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$500 Budget for Reloading 12Ga, What to Get?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by vpr80, Sep 23, 2009.

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  1. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    I am thinking of reloading shotshells as I start shooting more so I was wondering what's the best set-up for $500? I already have a full set-up for handguns (Dillon XL650) so I won't need any common items like scale, etc. Just the shotshell specific items.

    Seems like the MEC 9000 is a really popular choice, but I can't tell the difference between the models. What's a 9000G or 9000N etc?

    For P/W, I am seeing contradicting opinions. Seems some people love them and some hate them. Also lots of models out there 800B, 800+, 2000, etc. Are these generally considered better than the MEC and if so, which one should I look for?

    Where does the RCBS Grand fit into the picture? Better? Worse?

    Lastly, as the title says, $500 budget. I will save approx $2.00 per box so I don't want my pay-back period to be in years. I want this thing to pay for itself kinda quick.

    Thanks
     
  2. Rich219

    Rich219 Active Member

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    How much do you shoot?
     
  3. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    6 Boxes a week, give or take.
     
  4. Rich219

    Rich219 Active Member

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    I'd probably go with a Sizemaster, single stage, and spend the rest of money on components. If you really want a progressive though you could look for a MEC 650 or a 9000 like you mentioned.
     
  5. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    Ohhh yeah one more thing. I am not one with a ton of time or patience for reloading for hours on end. I don't mind doing it out of necessity, but not as a hobby. I really like the XL650 because I can crank out ammo very fast so it's ok. So with shotshells, I don't want to be loading 100 per hour on a single-stage, I am looking for something faster.

    PS - I am keeping the auto and hydrolic adapters in mind for a possible add-on later since they are so expensive.
     
  6. Rich219

    Rich219 Active Member

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    I'd probably go with a MEC 9000 or what I'm looking to pickup in the next few months, and get a P/W 800+.
     
  7. jimrich60

    jimrich60 Member

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    Given the budget you have set, don't think you can do much better than the MEC 9000. Easily loads a couple hundred per hour, and it is dead reliable for the most part. Makes excellent reloads and very simple for the inexperienced to quickly get into progressive reloading. Also, if you later want to go an automated set up like the MEC Automate, this is easily added to the 9000 with a few simple changes and tools. I use the 9000 with Automate, and consider it the best overall reloader for the money you can get, especially with the Automate feature. To help with your budget even more, you can often find used 9000s for sale, especially on this forum, which could save you a little bit. All reloaders have their quirks and shortcomings, but overall the MEC is one of the best, and for the price, the best in my opinion.

    Jim R
     
  8. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    If I look for a used 9000, I see the new models end on GN. What's the difference with the older (I assume) 9000G models?
     
  9. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    Jim,
    If I go down the P/W route, what model should I look for? I am having a hard time finding info online.
     
  10. Remstar311

    Remstar311 Member

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    I can load 150 shells in an hour on a Mec JR. I do it every week. I would recommend that if you go that route, load em a few days before you shoot. Thats really tooling on a Jr. and sometimes your shoulder complains.
     
  11. ray6187

    ray6187 TS Member

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    i would go with a hornady 366 ,you can pick one up for around 300 dollars used on ebay.
     
  12. Skiracin

    Skiracin Member

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    I picked up a brand new MEC 9000GN in Sparta for $400. It works like a charm, turns out nice consistent reloads without issues. This is the first loader I have ever owned or operated and it was extremely easy to setup and use right out of the box.
     
  13. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    Sparta what? IL? NJ?
     
  14. Skiracin

    Skiracin Member

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    Sparta, IL @ The Grand.
     
  15. BigJohn270

    BigJohn270 Member

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    I would get a MEC 9000 and put the rest of the money in my pocket for futher reloading stuff.
     
  16. jimrich60

    jimrich60 Member

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    vpr80

    The newer models of the MEC 9000 (those ending in GN) have the new primer feed system and tray. The older models do not, but have a workable old style primer feed. The new primer feed system can be purchased and put on any 9000G model, but would of course, add some to the cost of a used MEC. Your best bet is to find a good price on the new model. If you shop around, you can find one for under your budget. Do not bother with a single stage loader as it will be slow, and you will quickly outgrow it. The 9000 can be operated basically as a single stage while learning to reload, and then will be ready to crank out shells in volume when you need them and have learned the basics. And then later, if you wish, you can add the Automate. While I think buying the MEC 9000 and Automate as a factory set up unit is best (and cheaper than buying the two pieces separately), it really is not difficult to add the Automate yourself later if wanted.

    Jim R
     
  17. vpr80

    vpr80 Active Member

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    sarge, at the end of the day economics wins so i am not spending $1500 on a machine to save $2 per box and break even in 10 years. no one said anything about cheap implying bad or unreliable shells. i've been loading handgun for many years so i don't need a lesson in safe reloading, i just need a set-up that both saves me money and does the job.

    Jim R, thanks a lot! that's exactly what i was looking for.

    Now, anyone know where I can get a good used 9000GN? Or a new one for around $400?
     
  18. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Sounds like you're ready for a new 'wanted' thread.

    I just bought a used 9000 for $300 and have it set up and reloading steel shells for our steel only club in Naperville. I had to tweak the primer seat, wad station and final crip station (loose), but that was about it. I put light sewing machine oil on the main column and a little on the outside of the resizing collet. Works great. Cranks out the shells.

    Tried putting my new style primer tray on it but gave up. Old one works just fine. New one was on my old Super 650 and I bent it a little to make it work, so it's surely out of spec.
     
  19. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    If you don't enjoy it, don't do it. Components are going up, sometimes hard to find. Wal-Mart shells work and will save you a LOT of aggrevation. I load metallic, a LOT, as well. Lots more "tweaking" going into shotshell reloading. But I have tons of time and really enjoy the process. You will tear your hair out before you get a shotshell reloader "dialed in", regardless of the brand.

    YMMV....

    Bruce
    KB1IIX@arrl.net
     
  20. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    A good used Hornady 366. Usually $250.00 or less. Great customer service at the factory.

    Loads 400 per hour with very little effort (after a slight learning curve).

    Pays for itself in no time (depending on your actual components costs and how much you'll actually shoot).

    Curt
     
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