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Reloading equipment for 500 boxes per annum

2177 Views 17 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  dougdmd
I am considering reloading for purposes of recylcing only. No love of reloading. Would just be work. 12 ***** and 20 ***** only. Lead only.My current line of thinking, after seeing reloading machines on e-bay, is that there must have been a gazillion other idiots who had this same idea, and quit after 300 boxes of shells.Can you reloaders recommend a used machine that is a workhorse, and can do volume? Don't want a machine that requires a lot of mechanical adjustment. Just want to pull the lever.How many hours does it take to make 500 boxes of shells (12,500)?
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The MEC line is the workhorse, the 600jr is the base model to start from. IF you are going to load one recipe, then it is a one time setup with only the occasional tweak.It depends on the speed and skill of the reloader and how many checks you make during loading, as well as how prepared you are at having the hulls, wads, and primers set up. I can load about 4-5 boxes per hour at a steady pace, you can double that with a progressive loader.
I have the MEC 9000H works great i can crank out a case in about 30 minutes if i'm really working. They work GRRRRRRRRRRREAT! So if you go for anything go for a MEC! Fantastic!! Browning, The Best there is because second best is well...second best.
I wish I had that much money to spend on a hydrolic press. A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
I did 2 cases (500 rounds) today in my spare time on a MEC 600 Jr. 4 cases in a month would be real easy.
I guess I'm late in answering, but I use a mec Jr for my reloading, about 1k to 2k a year. no problems and had it since 1983.
I just got started reloading a couple of months ago and I am currently using a MEC 600 Jr that a friend gave me when he got his new hydraulic progressive. I can load around 100 shells an hour using this machine and each one comes out with a good crimp and work very well in my autoloader.
if you scavenge your empty hulls,the mec sizemaster is the way to go,and it has a primer feed.
I use a mec 650, and I can go through 100 rounds an hour pretty easily. If I had bigger powder/shot bottles, then I could do more like 125-150 per hour. This is me taking my time and not rushing.

By buddy uses a 9000G, but I don't like the way the hydraulic carrier takes control of the hulls; if a shell gets jammed up, the last thing I want is to have the shells cycled automatically. I'll admit that the built in resizer is a nice-to-have, but I got my mec resizer used for $25.

A typical month of reloading on the weekends, during the summer months, is easily 400-500 per weekend. :wink:
i always recommend a mec 9000g for a progressive press. the best single stage is the sizemaster. get a press that resizes the case head, so regardless of the gun the empty was shot in, it will chamber in your gun. 50 flats of ammo is not a whole lot of ammo. i shoot almost 400 flats a year in trap alone and i use the mec 9000g. a cheap press is not good if your ammo will not chamber!
Get the best press you can afford. They all make good shells. You get what you pay for in shotshell re-loaders just like anything else. My choices are Hornady 366 and a P/W 900. The old MECs are worn oout and sitting on the floor of my shop.
He's said 500 boxes not 500 rounds. 500 boxes per annum(annum = year for those in RioLinda). That's 12,500 shotshells a year and that's what you call an avid shotgunner.

Buy a Spolar Gold. Good luck finding a used one though, it's top of the line and once people buy them, there is no reason to sell it.
I would suggest buying used Ponsness Warren presses off e-bay. I bought one in 12 gauge for $325, and it works like a charm. I did change the operating arm bushings because they showed wear, not because they were worn out.
You can usually find model 800's, 900's and 950's in the $400 range in both 12 and 20. This is not much more than you would pay for a mec 9000, and a whole lot less than you would pay for a Spolar.
I have a Mec Grabber in both 20 and 12 gauge that I use for hunting loads, and use the P/W strictly for trap loads. Both of the Mec's have worked flawlesley for the last 15 years, and I have loaded many many thousand shells on them.
These are just some suggestions of someone who has been there/ done that.

Hornady 366 Auto. One just went on eBay tonight for $225. Probably $260 after shipping. I load 6-10 boxes for Trap shooting every Saturday morning while I have coffee and watch the news. You can move pretty fast with the 366. I also pull out my MEC junior every now and then, very reliable but not very fast.
Hehe. DO you guys realize that the original post in this thread was from Jan 2003? Thanks for the extra info though. I will keep it in mind when I am ready to start reloading.
pmmx said:
I wish I had that much money to spend on a hydrolic press. A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
In our family it is always me having the last word and that is "yes honey".
I use the Mec 650, I have the 4 loaders. No problems. Between my kids and myself we would shoot approximately 16,000 rounds.
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