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Progressive Reloader questions, Ponsness Warren , Mec &

1851 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  VernU
I have been researching progressive reloaders, I am looking to purchase one for 12 gauge. I have reloaded pistol and rifle cartridges for over 20 years, but as I research shotgun reloaders I find that you are more restricted on what you can load on different models/manufacturers of reloaders. I am mainly interested in reloading 1 1/8 ounce loads to use in a Beretta AL391 Urika2 Parallel target, but I may use the shells in a Remington 870 or 11-87.

I read the Mec Graber 8567 or 9000GN has the collet ring sizer, to completely resize the base of the hull.

Does the RCBS Grand resize the complete base of the shell?

On the Ponsness Warren I could not find information on whether it resizes the metal hull base. Does the PW completely resize the base?

Which of these three has the least amount of problems, once you get them properly adjusted for the specific hull? Which of these three needs the least amount of adjustment as you use it? Which of these three has the least amount of problems with parts breaking?
Which of these three reloaders manufactures the best reloaded shell?
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All three are good. I have only reloaded on a MEC 9000GN, and part of my decision to buy it is its popularity. I can say I have trouble on Station 2 and people will instantly be familiar with it and the potential problems.

All three will produce excellent shells if you get it set up correctly. Adjustments will almost always need to be made. All have a reputation for reliability, and parts are available for all three.

I have both the 9000G and a Ponsness Warren 800 plus. Both load very good shells and the Ponsness Warren does compeletly resize the hull. In fact the shell stays in a full length resizer until the load is finished. The PW is more expensive but in my opinion it is well worth it. The PW does allow you to load all guages on one machine.
the Ponsness Warren does compeletly resize the hull. In fact the shell stays in a full length resizer until the load is finished.
[/quote]Which of these three needs the least amount of adjustment as you use it?
To answer your question directly....there are no moving parts in the PW resizing process so therefore no adjustments to be made at all. The hull is pressed up into the full length die and is resized at that point. There it stays until the completed shell is pushed out. Can't get any easier than that. :wink:

As for any other adjustments....I rarely if ever have to make any at all on my PW's. An occassional turn of one little screw now and then to adjust crimp depth.....but that's pretty rare. Other than that....none at all. At least here for me with my 4 PW 800's.
Which of these three has the least amount of problems with parts breaking?
Can't speak of the others but PW's are built like a tank. Certainly MUCH more solid than any of the Mecs I've owned in the past. I don't recall ever having any broken parts on any of my PW's.....except for worn/broken wad guide fingers. Expect that on any machine.
I have a grabber, my dad has a Grand, both operate and perform very well, but I can load STS's, Gun-clubs, nitro's, and AA's without making any adjustments at all, whereas my dad has trouble interchanging AA's with Remi's in his Grand. As for construction, the Grabber is a flimsy toy compared to the Grand which operates like butter and is extremly slick with the swing out wad loader and primer feed, but at less than half the price, the grabber loads and operates well also.. The grabber has a collet re-sizer, the grand a ring,
Thank you all for the information. Now I'm working on the decision between a used 800B that a guy wants $400, plus shipping. But it doesn't have the taper crimping die, nor a few other features as it's an older machine. Or a new PW for $200 more. I'm leaning heavily towards the new machine, and trying to decide between the 800 Plus and the Platinum 2000.
If you have the cash get a Spolar. Nothing else even comes close.

If you are of a mind to spend something less than what a new Spolar costs get a 9000 MEC. They are the easiest to learn to use, the easiest to load on, and priced toward the lower end.

I have used Spolar's, MEC's in a dozen or more varieties, Dillon, RCBS, PW's, Hornady 366 and Apex junko/crapo deluxe #1, Lee Load All, Pacific's, Holywood, and some others I cant remember anymore.

If you cant get a Spolar, get a MEC you will never be sorry.
IF you are even sort of thinking about loading any gauge in addition to the 12, you want the 800+ Ponsness. When you change gauges with it the entire tooling head lifts of and is replaced by a head that is set up for the other gauge. What this accomplishes is that none of your adjustments are lost. They say it takes 5 minutes to change gauges- I think thats a bit optimistic- maybe after you have everything setting out ready to go. I think 10- 15 is closer- being careful to install everything right and getting your bench ready to start pulling the handle. The 2000 can also change gauges- my understanding is that you pretty much dissasemble the machine- which means all your adjustments are lost.

If your thinking about the Ponsness I suggest you talk to Jim "whiz" White- he's a Ponsness distributer-same $ as Ponsness direct- but he adds a few handy items- and he can really help you with getting the machine up and going. he can usually be found hanging around or I think his email is [email protected]

I have an 800+ and I really like it. It kicks butt on 12 and 20, and even 28 once I got the components sorted out. I am a bit frustrated with the .410 loading- issues with crimp repeatability, but being a tinkerer I've worked out most of the issues by adjustments and some minor modifications.

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Takes me 3 seconds to switch from 410 to 28g on my 9000 MEC.... 2 seconds to slide the chair, 1 second to reach for the handle... You can buy a whole machine from MEC for around the same price as a tooling head for a P/W.

My bud has a P/W, his wife bought it for him for Christmas. Bought all the guages and 410. Must have cost a bundle. Turns out nice shells... but so does my far less expensive MEC.

Do you have to drain the shot and powder to switch tool heads on the P/W?

I have had the MEC's and now have two PW Platium 2000's. The Spolars might the best but they cost way more. Never owned one though. I did not like the MEC. I load for myself and two other shooters and the PW's have been trouble free for me. At the club where I shoot skeet and trap many men out there shoot a lot and they all go for the PW, all except one and he has four Spolars.
Any negotiating room on that used 800B? Maybe you can beat the guy down another $50.00 - $100.00 if you're lucky. It's a great old machine.

Mecs used to be way down there on the price scale compared to others until perhaps a year or so ago. I see they're now in the $500+ range...only $100.00 - $150.00 less than the PW's.

In my experience, the quality of the PW's is well worth the extra $100 - $150.

I see PW still has a "blemish" sale on. Might be a good time to buy one of them right now. I highly doubt you'll be sorry if you do.

Good luck.
Well I finally pulled the trigger on buying my press. I was going to order the Ponsness Warren, but when I studied the operation further I learned that you had to insert the wad before you pull the handle and then pause, insert the hull, then push the handle up and start all over I changed my mind. I'm used to metallic loading where I put cases and bullets in place before pulling the handle on the press.

So this evening I just went and bought a new RCBS Grand press. :D I've always been satisified with their products in the past, and with the lifetime warranty on the press I figured I couldn't go wrong.

Thank you all for your input and helping me research these presses.
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