was easier to drop the primers by hand.

The machine has problems shearing # 7.5 shot. I'd say about 1 in 10 charges it's almost impossible to get the charge bar across from R to L. Also, I've found that about 10% of the time the charge bar, after dropping shot, won't return to the right. Consequently, it won't drop powder unless I remember to slam the bar over to the left. I think the problem is that shot can get wedged between the charge bar and the surrounding bracket.

I've found that the charge bar lock is erratic. Now, to prevent spills, I manually engage the lock whenever there is no hull under the powder tube. The machine is supposed to do this by itself--but it is not 100% reliable. All you need is just one failure and you spill powder. I learned the hard way not to trust the machine. The problem is the flimsy piano wire spring that moves the lock. If you set the lock manually at the bottom of the downstroke, it will hold. You just can't trust the Grabber to always lock itself when it should.

The variation in the powder measure is about .6 grain. So, if I set it for 16grains I can get anything from 15.7 t0 16.3. I will try a powder baffle to see if that reduces the problem. On my RCBS metallic cartridge progressive, it is accurate to .1 grain 95% of the time, and never exceeds .2 grains.

Because of all these issues, I've timed my output and it is only about 120 shells per hour. I can do about 100 with a MEC JR., although I have to pull the handle many more times.

Because of the powder handling problems, I honestly cannot recommend the Grabber or 9000G to a serious reloader. I've never encountered any piece of reloading equipment that had more glitches or that was so inclined to cycle without dropping powder. That is a very real problem because, you can't always hear the powder drop, unlike the shot. At least no powder is better than too much powder.

I am considering removing the Shot bottle from the Grabber, and adding shot into the wad cup manually with a dipper. This should eliminate the problem with the charge bar sticking due to wedged shot.
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I would take a look at the Ponsness-Warren reloaders either the 375 or the L/S -1000 if you plan on reloading both target and hunting loads. Sure they are a little more expensive but way better than MEC
If you decide on a Mec I have two 650 Mec's 410 & 28, my son has a 9000. I think the 9000 is worth the extra bucks it's a pain getting it set up but works fine once it is.

Yo. I've found that the charge bar lock is erratic. Now, to prevent spills, I manually engage the lock whenever there is no hull under the powder tube. The machine is supposed to do this by itself--but it is not 100% reliable.

All you have to do is adjust the the press and it will stop the spills. Same with the primers.
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