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Take a look at the red shell plate. That's the horizontal round plate where you sit the empties while reloading them. Do you see the thin round disk on top of the shell plate with semi-circle cut outs? That's where the base of the shells are placed.

So all you have to do is insert a shell of a certain gauge in there and see if it fits. It should fit snugly without excessive looseness or wobbling. Keep trying different gauge shells until you find the one that fits.
 

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Ulysses way is proof positive. It looks like a 12 gauge. MEC's very first charge bars (red 1" square bar in chrome carrier) were stamped with info similar to 12GA. O.
Steve
 

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Should be a serial number on it someplace. Thus giving info for parts and gage. Whoever you contact to get it running correctly...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi everyone. I found a Reloader in my grandpas attic and would like to learn to use it. However I can’t figure out what gauge it is. Can anyone tell me how to tell ? It’s a mec model 650 ‘82’.
Hi everyone. I found a Reloader in my grandpas attic and would like to learn to use it. However I can’t figure out what gauge it is. Can anyone tell me how to tell ? It’s a mec model 650 ‘82’.
Thank you so much everyone! I really appreciate it!
 

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Take a look at the red shell plate. That's the horizontal round plate where you sit the empties while reloading them. Do you see the thin round disk on top of the shell plate with semi-circle cut outs? That's where the base of the shells are placed.

So all you have to do is insert a shell of a certain gauge in there and see if it fits. It should fit snugly without excessive looseness or wobbling. Keep trying different gauge shells until you find the one that fits.
Why not measure?
 

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Why not measure?
Inserting a shell into the opening is a form of measurement without using numbers. It's kind of a "Does it fit or not" type of measurement. :)
 

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Inserting a shell into the opening is a form of measurement without using numbers. It's kind of a "Does it fit or not" type of measurement. :)
Agree, gauging is a good method. But that forces author to have "gauges" - several empty shells (12,20,16,28,410. I assumed that author knows literally nothing about shotshells.).

Before obtaining those (especially when you don't know what you're looking for...) it's better to measure?
And here we're not talking about specific tolerances or serious precision, +-1mm is fine. https://saami.org/wp-content/upload...-Shotshell-2015-R2019-Approved-2019-04-23.pdf this can give info on a base size: 12 0.86", 16 0.78",20 0.73"
 

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Agree, gauging is a good method. But that forces author to have "gauges" - several empty shells (12,20,16,28,410. I assumed that author knows literally nothing about shotshells.).

Before obtaining those (especially when you don't know what you're looking for...) it's better to measure?
And here we're not talking about specific tolerances or serious precision, +-1mm is fine. https://saami.org/wp-content/upload...-Shotshell-2015-R2019-Approved-2019-04-23.pdf this can give info on a base size: 12 0.86", 16 0.78",20 0.73"
Yep, gauging depends on the author having some empty (or loaded) shells. However, the measuring with calipers depends on the author having calipers and knowing what the measurements are for the various shells. I would surmise that most non-technical type people who don't engage in reloading or aren't machinists by trade would be more likely to have access to a shotgun shell than they would to a caliper.

I would estimate that 97% of all homes in the US do NOT have a caliper that they could use to measure the opening with. Further, even if you could measure the opening accurately, you don't really know how much larger the opening is supposed to be than the shell. A regular one-foot "ruler" might not be accurate enough to do the job. Besides, the typical ruler is divided into English measurements in 1/8" increments which would then involve a conversion. :oops:
This might be more involved than the typical person wants to fool with. Much easier and simpler to just grab a 12 gauge shell somewhere and see if it fits. If it doesn't, then you know it something smaller than a 12 gauge.

I'm not disagreeing with your method at all. I'm simply trying to guess what the most typical situation would be for someone who finds a reloading press that was left in the attic by his grandpa. My guess is that a shotgun shell (or several) would be more likely than a caliper. 😁
 
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measuring with a metric ruler would give:
12 ga is about 21.5 mm
20 ga is about 18.5 mm
16 ga is inbetween at 20.7 mm
28 ga is 17.5 mm
and the little .410 is about 1/2 inch.

For lots of jobs, metric is just plain easier.
 

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measuring with a metric ruler would give:
12 ga is about 21.5 mm
20 ga is about 18.5 mm
16 ga is inbetween at 20.7 mm
28 ga is 17.5 mm
and the little .410 is about 1/2 inch.

For lots of jobs, metric is just plain easier.
Unless your measuring a 410 shotshell;)
 

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Using Google, in the search bar enter ".410 inches to mm" hit search
answer returned "0.41 = 10.414 mm.
Steve
 

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You know it surprised me no one thought about the wad guide. Aren't they marked with gauge. All the ones I have are.
 

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That's the bore. Really nothing to do with the hull.
Very true, I made the post in reply to post #15 before it was edited to become clearer as to what was meant.
Steve
 
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