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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry for the repeat, I know there's a zillion threads on MEC 9000. Didn't find what I was needing with a search so just asking.

First time using my MEC9000 20ga. first progressive attempt for that matter. Had to adjust the primer feed, the wad guide, the pre crimp and final crimp (both too deep for Fed).

I was just function testing it, but once you get it churning around, and you really don't know what you're doing, there's no stopping it! You have to just keep feeding in shells hehe... I was cycling it to get powder and shot readings, then decided to use up the primed hulls I'd made. Thought I had the pre and final crimp raised up enough, but this looks pretty dished to me. I was happy just to have the thing cycling, so decided to make a few and just get on here and ask before I jacked it up.


I used Alliant green dot as I have 16lbs of it, and I use it for my 3/4oz 20ga loads, which I'll set this machine up for as soon as I acquire a 3/4oz bar.
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Recipe: Fed 2.75" 20ga Top gun, win209 (sub from Fed209A)
14.4gr Green Dot
380 gr #8 chilled lead (from a 7/8 oz "skeet" 502 bar)
CB 1078-20 (subbed for their OEM WAA20)

recipes from 1995, 1996, 2005, 2009 Alliant manuals which gave 14.5 to 15.5 powder with CCI109. Current recipe on Alliant site is this:
2.75 Federal FB Fed209A Green Dot 15.0gr WAA20 7/8 383 lead 10,960 1,200 Alliant

QUESTIONS.
1. Crimp-- is it the recipe and stack height foremost?
2. If NOT, what's the adjust for pre/final crimp? I'd expect less pre-crimp and less final crimp, raising center post a bit more.
3. If it IS the recipe, then...
What's a very good fitting recipe for 20ga 7/8 oz 1150ish?
Can use any of the below:
Federal, Estate, Herters, Fiocchi, Gun Club, Win AAHS, WinAACF, Win universal 20 ga stuff
CB 1078, Orange duster, SG20M

I'd like to be using Fed or Estate, and save my GC and Win AACF for 3/4oz. But whatever is a known great fit to get me some initial success with this machine, will be nice.
Thanks for any input!
Dave
 

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Pre-crimp looks good because you have no holes in the center or swirls in your final crimp. Its hard to tell if or how much you are dished from the pics. But to improve the final crimp without changing your load, look at your wad pressure gauge and get it down to just a very slight movement. You might be compressing your wad legs too much.

Steve
 

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Isn't that a tapered wad in a straight-walled hull?
 

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oneounceload said:
Isn't that a tapered wad in a straight-walled hull?
Yes, but I never had a problem using AA wads or their clones in Federal straight-walled cases with big flake powders. AA wads have large, flexible over-powder sections that accommodate those hulls. I don't know how they would work with finer grained powders, but the OP is using Green Dot.

FWIW - RXP12s and RXP20 did not work well in Federals.

FWIW2 - If you need to use up your AA20s with 3/4 ounce loads, add a kernel of Puffed Rice to the top of the shot column. When those wads are used up, look for another wad.
 

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There are only so many things you can change or adjust. I suspect you have a stack height issue. Have you loaded this exact load before on another press and gotten flat crimps? There are not a lot of choices to fix stack height. The CB wads are fairly long for 20 gauge wads. Orange dusters are nearly identical. For many guys the RXP is the go to wad in 20 but that is because they are shorter and used to fix bulgy crimps. Sometimes this type of problem can be fixed by using a powder more or less dense. You are really not going to find anything that takes up much more space than the GD. There are choices that take up less space and again are used to fix bulgy crimps. At 380 grains you are within a couple pellets of the desired 7/8 ounce. I have never used Federal 20 gauge wads but certainly in 12 gauge they tend to be a bit longer. This might be true in 20. CB does make a 3/4 ounce 20 gauge. wad. This would certainly take up more space, perhaps too much.

With regards to press adjustments:
I doubt you will gain much adjusting the crimp starter. Your best bet is backing off (raising) the center punch in the crimp closer. However, best I can tell from the photos, right next to the fold the depth of the crimp is about right. This kind of makes me think the punch is about right. The center of the crimp is dished down. That is because there is nothing behind it to support it (not enough stack height.) You might be able to help things with a wad ram adjustment. Lots of guys set this so that it just bumps up a bit. That way they know the wad is on the powder. But, in your case, what you would like is just on the powder and no pressure.

