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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I've been looking to get into reloading for my 16 gauge remington M11, and i've been looking at several different presses lately. The two i like best are the mec 600 jr and the lee load-all 2. I'm a broke college kid, so price is an issue, but i don't want a piece of crap press either. any thoughts? thanks
 

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sheabert,
I fell into a mec 600 jr for 70$ used. Although it was only used as an advertisment and never actually had anything loaded on it. As a beginning reloader I think the 600 jr. is a great way to start. You'd be surprised how easy they are to use.

I've never messed with or even seen a Lee press so I can't comment there. So my suggestion is find a used 600 jr and go from there. Even if you end up buying one that's a little dirty or slightly worn out you can send to MEC and they'll recondition it for you.

Luck!
 

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I started on a Lee press back in 1983. I have since upgraded to a MEC 9000 for 12 gauge, but still use my Lee for 16 gauge...and yes, even after all these years, the Lee is holding up fine.

I don't want to start, or get involved in another "Lee-vs-MEC" thread. Do your research and buy what YOU want, both have their advantages and disadvantages. That way, if you end up with a piece of crap, you can only blame yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
okay, i was leaning towards the 600 jr anyway, something tells me the lee isnt very good. but thats another story. So by my understanding you can swap dies to convert a 12 gauge mec to 16. Is that correct? I'm going to buy one used and 16s are very hard to find. so it would be nice if i could just get a 12 and a die set to change it over.
 

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sheabert said:
So by my understanding you can swap dies to convert a 12 gauge mec to 16. Is that correct? I'm going to buy one used and 16s are very hard to find. so it would be nice if i could just get a 12 and a die set to change it over.
Call MEC on swapping the dies: 800-797-4632.

But I can tell you right now you're heading in the wrong direction. A set of dies will be no easier to find used than a 16-gauge 600 Jr., and if you do find a set you'll pay about as much for them as a used MEC would cost.

A new set will definitely cost as much, and likely more than a good used 16-gauge 600 Jr.

eBay is your best bet for the used 16 gauge, and they're not all that rare.

BTW: Compared to any MEC, the Lee Load-All is junk.
 

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The 600 jr is a fine press that'll last you a lifetime. You CAN buy a 12ga and swap out the dies so that it'll load 16ga but for all the time and effort spent, not to mention the money, you'd be better off just buying a 16ga one in the first place.

It's not particularly hard to change out the dies but it's really not worth it unless you're just dead set on doing so.

As far as the Lee goes, I've never loaded on one so I can't give an honest opinion based on experience but to me the MEC just looks more solid, that and the fact that I've owned 3 of them and have absolutely ZERO problems with them to date forces me to recommend the MEC.

As far as new vs. used, don't worry about it. The damn things really don't wear out. Ever. An old rusty functional one is just as good as a brand new one.
 

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Hmm....Lets see now....

12 ga MEC Sizemaster

16 ga Haven't got one of those. Guess which MEC I would get.

20 ga MEC Sizemaster and MEC 9000GN

28 ga MEC 9000GN

410 MEC 8567 Grabber

Go with a MEC. Hard to beat.
 

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Swapping dies in a MEC is a loser. As mentioned, a used press that will reload tens of thousands of rounds in the gauge you want costs little more than a set of dies, and you don't have the hassle of dismantling, rebuilding, and readjusting the press every time you want to change gauges.
 

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Shea, ebay has tons of used presses. Lots of MECs and others as well. One of the best buys out there are old Texan presses, which are much like the MECs, but are generally a little tighter. You can often get a good one for ten or fifteen bucks plus shipping. I am not familiar with all the Models, but the ones with the full length final crimping die will load right along with the MECs.

There are lots of old Texan bushings available on ebay as well. For newer powders you throw a few loads with a bushing smaller than you need, weigh them, and calculate what diameter hole you need to throw the load you want. Then you drill the bushing out to that size.

MEC bars work in Texan presses as well. So you can always go that route if you want. Or use one of the die cast adjustable bars.
 

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Clayslayer said:
The 600 jr is a fine press that'll last you a lifetime. .

As far as the Lee goes, I've never loaded on one so I can't give an honest opinion based on experience but to me the MEC just looks more solid, that and the fact that I've owned 3 of them and have absolutely ZERO problems with them to date forces me to recommend the MEC.

As far as new vs. used, don't worry about it. The damn things really don't wear out. Ever. An old rusty functional one is just as good as a brand new one.
Not a life time. Mine is 30yrs old or so and it now needs most of it replaced. I wore it completely out. I'm using it for parts now. Upgraded to a used sizemaster. Wow my Jr was never so smooth.
 

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OK, so you got thirty some odd years out of a press that now costs about $100. That's quite a long time. My math tells me that the darn thing's cost you about $3.00 a year to own.

I don't have too many things around the house that'll last me thirty years.

You can send it to MEC to have it rebuilt too.
 

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Clayslayer said:
You can send it to MEC to have it rebuilt too.
I can drive it to MEC to have it rebuilt. I'll end up rebuilding it eventually.
 
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