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Do You LIke Your Ponsness-Warren 800 Plus?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by WindsorDave, Oct 9, 2012.

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  1. WindsorDave

    WindsorDave TS Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
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    Location:
    Clallam County Washington
    Anyone have a Ponsness-Warren 800 Plus that they would care to comment on?

    How do you like it?

    Is there any money to be saved by getting an 800 B or C and having it upgraded? In talking to the PW factory, it sounded like $400 or more to upgrade an older machine when shipping is included. Primer feed, hinged hopper mount, removable die ring stations, etc.

    Is the "click" really that helpful? What about being able to remove a partially done hull from the die ring? Are the 9XX Elite's good?

    Thanks,
     
  2. dls guide

    dls guide Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    284
    I like mine very well. I have had the 800 plus for 6-8 yrs. and have had little to no problem 100k rds. Mine is now set up with hydraulic power and I wouldn't want to go back. Buying reloaders are like buying guns and optics, buy the best you can afford. The only other machine I would even consider is a Spolar.
     
  3. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
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    3,750
    Location:
    Terre Haute Indiana
    I started with a 900 Elite. The 800 Plus is a much better machine. I love the "click". It helps me know when to stop the Auto-Drive. The ability to remove shells at any station eliminates a lot of frustration.

    If you buy a 800 B/C you really should buy two of them. You will need a second for parts. Some of the B/C parts are no longer available.

    Send me a PM or email with your shipping address and I will quote you a good price on a new 800 Plus.

    Jim Skeel<BR>P/W Dealer/Distributor
     
  4. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    8,721
    I have an 800B, and it loads a very nice shell. Works like it should. Got it pretty cheap. I had to clean it up, as it had rust inside the dies and outside, along with pretty much every thing else. It is not worn to bad, but it has been sitting for quite a while. As far as updates go, why? If it is working no need to update. It can be done, if you are concerned with the amounts of drop, to index a single hull to the last station and push the hull out to measure your drops.

    The only thing I see that may be a concern if you shoot an auto, is that the final crimp does not round the top edge in. The guy I got the loader from used an auto, a Winchester SX-1, and said he never had a problem with hang-ups on the shells. It may be possible to replace just the final crimp, to account for this. Talk to the two Jim's on here, Jim Skeel, Jim "Whiz" White, they will be able to answer your questions. Jon

    P.S. Looks like one already has. He brought up another good point, in that these do not have some of the replacement parts made anymore. My main machine is a Hornady 366. So I have interchangeable dies.
     
  5. riflegunbuilder

    riflegunbuilder Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    359
    I have 800+ and 900s. I like them both. I like the removable dies on the 800+ but not that hard to turn off shot and or powder to cycle a bad shell through. Both work fine.
     
  6. wm rike

    wm rike Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
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    594
    Very much, better than my MECs. The Hornadys are nice, smooth, easy running machines, but hiccup every once in a while.
     
  7. Gregg535

    Gregg535 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    230
    I guess I will have to be the only "nay" sayer. I had MEC Grabbers in all four gauges but thought that I would try an 800Plus in 12 gauge a few years ago. I bought the shovel "D" handle and the swing out front bucket that used a drop tube for the finished shells. The weight and quality of the machine was impressive compared to the MEC's but I soon sold it and was happy when it sold.

    There were several things I didn't like about the machine. First, and most important to me, even if you use extreme care, it is possible to have a tipped wad --- especially if using any of the 8 petal type wads. With the MEC it is basically impossible.

    The swing out front bucket system was not realiable as shells regularly missed and bounced out from the chute that directed them to the bucket. Pretty much useless.

    Compared to the MEC's it was more of a procedure to change over from 1 ounce to 1 and 1/8 or to just change a powder bushing, etc. Also it is so easy to stop loading on a MEC progressive and empty the bottles --- just stop the primer feed after the last sized hull. Also, especially when using Red Dot, the powder would not drain out unless I kept tapping it with a dowel or something--- it would constantly bridge and stop flowing when trying to drain it out.

