Joined: 01 Dec 2005
Don't let something like the DR-16 be the reason not to enjoy an automatic "lever-puller". Your hands and shoulders will thank you, if you load thousands of shells.
By all means, get an Automate -- you will enjoy it lots more than you would the hydraulic. I have had an Automate since about 2006. I bought it from ATS, the guy who invented it. That was several years before he sold the product to MEC. It has been dead reliable. I bought another one last year for another location. I have loaded DR-16's with mine. You might have to change the height of the wad guide from it's standard position, but I didn't -- there's only so much you can do. I just cram them in. Some folks cut down a section of the rim of the plastic wad guide (an inexpensive part -- use a Dremel tool or a file/rasp of some sort) to make insertion easier for wads with long recoil sections. In my experience, regarding successful installation of long wads like the DR-16, operation of the MEC 9000 in its standard "hand-pulled" configuration does not provide any advantage over one on an automatic lever-puller, hydraulic or Automate.
The answer to your problem is to buy an Automate, convert your 9000, try the DR-16's, and if you don't like them, ditch them and get over it -- I did -- real quick. It's a fiddly wad, and lord knows I'm a fiddler, but it was just not for me. You can do a nice range of load accommodation with the DR-16, but for me it was generally a single-stage reloader wad (MEC 600/700/Sizemaster, etc). I got pretty tired of working with it for high volume loading on progressives. Everyone's experience is different, of course, and some here have had a fine time with it using indexing progressives like the 9000 and others.
try the DR-16's, and if you don't like them, ditch them
That's what I did. They're designed for light loads and light loads are exactly what I wanted to produce in volume, but the wad didn't lend itself to easy handling without mutilating my 9000. Forget it.
Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Location: Central CT
The H or E models are much smoother than any hand operated machine and are not the source of any wad insertion issues.
The only problem(s) with the DR16 wad are self inflicted. I have lost count on how many DR16 wads I have loaded in many different hull brands and I have never had a DR16 wad go in anything but straight.
Buy the Hydraulic or Auto-Mate model, you will be glad you did.
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