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loader machine popularity

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Ross, Jul 25, 2012.

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  1. Ross

    Ross Well-Known Member

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    For price I think you're right, but for solid & built to last???????????? Having had Mec and Pacific (Hornady-Bair) & tried several friends other brands I would put Mec at the other end of "my" list. The Mec does load as nice a shell as most but for me something was always out of whack or bent--broken--etc. Their service was good. just my experience. Ross Puls
     
  2. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    IL(The gun friendly Southern Part)
    I agree with Ross above. I load on an old Pacific 366. It is built like a Sherman tank. MEC makes great loaders but there are parts that bend and break that never happens on the 366. They all make great quality shells that when mixed in a box you couldn't tell which shells came from which loader. They also all have their own quirks and have a learning curve. I have two Pacific's and two MEC's. My Pacific 366 is my go-to loader. It just keeps on chugging along. I don't know when the last time I replaced a part on it. I can't speak for the other brands as I haven't actually used them. I do know they pretty well all have great customer service. The few times I have had to call Hornady about my loader, they were more than helpful.
     
  3. Twinbirds

    Twinbirds TS Member

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    plus the Pacific has a positive movement powder and shot bar
     
  4. larrycrismond

    larrycrismond Member

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    Sep 7, 2006
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    I have loaded about 5000 12 ga shells per year on the same MEC 9000G for the past 20 years and found it to be trouble free. I have replaced the wad guide fingers twice and the gas tube once. I use a universal charge bar which I put on the loader when it was new. The powder charges are very consistent with at least 5 different powders that I've used and I weigh them periodically with a Pacific balance scale. Good luck with your reloading.
     
  5. Jawhawker

    Jawhawker TS Member

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    Mec(by a margin), PW, Hornady, Dillon, RCBS. Then again I'm not to sure that Spolar wouldn't challange the last two. Not sure where they are at with recent numbers.
     
  6. N. J. BOB

    N. J. BOB Active Member

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    SPOLAR Rock solid....
     
  7. cunninmp

    cunninmp Member

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    Started out many moon's ago with a Texan.
    Then went to a MEC Grabber. Then I was impressed.
    Then in the late 80's got a PW. Sold the MEC.
    PW really put out the shells---I thought.
    Still have a PW Platinum 2000.
    Then I got a Spolar with Hydraulics. Thought
    I had died and went to reloaders Heaven!!
    Best decision I ever made. Should have done it many years before I did.
    I think if you reload a lot of shells Spolar is the way to go.
    Next would be the PW with Electric or Hydraulic Drive.
    If only loading a few shells might go with a hand operated MEC.
    Have no experience with the Dillon or Hornady for shotshells but
    Hornady has always made a good product.
    I do have a Dillon RL650 for CF and it runs great.

    Mike C.
     
  8. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

    Joined:
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    Terre Haute Indiana
    o.k. Here goes:

    MEC Progressive: Most popular. Little to no mechanical aptitude required. Most force to operate. Unreliable powder drops.

    Hornady 366 Progressive: Easy to operate. Easy to adjust. Good old machine.

    Ponsness/Warren 800 Plus: Requires mechanical aptitude. Makes a "Factory" shell. Reliable. Full length shell holders. Good value for the money. Best power loader = Auto-Drive Electric. The best .410 progressive loader there is.

    Spolar Gold: Spend a lot of money. Never say anything bad about the product because you spent a lot of money.

    Jim Skeel<BR>
    P/W Dealer/Distributor
     
  9. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    LMAO

    I like that last part Jim.
     
  10. C-Money

    C-Money Member

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    Dont laugh, When my father moved back east he took his PW with him. I bought a Lee Load All, to start loading without my Dad around to help if I had an issue. The Lee seemed very simple, and it is. That was 10 years ago, and I am still loading with it. It just works.
     
  11. plinker611

    plinker611 Member

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    still using a p/w 800 b that i bought used many moons ago for $250(guy i bought from had "other loaders" and the p/w was too mutch for him,lets say).(have others for "special shells,but my p/w is my line load machine)has loaded many shells that have broke skids of targets with out many problems...and when you set it to 1 hull(mines rem. sts,or nitro),the 1st shot hull shells cant be told apart from factory,untill you look at the primer...cant judge others because i havent had to consider them,spolar sounds good, but i wouldnt move my p/w off the dillon bench.or pay the price when there is other "gently/hard used equipment out there at greatly reduced prices,mark
     
  12. Avaldes

    Avaldes Well-Known Member

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    Jim, you wouldn't be biased would you? :)
     
  13. Ljutic111

    Ljutic111 TS Member

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    Go for the 366 Hornady and never look back .
     
  14. KS-OKIE

    KS-OKIE TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Location:
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    Spolar better than a PW....Hands down.Spolar Hydrolics better than PW hydros....Big hands down.The owners of Spolar Ever saying anything negative on this forrum about PW..NOT ONCE.PW dealers/wannabe trap shooters trying to run down Spolar reloaders...I wish I had a $100.00 bill for each time,I`d be a wealthy man...KS-OKIE.
     
  15. straightshooter1

    straightshooter1 Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Jim is absolutely right.

    You need mechanical aptitude for the P-W. I have two friends who have the best P-W has to offer with the electric drive and both have problems. One has sent his back to P-W at least once. The other, who bought his at the Southern Grand, seems to be having second thoughts about his purchase. He and my other friend with the P-W have been trying to get the thing to work right.

    I started with a MEC-never could get any of them to stay in adjustment and I had four 12 gauge MECs, three 9000s and a Grabber. Constant fiddling with all of them.

    Then I got a Dillon, had zero problems and still have one (been threatening to sell it as I haven't been using it).