It will take some dinking around but I'd suggest:
Resize and prime a shell and be sure it has the correct amount of powder. Remove the powder and shot bottles. Disengage the slide hook that rotates the shell plate. Put the shell in the shot drop station and put a wad in the guide under the ram. Pull the press handle down but not quite all the way. Stop a couple inches short and come back up. This will get the wad started down into the case but not seat it. Loosen the clamp on the wad ram tube. Pull the handle down all the way and come back up. Tighten the clamp on the tube. Take the shell out of the press and insert a short length of wooden dowel and press down gently (a couple pounds pressure.) If the wad does not move it is on the powder. As a general rule there is enough friction on the wad ram that it will seat a wad on the powder even with the clamp loose.

It would be nice if the crimps were flat but a lot of guys (me included) have loaded and shot shells that look pretty similar to yours. If the depth of the crimp is correct right next to the fold then dishing in at the center is primarily a cosmetic issue.
 

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Dave, they look pretty good to me. The Federals have lots of capacity and can tolerate a deeper than normal crimp, but you must crank in a lot more pre-crimp first. I'd probably shoot those just as they are and never lose any sleep over it.

In the event you want t tweak them, start with more pre-crimp and work from there. I have found that the cam adjustment on the 9000 has less influence than on 600's and even the Grabber, which is a little strange.

Using a SW wad that sits a little higher would also help but I have made up many loads using the WAA20 or CB clone in these hulls with no real issues.
 

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lt0026 said:
Those steel bases don't work well in tubes. He probably isn't shooting tubes based on that.
I don't think he's shooting tubes but I know at least a dozen registered shooters using the Federal, Rio, Monarch (Rio),and bot high and low metal Nobel's with no problems, at least none they complain about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks so much for the great and detailed answers guys!
No tubes, so figured GDot in 7/8oz was ok.
Regarding wad choice, had planned on using sg20m but was surprised to find no federal/greendot data! So went with the cb1078 as I could find one datapoint current and a bunch of old ones, and wss loading was under those.

Really not my final load choice, just wanted to use the firm walled and clearly crimped top gun hulls for my first mec9000 attempt to remove some weak-hull risk as I learned. Truthfully i thought I had a 3/4oz bar in the box of stuff that came with it, but turned out to be 1oz and 1 1/8oz.

Thanks for the great info and adjustment ideas!

Cerberus, just the man I was hoping to see-- you talked me into buying these SG20M, now I need your "perfect recipe" for them ;) Just a 7/8 oz skeet shell that fits nice.
This machine has a 7/8oz skeet bar, and I've got every dang 20ga hull known to man.
powder-- GreenDot, 20/28, Longshot, 800x, Unique
wads-- cb 1078, orange duster, 3 bags of SG20M, RXP20, Fed20s1 (was keeping the rxp20 and Fed20s1 for 1oz hunting loads kinda)
hulls-- estate, topgun, fiocchi, herters, RemGC, Win AACF, and a billion Win Universal/AAHS style target hulls (not much luck with crimps on those, 1 in 10 hulls mess up...)
 

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There is no "perfect recipe" for the SG20M simply because they work so well in so many different combinations.

Since I know that you are at the post graduate level of reloading, I would honor you with the title "Handloader", I have a solution for your present question:

Look at your SG-20M data and anywhere you see International just sub Green Dot grain for grain. The ballistics will be right in there and the slight extra bulk of the Green Dot will help with your stack height and crimps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thx Cerberus ;)
And you're right... I actually filtered for International AND greenDot and looked at them all plus all that old Alliant stuff (since I'm not shooting tubes). Then I had to find a valid current load so I could load close, and post about it here and not be a pariah ;)

Guy originally had it set for 14.0gr International, and I did in fact have a pound of International... but when I saw the better volume for GD, which is my favorite for the 3/4oz 20ga also, decided to try to use it.

Went to Cabelas today, had that universal chargebar for progressives in my hand... decided to just go with the 7/8 skeet bar I have, or pull the 3/4oz bar from my un-used MEC9000 28ga if I really need it. I love that thing in my sizemaster, but it looked kind of klunky for the 9000. If they'd have had a 3/4oz 502 bar for progressives there I would have bought it, but no.
 
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