I have been loading 12ga with a MEC Versamec 700 for several years, and the crimper has worked just fine. I load mostly 8pt WinAA or RemSTS hulls.
Recently, I acquired a MEC 700 in 16 ga, and have been setting it up. My first try was with Fed purple hulls and a 6pt crimp. Most worked fine using the metal crimp starter that was on the press. However, the cases are blown out pretty round at the crimp, and sometimes they don't get folded back real pretty.
I recently ordered and received a plastic set of crimp starters, both 6 and 8pt. Does anyone have any experience with these plastic ones? (I didn't know I was getting plastic.) Would the new plastic starter work better on the Fed hulls?
I know that I can try a few, but thought I would ask the experts first.
Joined: 16 Jan 2006
Location: Sandy Lake, PA
I'm far from being an expert but I do have experience with the 700 VersaMec in both 12 and 16ga. Mine were made in the mid 70's. Which makes a difference when ordering parts. Mec changed the pre crimp starter and the wad finger style a long time ago. Just cheaper to manufacture I presume. Actually in my opinion, the plastic pre crimp starter works better than the brass insert in the chrome housing original no matter which brand of hull. It follows the folds better. And it is literally a 'snap' to change from 6pt to 8pt. I have used on Rem, Win, Fed and S&W hulls. None was worse regards the crimping operation. For the sake of simplicity I now only load the Rem and Win hulls.
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
The new style plastic crimp starters are easier to automatically index, easier and more accurate to adjust, and easier to change than the old metal housed inverted cup type starters. They definately work much better on the progressive models and give far less problems.
However, for six point crimping on the MEC single stage presses, I prefer the nonrotating old style crimp starter. I get perfect results by orienting the starter by hand so one of the points on the shell is turned directly outward when you move it to station 4. That way you never get a crushed crimp due a misaligned shell fold.
Here is a tip for you folks with Hornady/Pacific 366 DL presses. Their crimp starters are similar to the new MEC system, but do not automatically self index as well as the MEC unit. The plastic heads are not nearly as well designed as the MEC heads. I tapped and treaded the vertical adjustment screw for 1/4-20 thread to accept a MEC ball end crimp starter screw and use the MEC unit on My 28 ga and .410 Hornady press. My misaligned/crushed crimp folds have dropped from about 10% to about 0.5%. Its worth the adaptation and very easy to do.
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