    And, in 2008, I got the Spolar. I have nothing bad to say about it as Jim noted, but not because I spent a lot of money. It is simply the best. And Dixie, Carter and Robert provide all the support one could ever ask for.

    Bob
     
  16. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    In the 1970s, I started with a MEC 700 VersaMec single-stage loader then moved to a progressive MEC Grabber. Several years later, I thought something better would be an advantage, so I bought a P-W 950 Elite Grand. I was a former GM master technician and currently was a GM service manager, so mechanical aptitude wasn't a concern, but we didn't get along; I'll leave it at that.

    I went back to what worked for me, another MEC - this time, a 9000G. Then the allure of a "better" machine got me thinking (a bad thing, sometimes) again. RCBS introduced their Grand and I bought one of the first ones made. Oh, we had problems but RCBS was great with solving them. Being an outdoor writer, I was connected with Kent Sakamoto, the chief engineer for the Grand and Kent used my loader as a test bed for every new idea that came along. Some improved the machine, some didn't. Eventually, Kent sent me a new one with all the "good" updates. We got along great!

    But my arthritis got worse and even moving the Grand's butter-smooth operating handle became painful, so I asked Kent about some sort of operating system for the loader. They were working on something but nothing would be immediately available. Then I heard about Jim Benn's AutoMate and called him.

    Jim sent me an AutoMate II and a new MEC 9000GN, the only loader for which an AutoMate was available at the time, to test. I liked the rig so much I sent him a check instead of returning his equipment. It all still works perfectly all these years later (I forget how many that is - eight? Ten?). I can't remember the last time I adjusted anything on it.

    Accordingly, I vote for a MEC. They are easy to learn, have a sensible operating routine (no chasing finished shells ejected off the rear of the machine and no shot drops unless a shell is present), no turning powder and shot off and on, easy to adjust when needed, have a compact footprint (important if your loading area is small), have both hydraulic and electric operating systems available for them, parts are available at many gun shops, customer service is top-notch and they aren't expensive to buy in the first place. The only negative that comes to mind is that the handle is stiffer to operate than that of a P-W, Grand or Spolar. But if you're a young buck, that shouldn't pose a challenge.

    Ed
     
  17. Didreckson

    Didreckson Active Member

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    Jim probably has a point, when you spend a ton of dough on something, you hate to bad mouth it.

    Exception....I bought an 800+ and Patriot. The 800+ was obviously made on a Friday before a 3 day weekend. You need a certain amount of mechanical aptitude on any press, but primer rams cut wrong can't be compensated for by a mechanical engineering degree. That was the tip of the ice berg.

    I bought Spolar 2225 after I dumped the 800+. It literally ran on hydraulic without a glitch for 6 years. I could count on 1 hand and have fingers left over the number of times I had a primer issue. I loaded 25K+ shells and sold it with the original wad guide in it.

    Whiz is a prince among us commoners, so when I bought another home where I had space to load in California (yup, still live here for some reason, must be the weather?) I ordered the new Patriot and electric drive. #16 as I recall. My fault, I should have known better, and Whiz helped me get it returned to PW. It was a train wreck out of the box. And even if it had not been, if you are a clean freak and empty your shot and powder bottles each time, the Patriot is not your machine. Order Jim's better tubes and leave it alone. You are at least 1 hand short, or you need a bigger shop vac.

    I did love the electric drive, so I ordered Spolar 2547 and the appropriate PW electric drive. Perfect combination for me. Loader works perfect, electric drive works perfect. Took minor adjusting to dial in the ED, and I was in business. Smooth as glass, quiet, and drop dead perfect shells every time.

    I do believe for those fortunate souls who get a product that actually might have been tested before it was boxed up, PW is a HD and solid unit. I have not been fortunate so far.

    You will find no one finer than Whiz trying to support PW product. He is a man of his word, and knows the product inside/out. For that matter, Dicksie has been very helpful when I have had questions, and thankfully, no need for major issues to this point on 2 units over a 7 year period of time.

    I guess if that qualifies for not saying anything because I spent a ton, so be it. I spent more than most taking a bath on PW units that were clearly faulty the day they left the plant, but I licked my wounds and life goes on.
     
  18. TARGET1

    TARGET1 Member

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    Hey Jim. If I would have been happy with either of my 2 PW's, I wouldn't have bought a Spolar!!!!!
     
  19. 1oldtimer

    1oldtimer TS Member

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    Started loading in 1957 with a home made loader from a tool & die maker. The shot & powder was adjustable. Way ahead of its time! Quit shooting for a spell while raising our large family & sold the loader,mistake. Had 2 800 B PW ,primer feed was always troublesome. Had about all the MECS & pacific,Texan etc. The single stage 600Jr was the most dependable. My 9000G does everything I need it to do with minimal problems. Have been tempted to go HY or EL;but my arms need the exersize. If you bend something on a MEC, you are really forcing the issue. If something binds,why would you test your strenth? A Spolar would make a nice status or bragging piece. They must be excellent.
    Clyde
     
  20. Lovemy99

    Lovemy99 Member

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    I have 2 MEC 9000Gs, one 12 ga, one 20ga. that I have had since the mid-90's. Once adjusted to my recipe, it was just a matter of cranking out the shells. I never had problems with them coming out of adjustment, etc. No broken parts, no major issues. Just replaced springs when they wore out (about evry 4 years or so.)

    This past spring I bought a new MEC 9000E (electric drive). Simply because, with my three boys and my wife all now shooting with me, my arm got tired! Once I got it dialed in to my recipe (about 1 1/2 hr. of tweaking), I haven't looked back. I LOVE ME A MEC!!!
     
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