    While it is possible to remove a hull to weigh powder , etc with the PW, it is not nearly as easy as the MEC as you have to pull a pin (that often sticks). If I remember correctly it was impossible to remove it from one station as there wasn't enough clearance.

    MEC's are also far from perfect, but I have used them for so many years that I can quickly fix and adjust anything that needs attention and parts are cheap. Hands down the PW's are a more quality built machine, with more steel and more brass compared to the stamped out MEC's, but I was very happy to go back to the Grabber.
     
  8. likes-to-shoot

    likes-to-shoot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
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    Location:
    Iowa
    I like mine. I find the clicks are very helpful particularly since I put the hydraulic unit on. I have the removable dies so removing any shell on any station is easy.

    Like any other type of machine it is only as good as its operator. Look around and find the one that fits your skills the best and go for it.
     
  9. fssberson

    fssberson Active Member

    Joined:
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    2,375
    I sent mine back after a week. It had indexing problems. Fred
     
  10. Shoot n Holler

    Shoot n Holler Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    463
    Bought mine used and abused with the help of whiz white we have fixed all the problems caused by the first owners inabilty to read directions. I also owen two 366 love them all. as far as the pw 800 plus with hyd. when it is time to load lots of shells its a real time and arm saver. works without any problems not cause by me. And at a fair rate of speed 13min per 100 normal speed. Keep good o-rings in it and lube the way you should and it will last for ever. Great machine and service.

    Mark
     
  11. dead on 4

    dead on 4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
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    3,070
    I have had three of the 800 series and now loading on a 800+, loved them all. Some of the generation changes I would consider big improvements and others I would classify as cost saving measures. I ditched the plastic shot/powder/base in favor of Jim Skeel's EZ-Fill Hopper system which solved the IMR/WIN ball powder leakage problem. I also installed one of Whiz's primer tray vibrators which solved the problem with federal 209's. All of my PW's are manual cranked with a shovel handle. I'll be 70 in a couple of weeks and yet to think I need a power drive.

    I load for my girlfriend and myself about 20,000 hulls down from 60,000/70,000 as we haven't shot but a few program shoots the last couple of years, mainly games and practice,skeet and sporting

    I own a PW 900 20 gauge and have no complaints but I feel the 800 series is a better loader. I also have Pacific Hornady small gauge loaders and have never been happy with them. I started with a MEC JR moving to 650 and then jumped to the PW's. Like any machinery they need to be maintined which part of the reloading program.

    Surfer
     
  12. Alligator

    Alligator TS Supporters TS Supporters

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Messages:
    161
    I have one I bought used though "Whiz" White with a 20 gage tooling set that has yet to be installed. I have used P/W loaders 375C's and an old Multimatic for years and have had nothing but the best success. This one had been a "bitch" but I finally have it adjusted to load shells as good as factory. Look at the SW Supply web site if you are contemplating buying a used 800 B, C, or Conv. The die removal system is great, and believe me you will use it! Between "Whiz" and the factory I have gotten plenty of good help. A tip I got was to put a jellyroll or cookie pan under the loader before you bolt it down as you will spill some shot and powder with any progressive and it will catch it so it can be vacumed up. Also, bad as I hate to admit it I bought a Mec supersizer to size the once fired (?) emptys I might pickup that may have been through an automatic. It just makes them easier to go into the sizing dies with less force. Once through my Perazzi's I don't do this step. Have a nice day! Lee.
     
  13. dverna

    dverna Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,717
    Good machine. I get my highest production rate with it. Get the 800+ and do not try to save a few dollars as it will cost you in frustration. It is easy to double charge on an older style 800 if you are lazy as removing dies is impossible.

    I added the auto drive and if you do that route DO NOT add the case feeder. The case feeder will yield the highest production rate when it works. The auto drive is WONDERFULL and trouble free. Both together are PURE HELL. If you get the case feeder buy one or two spare die access plates. If you get both accessories buy a half dozen die access plates.

