I started this on another thread and had a huge response. Since I'm more into 16"s thought I would see what response would be here
What is meant for is anyone revamped their loaders. Tweeked or added anything on out of the ordinary. Maybe made their own part for any reason.
Chime in if you do. Put a picture of the change if you like.
Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Location: Central CT
I added the metal baffle and Universal Charge Bar on both my 9000G16 and my 16 Ga. Sizemaster. I cut a 1/8" deep notch around 1/2 the circumference of the wad guide making it easier to insert the DR16 wad.
I stopped using the lubes suggested by MEC on the collet and the pivot points and linkage and now use Rock N Roll Super Web Grease. This grease stays put and doesn't make a mess and is much better for the collet.
I added the bottle supports and the new style 200 primer tray on the 9000G16.
Joined: 01 Dec 2005
I have 16 MEC reloaders, and I use them all.
For hunting loads and experimenting with fit, etc I use MEC 600's and 700's. I have 8 of them, all in different gauges: 10, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28(x2) and.410 bore. The 24 I made myself from a combination of modified 20 and 28 gauge parts -- machine work required, not for the "un-committed". I am committed, or perhaps alternatively I should have been!
For high volume loading I use mostly MEC 9000's. I have a stable of 5 with one AutoMate up in Minnesota for clay target games, 12, 16, 20, 28 and .410, and another stable for skeet in Arizona, with an ancient tube-type primer feed MEC 650 in 12, 9000's in 20 and .410, all used with another AutoMate, and one of the above-mentioned 600's in 28. No need to load a ton of 28's except for the few tournaments I will attend down there, and if I need to practice with 3/4 oz. of shot I can load that cheaper into plentiful 20 gauge hulls -- can't tell the difference when shot through a typical tube set skeet blaster.
I love the 600/700, as you can probably tell. I rig them with spacers for short hulls, and can load 3 inchers as well. They are plenty fast for the volumes of hunting loads I shoot. I use a crank-type measure (an old Herter's unit) for powder drops in many cases, rather than screw around trying to tune up powder bushings with a chain-saw file like I used to do. I don't file busings anymore, as I find day-to-day and batch-to-batch variations of the powders I use just don't matter in high-volume loading. I use the crank-type measure for precision in hunting loads and experiments. It doesn't slow me down much at all. MEC 600's are great for what I'll call "interrupted stage" reloading. That is, I'll resize (either with the 600, or a SuperSizer, or an old MEC Case Conditioner) a batch and re-prime them, then drop powder in the batch with the crank-type measure, then go back to the 600 to install wads and shot, and either crimp, or install a "B"-wad over the shot for subsequent roll crimping by batch (batches help keep that roll-crimper warm )).
If shot is any bigger than #5 or sometimes #6, I'll measure that by dipper and weigh each charge. Again, it isn't that slow to do it that way if you get used to it. If the shot is large enough that I'd actually like to count it, I use empty primer trays as a sort of "dipper", fill the easily counted rows or block off the ones not needed and that's my charge. Trying to get shot bigger than #6 through a drop tube for any gauge smaller than 12 usually will result in a jam at some point. Fortunately, 16 gauge MEC reloaders use the same size drop tube for 12 and 16, so you can, with care get away with up to #3's or maybe even #2's, but then you have the limitations of the charge bar -- same weight charges with larger shot occupy larger volumes. Regardless of manufacturer, no reloader is immune to these problems.
I like to use the old original metal MEC Spindex crimp starters. I also use and enjoy the original MEC non-spinning crimp starters, which are similar to the big brass ones sold by Ballistic Products, Inc, but better because they have a steeper angle. I do use a BPI crimp starter on my 24 gauge shells. I dislike the modern Spindex made of plastic -- not because it is plastic, mind you, but because of it's shape: it starts the crimp with too shallow an angle; it just doesn't close the crimp enough unless you set it so low it "breaks" the "shoulder" of the crimp, which results in crimp ripples and shorter hull length in my high-volume loading (MEC 9000's). This is especially bad on 28's and .410's. I have replaced those with old MEC metal Spindexes or fixed crimpers, and a quick spin to orient the 6-point crimp folds does not slow me down on a 9000.
I have experienced no benefit from powder baffles. I use no tall bottles, even on the 9000's. If I have to tilt the powder measure back on a MEC, the tall bottles are a PITA. The more frequent filling required by the shorter bottles is not a problem for me. I do have some adjustable chargebars. They are finicky to set up, and you can spend all day chasing the perfect throws, but once you figure out there is a certain repeatability band you are experiencing, you can relax and get on with it. Once adjusted, they do stay put and drop as well as a fixed or bushed charge bar. They are a bit problematic with the .410 though, as by the time you get the powder opening small enough for these tiny charges, it is offset a bit from the drop tube, and it is rectangular as well, rather than round, and that can lead to inconsistencies. Fortunately most .410 powders flow like water, and a little jiggle or tap solves this problem. Speaking of bushing, I do bush up old fixed MEC pre-powder-bushing type chargebars for some loads. I use sections (circumferential bands) of plastic shotshell hull wall cut to fit by interference (friction) in the orifices of the chargebar. This works great. I started doing this in the mid '60's (with paper hull strips cut from nice crisp waxy Federals!) when I was a kid in frozen North Dakota, out in the boonies with no reloading supply house nearby, no internet and not even being able to order anything by phone (which then was quite a recent device in our house!). I needed something quick, and you know how it goes . . . where there's a will . . . So that's how I started "fiddling".
Pencil eraser shoved in the center hole of station 3 on Mec 9000. You don't need that hole, and the eraser massively helps if you get a shell with no primer and powder comes out bottom-- now it just sits on top of station and doesn't fall anywhere, you can just dust-bust it up. This is a "MUST DO" 10 second improvement if you've ever spilled powder...
Joined: 03 Sep 2014
Location: Brooklyn, MI
I am not a fan of adjustable charge bars in my MEC loaders.
I find it much easier to adjust powder charges with bushings.
I also can adjust shot charges by use of the use of bushings that I cut from clear PVC or visqueen sheeting. For example, I use a 1 oz charge bar with a PVC sheet bushing to throw 7/8 oz charges. I can verify the charges on an electronic scale and I can easily cut the plastic sheeting to adjust for various shot sizes.
I've taken a small electrics motor out of a fan from a wood burner. Mounted it very close to the side of my mec 9000. Made a small counter weight for the shaft just so you can hardly feel the vibration. But the powder drops are very very close from one to another. Very constant drops
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