    Don Verna
     
  14. WindsorDave

    WindsorDave TS Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Clallam County Washington
    Thank you one and all for taking the time to respond. This has been informative and helpful.

    Best,

    Dave
     
  15. goose2

    goose2 Well-Known Member

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    Feb 20, 2007
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    Mec and 800+ shouldn't be mentioned in the same thread. 800+ is a much superior loader over the mec.
     
  16. APrice

    APrice Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
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    1,208
    Used PW's for 30+ years and still own an 800B and 800CVT. I'd recommend you spend twice as much money and get a Spolar. I did and have never regretted it.
     
  17. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    7,770
    800+ with the electric drive cranks out 500 rounds an hour. But, you might get finger crimp from pushing the lever. Seriously, it works great, with a blip once in awhile, mostly due to my well used shells. Buy the primer vibrator and the shell mouth expander (for those old worn out shells) and crank them out. If you don't like pulling a handle the 800+ electric is the way to go, or maybe the Patriot if you like the enhanced features. And I have a Dillon SL900, which is good but, I still have to pull the handle. Mec's are not even a comparable product to either the PW 800+ or the Dillon. I've had those too.
     
  18. eightbore

    eightbore Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    3,329
    I have five 800Bs and will never need another loader. The 800B is the best loader they ever made, shouldn't have tried to improve it. I bought a crimp taper conversion for the 12 gauge years ago, never installed it, never needed it, even for pumps and automatics. I'm only up to 130,000 on my 12 gauge counter since 1988, but I used it for years before I bought my counters. The small gauge 800Bs are absolutely problem free. I have altered a few parts on the 12 gauge to better accept modern wads and hulls, but such modifications were pretty simple to make.
     
  19. Rubicon_Joey

    Rubicon_Joey Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    585
    I've had a MEC 650, Hornady 366 and now a P/W 800+. My father owned a RCBS grand that was nice but, had too many plastic parts to break. I sent this little write up in a PM to another forum member asking about the Grand, Hornady and 800+.

    The Hornady 366 was a great reloader, but just wasn't as well built as the others. If you want to remove a shell, you have to remove all of the shells prior to the shell you want to remove as you rotate the shell plate back. The hoppers aren't as large as the others and are pretty tall. They also don't have a drain feature like the the others. To empty the shot and powder you either have to wait until you run out or tilt them upside down to get them off the press. Gauge changes are possible, but requires adjusting everything each time you change. It would be simpler to buy a used press in the other gauge, which wouldn't cost much more than the die kit from Hornady anyway.

    The RCBS grand, has too many plastic parts. My father had to replace several of the shell holders and the charge bar lever. However, they have excellent customer service. If you break parts, they replace them for free, for life. They are also pretty good with technical assistance if you need it. It has the powder/shot drains and nice,large,clear hoppers, which is real nice. The primer catch tray is actually a jar the mounts below the reloader. For me it's in the way and would be prone to getting hit with my knees when sitting at the press. The center shaft also extends below the reloader and requires the press be edge mounted. Die changes are simple and can be done relatively quick. There isn't much price difference between it and the P/W.

    The P/W 800+ is what I currently own and I like it the best. It uses the shell holders to re-size the hull. The hoppers are large like the Grand, but they aren't clear. However, they are translucent enough to see the shot/powder levels. Also like the grand it has a powder/shot drain. Die changing with it is as simple as pulling down the handle, removing a plug and then swapping the dies. The other two require that you pull the charge bar (which is easier on the grand due to it's design). The design of the 800+ is somewhat similar to the 366 in that the shell plate is mounted between two uprights and moves up into the dies. However, it is much more robust. The only part I ever anticipate replacing are wad guides. Everything else is well built and will probably never wear out in a couple lifetimes. There are some plastic linkages, but they are somewhat of a fail safe (not allowing you to break other parts) and would requires some substantial force to break. I, like an idiot didn't realize I was trying to prime a hull that hadn't been deprimed and managed to dent the head of hull in enough to fully cycle the press without breaking anything. If that didn't break anything, I can't imagine what would.
     
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